16 October, 2019

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The Demand For A Dictator Is On The Rise & It Is A Dangerous Sign

By W A Wijewardena

Dr. W.A Wijewardena

The rising demand for a dictator

Recently, a former CEO of a leading private company expressed his personal view to me of the type of the ruler whom Sri Lanka should have today. Driven by conviction, he said that Sri Lanka at the present juncture needed a dictator to rule the country. He presented his reasons for this suggestion. All the top leaders of the country today, according to him, have disappointingly failed the nation. They have promised so many good things to the electorate when they sought power at elections. But, once in power, those promises had been kept in abeyance. 

The list was long, but he mentioned some of the key promises that had been broken. Among them were the promises to take those who had been accused of committing acts of corruption to courts, abolish executive presidency, establish a ‘rule of law based government system’, and revert to good governance practices. Hence, the ex-CEO had been an angry man. His anger had made him rationalise that the problem had been due to the softness of the people in power. 

He presented evidence from the region where tough administrations had been successful in delivering the promises. In Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew had been a tough ruler though he had been elected to power through elections. In South Korea, General Park had seized power through a coup d’état. He is said to have used his military prowess to enforce discipline on otherwise undisciplined South Koreans. The results had been dramatic. Within a single generation, both countries had been able to elevate themselves to the status of rich countries. Hence, the golden path to economic prosperity, according to the ex-CEO, was to have an authoritarian rule.

A nation blaming all others for indiscipline

This ex-CEO is not alone in canvassing for a dictator. Speak to any Uber or a PickMe driver or a three-wheeler operator. He would agitate for a tough man to enforce road discipline on all other road users implying that his driving is free from blame. There are many others who belong to this club of dictator loving citizens. Their concern has been the widespread indiscipline that has engulfed the whole of Sri Lanka’s society. To prove their point, they usually quote the perilous state of Sri Lanka’s state universities and hospital system as examples. 

State university system is more closed than open

In the case of state universities, education is disrupted by unruly elements at all times. First, it is the ragging of the fresh students by seniors in the most inhuman way as the published reports have revealed. It has killed the creativity of a generation and made them puppets that could be manipulated at will by their handlers. When the university administration takes disciplinary action against the culprits, students at the university in question start boycotting classes alleging that students are being hunted by rulers. It paralyses the working of the university. It does not stop there and soon, it spreads to other universities too. Eventually, the whole university system comes to a standstill. 

Once this issue is resolved, always in a way to appease the striking students, the non-academic staff members of universities go on strike claiming that there are unresolved issues relating to salary anomalies or promotions. When they are appeased, the academic staff takes their place. 

Thus, in a given year, the state universities are closed for most of the time. The end result is that a student who enters a state university does not know when he would graduate. In other countries, dates of graduation ceremonies are fixed well in advance and students can prepare their future career plans accordingly. 

Even the students who have passed out from universities regularly disturb the society’s peace. They march in the busy streets of the city demanding government jobs. It creates traffic jams, on one side, and forces the Police to use physical power to disperse them, on the other. The ultimate casualty is the general public who can only curse themselves for their disability to do anything and the political masters who do nothing about it.

Hospitals can be paralysed just by raising a threatening finger

The state hospital system is not better than state universities in this sense. Government Medical Officers’ Association, commonly known as GMOA, is noted for hitting the hospital authorities with unannounced flash strikes. Their action paralyses the hospital system putting the low income classes which do not have enough means to patronise private hospitals to innumerable hardships. 

When GMOA is not on strike, nurses or other support staff members go on strike paralysing the state hospital system again. The victims in this case are patients who, by civilised society’s moral standards at all times, deserve urgent attention of healthcare authorities. That is why civilised societies give priority to ambulances that carry patients to hospitals. Similarly, prisoners of war who are injured are also treated humanely by civilised societies. 

Political leaders pay lip service to indiscipline  

These are just two examples out of many such occurrences which Sri Lankans experience daily. When they occur, no solution is offered by the country’s political leadership. In a democracy, political leaders have to listen to the pulse of the people if they want to continue to be in politics. Hence, through fear of losing the vote base, political leadership just keeps a blind eye on the violators of laws. The aggrieved citizens then dream of salvation via a tough guy placed at the helm of the nation. 

There are also diverse suggestions to bring the tough guy to power. Some want to elect him to power through popular ballot. The others want to bring him to power via a military coup. Some others suggest that the two main political forces should get together and establish a tough rule in the country. But, all these alternative suggestions have one feature in common. That is, the authoritarian ruler should rule the country for a given period, restore discipline and good behaviour and then hand over the power back to civilians.

Suffering from confirmation bias and availability bias

Those who agitate for a dictator seem to suffer from two types of bias. One is the confirmation bias. The other is the availability bias. 

When one is suffering from confirmation bias, he is just looking for evidence to confirm his view. Any evidence that does not support his view is simply filtered out. In the case of availability bias, one makes judgments based on only the evidence available. No attempt is made to find out whether additional evidence, supporting or opposing, is available. 

Any mission on searching for additional evidence is costly in terms time, money and mental energy. Hence, in order to avoid these costs, one would confine oneself to a narrow view constrained by limited evidence collected. As a result, the decisions made by using limited evidence are not the best decisions but somewhat suboptimal ones. When one narrates these suboptimal decisions ad infinitum, in line with the Goebbels Law, one tends to believe it as the truth. Hence, when the virtues of a dictator are repeated, people tend to believe in the miracles these dictators can deliver to a nation.

There are hundreds of failures as against two success stories 

The two success stories pertaining to Singapore and South Korea, often quoted to justify authoritarian regimes, suffer from both the confirmation bias and the availability bias. For a handful number of such success stories, there are hundreds of failures which the promoters of authoritarian rules have disregarded. 

Some stories are direct military dictatorships, while some others are democratically elected rulers establishing authoritarian regimes midway through. Some are monarchies, while some others are dictatorships based on personality cults. There are also single party dictatorships that do not permit pluralistic views among citizens. 

These failures significantly outnumber the claimed success stories. As such, one should be careful in making a recommendation for establishing an authoritarian regime based on a few selected success stories.

Dictators have not delivered prosperity to their people

In Africa, the Dark Continent, the failed dictatorships are found in Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, The Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Western Sahara. 

In Latin America, the countries like Equatorial Guinea, Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela had authoritarian regimes but they have failed to deliver economic prosperity to their people. In Asia, North Korea, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan had established similar authoritarian rules but have become economic failures despite the vast endowments of natural resources. 

The best example of one-party rule leading to total economic collapse was the former Soviet Union. Its economic maladies had been hidden from the rest of the world for nearly seven decades. But when it collapsed in 1989, overnight, the previously glorified Soviet Union became a developing country. 

All these countries have been branded as failed states by the US based Fund For Peace. Hence, a dictatorship or an authoritarian rule is not the secret for economic prosperity for a nation. 

Failure of Indira Gandhi’s draconian rule

In neighbouring India, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi established what the analysts have branded as a draconian rule after she won elections in 1971. This culminated in a highly authoritarian rule after she brought the whole country under emergency rule in 1975. 

India’s economic performance during this period had been pitifully low compared to previous periods. Economic growth which amounted to 5.2% in 1971 fell to 1.8% in 1972 and became negative 1.5% in 1973. There was a slight recovery of growth to 5% in 1974, but it fell again to 0.9% in 1975. The average growth for the whole period just amounted to a little over 2% compared to an average growth of close to 4% between 1956 and 1974. 

Thus, the draconian rule established by Indian political leadership through its Parliamentary majority did not help the country to deliver economic prosperity to its people.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike government didn’t do better

A parallel could be found in Sri Lanka too during 1971-77 when the United Front led by Sirimavo Bandaranaike got a two-third majority in Parliament in the July 1970 General Elections. After the abortive JVP insurrection of 1971, the country was ruled continuously under emergency laws. 

These laws were used by the Sirimavo Bandaranaike government to suppress personal freedoms of people to the maximum. Yet, as the figure 1 shows, the economy suffered heavily during this period in which the average growth fell from the previous 4.8% to 2.9%, the lowest such growth attained by any political regime since independence.

Sri Lanka: Growth rates during different political regimes | Source: Central Bank of Sri Lanka

Winners and losers coming from the same cultural background

What this means is that an authoritarian regime is not necessarily the gateway for a country to become prosperous. A few countries, like the most often quoted Singapore and South Korea, have succeeded, while many others have failed. Even in the case of Korean Peninsula, South Korea has been a winner in the economic race, while North Korea has been a loser. This is despite that South Korea had had an authoritarian regime in the initial phase of its economic development, while South Korea has had such a regime throughout. 

Both had the same cultural and historical background but one moved up in the ladder, while the other pushed itself down. Hence, the secret to success has not been the existence of authoritarian regimes but some other growth inducing factors. Without these factors, neither democratic nor authoritarian regimes can deliver prosperity to a nation.

Importance of observing the Rule of Law and protecting property rights

The foremost of these factors is the protection of property rights, supported by the observance of the rule of law by a country. Both Indira Gandhi and Sirimavo Bandaranaike regimes failed because they violated the property rights in a background of gross neglect of the need for observing the Rule of Law. Gandhi nationalised banks, imposed draconian restrictions on the production plans of private companies, centralised the management of the economy and failed in investing in human capital during her tenure ruled under emergency. 

Similarly, Bandaranaike too went on a free nationalisation spree from plantations to even producing of ‘buryani’, a kind of a delicate rice meal cooked with meat, established the most stringent export and import control regimes and killed the private initiatives by over-expanding the state sector. Both South Korea and Singapore, the two success stories, protected the property rights of people so that the private sector had all the incentives to invest and expand production. 

Track record of Ranil Wickremesinghe government

As the Figure 1 shows, the economic performance of Ranil Wickremesinghe government of 2015-19 has not been impressive either, despite it being a more democratically oriented regime. The main reasons for this low performance have been the inadequate economic management, on one side, and the disregard of the Rule of Law, on the other. 

In the case of economic management, instead of adopting an economy-wide national plan, all economic decisions were taken by a small group that met under Prime Minister’s leadership in an informal arrangement called Cabinet Committee on Economic Management or CCEM. This outfit is known for addressing fire fighting micro issues rather than looking at the economy from a macro perspective. 

With regard to the Rule of Law, as revealed by the evidence placed before the Presidential Commission into the infamous Treasury bond scam, there had been some sections in society which had been beyond the reach of the long arm of the law. In that situation, the private businesses got scared to go for worthwhile long term investments. 

Demand a ruler who will observe Rule of Law and protect property rights

Hence, it is not a tough man who would save Sri Lanka at the present juncture of its development. It is a democratic man who would observe the Rule of Law and protect property rights of people so that the latter would have all the incentives to work hard, invest and enjoy the fruits of their investments.

*The writer, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, can be reached at waw1949@gmail.com   

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Latest comments

  • 7
    1

    A dictator, democratically elected by popular vote without rigging the process, who is of integrity, fair to all irrespective of race, religion or political affiliation, believing in meritocracy and has leadership qualities with a pragmatic vision to uplift the country and is efficient to deliver the goods is the one a country needs. A good example of one with all these are late Lee Kwan Yew, and what he achieved for Singapore is a living testimony to this concept. Unfortunately Sri Lanka never had one in the past and will never have one in the near future to fit into it. Any dictator in Sri Lanka will be like Idi Amin or Robert Mugabe, who will kill dissidents, loot the state and put the country in a mess.

    • 1
      0

      Gnana,
      Looks like you haven’t read the essay properly. WAW has mentioned LEE Kwan Yew’s Singapore example as an exception to the rule that the majority of dictators were ruthless failures.

      The main intention of my reply here is to draw attention to number of accusations MY 3 is making against his political rivals – MaRa & Ranil. The latest is the accusation involving Dilruksi Diaz. Among other things, MY 3 also said that Ranil sent him a letter requesting to appoint her to the SC. Now, the ball is in MY 3’s court. Either he must produce the letter prove the falsity of Ranil’s denial of sending such a letter or else he must issue a equally loud apology for lying!

      Lying to the public has been a hallmark of MY 3. In this Dpt of lying he is as good as MaRa. He is yet to prove the allegation he made against MaRa over the Lotus Tower incident. He lied about his knowledge on the Indian tip regarding Easter Bombing. Then he promised to publicize the commission report in two weeks. This need to be stopped even at this late stage. This is not some rogue politician from the opposition; this is still the president even if he has only less than two months to work!

      • 1
        1

        He has only mentioned the name not what he followed, which I have done in detail. The first thing he did was national reconciliation based on equality. He did not pamper to Chinese nationalism saying that we are 75% and will decide what we want ignoring the rest 25%, like what Sinhalese had been doing. He did not make Chinese the only official language, but three others on equal basis though Malay is spoken by 15% and Tamil by 8%. Though there are four equal official languages, for national purpose Malay is the first official language followed by Chinese, Tamil and English and for administrative purpose English is the first official language followed by Chinese, Malay and Tamil. Official language status to Tamil was given voluntarily, unlike in Sri Lanka where despite several years of protest and facing violent reprisal, it had to forced from outside. There is rule of law and there was no state sponsored riots unleashed on Tamils unlike in Sri Lanka. Admission to higher education and government employment is purely on merit, unlike in Sri Lanka where racial discrimination is practiced in favour of Sinhalese. In all government publications Tamil is there without any problem, where in Sri Lanka it is deliberately left out in many cases and had to be pointed out even now, despite Tamil being given official language status in 1897. If anyone who talks of making Sri Lanka another Singapore, who is not willing to ensure ethnic equality and justice is only making empty rhetoric. See what is happening in Mullaitivu, where despite a court order, police is giving protection to Sinhala criminals to violate the rule of law and commit atrocity. Will that ever happen in Singapore.

        • 0
          0

          Gnana,
          That’s exactly the point. It was a very unique case; Lee was not only a dictator; he also had vision and a mission along with a well defined tactics to accomplish his mission. On the other hand, China achieved the economic progress by bulldozing all the opposition and ethnic differences -“Chinisization” – a multi-ethnic & multi -cultural nation. But, look how pathetic is the situation in N Korea, Cuba and in Muslim countries where minority has no voice at all.

          The point is that there is no guarantee all dictatorships end up producing Singapore s. This is more so in countries like SL where racism plays a huge role in rural politics. Didn’t you see LITTE leader Prabakaran harassing Muslims & Sinhalese in the N & S? This has very little to do with politics; rather it has more to do with level of morals & ethics of a given nation.

          • 0
            1

            “Lee was not only a dictator”

            You are taking liberties with the term “dictator” ……….. Lee was overwhelmingly voted into power in every election.

            China copied Lee’s economic blueprint.

            Singapore has 0 foreign-debt. …….. and 0 unemployment (I think) ………. but when visiting, I don’t get the feeling that the native Singaporeans are a happy lot; they complain a lot. ………. Their existence; caged battery-hens come to mind.

            Lankans are a freer and a happier lot ……… beats me why they want Gota to come and whip them into shipshape and get them to lay their eggs regularly and efficiently in the proper place ……… for many people other than Lankans …… there’s more to life than just laying eggs.

          • 2
            0

            Prabaharan never listened to advice and is guilty of committing atrocities. But credit has to be given to for his vision that the future state of Ealam would be a secular one with equality to all languages and religions, unlike in Sri Lanka where Sinhala is the official language and Buddhism is the state religion. In this aspect Prabaharan had taken the correct step like Singapore. Whether he will be honest (he amassed wealth but his family has been wiped out), pragmatic (his policies were cock-eyed leading to disaster) and follow meritocracy (he appointed yes men and eliminated capable dissidents) is doubtful. There would not have been a Prabaharan if Tamils were allowed to live in dignity and safety.

            • 3
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              At the height of Prabakaram’s power ……… the Tamils walked around as equals among the Sinhalese with their heads held high. …….. So, Prabakaram was on the right path for the Tamils to gain dignity.

              People will be able to see it ……. if they are capable of looking beyond the unspeakable atrocities of both sides ……… and are able to transcend the “Sinhalese/Tamils” shindig ……… and come to look at it impassively as a thing that always happens/happened in the ol’ “human-condition” ……….. amongst all humans ……. all over the world ……… throughout history

              “Sinhalese/Tamils” prism makes the focus too narrow ……. and people miss the forest for the trees ………….

    • 1
      1

      I get the distinct feeling that no Lankan “intellectual” has taken the time to independently in isolation to think and analyse if we really need a dictator.

      The simple reason for all this talk of need for a dictatorship is because Gota has dictatorial/megalomaniac tendencies. Simply that!

      Sadly, most Lankan intellectual discourse is after the fact ……… lags the events.

      Sorta ……. which came first; the chicken or the egg? ……… Now Gota the chicken has arrived and everybody is desperately running around trying to create the egg for him.

      • 2
        1

        nimal fernando

        “Sadly, most Lankan intellectual discourse is after the fact ……… lags the events.”

        Forget Intellectuals, Dictators, Fascists, Pol Pots, ….. do we have men and women of wisdom? Wisdom has become a rare commodity.

    • 0
      0

      Yes, Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam, it is good to dream dreams. However, where can such a candidate be found, and how do we get him/her elected?
      .
      I remember you advocating in a comment recently that all Tamils must vote for Gota, so that you can once more complain to the International Community that a hardline Sinhalese President is harassing you, and that the World must help you.
      .
      By saying so, you were letting down all of us who speak Sinhala instead of Tamil, but try to be moderate in our views and try to understand the problems faced by Tamils. There is an article here about the horrible things that the LTTE did:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/thirty-years-after-rajanis-lasting-impact/
      .
      I seriously suggest that you vote for Dr Ajith Colonne (although he was educated in Ananda Sastralaya and in Ananda College, and not at Royal College.) In order to defeat Gota, who killed indiscriminately, Colonne (an expert on Military Intelligence) would seem to be the ideal choice.
      .
      Why not google his name so that you may be able to hear him expressing his views in English. People like you owe it to the Tamil community to act with a greater sense of responsibility.

      • 1
        0

        Panini Edirisinghe AKA Sinhala Man, my views are always based on justice and truth, which for those not believing in those principle will appear immoderate. I will not hesitate to call a spade a spade, which may not go with those errant doers. I have never denied about atrocities committed by LTTE and condemned them for killing non-combatants and dissidents. As a medico-legal officer in war zone, I have witnessed the atrocities committed by Security forces. For me government and its agents are worst terrorists than LTTE. There is no LTTE since 2009, but state terrorism against Tamils is continued to be unleashed still. See what is happening in Mullaitivu, where police and security forces have blatantly violated court order to support Sinhala terror. I made a pragmatic suggestion that it is better for Tamils to encounter an enemy who is behaving like an enemy rather than an enemy who is behaving like a friend and doing the same thing. As far as I am concerned Ajit Colonne is a non-starter, who is silent about the demand of Tamils for autonomy to their areas as a whole, which the international community has accepted as fair. As an expert on military intelligence he would have been part of the game How do you know that Gota will be a changed man to take my advice to him to follow King Asoka to shun violence and hatred and become a Dharmagota.

  • 1
    2

    What is the premise for the statement “a dictator is a bad for the country? Many dictators have uplifted and developed the countries especially in Asia. Even America have a semi dictator with huge powers. Russia and china are good examples too. Democracy is good for a developing country? As matter of fact, many learned scholars past and future state that democracy is not a good thing.
    Let’s give it a try for our country.

  • 3
    1

    “Hence, the secret to success has not been the existence of authoritarian regimes but some other growth inducing factors. Without these factors, neither democratic nor authoritarian regimes can deliver prosperity to a nation.”

    Mr W A Wijewardena,

    Thank God you are one of the very few Lankans who can impassively talk about Lanka. It’s a pleasure to read your articles.

    Dictators per se do not bring prosperity to any nation; only prosperity to his own kith and kin. Sometimes, not even that.

    A classic example is China ……. Mao the great dictator didn’t do much for his people other than let his mental-sickness play-out on his population. It was Deng X Ping (or some guy) after him who is responsible for China’s immense advancement today.

    In the mid 80s, their professors were sent out to sit in our freshman engineering and computer science lectures. They were very intelligent but Mao’s carp/nonsense had let the modern world leave them behind. One guy I befriended told me, during The Cultural Revolution his students got hold of him and put him on a train and for six months he did nothing but travel all the train-lines end to end.

    The Chinese are a very intelligent and hard working people (just like the Japanese, the Koreans and now the Vietnamese – on whom a larger tonnage of bombs than in the entire World War 2 was dropped …….. our 30-year war pales into insignificance.)

    All over, the past world history is littered with dictators but very few – if any – have brought prosperity to their people.

    Lankans first and foremost have to overcome their unspeakable idiocy ………. especially the so called “educated” ……… “progressive” …….. and the “trend-setting” ” Intelligentsia.”

    • 0
      0

      Amarasiri,
      SL “intelligentsia” has intelligence to learn. The reason for “idiocy” is not the lack of intelligence; rather it is the lack of knowledge which a product of learning. For example, the re is a group of intellectuals who still are highly fascinated with Marxism. But, I doubt whether any of them has ever studied the Marxist literature well enough to defend an argument against it. In science, the situation is changing but in social sciences, the situation is getting worse!

  • 0
    0

    Well said Sir, and thank you for stating the true underlying reasons required for development.

    Though Sri Lanka has high literacy, the capability to think independently and rationally is sadly lacking. Maybe this too is a result of the crippled education system you mention, especially in the universities.

    The test of Falsification is a key factor required to establish the validity of any theory. As you have shown, The Theory of the Dictator is easily falsifiable.

  • 1
    0

    Sorry, typo at end of last comment

    Well said Sir, and thank you for stating the true underlying reasons required for development.

    Though Sri Lanka has high literacy, the capability to think independently and rationally is sadly lacking. Maybe this too is a result of the crippled education system you mention, especially in the universities.

    The test of Falsification is a key factor required to establish the validity of any theory.

    As you have shown, The Theory of the Dictator is easily disproved.

  • 2
    2

    No one demands a dictator. Everyone wants someone who can do something, unlike the clowns tha we have now who talk all day and night and are unable to do anything.

    Look at the Cental expressway … just talk and more talk.
    Look at everything else . just blame the previous party. No one cares for that nonsense.

    For years the talking heads said that the war could not be won. But a few did actually win it. Not only did they win it but there was an unprecedented period on good things being done for the economy.

    The folk who write and read this are not the ones who pay the price of the lack of development . it is the average pickme driver average daily worker . They are tired of the politcs of blame . That is why Gota will win regardless of the elite

  • 2
    1

    The country is in a chaos. It is natural for people to think that a stern disciplinarian (dictator) must take things over. But the root cause has not gone into. What we have is a kleptocracy everywhere. The present lot accused the predecessor of the grave charge and they themselves were a part of the Bond scam. Naturally people tend to think whether this democracy is farce and whether as things stand this is an open license to rob public money causing a massive hemorrhage on the system. Therefore the vote can be to throw the entire system overboard. If the public opinion swings towards a military takeover it can happen even before an ex-military man can get elected.

  • 0
    1

    it is better to have army rule where all politicians will be sent home saving the country a great deal of money than a strong leader coming out of a democratic process with his coteries of hanger ons

    also the degree of of corruption will be very much less as it will be confined to the top brass like in myanmar

  • 1
    0

    Good article but to be an disciplined society our economy should be adequate discipline also parallel with poverty corruption so as long as poverty level above average its a huge task n challenging for an authoritarian ruler

  • 1
    4

    I completely agree. Democracy has been an absolute failure in Sri Lanka. Though dictatorship is a terrible form of governance, in the Sri Lankan context that’s the only way to shape this nation. The simple fact is that democracy has failed us badly for 71 years. We can give it another 100 years. Then what? The results will the same. Democracy is a Western concept suited for people with a high level of human development. It has worked well in North America, Western Europe and Australia/NZ. It also works in Japan but the Japanese are driven by an indigenous culture even superior to Western democracy where patriotism, loyalty, honesty, integrity, hard work and self discipline are woven to the very fabric of Japanese society. Compare that to Sri Lanka. We are essentially a lazy lot of dishonest, indisciplined, corrupt, envious, power hungry people that lack any form of moral compass about who we are and what we should be doing. This country requires a strong man with a horse whip. We should leave democracy aside for 20 years until we can get back on our feet. Then you can talk about freedom. Democracy has never worked in the Third World and never will. Ask Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamed for his “HOW TO DO IT’ manual.

  • 2
    1

    Rule of law cannot be observed because the war heroes have to be saved by Sinhala Jury only courts. “No Leader, No Commander, No Soldier can be punished” because they killed 150,000 Tamils to save the Lankawe and because the Tamils were killed only by Heroes, it was counted as Zero Casualty. A family robbed $18 B, but this has to be hidden by Appe Aanduwa because Aanduwa undertook the responsibility to stop falling the pants of these buglers in international arena. Ranil went to New York, UN office to argue the case of Old King. But sadly it was IC found out how much they have invested outside. Old Brother Prince Son Prince took 6 times $20,000 to LA. But Ranil covered it. They killed hundreds of thousands of Tamil women and sold the Thali Kodi gold to Japan. But other countries are doing nice import / Export business with Japan. Is that a way to run a country or even fighting with the so called terrorist?

    India wants to send professional under ETCA. But Ranil brought the Singapore governor to loot CB. In this land, IQ below Sinhala Modaya thieves is angels and gods, even above the Lords & Kings of other lands. Remember, Old King Modaya has been bragging that he is the one going appoint the next British Monarchy?
    Country cannot get out of this curse because they need rule over the Tamils & their land. Did even Dudley do any good for the Land? Nil!

  • 4
    0

    Very sound analysis .I did not know you were also a sound political analyst.Congrats and we need to hear more from you as you a one of the few people who are politically unbiased

  • 2
    2

    Dr. W.A Wijewardena:-
    ” Sri Lanka at the present juncture needed a dictator to rule the country….”

    We don’t need a Dictator, we just Don’t Need Two Heads of Government who are pulling in two Different Directions!
    They are not Ruling for the Greater Good of the Country and Her People, but for the Benefit of their Political Parties and Themselves!

  • 3
    0

    Singapore, S. Korea had US support and money to soften the dictatorial blows.

  • 3
    0

    It’s the height of irony that the “club of dictator loving citizens,” which is angry with the government for not punishing the law-breakers and fraudsters of the previous regime, want to hand over power to the biggest murderer and court-dodger of them all to discipline the country and maintain law and order. WOW. You have to be out of your mind. Discipline yourself first if you want to be a good disciplinarian. Desperate people do desperate things and go down the Pallang.

  • 1
    0

    dictators expect dictators but democratics expect democracy…

  • 1
    1

    WAW,
    I do agree with you. There is no correlation whatsoever with political dictatorships and economic growth. As you have explained, the rapid growth in handful of countries have exhibited has been achieved not as a result of dictatorships but by implementing sound economic policies some of which have been extremely brutal on the mass. They include mass confiscation of land by expelling poor land owners, imprisonment or even killing when protested against unfair practices, denying freedom of expression, etc. China probably killed more than Hitler did first in the name of communist revolution, then during the cultural revolution and lastly in the name of modern capitalism.

    A foolish dictator can do more harm than a failed democratic leader as there is no way to stop dictators.

  • 2
    1

    sri Lankan democracy is like Israel. Only for the majority.

  • 3
    2

    The Kings, the Portuguese, Dutch and British were all dictators. Look where 71 years of democracy has got us. Can we afford democracy? Was life better under some dictators?

  • 2
    0

    CT, Without wanting to endorse Gotabhaya or any other Presidential contests in our country, it must be noted that there is lot to be said about dictators because all so-called dictators are not the same.
    \
    While Idi Amin, Mobutu and a number of African were a mad dictators, perfectly honourable anti-colonialist leaders in Africa and elsewhere have been tarred with the same brush by neocolonialists. The recently deceased Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was an example. He never amassed personal wealth and he was a man committed by the desire to gain the land his people lost to the Rhodesian Apartheid system,. True he cracked down on the locals who became stooges of the British caampaign against him.
    \
    If you use economic and social progress as a yardstick, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Hirohito and Mussolini were all strong leaders who brought economic and social progress to their respective countries. But the British, due to these people contesting and finally demolishing their (evil) empire, are still blackening the names of these leaders as horrid dictators.
    \
    The closest example to home however, are leaders like Sukarno of Indonesia and of course Lee Kwan Yu.
    \
    Only Lee escaped British slandering because he was serving their interests by being anti-Chinese to the tilt.
    \

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    People get the govt. they deserve.Although there is a huge income disparity and all in all people are happy except the rich who wants more and more.All those who live within their means farmers labourers taxi drivers cleaners look contended and happy. We change governments periodically and we get what we deserve. We tell the world that we are a Sinhala Buddhist country and accordingly a contented lot and its a sin to expect more and more the way the rich behaves. Bond scam is a good example.

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    We can quite understand the concern of Ex-CEO and well presented by the Ex-Deputy Governor of Central Bank Dr. W.A Wijewardena. We value his contributions to this forum. It should be taken into account that there were dictators ruled this country for full term but what happened? In countries like Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia dictators had their visionary goals and they didn’t give up until the tasks were achieved. Those leaders were focused on the economic growth to succeed they knew the mathematical formulas accurately that finally gave rich dividends. What the Ex-CEO had in his mind would have been that no one works in the government departments and the politicians robbed the country mercilessly and that leader of that kind could put a stop to all these perils.

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    I don’t think people are asking for a dictator. They are asking for a determined focused leader with an actionable plan for the nation.

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    Just to remind all friends ” Democracy is the worst form of government except for all others that have been tried out from time to time”

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    As usual the writer has provided a succinct analysis but curiously he does not refer to the period between 2005 and 2014 except for the graph. Debt induced growth in an authoritarian setting prevailed at the time. What is the writer’s opinion of this period?

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    No country has ever progressed with democracy. Nations have progressed because of dictator kings or tough leaders like Lee Kwan Yew. For the past 50 years politicians have ruined our country in th can be met e name of democracy. Helping Hambantota and Bond scam are clear cases of playing out by politicians. I agree with the CEO that we need a strong dictator to deal with all kinds of agitations which ruin day to day lives in Colombo. Also, dealing with ragging due to wavering by politicians, unfair strikes by various groups and agitations by unemployed graduates have to stop. All such agitations should be stopped by applying necessary force and genuine grievances can be dealt with an ombudsman.

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    Dr W A Wijewardena says, from scientific analysis of the Sajith-kind, of casual conversations with his hairdresser and tuk-tuk operators {“The Demand For A Dictator Is On The Rise……”}
    He does not say why {“…….. & It Is A Dangerous Sign”}
    WA W is critical of the Indira Gandhi state of emergency rule. There were no Indian equivalents of Thajudeen, Lasantha or Prageeth. No WhiteVans, no ‘Disappeareds’.
    .
    The Indian Armed Services are secular and not a ‘Law unto themselves’.
    Not a single Indian Diplomat is a fugitive from Interpol.
    .
    Dr WA W is obsessed with Charts of the type in Figure 1 which here shows, the economic performance of MS/RW coalition government of 2015-19 has not been impressive either, despite it being a more democratically oriented regime. The main reasons for this low performance have been the inadequate economic management, on one side, and the disregard of the Rule of Law.
    The growth figures during the previous regime was provided by the GoSL of the time when ‘Rule of Law’ did not exit.
    .
    Thus spake a retired Deputy Governor of CBSL.

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    The author does not mention China, which contradicts his thesis. China adopted the old Soviet models (economic and political) then introduced some minor free market reforms. Interestingly, China is ethnically homogeneous. So are Japan and Korea. I strongly suspect that if Sri Lanka had also been ethnically homogeneous at the time of Independence, it would have followed a similar trajectory as these East Asian nations. JR and Deng Xiaoping had similar ideas, with JR being even more in favor of open markets.

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    Give me a chance and I will be another Lee Kwan Yew and I won’t be that gentle with wrong doers. I think I have proved beyond any doubt I seem to be honest,hardworking,achieved a lot materially to do business and live in this part of London. From the age of 8 I made more money than my father who was the superintendent engineer of DGEU Kandy,gave loans to him, his chief Clark and the workers and always sat with my burgher friends in the first class in cinema. My elder brothers thought that I suffered from a complex.
    If I am given the power then I will have the JVP lads on one side of the table,hardworking business people who achieved honestly,just like my role models Justin Kothalawala and Justin Silva, not forgetting no nonsense Upali Wijewardane. Sadly country never gave me a chance where I ran 3 textile factories with my American friend where I got the weaving machines made in the island,sadly he was deported by JR with the blessing of the Americans and another lot minority community who had some domination at the Colombo’s immigration dept. after his deportation.I was still not reached 20. I took ship to UK and never looked back but I invested billions(Rs) in SL to show my allegiance to my stupid people and to my stupid country. But I can turn it around if the world allows it but it will be very painful, where the end will justify the means. Assad of Syria has got the right idea, ruthless to the core where that once a peaceful country where so many communities lived side by side until some messed it up for a devious reason or two.To make an omelet one has to break an egg as simple as that. So we have to break many such eggs to put our so called Darmadeepaya right.I am too busy to hang on…..

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