30 May, 2024

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IMF Wants Elections To Be Held

By Hema Senanayake

Hema Senanayake

IMF does not say it directly, but IMF does not stand with authorities if the people of the member country do not stand with the government. Elections are the way to test whether the people are standing with the government and its authorities like the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank. IMF does not provide financial assistance for military dictatorships. But it works with many countries categorized as “not free” or “partly free” by Freedom House, if elections are held regularly. Sri Lanka is categorized as a partly-free country. Not only IMF, but creditors of all kinds also want to see whether the Sri Lankan government is truly backed by people. They want to see whether there is true political stability in the country.

It is true that holding Local Government elections will not change the government, but Local Government elections will show whether the people stand with the government or not. IMF and other creditors might be willing to see it. President Ranil Wickremesinghe knows this well. Therefore, I think that he will not take any action by himself to postpone the election either as incumbent President or the Minister of Finance. But he will do whatever possible to postpone the elections without getting him involved directly but indirectly maneuvering other government institutions like Election Commission, Judiciary or even returning officers appointed by the Election Commission, to get the election postponed. In remotest possibility, if such thing happened, perhaps he would blame the institutions involved in postponing the election. Then he would say to IMF that he could not help and involve with the decisions of independent government institutions. Perhaps he learned these immoral tricks from his uncle JR Jayewardene. 

One of my learned friends said that JR once played a same cunning trick with the then Indian Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi. JR Jayewardene after came to power in 1977, wanted to deprive the civic rights of Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the former Prime Minister and he hatched a plan involving courts and parliament. But Indira Gandhi having close personal ties with Mrs. Bandaranaike did not want that to happen. So, she telephoned President Jayewardene and requested not to remove Sirimavo’s civic rights. JR replied that he could not involve with the decision of courts. The answer was technically correct but being a veteran stateswoman and a well-informed Head of State of India, Mrs. Gandhi knew that it was a complete lie. Since then, for a long time, India was hostile towards JR’s regime.    

President Ranil Wickremesinghe wants to play the same cunning trick with IMF. He wants to show that he did not to get involved in postponing the election, instead, he wants to point out to IMF that the Election Commission or Judiciary or some other institution did it if election is postponed. If such thing happens, I strongly feel that IMF would delay its decision of granting financial assistance even if creditors agreed to restructure their loans. IMF’s language is different. It might continue to postpone its Board Meeting to approve the loan for Sri Lanka and would say that IMF want to give more time to authorities to finalize the reform programs. This might prolong the Sri Lanka’s economic crisis. Therefore, Ranil Wickremdsinghe should be careful not play with any trick to postpone the election. 

I hope government institutions and officials are much more independent today and they will understand the importance of holding provincial council elections as it will be the turning point on the path to economic recovery of this country. Therefore, this election is a must not an option.

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Latest comments

  • 17
    9

    Most certainly this Government under the Presidency of RW has no mandate from the people and any future holders (government) cannot be held responsible or hold them liable to settle debts arising thereof.
    IMF or any other lender would be too stupid to negotiate with a fly-by-night party holding on to power by throwing chili powder on the face of the people.

    • 16
      5

      h
      Regardless of what you or I or any other thinks of RW, as far as the IMF is concerned, he is the legitimately elected President for two more years.
      Unless there is a mass uprising, the man faces no threat, and all major challengers are all amenable to the IMF’s rules of the game.
      The IMF has financial concerns but no moral concerns. It only seeks to bind the country to conditions stipulated by it.
      *
      People predicted a month or two of life for RW’s presidency. The man has survived a little longer. He is, within limits, a captive of the R family, but is exercising his freedoms where it matters to him.
      What does the IMF care about that?

  • 9
    2

    There are arguments for and against holding election now. We all know that people was angry against President and the Government for the bankgruptcy of the country and they did not ask President to leave the country or send his resignation from some other country. They wanted a proper investigation about what are the factors caused bankgruptcy and who are responsible for the bankgruptcy. If the former President and his government responsible for bankgruptcy then whatever the appointments made by Gotabaya becomes invalid because his decisions made the country to bankgrptcy. If he his not guilty of bankgrptcy, Ranil should now hand over the power back to Gotabaya. Today the Sri Lankan court punished former President and many other responsible officers for the failure to protect people from the Easter Bombing. However, Court could not punish current President who was the Prime Minister at that time who should be also should be included in that list. But still the mastermind remains unpuished. Why?
    The country is still under economic crisis. Firstly and importantly the people have lost the trust and confidence on those who are elected two and a half years back. The People are carrying the whole weight of the economy in their shoulders and they wants a change. They should be given an opportunity to say their message to the world who they want to govern. So Presidential and Parliament elections should be done now.

  • 12
    1

    “IMF Wants Elections”

    Does that mean the IMF wants their English-speaking westernized favourite boy Ranil gone?

    Are they now willing to deal with the doo-wop speaking indigenous national-dress gang?

    Does the IMF understand them? …… And them the IMF …… the economy?

    Are we going to get out of this the same way we got here?

    • 7
      0

      Nimal , Fitch downgrades 10 Banks , CEB and SLT. Economy spiraling down hitting the bottom.

      • 3
        0

        This is not good. All the key banks in the country are downgraded. Previously Fitch downgraded Sri Lanka and politicians an even the central bank under Cabral was just mouthing off. We all know the consequence.

      • 5
        0

        Dear chiv,
        .
        I don’t know about banking, financing, and economics. However, I have mentioned my friend who knows all these things, but never comments on these matters. About two weeks ago he said that with all this money printing there could be problems even withing the country, and runs on Banks is a distinct possibility, followed by their collapse.
        .
        These will have to be analyzed by more knowledgeable people.
        .
        There are hiccoughs with paying pensions; but mine (and everybody’s, I should imagine) got to the bank on the 10th afternoon – not there in the morning. But now there is a difference.
        .
        Every December we have to sign a form to say that we’re still living. Or our thumb impression has to be put on. Do you remember?
        .
        https://www.dailymirror.lk/Breaking-News/church-of-england/108-60753
        .
        We didn’t receive it this time. No paper to send it. So, there was a cumbersome sheet given to the Grama Sevaka. Each of us has different numbers for different purposes. My famous NIC doesn’t count. Nor does postal advice. Anyway, I managed to sign on the the 5th, in the Grama Sevaka’s office. Now they say it must be done by March. All pensions will be paid till then.

        • 2
          0

          SM, Sorry to hear. I wonder how my 95 year old mom will get her’s / pension ???

          • 1
            0

            chiv,
            .
            Don’t worry unduly about your mother’s predicament. As i understand it, January, February and March pensions will come to her in the normal way, with all the machinery understanding that she is willing. But thereafter, the pension will stop. That is not an unreasonable position for the “authorities” to take.
            .
            The Grama Sevaka is a known and local person, who also in turn has a reasonable idea of who’s who in his area. Your mom has to meet him with her NIC, and either sign or place her signature on the form. He in turn must have the forms with him. I think that she has enough time to work things out.
            .
            However this indicates the extent of the breakdown.
            .
            At another level of thinking, all government payments will be made by printing money. One can imagine the effect that this will have on inflation. The quantum of money that we receive will remain the same, but we may soon need a tenth of that to by a loaf of bread.
            .
            Panini

      • 8
        1

        Truth is the whole system is a SHAM. Elections held for PS, Municipality, local councils, PM , President are meaningless and utter waste of money. The only benefit of having an election right now, will show who / party has the support of a ignorant public. None of these bodies including EC, AG, Judiciary, Police, CB are independent. On paper we may be partly free but in reality we are not. Last we had was a family controlled govt , with hundreds of their’s holding power, 90 % of budget finances , and ministries under their control, and deciding for the whole nation. Fugitive president now alleged to be an accuse in disappearance of 700 JVP youth, mass murderer, war crimes, political killings and white vanning, PM/President brother, a pathological liar who diverted Tsunami funds even before getting into power, elected by 6.9 million immoral racist in a so called SHAM free and fair elections. Under them, many PS / local body members were involved in rape, murder, drug peddling, theft and paid to attack Aragalaya …..

        • 9
          2

          Remember Ranil promised to find answers to solve inter racial conflict by Independence day. Apparently meeting Tamil politicians was called off soon after the first. So Ranil decided to sing national anthem in Tamil and ask Raghavan (out of all people ) to make a speech in Tamil. Reconciliation , Lankan style.

        • 3
          0

          Not even 24 hours passed since typing above comment “Mawanella PS Chairman arrested for accepting bribe of 2 MILLION “.

        • 1
          0

          Dear chiv,
          .
          Please refrain from calling the public “ignorant” all the time. It doesn’t help in any way. They are a donnée.
          .
          Yes, we also know that there is corruption everywhere. It looks as though the elections are on. Now we have to make sure that they are “free and fair”. Each of us must insist that such conduct of the poll is even more important than “our side” winning.
          .
          Those who have been in active politics know the system. That some of the parties at least are honest, and have such knowledgeable individuals has to be our hope and faith. That may sound weak and unsatisfactory, but must always be the case with elections.
          .
          And remember, each of us must do our bit.

      • 3
        0

        chiv,

        What I can remember from a piece I read a while ago ……… IMF does not hand out massive loans …….. it only doles out some money to tidy things over ……. to countries that are in deep trouble/bankrupt. IMF’s primary role/function is to re-establish the trust/faith in the failed state’s financial-sector/finances …….. so it can borrow money again at reasonable interest-rates from other countries/international-banks etc. IMF’s role is more of a guarantor.

        For that the IMF will make sure it gets it’s pound of flesh: serves us right, we handed ourselves to the IMF!

        Pointless blaming the IMF ……. it’s like getting ourselves in to the clutches of a Mafia loan shark ……. and then criticizing his morals!

        • 3
          0

          Nimal , the title is IMF wants election but the very beginning says, “it’s not a demand of IMF , and they do not interfere with electoral system.”. I remember Greece had almost three governmental changes because people receiving entitlements for years were not ready for austerity measures. Do yoy think our Lankans are ready for it ??? Given our history, I will not lend a penny to Lanka. IMF needs to protect it’s credibility as guarantor. It’s usual hype about IMF wanting RW in power. If Rajapaksas approached early they would have got the same funds , but they didn’t because IMF will not allow them continue looting. Pakistan with its unstable governments and military involvement got almost 3 BILLION in loan from IMF.

          • 4
            0

            Nimal , let me be direct. Do you think IMF is not aware of our SHAM electoral system?? In past, they were involved numerous times with clowns of various traits. ( given assistance ) .Only difference now is , we are BANKRUPT and obviosly chances of getting money back is slimmer with any one , other than Ranil.

    • 5
      0

      nimal
      “Does that mean the IMF wants their English-speaking westernized favourite boy Ranil gone?”

      IMF knows he won’t have to go.He can finish his presidential term even if SJB gets a majority of the councils,which they will.Ranil will not do any politiking for UNP.

      • 4
        3

        s
        You are right.
        Yours is a most realistic comment among a pile of speculations.

        • 2
          1

          “IMF knows he won’t have to go.

          That is not how international organizations validate a government’s legitimacy or measure a government’s stability.

          That statement is good enough to village junction political hiwars. Not even a line in the talk of international loan agreements. It is well agreed Evil is illegitimate president, legally made as president by the loophole in constitution. Outside Langkang, loopholes in laws are not entertained. In the US, the new congressman Santos is being condemned by his own party for using a loophole in the election laws to win a seat for him. Some people have mental blockade to understand what legitimacy is and what is legal. IMF’s job is not hiring or firing the Evil Emperor. Placing an illegitimate president will weaken the country’s ability to get the loan in the needed time. The important matter is that the country wanted the loan in September, as per the Evil Emperor’s past statements. Then why did he not obtain it so far, if IMFhas no concern on the government’s composition? The need of loan, amount of loan, payment of loan, payment back of loan like terms are already agreed by the employee level negotiation. Is there any answer for that question in any conspiracy theory books?

          (The original essay is not stemming from any IMF statement, as per the author)

      • 4
        0

        shankar,

        The way Ranil became president, if the UNP/Phottuwa lose badly, Ranil will have very little legitimacy left (especially in the eyes of the international community/organizations.) The fact Ranil and his clique in the parliament trying to avoid holding elections at any cost …… shows that Ranil knows it as well.

        • 1
          0

          n f ,

          Lalkantha , at one of their meetings , made it clear that they can
          let the culprits escape the same way S F did in the war with
          LTTE as war tactics ! And then , bring them back from wherever
          they are ! I believe , it was a clear indication to parties with
          vested interests , whether local or foreign that the culprits of
          past regimes will not be caged if they lose election !

          • 1
            0

            Dear whywhy,
            .
            First focus has to be to get the elections conducted properly.
            .
            Next with a decent government in control we must turn attention to reconcilliation and rebuilding.
            .
            It is after that, we’ve got to turn our attention to the rogues who are responsible for this mess. We will be a very poor country. Lots of hard work for us all.
            .
            However, we’ve got to keep on eye on the “criminal-politicians”. If we could recover the loot that they have stashed away, it would help. But they are not fools. It will be an extremely difficult undertaking to get back even a fraction. The effort must be made.
            .
            When a country has been messed up to this extent nothing is going to be easy.

            • 3
              0

              My dear S M ,

              First thing , no question of the validity or credibility of what
              was said by Lalkantha . I was just digging it a bit deeper to
              detect a more positive and realistic approach by the J V P
              from its earlier stance that ” we are the most qualified ones
              to punish the thieves ” ! There was no explicit time frame
              for their action ! but still , I like their approach which sends
              a signal to locals and foreigners , not to worry about a J V P
              win , creating more chaos is not in their priority list ! You
              can not punish a country that is nose-deep corrupt ! It will be
              a painful slow process and more so at the present condition !

  • 7
    0

    No one can escape the assertion that the country has a cash crunch and the elections have to be conducted at the expense of some other vital expenditure. Some Ministers wave the flag that the payment of salaries and pensions of public servants and retirees respectively must be stopped to conduct the elections. The author states that the IMF has hinted that it wants elections. The real question is that would the IMF then be prepared to give emergency financial assistance to conduct the elections? Clearly everyone is passing the buck. My position is that Elections Commission is for Elections because it cannot escape the constitutional wrath if they did not hold the elections. On the contrary if all the salaries are stopped to conduct the elections clearly the robed and bewigged community would come down hard for stopping the payments and might very well say “Why? As in the past dissolve all local bodies and place them under special commissioners to cut down waste YOU HAVE VIOLATED THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF PUBLIC SERVANTS” and perhaps order a hefty payments to personally be paid, say like 100000000 bucks. What His Axcellency wants is to let the problem solve itself.

    • 1
      0

      Dear Good Sense,
      .
      You’ve actually said this: “the elections have to be conducted at the expense of some other vital expenditure.” Amazing!
      .
      I’m sure that the poorest members of our society are starving to death, so already “vital expenditure” is being neglected. And you can be sure that the current politicians are still stealing. I think that we will receive world assistance to conduct the elections, if the exercise is going satisfactorily. If not? Ranil will print more money!
      .
      So let’s get the elections conducted, as fairly and efficiently as possible.

      • 3
        0

        Oh! Yes! Some of the vital expenses are not met properly. A person known to me died out of kidney failure because he could no longer get the dialysis done in the state hospital in the usual way. (Short of drugs). Some are resigned to the fate of having one meal a day. World assistance to conduct elections? It is a miracle if it happens because the creditworthiness of the country is highly questionable. The money given may be whisked away for “something else” more important to the politRicians. Printing money is now banned by the IMF. Lets hope for the best.

  • 5
    0

    Nimal,

    Na, Ranil is not their favorite boy – 20 years ago maybe, when the world was hoping capitalism in all its crazed forms would somehow generate global wealth.

    But then they saw how mean it could get. With the modern forms of human rights, democracy, and economic formulas for equitable distribution so global health, wealth, and happiness would burst forth, humans like Rajapaksas and Ranil appeared. IMF equations were screwed!

    We were supposed to be like Denmark and Norway, where presidents and their visitors ride bicycles with no security and bullet proof vests around. But we look more like King Louis in Jungle Book.

    No, they would prefer stupids like our genetic group to encompass greater Socialism, so we can guide us into evolving into Modern Capitalism.

  • 1
    0

    Blame neighbours for our problem. Do you think they (IMF,US, RAW, China) really worry about our election?

    • 0
      0

      lankan 100, I agree with you on this. IMF doesn’t give two hoots about our PS / LG elections. It’s for our politicians and there supporters , to show case their value / strength.

      • 0
        0

        Do Lankan’s expect any thing out of this SHAM ?? If not, why others ???

        • 1
          0

          chiv,
          .
          Please! Don’t be as negative as this!

        • 4
          0

          SM ,with due respect what positive outcome do you expect other than politician / party show casing their money / muscle power?? All Lankans may not be ignorant but 6.9 million is quite a majority. For me ” seen it all , heard it all “. 75 years is too long, not to see progress. . There is corruption everywhere but now in Lanka it’s made into culture. If you don’t agree please check the world corruption index/ standing.

  • 5
    0

    Meanwhile there is an Ex army officer, I think a colonel who has gone to court to stop the election saying elections are a waste of money. He says he is doing this because he loves the country!

    This man has an interesting history, he was chairman of the Water Board when that corrupt rascal Thondaman was Minister. Recently he was very active in the notorious Viyathmaga. Although he loves the country, at every stage he has performed for money, earning a salary !

    As we know, in the army he was paid a salary with people’s taxes. In the water board he was earning a government salary.

    In the army there are no elections. But how can he say there should be no election for the people !

    • 0
      0

      DS,
      “As we know, in the army he was paid a SALARY WITH PEOPLE’S TAXES.
      In the water board he was earning a GOVERNMENT SALARY.”
      What’s the difference!!?? Both payments are financed by taxpayer!!!??? Why the distinction!!??

  • 0
    0

    IMF Wants Elections To Be Held

    IMF needs restructure restructure means not only budgets and taxes the parliamentary also
    Ranil is president by parliamentarian not from the people Sri lanka constitution setting Ranil is Valid
    but internationally not recognized as democratic stands by the people from the people for the people whitewash global is failure The red taped is being placed cover-up and decoration. But as time goes by, what is true is revealed, and what is fake fades away. Ranil is proving that he is straight, straight line even in an ECG means we are not alive

  • 1
    0

    I am for not holding elections of any type NOW. We need to get the new constitution put for referendum ASAP.
    IMF or any other loan providers not to grant any loans to the current GoSL until the ETHNIC issues and corruption issues are sorted out.
    Without accountability in all the activities of the RULERS, SL is not going to come out the current situation. Let the Triple Gems bless our motherland.

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