17 April, 2024

Blog

IMF’s Concern On Corruption

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

Two Mission Chiefs of IMF, Peter Breuer and Masahiro Nozaki, in their opening remarks to a press briefing of the Executive Board Approval of EFF for Sri Lanka, emphasized the importance of anti-corruption and governance reforms as a central pillar of the EFF-supported program and added that for the first time in Asia IMF is said to conduct in this country an in-depth governance diagnostic exercise. This should be music to the ears of all progressive minded observers and critics of Sri Lankan governance that has magnanimously tolerated this evil to grow and prosper over decades. In fact, social licensing of corruption is a price the architects and guardians of the system were prepared to pay to maintain the Sinhala Buddhist majoritarian superstructure, as discussed in one of my previous contributions to this journal (CT).   

However, one would like to test the seriousness and sincerity of IMF’s resolve to end corruption by recalling a piece of information highlighted by the Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe in 2022. According to him, around $53 billion was said to have been stacked away abroad by Sri Lankans despite several concessions and benefits granted by governments to bring that money back. Wasn’t this an act of corruption? Perhaps it was that unpatriotic hoarding by the wealthy and influential which prompted a former Governor of CBSL, Professor Lakshman, to invite all Sri Lankans with dollars kept abroad to bring that money back without any question being asked.  Given the desperate situation at that time he was even prepared to give license to money laundering. To the current CBSL Chief Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, “illicit financial inflows through mis-invoicing” seems to be a trivial issue, and in his briefing to the Parliamentary Committee on Public Finance (COPF) he callously dismissed that accusation and said that “they (exporters) probably keep it out or bring it here – that’s their business.” How does one judge this attitude coming from the head of the supreme monetary institution? In the meantime, President cum Finance Minister RW is preparing to introduce an anti-corruption legislation in the parliament, to abide by IMF’s instruction.

IMF’s $2.9 billion and an expected $5-7 billion from other sources is pittance in comparison to that $53 billion stacked away. Shouldn’t the IMF Board raise this specific issue with the government if it is serious about ending corruption in Sri Lanka? The problem with financial administration and with all administration in this country is its class bias mixed with an ethnonational bias. This is why tax collection is so inefficient and tax revenue is so poor in this country and raising the rates alone is no solution to this systemic crisis. 

The class bias is in fact a common factor between Sri Lankan governance and operations of IMF. Accordingly, it is the stability and protection of Sri Lanka’s financial sector that is the prime concern of IMF, and all its recommendations and conditionalities revolve round that chief objective. If that objective could bring some positive benefits to the real economy that would be a bonus and side effect of financial restoration. It is worth digressing on this point a little further to understand how real economies all over the world had fallen victims to financial turbulence and to the whims and fancies of financial manipulators. In that context, the impact on real economies of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Credit Suisse and lately the turbulence in Deutsche Bank shares are yet to be assessed. Given the high probability of a global economic downturn in 2023, that impact could only worsen the situation.    

Economics teaches students that the primary role of a financial sector is to facilitate activities in the real economy, which produces, consumes and exchange goods and services needed by humanity. Today, the financial sector has grown to such a megalith level that it has no correlation with the quantum of activities in the real economy. In fact, money itself has lost any meaningful definition and it is so slippery to escape the regulations and control of every monetary institution created for that task. Central Banks have virtually become an anachronism in a world of Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies and nonbank financial intermediaries. According to one conservative estimate, the total amount of money needed to exchange all the goods and services produced and stored in the real economy is not more than one quarter of the money that had been created and stored. If so, what is the role of the other three-quarters? There is also another puzzle related to this pandemonium.  Sometime back, an exercise was carried out by researchers in international trade and payments to test the hypothesis that in a world economy operating completely on principles of free trade and free flow of resources the difference between the total Balance of Payment (BOP) surpluses and deficits in the global economy should be zero. To the researchers surprise they found that that whole world was experiencing a BOP deficit. Against which country or entity? It would be a mind-boggling exercise to answer these questions. But one fact is undisputable. The finance sector has grown so detached from the real sector, that the former’s fragility and volatility are holding the real economy to ransom. IMF is a biased referee watching this anomalous system.   

In that sense, IMF too has moved away from its original task of providing support to rectify chronic BOP deficits experienced by a country, and it is more interested in protecting the neoliberal financial architecture. The nature and extent of BOP imbalances in countries like Sri Lanka are therefore not simply a reflection of the state of play in the country’s legitimate or licit transactions with its trading partners, although in accounting terms it may appear so, but more importantly they are impacted by the volume and value of unrecorded and illicit transactions across countries. The $53 billion mentioned above falls into that illicit category. If IMF is serious about eradicating corruption, shouldn’t it insist on RW and his government to investigate this scandalous accumulation and call for measures taken or should be taken to bring that money back into the country? That investigation would open a Pandora Box, which would expose the involvement of corruptors some of whom may be sitting in the current parliament. That IMF did not do so demonstrates the class bias of the referee. 

It all boils down to a crisis in the system both at global level as well as local level. In short, the finance sector must be made subservient to the real sector. Sri Lanka cannot do anything to change the global order, but it can do a lot to change the local order. 

IMF’s interference and its prescriptions are now fait accompli. Even the NPP that is in alliance with the aragalaya generation and argues for system change should accept the IMF reality if elected to power. However, there could be reordering of priorities and redirection of IMF’s assistance so that the real economy is assisted directly, so that the revival of that sector helps to stabilize the financial sector. Ultimately, it is by producing and exporting real goods and services that an economy could earn surplus in BOP which would strengthen its currency and enable reducing the debt burden. In that pursuit, eradication of corruption would be among the top priorities for action. Given the geopolitical tension in the Indian Ocean and Sri Lanka’s strategic position IMF’s shareholders would have to agree to such reordering.     

*Dr. Ameer Ali, Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University, W. Australia

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Latest comments

  • 12
    0

    AA, when our voters and politicians are not sincere or serious about corruption, why test IMF’s resolve to end corruption. IMF should be concerned about countries meeting obligation in paying back debt, and part of that is addressing corruption. When Wijedasa say, s that many Billions are stacked away abroad, shows he as well others, were well aware of years of corruption. Did any of other major loaners address corruption ????

    • 9
      1

      deepthi ^ silva

      Today’s Daily News reported the following:
      Establishment of Road Maintenance Fund
      In the 2023 budget, the President proposed
      to establish a fund for road maintenance and
      provide an initial allocation of 100 million
      rupees for it.

      Have the crooks decided how best to divide this fund among themselves and their cronies?

      • 13
        0

        “highlighted by the Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe in 2022. According to him, around $53 billion was said to have been stacked away abroad by Sri Lankans”
        Does that include the loot from AvantGarde, which the sleazy Wijedasa himself was protecting. I wouldn’t trust this hypocrite with my dirty underwear.

        • 7
          0

          OC,
          .
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvHNXydzwlE
          Please focus on 1.38 th Minute out of 1.58.44 (total telecasting time).

          The Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Colombo analysed it in today s context. Agree or not it is worth discussing it further on this.

          Please listen to him and discuss it. He didn’t even take the JVPs seriously because he knew they were cry babies. They have cried more or less over the last few decades. However, they can lead an opposition better until they learn to compromise with other representatives of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is not a country previously controlled by the countries of the Soviet Union.

    • 5
      0

      Why discuss ? some lenders welcome corrruption good to change masters. Unfettered illusion and new masters —it smells good !
      Especially when laughing all the way to the other bank .

    • 2
      2

      Chiv,
      A brilliant comment, Chiv, you had effectively in a few words debunked the core argument of Dr Ali’s central theme in this article when the people themselves in this country were indifferent to the massive corruption perpetuated by all the successive governments in Sri Lanka since independence.

      Why should IMF bother?.

      IMF and the governments in Sri Lanka have something in common, -the survival of neo- liberal economic policy framework.

      The mandate of IMF is limited with restoration of economic stability as priority and that is why they intervened in Sri Lanka for the 17th time.

      The responsibility of reviving the corruption in all its manifestation does not rest with Ranil but with the ordinary people in this country.

      • 3
        0

        When did neoliberalism enter the country?
        When was it introduced an an economic idea anywhere?
        *
        Why should IMF bother?
        But it bothers not just here but in many more lands, for it has to protect the interests of the lenders.

  • 8
    0

    President Ranil. W.is all geared up to introduce Anti-Corruption Legislation in Parliament as per the condition of the IMF.
    It would be amusing to watch our Legislators, including the Rajapakses make lofty anti corruption speeches before they all vote in one voice. Like Love irony is also a many splendored thing.

    Also the Khaki clad enforcement folks are in for a bonanza in implementing the Law.

    As for the President it would be easier for him to win the Wimbledon Championship this June than wiping out let alone controlling Corruption.
    We need to take into cognizance that Srilanka is a Land Like no Other.

    • 9
      3

      Plato, true. Imagine one after another, most corrupted making lofty speeches. The guy who looted most may hold record for longest duration. Silly Lanka.

      • 6
        9

        Like some hypocrites around here calling others hypocrites.

  • 6
    1

    Rather than demanding divesting of profitmaking SOE’s like SLT, Lanka Hospitals, and other entities that could be restructured to create profitable government/people owned assets, the IMF could have insisted on tangible reforms to bring corrupt politicians and their henchmen to book. They also seem oblivious to the blatant abuse of the legal system by people of influence, and the lack of confidence of the general public in law enforcement.

  • 14
    2

    The President said: “I would bring the “BEST” of Legislation in the Asian Region against “Corruption”.

    Thank you, President.

    One request for you. Could you please, make this “Legislation” BACK DATED (to about the year 2000) to rope in all the “CULPRITS” who have spirited away the country’s national wealth? If not, this Legislation that you speak of is of NO USE.

    • 8
      0

      Com on Simon , Hangman does not hang himself , that is suicide !

  • 14
    0

    Corruption is inevitable in any country to some degree but developed countries being under heavy public & media scrutiny, are subtle but in African & other Third world countries, it is blatant. I ma unable to comment before Mrs B’s time but corruption & cronyism was limited to to her own circles but with JR’s liberal economic policies, corruption was also liberalised. CBK took corruption to another level but it was MR who took it giddy heights & we excused him as a reward for saving the nation & Buddhism. Anyway, all good things come to an end but it is the average citizen who is up shit creek. Those still in denial believe in innosance until proven guilty

    • 7
      0

      1/The amalgamation of all the heterogenous leftist parties into the United People’s Freedom Alliance during CBK created certain levels of corruption but the merger of SRILANKEN with Emirates brought billions of profit to the country during CBK.

      That changed drastically with the advent of the Rajapakse thugs (uneducated unculatured bastards produced by DA RAJAPAKSHE), breaking all records of crimes in the entire South Asian region. As siblings, they slyly made fools of countrymen across the country. Sinhala Buddhist monks and self-proclaimed artists greatly helped them realize their dreams. Malanie Fonseka and other artists were bought by abusing tax payers funds for their political survival. What did not MARA do abusing the funds of the innnocient people during his terms ?
      So sirlankebn Sinhala Buddhist monks are directly involved in the mess that has arisen today. To me, those fake monks are highly instrumental creating the mess in our motherland.

      ->2
      :

    • 8
      0

      Raj-UK

      In some medical conditions like cancers , you got Benign and
      Malign cancers . Malign is fatal or positive conditions while
      Benign causes less worry or negative . I would put the corruption
      in our land as Malign as it had already reached , as you put it ,
      ‘giddy’ heights ! IMF knows well , in my view , that it is too late
      for full recovery and it doesn’t matter who the surgeon is ! When
      the surgeon is too familiar to the IMF , the easier the treatment as
      there’s no cure for Malign condition ! The patient has to live with
      the condition lifelong ! It may not be the patient’s wish but No
      Miracle Doctor is Yet Born !

      • 5
        0

        ww
        ” I would put the corruption in our land as Malign”
        Don’t you wonder that it is a miracle that this country is still alive?

        • 3
          0

          SJ ,

          Not really ! And the challenge is ” Eliminating” corruption ! My
          test for it shows “Red !” The death is “slow” so , no wonder still
          alive but only existing ! Corruption has many forms and w are
          mainly focussing on financial matters . There are too many to
          deal with !

      • 4
        0

        WW/Raj,
        .
        I don’t think the cancerous level of corruption is incurable.
        – –
        If CULPRITS can be controlled, we can still save the patient. Those stupid YouTubers, Derana TV, Hiru TV and other media organizations should warn the people that we should all work together to get out of this serious situation.

        People are still unaware of the real danger before the nation. Unfortunately, our people are not yet educated enough to see things properly. Many of them even today behave like drug addicts or delusional patients

    • 3
      5

      “Corruption is inevitable in any country to some degree but developed countries being under heavy public & media scrutiny, are subtle”
      So subtlety is the key!
      Not the scale of the fraud.
      LONDON, March 30 (Reuters) – Britain’s government has lost tens of billions of pounds to fraud in recent years, with most public bodies unable to grasp the scale of the problem, the independent public spending watchdog said on Thursday.
      The National Audit Office (NAO) said government accounts pointed to fraud worth a total of 21 billion pounds ($25.87 billion) in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years – up from 5.5 billion pounds in the previous two years.
      Source: http://www.reuters.com/world/uk
      *
      This will make interesting reading:
      https://www.transparency.org.uk/COVID-contracts-conflict-2020-2021-year-corruption-took-centre-stage
      *
      As long as there are eyes and there is wool to spare, temptation is strong.

      • 3
        0

        SJ,
        Here is a very interesting undercover operation that exposed corrupt British MPs.
        https://news.sky.com/story/former-tory-ministers-agreed-to-advise-fake-overseas-company-for-10-000-in-sting-operation-12842706
        Our MPs are probably even more corrupt, but our TV channels wouldn’t dare do this.
        That said, I don’t believe corruption is the major cause of our troubles. India for example is more corrupt, but it isn’t bankrupt. We have spent far too much borrowed money on unnecessarily beautified vanity projects, fancy air-conditioned towers and bloated armed forces. We have lived beyond our means for too long.

        • 3
          3

          OC
          I was only responding to a sermon on clean governance from an imagined paradise of virtue.
          I never brought corruption into the economic equation of a country whose crisis was caused by consumption without production to match.

  • 6
    0

    cont. (sorry, my previous comment was accidently sent before completion, hence some grammatical errors)

    However, if there is no investigation how can corruption be proved? Did the country become bankrupt due to unforeseen circumstances (ie. the pandemic) or just ‘misjudgement’, therefore, nobody is responsible for the chaos? Even if it was incompetence & mismanagement, & not corruption, the President, his advisors, CB Governor, should be at least held accountable because it is very unlikely that mega corruption would ever be exposed as the entire lot who governed the country had their fingers in the pot. Even the private sector benefitted & were in it for survival, the cancer has spread all over. It is alleged that the Rajapakses alone have syphoned over $36b, which may be an exaggeration but allegations can only be proved or disproved only after an independent investigation. If proved & some of that money can be recovered, the IMF loan can be paid off without harassing the poor tax payers & I hope the IMF will put pressure on RW to get cracking on it.

    • 8
      0

      2/The country’s super rich people created a small group and brought luxury vehicles to the country for Rajapaksa’s existence.
      People who swallowed the myths of diverse nature thought it was a miracle and went crazy. Some people I know were proud to see the same construction in Hambantota, which was mushrooming. Later only, they were identified as ” just white elephant projects” similar to exceeding number of flats built by chinese in Uganda.

      Our stupid majority never thought that empty development of that physical structure was just to get a Rajapaksa discount for themselves and their hegemons.

      Drug traffickers were instrumental in repeatedly funding Rajapkshe election campaigns and extra vaganzas.
      If you ask how political criminals like Nimal Lanza, Aluthgamage, Rohitha Abeygunawardena or similar people became multi-millionaires overnight by owning dozens of luxury vehicles, everything will be revealed.
      Howeverlocally graduated lawyers, accountants and all other authorities/professionals in this country are extremely biased : Main stream TV chennels were even more biased to RAJAKSHE siblings.

      3->

      • 6
        0

        3
        They are not just lies, the Rajapakshe high criminals and their hegemons have deposited billions in foreign banks – however, the world has not been able to support lanken counter parts in getting them back. If any scholarly organization, friendly party of the country accelerates the getting of those deposits into the country, the shrunk economy of Sri Lanka will definitely take an exponential leap.
        .
        However, “Sinhalese supremacy” was injected into the people of this country as a nonsense to gain their power during the MR tyranny. Yet today, those fake stories being based on teledrama series about sinnhala-supermacy are being telecasted in early evening hours to keep the people tied to TV screens. That is a trickery to rob the valuable times of the people, otherwise, people would have enough times to cross question about the brainwashing of Rajapakshe crime politcs.
        .
        Knowing all this in 2015, they were misled again in in November 2019, by the very same monsters, they were smart enough to bully the majority of lankens, that were fooled by racism and national safety theories.

  • 8
    1

    Dr. Ali,

    Thank you for the almost perfect article on the state of the Global and Lankan economies. Yet I wouldn’t entirely say that the global financial sector is that far removed from the global real economy. For places like the USA, they actually work hard to create the money for their real economy. But it is very easy to skew this very delicate US-inspired global economy. So, when some other country like Russia and Syria (and China),try to take advantage of their system, they come down hard on them. Hence the US war-industry. Some might say that the US are the creators of off-shore accounts. Yet, that system only exists because of damn stupid countries like ours feeding into the system. So, it remains one of their side-industries. They are in the end, very serious about their “real economy.”

  • 8
    3

    Places like the USA turn a blind eye to the corruption in places like Sri Lanka because money from our countries come so easily to them. Haven’t we seen fellows coming into US, straight from Sri Lanka, with enormous money amounts, and buying themselves as partners and trustees into big US financial firms? And starting up big enterprise, such that even our Lankan Ambassadors glow with praise of them? Haven’t we seen rich Lankan kids in US and UK universities (for a country of our size, only about 10 students a year can be given government scholarships, both from SL and from the foreign universities). No, it is not ethnonational in nature – it is lack of IQ and silly gala-playing culture in our places. Our country is simply too stupid to place in rigorous tax systems and money-scrutinizing mechanisms. It is a culture created to boost themselves up as being on par with Western Nations!

    • 4
      0

      (Part I)
      RTF,
      1. Haven’t we seen fellows coming into US, straight from Sri Lanka, with enormous money amounts, and buying themselves as partners and trustees into big US financial firms?
      2. Starting up big enterprise, such that even our Lankan Ambassadors glow with praise of them?
      3. Haven’t we seen rich Lankan kids in US and UK universities (for a country of our size, only about 10 students a year can be given government scholarships, both from SL and from the foreign universities).
      4. No, it is not ethno national in nature – it is LACK OF IQ AND SILLY GALA-PLAYING CULTURE IN OUR PLACES.
      5. Our country is SIMPLY TOO STUPID to place in RIGOROUS TAX SYSTEMS AND MONEY-SCRUTINIZING MECHANISMS.
      6. It is a culture created to boost themselves up as being on par with Western Nations!

      My take is,
      A. That is true, except for those few on scholarships!! Why?? Sole reason is those children are offspring of the NEW RICH having amassed wealth with crooked forms of earning! Educated in International “chicken coops” style institutions funded by ill=found money! So those students have no option in local Higher education vernacular Institutions in Sri Lanka,
      (TBC)

    • 4
      0

      (Part II)
      B. NO OTHER OPTION THAN GO OVERSEAS TO CONTINUE IN ENGLISH MEDIUM including neighbouring India and Singapore!!! THIS ILL-FOUND WEALTH HAS TO BE CHECKED, CURTAILED AND STOPPED!!! If not atleast there should be a realistic tax system to siphon off to Treasury by TAXES/DUTIES to meaningfully benefit to POOR!!
      C. Loaded with ill-found wealth, they throw around once overseas – SPOILT KIDS!!??
      D. How many Pavement Hawkers have become multi Billionaires in SL FLEECING CUSTOMS? So they have ill-gotten wealth to splash around, particularly the RAPID NEW RICH!!??
      E. This STRADDLES all communities, ISN’T TRAMMELLED by ethno-nationalism – AGREED.
      F. Fully agree with your point 5, exception being not relating to TAX system enforcement!!?? This point of STUPIDITY AND IQ, needing emphatic attention could be evidently seen from 1948, when we got Independence and our leaders took full control of SL Administration!!? We have found SL STUPIDITY and LOW IQ being exhibited in ample measure, ESPECIALLY BY LEADERS AND ELITE OF SOCITY!! Glad you have atleast pointed this out and is now being focussed in some measure!! TOO LITTLE TOO LATE!!!
      a. What else would you call depriving the estate workers who were prime export industry contributors till 1975??
      (TBC)

      • 5
        1

        Manila,

        Yes, even the government scholarships can’t be trusted. In other normal functioning economies, only the best of the very best are spent on by taxpayer money for foreign education. These are students who are direly needed to build up the country. In Sri Lanka, know a Minister and money of the taxpayer is doled out for a “scholarship.” India is ok to study maybe, because the money spent is 100th the amount spent in Western places.

        • 1
          0

          Mahila*……my phone keeps changing your name.

    • 2
      0

      (Part III)
      b. Nationalisation of businesses and institutions which were profitable in private hands contributing TAX REVENUE, on political grounds and turn LOSS MAKING!
      c. Language policy, because one person was not able to become Prime Minister!?
      d. Leave the official language aside, because we could have lived with it, but drive the knife and turn it to ‘Prove the point’ of supremacy, change Language of Instruction of all schools and Higher education to Vernacular!?? FARSIGHTED!?
      e. No long term planning for a country of 20 million, with NO NATURAL REOURCES TO BOAST ABOUT!!?? PLAANING CHANGES EVERY 4-5 YEARS DEPENDING ON WHICH COLOUR IS FAVOURED A SHAWL IS ACCEPTABLE!!??
      f. 2019 November Presidential election and August 2020 general elections, SHOWED HOW MANIPULATIVE the POLITICIANS are and could be, with IMPORT DUTY AND TAXES!!?? LOSS OF REVENUE, IF NOT IN TRILLIONS BUT ATLEAST IN BILLIONS OF RUPEES, LEAVING MASSIVE DEFICIT IN THE BUDGET!! Mahinda the King at his best!!!?? WHAT WOULD YOU ATTRIBUTE THAT TO?? STUPIDITY or LOW IQ or BOTH??
      G. You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT on the NATIONAL DELINQUENCY on LOW IQ and STUPIDITY, which must be corrected, but alas, it would take considerable time,
      (TBC)

      • 2
        1

        Manila,

        At this time, nationalizing industries seems to be the best option compared to selling them to foreign enterprise for them to take all the profits. Nationalizing did not work in the past because no one knew how to it correctly. Now, with global integration and better awareness, better techniques can be used for profitability. Privatized places placed their profits on international markets, both then and now. Then they indulge in the Westernized experience.

        Taxation of high-income earners was never there, and still isn’t there. Heard Harsha smugly scolding the bad business ethics of the business community? Idiot doesn’t see that business-ethics can only come about with rigorous education and training of workers. And this rigorous training and education of the worker needs money, and lots of it. This money should come from the taxation of the huge profits made from business. That’s how other successful countries develop their systems. Unfortunately, these profits remain untaxed and placed on international markets.

    • 3
      0

      (Part IV)
      H. as the leadership must be first corrected, before the citizens and electorate gets corrected!!

      THAT PROBABLY NEEDS STRINGENT REGULATIONS AND LAWS AND STRENTHEN THE ENFORCERS AND REGULATE THEM ALONG WITH SYSTEM OF JUDICIAL REVIEW!!
      The process would cost considerable financial resources, to equip with manpower and other resources and overall monitoring the SYSTEM WORKS!!
      Therefore realistic taxes are necessary, and targets of Tax collection must be achieved, it definitely need not tax the POOR AND ‘HAVENOTS’!!?? ON THE CONTRARY, THE RICH MUST CONTRIBUTE MORE IN THESE DIFFICULT TIMES AND ESPECIALLY THE ‘NEW RICH’, BECOME RICH BY THE ‘BACK DOOR’!!
      Your point of not burdening the POOR is well accepted and agreed, BUT CORRECTION, ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO BARTER!!????
      WISH Lanka FOR BETTER FUTURE?
      GOD BLESS, THERUWAN SARANAI, INCHA ALLAH!!??

  • 6
    2

    It will be to the IMF’s benefit, in conjunction with the American system, to cut this easily removed money from our Motherland, because in the end, it is they who have to spend a whole lot of time and effort in curing the eventual cancer caused……short term gain for long term pain for the IMF-USA. And No!….it is not by taxing our suffering Lankan working-class that we can recover, but by catching these money-transferring Crooks that take away the precious money of our hardworking-Ever*suffering-Lankan-workers. Once done, we will be very rich indeed!

    • 4
      3

      And NO!…..Ranil will not be able to catch the crooks and place in the anti-racketeering laws.

      He and his high-society are large part of the system. It is not in their DNA to appreciate the hard work and work-value of the common Lankan man. They only see the end-behavior of the irrational Lankan high-society-function.…….the common man is only there to prop them up. Pottuwa might be ethno-nationalist about it, but far worse is the Ranilian crowd. Powwuwa might run around stirring up the ethno-masses, but it is the Ranilian crowd that creates the class-differentiations after the ethno-crowd has been dumbed down by ethno-mania. That is how the US-$$59-billion left the country.

      Only lot who can erase this menace once and for all is the JNP-NPP. Is there any other party that understands the true value and needs of the Lanka worker?

      • 2
        2

        JVP-NPP*

      • 4
        1

        ramona ,

        ” That is how the $ US 59 billion left the country ” ! Is it hidden
        somewhere ? Where exactly ? How did it leave ? First of all , how
        did that money get here ? Sri Wickrama Rajasinha didn’t know
        anything about US $ ! I mean , in his time ! Who brought it here ,
        and who handled it here ? What were you all doing while it all
        disappeared ? What do you think about the belief system that tells
        you ” It is god who created you and unto him you return ? ”

        ” Only lot who can erase this menace once and for all is the
        JVP / NPP .” What makes you think Srilanka is dislodged from the
        rest of the world chain that follows a certain pattern ? Do you
        believe any mother’s son can do wonders while the ones who
        withstood test of time struggled and still struggling to achieve the
        same goal ? The issue here is , everyone is a thief and who is your
        thief ?

        • 3
          2

          Why, why,

          Haven’t you heard of offshore accounts and money laundering?

          Over 10- billion of our money have come from foreign workers (mostly Middle-Eastern maids) for the past 10 years. Most if it has been taken up by the supermarket industry ; profits placed on international markets.

          Then comes the usual tea and rubber industries. Another 20-billion from them. Also apparel industry – no, not from the high fashion shows in Colombo…..nobody buys their fashion statements….they are the ultimate show-off statement of the hard work of our apparel girls.

          Then were all the Chinese loans for mostly the White Elephants. But a few billions was placed on international markets for a sudden burst into gold nuggets (in a bid to topple the Western financial system….like the splitting of the atom where Sri Lanka was supposed reap the benefits of the energy released). All went Bust! Now the Lankan workers has to pay back all of it.

          • 2
            1

            In fact, that was Gota’s grand plan for Lankan Vistas of Prosperity…….hell of a lot of money on international markets beyond Lankan judicial recalling, and so he decided that the only thing that could be done with it was to carry on the circus in grand, politically-approved fashion ( a few voices of that diaspora also whispered in his ears giving him encouragement). IMF is now loaning 1/20th of it back to us. Suffering Lankan worker class has to pay for all this lost, stolen, and stashed away money.

          • 3
            2

            ramona ,

            You seem to have little knowledge about the episodes unfolding
            in the Paradise . The public outrage about missing billions is
            directed Mainly At Rajapakshas ! And Rajapakshas called His
            Excellency President , A Bank Thief just a year or so before !
            And in the same period of time Ranil’s men called Rajapakshas
            ‘Thieves.’ You know what I understand of them ? They are Telling
            The Truth ! So , no need to go round hunting Businessmen billions
            and leaving the Original Thieves Scot Free to Steal More Incoming
            Billions ! And ramona , offshore is not the answer to my ‘ where is
            it hidden ‘. However , thank you for your reply.

            • 2
              2

              Of course the Rajapaksas horded billions in all kinds of money laundering offshore accounts. That was their major plan for economic development. That we all know.

              But we cannot forget about the billions stashed in foreign accounts by Lankan businessmen. That amount must be equal or more to the Rajapaksa’s loot. Our people should be aware of this too. In fact they are, and are calling on the JVP-NPP for justice!

              Rajapaksas in exasperation, did not have the brains and will to recall this money, and decided to join the bandwagon of offshore money accounts by trying to become pals with all these business-people. Saw what happened? At least the Rajapaksas took the risk of doing this with the country in mind, even if they are not too bright.

              Ranil is no better. In trying to install modern regulatory mechanism, he is gassing and torturing the workers of the land and forcing them to comply, rather than going after the trillions of rupees outside the country. Our people will working and working for generations to come to no avail.

    • 5
      0

      Dear RTF,
      .
      1
      RTF,
      It is said that you live in America, but what instantly came to my mind was how do you carry the mentality of Wimal Weerawansa or such lowlifes? I hope you are not impaired in your five senses like some of the idiot politicians in our fallen nation. Are you perhaps blood related to WW?

      Wimal Weerawansa in his opinion is no different than a stray dog at Tunmulla Junction. No education, no good upbringing :He thinks that the whole western is constantly against us the begging nation and they are waiting to invade us at any time.The kind of fake percetions polarize him through lanken gallery but the experts connfirm something else.
      .
      . It was to mislead the poor people of our country instigated him to mislead the nation. That was the ideology of RAJAPAKSHES.
      . Like popular pop songs, the dirty Sinhala formulated public controversy spread across the country. These were based on false and blatatn lies.

      TBC

      • 5
        0

        2
        Why not cross-examine yourself as to why 7 of the previous 16 times failed?

        My 15-year-old nephew questioned me several times and he says, “Uncle, if we want to do better this 17th time, we as a people need to see where we went wrong.” However, our stupid people don’t seem to have the brains to be wiser than this 15-year-old kid.

        Experts say that Sri Lankans often agree to receive funds, but they never comply with the recommendations.
        So why don’t we as a nation look at it again and try to understand our failures?

        Just think, even 200 days after the Sri Lankan government applied for it, if the IMF did not give the green light, what other options do we have?
        Will the Rajapaksa pimps get their deposited billions into the country ?
        .
        Or
        JVP crying babies would bring billions from their future allies ?
        :
        Or do we have rich soil resources as is the case in Zimbabwe and SIERRA LEONE ?

        • 4
          0

          LM,
          RTF is a good lady, but she makes up her own facts as she goes along….😉

          • 4
            0

            OC,
            Looking at our self proclaimed pundits , she is okay to continue like that. She may be brainwashed by american style similar to my paternal relatives.

            However when thinking about Sinhalese man who lived only bandarawella is hallucinating on JVPs, can you I’m not surprised. He behaves like a foreigner. I sometimes, feel if I spoke with Wanniyaaththo, I could be satisfied. His rudimentory thoughts about many things question me whether he worked as a teacher ???

            Man’s knnowledge is similar to those telling me about KKS when I ask them about Dondra point…… He is the most incoherent comment writer. it is just ludicrous.

          • 4
            0

            OC,

            Look, how can we educate the Sinhalese man? We know that if he can improve, our society will definitely improve, because there are people like “weeds” in Sri Lankan society. Rounding them up through rehabilitation program is the need of the hour.
            .
            He called me today “the third-class citizen of Europe”: what have I done to him to bring me down that way? I was never be a refugee. But GOTABAYA was one. Nor have I asked them to keep me here after my education.

            Btw, In Europe, there are refreshing senior classes for past teenage losers.Is that an option for SINHALA man ?

            I believe the kind of lessons can be useful to the Sinhalese man.

            Or Should I hero-worship the 89 Assassins just to please him?

            • 4
              0

              LM,
              “Look, how can we educate the Sinhalese man?”
              Give him a couple of years. By that time he should learn that the JVP is as hypocritical as any other party.
              I feel the guy has problems at home.

              • 3
                0

                OC,
                Unfortunately the guys of his nature would never see it right before shooting the messenger. I think even his own family is nt close to him. He doesn’t listen to anyone.
                This cyber junkie needs psycho therapy. .
                Have a great weekend!🙂

      • 3
        3

        Leelagemalli,

        Nah…..Western places don’t want to invade a dumbo country like ours. They very easily took the money of our hardworking-suffering-Lankan-workers, placed by our politicians on mainstream and alternate global monetary networks, and made it vanish into their Western interests. Now they are giving it back to us as IMF loans.

        • 3
          0

          RTF,
          .
          didnot you know that they invaded us few centuries ago ?
          .
          in 1505 ? Portuguese
          .
          in 1658 ? Dutch
          .
          in 1796 ? British

          Last night I happened to listen to a video telecasted by one teacher called SANASGALA. He was cirtiicsing and telling the truth of our people’s nature.
          .
          He said, srilankens in general would not refrain talking about their views. Almost everyone down there are experts. Be them fishmongers, teachers, Professors they all behave the same. Not even today s Ethiopians would act like that, but specially our sinhalaya do.
          .
          In Western countries, if they dont know they would be modest enough to say ” I am sorry I dont know about that, so it is better I would not add my thoughts. Even a doctor in internal medicine would not try to share his or her thoughts in sportsmedicine or so. They are very clearlying saying ” I am sorry, there I cant help you”:
          .
          Even a Prof in Engineering would try to behave like a professor in medicine in SRILANKA, but that would not work in CIVILIZED world. … is not that so ?

          • 2
            1

            Leelagemalli,

            They invaded the whole world at that time. But nowadays, they don’t need to invade too much because they control the global financial system. They will only invade places with oil.

            Of course the Western professionals won’t talk too much and are very simple and humble. They are at the top of the food chain and don’t need to fight too much for their food. But as it is, they too do involve themselves in a lot of constructive debate, and also on social media and news networks.

            • 2
              0

              Ours is far primitive than appeared to be 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

            • 3
              0

              Ramona,
              .
              6.9 million of voters didn’t believe their conspiracy theories?

              They did.

              Even youth swallowed the pill like they are made blind and deaf. Nevertheless they went on taking part in that drawing on walls remember ?
              .
              This means that our people fall for the simplest trick played on them. Sinhala buddhism injection has obviously made them similar to susceptible rats that would get caught by any infections in our labs.

              Moreover, they are more stupid than PINGONAS.. We should be ashamed to call ourselves Sinhala. I really don’t think the majority of our minorities are that stupid.
              Three days ago, shameless Mahinda got on a public stage in Hambantota to address a gathering, high about their plans. This man is a deadly cancer. I have no doubt, the bugger will end up being faced by similar ramifications of Tripoli man soon.
              .
              If the culprit has any brains, he’d better get off the public stage. Otherwise, he seems to have got his senses impaired . However DA Rajakshe genes have no morality.

              • 4
                1

                Donni leelagemalli……I think the votes were rigged. Anyway, who knew what their Vistas of Prosperity were about. Some of us had some idea, and begged them to go slow and do the more Socialist thing. Trouble is, the more Socialist thing was too complex, intricate, and time consuming for them. They would have also lost much of their clout in being democratic on top of being socialist. They were too caught up with the business community crowd and had no idea how to formulate laws and change culture in dealing with country money stashed in foreign mainstream accounts. So Gotabaya closed his eyes, crossed his fingers, chanted Jayamangala Gatha, took the money of the hardworking-suffering-masses, and plunged straight into the money- bourgeoning-on-alternate-networks scheme. Alas, all was lost! Ranil is now installed to make up for the lost and stashed monies by whipping the suffering Lankan worker into absolute submission.

                • 2
                  0

                  1
                  Ramona,
                  .
                  I feel you are not updated enough about our people today. I am today more alert on lanken issues than anytimes before.

                  It was not easy for me to get away from the pickpocketeers last Nov in colombo SRILANKA.

                  Nor was I convinced the commute in public buses in colombo. looking back, it was really a life struggle.SEX criminals behave like “buruwa gahanawa “in funeral houses in jam-packed buses. I am sorry for the poor women and children in those buses.
                  .
                  Very sadly, People at large dont care little about the others. This is the country Rajapakshes and CO made upside down within 2 years. i did my part and warned each and everyone known to me, but many of them accused me of being NGO worker. All these were not the case prior to Nov 2019.

                  Today, our people follow witchcraft and astrology more than distant tribal Africans. Numerically, it exceeds 90% in our country and region and 5-10% in Europe and America respectively.

                  tbc

                  • 2
                    0

                    2
                    It is even more dangerous than the levels of Voodoo followers in some African countries.
                    Our people are very interested in the development of children. ironically their mindset are not wise enough feed the chidren accordingly. That’s why even first-time voters don’t behave like progressives. Look at the tide of racism created by Hambanthota henchmen were supported by youth in the country. They were made blind and deaf showing ” FAKE CAPACITIES” of GOtabaya.

                    They are not logical thinkers at all. Since the 80s, the stupidity of people has increased several times. This is a truly inverse effect of revolutionized information technology. It is high time, PROFESSIONALS to analyse it.
                    They have more to do with myths than facts. why is that ? Youth promote today more sorcery than in 80ties srilanka. Why ?

                    tbc

                    • 2
                      0

                      3
                      The media mafia is more powerful than the drug trafficking and spreading mafia. The media headlines are very irresponsible. Primary and unconfirmed information becomes headline news in the mainstream media. This continues without being subject to or circumscribed by the Code of Conduct.

                      It was evident from the way some university scholars also rallied for the Dhammika Paniya (remember that Dhammika Paniya (panacea) promoted by GOTA at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis if people died in those days?).

                      Many of them wear “thick pirith threads” on their wrists as never before. Even contract killers and all serious criminals are seen wearing them.

                      The last time I visited my relatives was last November 2022.

                    • 1
                      0

                      Terrifying!

                • 1
                  0

                  Donni?……Donno, I mean :)

                  • 2
                    0

                    Thank you.
                    I think I explained it above. Now you will have some idea about the current situation. Please share your thoughts with your friends and aquaintance. We should not exacerbate the current situation by spreading half-baked thoughts.
                    And what’s worse is that every common man is an expert for the Sri Lankan audience, which was not the case in the 70s and 80s. They feel they know, but they don’t even know they don’t know. If you would seriouly focus on the following video,you will clear the real problem of our society of the day.

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_70XLjAGHFc

                    • 4
                      0

                      leelagemalli,

                      There’s a lot more to our Motherland than the society you hobnob with. Go beyond your netherworld culture, and try to realize it comes from dire poverty – the misery and fear of what our people have seen their grandparents, parents, themselves, their children, and grandchildren have endured (will have to endure). Try and analyze why this dire poverty has come about. I have explained it above.

  • 8
    5

    Links to two excerpts of YouTube discussions centring on Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumartunga, but clearly part of a longer discussion. The generation to which we belong has got us into a soup. Acknowledging that may be a necessary step to improvement. When discussing these subjects now, when we are directly affected by what is happening, leads to differing emotional reactions, clear from the YouTube comments! Anything near complete understanding is going to be impossible for years to come. That resignation to the limited validity of our individual responses may be useful for us to progress.
    .
    1/2

    .
    srilanka #lka #lifetraveler
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1m_9KAKY8Y – this excerpt 12 minutes
    .
    Another excerpt, nearly the same, but not quite identical.

    .
    I have made this comment:
    .
    This is great. “One positive that I see is that all those belonging to the older generation (that includes a guy like me who has only been a bystander), agree that there are problems that need to be addressed.” That is what I have already said, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1m_9KAKY8Y

    • 7
      3

      2/2
      .
      They show essentially the same speech, but the first was a few seconds longer. Although 37 seconds shorter, the second version commences a few seconds earlier, and shows who else was in the discussion. Working out the minute or less that is missing here becomes an unnatural exercise. The two versions may be useful, but I wonder how those who desire to study the discussion in detail can see it in its entirety? The seeming competition between YouTube channels is rather confusing. We, therefore, have to understand how to get the most out of these videos.

      This is not really a complaint. After all what we see is exceptionally clear, vivid and accessible.
      .
      If somebody were to find the full discussion later, it would be useful if it is placed below these comments, indicating its duration. After all, not everybody can indulge in this conferral, which really is a comparison of versions, in such a time consuming way.
      .
      Another irony: this represents Sinhalese people saying mea culpa, but it is all in Sinhala; the eternal language problem!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

    • 4
      1

      CBK and RW speak well of ethnic issues.

      https://www.ft.lk/ft_tv/Discussion-with-the-President-Ranil-Wickremesinghe-organised-by-Harvard-University/10520-746782

      They give some hope for our minority srilankens. I am not involved in Sri Lankan politics but I am focusing on some leaders. Like CBK, I always think that federalism should be introduced into our hell created by Rajapaksa. I always respect CBK and late minister LK from the day one.
      .
      The situation in this country got worse because the pimp leaders were stupid people. Mahinda may have been a master at stealing cattles. He is hardly a respectable person to be a leader, however, the unprecedented is true in a country full of racists. However any animal-like men became the leders after CBK.

      As a result, the Rakshasas and their henchmen became wealthy, while the people began to starve. May Heartless Rajapakse be curse you and your generations

    • 3
      4

      I’ve just found another section of the discussion, here::
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP-RzM7l8OY

      .
      Remember that G.L.Peiris was one of our most brilliant academics, even if he was not a great success as a politician.
      .
      And he has always been a good man, unlike Ranil Wickremasinghe – whom “leelagemalli”, a third rate German citizen who lives in Dusseldorf keeps worshiping.
      .
      We want Local Government Elections held, with no strings attached.

      • 4
        0

        Dear sensitive readers,
        .
        this joker from Bandarawela has a permament grudge with me, for no good reason. If i would wroship AKD, no doubt, he would call me again ” my good friend”: This man should go back Kindergarten soon. Friends over to you, please help this joker.!
        -.
        The general knowlege of these men refelct well the fall of our nation as of today. My 15-year old nephew is rational than this despecible man.
        Quote
        “Remember that G.L.Peiris was one of our most brilliant academics, even if he was not a great success as a politician..
        And he has always been a good man, unlike Ranil Wickremasinghe – whom “leelagemalli”, a third rate German citizen who lives in Dusseldorf keeps worshiping.”
        Unquote

        Btw How can anyone say that GLP be a good man ? ?????????????????????. He became a clown for srilanken academics.

        He always supported RACISTS in this country.Even a trained dog does not respect Mahinda Rajapaksa but GLP behaved like a slave to him and his hegemony.

        He could not get on with former President CBK for no good reason even if he spearheaded then with CBK’s federal proposals to long standing ethnic issue in the country. Now being unable to straighten his spine, is seen sitting next to CBK again.

        • 3
          0

          “And he has always been a good man….”

          That shows how much you know about him, S-M.

          Have a chat with Prof Deepika Udagama sometime, who ws a student under him.

          One thing I will never forget (I will try & unearth the whole incident) was a despicable act in the late 80s (?) when he was with Premadasa (I think)..

          There’s also a story — maybe it was only a story — that he advised another head of state to include hitherto unincluded lesbians in the ban on homosexuals.

          • 2
            0

            I have just located 2 letters that I sent to the press in 1993 when GLP was serving Prez Premadasa.

            1) headed: “It Shall (Not) Be an Offence to Point a Gun at Someone” on 3 April to the Editor, Sunday Times.

            2) headed: “Pointing a Gun” which was published in the Island on 28 June.

            Unfortunately, they cant be found online but, S-M, you would do well to try to read them & see how low your hero (?) could stoop..

            • 3
              0

              Manel Fonseka.

              In most of the comments on these pages, in relation to GLP, I have referred to him as a Mountain Spring that flowed into Mud.

              • 2
                1

                Plato,
                .
                Were you a classmate of G.L.’s? If so you’d know that he ws very good at certain things.
                .
                I also lost respect for him after he entered politics. However, what he’s now saying is good, and I feel sincere.

                • 1
                  0

                  SM.
                  You have a good memory. Yes, GL was indeed a class-mate .
                  He was the only son and only child of Dr. G.S. Pieris [ Ph.D London School of Economics ] who joined the foreign service and served in China, Germany etc. So,GL grew up with his mother. He came to college in a Chauffeur driven Benz all the way from Panadura on a daily basis. Apparently the family [Salgados ] owned considerable property in Panadura..At college he was called Bada Pieris since he was a fat slob!
                  He was a brilliant student winning the Geek and Latin prizes at A-Levels. Subsequently he was a Rhodes Scholar [Oxford ], Prof; Law AT A VERY YOUNG AGE ETC ETC.

                  Alas! until he began his political journey somewhere in 1994.
                  I will not say anything more of his wallowing in the mud.

                  • 0
                    0

                    It should read as GREEK. With so many with that surname spelt as Pieris and Peiris [ Caste eh? ] one guy was called Holmang Pieris , another Budget Peiris etc etc. High Fun!.

          • 1
            0

            Thank you Manel. I know very well that you will not say anything without thinking properly about our falling nation. That I will always appreciate. Unfortunately, we don’t have many of your types in CT.

            This is how many people in our country make decisions about Sri Lankan politicians. They present “thick lines” and talk high, but the fact is that they have not studied much about what they are focusing on. The truth is that GLP has betrayed the knowledge of many Sri Lankan scholars around the world.
            :
            Reverend Professor Pathegama Ghanissara repeatedly says that many Sri Lankans do not consider the facts. They do not know the slightest about the seriousness of our problems. According to him, that is why we have fallen so far as a nation.

            If these are subjective thoughts coming from SM, you (means the CT readership) should think twice before agreeing with AKD. For me, AKD is still not mature enough to reveal his options on economy and finance if elected as leader. Most probably it will end up as “Gotabhaya Drama 2”.

          • 1
            0

            Manel,
            “That shows how much you know about him, S-M.”
            Actually, he doesn’t know very much about anything (except maybe English Lit.)and freely admits it too, but persists in simply parroting what is said at JVP rallies.
            Poor guy.
            About GLP, I don’t trust guys with wrinkled faces and jet black hair. MR and GLP are good examples.

            • 2
              0

              Dear OC,

              If he doesn’t know proper Sinhala, how can he be expected to read JVP ideology???????

              I am not comparing MaRa with GLP but with GALATHANNA DEWA GATHI THUMA or WICKRAMAARCHCHI dog.
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynZei1Wv6_o

              GLP is just a joker who betrayed the academics. MaRa is a criminal equivalent of tribal African leaders.

              Don’t forget Wimal Weerawansa who polarized and misled the Sri Lankan society was generated by JVP.

              If WW says “pigs fly”, also the people of the Western Province (Sri Lanka’s most literate state) are as naive and naive as the “head monk of Kelaniya Rajamaha Vihara”. Media has twisted the mind of our people.
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3BhK3pAxJ8

              Those who claim to be the leaders of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna have not seen anything beyond our boundaries.

              Sunil Handunetti still infuriates yet today, “Ranil robbed the central bank, RW Maha Daval robbed the central bank”: Sunil claims to have a degree in business and administration from Sri Jayewardenepura University. can you imagine?

              OC, I was fooled by SM. Had I known his true nature, I would not have shared my email with him.

      • 3
        0

        Dear Sensitive Readers,

        There is no purpose of holding any kind of elections until the critical economic issues of the country are resolved. If the head is damaged, we should not treat the stomach to get rid of the problem.

        If the AKD or SJB leaders want to hold them, they should come forward with their funds to hold the elections so that they are no longer a burden on the people. Besides, Elections did not bring much to this country. First things first and others later. JVP cry babies will never win an eleciton in Sri Lanka for sure.

  • 4
    3

    There is talk from the illegitimate government – and reports of plans for improvement:
    .
    This is Ranil:
    .
    http://www.colombopage.com/archive_23A/Mar31_1680239375CH.php
    .
    Does anybody believe his talk any more?
    .
    And as for education and the teaching of English:
    .
    http://www.colombopage.com/archive_23A/Mar30_1680187382CH.php
    .
    There’s nothing of value here. We’ve been making these efforts since the year 2000; let’s give credit to our teachers for trying, but few know any English.
    .
    I will suggest more if asked. I will even help for free.
    .
    Before all that, throw out this Minister, and all others who are not allowing this country to run smoothly.
    .
    For now, our only demand has to be for the conducting of Local Government Elections.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 4831111444V)

  • 3
    3

    Dear old codger,
    .
    You gave me valuable advice recently about how to handle Credit Cards. You are obviously a man with much knowledge of such things.
    .
    Could you now please advise me on how valid is this article, which I found devastatingly comprehensive, on the overall situation for us:
    .
    https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/in-sri-lanka-a-long-and-rocky-road-to-economic-recovery/article66684347.ece
    .
    I had never before heard of the author, Meera Srinivasan, but going on what I’ve read, apart from my hobby horse, Local Government Elections (that she ignores totally), her stuff seems devastatingly comprehensive.
    .
    Some villagers seem to imagine that inflation falling from 80% to 50% means that prices are falling; no they are still rising with unacceptable steepness, aren’t they? So that a year from now, and item costing Rs 400/= today, would cost Rs 600/= by April Fool’s Day 2024? But wages will not rise.
    .
    I repeat that the article seems brilliant to the Retired Village School-Master.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

    • 2
      0

      SM
      Meera S is the local correspondent of The Hindu. You should have known that.
      “Some villagers seem to imagine that inflation falling from 80% to 50% means that prices are falling; no they are still rising with unacceptable steepness, aren’t they?”
      Yes, they are in general, but many prices have in fact fallen compared to last year. Rice, which was over 300, is around half that now. Sugar is down, milk powder is down, onions are under 100. Those are the things which matter to “villagers”. Fuel will rise and fall according to the formula.
      I will give you some unsolicited advice. You don’t seem to know much about economics but just keep repeating what the JVP says, without any understanding. Can you deny that the situation now is much better than last year? Who do you think is responsible? You must have the grace to admit it, even if you hate the man.
      Results are what matter. So, I kindly suggest that, instead of mindlessly promoting people who have never done anything positive, at least show some appreciation of those who are are doing something. You don’t have to worship them, but give them a break.

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