4 October, 2022

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Remember Ranil Is Revengeful & A Risk To Rights

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

The five big Rs in my title all serve a purpose. Remember, recalls past experience which is that Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) is a Risk to democratic Rights and some say that he in prone to be Revengeful. Therefore, we have to remain on guard for another 2 ½ years till the constitutionally legitimate term of the current presidency expires. Unfortunately, circumstances are more complex and dangerous; I will deal with that anon, but first I must say upfront that RW is president legitimately and constitutionally. Those who say he has no legal right to hold the office are wrong. They have justifiable moral ire on their side since he did not win a seat at the 2020 elections, his presidency is unpopular and he owed his prime ministership to a backdoor deal to safeguard the Rajapaksa rogues; but none of this amounts to constitutional illegitimacy. Governments the world over are at times derided by the population, but that does not make them constitutionally illegitimate, only irksome.

This makes circumstances tricky. RW has a constitutional right to soldier on for the remaining unexpired portion of Gotha’s term, to ignore demands to repeal the executive presidency as desired by 80% of the people, and to ignore the clamour for a new constitution (or even ignore 21A/22A). True he can be forced to resign as Gotha was compelled to do by extra-constitutional mass pressure exerted by millions, but then as in Gotha’s case it would be a supra-constitutional act. It is in this background that my five-Rs play. Let me repeat: Although RW’s presidency can run up to the end of its constitutionally legitimate days he also comes with the stigma of scant respect for democratic and human rights and he will manifest these genes whether ingrained by nature or acquired by his nurturing in an authoritarian neo-liberal JR-period apprenticeship. Do not expect RW to shift against these deep-rooted traits, unless!

Ha! Unless what? All things are transient, all morality tradeable and in politics as in other facets of life self-interest comes first. So, what tradeable merchandise does Ranil have? He is the SLPP’s president although 15 to 20 of Sajith’s SJB MPs must have voted for him – otherwise the numbers (134:82) just don’t add up. Having elected him the SLPP cannot impeach him, the procedure is cumbersome. But RW needs a strong support base in the SLPP only until he consolidates a multi-party government. He also needs a reputation in the international arena that he is not a violator of democratic rights otherwise he won’t get any money. If self-interest makes it advantageous for Ranil to dump the Rajapaksas he will do it and reshuffle his Cabinet into the bargain. Yes, the SLPP gave him the ladder to climb up, but he will kick it if it serves his interests to do so. A big plus for RW’s popularity could be if corrupt members of the Rajapaksa-clan are arrested and indicted. The days of the Rajapaksas are numbered one way or the other

The scant regard that Ranil and his military have for human rights was on display in the first act of his presidency – senseless brutality. Sending troops to beat up political opponents, some still asleep, as well as journalists, lawyers and folks out for a walk on Galle Face is vintage Batalanda Ranil. This man, his military and his alleged goons barred their fangs. However, the violence misfired badly. The backlash was universal; Cardinals and monks, lawyers, doctors, columnists, university staff and scientists have savaged him mercilessly. The JVP has described him as an oppressor. He and his military are withering in the face of condemnation from every quarter domestic, diplomatic and international. He is now running for cover pleading for an all-party government as a fig-leaf to hide his ebbing manliness. He may get a ‘national government’ of sorts but it will impose on him the condition that he behaves. The multi-party tail will wag the presidential dog. RW will swallow his autocratic and vengeful pride and bend his knee since that will be the only way he can survive. For starters no one will touch him unless the Emergency goes.

I am not suggesting that breaking into government buildings and trashing furniture is acceptable. It is wrong and wrong doers must be prosecuted. However, the authorities in democratic societies handle such matters with finesse and patience; not Ranil and his army. The Western diplomatic community in Lanka led by US Ambassador Julie Cheng was aghast. Her statement in part reads “(Express) my grave concern over the unnecessary and deeply troubling escalation of violence against protestors . . . This is not the time to crack down on citizens”. Please reread this again and again, it’s a slap in Ranil’s face. The British and Canadian High Commissioners, the UN’s Resident Coordinator in Lanka, EU’s representative and the UNHRC in Geneva have not refrained from slippering him on both cheeks. And he needs money, lots of foreign money from the IMF, India, the West and Japan if his government is to survive. His state needs a few billion dollars simply to pull through the next month or two. It will not get a kopek, not even from China if he tramples on rights and provokes unrest. China already rightly accused of befriending thuggish military regimes in Burma and Pakistan will be cautious about blundering again in Sri Lanka. IN my view RW will be compelled to climb down and compromise on democracy.

Ranil’s survival is predicated on alms dropped into his begging bowl; if his military does not climb down and put its guns in its pockets there will be an explosion that makes Gotha’s eviction look like a children’s party. Yes, RW’s presidency is lawful and constitutional, but what can anyone do if the man insists on arresting demonstrators, dealing harshly with youthful miscreants and continuing an unjustified State on Emergency? What substantive concessions is RW going to make to reassure domestic and international opinion that his government poses no threat to rights and democratic freedoms? He miscalculated badly when he sent his troops and goons after aragalaya which was on the backfoot and retreating – not fast enough, but retreating for sure. Now RW will have to climb down and eat humble pie or he will not get political stability, a must do so for substantive international economic support. Five-kilometre-long, prolonged petrol queues spawn anger and unrest, fights break out, this situation has to end fast. This is the first of two key points in my case today.

RW thought that if he adorned himself in a fancy suit and spoke in grammatical English to the IMF team, he will get a deal. That may still turn out to be true but neither Ranil nor his technically dumb Cabinet understand that fuel and fuel above all else underpins the workings of a modern economy. Production, exports, industries, public transport, offices, schools, the very wheels of a modern society are predicated on the availability of fuel. Even editors, economists and column writers groping in the dark till recently are now getting a glimpse of the technical imperatives of modernism.

OK let us now leave aside immediate concerns and move on to review short- and medium-term options. A period of belt-tightening, fiscal discipline and capitalist economics is unavoidable; inflation and interest rates will remain high. Electricity, water and fuel prices will go higher. Exchange controls will be relaxed in anticipation of FDI and capital inflows, the rupee will fall further. The external and domestic economy are coupled and cannot be separated. (Subsidies and relief will have to put in place for the poorest decile if not quintile of society but that is a different issue).

I cannot see Sri Lanka climbing out of this hole for many years. Yes, we are entering a period of capitalist economics, that’s the second key point in my case today. It’s a fact but the challenge for the JVP-NPP, aragalaya and progressives is to ensure that it is also a period of (bourgeois) democracy. No matter whether Ranil gets his all-party or many-party government, no matter what Sajith and his fractious SJB do, the left’s political mission at this time is to sustain democracy. The JVP-NPP is unlikely to join a multi-party government but it will have to wisely navigate an unavoidable period of capitalism and strengthen its hand in the interim. A revolutionary overthrow of capitalism at this time is an illusion.

What then are the prospects facing the next elected government? We have to be realistic and give our minds to say the five-year programme of the next elected government whether the election is soon or whether RW’s presumptive ‘national government’ soldiers on till 2025. In my view the medium-term economic strategy for Sri Lanka should be double-track: (a) a strong state-led interventionist strategy, and (b) market forces to guide effective and efficient decision making in investment ant production and to encourage entrepreneurship.

Sounds contradictory? No, not at all! Let me explain with an example we are familiar with, summarised by S.R. de Silva in “The Other Side of Globalisation” published by the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon. Consider the much-publicised East Asian Economic Miracle – Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand. The crucial point is that East Asia did NOT accept the then neoliberal IMF’s prescriptions. These countries did not exclude the state from economic policy, quite the contrary the state played a key role in picking winners and losers and in choosing emergent sectors and industries. The state did not leave it to market forces to set the menu initially; only gradually was a freer role opened to the market. The approach was a grand success.

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Latest comments

  • 17
    16

    Brilliant, Kumar.
    .
    I was wondering when we were going to hear from you; you have bided your time well.
    .
    We’re on the same page where justification of the Ranil Wickremasinghe Presidency is concerned. It is perfectly legal, but is shorn of all legitimacy.
    .
    It is absolutely necessary that we rid ourselves of this monster who, who at first sight looks so harmless.

    • 7
      5

      Sinhala_Man

      I am worried, there is going to be a repetition of 1971 – 2009 history and suffering once again, while the middle classes stand idle as if they have no part in the failure of the state and detests mass struggle.

      Another round of targeted killing especially the vibrant youth – Kamala has been itching for a good massacre, Shevendra the Surgeon General is missing. SLPP MP wants to break the legs and arms of the protesters, the Prince of Darkness just an MP who wants to stop protesters leaving the country (1970s Siri Mao’s rule) and deny them government job, …. Avant Garde is ready and waiting, …..

      • 1
        1

        Dear NV,
        .
        What you’ve written here proves that you genuinely care.
        .
        About the “menace” in the situation, you’re quite right.
        .
        We marked the Aragalaya from 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm in Bandarawela. It was a “token” with only about 500 people participating, but it was good that we went ahead – given the entire context. Some will understand what I mean, others will not.

  • 5
    6

    Oh gosh….when a single digit percentage that live in the Motherland (or goes there for vacations at this time), feel that everything is quite normal actually (hunky dory…lol), there is no chance for the Lankan State ever to pick winners and losers for the Market Forces.

    Society in Sri Lanka being too separated by class and caste, possess no realization or understanding of what the Lankan masses are suffering. Therefore, No! Ranil’s capitalistic multi-party government will not cut it. Imagine UNP+Potthuwa+SJB trying to do State things? SJB might be the social-capitalistic one, but added to the UNP and SLPP, Capitalism will go mad! We direly need the JVP-NPP for the quick recovery and sustenance of the Motherland.

    In the meantime, Ranil is pretending that he wants IMF help, but is actually well into the works with Russia-China & BRICS. Proof is that he is attempting to create gulags on precious soil. That, or he is a mad and can’t help what he does.

    • 1
      0

      RTF,
      This theory is good to end up as “Non-Existent”, very much earlier than anticipated or expected with RW??!!

    • 3
      0

      1/
      “Consider the many famous East Asian economic marvels of Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand. The crucial point is that East Asia did not accept the prescriptions of the then neoliberal IMF. These countries did not exclude the state from economic policy, on the contrary, the state played a central role in picking winners and losers and in selecting emerging sectors and industries. Initially the state did not leave it to market forces to set the menu; Gradually a freelance role opened up on the market. The approach was very successful”
      .
      I believe the RW led government has no choice but to move forward considering all the mishaps that could happen if the RW led government does not respond properly. If the current government does not do the job properly, an election should be called in 6 months and to be held at the end of the year latest.

      The patient is now admitted to the ICU, by acceptable or unacceptable means, – the next thing to do is to properly commit to a drastic surgery that can save the patient’s life. Steps to be taken and preparation should be discussed beforehand. Also, as in other war-torn countries, things can work out well for the good of the nation if all parties come to a common agreement.

      tbc

      • 2
        0

        2/
        It has now been proven that we are a shameless nation. Europeans I know continue to question the true nature of the so-called Sinhala Buddhist dominated Sri Lankans. I have said not once but a thousand times that our people are like poisonous reptiles.
        Unable to identify the priorities of the moment, we stagnate, unable to move forward. It is the need of the age to come closer to a common victory for the benefit of the nation which is suffering from various aspects.
        .
        By August 9, there is a rumor that all the parties, including the Janata Vimukti Peramuna, have held or are going to hold separate negotiations, and the impartial Buddhagama theros are supporting the government to work together under a multi-party regime.
        – His golden words are echoing in my ears today more than then, as the late Reverend Sobitha prophesied, even though it is an extremely difficult task, people can have hope.

        Believe it or not, like it or not, our legislators, who are the people’s representatives, must put aside all their party conflicts and work together for a common goal. More than ever, religious and social elites need to convince politicians of the need of the hour and guide them. The country is hanging by a thin thread, what else to do?

  • 17
    13

    I think Ranil’s aggressiveness will and should change, and sooner the better. He is pro-west and needs and depends on their help, is a fact, but the way he stood tall, face to face with them at their criticism, has surprised many. He has proved many times that he is revengeful, but he is not undemocratic or unlawful. All in all at this critical moment he might be the man to lead.

    • 5
      1

      Ragu,
      Absolutely agreed, with no alternative??!!

    • 8
      0

      “He has proved many times that he is revengeful, but he is not undemocratic “
      Have you not got things mixed up a little?

    • 7
      5

      “All in all at this critical moment he might be the man to lead.”

      Lead where?

      He spoilt the best chance we had to get rid of the utterly corrupt political system that got us in to this pickle in the first place – in which he was a major player for 40 years.

      The Aragalakaruwas/new might not have been any better …….. but there was a crying need for a break from the past and aim the country in a new “political culture” direction.

      He is a monumental failure who single headedly reduced a major political party to zero.

      He is only trying to bring the country back to what it was a few short 2.5 years ago …….. developing the country is beyond him ……. he is past it.

      The man is utterly corrupt, immoral, unprincipled, …….. madly egotistical without having much to show for it ………. even Native can call himself Churchill, but to his credit EE won’t buy it for sure ……

      • 6
        6

        continued

        he is a great talent ……. But I still believe, elected on his own right, he is the best president we never had …….. not because but because he is the tallest among the rest of the midgets ……. for better or for worse, at least a bird flutters in his brain …….. others have none …..


        When history is written in the future …… of people who saved the country, who did the utmost service ……. Prabakaran will be at the top ……. Ranil will be at the very bottom …… just above the Rajapakses ………

        Now people understand Prabakaran’s rage ……… why he killed every corrupt bastard in sight …….. in his own way, he wasn’t fighting just for the Tamils ….. only ……..

        Yeah, Prabakaran is thee man! …….. What the hell has Buddha done for Lanka? ………. Given his Buddhist stamp/credential for utterly corrupt, immoral bastards to rob, pillage and bankrupt the country?

        Anyone with me …… for replacing all Buddha statues with Prabakaran’s? ……. Prabakaran was an uncorrupt man of principle, that’s why he paid the ultimate price. That’s a man who should be worshipped under every Palmyra tree. Worshiping him will do the nation a world of good.

        • 3
          3

          correction

          But I still believe, elected on his own right, he is the best president we never had …….. not because he is a great talent ……. but because he is the tallest among the rest of the midgets

        • 3
          2

          “… Ranil will be at the very bottom … just above the Rajapakses …”.
          I’ll reverse that order!

  • 17
    11

    One country, one law, one ruthless ruler after another: Sinhala only, Buddhism first; no energy, no production – going on one leg with one big begging bowl around the world!

    • 4
      0

      Thiru,
      “Sinhala only, Buddhism first; no energy, no production – going on one leg with one big begging bowl around the world!”
      Strongly urge everyone turn to Meditation, to turn-on deep thinking of ones’ mind and come up with a Master plan to seek a recovery, remediation process for our economy and upliftment of the country as a whole!!
      When you meditate, don’t require material needs and we could spare the demand on them including food and travel to overcome the shortage and the dearth of US dollars??!!
      Innovative thoughts, forging ahead – New South Asian and/or even Asian Tiger??
      We have every necessary resources and skills abounding in Sri Lanka??
      Don’t worry on loss of productive time!!??
      Even without Meditation, Sri Lankans don’t work for 50% of the year – Annual, Casual, Poya days, weekends (Saturday and Sundays), and Medical (Impromptu Sick Notes)!
      Divert your energies towards Meditation – Need of the hour – achieve Salvation, due mistakes by Errant leaders!
      Not only Buddhism, Hinduism predates meditation from Vedic times and the “Himalayan Maharishis”!!
      The supreme path to Salvation, no doubt or without doubt – Buddhism and Hinduism with all our Christian, Muslim, Malay and Parsi “Colleagues and Brothers” in tow!!??

  • 8
    2

    “Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand. The crucial point is that East Asia did NOT accept the then neoliberal IMF’s prescriptions. These countries did not exclude the state from economic policy”. Q what about the political,human and civic rights of citizens in these countries? Do we only want to achieve economic success at the expense of these rights? or go for a social democracy and sustainable development based on cooperative principles? If we go by the energy and enthusiasm shown by recent aragalaya protesters for collective action, they can slso be utilised for sustainable development paradigm if only the rulers do not have a greed for foreign loans.

    • 1
      0

      Dear PCT
      I am absolutely in agreement with you here. And, coincidentally, I had a long article published in the Daily News, I think it was, about this very aspect. Or was it mainly think about trade union rights?

      I think the DN was then in the UNP govt’s hands & legal advice had to be obtained before the paper wd carry my article.

      I suppose it wont on line anymore but I will try to find a press cutting or my draft in the unlikely event of anyone being interested

    • 1
      0

      PCT,
      Good morning.
      ———–“if only the rulers do not have a greed for foreign loans”
      That was R Bros Inc., malady for ensuring political self-preservation of the family endowment areas in south as their ‘Messiah’ and ‘hobby of robbing’ part of it for aggrandisement and investing foreign climes??!!
      If R Bros Inc., is removed from power, which will depend on whether the 6.9 million emancipated so called patriotic voters have learnt a life-time lesson of their folly in electing an incompetent and inept to position of Executive president???
      Instead seeking political acumen, knowledge and experience in governance to that position
      If they have not woken up from slumber after the hard life, starvation and deprivation of basic essentials and resources to sustain livelihood then it is Kaput!!
      China, west and other allies haven’t stepped in this time, with India and a few South Asian nations helping sustain life – none for salvation!!
      Voting is important function and not to be sacrificed at the ‘Altar’ of mess of pottage – Biryani!
      The only and outstanding gain in knowledge required to follow at next elections, when it happens.
      Sovereignty lies with electors and should be responsible, accountable – elect the GOOD to GOVERN!!

  • 4
    0

    “A big plus for RW’s popularity could be if corrupt members of the Rajapaksa-clan are arrested and indicted. “
    That is very unlikely, unless they become a specific threat to him. RW is a realist, not a moralist, and there are family and personal ties between them. The wild-eyed radicals of the “Antare” would do it, maybe even hang the Rajapaksas on Galle Face.
    That’s why he’s after them with a vengeance, apart from his belief that they burnt his house.

    • 3
      0

      “The crucial point is that East Asia ( Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand. ) did NOT accept the then neoliberal IMF’s prescriptions. “.
      But, there is a not insignificant difference. They were NOT bankrupt. We left it too late, and will have to take the consequences.

  • 3
    3

    What is Ranil’s future? How long will he survive?
    The SLPP is holding on to a tiger’s tail. They can never remove Ranil from the Presidency as he can easily thwart any such attempt by dissolving Parliament. Ranil will most probably reorganise the UNP and call for a snap election which will be the end of the SLPP. Unless a new national political party is formed, the next general election will be a one-horse race. Having said that, there is no change in the fact that the entire 225 gang in Parliament is rejected by people. There could be other factors that will change Ranil’s luck.
    It is interesting to see how the prices of oil, gas, bus fare and bakery items came down even before the country received any foreign aid. It is pretty obvious that the shortages of essential items were artificially created by certain elements to ‘fail’ Gotabhaya. I think Gotabhaya’s decision to appoint an Acting President before leaving the country stunned the conspirators and derailed a major plan to incite violent riots paving the way for a foreign army to intervene. That could have been the destiny of a leaderless country.

  • 2
    5

    Whether it is a all party government or single party government or IMF or India or China is not going to help Sri Lanka to recover from the loan trapped economy for many decades unless the country make subtantial changes to the governance. We all know there is no difference between Ranil or Rajapaksa or Sajith in terms of governance and they can’t progress in reducing the corruption or bribe culture because they depend on the 225 criminals and underworld thugs. We all know that there was billions of money transfers involved in the election and we couldn’t do anything to stop that. It is going to be another cycle race and what we cannot predict what change is going to happen tomorrow but it is sure that is not good for the country or people.
    Who would have thought LTTE struggle to going to be end in 2009?
    Who would have thought Mahinda is going to loose?
    Who would have thought Easter Bombing is going to happen and Gota is going to come again?
    Who would have thought Stong Man Gota is going to run?
    Who would have thought Ranil become President?

  • 8
    2

    “…some say that he in prone to be Revengeful”
    Would that make one revengeful?
    One can always find some who say things that affirm his/her prejudices, but that is not how a scientific mind would work.
    *
    RW is a serious threat to the left, he is very much pro-US and pro-India, less clumsy than his predecessors in dealing with an opposition, and crafty.
    He is no angel of mercy. But has he been as revengeful as any previous president (except the stand-by DB Wijetunga)?
    He manipulated the system to keep out his rivals for UNP leadership. That is self-preservation, not being revengeful.
    Did he take revenge on the MTV-Sirasa-Shakthi media for years of undeserved harassment? Against Mahinda for bribing his way to victory in 2005? Against Chandrika for cheating him of victory in Year 2000 and taking him for a ride to get the CJ off the hook?
    He denied support to Sajith. But did the latter act in ways that made him deserve support?
    There are things to fear about RW, and stating them in context is useful, but spicing up the narrative with imagined threats destroys whatever credibility the rest of the story may have.
    He is cunning, and that cunning offered a silver lining to his time in power, allowing a large degree of freedom to the state media, which no other president or prime minister allowed for decades.
    His cunning may win over a sufficient number from the ranks of the opposition to enfeeble the opposition, which really does not deserve much better.

  • 7
    0

    Reading the article, one gets the impression that the writer is unable to grasp a paradigm change in public attitude that is presently forming an ominous tsunami with galloping inflation, seven million citizens starving and thousands succumbing daily to easily preventable fatalities due to lack of emergency medications and access to hospitals on time. Many thousands are dying more slowly on a daily basis from malnutrition. He would do well to address these unprecedented tragedies that are perhaps no longer “newsworthy” having been “normalized” on a progressive series of economic disasters that the country has never before experienced. It should not matter what the political parasites in parliament think or do. The people must wrest back their country from these pillagers if their future generations are to have a country to live in. He would be doing a far better service in discussing how the people can act urgently to change the status quo, as elections have always favoured one of the two major parties and waiting for the next round of farcical elections would be the worst possible option.

  • 2
    0

    Kumar

    Why not send Ranil your last para & perhaps Prof. NAde S Amaratunga’s review of SR de Silva’s book…or even the book if pockets permit? Of course, he may have read it long ago. (How recent is it?)

    Though I suspect “the state” in those countries wasnt handicapped by an overwhelming surplus of dishonest, unqualified & incapable staff.

    Or, better still, in case R is unnecessarily directed to the rest of yr article, get someone else to do the necessary.

    Tho I imagine, after all these years, he has heaped-up plans desperately waiting to be poured out, if not for the starving masses, at least for the upper nth of society, who will grovel at his feet — before they expire from a surfeit of good fortune.

    A land — & people — like no other!

  • 1
    0

    At least, unlike his predecessor, you can be sure he knows which way up to look at a book!

    • 2
      0

      Manel
      Not just the immediate predecessor.

  • 7
    4

    I have to agree with the writer.

    Ranil is a revengeful man.

    He is not a gentleman or a statesman.

  • 3
    1

    This entire article is nothing more than wishful thinking imho. You can’t expect too much from a man who has spent his whole life following the false Gods of Marx and Mao.
    *
    The Truth is that it makes no difference who is in charge – the outcome is inevitable at this point.
    *
    Prepare accordingly – your so-called “leaders” do not have any way out.
    *
    All you can do is survive.

    • 4
      2

      Just to add to the above
      *
      Your so-called “leaders” are supposedly requesting an extension to GR’s Singapore visa.
      *
      Why are they not requesting his extradition?
      *
      Has any politician been charged or arrested?
      *
      I think this tells you all you need to know about your “leaders” and who they are representing. Certainly not the people.
      *
      The Sri Lankan people are being played imho.

  • 1
    1

    For what it’s worth (after all these years) the article I referred to earlier came (cut considerably) in the CDN on 11 Dec 1981, “Human rights & economic development”.
    It was a response to a centre-paged article on 18 & 19 Nov by Justice A.C. Alles (former member of the Criminal Justice Commission & retired Supreme Court Judge), “Trade unionism in a developing country,” in which he justified the maintenance of the stringent Essential Public Services Bill passed two years earlier.
    “In passing this legislation,” he argued, “Sri Lanka has fallen into line with some other countries in Asia like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea & Singapore – countries that are strongly aligned to the democratic way of life [sic!]. These countries, too, have curtailed the trade union rights of the workers in the interests of national economy & development.”

    I could not refrain, in my response, from listing the exceedingly repressive conditions in S. Korea & Taiwan at that time, as well as the fact that even “Singapore, by any standards, is an authoritarian state.” Scarcely “strongly aligned to the democratic way of life.”
    cont….

  • 1
    0

    Cont…
    I wonder whether the Essential Public Services Act is still operative. It bans peaceful picketing & strikes & “punishments include fine, imprisonment, forfeiture of property & deprivation of the right to practice any profession or vocation.” Does anyone remember if it was enacted in tandem with an earlier IMF bailout?
    Of course, even without it, some 40,000 workers lost their jobs after the July 1980 strike.

  • 8
    4

    “RW thought that if he adorned himself in a fancy suit and spoke in grammatical English to the IMF team, he will get a deal.”
    Another piece of fancy mind reading?

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