20 October, 2021


Significance Of Vision 2025 Goes Beyond Economic Development

By Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

Much was expected of the government when it came to power in 2015. An immediate boost to the economic growth rate was anticipated but this has failed to materialize. The failure to attract foreign investments has been a notable disappointment. This has been attributed to the uncertain policy environment with the government not being of one mind in creating the necessary environment for foreign investment to come in. The level of public disenchantment with the government has been on the rise due to its failure to deliver on its election promises in other areas too. It is not only in the area of the economy that the government has been underperforming.

The dual character of the government of national unity has meant that the government has not been of one mind in respect of transitional justice with regard to war time issues, constitutional reform and even anti-corruption action. The general public, especially those who voted for the government in the hope that it would change the political culture of the country, and put an end to corruption, had been feeling badly let down by the government. However, it now appears the government is getting mobilized to act with greater unity of purpose. The sentencing of the most influential public official of the past period, Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga to three years rigorous imprisonment together with a fine of Rs 52 million in total is an indication of a turning point.

The same punishment has been meted out to the Anusha Palpita, Director General of the telecommunication commission. They have been found guilty of misappropriating government funds for political purposes in the run up to the 2015 presidential elections. The finding of guilty made against the former presidential secretary and head of the telecommunications regulatory authority of grossly and massively misusing government property will send a warning signal to those who have been accused of corruption during the period of the former government. Prior to the announcement of the verdict there apprehension that those accused of corruption would find some way out of the charges against them. Although the main election slogan in the 2015 election campaign was getting rid of corruption, change has been slow in coming. So slow in fact that many thought it would not come at all.

Beyond 2020

In obtaining action that is meaningful, the key issue to deal with has been to get the two main parties that form the government of national unity, the UNP and SLFP, to be of one mind with regard to the problems that need to be solved. Significant developments that have taken place in the past month suggest that this unity of purpose is taking hold, albeit slowly and sector by sector.  The economic arena is the one to which the government leadership has given priority. The combining of the Finance Ministry and Media Ministry under Mangala Samaraweera is an indication of this priority which is yielding the necessary results. The passage of the tax bill which saw major tax reform seeks to expand the tax net and stamp out evasion, though it was opposed by the opposition and those sections who will get within the tax net, was due to the two parties reaching agreement at the leadership level.

The launch of the government’s economic programme for the future, Vision 2025 took place last week in a similar manner. President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe launched an eight-year economic development plan Vision 2025 which outlines a series of development programs focused on the entire economy. The plan maps out the development journey of Sri Lanka in the coming years – and over the next three years the government will implement a comprehensive economic strategy to address constraints to growth. According to Vision 2025, the government aims to raise per capita income to USD 5,000 per year, create one million new jobs, increase foreign direct investment to USD 5 billion per year, and double exports to USD 20 billion per year. The launch event of the plan for economic development also had a political dimension as it highlighted the corruption, shortcomings and wrong turns taken by the previous government in this area.

However, the greater political significance of the launch of the government’s new economic programme was the implied message that the President and Prime Minister were thinking of a future together that goes beyond the 2018 deadline of its detractors and even beyond the 2020 target of its supporters. Those who wish to see the collapse of the government are looking for signs that the unity agreement of the UNP and SLFP will lapse at the end of the year and not be renewed. However, both the President and Prime Minister on several occasions have said that they will work together till the next round of national elections are due in 2020. But Vision 2025 to which both of these leaders signed on to suggests a further five years together.

Replicable Model 

The launch of Vision 2025 by the government provides a model that the government can replicate in those other important areas where it needs to be acting in more decisively. The government’s progress in the area of transitional justice and implementing the promises it made in Geneva to the international community has been slow. In October 2015 and again in March 2017 the government promised to establish four key institutions—a truth commission, an office of missing persons, an office of reparations and a  special court for accountability purposes. Only the legislation for the office of missing persons has been passed by parliament and gazetted by the president. But to date none of these has been set up, not even the office of missing persons. The government could consider using the Vision 2025 model to take the big picture about transitional justice and dealing with the past to the people.

The problem that the government is having in establishing the office of missing persons is that there is miscommunication about its purpose. This is due to the lack of transparency about the transitional justice process in which the office of missing persons is one element. As in the case of the economy, people need to know what the transitional justice mechanisms are about and how they relate to one another. If they are only presented as single entities separated from each other, it is easy for detractors of the government and of transitional justice to make their own worst-case interpretations of them. Currently the four transitional justice mechanisms are being given a distorted interpretation of being aimed at the punishment of security forces personnel who won the war.

A similar problem holds true of the constitutional reform process. So far the government has not presented the broad framework of the envisaged reforms. It is only giving out bits and pieces of its thinking as articulated by its various spokespersons. This has enabled the opposition to claim that the government is going to do controversial things such as reducing the status of Buddhism or creating a federal state. The government needs to put out its broad frameworks for both transitional justice and for constitutional change on the table. The President and Prime Minister need to join hands as they did at Vision 2025 to explain what these mean to the people. Political leaders who aim to be statesmen should have confidence that people will be prepared for constructive change that they understand.

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Latest comments

  • 5

    I am an academic in a number crunching subject. We are not “buruwas” who eat and drink “Punakku” as you and Yahapalanaya leaders think.

    What is Vision 2025 or What is the F—–ing vision 2025. So far we know, the Yahapalanaya does not have a vision. They are mere numbers. They need to show and how they do it. They need to show their actions in practice not words and boru shows.

    Their Vision is to sell the country on piecemeal basis and pocket out the commissions.

    What the Sri Lankan people is waiting for is early elections to send this Yahapalanya or Jahapalanaya leaders to send home or to jail for the destruction of the economic, social and political establishment (including day light robbery of Central Bank) of the country. Sri Lanka is on down hill already. No body will come and invest in this country as there is no political and social establishment..

    It is time to stop writing this “Bullshit”.

    • 2

      Jehan Perera, please get a brain!
      Human Rights is a game for the country that sponsored the resolution against Sri Lanka, which is now using HR show in Geneva to DISTRACT silly local NGOs like NPC and CPA and Nimalka’s show in order to deny Social ad Economic Rights and Justice for Sri Lankan people by privatization and sale of national assets.
      The Vision 2025 document was written by US economic Hit Men at the Right Wing USAid agency the Millennium Challenge Corporation which has promised Ranil 1.1 billion as a bribe and is “advising” the PM’s office to privatize national assets, also to access data, information and regulatory systems and create a privatized Deep Data bank on Sri Lanka to advance US security interests. The “Land bank” is to sell off prime lands to insiders with information as is the plan to privatize transport, and take over the energy sector using Japanese and Indian companies as fronts.
      Wake up and see the sky!

      • 1

        Dr. Perera, Where did the Vision 2025 document come from? Who are the authors of a jargon-filled document with no specifics or priorities that matter to the PEOPLE OF LANKA.
        Was there any process of consultation of the PEOPLE and local, provincial, and district authorities on development priorities? Today Sri Lanka is a debt-ridden Disaster in the name of Economic Development (grand rhetoric to distract people from the looting of national land and assets)- with lots of corruption projects like Uma Oya and Hambabtota white elephants, Horana Tire factory etc!
        How will these policies drafted and promoted by foreign Economic hit men impact local communities and people?
        Is this a top-down, rather than bottom-up document to promote the IMF and Washington neoliberal agenda that will benefit global Capital and the global 1 percent of economic elite in long run, and cause more economic inequality and new cycle of violence in Lanka, thorough privatization of Land, Transport and energy sectors and regulatory authorities, which is in fact an agenda to promote more corruption, and dirty deals in the name of “development” policy that is fundamentally undemocratic and secret?

        • 0

          Dilhara, good points! Where, indeed did Vision 2025 come from before it ‘goes beyond’ Jehan Perera to god knows where?
          The short answer is, from White Gods and Fake international development consultants (a.k.a. Economic Hit men) in Washington DC.
          The Right Wing, Neocon, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) with a little help from IMF who “advise” Ranil’s cousin, Charitha Ratwatta, Mangala Yapa, Tilak Marapana, and Ranil’s ignorant and colonized local economic Hitmen , every Thursday evening via Skype calls from the Empire’s Capital.

          Today, Sri Lanka needs a different economic growth model, but this is beyond Ranil and Sira’s fools to even imagine! The book “New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” gives some insight into Fake international development projects, meant to impoverish the people of Africa and Asia while buying and spreading corruption among their leaders! The global epidemic of corruption is the outcome of this Neocon model of Economic Development for the Global 1 percent.

    • 0

      “Their Vision is to sell the country on piecemeal basis and pocket out the commissions.”

      It sounds like lot of vision.

      Yahapalanaya long ago stopped depending on Jehan PhD’s spinnings. Readers give no damn for his spinnings any more.

      Alice wells, American Assistant Secretary for South Asia, who was here last week has reported in Congress that China is lenting more loans and spreading more gripping on Lankawe. Even if that is not bringing any new actions from America, that will be serious hindrance to flow FDI to the country. None of the Chinese loans generate foreign exchange, but tie more on repayment and interest. Private Companies’ investments is the one can bring in steady, long term, inflow of Foreign Exchange. That is the only one can improve Lankawe’s credit rating from its “B-“

      • 1

        Mally, ……….. Good to hear you are getting into Economics…….. But I have grave doubts about those Private Companies Investments bringing us the Bacon …….Aussie Samrakoon who has invested big time in Srilanka with the Australian Tax Payers Money, is now facing Jail in Melbourne and a free one way ticket to Colombo as well, after completing the sentence of course….., according to the Web News from Down Under…… This is in addition to Aussie Aloysious displaying his A grade Investment Competencies on Prime Time Yahapalana TV ………I have some sympathy for Samare. because unlike Dr Mahendran”s darling SIL Aloysious , Samare didn’t Rip the Guts of poor hard working Srilankan Moms and Dads EPF…………Where is Dr Ranil ……… I wonder……

  • 0

    Jehan Perera’a usual vedibana. Two stupid beaurucrats became victims because of the politicians. None of those politicians are wrong or prosecuted. that is the sri lankan horapalanaya system of law and order and justice. That is they way lichchavi style of governing which is very foreign to Mr. Jehan Perera. Hoarpalanaya did not arrest I KNOW NOTHING RAVI YET. They did not do anything for these three years. Amidst doing nothing just being a gang of usless, wasteful, incompetant thieves and sloths to the country they more proposals which either of the leaders could not do for for 40 years.

    • 1

      Mr. Jehan, root causes for the National Debt trap, lack of Economic Growth, and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Sri Lanka today are:
      1. entrenched culture of CORRUPTION which is part of global- local networks of corruption, visible in mega Foreign funded “development” projects which turn into white elephants meant to advance foreign strategic security interests and pile up national debt for Lanka (China, USA/ Japan, India).
      Why does IMF and drafters of Vision 2025 not mention track down all the looted funds by its Fake Experts (or investigation of those named in Panama Papers) to get back looted funds to pay of national debt of Lanka, rather than forcing more taxes on working people to pay debt of corrupt politicians? Why no mention of this as an ECONOMIC POLICY priority for equitable development in the famous Vision 2025?
      2. The absence of an integrated National Development Plan that gives priority to the development needs of the Sri Lankan people, rather than security and business interest of big powers and global capital. i.e the global 1 percent.
      3. Aid and Knowledge dependency on foreign consultants, Economic Hit men or what may be termed Fake international development ‘experts’ which is clearly the case with regard to the Prime Minister’s office.

      • 1

        In an era of Fake News and post-facts, we now have Fake development policies and policy experts drafting fake economic growth policy in the Miracle of Modayas where uneducated minds of politicians and their cronies have been colonized by the white man’s SPIN for years! Never heard of de-colonization of the mind!
        Sri Lanka needs investment in Research and development and this should be policy priority 1, 2, and 3, also to decolonize the mind and educate its corrupt politicians!
        With a Finance Minister who was a fashionista and knows little about economics but lots about SPIN and how to sell fake products, and Royal College Ranil Wickramasinghe who is particularly susceptible to white boys from Harvard who are paid mega buck to write fake development policies, Lanka is doomed to see history repeat itself!

  • 0

    Jehan Perera means in ~ “Significance Of Vision 2025 Goes Beyond Economic Development” is not only prosperity but comradery as well. Time cannot be frozen and 2025 will come. Well meaning Lankans say “Enough of this filthy rich. Let us share and make all equal – more or less.
    Jehan mentions the recent verdict on Weeratunga and Palpita. It is too early to predict what next.
    Lankan prosecutors have this “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” personality –
    vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next. Their diligence will decide the kind of Lanka in 2025 and beyond.

  • 1

    Jehan Perera, Corruption is the single biggest impediment to FDI because real investors do not want to pay bribes.
    Corruption is also the singe biggest impediment to INCLUSIVE Economic development and to peace in Sri Lanka because it denies inclusive growth.

    The biggest scam in Sri Lanka is the Avant Guard security and arms trade company, even bigger than Bond scam. That scam was a bi-partisan SLFP-UNP scam which came about when Gotabaya Rajapaksa who is a US citizen along with the current UNP Foreign Minister privatized the Sri Lanka Navy’s profitable company, with the long term goal of enabling foreign security interests, while undermining Sri Lankan national security and by privatizing an asset of the SL Navy. On whose behest was this bi-partisan scam enacted? Which deep state benefits from this?
    Guess where Senadihipatti, Gota, Wijedasa Jarapassa, and Marapone and Ranil Wickramasinghe – all – go to hospital and holidays? The fact is that Human Rights is a joke for the US deep State is promoting neoliberal economic agenda to benefit the global 1 percent and advance its security interest, though there are many good people in the US.
    The scam privatization of national security functions via Avant Guard must be investigated and should not be buried. An investigation will reveal the foreign involvement that is promoting bi-partisan (UNP-SLFP) corruption on a mega scale and undermining national regulatory and oversight institutions, like the privatization of Central Bank regulatory and oversight functions to the ICTA for a National payment platform, Mckinsey and to take over National Survey Dept function, is all part of a plan to undermine national agencies that conduct regulatory and oversight functions and enable access to a foreign government for a Deep Data construction and mining operation. This is linked to the larger national ID biometric mapping of the population and the “land bank” to appropriate, flip and sell land to those with inside information on available land in the country. Sri Lanka faces dangerous days with foreign Economic Hit Men writing economic development policy in the Prime Ministers office as evident from the Vision 2025 – like Regaining Sri Lanka!

  • 0

    “This should not be viewed by the Government as a box-ticking exercise to placate the Council, but as an essential undertaking to address the rights of all its people,”
    -UNHRC High Commissioner Prince Al Raad Zeid on UNHRC 36th session.

    World knows who is Yahapalanaya. Jehan PhD cannot fool them like Lankawe politicians fooling the Local Modayas. The advantage Sinhala Intellectuals got is the geopolitical situation of Lanakwe in Indian Ocean. Britain made deal through Soulbury for that access. India, America,China …all like it. They all want battering Lankawe for that access. But how long they can go like this only have to found out by real experience of it.

  • 0

    Multiply 80 Billion by 8% ……….And multiply 6.4 by 7 seven……. Srilanka would have had an Economy of around 125 Billion. USD …….. in 2025…..Fundamentalist Eran and UNP Sinhala Buddhist Kolla , Dr Harsha took nearly 3 years to work it out…… even with the help of their mentor Dr Ranil to present their Computations to Yhapalana suckers ……….. And try to impress them how cool it will be Colombo in 2025……….But they must have used the 2013 / 2014 CB Reports, because the Yahapalana Growth has been not even 4 % , Since Jan 2015………….Plus the Yahapalana suckers must pay back LKR 11 Billion to Dr Mahendran and SIL for the next 30 years at 12.5 % Interest ………….Plus the other borrowings as well including the latest inflated 136 Billion LKR to Taise with nearly 10 Billion going to Kiriella and Co and the Tamil broker from the Diaspora…………..

  • 0

    Dear Sumanasekara,

    Is this Samarakoon that you are refering?


    Only this kind of money laundering crooks will invest in Sri Lanka under the “Yahapalanaya” government.

    I am also waiting to read the Australian Federal Police investigation report on our “Yahapalanaya” leader on his requesting commissions from an Australian registered company.

    I propose that Sri Lankans live in Australia can file legal actions against the “Insider dealings” on the Central Bank Bond Sales, in Australia, as one major player of the game is an Australian citizen. Australia considers “Insider Dealing” as a serious crime.

    • 0

      It is him mate……… But Aussie Aloysious would never come to Australia……… Dr Ranil will upgrade his Passport to VVIP class……….Aloysious is a big wheeler dealer in Yahapalana Srilanka, …………….. He has the Biggest Brewery to manufacture Gal Arrack……….A news paper and a soon to be acquired TV Network……….He has top UNP PCs on his payroll……..Dr Ranil is on the blower to him…….He has Mela , Oneliya and Rosa to party with……….. Aloysious will be traveling back and forth from Singapore to enjoy Chill Crabs along side Colombo Chicks…………… All paid by the Yahapalana Suckers, ………….And the suckers will be paying all expenses of Aloysious and Dr Ranil’s mate and Aloys’s FIL, Dr Mahendran for the next three decades………..How Cool is that … !!!!!!!!!

      • 1

        KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

        “But Aussie Aloysious would never come to Australia”

        Are you hoping to meet him in down under? Are you awaiting to exchange suit cases at the airport?

        “Aloysious is a big wheeler dealer in Yahapalana Srilanka,”

        No kidding, how about Bandula?

  • 0

    Jehan is not an Economist .His life-time has not read ABCD of fundamental Economy of Sri lanka. But his job is confine to peace council not more than that.
    Suddenly Jehan has shifted to complex issues of Economy Planning in 2025?
    That is bad for the peace and development . This is not his area or subjects to be approach by Jehan .P………
    By the way as well as Global current shifting development the New Emerging Countries growth has a vast complexes market issues has to resolved by Island economy is not that study by Jehan Perera. all?

    The reading by MS and UNP Ranil has voice of scripted write by some one assumes ? Not by them?
    Those are not policies of Govt. but are only speeches? Target of year 2025 is goal that MS and Ranil want to stay in power indefinitely without people’s mandates.
    Jehan P….. want misled people by naming peace and development of country by vested interest of NGO’s road map.
    Two vested interest only that locally of UNP New-Old leadership.
    And other is Foreign Power interfere of Nation Politics by NGO’s road Maps…. Jehans way of NGOs marketing politics.

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