8 December, 2019

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Presidential Aspirants & Voters: Read IPS’s SOE 2019 Before You Make Your Next Move

By W A Wijewardena

Dr. W.A Wijewardena

Election manifestos versus State of the Economy Report 2019

The four leading presidential aspirants have presented their manifestos to voters in a bid to lure their votes at the forthcoming Presidential Election. These manifestos contain, among others, a brief outline of the economic policy package which they wish to implement should they be elected. Voters are supposed to peruse, analyse and critically review them in the light of the prevailing economic conditions and Sri Lanka’s long-term economic goals before they choose a candidate.

It seems that the process of choosing the appropriate economic policy by presidential aspirants and reviewing the same by voters would get impeded if they have not mastered the State of the Economy Report for 2019 or SOE-2019 just released by the country’s semi-government think-tank, the Institute of Policy Studies, commonly known as IPS.

This year’s SOE, having presented an impartial and objective review of the present state of the economy and prospects for the next few years should the current policy is continued, has themed itself on how Sri Lanka should get integrated to the ongoing global process of moving into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, code named Industry 4.0 or 4IR.

IPS, the independent think-tank

IPS was established in 1989 as an independent think-tank to review and recommend appropriate economic policies which Sri Lanka should adopt to deliver prosperity to its people. Every year it publishes a special report critically reviewing the state of Sri Lanka’s economy well before the end of the year. This report is current compared to the traditional Annual Report submitted by the Central Bank about four months after the end of the year.

Since the first SOE published in 1992, it has been a regular annual feature for IPS to release this report. Each report has been prepared focusing on a special theme which is relevant to Sri Lanka in the year under consideration. SOE 2019 has focused on the theme of how Sri Lanka should transform its economy to become an active partner of the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution or in short 4IR.

From First Industrial Revolution to Fourth Industrial Revolution 

In the last 400 years, the world had gone through several phases of distinctive economic changes relating to industry, known as industrial revolutions. The first industrial revolution that occurred some 200 years ago was responsible for taking work partly away from humans by using machines that had been powered by steam engines.

This was followed by the second industrial revolution that took place some 100 years ago when the production was further facilitated by taming electricity for human use. The third industrial revolution occurred some 50 years ago when the world’s production systems began to depend on electronics and information and communication technologies or ICT.

Taking the ICT revolution forward, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is now shocking the world economy with new inventions like artificial intelligence or AI, machine learning, advanced internet usage dubbed as Internet of Things or IoT, nanotechnology, gene coding and editing and algorithmic inventions like the blockchain.

The credit for the term – the Fourth Industrial Revolution – goes to the convenor of the Davos based World Economic Forum, Claus Schwab who coined the term in a book published in 2015 under the same title. With 4IR, the world is now divided into two groups, one moving along in 4IR and the other lagging behind it.

Sri Lanka which is still in the Second Industrial Revolution or 2IR has to make a quantum leap in order to join 4IR. SOE 2019 has outlined how it should be done in detail. Those presidential aspirants who have vowed to take Sri Lankans to prosperity should necessarily use it as their guidebook.

Current pathetic state of the economy 

SOE 2019 has made an objective, impassioned and critical analysis of the state of Sri Lanka’s economy today. Take any macroeconomic standard and look at the economy from its perspective, you will find that the economy is ailing. Economic growth has been slowing and below the economy’s potential growth. The budget is imprudent and unmanageable. Public debt, especially the external debt, has been ballooning. Debt servicing could be done only with further borrowing. Export performance had been below what it should be.

Foreign Direct Investments or FDIs have been into non-tradables – sectors that would not generate a flow of foreign exchange by exporting their products – so that they would not help the country to overcome its external debt repayment issues. The mounting gap in the foreign exchange receipts and payments leading to balance of payments difficulties has put pressure on the exchange rate to depreciate in the market. The stock of foreign assets which is the cushion of the country to meet its foreign exchange liabilities has been built out of borrowed funds.  Though the country has moved up from a lower middle income country to a higher middle income country, its worth has been diminished by the vast income gaps among the people. Unemployment is low – virtually employment is at the full employment level – but the slow growth of the labour force has put impediments for the country to use labour as a resource for growth. If the presidential aspirants are interested in coming up with a viable economic policy program, they should be mindful of the present economic ailments faced by the country.

The sick economy since 2012

These economic ailments had been present in the country since around 2012. However, in the recent past, the policy authorities had failed to arrest the declining situation and reverse the trend. Three reasons can be adduced to this sad state.

Bad economic management of the Yahapalana Government

One relates to the failure in the economic management. SOE 2019 has drawn the attention to the two types of conflicting policy management that had been put into practice. In the initial period, it was the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management or CCEM under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister that was responsible for economic policy making. But later, this was abolished by the President and in its place, another body called the National Economic Council or NEC was set up under the chairmanship of the President.

SOE 2019 has made the following comment on this: “That relations between the leaders of the national unity government were strained which came as no surprise to the Sri Lankan public. It was well-known that cracks had begun to deepen following a poor showing at local government polls in February 2018. Three years of economic underachievement was partly to blame”. As a result, CCEM was replaced by NEC to take the country forward. However, as SOE 2019 has remarked: “The change had little or no impact in determining economic performance”.

This is not surprising because NEC which was supposed to come up with a viable national economic plan was mainly involved in immediate fire-fighting issues of microeconomic type such as whether the fertiliser subsidy should be given in cash or in kind. Thus, economic conditions continued to deteriorate without a central direction.

The man-made constitutional crisis

The second was the political turmoil created by the President on 26 October 2018 by sacking the serving Prime Minister and appointing the former President in his place. Though it was settled after 53 days, the confusion and uncertainty it created hit the already ailing economy in a number of ways.

It adversely affected the budgetary consolidation program that had been started by the Ministry of Finance. Foreign investors who had invested in Sri Lanka Government Treasury bonds and bills started pulling out their investments exerting pressure on the exchange rate to further depreciate. The planned foreign direct investment program was halted and investors began a wait and see approach to investments. Without a government at the centre, public service became paralysed. The result was the reversal of the economic recovery program that had been started a year before.

Easter Day bomb explosions

The third occurred in April 2019 when an extremist Islamic group exploded bombs in leading churches and five-star hotels causing a massive destruction on one side and sending panic waves in the minds of almost all the citizens of the country. Though its impact could be seen in almost all sectors in the country, the biggest casualty happened to be the hospitality sector. Many foreign tourists who had earlier signed up for visiting the country had either cancelled the trip or postponed to a future date.

SOE 2019 makes the following comment on this sad incident: “As expected, the sharp downturn in tourist arrivals has had economy-wide spill-over effects, impacting the livelihoods of those closely engaged in ancillary activities, such as handicrafts, home-stays, etc. These micro and small enterprises operate in the informal economy without adequate safety nets to absorb unanticipated shocks. The economic disruption has also had more unfortunate consequences in fracturing ethnic relations and impacting small Muslim-owned businesses in countless ways. In all this, foreign investors who may have already adopted a cautious wait-and-see stance in the run up to elections are also more likely to firm up decisions to delay investments until security risks are reassessed – i.e., whether it is perceived as an isolated incident or an endemic threat”.

A serious warning by IPS

This is a serious warning given by the country’s independent think-tank – IPS – that the presidential aspirants should in no way arouse or contribute to such ethnic discords in order to win the elections. Though they may be successful in intoxicating gullible voters with ethnic hatred and use it to come to power, that power would be temporary and in the long run they themselves would be the losers along with the citizens of the country.

This has been the experience of Sri Lanka ever since it gained independence and it is now time to put a stop to it. In other words, Sri Lanka should now move away from ‘think-short’ strategies and go for ‘think-long’ strategies. SOE 2019 is a treatise of such strategies which the presidential aspirants could adopt if they are interested in attaining long-term prosperity for the people.

A debt problem exacerbated by a slow growth in exports

There has been a general tendency to blame the foreign debt overhang for all the economic ills being faced by Sri Lanka. SOE 2019 has diagnosed that the country’s problems are much more complex than this. The more complex problem faced by the country is the continuous sluggish economic growth which has adversely affected all other areas, including the debt overhang.

To come out of the sluggish growth, Sri Lanka should change its production structure from producing basically for the domestic market – called non-tradables – to a system which would produce for the rest of the world – called tradables. In the past two decades, the production of tradables consisting of the export of goods and services had been below what it should be. Hence, the economic growth had slumped to the lowest level possible. But to produce more tradables, Sri Lanka should adopt science and technology to the maximum.

Export or perish 

This is where Sri Lanka’s future growth strategy lies as opined by SOE 2019. Says SOE 2019: “Tradable sector growth – and the prospect of higher foreign currency earnings – is all the more important for Sri Lanka to comfortably manage its foreign debt repayment obligations. During 2019-2022 alone, an average of US $ 4 billion per annum is already committed for debt repayments. It does not stop there; the repayments keep piling on even afterwards, especially from 2025 onwards once again”. What this means is that the country’s problems are not limited only to a single year or a couple of years.

It is a lingering issue necessitating long-term solutions by way of ‘think-long strategies’. Such strategies are much more important today since the world had started moving into a new industrial revolution called the Fourth Industrial Revolution or 4IR. Though Sri Lanka is a member of the upper middle income country group, it is still in the phase of the second industrial revolution that uses largely traditional machinery in agriculture, industry and services. Therefore, Sri Lanka has to make a quantum leap onto 4IR bypassing the third industrial revolution or 3IR. Already peer countries like Thailand and Vietnam have prepared roadmaps to elevate their economies from 3IR to 4IR.

Don’t ignore the call of Industry 4.0

In this context, SOE 2019 makes the following remark: “It can be argued that Sri Lanka is yet to even come to terms with technologies of the third industrial revolution – electronics and information technology – leave alone those of 4IR. The reality though is the pace of change, or the quantum leap of technology from one revolution to another is so swift, that countries can no longer be complacent”. What this means is that the world is waking up every morning with news of ‘next big thing’ hitting the market. A sleeper will find himself being overtaken by all others who are continuously awake and vigilant on the developments in new technologies.

Thus, the advice to the presidential aspirants is clear: get into a sleep mode, rouse ethnic hatred among citizens to capture power and perish in the process.

*The writer, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, can be reached at waw1949@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 10
    1

    Sri Lanka at historical turning point today in All sense. It needs some bold economic policies, it needs some strong development policies, It needs some good leaders at all levels, it needs some good civil servants, it needs some good diplomatic. if its some good policy makers, it needs some good educationalists: above all corruption free leaders. I do not endorse any one and yet, I hope winner of this election make some changes to the sake of this nation

    • 2
      2

      lankan,
      Did you take notice of most recent main causes suggested in the essay as driving SL economy into troubled waters? All three are political in nature and has to do with the stupidity of MY 3. Even the international community is now believe that SL has largely recovered from Easter Bombing damage. But the negative effect from 52 Black Day coup is still on and may last much longer if GoRa win and JVP record a significant gains. That is b’cos, despite the promises in the GoRa’s elections manifesto, in real terms, the whole world knows the fact that his side will follow the same old nationalistic policies SLFP was used to and MY also pushed hard against the objection from the UNP.

      The key turning point, therefore, was the abolition of CCEM and setting up NEC under the president who had no knowledge of current economic situation or the political will necessary for hard choices for economic recovery. It is noteworthy that the main reason for president’s decision to take over was the defeat during 2018 local election. It is unfortunate but there weren’t that many economists to understand the fact economic recovery after two decades of mismanagement is not an easy task. Instead, the main news became the Gvt failure along with the Bond Scam.

      continuing…….

      • 4
        2

        …..continued.
        I believe that this essay provides us a good bench mark to evaluate two major election manifestos. It is very obvious that both Sajith & GoRa are promising to beat each other to be the best Santa Claus but in real terms I believe that GoRa’s is much more unrealistic. Notwithstanding the SLFP history of failed economic policies since 1994 all the way up to 2015 and extended also to MY 3, just consider the huge tax cuts GoRa is proposing. In a country where direct tax revenue is only 20%, how would he expect to find money to pay down debts plus interests along with all the nearly compulsory Gvt spending?

        These kinds of tax proposals are OK for a country with a sound private sector who are investing outside of the borders to avoid large taxes. In SL there, is no such a private sector. Therefore, GoRa’s proposal is either a false promise to satisfy the rich or else it will result in much more indirect taxes as well as drastic cuts in services such as health, education and various other subsidies hurting the poor more. If the idea of tax cuts is to encourage foreign investors, then, he will also have to curb several of democratic gains from 19 A including labor rights as well. This sounds like straight out of Trump’s (GOP) play book but, how applicable to SL without turning to be an “Gotaucarcy” will be the real question!

        This explains why KD/AKD/JVP grinding their claws in preparing for GoRa’s victory b’cos they know that GoRa’s inevitable political necessities will create fertile grounds for their long awaited “class struggle”. I guess this will surpass the “White Van Era” and recreate 88/89 bloody days back again.

    • 2
      0

      Not to worry. If Gota wins SL will be under economic sanctions. Those who complain about gas queues will be waiting in line for years to buy a gas cylinder!

      Gota will riot against Muslims and Arabic countries will send back housemaids.

      Gota will confront the West (just to appease their racist voters) and there will be a stop to garment exports and tourist arrivals.

      Under Gota SL will be the next North Korea.

  • 3
    8

    Only thing I know that Sri lanka is bankrupt. Every other thing is being arranged so that the next govt if it is not helpful to the MCC/IMF/WB etc., will have hard time running it and giving loans to Sri lanka will be stopped and will be forced to bankruptcy. So, all those agreements or OKs will be active in order to run the country. That problem is not discussed. Even the govt postpones it. Mangala says every thing is all right and what others talking are just chicken little stories.
    Lot of lies are being forced through ears of people but nothing will happen. R pemamdasa also got scred when he got the govt. Sajith would face the same situation. So, he will have to offer the country on a platter. That is the dangerous situation. Sajith giving lot of chrismus gifts but all in the future.

  • 3
    9

    Now Dr Ranil’s Economic Development Commission has also failed miserably according to Dr Wijewradana.

    It was only last week that we heard Dr Ranil’s Political Revenge and Jail Commission headed by PC Weliyamauna also failed with resignation of Dr Ranil’s owm hand picked FCID Boss DIGP Vaidyalankara…
    How sad..

    Viyath Maga with all their Doctors, Engineers, Artists , Academics, and even some Intellectuals have been talking about how to Develop our Country for nearly 4 years ;

    They have held meetings with the Public regularly under the Chairmanship of Nandasena from Pohottuwa..
    I thought they have a pretty good plan although it might not take us to 4th Revolution and Artificial Intelligence.

    But it will at least address the chronic National Issues , like
    The current miserable Economic Growth rate,
    High Interest Loans from West with big agent fees ,
    Free Issue of our valuable Lands to the US.
    Wanton destruction of Economic Resources by the current Minsters by handing out lands to mates, and helping themselves after clearing old National Forests .

    But most of all ,the Viyathth Maga I am sure will ensure the National Security and the Security of the inhabitants which are under threat because of the rise of the new Wahabi extremism coinciding with the castration of the Intelligence Network is sorted out to help to put their Economic Plans to operate in a stable environment.

    Wonder whether Dr Wijewardana will be kind enough to present to us this Think Tank’s IPS.sSOE 2015 to Dr Ranil in 2014?.

    I remember the UNP London had arranged a USD 4 Billion assistance package for Dr Ranil at the 2015 Election.
    I mean that is a colossal amount of money ,
    And could have boosted our GDP by at least two percentage points if invested in non consumables.

  • 4
    5

    Are any of them rousing ethnic hatred among citizens at this time? Hardly seen actually. They’re too careful at this time.
    *
    But for the 4IR to develop, we need just a few bright innovators to start the deal. We needn’t upheaval the whole country and force the building up of cities, destroy the rural base, bring in the alternate lifestyle, and knock people on the heads to evolve their brains to Western standards for 4IR. A few clever adjustments and interjections all around the country and whatever the living condition is, voila: The 4IR will bloom.

    • 3
      0

      ramona,
      if somebody utter an impossible dream like yours in front of young boys, the first response would be the question.” HITAGENADA?” or “DAVALDA?”! That is b’cos SL business community has neither the capital nor the technological know-how necessary for such bold ventures. Local investors being able to own a share of international market good enough to create a positive trade balance is too far away. The only option SL has right now is to create a friendly business environment for foreign investors who already have a market. Waiting for the “class struggle” to sharpen won’t cut it! Animals or their genes of the Pangea days may have largely evolved by now but the laws of evolution stay the same with living organisms anywhere in the universe!

      • 0
        3

        D.P.,
        *
        Nonsense,……to encourage foreign investment for 4IR, the country needed’t look smart and shipshapen like the Western business community. Indeed, when that happens, most of the invested money and country money goes on the Look, rather than the actual business substance.
        *
        Goday intellects in their mud-huts surrounded by green organic non-gmo fields (upgraded of course, and fitting the global warming movement srandards) will be more conducive to a functional business environment for 4IR as along as they have the correct tools for their creation. Also so will people in the poorer quarters of the city. Those classes will soon thrive and be self-sufficient. These guys fit right into the neo-business environment. What a relief to the country.
        *
        According to the laws of evolution, a single cell to become a double cell takes millions of years. Going back to our Pangaea roots of One-World-Order will take several billion years. Nb. 335-million years to evolve from Pangaean genes would take 10 billion years because forcing a reverse of evolution takes a far greater time……..noooooo……don’t tell me they are going to tweek it artificially in labs to create the Pangaea gene so America can sit balancing US$$$ for the American consumer. OMG.

        • 0
          0

          Ramona,
          I’m not going to waste my time to respond to the garbage in your reply. However, about time to evolve a single cell into double or multi-cell, I can assure you that laws of evolution doesn’t say anything about time limits.

          • 0
            1

            D.P.
            Laws of evoluion show time amounts, not time limits.
            *
            Correction : Nb.   335-million years to evolve from Pangaean genes would take 10 billion years to revert back to the same genes, because forcing a reverse of evolution takes a far greater time…*
            *
            The best government to usher in 4IR will be a Socialist/Marxist government. There will be too much expense with the other governments. JVP must be voted on.

            • 0
              0

              ramona,
              There is no such a thing called reverse evolution. A land living species adapting to an aquatic life as with Itchthyosaurus & Whales is not reverse evolution; it is adaptation to different environment. That is b’cos reinventing lost genes is impossible task in nature.

              Proposing Marxist socialism as best remedy for challenges posed by 4IR suggests that you have no knowledge of Marxism. The truth is that Marxists keep saying this since 1 IR. I’m certain that, by the time you guys are exhausted with 4IR, the 5IR will be already here! When Marx formulated his theory, socialist communism supposed to take over at the climax of the “capitalism”. It didn’t happen. When Lenin thought of applying Marxism for Russia, he had to prove the existence capitalism by force by writing “Development of Capitalism in Russia” in 1899, while Russia was mostly an undeveloped rural economy.

              Since Capitalism refused to follow Marxist prediction, Lenin, in a short pamphlet, proposed in 1917 that it would happen at the highest stage of imperialism. That didn’t happen either. Then, in 1965 another Marxist Kwame Nkrumah from Ghana substituted Lenin’s word of imperialism with “neo-capitalism”. It didn’t happen either! So, now you’re saying by voting JVP, S/L can finally achieve the unachievable? What a nonsense! The problem is not with ever-changing socio-economic systems; it is with predictions from wrong Marxism.

              • 0
                0

                D.P. ,
                *
                Of course there is no such thing as reverse evolution. But fellows are out there bemoaning the Pangean model where 335- million years ago we held hands and danced around fires in global solidarity. They bluff us to disregard 335-million years of evolution and want to merge us with India and the rest of the globalised world so the American consumer can be happy.
                *
                Who cares about Marxism. White fellows learned all these concept from Buddhist countries and then wrote the Communist Manifesto and things, and generally descended into madness over it.
                For our countries, it was innately in our being. We must go towards what is most natural to us- Buddhist Egalatarianism as prescribed by the Buddha. And the only party that can install it is the JVP.
                *
                And capitalism (which is all about making money to keep the West afloat) , made sure they made the money and crushed the efforts of the Communists somewhat. They did this by placing most of their money on military might and nuclear weapons, and keep bombing places that threaten the global dollar. Yet places like the Indo-China refused to succumb through bloody war. Cuba was another place. Scandinavian countries have installed it quietly. The new world order under Trump is quietly merging the 2 systems into something more sane, although the mad Democrats are trying to crush it.

                • 0
                  0

                  Ramona,
                  All I can say is I feel sorry for your dream of egalitarian society. By the way, I never heard of AKD or any Marxist ever uttering about Buddhist way of egalitarian society; they talk about Marxist socialism only. Buddhism doesn’t contain political economic theory; it is about spiritual salvation.

  • 7
    2

    The priority in Sri Lanka is Communlaisma and Buddhism and not Economy of the country From the time they got the independence from Britain these factors spread like cancer virus and eating into the economic health of the country On the other side Rich people are becoming Richer and Richer through drug deals and commissions on projects and Poor is becoming poorer, So long as the Ehic issue is not resolved there is no future for the country

    • 4
      15

      Pon,
      “So long as the Ehic issue is not resolved there is no future for the country”
      As far as the Native Sinhalayo are concerned, the ethnic issue is ‘Para’ Wellala Malabar Demalu who are the descendants of indentured labour brought by colonial parasites trying to grab a part of the country using a bogus claim ‘Traditional Homeland’. Unless they face the reality that they have no moral justification to make such unacceptable demands from Native Sinhalayo this so called ‘Ethnic Issue’, ‘Tamil Problem’ or ‘Minority Problem’ will not come to an end.

      These racist Wellala elite politicians are responsible for the troubles this country faced from the time British left.

      • 2
        2

        bow , errrr , bow ,.Errr bow , bow .

        here doggy , here doggy ..😈

      • 1
        1

        EE,
        What is “Malabar”?

      • 4
        1

        Eagle Eye, As long as people like you are there, the sinhala-buddhist-govi chauvinism will flourish, but will perish sooner than later.

  • 8
    0

    What may be the main reasons for current (ill) health of our Economy. It may be failed economic policies coupled with political exigencies and self-interest of Politicians ahead of the interest of the Nation. It’s mostly to do with the Politics in Sri Lanka. That hasn’t served SL well.

    Natural disasters also may have contributed.

  • 14
    4

    Accordimg to a discreet Sri lankan volounteer organization”s independent survey , it is confirmed beyound any doubt that
    Sajith will muster appro.6.2 Million votes and secure firm.victory , Gota will only be able to gain approx.2.2 to 2.3 million votes , AKD will gain between 1.8 to.2.million votes .the rest will be randomlly divided among all other candidates , orher candidates will get substantial number of votes each this time , it will also secure their parties with seats in parliment for next general election no.matter what anyone say , President will.be Sajith and future government will be UNDF and more parties will join them in general election and JVP.will add the rest of the small parties to form the most powerful oppessition ever in the history of Sri Lanka in commimg 2020 parliment , The JVP lead Alliance will.be the policing senate protecting the people and parliment in 2020.
    The above is passed on by reliable people who.have done real time survey day and night Island wide.

  • 3
    8

    Why this website does not discuss on MCC agreement. This more important than talking about individuals.

    • 3
      1

      It is not a big think to talk about. Don’t believe in foolish statements made by wimal or padadeniya (biggest idiot in SL after wimal. Should chk how he became a doctor. May have faked docs like Wimal ). Rewind and check what these too idiots told about Suwaseriya project. They said all kinds of things but it is a really helpful service to general public. Same applies to usa project as well.

    • 2
      0

      Because it really wont make any difference who becomes President , even if Akd or any other Candidate is elected they will have to sign it and take the grant .

  • 6
    0

    Flight of FDI from Sri Lanka happened twice in the last five years. Once during coup engineered by the Rajapakshes with the connivance of an uneducated mutt of an executive. The second is the Easter Sunday massacre also attributed to the Rajapkashes with plenty of evidence now surfacing. Let me make a prediction. There will be a third flight of FDI if Gotler wins the presidency. Devos and the 4thIR are concepts that assume this planet can keep on growing with no consequences. Well that is totally false and must be condemned as absurd stupidity. In fact the 1stIR set the stage for what we are currently experiencing. i.e. The accelerating climate change debacle from which there is no escape. This may sound like Greek to the educated Sri Lankan who reads these articles and it certainly does not matter to the the poor rural folk who live in utter ignorance of these issues. But they are also the most vulnerable to this catastrophy. We are 7 Billion and rising. Planet earth cannot sustain this number of humans much less any additional human beings. Unfortunately the 4thIR will be the last and most likely coincide with a massive extinction level event that is about to begin.

    • 0
      0

      Agreed.

    • 0
      0

      4IR : another bunch of BS innovation possibilities the West is promoting to the third world to balance their continuing colonial budgets. Let JVP handle this, for once the BS starts showing up and the rest of the world is going to hell, we will have our traditional occupations at least.

  • 2
    2

    Re: last para under “From First Industrial Revolution to Fourth Industrial Revolution”
    .
    Actually we are in the 3IR, NOT 2IR, as indicated in this article.
    2IR is early technology such as, telegraph, telex, fax, mass production and semi-automated systems such as assembly lines.
    3IR is ICT, renewable energy and internet.
    Sri Lanka is in fact at the Third Industrial Revolution (3IR).
    4IR is;
    Artificial intelligence,
    Cloud computing,
    Fully automation,
    Robotics,
    Digitization,
    IoT,
    3D printing (I love this technology. It’s amazing. I even have a list of things which Sri Lanka can do using 3D printing) and
    CSP – Concentrated Solar Power
    (Interestingly, it is our first King Rawana the Great, who had first introduced CSP some 7000 years ago to the world, which can be seen at Sigiriya with its identical square holes cut in the rock in which natural crystals may have been placed to reflect and concentrate sun light energy and then convert it to heat).
    .
    I don’t know what this IPS is. But I wish to tell them that Sri Lanka is almost at the 4th Industrial Revolution!!!!!!
    We can easily adapt to it. No big deal.

    • 1
      1

      champa.
      have you read the book called..

      the fourth industrial revolution??
      read it..
      it is one of good book on this topic

      • 0
        1

        Lankan
        Whose book? Prof. Schwab’s (WEF)? Nope, but I have read many articles, since 2017.
        Thanks, though.

        • 2
          0

          Chimpa, you are a complete idiot and a low class racist whore. Stop reading books that are read by people who have an ounce of intelligence. You need to start reading books at your level…………….Comic books with loads of visuals and popup books. At times even these books might be beyond your stupidity.

  • 0
    0

    ” Thus, the advice to the presidential aspirants is clear: get into a sleep mode, rouse ethnic hatred among citizens to capture power and perish in the process. “

    There is no point in asking voters to take deep perusal in SOE 2019. It is not within their scope. When I was a small boy I saw American- USSR documentaries, they play in Community Centers, and while a local guy explaining what is those movies. That is the way these matters have to be explained to voters. In 2015 we asked JVP to educate the crowd instead of taking part in election. That time they supported Yahapalanaya. Now they are on their own campaign. So educating the voters has to be done by social service institutions. The EP candidates are very happy about the mass being not to able to understand the SOE. The opposition party uses that to their advantage & misinterprets the SOE while government party bluff on their faults. They both are happy the exchange rate is deteriorating. They have their foreign Bank Accounts. They print the Manifesto as they want to develop the country’s economy. But they like the economy go this way.

  • 4
    0

    This is an excellent presentation of the prevailing economic conditions of the country. Logically speaking it really should have a significant bearing on the choice of the suitability of the candidate to be voted into the office of the presidency! However, although this seems to be a valid guideline the question is what percentage of people will read this paper and understand it in relevance to the various election manifestos put up by, at least, the two ‘big’ candidates? Also how many of the rural folks, who will be the majority in any way, will ever be able to understand the basic but comprehensive message given in this paper? On the other hand those who read it well and understand the contents of this paper may not me making a voice about it as most of them are already committed to their preferred candidates,! They do not necessarily be willing/permitted to speak about the various omissions and commissions of their candidates manifestos! So we are all ina very pathetic situation without much hope from this kind of invaluable analyses of this kind! I can only plead to the mighty Gods to save this country from the treacherous vultures!

  • 3
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    From the date of independence, Sri Lanka has had no politics but ethnic politics. A man like MR had no economic issues. Others were no better. Gotha does not even have a brain let alone economic policies. He knows how to feed the sharks in his back garden. Leave Booruwansa and his ilk to rot. Better elect a moron who at least knows that there are better people out their who can supply his deficiency and get the country out of this rot. Premadasa has a low cranium and little brains in it but at least he is not tainted, possibly has the interests of the poor at heart and will not violate human rights. We can have only hopes as regards these matters. Knowing that JVP cannot win, the only safe choice is Sajith Premadasa, the sod who will do the least damage. Good writing and thanks for the sensible advice.

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    Sri Lanka should look at the future by taking action in the present.
    1.Police reform: Muslims are being jailed without any reason, this could have blow backs, if they are perceived to be unjust. Ticking time bomb.
    Justice should not be delayed.

    2. judicial reforms

    3.School curriculum reforms

    4. The position of monks , why monks should be in politics?

    5. False propaganda- like rathna Thero should be in jail.

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    Today, MR says Chandrika split the party and hence I formed a new party. What Sajin said about Rajapaksa Family is very true they just Use and Discard/abuse”. Mahinda Uncle was using SLFP for his own purpose until the eleventh hour and then left and joined SLPP. The pathological crook MS then went on to exploit and now planning to kick out founder member Chandrika.

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    No wonder we are in a soup.
    No country can withstand the kind of stealing we witnessed in the past few years.
    Gota will have to make an extra effort to get back, at least most, if not all the monies stolen from us and without getting that money back it will be a long and hard struggle to get the country to turn around.

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    Here’s the truth no Politician will admit to:-

    The IMF is calling the shots in Sri Lanka and the GOSL does what they are told.

    IMF wanted the Rupee devalued to 200 vs the US$ (you can search for this online if you don’t believe me) and look what happened to the Rupee!

    The only thing preventing complete Economic collapse are the funds from the IMF.

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    Thanks, Punchinilame for your extensive research on candidate Gotha , who is promising to “lead us to the future”. Anyone interested please read Punchi,s comment dated Nov 4 , under “the price of freedom” penned by Manilal. Punchi a personal request , as a service to voters , you need to sum up and present, again before elections. Hope you will make it available on social media too for wider publicity. THANKS.

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      chiv – How can ignoramus GOTLER “lead us to the future” when he cannot accept a debate with his opponent Sajith Premadasa. This bugger will need the assistance of a teleprompter and/or his brother (Medamulana Meeharaka) to respond.

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    I cannot think of a single impoverished country in the world that does not have corrupt leaders. They seem to go together. Until we have incorruptible leaders we don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of ever improving the economy or anything else.

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    The beginning of failure was the concept of Common candidate; that made the political marriage of MS & RW, 2 personalities widely apart.

    It was the failure of the UNP to field its own candidate.

    The so formed GG govt. was a purely coalition & What a bizarre for a coalition to meddle with the constitution.

    GG should have done only one thing; prosecuting the so called alleged corrupt politicians.

    Now they don’t have a right to point finger @ them.

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    Central bank is also responsible for the failure of Sri Lanka. You are said to be a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka right ?
    You guys don’t do important things at the correct time.
    You guys failed to bring paypal to Sri Lanka,if we had paypal to recieving payments. It would have improved the economy very much. Vietnam and philippines have got it but we failed..

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      What’s the reason for paypal not to be here?

      A CB decision or political decision.

      However there’re methods to transfer money from paypal.

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        They didn’t try to get it during previous regime as that was the ideal time ( pp came SL at that time and cb wanted to keep funds in local accounts as far as I heard. Also one politician asked commission as well. So they left after discussions.. ). Philippines, Vietnam and many more asian countries have it with the option of receiving it. ( you can receive using various other methods in SL but proper way will make the funds safer and open more earning opportunities as well).

        When Harin tried his level best to get it around 2015, the paypal says they don’t see big volume here ( basically paypal is a bigger company compared to that time so they are not basically interested in SL at this moment. So now basically the bowl is on pp side )

        Basically most of the cb guys are old fashion thinkers mate. So they don’t see the modernized world and new methods. They think by just stopping outflow of funds everything will get sorted out. What happens is same way inward remittance too gradually falls as those who are capable of earning using pp will either migrate or use various other methods..

        Even small businesses had to wait a long time to get an affordable ipg ( When payhere guys implemented a platform, these cb guys ruined it first. They had to wait long time to get approval again.. ) These cb idiots don’t see the big picture. If we can build small business n even encoourge people to do more businesses, automatically the economy will grow.

        Generally the current status of economy is basically not only due to politicians but also due to cb and other responsible gov officers..

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    This piece is an illustration of how a clear mind can express ideas with simple words!

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    yes.
    his book .
    he published it as a book.

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    “This is a serious warning given by the country’s independent think-tank – IPS – that the presidential aspirants should in no way arouse or contribute to such ethnic discords in order to win the elections.”

    Not only that, but after the elections are over the future President should not allow any “Ethnic Discord” Too bad IPS was not around to give advice to Prime Minister SWRD and Opposition Leader JR Jayawardene in 1956 or so, and again to JR in 1977 and 1979. Sri Lanka’s history has been marred by Ethnic conflict and JVP uprisings since the beginning of independence, may be these could be prevented, but ethnic harmony and stability is the number one priority we need to have or suffer the consequences.

    Of course our friends abroad, India, America and China may want to contribute. Take it anyway you like.

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    Economic conditions are caused by badly mishandling ethnic tensions. That is the only lesson we need to learn. Corruption is a small thing compare to that: the impact of the 30 year war and incidents this year only prove that fact: first thing is to manage ethnic tensions.

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    Sri Lanka can create 100000 employment, if it starts industrial hemp, bio oil/ substitute for plastic etc.. the jobs would pay well, as the industry is in a boom phase. The law should make industrial hemp production legal.

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      Correct! And the village structure will suffice for this. No need to raze traditional dwelling places to grow hemp plants….and send the villagers to cities to suffer and build tall buildings to facilitate the hemp commerce. Only JVP has the brains to implement the alternate model.

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    Lot of people have misunderstood Presidential Candidate Sajith Premadas’s pledge to work day and night and even visit homes.
    I do not wish to go into details , it is his exclusicely discreet system.
    Well if he wins he will be on the job 24hrs , 7days a week and if necessary even visit you .
    We in Sri Lanka are sadly always a bit too quick to pass judgement .
    If Sajith does get elected , I tell you , everyones jaws gonna drop.
    I have consieved his message properly .Its very unique and 99.9 sucesssful if implemented .
    As for Gota the man is honest in what he said , he is only going to reimplement his past administration in devloping the Urban Society , which we must all agree he was excellent at what he did.
    But Sajith I am sure is not alone , he has his own approaches , Visions but I am almost sure he has a very smart consultant advicer with him.
    If Gota is elected yes he will deliver what he mentioned and exactly how he mentioned , We work and then talk of the walk we done and use it to show you as our future model.
    But Sajith has a brand new vision ultra new and if he is elected ,yes in 6 months The nation and house will be put in staightforward orderly manner perfectly .
    But With both I have few important questions with no answers .
    1) How will you pay back the loans taken by both governments ?
    2) How will you enhance the Economy.?
    3) how will you solve our drinking water issue that can become really bad in another few years ? our public transport , Healthcare and Most importantly our Farmers ?

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      One More thing Sajith , though yours us a very Unique vision and approach , there is someone among the 30 odd candidates who also have a similar model but different .
      😊xxxxx//////####

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    There is a new “demon” called DEMALA SANNIYA depicted on a newly issued postage stamp.

    https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/outrage-over-racist-sri-lankan-stamps.

    When “demons” in power too are exorcised, Ma Lanka will recover.

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      The problem with the All of us, The entire Sri Lankan population is ,We are tomuch in chasing and blaming non existing demons We have convieniently created as an excuse to deny realities ,We do not see the demon within our own selves consuming us.
      It is pathetic when we refuse to accept our faults for most of our miseries and keep blaming the devil or create devils out of others so we can become ostrich that bury its head into the earth.

      Until all of us are willing to accept realities, nothing will change .

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    Why on earth these “Intellectuals” cannot explain in simple terms to the average man on the street, the “State of the Economy”. If, I am (not a “Professional” at all) to say it to my village folks , this would be my way: This country is in “DEBT” (Naya) and our “Income” (Adayama) is not enough to pay back what we have “Borrowed”. What, we do now to “Pay Back” the old “Debt Load” is to “Barrow” again (Aimath Naya Gannawa). Because of this never ending “Borrowing”, we have gone “Bankrupt” – “Api Den Bankloth”. Because of this never ending “Borrowing” to pay back “Debts” and no “Income” forthcoming on our own efforts, we are heading to a “Tsunami” , in local village vocabulary “Apata Kelavila Thiyenne”. In my opinion, if this type of explanation in my village style vocabulary is transmitted, all these “Presidential Hopefuls” will be directly questioned in the same style and vocabulary : ” Oya Boru Surngana Katha Nethiwa, Ithin Kiyapiyako Tho Mokada Karanne Me Magulen Galavenna” (Without these sweet talks, tell us how you are going to relieve us of of this burden). This is the “Up Rising” we must bring about in the country.

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    Some comments suggest present of some hastily formed idea of jacking up country to 4IR. There are many issues important to increase the production. The first IR started in UK mainly by Britain controlled the production in colonies and transferred all them to UK. So there was a massive demand for UK production world over that time. The Production is one element with consumption, saving and exporting/importing in the country’s economic activity.
    When we talk about competition, we apply all economic theories to competitively producing and selling. But the reality takes place on the opposite side too. That competition is about who consume more, as much as who produces more. If one think of servant woman and her mistress, mistress most of the time lying on the recliner and watch the TV, but the servant woman manages all most alone the home. So one consumes very much high and one produces very much high. This production can take place in one country; but consumed in another country, by buying at cheaper rate. Here the price of the service is determined by the demand for the currency rather than the demand for that particular service. At international level, the exchange rate catches up and stops the cheap production in one country. Then their consumption needs to be encouraged so the production can keep phase with. This will encourage the import and ease the exchange rate.
    In other words 4IR is not just about export. If suddenly Lankawe starts to export from tomorrow on a 4IR production scale, one Rupee will be gone to 185 dollars. Nobody can buy anything from Lankawe. In other words 4RI production has to be balanced with 4RI consumption. This requires a massive change in the attitude and life style of people.

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