5 March, 2024

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The Role Of National Defence In A Crisis-Ridden Economy

By W A Wijewardena –

Dr. W.A Wijewardena

Sri Lanka is undergoing the worst of its economic crises in its post-independence history in the current period. The manifestation of the crisis is multifarious.

Its total output of goods and services, known as real gross domestic product, has shrunk by about 8% in 2022 and it is widely projected to shrink further in 2023. Any economic recovery will be marginal in the period from 2024 and will not exceed 3% even in 2027. This is below the normal economic growth of 4% which Sri Lanka could achieve without any policy action. Since Sri Lanka has recorded a negative economic growth in the last three quarters of 2022 consecutively, it is now in economic recession officially.

Its per capita GDP has declined from $ 4,000 in 2018 to $ 3,349 in 2022. Sri Lankans have become poorer on average, and this trend will be slightly reversed by 2027, the last year of the present IMF program. What this means is that if Sri Lanka aspires to become a rich country by 2048 by reaching a per capita income level of $ 12,000, it should have a real economic growth of about 7% year after year, given an annual population increase of about 1% over this period. This is a formidable challenge faced by the country.

Cost of living is rising though inflation from year to year is slowing

On the inflation side, Sri Lanka cannot be complacent about the behaviour of the prices. According to the Colombo Consumer Price Index, the official price index of the country, the general prices have increased by about 95% from January 2021 to March 2023. A family of 3.8 members meaning two parents and two children would have spent Rs. 91,880 in January 2021 to buy the basket of goods and services underlying the index. The same family should spend Rs. 179,166 in March 2023 to that basket. If their income has not increased by at least 95% over this period, the living conditions of an average family in Colombo District have worsened.

But the nationwide price increase, according to the Sri Lanka National Consumer Price Index or NCPI, is a little higher at 104% over the same period. Even though the annual inflation rate had begun to decelerate both in the Colombo District and the country as a whole, prices are still rising at a slower rate. Accordingly, the annual decrease is not due to the decline in prices but due to the high level of prices that had prevailed a year ago compared to the current month.

Poverty among the upper middle-class is on the increase

These high prices, when converted to poverty, also have presented a gloomy picture. Sri Lanka’s official poverty level is measured by using NCPI numbers, but it has not been updated since December 2022 by using the new index that came into operation in February 2023. If poverty threshold is projected by using NCPI numbers, as at February 2023, a person earning below Rs. 17,429 per month or $ 1.61 a day is in poverty. To measure poverty, the World Bank uses the threshold of $ 2.15 per day basing its calculations on the 2017 Purchasing Power Parity or PPP GDP numbers. According to this measure, Sri Lanka’s poverty has increased from 1.5% in 2021 to 5.8% in 2022. It is expected to rise to 6.6% in 2023 and will remain at around 6% thereafter.

But the biggest worry which Sri Lanka should have is the elevation of the upper middle income poverty rate of which the threshold limit is $ 6.85 a day. According to this measure, the poverty the upper income poverty level that amounted to 49.9% in 2020 has increased to 65% in 2022. Over the next three-year period, it will slightly accelerate to about 66%. What this means is that a large number of middle-income earners in Sri Lanka is in poverty and it is a worrisome development.

Total gross government expenditure is the issue

The Government, on the advice of the IMF, is planning to bring the budget imbalances under control, a process known as budget consolidation, by increasing the revenue. Accordingly, a new tax system has been introduced to increase the tax revenue to Rs. 3.2 trillion in 2023 up from Rs. 2 trillion in 2022. The total revenue of the Government in 2023 is expected to be around Rs. 3.4 trillion. However, this revenue-based budget consolidation, without trimming the expenditures, has created a large hole in the budget.

According to the presentation made by the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance to the bilateral foreign lenders, the total unfinanced gap has been estimated at 35% of a gross domestic product of Rs. 30 trillion in 2023. This amounts to a gap of Rs. 10.5 trillion. When the estimated revenue of Rs. 3.4 trillion is added to this amount, the total gross expenditure of the government in 2023 will be around Rs. 14 trillion. This is to be financed by the estimated revenue of Rs. 3.4 trillion and borrowing of Rs. 10.5 trillion from both foreign and domestic sources.

All the citizens bear the burden

This situation raises another issue relating to who bears the burden of Government’s financing gap. The general belief by many is that it is only the taxpayers who will bear the full burden of the Government’s financing gap. This myth was shattered by the English economist David Ricardo as far back as the 19th century. He said that when people pay taxes, they bear the burden immediately because they must transfer a part of resources to the government and forego an opportunity to use them for their own consumption. But if the government spends more than the tax income by borrowing in the market, those taxpayers assume a liability to pay more taxes when these borrowings are repaid. Therefore, all the citizens of the country bear a burden for the increased government expenditure by more taxes today and tomorrow.

During Ricardo’s time, there was no possibility for financing the government expenditure by printing money. But today, in addition to taxing people and borrowing from the market, which is imposing a tax liability on people tomorrow, governments have been financing budget deficits by printing money. Nothing is wrong in money printing for this purpose if that money printing is set at the same rate as the real economic growth. In that case, the impact of money printing on inflation is zero. But if money is printed more than the real economic growth, the excess money causes inflation and inflation reduces the real value of assets which people are holding. That reduction of the real value of assets is a tax paid by people to the government and therefore it is called the inflation tax. Hence, the actual burden of people is the total gross government expenditure which is set at Rs. 14 trillion for 2023.

If the Government is desirous of providing relief to people, it should cut the total gross expenditure and reduce the burden of paying taxes today, tomorrow, and paying taxes via inflation. According to the IMF staff report to its Executive Board, the gross expenditure is expected to be maintained at this level even in 2028 by successfully completing a debt restructuring program, increasing the revenue to Rs. 7 trillion in 2028 from Rs. 3.4 trillion in 2023, and allowing other expenditure to increase from Rs. 5.8 trillion to Rs. 9 trillion If the burden to people is to be kept at this level, it is essential for Sri Lanka to complete the IMF program as it has promised the Fund.

Debt restructuring is crucial for financing the external sector gap

On the external front, though there is a temporary solace in the form of a marginal improvement in foreign reserves, the country is still in red with a massive financing gap as projected by the IMF staff. Accordingly, the total financing gap during 2022-27 amounts to $ 25.2 billion. Against this gap, the funds to be received from IMF under the EFF will amount to $ 3 billion and those from the World Bank and ADB, $ 3.75 billion. This leaves a gap of $ 18.45 billion. This is to be financed largely by debt restructuring and borrowing from commercial markets by issuing International Sovereign Bonds or ISBs for a value of $ 1.5 billion in 2027.

The debt restructuring is expected to bring in $ 14.1 billion, while the country has already got a benefit out of the debt repayment suspension in 2022 amounting to $ 2.8 billion. The last item is not cancelled but is added to the principal increasing the total debt obligations of the country. As it is, the restructured amount is about 40% of the total debt obligations to bilateral and commercial lenders. This is the minimum amount of haircut which Sri Lanka should get through the negotiations with creditors. It is therefore essential that the Sri Lanka government should be successful in getting this concession from its creditors.

Domestic debt is also to be restructured in a different way

So far, there was no question of restructuring the domestic debt of the central government issued under local lows. They are made up of the Sri Lanka Development Bonds or SLDBs issued in US dollars, Treasury bills and Treasury bonds issued in rupees. Since Sri Lanka did not have foreign exchange to repay SLDBs, they were settled in rupees subject to a time lag of about one month and the availability of rupee funds with the Treasury. It is a default because the government has failed to honour the terms and conditions of the issue of those bonds to investors. However, Treasury bills and Treasury bonds did not fall into this category because the central bank was able to repay them by reissuing to the market.

But this did not satisfy the ISB holders, and an ad hoc group of such holders had written to the IMF and the Ministry of Finance that the government should reorganise those bonds. The Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance while addressing the bilateral creditors on 30 March 2023 had announced that those entities holding these bills and bonds could voluntarily optimise the bonds and bills. What it meant was that the Government will not ask them to go for it but the investors could go for it on their own. It will be compulsorily done in the case of the central bank where it is holding about Rs. 3 trillion worth of bills and provisional advances in terms of the new central bank law. That law stipulates that the government will issue a negotiable bond maturing in 10 years to the bank in settlement of that liability. It is this option that will be offered to other holders of bills and bonds in their attempt at optimising the losses. However, whatever the solution being followed, it will mean that the government does not have funds to repay these loans as and when they mature.

There is a big gap in the budget too

This is a fragile macroeconomic scenario in which the Government does not earn enough revenue to meet its expenditure. The expenditure involves the day-to-day expenditure covering current or consumption expenditure, the long-term expenditure supporting the public sector capital formation, and the expenditure needed to repay the maturing central government public debt. In the case of the budget 2023, as the IMF staff in its report to the Executive Board has projected, the revenue from all sources will amount to Rs. 3.3 trillion.

The consumption expenditure will be Rs. 4.6 trillion leaving gap, known as government’s dissavings, of Rs. 1.3 trillion or 4.35% of the estimated GDP for the year. The capital expenditure will amount to Rs. 1 trillion or 3.3% of GDP, an amount less than the consumption account gap. The balance amount of Rs. 8.4 trillion out of the total gross expenditure of Rs. 14 trillion involves the borrowings on account of financing the overall balance of Rs. 2.4 trillion and Rs. 6 trillion on account of debt repayment if there is no debt restructuring of both the foreign debt and the local debt.

The defence expenditure which the Government should incur will be subject to these limitations. It includes the salaries and other day-to-day expenses of the armed forces and the police and any material of which the services are obtained over a period of more than one year.

Man is a selfish creature

In this background, what is the role of the defence forces and the police in helping the economy to recover? Economic recovery comes from the individual initiatives to first help himself and through that help, all others in the society. This is purely a selfish motive but that is the way all species behave. The underlying logic is that if one is unable to help oneself, he is not able to help all others on a sustainable basis. That is why in Compassion Meditation preached by the Buddha that one starts wishing oneself free from sorrow, free from illness, and be blessed with happiness and gradually extend the same to all others.

Adams Smith, the 18th century English economist, presented this in The Wealth of Nations that we expect to have dinner not from the benevolence of Butcher, Brewer, or the Baker but from their regard to their own interest. Thus, people will develop their talents and skills first, and then, help others by making available the benefits of those talents and skills to others. But if somebody in the government or outside destroys those talents and skills or forcibly deny them of using them, or acquires them forcibly, then, there is no incentive anymore for them to develop the same.

Protect the property rights

In economics, this is known as property rights. Property here has a wider meaning to include physical property, right to life, and right to one’s intellectual skills. Individuals should be able to dispose of these properties in a market in a voluntary exchange acceptable to both the giver and the recipient. In this voluntary exchange, while one gives up his property, the recipient compensates him at the rate agreed between them. If these property rights are violated, people will react in two ways to the loss. One is the aggressive reaction in which they openly fight against it. The other is inactive reaction in which they either leave the country or refrain from making their contributions to society. We observe all these three types of reactions in Sri Lanka today.

People react to repressive measures by both active and silent protests

The role of the defence forces and the Police is to protect the property rights which is essential for the crisis-ridden Sri Lanka to get out of the present malaise and place the economy on a long-term sustainable growth path. Unfortunately, they can make themselves available only when the reaction to the violations result in aggressive open protests. They may suppress such open reactions, but it is not the long-term solution. The long-term solutions involve the removal of the possibilities for violating the property rights through a well-designed action plan. Defence forces and the Police can support this endeavour by helping the authorities to design such a long-term sustainable plan. That is how they can pay back the society which has made available resources for their existence.

Sri Lanka is aspiring to get foreign direct investments and through it the much-desired technology. If the security forces and the Police fail to protect the property rights, the prospect of attracting such investments will be dim. It is unlikely that any investor will come to Sri Lanka with advanced technology if the security forces and the Police allow their property rights to be violated by the Government or anyone outside the Government.

*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

  • 13
    3

    What a pity that W.A Wijewardena finds that he requires the preaching of the Buddha to elucidate his economic argument!

    • 12
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      Nathan,
      Your opinion Dr. Vijaya’s explanation based on Buddhism is absolutely correct.
      Even Today, even these self-proclaimed scholars think that Sri Lanka is only for Sinhala Buddhists (I was also born a Sinhala Buddhist, but today I am between Buddhist and atheist).
      why on earth they can not bring examples and explainations for all thinking that we are a nation of various believers and ethinic groups ?
      .
      Our people have been like that since day one. Unfortunately, They are misled by estranged punidits.
      :
      However, I was not a fan of Dr. W even if , so called experts in Economy holds him as a super genie though. In fact, I have a thousand and one questions about bond scams, and even today these guys have not cleared people’s doubts.

      • 9
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        Dr. Wije’s not Vijaya’s

        • 4
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          H.T,
          “Ultra-Greed is at the Centre of our being in 99% of the cases. Anyone living outside the south asian continent will understand what I am saying. Buddhism directly addresses this issue, but we don’t budge. That is not the fault of Buddhism!.”
          Don’t you think it applies as well to places outside South Asia, and religions other than Buddhism?
          And of course quasi-religions like Communism. Just ask the Soviets.
          Capitalism is exempt because it is based on greed.

          • 6
            1

            OC
            Didn’t Buddha Dharma teach us that greed is one of the root causes of our suffering?
            To us greed is a way of life, hence we don’t see anything wrong with it.
            Let me give you an example, in Japan, on the average, they discard their brand new cars after 2 years, we bring those cars and use them for another 30 years and try to sell the same car for the price it was bought.
            Japanese produce new models each year, while we hold on to the scrap and don’t produce anything to write home about.
            Another example would be India and China. While China embraced new technologies in electronics and semiconductor manufacturing, India was stuck in the past with conventional technology. They were scared of change. Look at the gap in their respective development.
            India didn’t have proper toilets or sanitation for a very large population because they were used to doing things the same way they have for the past few millennia.
            I hope you are getting my point.

      • 12
        1

        Dear LM
        When talking about Buddhism there are two things you need to keep in mind.
        1. Buddhism came to Asia to correct many of the ills of our society. For example, by nature our people are a very materialistic and possessive bunch. This is because we tend to use our primal instincts to navigate through life than the more refined human instincts, that is our default modus operandi. Ultra-Greed is at the Centre of our being in 99% of the cases. Anyone living outside the south asian continent will understand what I am saying. Buddhism directly addresses this issue, but we don’t budge. That is not the fault of Buddhism!.
        2. To understand Dharma, one has to be quite intelligent. That is why one needs to meditate. Meditation trains our brain to concentrate its power when we contemplate about an issue and understand the issue faster and better. On the average our people are quite pedestrian when it comes to rational thinking as you know. So it makes it hard for us to understand Buddhism, there again it is not the fault of Buddhism. It is just that the yellow pets who teach Buddhism are too dumb to comprehend it well. They mess everything up.

        • 10
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          LM
          Imagine you are tied to a tree with a rubber band. The more you pull it, the more it will pull you back, until that limiting point where the rubber band snaps. Then only you are truly free.
          That is the same case with samsara. The more you try to escape samsara, the more it will pull you back.
          It is with the right understanding (perception) of our plight will we be able to break-free.
          Of course breaking free from samsara is not a physical process. It is entirely a mental process where one has to understand the reality of nature and the fact that what we perceive with our senses is an illusion.
          Once you reason out that, then escaping samsara becomes easy.
          As you may know, Buddhist Dharma explains all these concepts accurately.
          To this end, I want you to look at how the Buddha explained the fallacy of the concept of self.
          If we take todays AI machines and give them a sense of self, trust me, the effects of Samsara will grab those machines too.

          • 8
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            To explain this better, take a self driving car, for instance. It uses Ai to travel from point A to point B, using all the rules of driving programmed into its system coupled with Ai to make decisions that are not programmed into its system. Despite having a high computational power, what is the guarantee that it will take its passengers safely to their destination?
            If one wanted to guarantee the safety of the passengers, one would have to perform an extra level of safety by giving the car a sense of self. So it starts looking at the world differently. It will have something to lose if there is a mishap. Therefore the passengers will remain safe too, Right? Well maybe.
            But in the larger picture, the sense of self will now bring in a numerous issues.
            Jealousy, Greed, Anger, comparison, etc will now become common place.
            So despite having an excellent computer power, the Ai has become illusioned, hence all the Ai goes to hell.
            Now compare this scenario with what is happening with humans.
            Can you see what I am trying to say?

            • 7
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              Human beings, from wherever they are, have the same instincts.
              No instinct is peculiar to Sri Lankans.

              • 10
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                Yes Nathan we humans have the same animal or primal instincts, but different people have different levels of human instinct that overshadow our animal side.
                How many different nationalities have you closely related with?

                • 2
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                  Is there evidence to show that Sri Lankans act differently.

                  • 7
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                    Of course.
                    Look at the performance indices of the countries like Sri Lanka and compare it with those that are progressing, and look at the attitude of the people.

                  • 10
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                    oh god nathan
                    were you born yesterday?
                    .
                    By 2015, the Rajapaksas looted the state treasury without any means. There are prima facie evidence to prove them. Entire world stood against except swaziland and Belarus. Remember ?
                    .
                    But in November 2019, the people voted them back in a landslide victory. Knowing that is like “offering a chicken farm to a fox.”

                    Good goverance achieved lot more good for the nation than against. They predicted about the danger before nation. Howefver, stupid folks were easily misled Remember ?
                    :
                    Isn’t this a good example to prove the stupidity of our people?

                    Please name a similar nation in recent times that behaved like that… thank you Nathan.

                    • 2
                      4

                      leelagemalli,
                      There are worse nations than Sri Lanka. But, that is beside the point.
                      * Sinhalese failed to govern.
                      * Tamils did not know how to fight a political battle.
                      * Mahinda took advantage of the unnecessary war.

                    • 6
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                      By 2015, the Rajapaksas looted the state treasury without leaving a cent.

            • 1
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              Can a self driving car programmed by a human being transcend human limitations?

          • 11
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            Dear HT and all sensitive readers,
            .
            I think our Sinhalese nation got behind somewhere in their evolution. Southeast Asians are actually positively evolved compared to South Asians.
            That is why today they were able to move forward very easily. Look at Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Taiwanese, Malaysian, Indonesian and so on.
            That may be the reason why our people follow against real Buddhism but hang more on the “Hindu part of Buddhism based mainly on Jataka stories”: it is more influenced by mythology of various nature.

            The Rajapakse regime has domesticated yellow pets as police and police guard dogs. Now some of the Rajapaksa-slave monks are slowly getting up and doing this kind of shameless work again.

            tbc

            • 11
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              cont.
              HT is very right about the knowledge of sinhala buddhist ,monks in our country. YELLOW PETS / SIVRU HORAs IN SRIALNKA Not even enough knowledge about the Buddhist way of life. I get allergic when I see “those abusive monks” hanging around the premises of Kelaniya temple. However, they have now become parasites in Sri Lankan Buddhist guise. This country’s fall was well programmed by medamulana animals for the last 15 years becuase that was according to them is the only wayout to stay in power.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBf1tN8HhE8

              Srilanken buddhist monks behave like ordinary Buddhist laymen in our society today.

              Additionally, as of today, there is no clear line between Sri Lanka’s yellow pets and the Buddhist layman’s lifestyle. Some leading bhikkhus dare to cross-examine “why we as bhikkhus should not lead a material life”: that in itself proves that they are more “robe thieves” than Buddhist bhikkhus. The definition of “Buddhist monk” is very clear from the story of Ummaga Jataka. But our Sinhala Sri Lankan monks who were there then have become mercenaries wearing red robes today.

            • 11
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              LM
              When one allows pure greed to rule one’s life, he begins to grab everything and hold on to everything.
              This extends to ideas in his head.
              A greedy person will generally guard notions and ideas in his head just as he does with material things.
              Therefore such a person will oppose every idea that is new.
              Such people will be rooted to the status quo from begining of life to the end of life, without moving forward.
              That is the reason why South Asians have been very slow to move forward despite us boasting of thousands of years of history.

    • 9
      1

      N
      Don’t you think that the real teachings of the Buddha make sense in a context where a lot of hate passes off as Buddhism with qualifiers.

    • 0
      0

      Blended Buddhism in way of life in any sort.

  • 16
    4

    From independence right to property of Tamils, including the right to life, land,university education and jobs on a competitive basis were denied.
    Even today the government leaders, bhikkus, armed forces and Sinhalese thugs aided and abetted by the Sri Lankan state were and are engaged in denying Tamils right to property which could lead to prosperity of the whole Sri Lanka.
    When it comes to Tamils, the rule of law is violated with impunity.
    Now the Sinhalese are also subjected to repression if they protest against the ongoing corruption which is a cancer eating away the economy and prosperity for the masses.
    Ranil or any leaders of today is incapable of eradicating the ills of the country.

    • 4
      2

      Thiru,
      If you SOW EVIL the HARVEST has to be EVIL!!?? NOTHING ELSE!!! Never was the selected wish of mine that it be so, but it is necessarily and without doubt, the REALITY!!!???
      It takes it’s time, but KARMA, just like JUSTICE does CATCH UP to deal with errant, corrupt and mischievous elements, pervading in its abundance!!?? NO ESCAPE!!??
      People who pervert the just methodology resort to Bodhi Puja and visit to holy sites, with limited returns as God moves the elements in mysterious ways to right the Human Wrongs!
      One always pays for all there painful ways in life!!??

    • 6
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      Dear Thiru,
      .
      “When it comes to Tamils, the rule of law is violated with impunity.”.
      .
      As far as the Tamils are concerned, the rule of law is being violated with impunity.

      We have to unequivocally agree with you. But it is not limited to Tamils only, look at Muslims, some Sinhalese are also treated like that.

      Jails are filled with an unnecessary number of petty criminals who have stolen “a betelnut or a coconut.” Because they don’t have the money to hire a lawyer.

      The man who looted the state using his political powers, however, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Kaputa (Basil) and Gota are enjoying supernatural powers in the same country. Alas this is srilanka filled with MERCEY COWS.

      I have no doubt that the barbarian family committed many crimes that could not be recorded, but even the most obvious palace of Kaputas was exonerated by saying that it did not belong to him. The so-called independent judiciary is silent….

      Who do they think we want to deceive like this?

    • 0
      1

      T
      “denying Tamils right to property”
      Is this exactly what you had in mind?
      Some mix up!

  • 1
    0

    Is the idea that you need the police and the army to protect property a justification for the Anti-Terrorism Bill? More stability-more foreign investments. This is not right. It is in a country where peace naturally prevails and is not enforced by the military that progress takes place. You may argue it is different in China but do we want to live in a repressive society? The last bit of the ruminations here are unnecessary. We are going for a difficult time caused by corruption and politics of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism. We have to get rid of both to progress. It is the Sinhalese who are keen to leave the country now after 75 years of Sinhala Only. All the economic facts will not help unless we get the politics right. The IMF loans give a temporary solutions. Foreign investors do not come for our benefit but for theirs. We must seek solutions on our own as the Malaysians did during the Asian financial crisis. Shut our borders, institute currency controls, bring corrupt money back, develop our own resources and ensure self-sufficiency in food.

  • 5
    0

    Dr.Wijewardena have given a detailed analysis of the current status of economic crisis with evidence . People should understand the reality and the burden they have to face in the future and the corrupted political system will worsen their burden . The country needs a fundamental change and move away from race and religion based policies to people based policies.

  • 7
    0

    Dear Nathan & SJ: Both of you have brought in the subject of “Buddhism” in relation to economics. I would invite you to look into the relevance of “Buddha’s Teachings” to “Economics”.

    The “Modern Economists”, mostly “Materialists” are interested in “Goods” while the “Buddhists” are interested in “Liberation”. Buddhism is “The Middle Way” and therefore in no way antagonistic to physical well-being. It is not wealth that stands in the way of liberation but the attachment to wealth; not the enjoyment of pleasurable things but the craving for them. The “Keynote” of “Buddhist Economics”, therefore, is SIMPLICITY and NON-VILOANCE. From an Economists point of view, the marvel of the Buddhist way of life is the utter rationality of its pattern – amazingly small means leading to extraordinarily satisfactory results.

    For the “Modern Economist,” this is very difficult to understand because he is used to measuring the “STANDARD OF LIVING” by the amount of “Annual Consumption”, assuming all the time that a man who consumes “MORE” is “Better Off” than a man who consumes less. A Buddhist economist would consider this approach irrational, but his aim is to obtain maximum well-being with minimum consumption. A good example is Buhuttan (A Buddhist Majority country) which has replaced “GDP” with “GNH” (Gross National Happiness). A point of view for your consideration.

  • 7
    0

    When we talk about a percentage of the budget allocated to Education and Health, why don’t we ask the question what is the percentage of the budget that should be allocated to the Armed Forces and MPs including Ministers, State Ministers, and their golayas who run around them? We also should ask what is the allocated percentage set aside for armed forces and police protecting the politicians. In addition, we should ask what percentage is allocated to maintain the Ex-Presidents and similar folks who are no more in active service. The time is ripe for the Government to come up with a policy on this. We do not have to pay taxes for fun for the political leaders to pay to their golays to keep them in power.

  • 5
    0

    The guy is encouraging Avurudu celebrations and aims to maintain New Reliya with its olden charms. Good things if he really means it. As long as he doesn’t cut down the forests and farmland, and stops the Colombo party-going(or at least puts a damper of it…they are not paying their taxes, but partying instead). Sri Lanka might just pull out of it…..or so he thinks.

    The truth is, maintaining loans-incurring-debt upon loan-incurring-debt in consecutive cycles will soon involve chopping down our ancient forests, getting rid of our ancient farmland for development, getting rid of rural architecture, and building up the Colombo city-state with its ultra-rich ones, to usher in the new technological revolution (now outdated in many an advanced country).

    He does not have the aptitude and ability to match the real economy with money-printing. Only set that can do this very naturally as it is part of their chromosomal make-up is the JVP-NPP. Ranil might have the good brains for so many things, but he needs to have a functioning body of people around him with the right attitude to implement his plans. Not a chance with his present lot, and the greedy cross-overs

    • 5
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      Now if he joins the JVP-NPP, it might be a different story. We told Gotabaya to do it. He didn’t listen. Now we are telling Ranil not to go the same way. See, to contain his power, he might too just take a deep breath and start doing the alternate monetary-network thing. That will truly be the end of the world for Motherland.

      • 6
        0

        RTF,
        .
        How was your Easter holiday? I had a wonderful time, thank God I rested.

        Do you ever think that the Janata Vimukti Peramuna led NPP is capable of making tangible changes in a country where people are heterogeneous in terms of political views?

        The JVP really lacks the basic knowledge to achieve anything by making compromises. That is crystal clear.

        The only skill they have is to kill someone and convince them.. even if not all.. Do you remember how our youth were killed in the 89-92 era?

        • 6
          1

          If someone is promoting barbaric JVPs, better throw these people directly to zoo animals in Dehiwala. They are said to be short of meat and bones today. Not only srilankens are starving but those animals in captivity do face the same.

          At least then we can see that we knew what the outcome would be. However JVPs as record killers, will do nothing but repeat their 89 rebellion era.

          • 6
            1

            LM
            We have to understand that most JVPers come come from underprivileged backgrounds, they grow up with a chip on their shoulder.
            Always blaming the privileged for their misery or predicament.
            Their mind is set on bringing down such people who are better off.
            Basically an Average JVPer would think that the rich deserve to die for being rich, without realising that the rich may have become rich through hard work, grit, ingenuity or some other legitimate means.
            To an average JVPer every successful person is an enemy who deserves to die.
            Can’t blame them, after years and years of being downtrodden I guess it is natural to have such thoughts or attitude.

            • 3
              1

              HT,
              You really read my thoughts.

              Those in my age (mid fifties) would never be able to forget it, if they are not suffering from SINHALA_,MAN_NAIVITY SYNDROME (SMNS).

              there is a real big conflict at universitiy being based on “athi naethi paratharaya- gap between rural and urban student. Girls from colombo popular schools were subjected to more ragging than other girls from rural schools. It is a fact that rural students hate the students coming from popular schools for some various reasons.I knew royalists and others from colombo suburbs were more caught by brutal ragging than the others from rural schools.

              That is why the cancer within univerisities aka ” uncivilized ragging (boys and girls are treated with perverous ragging events” continues in that country for several decades as nothing can stand against it. In late 80ties to early 90ties it was handled solely by JVP criminalized students. Mothers were then tremoured by varied fears, if their sons and daughers were connected with JVP commarades. To my knowledge most that took the lead of groups of raggers were closely connected with JVPrs outside.

              • 3
                3

                LM and HT. What has changed with Lankan society since independence? You guys sit around maintaining the city-rural polarity with your success stories over the suffering masses, which is mostly of the rural sector. In your mind, you worked hard. Have you seen the rural worker slave away for you in the village and in your cities as servants and laborers in your businesses?

                The fact that our country’s tax level is far below the rate of other normal countries shows that people like you have not paid much taxes for country sustainance. You pay too low for food that the rural masses produce. Yes, VAT was introduced recently, but that is mostly for imported items. This VAT is meant to help the owners and holders of the supermarket industries maintain their business structure for the high-flying city life. Local vegetable seller on the road doesn’t get the same VAT, if at all.

                • 2
                  2

                  Then you utilize the country money brought over by those rural masses working in the Middle East, to build up your businesses, city lifestyles and elitist societies. A lot of you sent sent your children to study in Western universities with the money you gained from our country resources. Many of you place your money on offshore accounts, both mainstream and alternate, to give you the lifestyle you feel is your right.

                  Now GoSL is collecting the taxes by force-working the workers, but trying to get the money back from private accounts and industry holding offshore accounts is a no-no for them as they will lose their power

                  • 3
                    1

                    RTF
                    You are blaming me and LM for what exactly?
                    Last time I checked, you had your face in Mara’s ass.
                    The guy who robbed Sri Lanka in day light and brought us to bankruptcy. I am not surprised.
                    As I always say your types speak through your hats.
                    And another thing, are you not a die hard fan of the scallywag Wimal Weerawansa, the uneducated brain-dead loudmouth?
                    I can understand your mentality from the people you choose to worship.
                    Kindly keep your twisted comments to yourself in the future.
                    You are just a very fake sympathiser of the JVP/NPP, just trying to feel cool following the “ralla”.

                    • 3
                      0

                      Ok….sorry, sorry…I got a bit carried away. I wasn’t blaming you and LM personally. But so many people are unaware of the reality. Mara did try his best for the rural folk (the Lankan Masses). But even he got caught up in the city sway (culture that involves money equivalent to high-enders in Western places…..very difficult it is to break that mold). Only lot who can do it is the JVP-NPP…we can add Sajith to it to keep things in balance.

                    • 3
                      0

                      Ramona,
                      .
                      Mara is the worst politician Sri Lanka has ever produced in recent times. Media should rise against him sooner than later.

                      . I wonder why Sri Lankans still put him above. ???? He should rather keep in a JAIL cell for all known and uknown high crimes he deliberately committed.
                      I don’t know about you, I’m shy to open up where I am from today when colleagues (Europeans and Americans in my work meetings) ask me. Today we are branded as no different from Somalia in Europe.

                      Do we have leaders whose people destroyed the monuments of their parents? And why did the anti Rajaakshsa mobs do that?

                      He deliberately assasinated the character of CBK by spreading blatant lies to gain attention.
                      The book was titled – Chaura Rajina was funded by Basil Kaputu Kak.All these funds were robed from the very people. The levels of his corruption is beyond estimation.

                      Tbc

                    • 3
                      0

                      cont.
                      .
                      MaRa is such a a criminal will that would sell his wife if he can gain some political advantage. His true nature is not yet clear to anyone.
                      .
                      He is an evil character by nature. Records reveal the maximum number of journalists who disappeared under his terms.

                      The nature of the man is very similar to that of Mugabe in Zimbabwe or Gaddafi in Tripoli.

                      Just imagine how he misappropriated public funds for his extra vaganzas claiming to eradicate poverty in rural areas of the country.ä

                      Before 2005, Bugger didn’t even have his own vehicle.

                      They don’t come from a WALAWWA, however srialnken media spreads lies about falsehoods. Please correct yourself by watching the videos prior to 2005
                      .
                      It was a big lie that they are wealthy also going back to DA Rajapakseh days.
                      . As you know the average Sri Lankan are not rational – anything and everything can mislead them easily.

                      If you are told to eat “grass”, our people will go without thinking twice. Not long ago, how many o fthem gathered to collect that DHAMMIKA PANIYA arbitorily prepared by a mental patient, by name DHAMMIKA bandara.:… later it was revealed that Dhammika BANDARA was a mental patient being controlled by Kaliamma. …. remember ? Even MBBS holders were found in those queues …… how stupid our people are ?

        • 9
          0

          leelagemalli,

          I thought it was the JVP youth that were tortured and killed ….and for many decades. Finally they retaliated a bit. Useless governments bought in capitalism with no support structure like adequate taxation. Fellows made money out of the hard work of the masses and assimilated their fortunes without being taxed a dime. Then the money left the country in manifold amounts. Now they have finally created taxation, but with no money in the country. Very stupid people, our people.

          Well, an election will certainly deliver to us the better part of our heterogeneous political views.

          • 4
            0

            Elections have never proven that our voters use their little brains at voting. That became clearer to all in Nov 2019. Is nt that so? 🤔

            • 0
              2

              Can’t you remember what people like me were saying at the time of the 2019 and 2020 Elections?
              .
              I’m not asking you to forget the JVP insurrections in 1971 and 1989-1991. I am asking you to be fair, to be ready to forgive where possible, and discuss what then happened. You’re just consumed by hatred,
              .
              [Edited out]

          • 5
            0

            RTF,
            .
            If your statement are truthful, it must also apply to the late war killings in the north, or not?

            There you ( I mean our sinhalayas) are still silent or refusing to take responsibility. When it goes with JVP insurgency they interpret in a biased manner why ?

            I know for a fact that JVPs have killed thousands of rural youth.. their victimized families will share their own stories if you interview them today.
            .
            I know from prima facie evidence that JVP itself was the real killers of those atrocities of 89-92 rebellion.

            • 3
              2

              Different. They were asking for Eelam. Suppression and force-working of the workers by the state was the excuse.

          • 1
            0

            RTF,
            That will be the ULTIMATE FINAL ONSLUAGHT ON DEMOCRACY, and certainly WOULD NOT deliver anything of the SORT OF HETEROGENEOUS ‘ABSORPTION’ OFPOLITICAL VIEWS!!!???
            Day dream of a novel variety!!!! That helps a healthy mind in a Healthy soul, without which mere MORTALS turn out to be useless in THOUGHT and DEED
            Be over the ‘border’ definitely useless for humanity!!!????
            What for the telling!!!?????????

        • 0
          2

          Dear “leelagemalli” and “Human Touch”,
          .
          I have discussed all this extensively with you, both via email, and WhatsApp. We had no problem then, when we were all attacking the Rajapaksas.
          .
          I grant that Ranil initially brought some stability to the administration of the country, and we welcomed that. However, for the past four months or so, it’s getting ever clearer that what he wishes is to stay as President, whether unelected as now, of elected (I have difficulty thinking it possible; more to the point, he’s far from being my idea of being a suitable guy to rule this country).
          .
          Please substantiate the weaknesses that you see in the NPP. It is correct to say that they are led mostly by JVP elements. So what? In what respects are they unsuitable? I’ll tell you what. Why not you guys come into the NPP so as to dilute the extent of dominance by those with a JVP background? Please consider that seriously.

    • 4
      0

      Ramona,.

      ‘…but he needs to have a functioning body of people around him with the right attitude to implement his plans. Not a chance with his present lot’
      .
      This is what Gota discovered too. All his plans for cleaning Colombo, extending the roads etc came to nothing. He resorted to making unannounced spot checks on hospitals and Government departments but as soon as his back was turned the idle incompetent staff went back to normal.

      • 2
        0

        Correct, except that the idle incompetent staff are like that because they do not have adequate training. Training takes money…..lots of it. And all the money has been taken up by the politos for their pet projects, and the business crowd for their privileged lifestyles….money placed in foreign mainstream and alternate accounts. No use just going to visit the hospitals and then scolding the workers. There has to be rigorous training programs with foreign expertise.

  • 2
    0

    Yeah….Gota’s associates – the ambassadors and Lankan entrepreneurs (entrepreneurs only at enslaving the masses), – told him to place their accumulated wealth on alternate networks, and that divine will would bring forth bushels of golden nuggets. So, the money was not used for job training or wage increase for the working masses

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