13 April, 2024

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Sri Lankan Dream For 2024 & Beyond: Changing The System

By Sisira Gamanayake

As 2024 has dawned, many Sri Lankans domiciled in Lanka and overseas will undoubtedly reflect on the kind of society and system required for a better Lanka in the coming years. This is especially so given the economic meltdown that took place in the country leading to aragalaya and the imposition of restrictions on public protests and expression of dissent by the government. Since then the IMF prescriptions to help the country to get out of the economic crisis have become clear. The government has been busy imposing more taxes and price increases on essential items on the already suffering people. Where are we now and where are we heading?

In terms of the economy, there are differing views. Some especially those affiliated with the government tend to put faith in the IMF prescriptions. Others like the National People Power (NPP) tends to argue for a different paradigm of economic development based on the revival of small to medium enterprises as the backbone of economy. Such initiatives are to be coupled with a significant change in the political culture, governance system and associated processes. Dependence of Sri Lanka, for that matter many other countries in the global south on foreign sources of income, technical expertise, industry, businesses, education, and advice is not a new phenomenon. This has been the case since the time of European particularly British colonisation. Colonisation made the country and the people in colonies dependent on all respects including thinking and behaviour while showing them the Western European and American systems of thinking and doing are better than the indigenous/local systems. This they did by promoting concepts like modernisation, democracy, and international education.  

After independence, and the English educated rulers who embraced western ways of thinking and doing as well as living in their private life continued this system with minor changes to satisfy the interests of native population in fields such as language, religion, education and health. They instituted various development projects with foreign aid starting from the dry zone colonisation programs. As the decades went by and the system of governance changed to a semi authoritarian model in the 70s onwards, project-based development programs with foreign aid, loans and expertise multiplied. In most ministries, such projects mushroomed. At the same time, the population became dependent on foreign imports for consumables including cars, TVs, food, fertiliser, chemicals, medicine, clothing and milk powder. The market economy led by neoliberal economic doctrine where the government’s involvement in business and industry in key areas was minimal became a reality. Growing even the basic consumption goods such as fruits and vegetables or rice was limited to those in rural areas but those in urban areas got accustomed to a super market lifestyle. They did not want to get their hands dirty. 

The mega projects funded by overseas loans and aid as well as bonds started to show their true colour as they did not provide an economic dividend. Some became white elephants.  Sustainability of the free market economic model became a serious issue. People started to question whether there was any social dividend from such projects. Government coffers became almost empty and it was compelled to seek more loans from neighbouring countries to survive, service debts and overcome the economic crisis. The worst part of this economic story is probably behind us, there is a long way to go before we can be satisfied that the economy has been put on a sound footing. But the question remains at what cost to the living standards of the majority of people who are not better off like those in the upper echelons of society? 

Fortunately, the NPP and other minor parties have advanced a counter discourse on development rooted in the capacities of the local population in opposition to the dominant IMF led establishment discourse where the government either has to raise taxes and prices of essential items plus borrow more to pay back what the country owes. Without an expanding economy it is not possible for any government to provide for the needs of society. The way an expanding economy is defined is not by the press releases or ceremonies held by leaders of a government but by the gross national product and other economic indicators. Lack of coordinated policy planning at national and sub national level is also an obstacle to utilising limited resources available to achieve economic goals. Dependence on foreign consultants to provide advice as part of the loans obtained or aid received is another problem facing countries like Lanka. 

Politically also the coming year can be a critical one as elections are scheduled to be held. NPP claims that the political system in place after the country gained independence has failed. The political culture has not only encouraged corrupt activities by those in power plus those close to them but it has marginalised and alienated the majority of those living in subsistence level conditions. There are limited spaces or avenues for such people to seek redress. The only avenue available is to go after elected politicians but there are road blocks on the path for many to access such politicians. Bureaucrats are not different. The middle class is also struggling to meet ends. True people representation is lacking in a system dominated by patronage relations and the influence of big business. Service provision is not the hallmark of government departments. It perpetuates a colonial like mentality among those in authority both in Colombo and regional areas. Multiple levels of governance make things even more difficult for the average person. If there is a political will, a small country like Sri Lanka should be able to design a simple system of democratic governance. Individuals and groups currently operating coalition politics nurture their vested interests whereas those without access to power suffer with no hope for a better future. 

Values such as social obligation and care for the needy have been replaced by a competitive consumerist culture where one is trying to surpass the other by any means. It is here that the empire building by political families who have developed a hereditary system to pass on power to family members come into question. The one who is able to put up a big show in terms of material wealth, power, status (and one would say deception) seems to be venerated by the average person without such symbols of power. To them, the power is beyond their reach and only those in power already are entitled to occupy seats of power. However, NPP is quite successfully changing such fatalistic attitudes among the majority people who do not have access to power, particularly in the provinces. So, the dream for many thousands without power is to be able to change the government and secure victory for a political party or partiers with an agenda to change the political culture and the system unable to meet their needs.

Even in the social sphere there are many ills infecting the society. Drug menace is one. Another is the breakdown of family relations. Erosions in community spirit and welfare of the other is another problem. Inability to get ahead in life is a serious issue for many because once they pay bills, there is nothing much left in the pockets to survive. Crimes of various sorts are accelerating. Social norms that held the society together are disappearing at a fast rate. While there are expensive administrative systems in place to address social problems, the problems seem to be rising not reducing. There is something wrong in the system in place. There needs to be serious reforms in various sectors dealing with social problems facing the people after a period of community consultations. Use of force alone is not going to produce necessary results.  One could question whether a top down process of governance is the best for resolving many social problems facing the country or whether a bottom up process is required? How do we initiate a bottom up process? What mechanisms are suitable? Can we learn from other countries? These are some questions to ponder in the new year. More importantly we need to reflect deeply as to whether the market economy has destroyed the humanitarian approach to resolve social problems? Whether it has replaced such humanitarian approach and associated values that we inherited from our Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Islamic religious ways of thought with a competitive, highly individualised and self-serving approach where the welfare of the other has been relegated to the bottom of priorities as human beings?

This brings us to focus attention on so-called globalisation (economic, political and cultural) and its impact on societies of the global south. While globalisation is promoted by global economic power houses as a positive process on various grounds, there are negative effects on human life and work from its operations. Take for example space and time available for individuals for personal matters. Much of the space and time available for an individual is appropriated by the globally influenced national systems in favour of global economic or business interests. This has significant impact on not only the individual but also his/her family, community as well. Examples include the loss of family contacts, lack of reciprocity; loss of empathy to members of family beyond nuclear family; imbalances in human relations and perspectives on society and the other; measurement of human relation in monetary terms rather than values of reciprocity, obligation; and the alienation of individual. Such a system can also produce individuals not reflective or critical enough beyond the day to day concerns.  They can become dehumanised as a result of 24 hour a day technology cycle. Home becomes a household or economic unit.   

The purpose of living becomes a count of income and expenses often with many grievances.  Work itself expands into private sphere also e.g. weekends and nights. Human bonds and empathic behaviour required for a society to function evaporate in the process. Moral and ethical issues arise as a result of anti-societal behaviour. Workplace become the centre of universe rather than the broader issues of society. Thus, a serious conversation is required to examine the consequences of over 40 plus years of neoliberal, free market economy where the global market forces have been playing havoc expanding into personal, cultural and social spheres and sidelining the indigenous/local capabilities for economic growth and sustainable governance system without the need to employ thousands of police and armed forces to keep the people in check. In such a conversation or discourse, avenues for organising the systems to harness available intelligence, skills, knowledge and ways of doing of the people to achieve national goals should be explored.

Here we need to be mindful about the competition for resources, labour and talent across the globe especially by economically advanced and developing countries of the global north and south. This competition is intense among the global powers and their corporations that are appropriating a surplus from the economically poor – resource rich countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and elsewhere with no regard for the environmental health. Our graduates in fields with international demand have joined multinational corporations as engineers, accountants, business managers, and in many other roles performing duties required by these corporations. Some return to Lanka on various missions. The same applies to Lankans working for bilateral and multilateral organisations. A layer of graduates who have had international education and work experience based locally also perform similar duties for international organisations and companies as consultants. Whose interests are served by such graduates?  How many of them have the national interests of Lanka in mind and do something to help the country?  Has nationalism become only a fading symbol in the way think and work? If so as a country what do we have to do to turn the character of our graduates to be more patriotic and caring of the other? This also needs critical examination.

There are several other questions also to address in the new year:

Whether in our education system we are producing future citizens with knowledge and skills for critical thinking, problem solution, leadership roles and values for caring society’s vulnerable groups? What reforms are required in the publicly funded education and higher education systems?

Dominance of the parasitic class in positions of power and decision making as well as privilege is a feature of the current system. How to change this system to allow for a small group of elected politicians supported by qualified and capable public servants?

What reforms in the governance and administration of the country, its provinces are required to make them service oriented instead of being hierarchical?

Should our legal system and law enforcement become more people friendly? How to eliminate their colonial trappings to fit for a 21st century society?

How to establish and promote a pluralistic society with a strong Sri Lankan identity and belonging?

What should be our national goals for the next 10 years and what strategies are to be formulated to achieve them?

How to utilise talent in the diaspora for the above?

The need for a merit-based system rather than one that rewards those close to a given political party or family is paramount in the next decade. Country’s political leadership should be able to move with the people to achieve national goals by consensus rather than the use of force and curbing popular dissent. People will have a choice at the next elections either to reaffirm the status quo or change the system at the ballot box for a better Lanka.  

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Latest comments

  • 18
    4

    It is fashionable to analyse ills of Sri Lanka on the basis of neoliberalism and globalisation. The rot had started much earlier than these notions which took hold in the 1990s. We had embarked on dividing our society through the so called revolution of the common man led by Solomon West Ridgway Dias B. It never ushered in the age of the common man. It began our slide. It divided ethnicities and religions. It divided the Sinhalese for their fraudulent leaders educated their children abroad leaving the village Sinhalese in the Mahavamsa mud-hole. The riots of 1983 sealed the divisions. We had to suffer a war of thirty years. Why blame foreign isms for our self-created mess. The growth of a new Sinhala class of rich businessmen who perpetuated divisions was not due to new-liberalism but their own interests in propping up corrupt governments which promoted their interests. Let us look to rid ourselves of our faults before blaming foreign trends.

    • 12
      12

      There was a time when one clad in sarong and could not speak English fluently was treated like dirt in offices.
      Children from depressed castes (I will not name the castes, but there were quite a few even among the Sinhalese) were openly denied education then.
      Members of certain castes dared not talk back to members of certain other castes.
      It is not just those whom had the means to send children abroad, but there were plenty of elite among all ethnicities who treated those without means badly.
      1956 changed several things for good, although not enough to call it the era of the common man.
      *
      The Mahavamsa mud-hole is no worse than the caste ridden conservative mindset of upper caste Tamils.
      1956 changed things for the better for the depressed castes among Tamils than for their Sinhalese counterparts.
      BTW
      It was Dahanayake (well before Badi-ud-din) who proactively aided education of Muslim children.
      We forget important events that enabled certain things that we take for granted now.
      *
      Sinhala chauvinism struck root in the last half century of colonial rule. But insensitivity to the grievances of the ordinary Sinhalese only helped to deepen communal divisions.

      • 7
        6

        “It was Dahanayake (well before Badi-ud-din) who proactively aided education of Muslim children.
        We forget important events that enabled certain things that we take for granted now.”

        Thanks You Mr SJ.
        This is very true. Looking back people today blame SWRD and his quintet, but bitterness between ethnic groups led him to go for it. However, it should not be comparaed with that of RAJAPAKSHEs from 2005 to 2015. Rajapakshes just lived up their hidden propensities, abusing the PANACHAMAHABALAWEGA. It is also true that evasive people argue today and attack entire 75 years later. The insensitive JVPs continue to do so. That can only brand them as immautured further.
        They look at the surface value without studying the root causes of all the disasters that happen one after another.

      • 10
        3

        “1956 changed things for better”
        “Sinhala only” is a better policy to start continued with Buddhism only policy and massacre of Tamils in 1958,62, 77,83 for Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism.

        “Mahavamsa mud hole is no worse than the the depressed castes among Tamils than for their Sinhala counter parts”
        I don’t know how brilliant the person who compared “Mahavamsa mud-hole with depressed caste of Tamils. It highlights one important factor that commentator is a greater admirer of murders sponsored by Mahavamsa buddhists.

        • 4
          3

          A blinkered view can see only Sinhala Only.
          That view is totally blind to the sufferings of the poorer and depressed communities.
          *
          Some language skills will help to understand a sentence, unless the purposes wilful distortion.

          • 1
            1

            You do not need language skills to understand the attitude and behaviour of human beings.

      • 4
        2

        Chingkallams are as caste ridden as the Thamizh and the rest of South Asia. Caste is still an important factor, even in Muslim Pakistan and Bangladesh, especially in rural areas. Belong to a lower caste or to a minority religionlike a Hindu or Christian and you will be discriminated. You can see all the rulers, presidents and prime minister of Islamic Pakistan and Bangladesh are from ruling aristocratic families and have a upper caste origin. It is the same with Chingkallams. At least the Thamizh will elect/select a low caste, a non-Hindu Thamizh or even a non Thamizh as their leader but other South Asians ethnicities hardly ever, especially the Chingkallams.

        • 4
          2

          We all know that you are a self-hating Thamizh quisling, who constantly runs down and want to put down your Thamizh ethnicity. It was after 1956 SLFP win with their racist Chingkalla only policy that life became good for depressed caste Thamizh. You really must be high on something and joking. Life after this become a nightmare for all Thamizh and then became a down slide with every successive Chingkalla government depressed or forward caste. The first state sponsored pogrom against the island’s Thamizh started in 1958 and then continued regularly every few years and now has reached to war crimes and state sponsored structural genocide. We all became very depressed, other than you, and we know why, as when Thamizh are depressed you become joyful, especially under the rule of your Sri Matha and Bathiudeen. This must have been the most joyful era of your life to see them both denying Thamizh everything, education, employment, land. It was during this era that the east, especially Trincomalee was colonized by Chingkallams and even outside Muslims, on a large scale and the Thamizh lost their majority.

          • 3
            2

            Through standardization non deserving Chingkallams and Thullukans with far lower marks than Thamizh students were able to enter prestigious science courses. Must have been a very joyful era for you and you are yearning for this, just like the way you yearn for the anti Thamizh Rajapussies. As for the caste factor in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it was only one specific Colombo based family, very closely allied to the Chingkalla ruling classes, who were trying to make temple entry, caste and religion a big issue amongst the Thamizh but failed miserably. The main proponent tried to make religion an issue but lost miserably to Christian Chelvanayagam in a more than 90% Hindu electorate. It was the same with temple entry and caste issue. I have strong suspicion this person/family was in cohorts with the southern Chingkalla political classes and elites to divide and rule the Thamizh on the basis of caste and religion, just like the way they successfully used the southern Muslim elite and political classed to divide the Muslim Thamizh from the rest of the Thamizh and even now they are trying their best to divide the Christian Thamizh from the Hindus and to further divide them on the basis of caste but have failed so far, but you are still trying to continue this, as per Chirima’s book.

  • 7
    11

    “However, NPP is quite successfully changing such fatalistic attitudes among the majority people who do not have access to power, particularly in the provinces. “
    If that is true, why is the NPP (really JVP) wasting time and effort with elections?

    • 4
      3

      “Fortunately, the NPP and other minor parties have advanced a counter discourse on development rooted in the capacities of the local population in opposition to the dominant IMF led establishment discourse where the government either has to raise taxes and prices of essential items plus borrow more to pay back what the country owes. “
      So, what exactly is this “counter-discourse”? The author goes into much detail about past and current economics, but, as usual, no detail about the JVP’s economics.
      This is getting to look like the Bond Scam, where everyone and his brother condemns it, but nobody knows what it is!

    • 8
      4

      We all know SJ is behind Rajapaksa group and he do not like NPP or Tamils who are against to his masters.

      • 2
        4

        Now you seem to know who everybody’s master.
        Pathetic you desperately need a master, but that does not mean others do.
        What is new found love for JVP/NPP about?
        Has the JVP cat changed its spots or is it the little kitty that has fallen in love with it?

        • 1
          2

          What is new found love for JVP/NPP?
          The same question What is new found love for 75 years of old corrupt SLFP/SLPP/UNP Ranil-Rajapaksa Buddhist Sinhala Funamentalism?
          JVP/NPP is much better compared to above.

          • 0
            0

            Ajith, fully agree with you

  • 15
    3

    Mr. Sisira Gamanayake: I think those questions you want to be addressed in the New Year are the very same that have drawn the attention of the NPP, in drafting their initial “Policy Document” titled “Rapid Response to Overcome Current Challenges”. I am not aware of the time (Date and year) this was published, but for certain it was before or after the last General Election. However, since then, some organizational changes have been made in NPP to amend/improve that “Policy Statement”, in that, various “Committees” ( such as Economic/Educational/Judicial/Security/Health, etc.) have been constituted to undertake an in-depth study and “Up-Date” it in keeping with the present day demands. I am hoping it will be out in this year.

    Anyway, such Policy matters could be on paper, but the taste of the pudding is in the eating. Yet, I trust these “Men and Women” involved are trustworthy and capable of executing the “Work Plan” that encompasses the answers to your questions. One indication is, that NPP is now shaping the minds of large audiences to a newly formed slogan: “National Liberation Movement” to gain the “Participation” of the People in numerous “Changes” that would be required to answer the problems. This is a very good move and a commendable strategy.

  • 6
    1

    Douglas, thank you for your insight into the inner workings of the NPP. The next elections could well be a game changer for all Sri Lankans, and the NPP would be well served to have people of your ilk on board to help formulate policy.

    • 7
      1

      Pundit. Thank you. What I do is follow and study closely all the political parties and their respective leaders and spokesmen to assess their capabilities to run the Governing functions. So far only NPP has caught my serious attention and I am doing an in-depth study, in which process I have collected so much information put out to the public. I do make propositions via e-mail, but must confess that I do not know any of the leaders or any members personally.

  • 1
    1

    “Dominance of the parasitic class in positions of power and decision making as well as privilege is a feature of the current system. How to change this system to allow for a small group of elected politicians supported by qualified and capable public servants?”
    The PARASITIC DOMINANCE needs to toppled for the country to thrive and prosper.
    The LACK of TRUE STATESMAN had been the cause of Island’s pathetic state. The misuse of BUDDHISTS CLERGIES is also a major contributer to ethnic religious disharmony. Will the GoSL consider reimbursing losses incurred by minorities due to STATE TERRORISM?

  • 5
    6

    The only way to change the system is a “REAL revolution”. Avoid comparisons with the “struggle” lately sponsored by the wealthy classes of Colombo, being unable to bear the shortage of electricity, cooking gas, fuel for vehicles. They each loved to drive away ” miserable GOTA”.
    It should be a fact-based INFO revolution through regular workSHOPS.
    Even the NPP has not given any sign of doing that.
    Their complex generalizations full of numbers and percentages make the ignorant masses even more deaf and blind. aLTERNATIVELY; they can choose good orators that use day today incidents in the injectiing the facts to the gullible and easy prey of this nation. Election outcome is decisive on the voters of easy prey. Otherwise, waiting for a victory having done nothing paving to it would be like “previous elections results of NPP or bit better to that”:

    They each try to be the graduate in front of the gallery, so they have been around for years. How do they take the message to people’s hearts?

    • 9
      4

      Dear LM: “It should be a fact-based INFO revolution through regular Workshops”.

      That is exactly what NPP is doing now. The meetings they are conducting now in Districts levels are NOT election rallies. For example, today (2-01-24) NPP had a seminar in Colombo to explain what the Government is doing in the name of “Re-Structuring” of National Ventures. They also had one for Women (more than double the crowd that attended the Pohottuwa Convention at Sugathadasa Stadium on 15-12-23) at Matara on 30-12-23. A link to today’s seminar is given by your friend “Sinhala-Man” (Ingirisi Iskale Mahathmaya) in another article on this page. Please listen to it

      Still, NPP is on that mission you state: “take the message to people’s heart”. Thank you.

      • 6
        0

        Hi Douglas,
        ““Sinhala-Man” (Ingirisi Iskola Mahathmaya”
        The word “Vishramika” – preface is missing?
        SPECIAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRAINED TEACHERS (SPETT)!? Means I additional year of training, at the newly opened Training College at Ambepussa!??
        In the splendid age of 1970’s and SUPER HIGHWAY TO EMANCIPATION, there were surfeit of ‘A’ OR EVEN ‘O’ Level qualified, based on the number empowered by the CHIT-SYSTEM by almost 114 government MPs’ passing off as English Trained Teachers as English Trained in Central Schools, with only a ‘Pass’ in O Level English, and nothing more!!!??? They would have not known difference of Past, Present, and Tenses, which for them was a creation of mad, insane Englishmen to confuse or confound, one learning the “Kaduwa” and ridicule them as “ILLITERATE”!!!
        Think it should be added as it will make a distinct difference!!!???
        My better-half – long retired – fully agrees that it was additional 52 weeks of grueling work to seek an employment and should be duly recognised!!!

        • 7
          0

          Mahila: Thank you for reminding me of that missing “Vishramika”. Yes, I should have added that.

      • 4
        4

        Douglas Appu (appu means in the past an ending used to respect someone),
        If what you say is true, don’t you think you should go back and collect “feedback” from those meeting attendees? Not just tag questions, but by holding further Q&As verifying their knowlege.

        This should be compulsary, because even youth that holding smart phones to show off, appear to know nothing about basics of lanken politics.
        This reveals to me, by having some statistics based on ” youtube video comments”. They though wish MALIMAWA jayawewa, but not knowing what JVP led NPP are going to do… why is that ?
        :
        Unfortunately, What we get to see is more of loads of allegations, just gallery-pleasing speeches being continued by AKD and his men as of today.
        Nothing like seriousness regarding any crucial issues such as continuation of IMF recommendations and how they would handle it etc. Remember IMF is the only help to this highly corurpted nation.
        .
        We can do this in the form of a “meta-analysis”: can you share this with AKD led groups? Killing times through holding meetings not knowing what they are talking about…. will do nothing..
        What matters is to see if people understood what AKD and some other good politicians kept shouting?

        • 5
          2

          cont
          .
          A month ago when I joined a pocket meeting in North Kalutara, most of the participants looked like bieng caught by a “still” reaction, as if they didn’t understand anything or were like ” cattle s behaviour while looking at a speeding train “: (weegayen yana dhumriyak dhesa balana harakun men).

          Commenter, WW also quesioned lately, why on earth did AKD led group hold pocket meetings in NA, Europe lately.
          There you guys as pro-active JVP-NPP supporters should help opening their eyes further.
          IDEAS are food for AKD or other progressive politicians to act sufficiently.
          My wish is people to be weaponized by knowledge as no RAJAPAKSHE-PREDATORs would grab their votes once again.

          THese men should be treated with molotove cocktail throws on and on.

      • 6
        5

        “A link to today’s seminar is given by your friend “Sinhala-Man” (Ingirisi Iskale Mahathmaya) in another article on this page. Please listen to it”

        God, he’s not my friend. If he is my friend, I prefer to associate with “Devadatta”.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devadatta
        You have it completely wrong.
        He misused mine and Manel’s email address for hate campaigns against Ceylon Church. – “One is always wiser after the event.”
        I didn’t even have time to read his long emails that flew into my inbox for pages. Thinking they were similar to funny mails from my little nephew, I ignored them all.

        I separated from him because he had close association with AKD led groups who killed my brothers and relatives in 89. I was taught by my late mother, please stay away from real enemies or conflict creaters. That is what I did.

        • 6
          1

          My friend LM: Thanks for the latest “HONOR” presented to me. During my schooling days, my “English” teacher came to the class and addressed one student and said: ” I hear that you address me as “Sir” and you mean to say “Yako”. Is that true? That student replied and said: ” Sir, if you say that word “Sir” means “Yako”, then Sir, I will hereafter refrain from addressing you “Sir”. Could you “Sir, pardon me and let me know “Sir” how I should address you in the future avoiding the word “Sir”?

          Didn’t that student say “YAKO” seven times? I know you don’t mean “YAKO” in saying “Appu” to me. Have fun and enjoy.

          • 5
            2

            D,
            All I know is that “Sir” is used falsely in the Sinhala language in Sri Lanka.
            Everyone who teaches or taught is called “Sir”.
            Many of them are worshiped as gods despite their crimes.

            Btw, youth are trained more today to fall down before adults in South as never before. I think that is a trick being applied by SB-adherents to live up their self-aggrandizements and sinhala supremacy in the society. I TOLD many of my youth I met with, not to kneel down before me, but if they want they could do to others.

            I completely stopped worshipping srilankens SB MONKs since 2016. Today, I respect them being distant to them. Nor do I offer them free meals as had been done before. I am very strict to them. Some asked me to given them “SMART PHONEs”, since then, I dont respect them anymore.
            .
            There is a tutor named Jananayake (BSc graduate) in youtube who is obsessed with youth being the best biology teacher. However, I understood that he is a brainwasher of the youth. Politicians are behind the bugger et al. U may check it on the web for your own knowledge.

        • 6
          0

          My Dear LM: Please correct your records. AKD was not a “Leader” of the group who killed your brothers and relatives in 89.

          Your mother “Taught” you to be away from real enemies. Do you follow that valued advice? NO. I see you hanging with Ranil W – the “LEADER” – the GESTAPO of the “Batalanda Torture and Murder Camp” where my friend -Lawyer Wijedasa Liyanaarachchi was brutally murdered. This Murder is well recorded in the “Batalanda Commission Report” compiled by three SC Judges.

          I wish you a long life to live to see how the “NATURE’S LAW” would punish this “Vampire” – Ranil W.

          • 3
            0

            D
            You may know a retired sports teacher from Ahangama area. His son Kulatunga (Colombo 2nd year medical student) was burnt to death.
            I don’t think all of them were killed by the government then. There were evidences that the JVP was brutally killing people in those areas.
            .
            Janaka Senaviratne of Angulagaha (Peradeniya veterinary student) was also caught in casualties. These were clear examples of the people behind the JVP, not the government at that time. After these murders, their parents became insane during their lifetime. These are just two examples from your area. Some of them visit me every year when I go back home. I am speechless before their tearful eyes

          • 3
            0

            D Appu,
            .
            I take serious.
            .
            “I wish you a long life to live to see how the “NATURE’S LAW” would punish this “Vampire” – Ranil W”.
            .
            If RW is to be called VAMPIRE, u ll hardly find a term to name ” Medamulana Thirisana/ blood sucker of the poor.
            , who twisted 😉 the gullible mindset ruined by SB for his mlechcha politics ” 🙄 😑 😒
            .
            Let me correct u, I m not pro- Ranil but I’m ultra enemy of MaRa and family. Time will open ur eyes, wait and see.

      • 4
        0

        Dear LM: You were worried that “Fact Based Information” has not been spread to the people.

        To disprove that, I would refer you to an incident that took place in a remote village called “Konevawa” in the Anuradhapura District. Do you know the Minister S.M Chandrasena of “Pohottuwa”. He and his brother ex-Chairman of the Pradesheeya Sabah attended an “arranged” meeting to distribute Water Filters. It was well attended. Amid the meeting, the people started asking the Minister and his brother: “Whose money you are spending on this project? All this is our money. Don’t try to show us that the expenditure from you. So go away” The people treated them with a barrage of hooting and the Security personnel immediately bundled the “Dignatories” to their vehicles and took them away for safety.

        See the content of the shouting:- “This is OUR money” and not your money”. Interesting development. Isn’t it?

        • 3
          0

          D
          Please don’t write them too much here, I have good access to the most updated videos in Sri Lanka where I gather my updated information.
          I actually watched that video of Chand Rasena.
          My concern is that people’s response to them is still insufficient. The Rajapaksas should be hit with “dirt buckets” and not allowed to get out of their bakkie. The Rajapaksas should be hanged first to appease this nation and none other. That’s when people widen their eyes and wonder why on earth people behave like this.

  • 4
    2

    We all know the problems SL is facing today, so there is nothing substantial or anything new in the article, & in my understanding, the author believes the NPP is able to sort them all out. Fantastic, just that I would like to know more about how they set about achieving it. NPP appears to be focussed on ”..economic development based on the revival of small to medium enterprises..” but is that an experimental or a proven model? Didn’t Mrs B try something similar which didn’t work?

    There is no such thing as a free lunch, so all those foreign investors expect a return but it is up to responsible to ensure a win win outcome, not sell out the country for personal gain. Maybe ‘Western’ aid was given with ulterior motives but who was responsible for not making the best use of the funding provided? Singapore, with no natural resources, relied on such aid in the 50s, yet, managed to build the country to what it is today.

    In a nutshell, my simple questions, can the NPP bring prosperity relying on better ”indigenous/local systems” without foreign investment & expertise? Can SL compete in foreign markets or are we going to be a closed economy?

    • 7
      0

      Raj-UK: I understand your concerns. I invite you to read through a “Revised” edition of the “Rapid Response” which, this time gives a much broad-based “Policy” initiative. Please note it is still not a “Manifesto” for an election.

      NPP is designing a policy of participation in the “Foreign/Local” investor system that would bring in “Capital plus Technology” to handle designated areas of development to which the Government would provide “Easy Roadway” access. You might wonder what happened to our economy with all the Investments done all this while. Take for example the “Hambantota Port” project. The Loan was US$ 1.9 billion and built by China. When Ranil W sold it, to China, the very people who built it assessed it at US$ 970 billion. What a difference and why? Ranil W “Leased” it for “99 years” with an option to buy it after the expiry of the lease. How much that “Bying Price” would be? He also granted a “Tax Holiday” for another “25 years”. No REVENUE to the Government for another “25 years” to come. What a “SELL-OFF”! All the “Foreign Investments” that came to S/L “ENJOY” such “TAX HOLIDAYS”(all exceeding 25 years & repatriate the profits in dollars) while the “LOCAL INVESTORS” are subjected to all the TAXATIONS and other “Rules & Regulations”. This is our predicament and the sad story. This is the HIDDEN truth of CORRUPTION and LOOTING.

      • 1
        0

        Douglas

        I have no time to read the NPP Rapid Response every time it is revised. By now, I would expect the NPP to have their strategy, cut & ready, all in the manifesto. Of course, costings may change but there should be a provision for that. which can be revised as we go along. So tell me when the (final) manifesto is ready.
        We all know of the white elephant investments, mismanagement & corruption in the past. Its water under the bridge & unless those responsible are punished as deserved, there is no point talking about it. It is not only the politicians, even trade unions are in the gravy train, so its good to hear about eliminating corruption but unless reforms are outlined & how (the action plan) it is going to be done, it’s all gas in a soda bottle. GR also promised to eliminate corruption & even visited some corrupt hot spots but what happened? What is to say the NPP membership doesn’t have rats waiting for the cheese?

        • 3
          0

          My biggest problem is that the NPP gods don’t seem to inform us of any “better option” to apply than going to the IMF. They just stay pointing the finger at others.

          Although we have repeatedly said this, these NPP gods are deliberately avoiding us. Although a staunch NPP supporter, Douglas doesn’t seem to have a better and more creative argument about it.
          :
          Let me say it again, would the NPP be continuing the IMF recommendations or not? If not, it will be a disaster for this nation. I emphasize to you.

          Will laws be brought to control the “criminal Sinhala Buddhist monks roaming this country” or not?
          Do they put Sinhala Buddhism above their administration or not?

        • 1
          0

          Fully agree Raj.

          What the NPP can do is to release broad points relating to the future economic development may be with one short paragraph under each. In an election we do not expect details as such. So we know the direction NPP will take.

          Some people believe that if there is a NPP led government, a family can own only 1 house. This is the kind of myths that operte on the ground level. So the Q is whether what kind of policy will NPP will adopt in relation to private property ownership?

      • 3
        0

        NPP experts to you @ without making round abouts let s focus on the cream of the issues as below.
        .
        Of course, the debt had to be paid and pressure was put on the then-Government. So what options DID the GG administration have other than going back to China and talking about leasing?

        In that leasing deal, it was none other than Mahinda Paraya, the nation’s CRIMINAL who abuseD his nation as a “human shield” who agreed with RW.
        Why on earth are they trying to blame RW only?

        And if the NPP idiot gods always assume that they should approach it better, they should do their part and share their contribution. Are the JVPrs foreigners to this country ?

        The same goes for the IMF and its recommendations for a country that has completely failed to comply with its conditions 16 times before. If the NPP had other better options in their minds, they should have worked with the caretaker government and saved this nation from this dire situation. Only then can people finally think that the NPP can do something.

      • 3
        0

        Douglas,

        Can you please share the link here to this Rapid Response document? or even share the main points?

    • 6
      0

      Hello and Happy New Year Raj-UK

      I have always been a bit skeptical about references to Singapore’s miraculous rise in prosperity. They have a population of nearly 6 million of which 1.7 million are non-residents. The non-residents are mostly from South East Asian countries and are basically used as cheap labour. If Sri Lanka wishes to copy Singapore, where are they going to find a source of cheap labour given the abysmal salaries paid here in Sri Lanka? Anyway have a look at this interesting paper on Singapore – by googling “viewing ourselves and others: differences, disconnects” from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
      In the Conclusion section of the paper it states “The economics of such immigration within Singapore’s globalisation experiences has brought about dimensions of inequality and unfairness to unprecedented new levels”
      Maybe the Singapore model is not the best idea for Sri Lanka?

      Best regards

      • 1
        0

        LankaScot,

        Agreed!

  • 4
    0

    Raj-UK: I made a typographical error in stating “US$ 970” referring to China’s valuation of Hambantota port. It must be corrected to read “US$ 970 million”. Sorry for that “boo…boo”.

  • 1
    0

    Dear Douglas,

    Is there a way to contact NPP Policy development committee, in particular on Economic development?

  • 0
    0

    So well written!

    All boils down to this statement: “Lack of coordinated policy planning at national and sub national level is also an obstacle to utilizing limited resources available to achieve economic goals.” Actually, it is the only obstacle.
    _
    Our leader never had the skill to implement coordinate-policy-planning. The ridiculous set of political systems in place killed any of this planning in favor of leaders hierarchical and power goals – the lack of intelligence amazing! The true Lankan skill level was never allowed to emerge. Democratic Socialist parties have been depressed, tortured, and killed for too long. The NPP is now at the forefront of acumen, skill, and intelligence to lead the country at this time.

  • 0
    0

    rtf, NPP can lead if others are willing to help them on

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