18 October, 2021


The Cockeyed & Absurd Claims About Ranil’s Economic Expertise 

By Malinda Senevirathne –

Malinda Seneviratne

Shyamon Jayasinghe, in an article published in the Colombo Telegraph (‘The political tug-o-war in Sri Lanka is cockeyed and absurd: only Ranil talks of economic goals’) dwells on the ‘dooshanaya-discourse’ or the ‘discussion on corruption.’  Shyamon makes an interesting observation:

“One never observes any printed or online media that tries to balance the imbalance and put things in perspective. They take some side or the other in the dooshanaya vs dooshanaya battle.”

He rightfully berates Maithripala Sirisena for talking as though corruption was something that the President discovered just the other day.  He then ridicules, quite rightly, ‘the Rajapaksa clan’ for attacking the ruling party of the dooshanaya disease. The Rajapaksas, he claims, are the main proponents of dooshanaya.

That’s it.  Nothing of the United National Party. Nothing of Ranil Wickremesinghe. it is as though he would have us believe that there has been no dooshanaya whatsoever post January 8, 2015. Instead, he claims he is bored by dooshanaya talk. Interestingly, after these charges and silences, Shyamon laments that he never observes ‘any printed or online media [trying] to balance the imbalance and put things in perspective.’

The reason is not hard to understand, for he then proceeds to sing the praises of Ranil Wickremesinghe. Objective much, one must say (tongue in cheek of course!).  

Let’s fill in some blanks here. The biggest heist ever that has been associated with the Central Bank happened under Ranil Wickremesinghe’s watch. The man at the centre of the scam is not only a personal friend, but one who has at best an iffy track record when one considers his stint as BoI Chairman when Wickremesinghe was Prime Minister (2001-2004). He was and is Ranil’s man. Wickremesinghe defended Arjuna Mahendran even after it became apparent that there had been hanky-panky involving Arjuna Mahendra and his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius.  When the COPE report on the Central Bank bond issue was about to be published, Ranil, through his new found friend Sirisena, got Parliament dissolved. 

Ranil went further.  He took control of the Finance Minister and continued to defend Mahendran. The UNP’s Deputy Leader, Ravi Karunanayake was implicated, later. Both disgraced men were rewarded and ‘looked after’ by Wickremesinghe by way of appointments conferred subsequent to them being moved out of their jobs. The fall guy, as they say, is taken care of by the real crook.  

Anyway, Shyamon is bored of dhooshanaya talk.  After leaving out an important part of the dhooshanaya story, he wants us to believe that Ranil Wickremesinghe and Ranil Wickremesinghe alone thinks of ‘The Economy.’  He takes care not to talk about the one tangible economic goal that was secured: the mega bucks his friends made over the last three years. Sri Lanka has slipped in the Corruption Index under Ranil Wickremesinghe’s watch and you can’t just point fingers at Maithripala because they are a thick-as-thieves in this, literally and metaphorically .

To put things in perspective and as a hint regarding what probably happened, the party that couldn’t pay the electricity bill of Sirikotha in 2014 ran a massively expensive election campaign in August 2015 and is currently doling out billions for the local government election.  Talk about having an eye on economic goals, eh?

Instead he talks of positives as per his obviously blind faith in neoliberal economic policies: 

Foreign direct investment is impressive debt management and fiscal management is improving and the economy is slowly looking up. PM goes all over the world on economic missions with little gratitude from even the President who now says he will take over the running of the economy!

Let’s not talk about google balloons, Volkswagen factories and free wifi.  Let’s talk facts.

Waruna Singappuli, in an article published in the Daily FT on February 7 titled ‘Economic policy: are we down the wrong lane?’ gives the data that Shyamon doesn’t seem to be aware of or else ignores altogether in the brain-freeze that seems to creep in when talking about the United National Party and Ranil Wickremesinghe. The Central Bank figures indicate, as Singappuli points out, that GDP growth has been ‘anaemic,’ being less than 5% over the past two years.  It is predicted that the 2017 figures would probably be lower than 4%, ‘the lowest growth since the war ended in 2009.’  Per Capita GDP is stagnant, the numbers show.  

How about the ‘impressive debt management’ that Shyamon talks of? Well, Singappuli, quoting Central Bank figures, demonstrates that ‘in absolute terms the total Government debt has increased by 39% from Rs 7,391 Bn at the end of 2014 to Rs 10,269 Bn by September 2017.  The Debt to GDP ratio, he points out, has gone up from 71% at end 2014 to 79% in September 2017. Singappuli puts it down to poor economic growth.  The policy of boosting government revenue by increasing taxes hasn’t worked, he says.  While acknowledging that tax hikes are not necessarily the only reason for weak growth, it is a key factor, Singappuli adds. 

He goes on to offer options. I shall not repeat his cogent arguments. The article can be found here 

The spikes in the graph indicate that foreign investors lack confidence in the economy.  The sharp rise in 2017 is from Chinese investment which accounted for 35% of FDIs to Sri Lanka in 2017 (until September) according to the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade. The Chinese ‘slice’ for 2017 is predicted to be in the region of  US $ 1.36 billion.

FDIs (calculated without borrowings) stood at US $ 1,685 Mn in 2014, came down to US $ 1,160 Mn in 2015, dropped further to US $ 1,079 Mn in 2016 and went up to US $1,630 Mn (projected) in 2017 thanks of course to China.  That’s ‘impressive’? Hardly!  

Yes, China.  Since Shyamon talks of the globe-trotting genius prime minister that we have, let’s elaborate.  This genius and his party lambasted China for years during the previous regime. It gambled on the West, convinced that the US and Europe would help out.  They had forgotten that China and Japan own North American and European debt.  The wide-eyed wonder of wonders who in Shyamon’s eyes can do no wrong suddenly woke up when Brexit happened.  Out of the blue, the man says, ‘we are planning to look East’.  What’s this ‘East’?  China!  So much for ‘going all over the world on economic missions’!  And we are supposed to say ‘thank you Ranil’?  

The economy is not looking up. It can’t when the handlers are navel-gazing and seem to believe that they were mandated to do nothing else than blame the previous regime for present ills. That and lining the pockets of the near and dear.

‘Cockeyed and absurd claims,’ yes.  And there’s nothing more cockeyed and absurd than claiming that Ranil knows anything about the economy.  Note: talking of economic goals is one thing, delivering is something totally different.  

*Malinda Seneviratne is a freelance writer.  malinsenevi@gmail.com.  www.malindawords.blogspot.com
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Latest comments

  • 15

    Claims are through media propaganda.
    otherwise, Ranil is just another reptile.
    Economic expertise……. my foot.

    • 7

      There are no great economists in SL. When compared to the rest of the modern world our “economists” are “still not come down from trees.”

      Just read the Auditor General’s report what TB Jayasundara and Mhanida (as the Finance Minister) did with loans and “managed the economy!” The Auditor General’s report is an impartial truthful statement of the current state of affairs; unlike economic-ignorant Malinda’s claptrap.

      Mervin Silva got the largest number of preferential votes from Kalaniya (or somewhere) and Mahinda and most in the SLFP/Bud are no different. Are these the people who can lead us into the modern “economic world?” Just go to Humbanthota and see.

      Ranil is no economist but he is all we have right now – I’ve asked people here to name and alternative and there is nothing but silence.

      Ranil is the best out of the worse ……….all what he is doing is just throwing darts like a monkey……..and some of them will hit the target……….and the most important thing is there is some logic to his dart-throwing and a method to his madness.

      All these low-life weasels like Malinda will never say the truth……….. that if the “economic” imbecile Mahinda and his brothers didn’t take high interest loans from China for the commissions and build all that crap in Hambanthota, we don’t have to sell them to China and India and become a vassal state of those countries.

      Our freedom is lost not because of Ranil or any other moron but because of the crook who has convinced the majority of the Singhalese that he is the saviour of the nation!

      Bloody Monty Python couldn’t write such a script.

      Milinda or who ever else want to take up the challenge and argue their case? ……….All you now “great courageous patriots” will run faster than when someone prior to 2009 shouted “Tigers!”

      Ah! Lankans where would Lanka be without the special “mentality” of the Lankans!

      Just because one is born in this dump ……….one has to put up and live with this special “Lankan mentality.”

    • 6

      Malinda Seneviratne, everyone knows you want Ranil out of the way so that you can bring The Rajapaksas back to power…

      People hate Ranil because you can’t fool him as you can the Rajapaksas…

      So some countries might want the Rajapaksas back to create the conditions required for international intervention…

    • 1

      I’m some what amused when the Sri Lankan’s lament not having economic experts. The Reason is simple most of the experts from Sri Lanka has gone to soooo dislike countries in the Colonial West over the last 10 to 15 years to improve the west. Specially the economic experts I do bump in to some very regularly giving expert advice on how to improve the Western countries’ financial sector. And may I say they are doing a stellar work to improve the west’s economy in the specialized and high end fields as taxi piloting, Retail industry in the super markets by operating complicated checkout machines, Hospitality sector as cleaning technician’s, Chain Food industry Mac’s and KFC etc. front line customer service officers oil industry fuel dispensing technician’s and so on. So pleas entice them back to Sri Lanka reverse the brain drain West will suffer without their input and experties but it will be Sri Lanka’s gain.

  • 12

    Shyaman Jayasinghe has no shame! Writing hosanna to his master!

    Even talking about this prime minister and president is a waste of time!

    What two jokers our people got into the high seats? One know what happen in his own cabinet from the news papers, and the other dance the jig in the parliament!

    What kind of economy do we have now?
    Something that waiting for FDI to come and bail us out?

  • 9

    Ranil is NOTHING but an IDIOT..he has NO allegiance to SL, he does not care about ppl in SL, he is extremely stupid and knows only to appease the west….May Nalini suffer the consequences where ever she is for producing him

    • 12

      What Economics does this writer Malinda Seneviratne know to Judge RW? This man was with his mouth shut when MR was in power and suddenly now have turned out to be an Economic Pundit.

      • 5

        Gamini, this guy Malinda Seneviratne is a Rajapaksas supporter who tries to hide his loyalty to them…

  • 13

    Malinda Senevirathne: Study Ranil’s character. He is a typical MAFIA BOSS. He is trying to show something which he is not. I think some where, Probably Lord buddha, Says that the most stupid person is one who does not understand that he/she is stupid.
    The way he lies, wreck the country and travel in luxury cars and uses other air tickets for his benefits shows that he is a typucal Psychopath. He doe snot know, probably, thzt he is sick.
    It is only Alibaba who di dnot go for any robberies but always led gangs of thieves.
    A lot has been talked about Ranil’s economic expertise. Economists show how stupid he is. but, he does not understand.

    • 1

      Jim Softy,

      If people really knew what Ranil did in Batalanda then they might asked twice what the hell they did back in 2015.

  • 6

    Malinda: Strt checking out facts and the behaviour. I heard Ranil wickrmasinghe is a die hard christian/Catholic. He is aim is to destroy Sri lanka.

  • 7

    Ranil has given many things in the past including the “”Gold Chains”” for young men and “”Vehicles”” at reasonable price to our “”Nangilas””. This time he talks about giving a “”WHY PYIYYA”” so that young people can eat that at home. He always talks about in future tense. But nothing to tell about the past what the UNP has achieved for the country.

    • 2

      The very fact that Ranil has the temerity to treat young voters as people who are tempted by glitter and glamour shows what kind of contempt he Ha has for their intelligence. On the one hand it is a disgraceful attempt at inducement to vote, and on the other which is more alarming lack of policies for the young. It is a brazen attempt at buying votes. First it was gold bracelets,then cheap cars, and now Wi Fi. Why won’t he be upfront and say that he will give cash.? Is it the election laws that prevents this all time corrupt humbug from saying so. The man should be lynched.

  • 8

    Ranil was born to a corrupt anglicized family who just benefit from the country( selling Arrack and by learning English grabbing positions created by the colonialists) and lord over its poor people. Stupid writers refer to them as aristocrats. Then after a few years we will also refer to Dammika Perera and Harry Jayawardena as aristocrats !They were nobodies who became somebodies with the white patronage. Then when winds began to change they became Buddhist patrons etc.Naturally with all that money there were a few good nationalists in the family but not Ranil or Esmond who are just mercenaries.

    Cunning Esmond Wickramasinghe placed Ranil with JR. Later Premadasa, Lalith and Gamini were murdered. The rest is history.

    Ranil is no leader. He has no heart for the country or its people. He only knows how stupid our people are and just manipulates them to remain as leader of the UNP. The rest is easy, sooner or later the UNP ( with the support of people like Sarath Fonseka or Sirisena ) can make a bid for power
    Ranil becomes second in command of the government and brings in unpopular jokers ( from one school and one era)with all kinds of weird ideas (mahendran, ratwatte, etc)and soon is on the slippery path.

    His main argument is Mahinda is a bad and corrupt man and if you don’t like him you have to ensure that I (Ranil) stays in power ! What is good about Ranil ? No, don’t ask that question, just keep saying that Mahinda is bad. This is the big argument of the UNP today.

  • 7

    I am no fan of Ranil bt when I see the three people wjo hate him the most:
    – Dayan
    – Rajiva
    – Malinda

    I think maybe there must be something good about him.

  • 4

    Ranil is an egoistic empty headed clown – his actions , his utterances, his ways of handling critical situations – amply proves this fact — to make the matters worse his boss Janadipathi is a smooth talking , cunning bas…d and a manipulator and first class liar – both of them do not want to put the country in front of their personnel agendas – MY3 is a typical crowned Katussa – he can be either green , blue or red – With these guys and their cohorts at the helm this country will go nowhere – We are a technically and socially bankrupt country – and none of these guys have either the vision or the brains to think correctly and put the country on progressive path. Ranil — not at all bothered , MY3 – do not know how to do it (Malle pol captain) – I earnestly request Mahanayke Theros to convince him to become a Buddhist Priest and make him a chief priest of a Nikaya – he will be the best Buddhist preacher – For Ranil – he is best suited to be the Chief Security Advisor of a big Casino – he posses all the qualities needed for the job


  • 0

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  • 1

    Malinda Seneviratne, like his brain- mates Dayan Jayatilleka & Rajiv, is going down and down in prejudice. The same hate as the other two have of the only decent and educated leader we have in Parliament is consuming him into destruction. I agree with EAGLE EYE. Malinda has no place today in journalism and he should try another job like teaching or giving tuition. Or another synthetic lawyer like his friend Namal Rajapakse?

    • 0

      Really Panditaratne? You can tout for Malinda can’t you?perhaps give him a massage after a heavy day at courts appearing in your divorce case?

  • 1

    Ranil is not a show pony ,certainly better than that but not an Economic Expert of any sort. He is not an intellectual heavy lifter but the same class as Mahinda Rajapassa.
    This Jajasinghe fellow is licking his boot for some reason , may be for another silver.

  • 1

    Why dont you join Ranil on one of his escapades with the boys. You might learn a thing or two of his expertise

  • 2

    we have never had economic independence since 1977. They all get advice from the WB.IMF ETC look at their policies mahindas megacity projects to bim saviya to suggesting taxing well water and so is the infra structure development straight from the pages of Ranils Regaing Sri Lanka. These A Hold re fooling the people. Ranil knowledge of economics is no better than the hype that JR was the fox who was the answer to all evil in SL. See the results a community that has been disrupted, corruption at its height, National debt un payable. This is the legacy if JRJ. After ranil it will be worse. We need men of class with a vission ,with a spine who will take a calculated risk to improve the economy of the country..and save it from the catastrophe. Ranil is not the answer.

  • 0

    Now that the Ranil boot lickers have been given the shock of their lives I salute the Sri Lankan voters for their wisdom and their patriotism. They have seen Ranil as a fraudster. Who is the national leader who avoids answering the question “what is your religion” I thought that the Sri Lankan’s were naive toaccept him. He is a baptised Christian and there is absolutely nothing wrong in that. But why be ashamed of your religious beliefs? Therein lies the key to the man’s personality. He kneels before the Mahanayakes just to hoodwink the people. This time however he has been found out and exposed. Of course there are people who admire him because he is from a well todo family, educated at Royal etc. Godaya people like SHYMAN ( who else will be named such other than a Pantis,Geederick, or Borvin!!) who in normal circumstances be allowed to enter Ranils home only through the staff entrance reserved for domestics, live awe of the man adulation the class that Ranil comes from. Disgustingly pathetic.The electorate has given a resounding slap to the face of these sycophants and at last there is some hope for Sri Lanka.
    Hail Mahinda the saviour of our once fair land!!

  • 0

    Malinda is no lesser person than the self proclaimed Secretary to the notorious Bodu Bala Sena of not long ago..Bensen

  • 0

    Hey Boot lickers of Ranil – here and abroad – patriotic people of this country had confirmed what we were trying to say about your Hero – RANIL – They have thrown him to dust bin – He have no future – at least now open your eyes widely and try to see the reality – SJ & PJ – people of this country had proved the ” class” of your hero Ranil
    Ranil was thrown to the dust bin – MY3 was buried – this time MR must make sure that he will not sleep with dogs – and surround himself with ????? – he cannot fail once again – this is the last chance this country will have to come out of present hopeless situation –

  • 0

    Nimal Fernando,

    Where the hell you were during 86 to 89 Bheshanasamaya and Batalanada days. It was proved that RW was the mastermind behind Central bank Robbery by bringing Mahendran as the boss and protecting him many times. Haven’t u heard about crimes commited by his body guard Gonawala Sunil. He wanted to give North and East to Prabakaran too when he was the last prime minister. Read the history man

    • 0

      Freeda, my dear dear girl,

      Calm down ……..you seem like a very rational impartial observer…… :))

      “86 to 89 Bheshanasamaya and Batalanada days”

      If Ranil committed all those crimes and all the witch-hunting commissions by the government in power at the time couldn’t pin anything on him ……….he must be a very clever guy! Don’t you think? :))

      “It was proved that RW was the mastermind behind Central bank Robbery”

      Proved by whom? ……Where are the cases against him? The commission has exonerated him; he has no case to answer. Nothing is “proved” ………. your opinion is just an opinion ………..you may be a very clever gal but just because you say so, a court of law will not accept a charge and prove someone guilty ………:))

      “He wanted to give North and East to Prabakaran too when he was the last prime minister.”

      Read what Erik Solheim has written ………Mahinda too wanted to give North and East to Prabakaram on a platter …………Freeda, my dear girl, things are not so simple as you want them to be! :))

      “Read the history man”

      Sure, I read history and come to different conclusions. :))

      But Malinda has written about economics ………..so, do you want to talk about the great commercial “insight” about getting planes to take off from Katunayake and land in Mattala 5 minutes later ……….and these really happened for everyone to see……not mere opinions and accusation thrown around by political-opponents/enemies ……….. :))

      Have a nice day.

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