21 September, 2021


‘Padeniya Chinthana’ On ETCA: Govt. Should Fight It In Intellectual Forums, Not In The Streets

By W.A Wijewardena

Dr. W.A Wijewardena

Dr. W.A Wijewardena

Management of Economic Policy – Part IV

The crusader of good governance in healthcare system

Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya, Medical Specialist and President of the 18,000-member strong Government Medical Officers’ Association – better known in its acronym as GMOA – has always been a newsmaker.

He has led his professional body, standing firm despite attacks by critics, against what he has believed to be threats to his profession, state sector medical service, healthcare delivery, senseless bureaucratic and political interference in the country’s medical system – all relating to his professional field. In that sense, he has been a crusader of good governance in the country’s healthcare system.

His leadership skills have been amply demonstrated by his ability to organise and direct all Government medical professionals under the umbrella of GMOA to attain its goals. When GMOA led by him decides that its members should go on medical leave collectively, all Government hospitals, except emergency services, get paralysed. His track record is such that there is no single battle which he has led has ended up in defeat. Hence, he is feared by his opponents but loved by his members.

War against alleged Indianisation by GMOA

Dr.Padeniya’s latest battle field has not been in the medical profession but somewhere else. He and his GMOA have ventured into a new battle, supported by other professional bodies as well, against what has been termed as ‘Indianisation’ of the Sri Lanka’s economy.

Right now, the battle has been against the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement or ETCA which the Government has proposed to sign with India. But the battle-cries of GMOA officials made in different forums indicate that it would not be limited only to ETCA; it has already been extended to Indian ambulance services, Indian doctors and Indian Government’s ventures in Sri Lanka. Pretty soon, it would be extended to all other Indian interventions in Sri Lanka because GMOA considers them to be a threat to national security.

In fact, this was announced by Dr. Padeniya himself when he addressed a gathering of professionals who had been led by him in person in a march in the streets of Colombo to theopen theatre in Colombo’s Viharamahadevi Park. Dr. Padeniya’s speech on this occasion has portrayed his wisdomon trade and related matters which could be termed ‘Padeniya Chinthana’ on the subject.

Challenging India by challenging Government’s economic policy

Dr. Padeniya and GMOA are surely challenging the economic policy being pursued by the Government currently. In that policy package, India is elevated to an important status due to several reasons. It is Sri Lanka’s neighbour just sitting to its north. It is gradually transforming itself into a vibrant economy with high economic growth propelled by its seamless adaptation of modern technology. It has already signed facilitating comprehensive economic partnership or cooperation agreements with Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Malaysia and is on its way to sign another one with Thailand. These agreements have placed it in the unique position of being a partner of the now fast growing Asian Supply Chain, the mechanism that feeds the production of goods and services by countries in the region for international markets. Above all, India has the fastest growing middle class, estimated to be at just 60 million or 5% of the population today.

But according to economist Homi Kharas, formerly at the World Bank and presently at the Bookings Institution, by 2020, India will have the third largest middle class in the world, followed by China and USA. But by 2030, it will have the largest middle class in the globe accounting for nearly a fourth of the global middle class consumption in the whole world (available here ). Sri Lanka cannot ignore this vast market which is available just at its next door. Access to that market, therefore, helps Sri Lanka to produce for a market bigger than the market in the home country.

GMOA has role in commenting on economic policy as a civil society organisation

Some have expressed reservations that intervening in the country’s economic policy is not in accord with GMOA’s mandate. But that is not a valid argument. That is because in an economic democracy which the present Government has vowed to establish in the country as a part of its social market economy policy, civil society organisations have all the rights to discuss, debate, dissent and drive-in the country’s economic policies.

In this context, GMOA is an important civil society organisation which has a membership of some 18,000 professionals drawn from the highest stratum of the intelligentsia of the country. Free views expressed by GMOA, therefore, enriches the processes involved in the country’s economic democracy. Hence, instead of dissuading, GMOA should be persuaded by all means to participate freely in discussions on the country’s economic policies. In the same way, Dr. Padeniya, being a professional with independent thinking, has all the rights to express his free mind in an economic democracy.

Unveiling of Padeniya Chinthana at the Viharamahadevi Park

‘Padeniya Chinthana’ on ETCA, presented by Dr. Padeniya in his moving speech at the Open Theatre of the Viharamahadevi Park is a mixture of some valid points, weak arguments and irrelevant matters. His fluency in communicating in Sinhala language is a skill about which even a politician should feel envious. In a 30-minute long speech, he spellbound his audience to an unreserved attention to be disturbed only occasionally by encouraging cheering by his fans at some of the bold statements he made against the Government and India.

A summary of ‘Padeniya Chinthana’ as pronounced by him in the speech under reference is as follows.

Padeniya Chinthana: ILFTA’s failure is a failure of economists too

The Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement or ILFTA, already signed with India and now in operation, is a failure. This is because the whole trade created under the agreement has been in favour of India and Sri Lanka has got only 0.7% of the total trade and India has got the lion’s share even according to the latest data pertaining to 2014. It is the economists who have advised for ILFTA. Since ILFTA has been a failure, it is economists who have failed the country. The failure of economists has been shown on a previous occasion too. That was when they advised that the country should go for a hedging deal and that deal ended in massive losses. The burden of the failure has been passed on the people of this country compelling them to pay for losses over many years into the future.

Padeniya Chinthana: Don’t rely on continuously failing economists

But economists have not taken responsibility for their failures. Hence, to continue to act on a group of professionals who have failed the nation is not a sound strategy. It is like continuing to seek medical treatment from Dr. Padeniyaas a medical specialist when patients under his care have continued to die. As such, economists should not be given the monopoly power to decide on the country’s economic policies. It is these economists who have even misled the politicians.

Padeniya Chinthana: A national policy on trade agreements a must

The proposed ETCA is definitely not for Sri Lanka’s benefits. That may be the reason why secrecy has been maintained about the proposed agreement throughout. When GMOA asked for full information relating to the proposed ETCA, the response received from the authorities has been in the negative. Hence, GMOA has now written to the President of the country stressing the need for full disclosure. GMOA, as a professional body requests the Government to first have a ‘national policy’ on international trade agreements to assure that they will not compromise the country’s national defence, citizens’ security and future well being of the people.

Padeniya Chinthana: Parliamentarians are not to be trusted

In this context, it is unwise to depend on the Parliamentarians for delivering the best for Sri Lankans. That is because most of the Parliamentarians today are with low educational qualifications, without competence in English language and even when they know their English, not in a position to grasp the meaning of the clauses filled with technical jargons. Hence, they might raise their hand to approve of it without bothering about the implications of ETCA for the country’s national security. ETCA is simply one peg in the more harmful ‘Indianisation’ of the country that is taking place at present.

Padeniya Chinthana: Proposed Ambulance Service is a threat to national security

This was evident from another move of the Government to introduce a pre-hospitalemergency ambulance service in the country with Indian support. Though authorities maintain that ETCA does not include health services, this ambulance service directly and ICT services indirectly have permitted Indians to penetrate into the country’s health sector from the backdoor. This is because ICT today encompasses all the economic sectors of a country. As such, GMOA cannot allow ETCA to include ICT sector. The pre-hospital emergency ambulance service being offered to Sri Lanka through a ‘not for profit Indian venture’ called GVK EMRI or GVK company’s subsidiary, Emergency Management and Research Institute, is a surreptitious attempt at providing all the confidential bio data of Sri Lankans to Indians. This compromises Sri Lanka’s national security. The organisation of the Sri Lankan outfit to provide the service has given unnecessary powers to the Indian company. This is not acceptable.

Padeniya Chinthana: The Government should provide the ambulance service

Hence, GMOA is of the opinion that such a pre-hospital emergency ambulance service has to be provided only through a domestic mechanism and not through Indians. Sri Lanka’s state sector ambulance service is very effective and efficient and it can handle this job too. Hence, this arrangement is a gross betrayal of the country. GMOA will not allow such a betrayal. This is because GMOA loves this country. Dr. Padeniya himself had rejected earlier offers to work in USA as a medical specialist but returned to Sri Lanka because he could not agree to sacrifice his love for the country. He ends his speech pledging GMOA’s ‘non-partisan, non-political and professional’ support to protect the country which he terms as a ‘land of merit’ by taking leadership against ETCA.

Some valid points in Padeniya Chinthana

There are some valid points which Dr. Padeniya has raised in his speech. He has declared that economists should not have the sole authority to decide on national economic policies. Strangely, this view on economists is in accord with what economists too believe as their role in society. In any society, economic policies are too important to be left only to economists. The role of the economists is to analyse the good and the bad sides of policies, and present to policy approving authorities, as French Economist Claude FrédéricBastiat declared in 1850 for good economists, their impact not only for today but also for many more years into the future. It is up to those in society to examine what economists analyse and decide the best policy for the nation.

Padeniya has been truthful about Parliamentarians

Another valid point in Dr. Padeniya’s speech is his reference to Parliamentarians. He declared that Parliamentarians are not a reliable group since they might consent to a proposal without even knowing what it is. One has to look at only how Parliamentarians have behaved in the recent past to validate Dr. Padeniya’s claim. Parliamentarians raised their hand to pass the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and repeal the 17thAmendment. The very same Parliamentarians acted as puppets in a string to repeal the 18th Amendment and pass the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Hence, one cannot disagree with Padeniya when he says that the nation cannot rely on Parliamentarians to protect the rights of citizens.

Padeniya’s cry for transparency should not be ignored

Dr. Padeniya also cries for transparency in, full disclosure of and accountability for public policy. He demands for a consultative process when important public policies are proposed. This is indeed a valid point which the Government should not ignore. That is because it is in accord with the good economic policy governance which the Government is planning to introduce to Sri Lanka. Hence, as a leader of a civil society organisation, Dr. Padeniya has simply voiced aloud in public forums what the citizens have also been demanding. The Government cannot find fault with him on this count.

Padeniya Chinthana on trade needs significant improvements

However, Dr. Padeniya’s reading of international trade, bilateral trade agreements and the importance of India to Sri Lanka at this juncture are not up to the wisdom and intelligence of a top professional of the country. He questions boldly why Sri Lanka should do trade. Trade allows a nation to sell its surplus output to the rest of the world. It, therefore, leads to specialisation which in turn contributes to effectiveness of the policies and efficiency of the economy. We benefit immensely when we allow a medical doctor to treat us. That is because our learning medicine and treating us is a near impossibility in terms of the limitations on our time, resources and talent base. Hence, we allow others to specialise themselves in medicine and choose to buy their services when we need medical treatments. This principle of trading, valid for an individual,is valid for a nation too.

Small economies can do trade successfully with big economies

Nations engage in multilateral trade with all other countries which is the best for them. However, when multilateral trade is impeded by the erection of tariff and non-tariff barriers, it is best for countries to enter into bilateral trade agreements with a selected country or a group of countries.

Dr. Padeniya, having expressed his doubt about the success of such bilateral trade agreements has challenged economists to show any success case of trade agreements. His fear is that when a small country enters into a trade agreement with a big country, the small country allows itself to be swallowed by the big country. Accordingly, his implication is that Sri Lanka should not attempt to have a trade agreement with its big neighbour to the North. This is an unfounded and irrational belief on the part of Dr. Padeniya. Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea are relatively small economies. But they do trade successfully with big economies like USA, China and Japan.

NAFTA has benefitted both Mexico and Canada

A classic example of the success of a smaller country entering into a trade agreement with a big country is provided by the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA signed by Canada and Mexico with USA in 1994. Prior to signing it, USA had a trade surplus of about $ 3 billion with Mexico. There was a fear among Mexicans that NAFTA will allow USA to increase that surplus further. Despite this fear, during the period from 1995 to 2015, Mexico had a trade surplus with USA amounting on average to $ 44 billion per annum. Similarly, NAFTA enabled Canada to increase its trade surplus with USA which stood at about $ 15 billion per annum to a level of $ 40 billion. Thus, there is ample evidence of the success of bilateral trade agreements if Dr. Padeniya just cares to explore into.

Arguments against the ambulance service is a ‘red herring’

Dr. Padeniya’s reading that pre-hospital ambulance service to be established by Sri Lanka and India jointly is a conspiracy hatched by India to compromise Sri Lanka’s national security is filled with naivety. It is a public-private partnership to serve the patients in Sri Lanka drawing on the rich experience of India’s GVK EMRI, a not for profit organisation functioning under India’s GVK Group.

To serve its customers efficiently, the new outfit is to maintain a database of the registered customers; Dr. Padeniya equated it to invading the privacy of Sri Lankans by Indians with the objective of compromising Sri Lanka’s national security. This is a practice even cab services do maintain today. Hence, to see it as a compromise of national security is a demonstration of naivety on the part of a top professional of the country’s leading 18,000 medical officers.

Fight Padeniya Chinthana in intellectual forums and not in the streets

Dr. Padeniya’s arguments against ETCA are hollow and groundless. Hence, there is no necessity for the Government to fight him in the streets by bringing people claiming to be supporting ETCA to the streets. His hollow arguments can easily be fought in intellectual forums.

*W.A Wijewardena, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, could be reached at waw1949@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 7

    The idea of economic theorists inspired by America (and now India) is this :

    1. Huge voiceless underclass.
    2. Dual eConomy where one part of society live the elite lifestyle comparable to NY or London and much more as serfs. Middle Class being the irrelevant in-between.
    3. Control of all media, education and intellectual thought by the “mainstream” elite.
    4. Ensure any major benefit is to the Banks or Corporates.
    5. Prevent any independent policy or strategy in relation to research, economy or even capability/competency.

    There are fundamental issues in Sri Lanka exposing itself to a much bigger and more powerful neighbour. Americans do not look to Mexico for jobs, it is the other way about. I do not know of many Sri Lankans looking to India for jobs. So the comparison is disingenuous. Arguably Sri Lankan social indicators are higher than India’s, so the Mexico-American comparison is really a look into the future and not the present (based on current planning).

    Singapore and Taiwan were already in the American axis and any trade pact with Japan or USA is like an internal pact controlled by the USA. Does Sri Lanka wish to lose its independence totally? Singapore is a 40 year old Country and it can be argued Taiwan is not a recognized entity. The relationship with China blossomed only after both sides had achieved some maturity and resource advantage. In the case of Sri Lanka and India, it is simply a case of Big Dog and Small Dog. Whether it is a small bone or big bone or any number of bones, the Big Dog will decide who eats what and when (if in the same room/cage as in free trade). Is it not almost the case now?

    One of the major problems with India is the nearly 1 Trillion Dollars of Black Money. Some of it will be invested in Sri Lanka. What this means is that the Law Enforcement, Banking Sector and other Enforcement Agencies will lose their capability or independence. This is because the Indians will want to ensure that their investment secrets are never out and as such they will seek to control all agencies. From the last stages of the war till now, India has shown its ability and intent to interfere and decide on issues with no regard or respect to SL bodies.

    A trade pact with India is inevitable but let us not pretend it is for the good of Sri Lanka. Trade is not all about money, money and figures.

    When time permits I might blog on issues like Technology, Technical education/Research, Employment, Impact on IT (new technologies), Law enforcement, Banking and other more serious issues that are being ignored. Sri Lanka has certain advantages, to build on it is more important that exposing and losing them. Reconciliation within is more important than outside.

    p.s Cricket World Cup Final was a good lesson.

    • 0

      I really wish people would comment based on facts and not their personal inclinations. You say ” I do not know of many Sri Lankans looking to India for jobs. So the comparison is disingenuous”
      Maybe you don’t know, but the Indian HC says it has issued 450 employment visas to Sri Lankans in 2015.
      “Does Sri Lanka wish to lose its independence totally?”
      Do we really have any independence in practice, just 20 miles from India?

      Would you not like to have the following:
      1. A currency that appreciates to something like 60 to a dollar?
      2. Cars from Rs 150,000 upwards (used ones from 10,000 upwards)?
      3. A passport which is not looked upon with suspicion even in Malaysia.?
      4. Plenty of cheap food and cheap labour?
      5. World class technology and science for students.
      6. Lots of astrologers for the credulous.

      If you want all this for Sri lanka, QUIT GRIPING AND JOIN INDIA NOW!!!

      • 2

        Wow.. 450 work visas huh..lol.. must be the start of that 10 lacks or so jobs promised. And the way you ask “do we really have any independence just 20 miles from india?”.. seriously mate. Even though you don’t have any pride, the rest of us Sri Lankans do have some ounces to spare.

        • 0

          Dear Wow,
          I left out the 150,000 Sri Lankan refugees living and working in India, beacause they have no visas. I suppose that is one the things we have to be proud of, along with our patriotic women bringing us prosperity from Saudi Arabia, and the frequent-customer discount we have from the IMF.
          Also, forget India 20 miles away. Why is it that the foremost Buddhist prelate in the world is not allowed to visit the Dalada Maligawa when China is thousands of miles away? Pride my foot!
          I don’t know if this applies to you, but it is easy to be patriotic from Australia.

          • 0

            So you are saying just cause we have women working in saudi and that we have refugees still in india we have to sell ourselves to them? What kind of pathetic rant is that? You don’t understand what pride is obviously..

            • 0

              There are no Indian refugees in SL . Are you actually proud of our female slaves (some underaged) in Saudi? India doesn’t permit women under 35 to work as maids . THAT is what I see as national pride.
              Could you get through Immigration even in Cambodia with this pathetic passport?
              Sell ourselves, you say? I don’t think they would be interested.
              Anybody can rant about patriotism. When you are able to see through your lifetime of brainwashing, you will attain enlightenment.
              BTW, you you have not said anything about China. Or didn’t you know I was referring to the Dalai Lama?

            • 0

              Perhaps you don’t know, but we owe our present independence not to our so-called national heroes (who are said to have got it for us without violence), but to Indian freedom fighters who forced out the Brits. The British simply left because there was no point hanging on here after losing India.

      • 0

        450 Visas ?
        My God.. at this rate, India will be flooded by Sri Lankans seeking work there. How does the embassy handle such a massive number ??

        In an era where the US is rethinking it’s FTA’s with other countries and the UK is putting EU membership to the vote, we MUST join India in a FTA

        Because we are 20 miles away

        That’s sound economic reasoning

        • 2


          “In an era where the US is rethinking it’s FTA’s with other countries and the UK is putting EU membership to the vote, we MUST join India in a FTA”

          USA has been rethinking its FTA for the last 20 odd years. It also has been negotiating Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement with Europe for the past two or more years.

          “the UK is putting EU membership to the vote,”

          It is democracy in action. It also conducted a referendum on Scottish independence.

          Do the little islanders have the self-confidence to conduct such referendums in this island?

          “we MUST join India in a FTA”

          You must encourage the politicians to conduct a referendum on relocating this island from where it is now and to where they want to go, perhaps North Korea.

        • 0

          Dear Maalumiris,
          The Indian Rupee was worth 50 SL cents in 1980. Now it is worth 2.20SLR.
          In 70 years we have gone from 4 SLR/USD to almost 150. It is perfectly obvious that we are living beyond our means, purchasing shiny suits on a toddy income.70 years is long enough to have learnt a lesson. We need not an FTA but a full economic union with India (which is conveniently nearby).It will be too late when the INR hits 10 SLR.

  • 5

    Sri Lanka has had an efficient ambulance service since the nineteen fifties.
    This was only to transport sick persons from one hospital to another.

    What we need is a service which will quickly & safely transport sick and injured persons after they are given immediate resuscitation including first aid, to the appropriate treatment centre.

    Such a service is manned by specially trained persons called ‘paramedics’ who have reliable transport by specially equipped ambulances, controlled by a central authority via radio communication.

    For example, a man having sudden severe chest pain needs resuscitation on the spot – if he has cardiac fibrillation diagnosed by an irregularly irregular pulse – by a process called ‘cardioversion’.
    Ambulances carry oxygen and cardioversion equipment which are portable so that they can be carried to the site in a building or a site unapproachable by a vehicle.

    Paramedics do this in developed countries.

    Cardioversion kits/apparatus are even available in public places, with clear instructions on how to use them.

    Paramedics also attend to injured persons at sites of road accidents, homes/buildings on fire, rescued from drownings and purposely inflicted personal injuries like attacks with blunt/sharp weapons, and firearms.
    For example, a person with suspected injury to the neck bones needs an immediate “collar” to prevent damage to the spinal cord, and transport in an immobile horizontal position.
    A person bleeding from stabbing/shooting in juries may need a tourniquet and pressure pad to prevent fatal bleeding.

    Immediate emergency measures including safe handling of injured and/or sick persons, saves lives.

    The GMOA should request such a service.

  • 6

    Progress has to be made on a well organized program. What the govt. lacks is organized thinking. No body thinks in an organized manner. Their actions are as if they are going here and there marketing from the pola. As said GMOA and Govt. should take up their issues with professional bodies and not with the media. Not all media follow professional ethics. Street fight does not heal the wounds.

  • 3

    Ex-Central Bank officer of Wijewaradana has turn into appear for the his masters voice of Trade between Sri Lanka and India of ETCA .
    He has hide the facts of unequal trade between two countries since 1998 after when we enter into FTA between two countries.

    Unfavourable Trade Balance between Sri Lanka by Indian in that last 20 odd years is Not a products of GMOA ‘Pardeinya Chintanya’.
    It is wrong policy guided by CB of Sri lanka.
    Why don’t you take part of that responsibility of wrong policies adopted by past CB of which has FTA misguided by W.A W…of CB well that attempted passed into other like GMOA and “Padeniya Chitanaya”.

    Well that “Pardeniya Chitnaya” is concord & fabricated story by W.A Wijewaradana…. vital interest of Indian RAW and sided with Indian big-bourgeoisie trade deals, which will help UNP to proceeds with unknown framework agreement of ETCA proposed by Ranil W….of

    That Wijewaradna is Neo-colonialist too, an economics very beginning during his high position in CB , which he serve for same anti-national policies of economic models & path of development-Capitalism in Sri lanka.

    Now he turn into Trade with Indian and their Trade masters voice .
    Is not that GMOA who guided Trade & Economic policies our nation last 68 years, in real term CB was accountability of diagnose an ills of Economy and Imbalance of trade of an Island.

    Because CB of Wijewaradana that partially responsibility of his Orthodox and Conseversity thinking thank has undertake major accountability of Fail System of underdevelopment capitalism in
    Sri lanka which including Trade nexus to Indian.

    Even you have to have deliberation and consensus on that issues of ETCA issues any platform ,but crux of matter is ETCA is timely inapproaited ongoing relationship with Trade between two countries.

    No doubt regional integration of Indian sub-continental of Sri lanka and other countries are important, that must be in the win win situation.
    We do not want loose Trade and Services with Indian big economy penetration by Big hand politics of BJP & INC politics of intervention since 1987 by their terms and conditions of depend and Part of Indian Republic . We do not want loose ours Economic sovereignty as well as political sovereignty too.

    W.A Wijewaradana of bureaucratic carriers of CB has No political or Economic or Trade affiliations that vital interest of our people, nation and country.

    They work for Master of different interest of Capital. It dose matter local or foreign power by regardless their origin and roots as long as served personal gains not that whole interest of the Wealth of our Nation…..

  • 7


    Thanks for your sober and well argued response to the voluble Dr.Padeniya. I wonder why he or the GMOA have not made a statement about the HIV-AIDS incident in Kuliyapitiya?

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 0

      Well.. doctor.. why don’t you make a statement instead of hiding behind online blogs. Atleast that person is out there making a difference in the country, what are you doing? Why not make your voice heard?

      • 0

        No point making your voice heard if all that is spewing out of it is garbage.

  • 2

    The incompetency of parliamentarians is nothing to do with the collective decision of a parliament which is supreme representative of the sovereignty of the people. The sovereignty can never be tranferred to professional organizations whatever their intellect might be, rather they plunge into politics than monopolizing the trade they are in on nationality, of course, health is global, inevitably though!

  • 9

    Yesterday when I was returning from Kandy I so an Ambulance stopped with engine trouble on the Galagedera incline. With the back door open we were able to see a patient on saline. All this time although the opportunity was there for a proper Ambulance service few entered the market. Very often we see accident victims showed into three wheelers to be taken to hospitals. This most uncomfortable ride itself could cause death. Therefore an ambulance service is welcome from whatever quarter it comes. The fear about national security by GMOA is most unfounded in this era of performing coronary by pass surgery through key holes. There are better ways of gathering info and spying than through ambulance drivers. Americans guide their Drones in the middle east from Atlanta USA and bomb enemy targets with pinpoint accuracy. GMOA will loose credibility if they protest for the sake of protesting

    • 5

      The proposed Ambulance service is a very good thing; if done properly has the potential to expand country-wide. We should aim for a proper ambulance service like in many other countries.

      To hell with the GMOA, this is where Ranil should go ahead in spite of anything anyone might say. In time people will come to appreciate it.

  • 6

    No i think we average sri lankans have to fight him in the street as well as in other forums..He is not genuine and politically motivated .will be a Mp/minister within 10 years ..He is not a true professional..He didnt fight against MR.He puts part of GMOA against the others.As president too long destroying unity and image of GMOA..
    His fate will be the same as MR.I am expressing this as a true analysis.He exploits diffrent groups with different agendas /mentalities in his favour and crossing the lines of his subject area t in to national security .. wait and see he will destroy GMOA

  • 2

    If NAFTA is so good for Mexico, why are unemployed Mexicans still crossing the border in large numbers risking their lives?

    I hope that this is not a point scoring exercise with the GMOA.
    The GMOA is a body that approaches the problem from a professional angle. Their concerns are understandable in the context of neglect of public health by successive governments acting under pressure from the IMF and other global financial organizations.

    Since 1978 every major service that could be provided by experts and skilled personnel in this country have been parceled out to foreign interests.
    That, along with ‘large scale sale of labour’ at home and abroad was the source of the ruin of the economy and society.

    I take xlntgson’s point about parliament as the supreme representative of the sovereignty of the people.
    I believe even more strongly in the sovereignty of the people, finding direct expression in whatever reasonable way.

    • 5


      Please bear with me for I am bit thick.

      “I take xlntgson’s point about parliament as the supreme representative of the sovereignty of the people.”

      Please tell us more about this all purpose sovereignty in Sri Lankan context.

      Please define it, tell us how that help us as ordinary people, and why do we imagine we as a country, community or an individual benefit from this abstract outdated concept?

      Can we as weaklings in the globalised world preserve sovereignty (whatever that may be)?

      • 5

        In our name-people- at one time and in recent times in the name of our sovereignty -whatever that is supposed to mean in terms of poor and idiotic us- much damage has been done to us and our country. How do we exercise our will, rights or sovereignty as a people? By voting in crooks, vagabonds, thieves and other scum in amongst us, probably more idiotic than us, to parliament to be our voice and represent us as a collective of people, can we expect anything better than we have had for almost seven decades now?

        We can exercise our rights and ownership of this land only when we can call the shots and order our politicians to heel, stand, wag their tails, shake hands, fetch and run. It is beginning to happen now and I hope it will progress further rapidly. If this trend does not continue or is reversed, we are doomed. Yahapalanaya will be only a coconut smashed to smithereens- a sure curse.

        I was astounded at the audacity of the young lady who questioned and stood upto the security guards at the independence hall. That was the way to go.

        You have raised the right questions.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        • 0

          Dear DR. We do not have rights, we have few privileges, most of them were lost over last seventy years. What’s left is right to complain, sure you can, but who cares? They own us,they decide what we need to eat, drink, how we need to live our lives and make love.These so called economic pacts will never bring prosperity to lanka, none what-so ever.

    • 1

      Never mind, I am thick too. That is why I cannot make much sense of what our “economic experts” say.

      I referred to xlntgson’s point: “The sovereignty can never be transferred to professional organizations”

      It is in defence of this “abstract outdated concept” that several countries and people are struggling– against foreign aggression, interference and intimidation.

      If we are weaklings that is because we surrender readily to the oppressor.
      If weaklings can change governments they can achieve a little more than that as well I guess.

  • 0

    Does this fellow take any responsibility in relation to failed economic policies and deepening poverty in sri lanka? he happened to be former deputy governor of Central bank! I do not agree with pawadeniya, however, wijewardene hypothesis are no better. under your watch, sri lankan people became poorer, inflation was rising all the way and your office cooked up figures to the whims and fancies of your masters. kindly do not preach about health care in lanka.your arguments are not helpful, trickle down economics does not work, in relation to health systems, what works is more man power,sound health policy and political will.have any one asked why india is interested in sri lankan health care while their health system is utterly failing?( i am referring to indian public health system). We are simply trying to keep india happy lettting it to exploit lankan market, ( education and health) in an attempt to balance the Chinese influence.Its not rocket science. in relation to pawadeniya, he is just an aspiring politician, i have known him since his undergraduate days,a selfish, self centred,good for nothing, white collar sociopath to summarise his character.

  • 1

    Sovereignty is not defined by monorchists nor anarchists rather elitist aristocrats. The democracy doesn’t prevent these influentials becoming popular but they shouldn’t mislead the gullible public.

  • 1

    “Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea are relatively small economies. But they do trade successfully with big economies like USA, China and Japan.”
    What a rubbish comparison. It’s not one being smaller than the other. All these are advanced economies. Hence they are compatible with each other and they benefit from each other.
    In case of India and Sri Lanka it’s a very different story.

  • 2

    Anyone who has been to some of the hospitals in the rural areas (these days you can even see some from the comfort of your home on the Sirasa Gammadda programme) will wonder where the GMOA has been all this time, when the tax rupees going in to their car permits could have been allocated to the development of these hospitals instead?

    If the ambulance service from India is such a bad thing then why has not a single private organization come forward all these years despite the obvious need for such a thing? When Falck entered Sri Lanka why did not a single private company try and tie up with them, resulting in their exit?

    The first thing we need is strict legislation against medical negligence. This will shut these GMOA political do-gooders up on rattling on about car-permits and economic agreements and focus in their own backyard.

    I have a pain in my knee these days. But I am worried about going to the national hospital incase one of the GMOA lackeys operate on the wrong knee. Or rip out my kidneys.

  • 2

    padeniya what about kidney saga with white vans where were your union? selfish hypocrites

  • 3

    All the pros and cons of ECTA should be weighed carefully and a proper policy adapted on this matter. One should never throw the baby with the bath water! One should be free from prejudices in analysing the pros and cons. It seems laughable to consider the ambulance services with Indian help as a threat to national security. Of course there should be adequate safe guards to prevent the flooding of the country with cheap labour and half baked professionals. On the other hand the country should not miss the vast opportunities thrown open by the ( relatively) rapidly developing giant neighbour with a very huge market potential.
    Sengodan. M

  • 1

    Thanks WA for the information. I dont think our patriotic doctors are not that patriotic when it comes to car permits and tax evasion. do our medical courses include national security in their curriculum.

    GMOA has said in private, that doctors were included in ETCA , but they got it removed and asked the others to do the same.

    Also Padeniya due us an explanation for his presence in temple trees in the raja era.

  • 0

    Wimpy kid Car permits should not be a privilege but a must for any professional who is on call for 24 hours. A Doctor has to study for 6 years and work for 25 years for salary and pension . While parliamentarians who has not passed grade 5 get totally free cars with pension with 5 years of no work . A consultant has to study 5 more years , totally 10 years of best years of his life , totally to serve people . You are totally ignorant . If you meet with an accident at 11 in the night and if your leg breaks in to pieces, you will understand the value of Doctors. In comparison o become a Lawyer one needs only 3 years. in 10 years he can become a Judge with a free bungalow, free chauffeur driven free car with security guard . Yet there are cases dragging for 25 years .

    Saroj is another fool . GMOA IS NOT govt TO ATTEND TO EVERY ISSUE IN THE COUNTRY .aS FOR kidney saga, GMOA was initially accused. But since then , GMOA has challenged to publish the report and now the Govt is back peddling

    Even CJ went to Temple Trees . A president can summon any body , to clarify a matter , or in our politics , to get political support . If Padeniya did help MR , it was under duress , as I know of many other cases . I have been a friend of sorts to MR family hailing from same village and I have seen many professionals , being forced to do their work . The price was the family .

    National security is every citizens responsibility . I have worked endless nights during the war , volunteering , without any sleep, without any payment .

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