5 March, 2024

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Ranil’s Budget Crisis & Ibn Khaldun

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

It should be known that at the beginning of the dynasty, taxation yields a large revenue from small assessments. At the end of the dynasty, taxation yields a small revenue from large assessments”. (Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History, translated by Franz Rosenthal, Princeton University Press, NY 1958, v. 2, p.89)

From an expected budget deficit of 9.9% of GDP in 2022, President cum Finance Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) is hoping to bring it down to 6.8% in 2023, and aiming to reduce it further to 5% thereafter – a tall order in the context of the state of the economy, but necessary to satisfy IMF conditionalities. IMF’s emergency financial assistance to rebuild the economy, negotiate with private creditors, restructure national debt and prescribe an agenda to revive growth, hinge on deficit reduction. That requires increase in tax revenue and reduction in public expenditure.  It is with regard to increasing tax revenue that the 14th century Arab sociologist and historian Ibn Khaldun wrote the above quote in his masterpiece, Prolegomena. It is worth reminding that it was on Ibn Khaldun’s idea that the controversial Laffer Curve in economics came into prominence, which underpinned the massive tax reduction introduced by Ronal Reagan in 1980s. However, the central point in Ibn Khaldun’s statement is not the tax rates as such but the volume of revenue they bring in to the treasury.  Fixing the rate is one thing but administering its implementation is quite another. This is where the problem lies for RW.          

He had raised the value added tax (VAT) from 8% to 12% and corporate tax from 24% to 30%. The first is a direct hit on consumers while the second will also impact them through higher prices charged for goods and services produced by the corporate sector. Students of economics would know that all taxes, tariffs and quotas cause deadweight losses in terms of consumer surplus. Apart from that, higher taxes on producers who cater to foreign markets would lose their competitiveness; and more importantly, businesses that have international connections would try to shift their businesses to countries like Singapore with lower tax rates.  Newspapers are reporting that it is already happening. This would be a dead loss to RW’s expected revenue collection. 

But the most crucial point to note here is the administrative inefficiency of the tax department. When a tax officer for instance sends tax notice to an individual or a firm and then goes and advice the receiver on how to minimize or seek exemption from the levy, in return for a fee, how does one expect the department to maximize revenue collection? A newspaper editorial recently noted that “Sri Lanka’s corruption has graduated from chronic to endemic; from the very very top to the plebian, whoever has any discretionary authority … have to be greased or monies remitted to offshore accounts to get a job done” (The Sunday Times, 16 Oct. 2022).  Are tax assessors and officials untouched by this corruption? If not how does RW expect to reach his revenue target? There are two many avenues for tax aversion in the name of tax minimization in the system, which makes it difficult to reduce budget deficit. 

Ibn Khaldun quoted from a letter written by Caliph Mamun’ General, Ibn al-Husain to his son Tahir, who was appointed by Mamun as the Governor of Raqqah. In that letter the father advised his son on the principle of justice in fiscal administration. It is relevant to requote from it in the current context of widespread tax evasions and exemptions in Sri Lanka, “… Distribute (the land tax) among those to whom it belongs, and do it justly, fairly, equitably, and generally. Do not make a nobleman pay less because of his nobility, or a rich man because of his wealth, or one of your secretaries, or one of your inmates and entourage” (v.2, p. 150). Would the tax office reveal therefore, whether all our ministers, parliamentarians and their wealthy henchmen had fulfilled their tax obligations over the last two years at least? Would the tax office also reveal whether the richest person or corporation in the country had paid the largest share of tax? If the richest earner and the largest tax payer do not match then there is something terribly wrong with the system, and it calls for a systemic change.  

The second half of the budget equation is to cut government expenditure to bring down the deficit. Ibn Khaldun argued for its increase, because he, like Keynes, was looking at the multiplier effect of government expenditure. “The dynasty (state) is the greatest market” (v.2, p. 103) he wrote, and if state expenditure shrunk other markets would do likewise, he said. But once again, what mattered to Ibn Khaldun was not expenditure per se but the nature of it. “The ruler should provide for the comfort of the poor, orphans and widows. He should give them the assistance from public funds, so that they may enjoy a comfortable life. He should establish homes for the sick with attendants to care for them and doctors to look after their illness”, he wrote. But where did our Sri Lankan rulers spend state funds?   

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, while acknowledging the need to increase corporate taxes calls on the government to “accelerate reforms and ensure greater accountability for its spending”. The concept of accountability has become a nightmare for RW, and neither he nor his ministers would even want to mention that term in their public deliberations. In fact, it was the absence of accountability that brought the aragalaya youth to the street, demanding systemic change. That issue has now been taken up by UNHRC and other international agencies also. 

IMF insists that there need to be serious reforming in government’s recurrent expenditure. In 2021 for example, 31% of that expenditure had gone to public sector salaries of which 30% had been consumed by the Provincial Councils and another 34% by defense and public security. More than 300,000 army, navy, air-force and paramilitary and police personnel have become a colossal drain on the country’s meagre finances, and there seems to be no willingness to reduce that number. In short, public administration, overpopulated with an otherwise unemployable army of graduates, and defense and security constitute the dependency burden of the government. The country is also burdened with too many rulers at too different levels, enjoying too much salaries and perks for too little service. What a waste?       

There is no denying that budget deficit has to be reduced and no healthy economy could survive long with twin deficits, one in domestic budget and the other in Balance of Payments. But that reduction involves a lot more than raising taxes and pruning expenses. In the context of Sri Lanka, it requires a radical overhaul of the prevailing system of economic and political management. That overhaul is impossible with the current generation of politicians. That point was made loud and clear by the aragalaya youth. 

Once again, Ibn Khaldun’s thoughts on dynastic cycle becomes relevant. According to him, at the early stages of a dynasty’s rule economic management is marked with principles of justice and equity. As a result, markets thrive, economic development and public welfare improve, and cultural activities flourish; but as opulence leads to extravagance and waste, injustice intrudes, equity vanishes, and development and welfare retard. That makes the dynasty and its ruler unpopular and paves the way for a change of dynasty. Chinese called it the loss of Mandate from Heaven. 

RW’s budget crisis needs a lot more than an increase in tax rates and slashing of government expenditure.  It requires a systemic change and that in turn requires regime change.

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

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Latest comments

  • 8
    0

    Government revenue will fall due to the shrinking economy, unless tax rates are hiked, which will again reduce economic activity. There should be a rigorous enforcement of the law, which could recover a large amount of unpaid taxes and also to identify and prosecute tax evaders who are politically very influential.
    Can the government curtail its expenditure – three areas to concentrate on
    – reduce the size of the military by half and the police by a third after all this is the peace dividend;
    – stop government spending on ALL Religions- the main pirivenas are some of the biggest landlords and they can not only survive without government money, but provide the upkeep of all viharas and then of course there is always public donation;
    – third, reduce the salaries and benefits to all remaining public sector employees by 10% and that of MPs by half.
    Of course there will be job losses, but pay the ex-servicemen, police and government employees a tapering unemployment benefit.
    This will also reduce the employment cost in the productive private sector and in turn reduce inflation.
    After a massive shock, reverberating for two to three years, the economy will start growing.

    • 7
      1

      Dynasties and taxation Dr Ali is king’s prerogative from dynasties of yore. The rule of law, the rule BY law and the rule by changing the law gives an idea of who is exercising that privilege, and who is benefiting from the trickle that is borrowed.
      Liz truss has quit in UK faster than Boris or Trump were made to.
      With all its economic flaws an alternative for democracy, if any, is what I seek.
      Any chance in Russian ,China, Arabs or S L doing an honest job or do we continue to worship as they amend,amend, and amend but do not mend

      • 4
        9

        There is no fit all sizes democracy.
        Check how well each system has served its people.

    • 1
      1

      The Bee Line to a fast recovery of the economy would be to get back the stolen wealth of the country. In order to achieve that a Judicial Body must be set up of five judge bench composed of Men of high Integrity who will have the powers to confiscate questionable Assets. Expert advise must be acquired by involving the Scotland Yard and the FBI.

      • 5
        3

        The cost of recovery of the stolen wealth could exceed the recovered sums.

        • 6
          1

          SJ,
          Many are unaware how complicated it is to recover looted wealth. From Swiss Banks to island tax havens and shell companies, there are lots of options for crooks. Even hypothetically, if the few honest detectives we have actually got down to the job, what is the guarantee that they won’t be jailed when the crooks are re-elected? In any case, the loot likely is nowhere near 57 billion USD.

        • 3
          0

          “The cost of recovery of the stolen wealth could exceed the recovered sums.”
          Is it based on any scientific facts?
          It is better freeze all there assets and wealths and put them all under PTA inside the jail. Use the same technique to keep the political prisoners for years and years.

          • 1
            0

            Ajith,
            “put them all under PTA inside the jail.”
            There is such a thing as due process. Where is the evidence that the Rajapaksas stole billions of dollars, except what we see on YouTube?
            There must be solid evidence to convict people. We can’t use the PTA against people we don’t like, and complain when it’s used against us. I too would like to see the Rajapaksas jailed for life, but on convincing evidence, not “bond scam” type evidence.

            • 0
              1

              Dear OC. I thought you were far more intelligent than that. If that is the case why enact laws in the first place? There will be no need for the swindlers to give it a second thought. An open invitation to wannabees.

              • 2
                0

                HC,
                To convict someone of a crime, one needs incontrovertible evidence. So, where is it?
                Let’s assume the money is in Swiss bank accounts. Even the BOC won’t reveal your account to a third party.
                Going by the performance of the CID in the “bond scam” case, there aren’t any officers who are capable of dealing with financial matters.
                This is how things work in a democracy, at least in theory, by the rules, and the Rajapaksas take advantage of it. As you yourself know, in this particular democracy, everything is corrupt, even a Chief Justice. There are also plenty of lawyers who will prostitute themselves to protect criminals.
                Taking action without evidence is against our own self-interest. It can be used against us too.
                “why enact laws in the first place? There will be no need for the swindlers to give it a second thought.”
                Laws aren’t watertight. That’s why there are swindlers. It is our voters themselves who keep electing swindlers.

                • 1
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                  H.C,
                  Taking action without evidence is against our own self-interest. It can be used against us too.
                  “why enact laws in the first place? There will be no need for the swindlers to give it a second thought.”
                  Laws aren’t watertight. That’s why there are swindlers. It is our voters themselves who keep electing swindlers. The solution is not to elect them in the first place.

          • 1
            0

            Ajith. If they can falsely frame decent individuals like Dr, Sharfie and Mr. Hajeez Hizbula to keep them behind bars indefinitely; getting the people who plundered the national economy forcing millions of people to starve is only too logical. Keep them their until they reveal where the the stolen money is kept. Money simply cannot disappear into thin air. There are records to reveal how and who stole the public coffers. They must be considered guilty until they prove their innocence.

            • 3
              0

              HC,
              “If they can falsely frame decent individuals like Dr, Sharfie and Mr. Hajeez Hizbula to keep them behind bars indefinitely;”
              Who are “they” who framed Shafie? Was it only the Rajapaksas? No, there were Buddhist monks, Scientists, police officers, other doctors, all aided by the shameless Divaina newspaper.
              Did the people come out and demonstrate like in the Aragalaya?. Definitely not! The people themselves framed Shafie and Hisbulla.

    • 3
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      One cannot, compromise the security of the country at any cost?? People could still survive after starvation or 1 meal instead of 3, but the countries security is Prime and utmost importance?!!? If there are security lapses, then we would not have a place to call our country?? National Security should be front and centre!! Cannot sacrifice the lives and Lifestyle of our Patriotic Weerayas on the altar of merciful provision of FOOD for all!!
      So says the Liberator of Sri Lanka and Great Messiah and siblings!!

  • 4
    0

    Picked up from FB. I don’t you guys would be able to see. But try it. It is worth for it!

    https://www.facebook.com/greentours.travels.3/videos/1343805542428039

    • 2
      1

      Thank you, Mallaiyuran,
      .
      Yes, it was well worth the visit to the Sinhala site which has a 1 minute 31 second video incorporated in it.
      .
      The video was not only in English, but has an elderly Britisher bashing Third World politicians.
      .
      Is there any more to it? I may have got through without difficulty because I do have a Facebook, although it may be the worst maintained in the World.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

  • 6
    1

    What is “Budget” and “WHY” a Budget for Ranil W?

    Today the Gulf Trade Investment Board announced a colossal sum of Rs. 6,900 million loss due to irregularity in awarding the tender for the purchase of “UREA” for which the World Bank Assistance was given.

    The same fate fell on the Tender awarded to purchase Coal. Many more such “Financial Crimes” committed under this present President.

    So WHY there must be a “Budget”?

    • 5
      0

      Simon

      Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Education wants to introduce English as the medium of instruction from grade one, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe the Minister of Justice wants to hold Law College entrance exams in English.

      What is the rational behind these decisions.
      Were Bandaranayakes (SJ’s hero and heroine) wrong then and the patriotic nationalists (bordering fascism) utterly wrong now?

      • 6
        0

        Native,
        What matters is not the medium of education but the quality of education. Germans, Japanese, even Koreans do quite well without English. How can our education system be successful when its entire purpose seems to be to produce brainwashed robots? Even a change of medium won’t help if the syllabus, as at present, encourages obeisance to fake heroes and mediaeval cultural norms?

        • 3
          1

          old codger,
          Is it NV’s turn to respond?
          Let me step in.
          * Germany, Japan, or even Korea have reached a level compatible with English speaking lands. Not Sri Lanka.
          * It is just not the quality of education that matters; Quality of Texts also do.
          * Texts available at present have a brainwashing record.
          * The rut the country is in needs a fresh start to wipe out some dirty memories.

          • 4
            1

            Nathan,
            English has probably the largest body of written knowledge. But not everyone needs that knowledge to function. It is absolutely essential, as far as I know, if you want to teach it, or if you want to be a software engineer.
            Another problem is that some languages are inextricably linked with particularly retrograde ways of thinking. Europe had its Renaissance long ago. Sinhala hasn’t.

            • 3
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              old codger,
              We have been having a ‘frog in the well’ existence.
              The best way to leap out of it gainfully is thru English.

            • 5
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              old codger

              I am lost.
              We have been wondering about just one old fossil. However we have millions.
              Please listen to Namal Baby’s former Child minder GL:
              The pohottuwa majority is in a position to control the presidency – 21 Oct 2022
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CglcOpic6E&t=454s

              Please explain to us what he is talking about.
              17A, 18A, 19A, 20A, 21A, 22A ….. Pohutuva being hijacked by UNP(?), 6.9 million, …. constitution being ignored (as if for the first time), ……

              Do you think I need double doctorate to talk nonsense?

              • 1
                0

                Native,
                “The pohottuwa majority is in a position to control the presidency”
                Maybe that’s the impression Ranil wants them to have. But what he’s actually doing is what even Gota never dared.

            • 2
              2

              OC
              Did European Renaissance complete its job? How come there are so many monarchies in some of the most powerful states of Europe?
              France had a revolution that ended the monarchy centuries ago. Germany and Italy took longer, but it happened somehow.
              What is the Pope doing in post-Renaissance Europe?
              Colonial rule did not help us be rid of feudal thought, instead it reinforced some of its institutions. We have made some progress in certain sectors, but not fundamental.

              • 3
                0

                SJ,
                I was talking about cultural attitudes. It is possible, without repercussions, to make public fun of the European monarchs and religious digitaries . We are still in denial about Buddhist monks plotting to murder the PM 60 years ago. I think CT is the only place where one can talk about that, and other unmentionables !

                • 1
                  0

                  OC
                  The Catholic-Protestant conflict of Ireland is holding strong.
                  Some of these things have a history whose grip is hard to loosen.
                  There is an emotional difficulty with letting go of the monarchy, even the Scandinavian countries with a liberal attitude to sex. The Church has its say and look at the anti-Muslim feeling aroused in Denmark and its spread in Europe.
                  I am not sure if it was a conspiracy by clergy alone to kill the PM in 1959. There were other hands, but the involvement of a political priest in the conspiracy is undeniable.

            • 2
              0

              This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

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        • 2
          4

          Thanks for writing something that I can agree with, oc.
          .
          I made four comments in a hurry (some typos, etc) as a result. But no red thumbs-downs yet. Why? Nobody has seen those comments yet.
          .
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-decay-of-university-education-in-sri-lanka/
          .
          However, they will start appearing. Intelligent people will start spotting the trend, and understand why they’ve started to appear.
          .
          oc, I’m flattered that you have noted my Passport Number. I’m glad you noticed it, the second time. I knew my blood group, but I seem to have forgotten it.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe (Passport N7789311)

          • 3
            0

            OC,
            .
            May I ask you what you understood by his “PP number”?

            Your answer would help understading more about the cruciality of the topic.
            .
            Why is SM so eager to show his PP number? WHAT WILLL BE THE NEXT ?
            Why is he repeating this ID and PP numbers on this forum? what a dark obsession ?
            :
            Who cares about the color of someone’s underwear?

            I studied human behavior at the beginning of my basic graduate studies. That was part of human psychology. There I was able to learn more about DNA testing related identification methods.

            • 4
              0

              LM,
              I am sure you remember that in 1988/89, the JVP used to go around collecting ID cards.😂😂

              • 4
                0

                OC,
                .
                That the barbaric culture will not fade from anyone’s memory. Families who lost their sons will never forgive them. Fortunately, I was able to save my life. All these are jokes for our former teacher, a JVP, Mr. B. Vella.
                :

                • 1
                  1

                  This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

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              • 3
                0

                LM,
                “I studied human behavior at the beginning of my basic graduate studies. That was part of human psychology”
                I haven’t studied that subject, but I think we shouldn’t be too hard on this poor guy. He can’t sleep. He craves attention. He advertises his qualifications. He talks about his relatives. I don’t think you or I would talk about our qualifications if they were the same. You shouldn’t take his sniping too seriously. You should praise him when he’s in line. You know, as you would a small child.🙂🙂

                • 3
                  0

                  OC,
                  Thank you I have come in contact with different nations. To be honest, I have not worked with Sri Lankans.
                  I really shouldn’t take silly characters like this seriously. However, I thought that he might be on the other side.. That’s why I am wasting time on my answers.
                  I am thinking of sending him a “lungi and blouse” and a “pacifier”. So far I tried to understand him but all in vain.

                • 3
                  0

                  Thanks, oc.
                  .
                  I see your tone as being reasonably serious here. You do snipe at me, but there appears to be a reasonable amount of pathos here, which turns the entire comment into a recognition of tragedy.
                  .
                  Even whilst not really excusing your rejoicing in Ranil’s supposed triumph, you recognise the tragedy for us all. Oh, it may be that my performance today on this page seems to be maudlin self pity, but I am suitably serious amidst the tears for a lost friend. No, not you, you’ve always been anonymous, although, until very recently I had immense respect for you. It’s for LM, whom I have regarded as a real, live, suffering human, whom I usually address by name when addressing him personally.
                  .
                  Panini Edirisinhe

              • 3
                0

                OC;
                Alas, You brought me back to that brutal era. My ears were ringing…i guess it is again tinitus…..these memories make me even more sensitive.
                . I miss my best friend Sanath. luck or bad luck I am alive, he is no longer there. His mother became mentally ill for the rest of her life. The other buddy was … Kulatunga, who was a 3rd year medical student at the time, was abducted and burnt in a tire pile.

                • 3
                  0

                  Hi LM, OC & MF. I am of the opinion that your heads are well balanced. How can I pass on to you a detail account of how two notorious Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of Srilanka hijacked the Judiciary of Srilanka turning justice upside down, turning fiction to facts and visa versa a penal crime as serious as incest with their fingers deep inside the Pie. This is a case of rotten eggs on the face of humanity in the annals of legal history. They have mummified the present Chief Justice, the IGP, the President of the Bar Association and the Sppeaker of Parliament.

                  • 1
                    0

                    HP,
                    You could put it on your FB page.

                  • 2
                    0

                    Dear HP,
                    My suggestion is that you publish an article about this on CT. Then each of us can share our ideas, and thus it will be discussed vigorously.

                    I knew that a large number of judges in Sri Lanka are equally corrupt. Few of them may be the exception. We should reveal about them again and again. Time are gone that our seniors stood like clay fed crocodiles. Now we have to act.

                    • 1
                      0

                      Dear LM & OC, I can email to Vishvamitra of CT fame the large packet of mail sent to the Hon. Speaker of Parliament captioned: Contempt of Parliament via registered mail but without a response, yet. I wonder if he be kind enough to enlighten the CT Community. It will be difficult to be condensed to enable to go into a FB page. Firstly I do not have one. For all the citizens of a country the Judiciary and the Police are like the mother and the father to a small child who are responsible for his protection. This is like the famous parable: when the drain and the bund conspire to steal the paddy, who else is there to provide you with protection. The Hon. Mr. Jayantha Jayasuriya, the Chief Justice to secure justice for me is a simple matter as snapping of his two fingers: which is let an independent five judge bench to decide. Mr. Sarath N. Silva nullified that right of the citizens to appeal to the Privy Council as a shield to protect himself by denying that right without a substitute. A fundamental right snatched away from the people.

                    • 0
                      0

                      Dear LM. Here is the million dollar question. A man places his utmost faith and trust in the Judiciary of the land and make a huge investment in time and money. How can one to imagine that it would be like holding a snake by the tail which is natural for it to turn around and bite the hand. Like the fateful Easter Sunday when the roof of the church came down on the heads of the worshipers. The Judiciary is guilty of Breach of Trust a Penal Offence to put the Chief Justice in the docks. This is a crucial but a simple question for the CT readership to cogitate on.

            • 2
              0

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      • 2
        0

        NV: In my opinion, all THREE languages viz. Sinhala, Tamil, and English must be made COMPULSORY from Grade One to ALL students.

        • 4
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          • 5
            0

            CT has come to the conclusion that ‘enough is enough’, I guess. Good for you, CT.

            • 3
              1

              I’ve liked your comment, because I’m also fed up with this tomfoolery..
              .
              The situation in this country is so grave that I don’t enjoy this sot of joke.
              .
              For the past few days I’ve been drawing the attention of readers to the tragi-comedy in the UK.
              .
              But while fooling around we must face up to the fact that we appear to be heading for a Third World War, this time nuclear. Has anybody paused to consider the consequences for us all?

        • 2
          0

          Simon

          I agree.
          However one more language should be made compulsory, chosen from the many German, French, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Hindi (for the purpose of enjoying music and cinema and to understand what the hell the Anchors are talking during English discussion or shouting match in NDTV), Dutch and Portuguese (in order to purify Sinhala), …….

        • 2
          0

          Dear Simon,
          This is what MF reiterated some time ago. Most of us in CT agreed to be trilingual. However, SM may not care much for trilingualism, as he seems to have issues against it.
          In Switzerland, they speak Swiss German, English, Italian and French depending on their provinces. As someone who also works with non-English speaking medical researchers, I am updated on the information.

          • 5
            0

            LM,
            It seems your prayers have been answered. Four times.
            “This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.”

            • 2
              0

              OC,

              Look, even though some people beat me up, I’m not a stupid idiot. I’m not a racist. I am equal to all. I risk for the poor.
              I believe that no one has the right to attack another person in a public platform.

              Additionally, bold TEXT is meant not to be abused. It is common to all.
              ID and PP numbers and SM -> what a good combination ?

            • 2
              0

              OC,
              no four times, but 5 times.

              For sure, he would not sleep next two days.

          • 4
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            Dear LM: I agree without any exception to learning many languages as possible. That enhances and fortifies anyone to understand and bond with the rest of the humans.

            Thank you.

      • 2
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        NV,
        Eine gute Frage.
        .
        I really dont know…. actually, those who are in education policy planning to decide these things.
        :

        • 3
          3

          Exactly, dear “leelagemalli”,
          .
          You’re talking about the languages that a Lankan should know. I say, “Ideally three.”
          .
          According to you, every language under the sun to be learnt by every Lankan, seems to be what you’re saying here. But of course you’re not such an ass! This paragraph arises from your starting off in German. I had the presence of mind to use Google Translate, and found out that it was German for “A good question.” Why couldn’t you quite simply say that in English?
          .
          You have got it right later in the comment when you say that those who are in education planning should decide. Well, I’ve been in education, and language teaching, to boot!. But when I stated the truth, in response to what Simon stated, it got moderated out. Why?
          .
          It must be because of what CT told me in an email that I received at 16.10 yesterday from CT, forwarding an email in which somebody said: “I kindly request Mr. Panini Edirisinghe to be warned again about his violation of CT guidelines.” It said more. However, the name of the sender of the complaint had been removed, quite rightly. It’s for the sender to “own up” to harassing CT.

          • 5
            0

            Dear SM,
            .
            I must be very precise with you
            .
            1) NV knows a little German and addressed it to NV, not you
            2) You have been stalking me for no good reason – this is quite annoying
            3) Don’t get it wrong, I’m not asking anyone to learn all the languages ​​on the planet, but I’ve given them examples that illustrate Switzerland (7 million).
            4) Apologies for the recent rejection of your articles by CT
            5) Please Think – The mindset of our people should be captured by the paradigm shift.
            6) Let’s try to harmonize. It can clean the social pollution.

        • 1
          0

          This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

          For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

      • 0
        1

        What I have said about this is that for us in Sri Lanka it would be desirable to offer everybody the chance to learn three languages: Sinhala, Tamil and English, but don’t make them COMPULSORY.
        .
        Although those are the three most important languages, in this changing world, allow individuals to vary the choices. We must be flexible, not dictatorial.
        .
        Being trilingual is desirable but don’t imagine that it will solve all problems. One language is a must, but have we got resources (both money and teachers) for all, when people are starving. If you dispute the reality of malnutrition, there’s no point discussing anything further.
        .
        Also remember that our country had great potential in 1948. Irresponsibility since then means that we have to settle for less now.

  • 3
    1

    Kandy tooth temple, A’pura sappling etc they make revenue, let them to have their own pvt security, likewise for Mps take your own precautions, what a waste of resources, these stupid in khaki like a domestic servants take the wife of stupid thaddias for shopping, then drop and picks up the spoilers of the kids from school
    Harsha de Silva was smart on that HCL saga I thought there will be breakdown, but put it on to the approval its being passed by our thaddias.
    That BOI saga make OZ to think what sort of people are allowed, and given citizenship, but sadly hand picked tea women are stateless even though most of them born in here in this so called blessed land ,they are trapped slavery

  • 5
    1

    Recently the Sri Lankan political zone created an image Ranil is the one and only hope to Sri Lanka to save the bankgrupt country to a first world country that is similar to USA. His first task to remove former Prime Minister out of office, then remove former Finance minister out of office and then to remove the former President from the office and from the country. All this was carried out by him when he was Prime Minister. His first task was to remove the Aragalaya protestors using the same military who was very cooperative with protestors to use their power to remove protestors. Now his task is to make bangrupt all the people of this country through taxing them and removing from jobs to get more loans from IMF, World Bank, USA, Japan. How it was possible to do all within six months. He is now a democrat, economist, Rank 1 leader, powerful military democratic leader. Who is behind him? Is it USA ambassador? Looking at the visits of number of USA officials it looks like USA.

  • 6
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    Ajith: Your QUESTION has been forwarded to “Leelage Malli”. He will answer in due course.

    • 5
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      Hello SIMON and all, allow me to add it below.
      .
      I’m no expert, but this is my subjective version below. I’ll put it this way.
      I will judge RW by how he escaped from the coup carried out by duo Maithreepala and Mahinda in October 2018. There, the entire EU countries considered him a civilized leader compared to Mahinda Rajapaksa and other Rajapaksa. By 2015, the whole of Europe, America and other countries had risen up against Sri Lanka and the Rajapakse barbarians. MaRa only had Libya, Belarus and Swaziland. srilankens were ashamed to call they are from SLanka.
      .
      The struggle aka “aragalaya in sinhalese”, when we look back on today must have been the work of the wealthy class of Colombo. They could not bear Gotabaya to destroy the foolish people anymore.

      Aluthgamage, Johnston and others behaved like super idiots. NOt even former man of Mahinda, Mervin silva behaved as such.
      .
      However, “aragalaya” and its intentions were perfectly aligned with the goals of all parties, various civil groups and good-hearted politicians. Therefore, it was considered “leaderless”: however, the rich of Colombo offered free food, drink and health throughout its operation. They spent in few hundred millions.

      • 4
        2

        Dear LM: For your information, it was our Supreme Court that held the appointment of MR as PM by the President, MY3, and his “Cabinet” was “Illegal” and therefore ultra vires the Constitutional power of the President. In all 122 MPs petitioned against that appointment.

        Also better be informed that “Aragalaya” was “Highjaked” by the “Elite” of the “Ranil W” types by “Infiltrating” the true campaign for ousting the “MR Regime”. That has been proved by the appointment of a few of those “Leaders” to the Presidential Secretariat by Ranil W e.g. Director General of Trade Union Affairs – Saman Priya. You know who he is and how he participated in the “Aragalaya” with the others on the front line.

      • 6
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        Simon and Leelage malli,
        Thanks for you all for the response to my question. Politics is a game which also include political and sometimes political-military groups. It is true that Rajapksas & Srisena played a political coup. Similarly, Sirisena & Ranil played a political coup in 2015. Unfortunately none of these political coups had done any benefits to the people or long life for those who carried out the coup. Today, once again Sri Lanka had 22nd amendment which again targeted dual citizenship. Sri Lanka continue to head in records in making amendments. The fact is country is now bankgrupt and all our political leaders are responsible. It is not about one is better than other or worse. The fact is that Sri lanka is now worse than it was before 1948 in all account.

        • 2
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          Ajith,
          I don’t know how old you are. However, as my cousins ​​and relatives explained, I believe it is worse today than in the 80s or 70s.
          I am a middle aged pancha upasaka. I have not lived in this country since JVP killed our comrades in 89. When I came to Sri Lanka, I was again and again amazed at the destruction of lives in the late 80s.

          The likes of the Sinhalese man as an abcdician may have sung another song closer to the moderates today, however, the loss of life in the late 80’s and the aftermath of those massacres are not easily erased from our “hard drives”.
          Today I respect Manel Fonseka and a few others on this platform, but I don’t care about people who naively promote their loved ones without knowing what they are going to say. Instead they attack me and question “how can I know them better since I live outside the country”.

          • 2
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            leelagemalli,
            I do not want to interfere in between you and Sinhala Man. I only stand for my opinion. I am not a politician. I was a Sri lankan citizen until 2006 and have been gone through the period from few years after the so called independence until the Ceasefire between LTTE and Sri Lanka Government. As a ordinary citizen I have reasonable experience of ordinary citizen for a long period of time in the North, East, Mid country and Colombo. However, I am still a regular visitor to Sri Lanka except few years during the war and Corona period. I still think I belong to Sri Lanka but I always feel that this country was ruined by our politicians and Sri Lanka never had a leader who ever had people first.

            • 2
              0

              This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy. We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

              For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

            • 2
              0

              Ajith, totally 👍 with u. However, I believe there are a number of good young politicians in all parties. They should all come together..
              But this would nt work in srilanka. Building a consensus for a common goal in sl is impossible. People s general knowledge on politics is clearly deficient. Also religious leaders fail to bring all under one umbrella. Late rev Sobitha thero or the like are short of the society 🤔 today. CBK is also no more active as had been before. The dark cloud above the island is becoming clear than no time before.
              I m very pessimistic about the future of this nation.I hate main stream media to be blamed for having ruined this society. As u know Srilanken media are Rajapakshe- biased. They blindly support/ supported Rajapakshes to build up a human shield 🛡 😳 for their mlechcha politics. 😊😊😊😊🤔

              • 1
                0

                The day srilanken s come together to hang Rajapakshes and their henchmen, ll be the the start of a new dawn to this nation. Mahinda the ” nation s high criminal has no right to shed his last breath out of a prison cell. To me everything is upside 🙃 in this country by Mahinda pariah, period 😙😙😙😙😙

        • 4
          0

          Ajith: The trouble is that “POLITICS” has been made a “GAME” of treachery, intolerance, brutality, and deceit by the “CROOKS” who enter the “Game” to win a comfortable life at others’ expense. If not for these “Vagabonds”, politics is an all-time “HONORABLE” profession.

          In S/L, I contribute in my very limited and in small way to “CLEAN” up this dangerously polluted profession called politics. The initial step in that direction is to make it an “HONORABLE” service without any salary and a host of other perks. The rest of the “CLEAN UP” starts from there onwards. That is my view.

  • 4
    0

    Recently, a friend sent me a clip of a Minister (I am not sure of his name but another despicable character in the mould of Weerawansa) stating in Parliament that the biggest rice mill owner & the biggest exporter of garments do not pay a single cent in tax. However, he states that he does not want to name them. Sensational stuff but if his facts correct, why not openly challenge them by name? Its no secret that most large & small businesses do not pay tax but in the case of the garment exporter, probably a BOI company, is obviously legally exempt from tax (The revelation of BOI directors requesting a 17 year tax holiday for a company but didn’t even know how much the loss would be to the country in a basic cost/benefit analysis, nor, the total investment, is an indication how these fat cat bureaucrats operate but that’s another story). Now that this honourable Minister has made a statement, who is going to follow up or take responsibility for collection of tax?
    Seems the poor tax payer is funding for the luxury lifestyle of these politicians & in return, we hear about sensational revelations but is that all? So, hon. Minister, why not start the ball rolling with the IRS disclosing the wealth & tax returns of the parliamentarians or are you just pissing in the wind?

    • 7
      0

      Raj-UK,
      Dear Raj,
      This is familiar to people from day one. Failure is on the people.
      But whole lot of people did not speak a single word against the crimes. For so long, people have allowed criminals to suck, and we cannot expect a better world from Sri Lanka.
      .
      I wonder how stupid our people must have been to allow Mahinda Rajapaksa’s extra vaganza lifestyle to come to Bolong, Italy last year. My friends in Italy (Italians) stayed in a presidential room in that royal hotel and proved to me Mahinda Rajapaksa’s expenses during that 1 week trip.

      This being the truth, the majority of our stupid people will not utter a single word against this man and his wife. On the contrary, the Sri Lankan media made it very clear that if an election was called tomorrow, Pohottuwa would win the election.

      Look at how things work in the UK, the current Prime Minister resigns because he can’t continue. Not even a month has passed since she was elected by popular vote.

      • 3
        7

        Dear “leelagemalli”,
        .
        I’m glad to note that you have friends in Italy who tell you things. Significantly, you say that they were Italians.
        .
        I was the first person that revealed your real identity to, of those who know you as “leelagemali”. I get the feeling that a few others now know. We may now be arguing bitterly, but I have not “betrayed” you. I suspect that there may be no more than one other resident of Lanka who has your contact details and also reads CT. Not even “hanchopancha”.
        .
        How then can you know what happens in this country? Only at “second-hand”. At least with me you know that what you get is genuine. It is now a full day since I sent you a longish email starting like this: “Can’t you see how petty all this has become? You were bashing AKD. Not one of your emotional outbursts made sense.”
        .
        No response. Therefore , although you’re honest, you can say nothing worthwhile.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe

        • 11
          0

          Dear Mr. Edirisinhe,
          Jit and HT lost their appetite to post on CT because you threatened them with your hidden agendas. Many of us loved their thoughts. However, the hunt for your IDs ruined everything. Dont underestimate the murderous nature of srilankens. Needless to remind you how they killed people in 83 and 89 then again very recently.
          Your next goal is to do the same for me. I can feel it now. For God’s sake, allow commenters to present their own unbiased thoughts. I haven’t been like Eagle Eye or anyone else. I have never been racist since childhood. Alone helped many in CT adopt that culture. Your bold text may be an eye opener to many, but most of them are irrelevant to us the regular commenters.
          .
          If I were you, I wouldn’t add personal questions to this or any other public forums. Please learn it from SJ, OC and NV. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and you can learn from anyone. My neighbors (Germans) for example, learn things from their grandchildren. I respect that nature of the seniors. Unfortunately, you’re caught up in “hero worship” and “some gossip” so there’s not much time for anything else. For me, this is a mental issue.

          tbc

        • 4
          4

          Panini Edirisinghe/Sinhala_Man/Snake_Man. You make the readers of CT puke. You are a hideous man. I challenged you to carry out your threat to publish whatever you said you will, but you did not. It was my naivete and stupidity for taking you to be an educated gentleman to whom I could look up to. You can only puff up your mustard seed brain that much only but no more. I tried to reach out to MF and LM not for my own sake. It is on behalf of all the citizens of Srilanka. The Independence of the Judiciary of Srilanka was compromised by its very own head enforcing judges to write Orders favoring his vested interests is a national catastrophe. A retired DC Judge Mr. B. F. R. Somasinghe did publish his case in CT. It was too much for your little head to grasp. I am a direct victim of such dirty works.

          • 3
            0

            Dear HP,
            It’s okay for you to approach us that way. We are all commenters on this forum. It was interpreted by SM according to him. He has done it again and again. If you would please study what he has put together today, I had thousands of questions about why he does that. He explains it in bold text that one should not pay attention to. SM feels he knows better than everyone. Everyone else has no idea. He must first learn to see it correctly. This is a common problem in Sri Lankan society. They must have felt that way because they were former teachers. But my question is, if the entire teaching community has fulfilled its responsibility well, how can this society fall to such a terrible level. …?

        • 6
          0

          S_M: ‘I was the first person that revealed your real identity to, of those who know you as “leelagemali”.’

          I’m perplexed, SM.  You make this claim as tho it is something to be proud of!  Which it is certainly NOT!

          On the contrary, it is a pretty sneaky thing to do.  And particularly, in this case, since LgM has been very generous to you at some time, I seem to remember your announcing on CT. 

          You are certainly free to engage him or anyone else in discussion here & criticise them for their opinions, etc., but digging him/her out from behind a deliberately-chosen pseudonym, not only to satisfy your own insatiable need to know, but also to “expose” him/her to everyone else on CT, really goes against common decency.

          Damn! Will I reap the whirlwind now in exposures about the “real” me that u have probably collected?

          • 5
            1

            Dear MF,

            Thanks you, someone like you, a neutral and balanced person, can help a commenter open his eyes.

            His little world is CT. Not knowing the impact of the content of his own opinion, he never thinks twice.
            Senior retired professionals like this must have brains. Only then can we see a better future for this destiny, which was punished by God and cursed by Rajapakse.

          • 0
            0

            MF. If he does that there sure to be a “Manel Fonseka Fan Club” I bet.

      • 7
        0

        Dear leelagemalli

        I think, since we don’t live in SL, we can see ‘the inside from outside’ better. Since growing up in Mrs B’s time, I can see how corruption, nepotism, cronyism & thuggery has increased with each regime change, until now, when it became exponential & blatant but the average citizens accepted it as normal. Nobody is held accountable. The current scenario with British politics has revealed its dark side, cronyism & the horse trading, even incompetence, which is no better than SL politics but thanks to a robust opposition & an independent media, the situation is not allowed to slide to the depths of SL politics. In fact, Boris J had to resign mainly because the public found that he cannot be trusted after being exposed for lying to Parliament about a knees up at No 10 during COVID when others had to isolate themselves.

        I think racism, hypocrisy & corruption is generally in our genes. We have rewritten history & Buddhism, proud of our glorious past, yet, suck up to anyone with money & grateful for the crumbs.
        Cont.

        • 6
          0

          Cont.
          The so called educated & the professionals in high places who have prostituted their integrity, say a lot about, particularly, the calibre of our University graduates.
          I am sure many will disagree but let me give an example why I have come to this conclusion. I was trying to sell my property in SL 3 years ago & a prospective buyer asked me if I could move a hi-voltage pylon that had been installed in the property during my grandfather’s time, to a side so that the cables are routed along the boundary wall, instead of across the property. I said that it would be impossible but the broker, keen to get the deal done, spoke to Elect. board officials who agreed to do so for a sum of Rs 5m, all inclusive. I was not willing to hand over Rs 5m in cash to some unknown third party on behalf of the elect. board officials but said that I will pay the elect. board cost first & the balance after the work is completed. The broker vouched for me & I was given an invoice for Rs 1.2m for moving the pylon, which I paid & obtained a receipt from the elect. board. The balance Rs 3.8 was the fee for the officials, not for expediting the job but for doing a job for which they receive a salary. Is it any wonder why SL is in this state?

          • 5
            0

            Raj,
            thank you for your meaningful comments.
            So is ours and my friend’s property. All were stolen because we could not put our feet back. This is in Galle. The authorities in the property related departments were full of corruption. I could kill them all at once. They were not corrupt in the 80s. Even if you say, corruption started from those decades.

            Tell you, the old father’s mind-twisting notar responded that it couldn’t be done well. If I really wanted to take my old dad to court I could have taught him a lesson. I was busy in Europe so I couldn’t respond in time. Anyway, I gave up.

            Today whenever I go back home, I miss my ancestral place where I got my nostalgia. Mom wanted to show me the rare birds then that came to our garden and many other things. There was also a beautiful environment in 2014 that I couldn’t live without.
            Raj, I think, the most unbearable thing is that people have been trained to fund a person who singlehandedly looted the state for the last 10 years. If that happened in a European country, Mahinda would be hanged. He built a “human shield” by feeding the long term falsehood in their politics.

            • 2
              0

              Dear LM. You and I can share each others shoulders to cry on. With your scientific knowledge and mind can you find an injection to activate the brains of the Chief Justice, IGP and the President of the Bar Association to get them to think what the laws of the land are for and why?

  • 5
    0

    Cont.
    Many of us agree with HP today because you hit him for no good reason. In contrary to yours, his comments are meaningful. If you don’t like someone’s nose or ears, that’s still your problem, we shouldn’t follow you. Isn’t it? Your comments telling others me being honest , genuine etc bring nothing to anyone- these are all subjective thoughts.. let the commenters decide as we add our views to this valuable forum.
    .
    Let the CT reviewers decide if my comments are worth it or not.
    You are just another commenter only on this forum. To me, your comments to CT are “full of personal stuff” despite your sleepless hours.

    As I have added elsewhere, 70 year olds in Japan started their university studies because of lack of time those wives never had the opportunity to study what they dreamed of.

    Why do our senior men and women struggle to distinguish right from wrong? Alas, how can they contribute to rebuild the society ?

  • 3
    2

    Dear LM. This fellow Panini Edirisinghe/Sinhala_Man is a Blackmailer who does not deserve to be complimented by Mr. Anyone reading his comments it makes obvious, invariably where he comes from: the street gutters.

    • 5
      0

      Dear HP,
      .
      Where I live for the last 3 decades, even criminals sentenced to death are addressed as Mr. or by Ms.
      That is the reason why I address him as such. Many people will not understand it, but it is true.
      SM has insulted me not once but dozens of times on this forum. His little world is in the CT forum. It is more powerful for him than the Guardian newspaper in the UK. But the truth is that CT website is still not followed by many people. We need to promote it to reach more readers.
      He may have enjoyed doing so, but it is becoming clear to many today that he was an educated fool.

      • 3
        0

        Dear LM. No argument there. The technical term is “educated mut”. My problem is I have run into bureaucrats who are pretending to be mute, deaf and blind:. the Chief Justice, IGP and the President of Bar Association. I cannot find a single lawyer to look into my case. It is all crystal clear in contrasting black and white. The allegiance and fear they have towards the mafia is ever so great. All of them are scared stiff to ruffle golden feathers.

  • 3
    0

    The day srilanken s come together to hang Rajapakshes and their henchmen, ll be the the start of a new dawn to this nation. Mahinda the ” nation s high criminal has no right to shed his last breath out of a prison cell. To me everything is upside 🙃 in this country by Mahinda pariah, period 😙😙😙😙😙🙃

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