24 September, 2018

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Liberate Polity From Ethno-Nationalism & Economy From Neo-Liberalism

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

While mobs of militant ethno-nationalists including a few members of the Sangha, with political patronage, are rampaging to kill Sri Lanka’s historically renowned pluralist polity, the government’s neoliberal economic agenda, under the tutelage of IMF, is impoverishing substantial sections of the population across all communities. Daring journalistic exposures regarding hidden hands of politicians and security personnel in the recent anti-Muslim riots, and the latest budgetary measures to impose discriminatory price hike on petroleum-based products amidst the startling revelation by the Central Bank Governor that one quarter of the population is trapped in poverty, are clear evidence of looming disasters facing the country.      

The most worrying aspect of these developments is that both coalitions, one that governs the nation now and the other that wants to replace it soon are in collusion in maintaining the status quo. With regard to ethno-nationalism the contest between the two is in showing to the majority Buddhist voters which one of them is more ethno-nationalistic in comparison. Because both camps are aware that the ethno card is the only trump that they have to beat the other in the electoral game. This ethno virus has infected the minorities also. The Tamil and Muslim politicians see no alternative but to champion their respective ethnicities to capture the vote bank. Having travelled around the country recently I regret to record that the cycle of ethnic violence is bound to be repeated as the Provincial Council and Presidential elections get closer.    

On the economic front both camps have embraced neoliberalism and its supreme manager, the IMF, rules through remote control. The recent discriminatory price hike on fuel which increased the price of kerosene by more than 100 per cent per litre, diesel by more than 14 per cent per litre and gasoline by more than 16 per cent per litre was dictated by IMF before releasing the next tranche of the promised loan. The official reason given for the hefty increase in the price of kerosene, which is the fuel of the poor, is to discourage motorists from mixing gasoline and diesel fuels with subsidised kerosene. On closer scrutiny that reason is a camouflage to cover up the actual economic motive of ending subsidies to the poor. The government’s promise to subsidise the poorest of the poor is bound to fail because of the selection criteria, which will allow ample room for corruption.  The finance minister’s announcement that he is going to initiate a gamperaliya with the revenue saved will remain just another piece of political rhetoric. Will the government extend its kerosene subsidy to the one fourth population trapped in poverty as declared by the Central Bank Governor? The fuel policy should be tied to a policy on environment and they both require measures beyond price fixing.  The nation’s major economic manager, IMF, is the last entity to worry about the environment.

The price hike on fuel in addition to the VAT and a depreciating rupee will spell disaster to the middle and lower classes. The so called free enterprise market economy unleashed by JR has mortgaged the economy to foreign capital and the IMF. The burden of national debt shows no sign of easing; the cost of living shows no sign of falling; corruption shows no sign of relaxing and lawlessness shows no sign of abating. In this context, to whose benefit is the less than expected growth rate of 3.1 per cent in 2017? Isn’t the answer obvious?

The nation desperately needs a political alternative to liberate the polity from the clutches of militant ethno-nationalism and economy from an oppressive neoliberalism under IMF. Where is that alternative?    

*Dr. Ameer Ali, Research Fellow, Murdoch University, Western Australia

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    Ameer Ali

    “Liberate Polity From Ethno-Nationalism & Economy From Neo-Liberalism”

    I rather liberate Buddhists from Sinhala/Buddhism and Sinhalese from Sinhala/Buddhists. Sinhala/Buddhism and Sinhala/Buddhists are concocted sham identities. Free constitution from Chapter II.

    Sinhala/Buddhism and Sinhala/Buddhists were two identities which were fabricated by crooks/racists to recruit more crooks /racists and political shield to cover up their crimes and bigotry.

    Those sham identities worked very well for the crooks, war criminals, bigots, rioters, ………….. by let down the ordinary people.

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    It is reported by some News papers that Singakara is to going be a common candidate for next presidential election. it would be a great news for Sri lanka if he is a common candidate . I think 90% Sri Lanka will welcome this news: A man of principles and good characters. Highly educated and he earns international support and reputation. Sri Lanka needs him now badly. He is man of good moral, ethics. No one will go near to bribe him or No one can approach him for personal gain or with fraud. All entire sri lankan community will support him ..

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    Ameer Ali: YOUr article is CRAP and is full of Lies. Just now I checked Gasoline Prices in Australia. One leter is Rs 167. Australia is a developed in comparison to Sri lanka which is bankrupt. Why it is wrong to Increas the price to Rs 148, I suppose, You say increased by Rs 100. where did you get the figure. I think it is Rs 10 qhich is negliglble. In Canada which has different rates, and one cheaper rate Rs 200. That particular province extrat oil and refine. Sri lanka imports everything.

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    Muslims talk about Angti-muslim riots. but they never talked about the killing of the Sinhala Driver or attacking STF. You come and talk anti-muslim riots for the killing. In Australia where you are living mosques are fire bomed very often. I have read attackes had happened even inside the mosque.why you are writing about Srilanka when muslims are attacked even inside Saudi Arabia ?

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      Jim sufferer, whatever happens in other countries, justice system and law enforcing authorities are there to take care of the issue. In Sri Lanka also same but some third rate parayas are there in authority to smear the good works of others. You always talk about the Sinhala driver who was not killed Muslims but by the racist thugs Gnanasara and his clique to start a riot. Go and ask the dead driver’s parents how their son who was hale and hearty in the hospital suddenly became serious and died. E-Lanka news too published the true culprits behind driver’s death. God only knows the real identity of you third rate rascal who camouflage the true identity and post anti-Muslim comments.

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        RALLI AMEEN: YOU comment is just like your book. Ask ISrael. Every one interpret it the way they want.

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          Jim sufferer, I did not know you have link with Israel, so you are copying their interpretation. No wonder everything you write are filthy lies.

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    This hate monger has such hatred towards Sinhalese and the monks. According to him there is nothing wrong with the Muslims. it is the Sinhalese who are monsters. Despite thousands of Sinhalese openly criticizing their own for the racist acts in Kandy, has anyone ever seen a muslim writer in the likes of Ameer ever criticizing the unruly Muslims who started this issue. Such a one sided racist.

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      Bharana

      “Muslims who started this issue. Such a one sided racist.”

      Blaming the victims aren’t you?
      It has been the Muslims who always created problem for the Sinhalese. The years 1956, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1971, 1977, 1976, 1983, 1987/1990, …. 30 years all happened because of Muslims and Tamils.

      Are you going to deny there is no significance of these dates?

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