25 September, 2021

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Pros & Cons Of Foodless Emergency

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

The Foodless Emergency (FE) has public support because most/many/some people believe that Pettah merchants and such like are hoarding food in their warehouses and since quite a few of the believers if they are Sinhalese are incensed by the thought that these merchants are Muslims and Tamils. I don’t know whether this ethnic allegation is correct, but who cares, facts ceased to matter a long time ago. Irrespective of all this the bottom line is that at best FE will buy the government only a very short time, a fortnight say if the hoarding allegations are substantially true. The real problem is that there is not enough food for public consumption anyway, and this is exactly why hoarding takes place in the first place. Which idiot hoards onions if there is going to be a glut and he will soon have to bury them in the mud along with his other round things? Seriously, the problem is that there are shortages of foodstuffs and both consumers and merchants are resigned to the knowledge that things are going to get worse, much worse.

There are three reasons for the shortage. First, global and domestic trade disruption due to the pandemic compounded by the asinine mess created by President and appointed ex-military stooges. The second reason is the right-royal economic cockup linked to the glaring fact that the Central Bank is broke and Poor Lakshman is going to be buried by a foreign currency debacle. The third reason is that everybody, everybody from the President down to the menial labourer, knows that things are only going to get worse. This is happening in the context of the President’s inexplicable blunders such as proclaiming an inorganic fertiliser ban forthwith. Real shortages are hugely magnified when the public loses confidence, then the fear of crisis becomes self-fulfilling.

As for hoarding it is no secret that the store-rooms in every middle- and upper-class home that can afford it are bursting with food and necessities. People know what’s coming and prepare for it. These store-rooms across Colombo and the outstations, in total, contain more than the greediest Pettah merchants can dream of. So, what is the newly appointed Sargant Major or Colonel or whatever his rank going to do about this? Is he going to march in, jackboots and all, into every nonamahataya’s backroom?

In the meantime, President Gotabaya is dragging the military into the mud alongside himself. It will be no more than a week or two before the army pulls out, or frightened traders put on the shelf every hidden morsel. What after that, what when the shelves go empty again? The stories will start, fingers will be pointed and the kitchens of army people will be alleged to be well stocked. Who will carry the can then, the military or the President? I don’t see a way out for Sri Lanka even if we change government, desirable though this is. You see those salivating in the wings don’t inspire much confidence either.

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Latest comments

  • 15
    0

    KD agree on this. Govt and people may be in denial but the truth is Lanka is bankrupt. There is no forex to get essential items, vaccine or fuel. What ever produced in Lanka is not adequate for consumption. Even rice was imported recently from Pakistan. So this whole drama about hoarding is just another distraction and when usual racial connotation applied, even a hungry person in Lanka salivate and feels satiate. Some of the food item especially sugar was hoarded by Gotha, s own people who already pocketed kickbacks and now bringing out at a higher price. What is food emergency will soon transition to food rationing with yet another distraction.

    • 12
      0

      Just now read the news. One of the company involved in sugar hoarding is registered with BOI/board of investments (Business Of Interest to Rajapaksa family, Business Of Influence) patronized by family. This is what is called Lanka’s very own TRAGICOMIC, like in magic shows , you hide tonnes of sugar, then you find it , then you make it disappear again and the show continues until enough money is made by family and their cronies. Pretty much from now on wards can expect this on a daily basis with essential items, food, vaccine, medicine, hospital beds —–. 6900 MT was found in a warehouse of a leading businessman. Can anyone hide anything without the knowledge of Gotha’s intelligence. Family made money in importing and henchmen hoarded in ware houses so that now it is their turn to sell it for higher price. The cost will be shared by poor consumers who elected them.

    • 4
      0

      Should we create a “Go fund me” page for Sinhala Bauda Lanka?

      • 8
        0

        “most/many/some people believe that Pettah merchants and such like are hoarding food in their warehouses and since quite a few of the believers if they are Sinhalese are incensed by the thought that these merchants are Muslims and Tamils”
        Yes. Hiru aired a segment wherein inspectors were seen seizing stocks of bulk milk powder from Muslim merchants in Pettah. The ignorance of both the inspectors and Hiru is glaringly obvious. There is no connection between bulk milk powder, used mostly for confectionery and bakeries, and packeted mild powder. These clowns will cause a shortage of bread next. All these goings-on would be hilarious if not for the implied sub-text that minorities are ripping off the innocent Sinhala Buddhists. The truth of course is that the Sinhala Buddhists don’t need any help from others in matters of being ripped off.

  • 12
    0

    There is an incredible rudimentary fallacy at the core of all the assumptions all ye learned gents make to write ye articles!

    That Gota became president to solve any problem …….. as if that was his main aim!

    I find it even more incredible, that highly intelligent people who have studied Science make these basic mistakes ……… in Science, these types of false assumptions wouldn’t have lasted even a millisecond ….. cause they are so obvious ……….


    Classic example …………. “Synchronize Words & Deeds For Reconciliation To Succeed”

    Does Gota want reconciliation? Shouldn’t one examine his intentions before making assumptions? ……. it serves no purpose other than to show off the ………. nice title coined to rhyme ……….

  • 7
    0

    Morning Kumar,
    Well said, experience coupled with academia all in one go speaking out. Very true and that is evident, specially what happened in 1970 – 1977, when we failed to get the special rice from the Moon with Neil Armstrong’s help!
    Not only come September – its already here – but Christmas and New Year 2022 looks very BLEAK!
    I am not talking about visitation and dances. Just the food situation.
    Perhaps all can do it at Panagoda and Kottawa, where it may be freely available.
    What a madness the second coming?!
    SJB and JVP take note and do not venture to win elections as you will be doomed as the Yahapalanaya government after MR spending free.
    Let SLPP continue to rule and let the masses reject them even after they are re-elcted, then it may be opportune for an alternate government.
    Otherwise these inept would be blaming the SJB and JVP for all their sins as happened in 2015-2019 period.

  • 5
    0

    Most people are confined to our homes, and the concern about food is serious but I wasn’t conscious of a communal aspect; on the other hand few are going to utter such talk in my presence. Good point about onions; how long will they keep? I saw this a few hours ago:
    .
    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-58390292
    .
    Day has broken and I called a villager six miles away from Bandarawela. I used to buy avocados from him until my nephrologist banned them for me. He’s got some but they will be left on the tree, waiting for Monday, the 6th. The fertiliser ban looms ominously ahead, but for now it’s this vaguely defined “lockdown” and fear of catching the COVID preventing people getting about that prevails. The electricity is holding up well; I offer thanks for it every day, but it doesn’t seem to cause concern to others.
    .
    For now, we listen for
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4d0LOuP4Uw
    .
    Does it carry a bakery message in other countries as well?

    • 2
      0

      There is a greater difference between
      Double Pakse ‘ lockdown and WHO recognized lockdown in terms of COVID Spread control. .
      .
      But main stream media behave as if they are made blind. .
      .
      Aba Saranayi to our nation!!!☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹

    • 3
      1

      Sinhala_Man

      Please watch:
      https://www.wionews.com/videos/gravitas-food-crisis-in-sri-lanka-as-chinese-debt-mounts-410069
      Gravitas: Food crisis in Sri Lanka as Chinese debt mounts

    • 3
      0

      Thanks to Native Vedda for the link, below, to the Wion programme.
      .
      Now we have this:
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVHUwvC7Og0&t=1160s
      .
      The speaker here, Shekhar, is one whom I have learnt to trust. He’s given a link to this Colombo Telegraph article of July 1st 2021, which I haven’t read.
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/organic-farming-in-sri-lanka-ideology-of-hitler-sri-lankan-agri-cults/
      .
      There are only eleven comments, 4 from RTF, and one, typically respectful, comment from Prof. Kumar David.
      .
      I intend making a Youtube comment (under my name with photograph) below Shekhar’s article. Now, at 2.2 p.m there are 1,017 comments already there, mostly from Indians, only a handful from Lankans.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V) of Bandarawela, Sri Lanka

      • 5
        0

        Sinhala_Man

        “The speaker here, Shekhar, is one whom I have learnt to trust. He’s given a link to this Colombo Telegraph article of July 1st 2021, which I haven’t read.”

        Careful, at times Shekhar Gupta also act as Rajapaksa clan’s b***s carrier. Please watch his interviews with Mahinda and Namal baby on youtube.

        • 0
          0

          He is a veteran indian journalist with exhaustive knowledge on Srilankan affairs.
          ‘Operation Pawan’ was an interesting read. I think
          he was courting with pakse’s for his own needs.

          • 1
            0

            Ken Robert

            How are you?
            We haven’t heard from you long time.

            He is very fond of the clan.

            • 0
              0

              Native
              He’s a good journalist. So he has to be in everybody’s good books. Did you see his piece about the Premadasa era?

              https://youtu.be/zx8gwNbCPVo

              • 1
                0

                old codger

                “Did you see his piece about the Premadasa era?”

                Sorry no.
                Thanks.

                Every interview with the clan that I have seen sounded like he was trying to please Mahinda. Whenever Mahinda struggled to articulate he volunteered to help him chose the appropriate words or phrase. Knowing Mahinda whenever journalists get opportunity to interview the clan, they must catch the crooks and murderers by their b***s.

                Being old codger you too would have wanted in a seasoned journalist.

                Here is one interview that Gupta should watch and prepare himself for his next meeting with the clan:
                BBC HARD talk : Democracy Sri Lankan-Style : June 2010
                Stephen Sackur interviews Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5LMco_Zcfg

                If you could arrange Palki Sharma, Journalist Palki Sharma the Executive Editor of WION to interview the entire clan, the country would be grateful to you.
                https://www.wionews.com/author/palki-sharma.

                It appears out of all the Hindian Journalists she is the only one who has b***s.

                • 1
                  0

                  Native,
                  Gupta does call Gota an elected dictator.

                  • 2
                    0

                    old codger

                    Gupta cosies up with Mahinda and Namal baby.

                    “Gupta does call Gota an elected dictator.”

                    Gota is proud about it, when others call him a dictator.
                    Even Asgiria blessed him. Whenever he is addressed being a dictator watch closely his straightened right arm rise above his shoulder.

                    In front of the mirror he very often pose like Napoleon Bonaparte, right arm on his left chest inside the shirt.

                • 2
                  0

                  Appreciated the links posted by old codger as well as Native Veddah; the latter, I have seen before.

                  Quite a stark contrast. Sekhar Gupta’s tendency to be enamoured by his subjects is off putting, and casts a shadow over his editorial. But certainly Gupta made himself a safe conduit for Lalith Athulathmudali. Also, Gupta’s Hindustani patriotism is palpable.

                  Palki Sharma would feast on the Rajapaksas.

                  Clearly there are different schools of journalism. Gupta ain’t nearly as bad as most our major media outlets.

  • 3
    0

    As someone points out why an emergency now when it could have been proclaimed at the start of the pandemic? Oh! NO! NO! At that time if an emergency was declared a dissolved parliament must be re-summoned and that was too bad. I wondered whether the author mis-spelled the term foodless instead of fruitless? Why allow things to happen and then go panic? The whole issue of fertilizer was mismanaged. Once a policy decision is taken a study must be performed on the way to implement it. The organic lobby was adamant that if you don’t close the gates now the gates will never be closed at all. How wise is this “Do it at once” attitude. As to whether a logistic-less implementation of the organic only policy is the root cause of the “food shortage” needs proof. Asinine decisions are asinine irrespective of the fact that one has a military background or not. The current Prime Minister of Singapore too was a Brigadier General in the Army. Does the author imply that Singaporean decisions are asinine? My information is that things have gone haywire because there is no honesty of purpose. (Elaboration clipped limiting to 200 words)

    • 4
      0

      Good Sense

      “As someone points out why an emergency now when it could have been proclaimed at the start of the pandemic? “

      Please note MP Sumanthiran has been consistently demanding a comprehensive new law to govern everything connected to Pandemic since from the beginning inside and outside the parliament.
      Here is the news item:
      Sumanthiran making ‘constructive comments’ urges govt to revise out-dated laws to tackle the pandemicPublished 10 months ago on 2020/10/26
      https://island.lk/sumanthiran-making-constructive-comments-urges-govt-to-revise-out-dated-laws-to-tackle-the-pandemic/

      I know it is difficult to convince SJ, what can we do?

      The second point is that we in this country always refuse to proactively deal even a minor issue, make it worse and then begin to solve it, expect single handed hero to save this island.

      Already we are beginning to hear racist comment from members of majority community. Finally inability of the hero leaders could be turn into another nationwide ugly riots.

      Good Sense

      Don’t let the Dogooders come back and say they helped the minorities during the riots.
      Now is the time to take preventive measure.

      Is Gota going to say in his usual messages, “I am a prisoner of circumstances”?

      Take care, the state won’t.

    • 0
      0

      The first lockdown for the Western Province was delayed long enough to get Parliamentary Election nominations in. The Paksas didn’t want to give time for the Greens to field a single list. Take even the numbers from the August 10th Elections. The UNP may have got only a handful of votes, but if you were to add those to District totals, you may have found the seat allocation somewhat different.
      .
      Had the nominations been about June 2020, the UNP may even have settled on a leader other than Ranil or Sajith. As it was, Gota claimed that he had defeated both Prabhakaran and the COVID.
      .
      Even if that falls within the ambit of tolerable political manipulation, two other things don’t.
      .
      1. The nomination of Gota when there issues pertaining to his citizenship.
      .
      2. The racism displayed by the Rajapaksas even after the LTTE was defeated.
      .
      But the opposition must take the blame for there being anything more than three credible candidates, and for not educating the electorate about preferential voting. A Rajapaksa would still have won, but only after a second round of counting. That count would also have opened the eyes of the entire population for all time to the possibilities of strategic voting.

    • 0
      0

      Good sense,
      “The current Prime Minister of Singapore too was a Brigadier General”
      In Singapore, all able-bodied males have to serve in the army for 2 years. So, unlike here, one doesn’t have to be asinine to be in the Army.

  • 6
    0

    Surely Royals can supply cake instead of ROSE Paang or bath. Anlso wine

  • 6
    0

    Businessman are businessman. There is no colour, race, religion or language. For example, The benefits of bond scam shared between many Sinhalese politicians. Similarly, many Sinhalese shared armed deal benefits. Many LTTE leaders were exported by politicians at the end of war but they talk highly about LTTE terrorism.

  • 1
    2

    The black-marketeers, hoarders, and heartless businesses, making money off the misery of the people, are shameless, inhumane, and have no scruples.

    We don’t have real leadership in this country, and it is only at a time of crisis their true colors show.

    • 4
      0

      Ashan

      “The black-marketeers, hoarders, and heartless businesses, making money off the misery of the people, are shameless, inhumane, and have no scruples.”

      You know, the politicians, functionaries and the merchants believe and adhere to the moto:
      “Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno”
      One for all, all for one.

      In our case the racketeers work hand in glove.

    • 0
      0

      You really buy the excuse given by the government that traders are the cause of this shortage?

      There is a shortage of essential food items because Sri lanka’s foreign exchange reserves have been greatly depleted. The tourism industry , which was a significant source of foreign exchange, crashed due to the pandemic. What is even worse is the billions in debt to China that the Rajapaksas saddled the country with.

  • 4
    0

    To grow two ears of corn where one grows now, do you need an emergency?
    Dudley prescribed in 1966, 70% self-sufficiency in rice by 1970. It was achieved.
    Baku Mahadeva whose brilliance in mathematics and incomparable performance
    in the Ceylon Civil Service were known to the country, presided over agriculture.
    He wore no jackboot and displayed neither ribbon nor medal.
    Now 51 years are past and 30 % deficit is still not bridged. wheat consumption alone
    has burgeoned.
    To the correct and cynical remarks of KD, I have no more to add.

  • 6
    3

    “The Foodless Emergency (FE) has public support because most/many/some people believe that Pettah merchants and such like are hoarding food in their warehouses
    and since quite a few of the believers if they are Sinhalese are incensed by the thought that these merchants are Muslims and Tamils.”
    I fear that the second part of the statement is plain mischief.

  • 3
    0

    There is a greater difference between
    Double Pakse ‘ lockdown and WHO recognized lockdown in terms of COVID Spread control. .
    .
    But main stream media behave as if they are made blind. .
    .
    Aba Saranayi to our nation!!!☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹

  • 2
    0

    Aside from the usual problems of incompetency and corruption in government, the other major issue is that Sri Lanka is overpopulated. Far too many people on a small island.

  • 0
    0

    Native,
    He’s a good journalist. So he has to be in everybody’s good books. Did you see his piece about the Premadasa era?

    • 1
      0

      old codger

      “Did you see his piece about the Premadasa era?”

      Sorry no.
      Thanks.

      Every interview with the clan that I have seen sounded like he was trying to please Mahinda. Whenever Mahinda struggled to articulate he volunteered to help him chose the appropriate words or phrase. Knowing Mahinda whenever journalists get opportunity to interview the clan, they must catch the crooks and murderers by their b***s.

      Being old codger you too would have wanted in a seasoned journalist.

      Here is one interview that Gupta should watch and prepare himself for his next meeting with the clan:
      BBC HARD talk : Democracy Sri Lankan-Style : June 2010
      Stephen Sackur interviews Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5LMco_Zcfg

      If you could arrange Palki Sharma, Journalist Palki Sharma the Executive Editor of WION to interview the entire clan, the country would be grateful to you.
      https://www.wionews.com/author/palki-sharma.

      It appears out of all the Hindian Journalists she is the only one who has b***s.

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