21 April, 2024

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IMF Loan Risks Eroding Rights; Sri Lanka Should Ensure Fair Taxes, Accountability For Corruption: HRW

The government of Sri Lanka should ensure that policies to enhance revenues do not further erode economic and social rights and that anti-corruption reforms provide accountability, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 20, 2023, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a US$3 billion loan to Sri Lanka to help resolve the spiraling economic crisis that began after Sri Lanka defaulted on its debt in April 2022.

The loan was approved seven months after IMF staff and government officials reached an initial agreement and following financing assurances from the country’s major bilateral creditors. Although it focuses on growing revenues and emphasizes tackling corruption and improving social protection, the program as structured risks further undermining people’s economic and social rights. The government has announced policies that effectively reduce salaries in public service agencies, eliminate subsidies, and increase regressive taxes – steps that could degrade public services and further raise prices at a time when a large segment of the population is already struggling due to high inflation.

“Official corruption and tax rules that benefitted the wealthiest were key drivers of Sri Lanka’s economic crisis, for which Sri Lankans struggling to make ends meet should not have to carry the burden,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should recognize that the public deserves real accountability, whether it’s for past war crimes or ongoing misgovernance and repression of critics.”

IMF approval of the loan paves the way for multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to offer Sri Lanka new financing, which the government has said it expects to reach $7 billion over the next four years. Financial institutions and donors should insist on transparent, rights-respecting governance.

The IMF loan is intended to provide the country with a lifeline while addressing deep-seated problems that contributed to the crisis. Under international law, governments and financial institutions have an obligation to respond to economic crises in a way that advances rather than further jeopardizes human rights, and should avoid pursuing policies that reduce low-income people’s access to essential goods and services.

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis triggered soaring inflation, as well as shortages of essential goods such as fuel and medicine, causing severe and ongoing economic hardship. In January, the World Food Programme reported that one in three families in Sri Lanka were experiencing food insecurity and half were purchasing food on credit.

Waves of protests have made ending corruption a central demand, and led to the ouster of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in July 2022. Currently, the IMF program’s anti-corruption measures are centered on the government passing legislation in line with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the IMF carrying out a governance diagnostic that assesses Sri Lanka’s strengths and weaknesses in six areas, including the rule of law and fiscal governance. The conclusions could be used to set conditions later in the loan program.

For the analysis to be effective, civil society should play a prominent role, Human Rights Watch said. Subsequent anti-corruption reforms should ensure that the government enforces its rules and holds corrupt officials and private businesspeople to account, including for past malfeasance. These efforts should include recovering stolen assets, imposing back pay and penalties for tax evasion, and stemming illicit financial flows out of the country.

The program’s focus on increasing government revenues, rather than reducing public spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), will better protect rights, Human Rights Watch said. When the crisis began, Sri Lanka had among the world’s lowest tax-to-GDP ratios in the world at 7.3 percent. That ratio is expected to nearly double to 14 percent of GDP. However, while some of the new measures are designed to increase taxes on the wealthy and eliminate tax exemptions that benefit them, the heavy reliance on value-added taxes can worsen the cost-of-living crisis.

The government has already increased corporate tax rates and removed all sector-specific tax exemptions, according to the IMF staff report. But most new tax revenue will come from value-added taxes (VAT), which were raised from 8 to 12 percent in May 2022 and again to 15 percent in September. Basic food items remain exempt from VAT, but the government committed to VAT reform by 2024 that would remove “almost all” product-specific exemptions.

While the wealthy pay more VAT in absolute terms because they spend more, the expense makes up a much greater share of income for low-income people. In 2019, the amount of revenue that came from VAT and income taxes were on par, but by the end of the program, VAT is expected to make up 32 percent of all taxes, whereas income taxes would make up 21 percent.

The program reduces the threshold for taxing annual income to 1.2 million rupees ($3,694), a change that some have protested as burdening families who are already struggling to realize their rights. The government should publish data on the percentage of the population that is subject to income taxes under this change, Human Rights Watch said. It should also consider advancing the introduction of taxes on property, gifts, and inheritance, which the program mandates by 2025.

The program includes other measures that could harm low-income people. Public services are central to delivering rights and are an important source of employment. The program calls for keeping any increase in public wages to less than inflation, effectively reducing real salaries, and reducing total spending on wages from 5 to 3.6 percent of GDP. It also eliminates subsidies for both fuel and electricity and imposes an excise tax on fuel, but does not ensure that these critical measures are carried out in a way that fulfills rather than erodes rights. To protect rights when removing subsidies and introducing taxes for fossil fuels, the government should adequately invest in social protection, the use of renewable energy sources, and other measures to move toward a rights-aligned economy, Human Rights Watch said.

The program includes a so-called “social spending floor” that would “gradually raise” spending on four cash transfer programs “to help cushion the potential impact of macroeconomic adjustment on the poor and vulnerable groups.” Recognizing the pervasive flaws in the country’s targeted cash transfer programs, it also mandates overhauling eligibility criteria in partnership with the World Bank to make them “based on objective and verifiable characteristics of households,” and notes the government is working with the World Bank on a new electronic registry for selecting beneficiaries.

While the floor brings up total spending on these programs to 0.6 percent of GDP, it is set at far less than developing countries’ average spending on safety nets, which is 1.6 percent. Furthermore, the insistence on targeting benefits based on eligibility criteria also risks continuing to exclude people who are unable to access goods and services essential for an adequate standard of living. The details of the new eligibility criteria and electronic registry have not been made public, but research has shown pervasive problems with targeting benefits, including high error and exclusion rates.

For example, a proposal to use electricity consumption as a proxy measure – to overcome the lack of data on household income as well as the risk of corruption in selecting beneficiaries – would leave out about 35 percent of the bottom half of the population. Because current beneficiaries who are ineligible under the new criteria would be removed by January 2024, this could mean people losing benefits they are currently receiving.

Contrary to this approach, the IMF’s technical note on social safety nets advises that in countries with “low administrative capacity” efforts should focus on enhancing tax capacity to “claw back” benefits from high-income households, rather than lowering benefits or excluding low-income beneficiaries.

“When half of Sri Lankan families are buying food on credit, it’s not the time to experiment with fixing chronic and pervasive problems with targeted cash transfer programs,” Ganguly said. “Instead of investing precious funds in new registries, the government’s focus should be on building a tax system that makes sure the wealthy pay their fair share.”

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Latest comments

  • 9
    1

    We have a strategy of more and more loans which will enable the international financial institutions to dictate terms to us, ensuring that the welfare state is dismantled. Our advisors are old, Sri Lankan World Bank hacks who simply do the bidding of their former employers. Crackers are burst when new loans are given. The psychology is that of the perennial mendicant, happy when excess Western capital is thrown into our begging bowl. The Malaysians attempted new ways during their economic crisis. They shut their economy from outside influence and ensured internal development. Can we not concentrate on feeding our people and educating our children, not in Pali and Sanskrit but in things that matter such as new technology. We must throw out politicians who have lived for 75 years by stoking ethnic passions and not having any plans for the economic progress of the country

    • 3
      5

      nimal fernando

      Recently a friend of mine forwarded me Shenali’s recent photographs.
      She looks fair.
      Does she use Fair & Lovely Skin Care products?
      Else must be Photoshoped snaps?

      Whether she is Lovely, I have no comments.

      • 10
        0

        Why do Lankan pols have a penchant for collarless shirts?

        Ranil looks like a padre getting ready for Sunday sermon.

        They look so holy.

        • 2
          1

          This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

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

        • 2
          0

          This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

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

        • 2
          0

          This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

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

        • 2
          0

          This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

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

          • 5
            3

            CT
            This is unfair, four in a row!
            “The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.”
            If you restrict the space to intelligent discussion we will not have much discussion left.

            • 4
              0

              SJ: “… focus on intelligent discussion of topics”.

              See how many such “Intelligent” thumbs have gone up even making them unable to read the contents of the opinion expressed?

            • 2
              0

              SJ,
              Poor SM. Someone is giving him a hard time at home. Perhaps he spends too much time praising the JVP when he should be doing the dishes.

        • 5
          3

          Nimal ,
          “Why do Lankan pols have a penchant for collarless shirts?”
          Because it’s too goddamn hot to wear a tie.
          This is sartorial evolution. Remember the fake “national dress” of the 50’s, which politicians and govt employees wore? Premadasa snr. got rid of it because he couldn’t tell the Divisional Secretary from his peon.
          Now you can tell a politician by his collar.🙂

  • 9
    3

    Telling this to Ranil and the Ranilian crowd will be like pouring water over a ducks back. No, they only see the end-behavior of the irrational Lankan high functioning society. Their DNA cannot appreciate the work and work-value of the common Lankan man – the very place their get their money from. We need a government For the People, Of the People, and By the People. Only the JVP-NPP can supply this. Motherland does not care about ultimately joining the richer parts of the globe in 2047. They want rational government NOW!

    • 3
      1

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

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

  • 7
    0

    HRW may be the appropriate international forum to interfere in arresting the massive corruption and all violations of human rights, including abolition of PTA, and missing people. The slow progress of HRW is annoying to the affected people.

    • 0
      4

      “HRW may be the appropriate international forum”
      That depends on whose rights one is concerned with.
      This old essay may give a clue.
      https://criticallegalthinking.com/2013/03/21/the-bias-of-human-rights-watch/
      Kindly take a look before responding.

      • 0
        3

        Notably, HRW has never accused in its reports the US government of violations of human rights by not ensuring food security, social and economic rights including housing and healthcare.

  • 9
    1

    The people and the country realized that they can no longer live with the President and the Government they voted for power with high expectations. When their frustration levels were reaching the boiling point some came forward and gave birth to a protest against both the President and the Government and that “Rudder” less boat was termed “Aragalaya”. Who was involved and how it should be organized and where it should be steered was not that important, but it went ahead with full steam.

    The “Aragalaya” claims that they achieved the “Unachievable” i.e. chasing away both the President and his Government. Now we know where the “Boat” – Aragalaya has sailed and got “Grounded”. Unfortunately, those who knew where the “Boat” would sail do not and fear to speak of the “Voyage” that it would end. That is the “Sweet” and “Sour” story of that “Aragalaya” voyage that we have come to “LIVE WITH” and taste the “BITTER” truth.

    I know many a “Thumbs” would go down on this analysis. Think about it, and try to understand the “Bitter Truth” that we are experiencing today, without knowing the “GREATEST PLOT” of “Rajpakses & Co.” executed in answer to the “Aragalaya”. They said “OK” we will “GO”; but here is the “DICOCKSION”, take it and “Enjoy”.

    • 10
      12

      Simon,
      .
      You have said, “I know many a “Thumbs” would go down on this analysis.”
      .
      However, the digits appear to have behaved differently as I write @ 01:30 am. One has to totally disregard those Red and Green thumbs. One has to THINK.
      .
      By the same token, whether one likes or doesn’t like Dayan Jayatilleka is not the point here:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/ranils-repression-will-hit-the-jvp-npp-while-it-indulges-in-political-narcissism/
      .
      His article is sound.
      .
      Unless a “Second Aragalaya” is launched soon, we are doomed.
      .
      The simple reactions of people who have been asleep are inadequate in countering the tricks played by the “enemy”:
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCzRse_uyTU
      .| Vijitha Herath | Gampaha Protest | 30.03.2023
      .
      At first sight, protesting against the high price of petrol on the day those prices have been “slashed” may seem strange, but it is correct.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

      .

      • 0
        2

        Simon
        “Who was involved and how it should be organized and where it should be steered was not that important, but it went ahead with full steam.”
        Who was involved, how it was organized and where it steered are matters that people should, at least now, seriously concern themselves with.
        There were several unseen hands that vanished without a trace when the ‘job’ seemed done.

    • 4
      0

      Simon,
      1
      Our people should be awakened by asking why thieves are still being adulated. Who should take the lead in this regard ? If not the country#S main stream media then who? The media today is fully focused on the lowest common denominator.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sis0I8PqN4s

      Srilanken Society:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVAT-mdZblc

      They still care little about the ill effects of maintaining thieves for so long, and nothing will be done for the common good.

      YouTubers born in Sinhala are like “stinking flies” in garbage dumps. Most of them do not even spread progressive thoughts.
      Many Sri Lankan YUTUBERs are hanging around with “Sorcery and Astrology Propaganda” spreading illusions to their gullible and gullible people who can only know their existence by spreading lies to their own people.

      Practitioners should look at how to guide people towards the truth and the dangers ahead. Most of them are still fast asleep.

      The world is now well aware that the issue of the Sri Lankan people is inextricably linked with the Sri Lankan spirit. It is like the bark of a tree.

      -> 2

      • 4
        0

        2
        2/
        I am surprised that even the young people who use SMART PHONES are not hungry for information.
        -Instead they only hang on to the illusion built on the Sinhalese nation that “we are a great nation like Israel, we were robbed by the colonial masters”. “. , and all negative about the outside world”:
        At the same time, we have become champions to the world by sending poor and illiterate mothers and women to the Middle East as “housecleaners and drivers.” According to statistics, we are more popular as a “country of house maids to arabs” than we are of providing skilled workers to the world. Most of us are not fully aware of its long-term effects.
        In recent years they have repeatedly exported Sri Lankan women to the Middle East and Israel knowing that Sri Lankan society is eroding with family life without the mother of the family with them. The main reason for the rise of drug culture across the country is that mothers are not in the right place.
        30% or more of the society is under the menace of drugs. However; There are still no formal MEDIA programs against it in the mainstream media. It is clear that Mahinda Rajapaksa and his funds are continued by drug dealers. Even today there is no standing against this. why is that ? Why are people still not strong against it???????????????????????????????????????????????

        3->

        • 4
          0

          3/
          And, false self-praise for no good reason rears its foolish head. If people want to allow new thoughts for a better future of this country, this mentality must be kicked out.

          Btw, I wonder, the beast Mahinda Rajapaksa is still held in high esteem by some people in the rural areas, unaware of the danger his leadership is dragging the masses into by meddling. A civilized society would have turned to be violent against such men, if they are well aware of teh size of the damage deliberately made by: However, our people stay waving him yet today.. I don’t mean they should kill him publicly but protests should be clearer…buggers ar ealso not shameful living beings. .
          :
          So people should finally be aware of the extreme harm that Rajapakshe and CO deliberately do. The Sri Lankan press must finally start criticizing without reservation so that the truth is fed through the stubborn skulls of the people.

  • 8
    2

    cont: Sorry the word “DICOCKSION” must be spelled as “DECOCTION”.

    That “Decoction” is “Ranil W”. Why do you think “Rajapkses” brought in Ranil W? They could have easily brought one from their own camp and that should have been the “CORRECT” thing to considering the “Majority” Pohottuwa enjoyed in Parliament.

    Think about that “MOVE: by Rajapakses. Where are we today and what are we “Fighting” for?

    I will come back with the “DEBT” problem later. Thank you.

    • 7
      4

      Simon,
      .
      In the context of your comment, a synonym for :”CORRECT” would be “honest“. If we were dealing with statesmanship, there would be no problem.
      .
      However, here we are dealing with POLITICS. It is because Dayan Jayatillaka is a consummate politician that few like him. There would normally have been many responding to an article like this:
      .

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/ranils-repression-will-hit-the-jvp-npp-while-it-indulges-in-political-narcissism/
      .
      See for yourself. Those who have written have insulted the author, but commended the article! Note particularly what Lasantha Pethiyagoda has said. “If and when the new anti-terror bill becomes law, even writing like this will become a “terrorist” act.”
      .
      We have to keep our demands simple: We want Local Council Elections ASAP.
      .
      And, certainly, we must give guarantees ourselves: that we will do all that we can to ensure that the polls are free and fair.

      .

    • 6
      2

      Simon,
      I will put it in correct context!.
      Gota during his last days in office was so disparate had offered the post of Prime Minister to anyone in the opposition to take over the government. – Ranil – Sajith, Sarath, Anurakumara and many others.
      An all party government was also a possibility under Gota’s Presidency. All in the opposition other than Ranil imposed conditions that Gota goes home before everything else. Ranil alone was willing to take over the post of Prime Minister unconditionally and initially willing to form form an all party government.Ranil had accepted his last chance
      The rest is history as they say,
      One was willing to take a risk. Victory smiles only on the brave!
      SJB and Premadasa has missed for all the time and they have to live in regret over the spoilt milk.
      If Ranil fails it will not be Sajith , but may be Anura kumara.
      An after thought now A Ranil – SJB coalition government is a possibility since this may be the only option available to SJB due to mounting popularity of NPP.

      • 6
        1

        srikrish: Thanks for your input. No doubt, GOTA asked anyone to come forward to form a Government under his Presidency. Even Sarath F admitted that he had a private discussion on the matter, but he too demanded that GOTA must step down. Even AKD demanded that and so I believe Sajith.

        The fact of the matter was, NO ONE wanted to be under President Gota with that draconian “20th Amendment”. On the other hand, no one could, at that point dare to go against the “Aragalaya” demand “Gota Go Home”. Gota and “Rajapakses” knew it well and that “Call” by Gota was an eye wash and “FAKE” street drama.

        The only man remaining was Ranil W who had a “Hawk’s eye to grab the prey – both the “Presidency” and “Rajapakses”. No doubt, he had all the “Blessings” of Rajapakses and that was the “Master Plan”. Please remember Ranil’s “Survival” depends entirely in the hands of Rajapakses. The day, they (Rajapakses) “Dictate” that “134” vote against Ranil W, he will be gone. That is my view.

      • 1
        0

        “One was willing to take a risk.”
        Be serious.
        Was there any risk to take for someone who had nothing to lose?

  • 14
    13

    I say OC ,your brilliant statesman with the funny voice addressed a respectful crowd at the Gall Face Hotel yesterday. The audience was mesmerized by his almost supernatural brilliance. In that room were the best of the best in Asia !

    OC, at least listen to RW to improve your English.

    I also observe that you use a lot of English ( White skinned) slang and colloquialisms, no doubt to show us how familiar you are with the English language and English ways.

    However from your crassness and narrowness it is obvious you are only a brown skinned WOG with immature pretensions to something else.

    • 12
      11

      DS,
      “However from your crassness and narrowness it is obvious you are only a brown skinned WOG”
      So then, how do you describe yourself? A white transvestite with huge knockers? 🤣🤣🤣

      • 13
        17

        I dont pretend to be some sort of an expert on English slang or insults ! I am not at all Western oriented. ( knockers ? Didn’t your maternal side have them ?)
        By the way you keep saying RW is cunningly using the Rajapaksa family and their support base in the parliament.
        Do you admire this kind of cunning ? Where has all his low cunning taken RW ? Can never win elections! Hated in the country ! Now heading again to the mother ( with or without knockers like your one) of all defeats !

        • 10
          9

          DS,
          “I dont pretend to be some sort of an expert on English slang or insults !”
          At least be consistent. If you aren’t an expert on English, why do you keep criticising other people’s English?
          Sorry, do you understand big words like “consistent”?
          Give respect and you will get it in return.

          • 12
            14

            OC the woman hater, I said I am not an expert on English slang or insults ( which is your foolishly acquired field) That is very different to a reasonable proficiency in the language , don’t you think ?

            As to giving respect, I should learn from your comments on the Sinhalese, Buddhists and Rajapkse family.

            I get this impression you are a mean, bigoted and self-satisfied person without any reason to be so.

            Why should your highly prejudiced ideas matter ?

            Your Ranil got less than 1% of the vote, You belong to that group

            • 13
              10

              DS,
              “As to giving respect, I should learn from your comments on the Sinhalese, Buddhists and Rajapkse family.”
              Ah, so you ARE a supporter of Sinhala Buddhism and the Rajapaksa family?
              One of those clowns who think Gota’s economics was right? Why did he run away?
              Why didn’t you openly say so before now?

              • 9
                11

                OC, To say you must not abuse X Y or Z is not the same as being a supporter of X,Y or Z. That must be how you think !

                In my book a true gentleman is decent even towards his enemies, even if he is a serial killer.

                I think our readers can assess you properly now

                • 8
                  6

                  DS,
                  “not the same as being a supporter of X,Y or Z. “
                  Okay then, what do you say to the following:
                  1. Gota was an unqualified fool.
                  2. MR is a crook.
                  3. Monks have too much power.
                  Straight answers please.

                  • 7
                    9

                    Do you know the difference between opinion and fact ?

                    I can say the same thing about you ( my opinion)

                    You are a fool , a crook and have too much power over this lackey Vedda and crazy man leelamalli !

                    What I sad is my opinion. Hopefully not a fact !

                    • 3
                      5

                      DS ,
                      So, no straight answer, as expected.
                      Are you ashamed of being a Rajapaksa supporter? Even with those huge hooters?

              • 4
                5

                OC,
                I think DS is still going through his or her puberty. His or hers does not move around. Judging by the extreme alien behavior of the “Sinhala Man”, this creature is harmless.

                I don’t know if he or she is being harassed by his/her staff members and that might be the reason s/he came back to “Sinhala Buddhism”.As you know Sinhala Buddhism (monkey racism) is the last straw for anyone who wants to fool stupid people.

                This creature had challenged us some time ago that he or she does not support Rajapakse animals.??????

                • 6
                  9

                  So Codger you are a fool !

                  My hooters are just like your mothers ! Only I have produced better men !

                  • 1
                    5

                    I would have thought that, like fingerprints and ear lobes, no pair of h******s are alike.

                    • 0
                      0

                      SJ,
                      Deepthi ‘s partner would know….

                    • 0
                      0

                      If I may add here,
                      It is true that one of paired organs or body parts is slightly different from its other semetrical part. Be it feet, ears, jaws, arms, hands, testicles, overs, breasts, feet or both halves of the brain….it is factual information.

                      DS, please change the topic.. thank you.

                  • 0
                    0

                    That means Professor D.S. a woman.?
                    My God… You are behaving like fish mongers .. why is that ? Good luck to your patients !(if at all you are not yet interdicted for some reasons).

                    I have had a very bad experience last year in Negombo fish market…that reminded me instantly.

                    . Further to this, there was a female teacher who was punished by mobs by dipping in dirty Baira Lake. but she did not stop worshiping the Kaputas and dogs. Is she possibly related to you?

                    Why on earth would you fall to that level if you are a doctor? SINHALA BUDDHIST DNA ?

        • 5
          4

          DS,
          Yes, he is cunning enough to use internal(garbage intrinsic) reptilians in the recycling process of garbage heaps to create a better future for innocent people.
          May he be blessed if his motivation is truly set !

          Have you heard that coconut beetle blight can only be eradicated by introducing another beetle that is compatible with the dangerous beetles?

          Another good example is when parasitologists and entomologists created new types of mosquitoes to repel the transmission of dengue mosquitoes. Florida, Boston and Brisbane scientists had great success with this model.

          • 4
            3

            cont.
            .
            -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK1GizUd6Mg

            No matter what anyone says or does against him, he decides well with his own pure agendas. Good advantage is that he is not worshiping sinhala budhdist monks to the manner, nation`s POLBURUWA did it (MaRa is the nation# s polburuwa, he can only mislead the gallery).
            -He strategically uses the idiot Rajapakse (Mahinda s knowledge is no different to that of Wimal Buruwanse) and their henchmen to drive the enemy away.

            No need to compare him with LKY or anyone else, he knows the format that suits Sri Lankan context. That same knowledge doesn’t even touch JVP cry babies.

            JVP babies can as much as they want, he also finds enough pacifiers to soothe them. That Vasantha Mudalige from the Inter-University Association should better finish his studies.
            Only then could he further ruin this society. We Sri Lankans cannot continue to finance them because the state cannot bear any further burden. If a student hasn’t been able to get through for 13 years, something big should be wrong with him and her.

      • 4
        4

        old codger

        Or a coconut

  • 13
    15

    If you go back to similar meetings in the last 30 years where Ranil has gone high on his punditry, you will see the same empty faces. People who think they are big fish and act like movers and shakers , but really dishonest rascals who have been a terrible drag on this nation.
    This Ranil is so thick I wonder when he will realize he as mediocre as everybody else but the others don’t have his skills in creating this illusion.May be this culture which thinks high of royal college or 5th lane helped him

    • 8
      6

      deepthi ^ silva

      “This Ranil is so thick I wonder when he will realize he as mediocre as everybody else but the others don’t have his skills in creating this illusion.”

      If the illusionist Ranil is thick how do you rate Gota, Nimal, Wimal, Asgiria, …. ?

      • 7
        6

        Native,
        This time she has outed herself as supportive of Sinhala Buddhism and the Rajapaksas. That explains her inferiority complex fueled tantrums.

  • 2
    1

    The smirk on his face gives me the impression he feels he has had the last laugh.

  • 8
    1

    Dear Readers: First listen to the address given to the Chartered Accountants at a seminar held in Colombo. He pronounced that ALL (Politicians who held power including him, the Administrators, and Civil Society members) are “RESPONSIBLE” (but did not mention the word ACCOUNTABLE) for the deplorable conditions that prevail in this country. I give the link, but not sure of its availability now.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdOCs8i64Fc

    If ALL mentioned (including him) are “Responsible” it is also unmentionable they are “ACCOUNTABLE” too. The question the PEOPLE (including those “Elite Professionals” in attendance) must ask is: > If you admit, you are “Responsible” and invariably “Accountable” for bringing about this “Economic Collapse” and the “Misery” WHY we should further ALLOW you to be handling our Governing functions? and make a DEMAND to LEAVE us the opportunity to have our next choice of people to replace you. The PEOPLE have a RIGHT to say: You all are FAILURES and have LET US DOWN very badly. So GO. Please GO.

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      Simon,
      .
      Here’s the link
      where that speech is now available:
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ubrVaTObGI – 20 minutes, English, Ranil
      .

      Nothing about elections.
      .
      I had heard it and saved what you see above before I saw your comment. It is still available. I’ve re-checked! Don’t worry about the Sinhala wording below it – all is in English. I know that this will look odd to to those who don’t know Sinhala. Certainly, it looks odd to me because I also much prefer to work in English.
      .
      However, there’s no getting away from the fact that the majority of our people are most comfortable in Sinhala. So, please don’t make that an unnecessary issue – here or elsewhere.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

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        SM,
        Ranil says in his speech that we are ALL responsible for the situation. I see nothing wrong with that.

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        Dear S-M: Thank you for providing that link. You will notice that right through he was making a “CONFESSION” and offered to further aggravate the situation by the “Sale” of the Public Assets, covered behind “Restructuring” but really meaning “Divestiture” as announced by the “State-Owned Restructuring Unit” – SRV the Authority set up to negotiate and conclude the sales.

        No wonder the people have coined a new name for him: “VICKKAMA SINGHA” =Wickramasinghe. A “Youtuber” coined this and said: “Our people live by the sale of their assets and once sold they behave like “Lions”. My hats off to these “CREATIVE” and “INAVOTIVE” Sinhala speaking and educated youth.

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          Simon,
          What assets are you talking about? Sri Lankan? That has cost us 18 billion a year. The CEB which charges 3 times the cost of electricity in India? Or the CPC whose petrol costs 20% more than imported petrol?
          Those aren’t assets. The correct word is liabilities.

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            OC: Have you given any thought to HOW, WHY, and WHO “MADE” those liabilities?

            Please see through that too. Thanks.

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              Simon,
              “Have you given any thought to HOW, WHY, and WHO “MADE” those liabilities?”
              A simple answer:
              Would SriLankan have turned into a liability if had been run by, say, JKH ?
              You know the answer. Private companies simply get shut down. Politicians use state organisations for their own benefit, and the heads of these places are usually political appointees. So, there is no such thing as a “profitable” SOE. OK, Insurance may be profitable, but the company’s money was used to buy dead horses like Lanka Hospitals.
              Even Ceypetco survives because IOC has to pay taxes on the refined fuel it imports. Even so, IOC makes a thumping profit while Ceypetco with 2/3 market share makes a loss.
              You can guess why the CPC unions (which are JVP aligned) don’t want to lose their perks.

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    I said earlier, I will give a glimpse of the National Debt situation. As per the IMF calculations, the figures are:

    Total Debt is US$ 84 billion. Of this, 49% i.e. Us $ 42 billion is Foreign Debts while the balance is Local Debts. According to calculations (IMF), US$ 25 billion has to be paid in 2023/2028 i.e. US$ 5 billion per year.

    The expected loans to settle this US$ 25 billion are: (1) World Bank & ADB 1.75 & 2 B respectively (2) IMF 2.9 billion and (3) S/L ISB issues US$ 1.5 billion total to US$ 8.15 billion.

    This leaves a balance of US$ 16.85 (rounded to US$ 17 billion) to be found by the Government. This balance is what the Government expects to negotiate with “CREDITORS” (both Foreign & Local) to “Waive Off” meaning a “Hair Cut”. The BIG QUESTION here is: Will the “Creditors” agree?

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    contd: Another proposal by IMF is to “RE-STRUCTURE” Government expenditure. It is in this context that the Government has made a decision to “Re-Structure” State Owned Enterprises. Already a list of such “Enterprises” has been agreed upon and an “Authority” called State Owned Restructuring Unit (SRU) has been established to negotiate with the prospective “Investors”. In this “List,” there are some of the “Profit” making Institutions included that have led to public debate and criticism. However, this SRU has used the word “DIVESTITURE” as against “RESTRUCTURE” in calling for “INTERESTS” in these State Enterprises. That is noteworthy.

    All these State Owned Enterprises (whether making profits or losses) “BELONG” to the PEOPLE of this country. The question then arises: Has this Government got a “MANDATE” to “DEVASTATE” such “ASSETS” belonging to the PEOPLE? Leave aside the President. The Rajapakse -“Pohottuwa” party was “Mandated” in 2019 to TAKE BACK all those “SOLD” by Yahapalanaya. Remember, MR stated publicly that his Government will take back all that has been “sold” and even went to the extent of “WARNING” prospective “Byers” to be aware of the danger of investments. Please refer to the “Prosperity and Splendour” policy statement of “Pohottuwa”.

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      Simon,
      “All these State Owned Enterprises (whether making profits or losses) “BELONG” to the PEOPLE of this country.”
      Do they, really?
      The fact is that they belong to the politicians, who stuff them with their supporters. Then these political employees form unions which grant themselves perks like 25% annual increments, and threaten to strike if any of this is reversed. Who do you think pays their salaries? Not the politicians of course.

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        OC: Thanks. I requested you consider the very aspect you state here in an earlier comment. I am glad you have done it.

        It is not only to confine to these PEOPLES’ PROPERTIES that the Politicians think “BELONGING” to them, their “FAMILIES” and “SUPPORTERS”(including Trade Union Leaders and Goons) they think the whole country belongs to them. That is ROOT cause for all the trouble.

        In addition, the PEOPLE ALLOW the politicians to “OWN” the country and its assets, once they too are handed down a “Meatless Borne” to suck. Isn’t it the ROOT cause for all these deplorable conditions?

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    Old Codger, why do you use the words ‘hooters’ on female breasts ? It is British slang but even in UK a word not used in educated or decent circles.

    When a black imitator like you use the word hooters, what do you think it shows ?

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      DS,
      “When a black imitator like you…”
      Be consistent (I know you don’t understand that word).
      You called me a white imitator the other day.

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      ds
      I agree.
      Should you not have objected before you yourself used the term?

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