23 January, 2021

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Gota’s Wars Against Economy & Minorities

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

IMF, World Bank, Moody, Fitch, Citi, and now S&P global rating: they all cannot be wrong collectively and simultaneously in warning that Sri Lanka’s debt burden is at an unsustainable level, and that the country’s economy is in a perilous state to recover from the pandemic-struck recession. Only the Central Bank Governor, who seems to have mortgaged his academic integrity for position and prestige, the State Minister Cabraal – whose own debacle over Greek bonds when he was the CB governor is still not forgotten – and the Ministry of Finance are continuing to deny and trying to wish away the danger by prematurely issuing a clean bill of health to an otherwise sick economy. How long can they fool all the people all the time?

No one wants to talk down the economy intentionally, and everyone who loves the country wishes for a swift recovery and achieve at least a minimum level of economic growth so that its people could live at least with a minimum of comfort. But the reality must be faced, accepted and should not be hidden from the public for the sake of political expediency.  That however, does not seem to be the policy of current rulers, because in their race to capture, they promised their supporters too much too soon, and in trying to keep them happy caused financial havoc by sacrificing public revenue. Financial consolidation is today’s major challenge facing the regime. Even the budget submitted to the parliament last month was filled with empty optimism, and the recovery path stipulated in that document will require more borrowing or outright grants and massive foreign investment to implement. Because of a rapidly drying pool of foreign reserves, which has to meet the nation’s debt obligations first, funding through multilateral sources is now becoming increasingly problematic, and that is the underlying message coming from international monitors. Given this worrying situation, China in many ways has become the lender of last resort to the Rajapaksa regime. However, China’s largesse with its locally planted advisers o the regime is alarmingly turning the country into China’s virtual client-state jeopardizing the island’s territorial sovereignty, which GR promised to protect. 

This is an economic war that cannot be won militarily like Gota’s war against LTTE. In that war, the general public was kept out of the fighting and was carried out exclusively by the expertly trained army, navy and the air force. In contrast, the economic war has to be fought by the people, and without their cooperation, support and sacrifices, GR’s military generals and his task forces will only worsen the situation. This fact should be understood by economists and policy makers who are backing this regime. However, that cooperation and support is being ruined by Gota’s other war, the one he is fighting against minorities. Therefore, there are two separate wars being fought simultaneously and they are based on a strange equation. GR and his regime seem to think that their failure to win the economic war, and criticisms arising from that failure could be contained and managed by showing success in the war against minorities. This a dangerous assumption that will eventually compel the anti-regime local elements to unite and take their battle to the international front.   

The ongoing war against the minorities should be stopped to concentrate all the country’s energy to win the economic war. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resolve to solve the Tamil problem through economic development is a camouflage to hide his real motive of depriving the Tamils not only of any share in governance but even a share in the economy. His ultimate vision is for a country ruled by Sinhala Buddhists for Sinhala Buddhists. This is the underlying philosophy that has cemented the symbiotic relationship between Buddhist clergy and GR-led politicians. If national economic development is the true motive of GR, what is the need for concentrating more and more troops in Tamil areas when the armed threat has been completely eliminated, and why did he post an archaeological task force, filled with less archaeologists and more with army men and Buddhist clergy, to districts predominantly populated by Tamils and Muslims, where the task force is more interested in grabbing land than excavating ruins?       

The history of Sri Lanka’s post-independence politics, from late 1940s to the present, has been one marked by a policy of selective communal inclusion and exclusion in all critical spheres of governance. Because the majority Sinhala-Buddhists has the power to make and unmake governments there is an unwritten understanding between the rulers and that majority that the public sector should remain an exclusive domain for majority Sinhalese. Historically, this seems to be an unwritten rule in several developing countries with a pluralist polity, except Singapore. Once the majority community by virtue of its number takes control of the public sector, minorities have no option but to depend on the private sector for survival and prosperity.  In several countries, minorities do excel in professional, economic and commercial pursuits through sheer hard work, sacrifice and skill. Even in professional fields, minority communities seek to enter particularly the health, accounting, law and engineering sectors largely because it is where they could stand on their own without expecting any favour from governments. Obviously, not all of them succeed and those who fail to shine get pushed back and fall into the informal sector where economic survival is like cyclists peddling uphill. One has to continue peddling and to stop may even prove deadly. 

Thus, the Tamils, because of that community’s head start in education opted to concentrate in professional fields, whereas Muslims, because of their late entry into modern education and an innate religious bias chose to prefer business and commercial ventures. Yet, in both communities, for every success story there were scores and hundreds of failures. But what catches the eyes of the majority is not the many failures but the few successes, and it is the latter that creates envy.  Because of the opulence of a few, an entire community is tarnished and condemned as one of exploiters and robbers of the majority. Indians in former Burma, Kenya and Fiji, Chinese in Malaysia and Indonesia, and Jews in many parts of pre-Israel Europe were victims of this envy. In this country also, it was economic envy that originally sowed the seeds of anti-Tamil Sinhala nationalism, but when the Tamils pushed for a federal solution economic envy got entangled with politics and led to a civil war. Likewise, the current wave of anti-Muslim phobia is essentially the result of economic envy covered with an artificially concocted religious and cultural fear of Islam. There is therefore a parallel economic war fought against the two minorities and the ruling regime is leading that war based on the equation mentioned earlier. Even the regime’s prevailing intransigence on Muslim burial issue is part of a wider agenda to crush that community economically. 

Thus, GR’s strategy of containing the political damage caused by his failure to win the economic war by winning the parallel war fought against minorities will bring neither splendour nor prosperity. It was Tamils yesterday, Muslims today and may be Christians tomorrow, but GR’s game of robbing Peter to give Paul will proceed.    

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Latest comments

  • 13
    6

    Greed has condemned every Sri Lankan to suffer. Time to split the island equitably into 3 mono-ethnic nations. Only 15% of them people need to be relocated and there will be permanent peace for all. Hopefully Gota will do justice for all without discrimination. A peaceful ethnic divorce is what SL needs.

    • 6
      7

      GATAM
      Muslims in Sinhala majority areas must be moved out.
      .
      Can you multiply by 1000?
      If you want to understand how much we despise you do that arithmetic operation to the following:
      /
      GATAM / November 7, 2020
      Sri Lankan Buddhists are the most intolerant, superstitious, jealous and naive people I have ever met across 34 countries I traveled. They would worship any tree, clay thing, alien or politician for benefit. World Buddhists must steer clear of this intolerant tribe.
      /
      As a favour to you I have circulated your opinon to all my friends with the request to onpass to their friends in turn.
      .
      Any comments?

      • 1
        0

        Depends on the choice they make. If they want to be part of Sinhala Only Elam, they can. But that means continuing Sinhala rule and Buddhist supremacy. If they have their own All Muslim Elam, it will have Sharia Law, massive investments from Saudi, Qatar, etc.

    • 6
      17

      “Time to split the island equitably into 3 mono-ethnic nations.”
      —–
      It was Sinhalayo who shed blood and sacrificed their lives to keep their country as a ‘Unitary State’. During British rule Tamils and Muslims were in the British camp and took part in massacring Sinhalayo. Tamils and Muslims claim they took part in the Independence struggle which is BS. So why should Sinhalayo divide their country and hand over parts to descendants of people who came from Hindusthan and obtained citizenship in this country. Sinhalayo did not invite Tamils or Muslims to Sinhale. They came and they obtained citizenship due to kindheartedness of Sinhala Buddhists. If you think a peaceful ethnic divorce is what SL needs those who came from foreign countries are free to return to their ancestral homeland and let Sinhalayo live in peace.

      • 1
        1

        EE, we have riots, wars, discrimination, etc. because of people like you in all 3 camps. They are too greedy and want to have the entire island. That model failed. Time to split the island for good. Don’t worry you will get a Sinhala Only nation where only Sinhalese, Veddhas and Burghers will live. How about that? Be reasonable! Learn to compromise, give up what is not equitably yours. Otherwise forever war.

        The so called “sacrifices” of your Sinha-alayo (lion potatoes) is worth nothing if it doesn’t give Tamils and Muslims their right to self determination.

        • 0
          0

          GATAM,
          Problem with Demala Tamils and Demala Muslims is when Sinhalayo give ‘One Inch’ they want ‘One Yard’. After pleading to Sinhalayo when they faced a desperate situation and obtained citizenship in the Land of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo, these people talk about self-determination.
          If these foreign origin (Para) people who settled down in Sinhale thanks to kind heartedness of Sinhala Buddhists are not willing to live under Sinhala rule in a Unitary State, they are free to return to their ancestral Homeland across the Palk Strait. Sri Lanka Navy will be very happy to provide free transport.
          Sinhalayo did not invite Demala Tamils or Demala Muslims to Sinhale (now Sri Lanka).

    • 1
      0

      That would include a Tamil State, a Muslim State, and Sinhala state, with a Sinhala only policy and no place for minorities? What is your point? Isn’t it pointless, back to where we began?

    • 0
      0

      Sri Lankans are not suffering for anythings, this Island 75 years back 88% of Sinhalese Aryans lived and living country and of course, called Heladiva (means Helayans living country) by hook or crook wants to relocate Sinhalese in North and East. If Tamils live in other parts of Sri Lanka (eg. the Wellawatta area) why not Sinhalese Aryans relocate North and East. Everyone wants one country one law, one flag, one national anthem, one president, one Prime Minister, one Parliament, one Speaker, one Chief Justice, one Supreme Court, one Police Chief, one Army General, one Air Marshal, one Navy Admiral, etc.

  • 5
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

    For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 1
      1

      Eagle ‘Blind Eye’ fantastic comment and thanks for keeping it brief.

  • 4
    3

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

    For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 8
    1

    That “IMF”, “World Bank”, “Moody”, “Fitch”, “Citi” and “S&P”- RATINGS are “Welcome News” for China. That “Rating” has Doubled and Trebelled the “HOPES” of China to “Colonize” Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean and the “Newly” created “South Asia Corridor”. Gatham & Soma: Hold your “Breath”. You are too “Quick” to celebrate the “Three” splits of the country. “GR & the Team” will see to that all those “Ratings” are sent down the drain and entirely a “NEW RATING” is established with China. This “TEAM” has already commenced has to lay down the “Foundation”. Welcome, China! “SIGN” will be installed very soon by “Shangrila”.

    • 9
      1

      Simon@

      I am totally in agreement with you. There are speculations from the experts that srilanken would be another Greece in a few months now. China will be happy to work with MODAYA leaders who are no different to those of Angola and several other countries of that nature. Angola s inflation rates are the highest since so called high tech cities were built through chinese investments in that country whose average would not earn even 5 to 10$ as their wages.
      .
      All in all, we detect the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of a beginning of an end. GR and BR would not care much because they are dual citizens. MR would not care much because Karma is sending him to the HELL sooner than later. There rumours the bugger s medical history is no good at all. I have no doubt, their end would be much similar to that of Gadafi family kith and kin. Hope the poor people would finally get the ground realities of mlechcha politicians.

    • 1
      1

      When or if that happens, the world will forcibly split SL. For India, Saudi, USA, etc. something is better than nothing.

      • 0
        0

        Sri Lanka will forcibly wipe out separatists and terrorists same as how Gotabaya wiped out the entire LTTE leadership and LTTE. Even America wiped out Red Indians and in Russia, wiped out Chenchnia Terrorists and extremists by Putin. The second wave very soon will come, wait and see, be patient. The whole world said the LTTE war never-ending. Sri Lanka taught a lesson to the world about how to wipe out Terrorists and extremists.

  • 5
    3

    The light will never be at the end of the tunnel unless the majority in the country realize the fact that they live in a tiny- island without any natural resources such as oil,lumber,silver,gold or ,arable land to meet the growing population and even adequate water to drink. All other big powers around them are watching them, when they will surrender because of their subsistence level of economy and lack of national unity and over depending mainly on foreign aids ,foreign loans , World Bank IMF and other banks. Unless these over-dependence on other countries are minimized and just printing money would not solve the problem. Therefore, not only china even others could also be raising concerns of capturing power!

    • 7
      2

      Pon Lanka: Good observation. This little island will become a “Battle Ground” soon, in that China has already commenced operations. India is having a “Hawke’s eye while USA is ready with “MCC”, that through India. It all depend on how our Political Leaders are playing the game. In my opinion, their “Game Plan” is one of “Self Seeking” and “Scooping” whatever possible because that type of playing has become pandemic.

    • 1
      1

      Will never succeed!

      Only solution is to split the island into 3 mono ethnic nations. Thereafter they can merge between them if they wish.

  • 4
    1

    LIBERY EQUALITY FRATERNITY

    • 1
      1

      Sinhala Only Elam
      Tamil Elam
      Muslim Elam

      = Permanent peace, dignity, equity, fairness, no more racist parties winning elections by promising the blood of national and provincial minorities, no more discrimination, no more HR violations, no more riots, no more war crimes, etc.

      Even the rival super powers will be happy as they will have their support nation. No need for further bloodshed in SL, just split the island into 3.

  • 0
    0

    “There are speculations from the experts that srilanken would be another Greece in a few months now.”

    Let’s bet on that, I have nothing to lose. One consolation is that when the ship goes down it will take these gloom and doom people who are always predicting Sri Lanka’s demise, they will go down with the ship as well.

  • 0
    1

    Greece is a better place, as no Rajapakshas, no vilambeethas and saffron thugs.

  • 1
    1

    Sri Lanka is Screwed and he blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the Sinhala Buddhists.

    https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=726822257959208&ref=watch_permalink

  • 0
    0

    It appears that Kuveni’s curse on Vijaya is still in vogue with a vengeance. Otherwise one cannot explain the plight of Sri Lanka after 72 years of independence.
    Yakkini Princess Kuveni, the consort of Prince Vijaya, had two children, a son named Jivahatta and a daughter named Disala. Mahavamsa says how King Vijaya betrayed Kuveni’s oath by giving her up and taking a princess from Madhura as his queen consort. When Vijaya announced his intentions to Kuveni about his prospective marriage to Princess Pandiya, Kuveni pleaded with Vijaya thus:
    “Oh, I helped thee to rout the Yakshas and raised thee to be King of this isle, and pledging thy truth. Oh, King, thou made me thy spouse. Didn’t not thou then know that I was of the Yakka race loving thee with unquenchable love, and living in such love, I bore thee two children. Husband mine, can thou now leave me and love another? The gentle rays of the full-orbed moon seem now to be the blaze of a red-hot iron ball. Alas! How can I soothe my heart?”
    Kuveni scorned him with words of wrath and cursed Vijaya. “Vijaya should not have listened to his Purohitas (advisers), but to his own conscience and made the woman who helped him to win the throne of Lanka”, the legend goes on.

  • 0
    0

    Kuveni’s curse is believed to have filtered right down the royal lineage and has overflowed to each and every nook and corner of Sri Lanka over the centuries.
    Otherwise, how anyone can explain the economic abyss and political doldrums Sri Lanka has sunk over the years.
    Singapore, a once fishing village Singapore is now a mini-superpower while Sri Lankan remains a bankrupt republic sinking under the weight of borrowed loans and debts. The rulers of Sri Lanka are showing their back to rule of law, democracy and natural justice.

    There are over 100 different groups of people speaking different languages in Canada, yet no Minister says “Tamils should be satisfied with eating 3 times a day.” Another Minister says ditch 13A as the Provincial Councils have become white=elephants.

    If Sri Lanka wants to prosper economically rulers should stop taking about majority Vs minorities. Such talk is primitive and has no place in the modern world.

  • 0
    0

    Singapore, a once fishing village Singapore is now a mini-superpower while Sri Lankan remains a bankrupt republic sinking under the weight of borrowed loans and debts. The rulers of Sri Lanka are showing their back to rule of law, democracy and natural justice.

    There are over 100 different groups of people speaking different languages in Canada, yet no Minister says “Tamils should be satisfied with eating 3 times a day.” Another Minister says ditch 13A as the Provincial Councils have become white=elephants.

    If Sri Lanka wants to prosper economically rulers should stop taking about majority Vs minorities. Such talk is primitive and has no place in the modern world.

  • 1
    0

    http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Disciplinary-Inquiry-against-DSG-Azard-Navavi-State-Counsel-Malik-Aziz/108-201900

    Looks like rot of Religious Islamist Zealots are spread far and wide.. First we need the SL Muslims to weed this rot out and come clear..

    Then the Catholics / Buddhists / Bohara’s and Burghers will start to respect the Moors in SL again.

    A committee appointed by the Attorney General (AG) had recommended the Public Service Commission to conduct a disciplinary inquiry against Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Azard Navavi and State Counsel Malik Aziz.

    The inquiry is to be conducted on their failure to provide legal advice to the file submitted by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) on Zahran Hashim and National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) in 2017, it was yesterday informed at the PCOI probing Easter Sunday attacks.

  • 1
    0

    http://sinhala.colombogazette.com/2020/12/14/2940/

    IT DOES NOT HELP WHEN MINISTER OF MUSLIM AFFAIRS SAY THAT HE DOES NOT KNOW THE DIFFERANCE BETWEEN SWORD AND WEEDING KNIFE AND SAYS THAT HE DIDNT KNOW THAT SWORDS WERE DISTRIBUTED BY ZAHARAN’S BROTHER TO MOQSUES AND THE IMAM’S..

    WE WILL NEED LAWS LIKE IN FRANCE FOR THIS MUSLIM COMMUNITY NOW !!

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