14 October, 2019

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Three Lessons From The Past To Recalibrate Our Future

By Mangala Samaraweera

This year, the Summit is of greater significance because it is held on the eve of a decisive Presidential Election – an Election which will seal the fate of our country for many decades to come. In this context, I am glad that the Chamber picked a future-oriented theme this year – “Recalibration of Sri Lanka’s Economic Trajectory”. If we are to recalibrate our future it is essential that we learn from the mistakes of the past. Hence the theme of my speech is “Three Lessons From the Past to Recalibrate our Future”.

Sri Lanka, or Ceylon as our country was called when we achieved independence, was the model Commonwealth country. Our per capita GDP was well above that of our South-East-Asian neighbors. We had an excellent civil service, an extensive school network, and universities of high quality. Our literacy rate was nearly 60 percent. In fact, an editorial in a British newspaper on the day of Independence predicted a bright future for Sri Lanka as a ‘potential Switzerland of the East’.

Remarks by  Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera -Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Economic Summit -Tuesday 17 September 2019:

Prime Minister,

Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Hans Wijayasuriya,

Secretary-General of the Ceylon Chamber, Mrs. Dhara Wijethilake

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be here at the 19th Sri Lanka Economic Summit. The Summit – an important forum for public dialogue on pivotal national issues – has become a fixture of Sri Lanka’s business, economic and policy-making calendar. 

This year, the Summit is of greater significance because it is held on the eve of a decisive Presidential Election – an Election which will seal the fate of our country for many decades to come. In this context, I am glad that the Chamber picked a future-oriented theme this year – “Recalibration of Sri Lanka’s Economic Trajectory”. If we are to recalibrate our future it is essential that we learn from the mistakes of the past. Hence the theme of my speech is “Three Lessons From the Past to Recalibrate our Future”. 

Sri Lanka, or Ceylon as our country was called when we achieved independence, was the model Commonwealth country. Our per capita GDP was well above that of our South-East-Asian neighbors. We had an excellent civil service, an extensive school network, and universities of high quality. Our literacy rate was nearly 60 percent. In fact, an editorial in a British newspaper on the day of Independence predicted a bright future for Sri Lanka as a ‘potential Switzerland of the East’.

In 1977, as the first country to embrace a market economy in the region, Sri Lanka was ready for an economic take-off.

In those heady years, Sri Lanka resembled the Asian Tigers in their first stage of development. Sri Lanka’s first manufacturing export – garments – were hitting world markets. Tens-of-thousands of jobs were created and the trickle of wealth into the village became a river. 

1983 was supposed to be the real take-off year. The transition from garments to electronics is what truly set the Asian Tigers up for success. And Sri Lanka was on the verge of that transition. Motorola and Harris Corporation were building semi-conductor factories in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone by early 1983. Sony, Sanyo and other Japanese companies planning to invest in Sri Lanka. However, just as the Japanese delegation arrived in Colombo, the 1983 riots took place. Decades of communal intolerance finally culminated in an orgy of violence which engulfed our nation in a bitter and brutal war for almost 30 years. Motorola’s manager was killed in the riots and construction stopped. The Motorola factory moved to Malaysia. And unfortunately for Sri Lanka, it is Penang, and not Katunayake, that is a micro-processor manufacturing capital of the world today.

 In recalibrating our future, Ladies and Gentlemen, that is lesson number one. Reconciliation is an absolute necessity for economic development. There is no way of harnessing our potential as a modern, stable, prosperous nation, except to celebrate the diversity of our country as a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-lingual nation. 

The defeat of the LTTE in 2009 could well have been a new beginning for our long-suffering country. But instead of trying to win the peace, the government of the day, re-enacting scenes from the ‘Mahavamsa’, embarked on a project to establish autocratic family rule. While the grateful majority reveled in ‘patriotic fervour’, democratic institutions and other checks and balances were systematically dismantled. The end-of-presidential term limits, the impeachment of the Chief Justice for not doing the Family’s bidding and white-van culture meant that there was no security or certainty for anyone.

 Some people with short memories say they want decisive leadership. That is good. Sri Lanka needs decisive leaders. But it certainly cannot realize its economic objectives with leaders who decisively sack the judiciary, decisively murder, decisively undermine the rule of law and cultivate a culture of impunity, decisively ignore procurement procedures for their own benefit, and decisively expropriate private investment. The previous regime’s naked power-grab – by stabbing the rule of law in the back – was a key reason for the failure of the promised post-war investment boom to materialize. Foreign and domestic businesses decided that their factories and investments would be safer in Ethiopia, Bangladesh or Vietnam.

That is lesson two. There can never be sustainable economic development without democracy and the rule of law.

Historically, Sri Lanka prospered when it was open to the world. The splendour of the Polonnaruwa civilization, for example, was as much built on trade with lands beyond our shores in East and West, as it was on our hydraulic civilization. Archaeological and literary evidence shows that Sri Lanka was always a welcoming multi-ethnic, multi-religious trading country open to the world, until colonial monopolists – like the VOC and East India Company –cut us off from the seas and closed our minds, forcing our imagination and our economy inward. 

More recently, the economically isolationist policies of the largely well-intentioned Sirima Bandaranaike led United Front government resulted in calamity. I am sure the era of queues and rationing has not slipped from the memories of our people. What is less well-known is that the Rajapaksa regime took us closer to that failed economic model. 

According to the World Bank, Sri Lanka’s economic openness, which had increased in the 1980s and1990s, took a turn for the worse after 2005. By 2015, mainly as a result of rising para-tariffs, Sri Lanka was as economically closed as it was in the 1970s. Industrial exports fell from 20.3 percent of GDP in 2005 to 9.4 percent in 2015.

 Between 2005 and 2015, Sri Lanka did not sign a single FTA. Today Sri Lanka has six FTAs. But we are still far behind our competitors: Thailand has 14, Malaysia 17, South Korea 16 and Singapore 25. This is one important reason for our failure to diversify exports beyond tea and apparel. We continue to export old products to old markets.  

The previous regime’s isolationist and confrontational foreign policy did not help. By 2015, we were a pariah state. The EU withdrew GSP+ and had also imposed a ban on exporting fish to the EU. The UN Human Rights Council found that we were violating many of our own voluntary commitments. We had limited access to IMF and World Bank funds. Our military had no access to joint exercises and training with the best in the world. And, we were on the verge of targeted sanctions. The words “human rights abuse”, “war crimes” and “dictatorship” were the primary words associated with Sri Lanka in the international media at that time.

That is lesson three. Our foreign policy must be based on openness and confident engagement. Not defensive and protectionist posturing and arrogance. The Westphalian era is over. Globalization means that we are inter-dependent and inter-linked. Confrontation, isolation and dependence on a single country will not bring sustainable economic development, peace or prosperity to our people. 

I will not go into detail about this government’s successes in reconciliation, democracy and foreign policy, other than to say that with the 19th Amendment, Right to Information Act, UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1, GSP+ and a complete change in political culture, the Sri Lanka of 2014 and the Sri Lanka of today are incomparable. With these advances, we are today, firmly placed on a progressive path to healing and realizing our vision of a reconciled, democratic and developed Sri Lanka. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

The decade prior to this government’s election was characterized by grave and wide-ranging economic mismanagement. The impressive growth numbers of the immediate post-war years were an artificial sugar high. This was caused by expensive dollar borrowings wasted on imports and white-elephant construction. By 2015, the country had lost its economic sovereignty. We were at the mercy of international financial markets. 

Here are the numbers.

  • In 2005, 3.8 percent of Sri Lanka’s foreign currency debt was commercial. By 2015, it was 37 percent.
  • In 2005 Sri Lanka’s tax-to-GDP ratio was 14.2. By 2014, it was 10.1 percent.
  • In 2005 industrial exports were 20.3 percent of GDP. By 2015, that number had reduced to 9.4 percent.
  • In 2005 the number of commercial airlines flying to Hambantota was zero. In 2015, despite a 209 million dollar airport, there was only one, largely empty, flight per day.

This Government inherited an economy that was on the verge of collapse. And we stabilized it. The last four years have seen some successes, but the vagaries of cohabitation and a focus on political rather than economic reform, has meant that our plans have not been fully implemented. But the successes are substantial. Their fruits will hold Sri Lanka in good stead for many years to come.

  • The new Inland Revenue Act is doing what it was designed to do; raising revenue for the government and making compliance easier, faster and cheaper for businesses. 
  • This new Act, combined with fiscal discipline and the new Active Liability Management Act, enabled continuous access to financial markets, even after the crises of the last year.
  • As a result of GSP+, the lifting of the ban on fish exports, macroeconomic stability and para-tariff reductions, exports increased from 13 percent of GDP in 2015 to 20 percent today.
  • The loss-making Hambantota Port, which cost the tax- payer tens of millions of dollars a year, was leased, and is now generating jobs. The proceeds have been used to settle expensive dollar debt. The Port City Agreement was renegotiated on terms more favourable to Sri Lanka.
  • This year, Sri Lanka laid the foundation stone for its first Free Trade Zone in 17 years. In the last year, we also improved 11 places on the “Ease of Doing Business” rankings.
  • Most importantly, we have moved away from a corrupt, discretionary economic system towards a transparent, rules-based level playing field. 

We are now in the process of expanding good governance to the economy focusing on critical bottlenecks to growth; namely macroeconomic stability, SOEs and tariffs.  

You all know that Sri Lanka has experienced chronic macroeconomic instability since Independence. Since then, we have had no fewer than 16 IMF programmes. 

The pre-eminent cause for this instability is the fact that the government can finance its deficit by instructing the Central Bank to print money. In addition, the Secretary to the Treasury sits on the Monetary Board. As you all know, ministry secretaries are now political appointees. This government has respected the independence of the civil service. But many governments, if not most, have not done so. If there is one reform that will stabilize Sri Lanka’s macroeconomy, it is Central Bank de-politicization and independence. That is what will be done when the Monetary Law Act goes to Parliament in the next month; complemented by fiscal rules legislation designed to prevent Sri Lanka from living beyond her means.  

Another area where economic decision-making has been politicized, is in State Owned Enterprises. SOE management has become political rather than professional, resulting in waste and corruption. For example, my personal view is that Sri Lankan Airlines is a vanity we cannot afford. Keeping an airline flying for a misplaced sense of national pride, when that money could be used to heal the sick, educate children, or improve nutrition is criminal. In fact, since re-nationalization Sri Lankan Airlines losses have been 2.5 times the size of the education budget. 

Two urgent reforms are necessary. First, the state needs to cease to have operational control over SOEs operating in competitive markets. Chinese reformers often used to say “The state guides the markets, the markets direct the enterprises.”  The state can remain an owner of assets without having operational control. It can list SOEs operating in competitive markets, and use the listing proceeds to settle Sri Lanka’s debt. Or invest in funds that track the Colombo Stock Exchange. 

Second, in the case of natural monopolies, like railways, the state needs to create a holding company with a de-politicized board. For example, by subjecting board appointments to Constitutional Council approval. 

Finally, our export sector has been crippled by para-tariffs caused by businessmen influencing politicians. This has also led to large increases in prices. For example, last year cement cost more in Sri Lanka than in Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. This affects construction of both factories and houses. As envisioned in the Budget, we need to go back to the simple, non-discretionary three-band tariff structure that we had in the early 1990s by eliminating non-tariff barriers. This will de-politicize our border tax-policy and bring huge benefits to exporters and consumers. 

Allow me to wind up my speech by saying the lessons of our past could not be clearer. Prosperity requires us to move even more decisively in the direction of more democracy, more reconciliation, more rule-of- law, more depoliticization, more openness, more competition and more reform.  And I am very confident that this the direction that Sri Lankans will choose once again. 

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Latest comments

  • 6
    0

    1) One lesson is we have failed to make community cohesion in Sri Lanka
    2) we have failed to get rid of corruption
    3) we have failed to make a difference between executive power and policy making in Sri Lankan… some institute politicians want to put their noses in every thing even in school admins.

    • 2
      0

      lankan; your comment:-
      “…politicians want to put their noses in every thing…..”
      It is no wonder that Qualified Professionals are leaving the Country, when Uneducated Politicians stop them from using their Expertise!

      • 1
        1

        Hamlet

        “when Uneducated Politicians stop them from using their Expertise!”

        Education has nothing to do with good governance, or eradicating corruption, .all other good qualities as we know them, ……. for example Dr Wijedasa Rajapaksa
        2X PhD, Prof G L Pieris 2XPhD, Udaya Gammanpila, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Namal Baby, Mahinda Rajapaksa, ………………………. Dr Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa DSc, 2 X MSc, …………….

        I wonder where you got the idea that Education makes a rounded person out of hoodlum. We should be looking/voting for wise people instead of “Educated” ones.

  • 1
    3

    What a beautiful set of Economic Stats.

    2005 ,Mr Pirahaparan was only in charge of half of Srilaka..
    Yet what Mr Pirahapran has contributed to our Mahavamsa Economy is phenomenal….

    Our Finance Minister has done a fabulous job to honor Mr Pirahapaharn’s achievements by delivering this speech to the cream of the crop of Lankawe inhabitants , whom I believe are drivers of the Srilankan Economy.

    No wonder Mr Samaraweera’s Boss and Mr Samaraweera have spent good 4 and a1/2 years to please Mr Pirahaparan’s supporters.

    I am sooo disappointed that Mr Pirahaparan left us .

    Just imagine the Stats, which Mr Samaraweera would have presented ,if Mr Pirahaparan continued even till 2010, let alone 2019?…

    Dr Ranil’s mates in Colombo would have said “Switzerlanders Eat your Hear Out..”..

    • 0
      2

      ” Dr Ranil’s mates in Colombo would have said “Switzerlanders Eat your Hear Out..”.
      Sumane,
      Sounds like a meaningful advise, coming out from the eaten out hearts of the Sinhala Buddhists, honestly .
      The Sinhala Buddhists first ate their hearts. Once they become heartless, they cut open the Tamils chest chamber and eat Tamils hearts. Now it is Muslims’ hearts!

      • 0
        0

        Mally,

        Now your are taking it too serious mate,
        Sinhala Buddhist don’t eat even Goat Meat (Mutton), unlike you guys..
        Mainly because they can’t afford LKR 1500 for a Kilo.
        That is another story..

        Where did you get this Muslim hearts bit?.
        Their reinstated Yahapalana Minister is now eying 5 Acres of Land in the Mannar Nature reserve to make a Settlement
        -.’
        Man, Just imagine getting even 10 Perchs along that magnificent Blue Waters of the Peninsula.!!!

        Has Samapathar made up his mind about Keselwatta Kid ?. Or is He still sitting on the fence?..

    • 4
      2

      KASmaalam K.A.Sumanasekera

      Does Hopper Sirisena have any tricks up his sleeves or under his Amude?
      He is acting strangely in the past few days, like his soul mate Mahinda does he sitting on f(p)iles?

      He is talking about Lotus Tower Contract.
      Do you know anything about the missing Rs 2,000,000.000.00.
      Is there anyway you could clarify the amount with Basil, the one stop shop?
      I am damn sure you have nothing to do with missing deposit as the sum seems to be too high an amount for you to embezzle.

      • 1
        1

        Dear Native,

        I think your Yahapalana Hopper Sira has done a Dr Ranil this time…
        I don’t think Chinese will even send a Moon Cake to Sira next year..

        On a serious matter, how come Sira didn’t help Dr Ranil to bring in that USD 18 Billion from the Arab Bank?.

        With that money in the Treasury Your buddy Mangala Samare wouldn’t have had to sing Hosannas to Pirahaparan at that 2025 Economic Vision in Colombo. which Dr Ranil must have expected to be a Watershed in the Election Campaign .
        And finished off that OL Drop out, who has highjacked the Candidacy.

      • 0
        2

        Dear Native,

        You are right, mate. Sira seems to have a trick up his Amude.
        His SLFP Gen Sec says they are ready to join with Keselwatta Kid .
        But it will be a Bunch of Bananas. aka Kehel Avariya as their Alliance Symbol.

        How cool is that for the UNP Dalits to finally have their own Party and their own Kesel Avariya ..-

        One problem though is SLFP has no Dalits there any more .
        Only the followers of Whisky Madam and her loyal MPS who took Santhosams from Aloysious..

        But the irony of all these UNP shit fights over class and caste differences is the Elite , and the Anglicans are now in bed with AKD’s JVP who were the real Dalits in the past.

        That is the latest announcement from Dr Ranil’s Faction .
        And they will announce their Candidate soon ,according to Akila Boy the Secretary General..

        Wonder what they will pick as their Symbol ?.
        What do you recon Native ?..Red Elephant?…

  • 5
    2

    “There can never be sustainable economic development without democracy and the rule of law.”

    What is this guy smoking? There is no democracy in China, yet every major world corporation has some presence there. Of course democracy is preferable to autocracy, but the correlation to economic development is marginal at best. The single biggest contributor to economic development in the West was the Industrial Revolution, during which time women had few rights and colonialism and racism were rampant. So from a purely economic point of view, all that is required for Sri Lanka to fully develop is some cognizance of its available resources (what are called the factors of production) and their optimal use within a free market setting.

    • 2
      3

      Lester

      “There is no democracy in China, yet every major world corporation has some presence there.”

      Why did most autocratic countries such as Taiwan, South Korea, ……are ………. richer than Sri Lanka turn to democracy than remaining under the total control of “our leader”?

      Throughout South America and Africa “Wind of Change” has brought immense qualitative improvement to the people, and a lot is needed to be done.

      Between 1970 and 1994 and then 2005 and 2015 a form of elected dictatorship of enforced by the Pol Pots of this island. Could you tell us what sort of qualitative development that benefitted large section of ordinary people?

      Industrial revolution brought immense discoveries in science, technology, manufacturing process, ……………………. democracy, flourishing art, culture, humanism, ….. abolition of slavery, ……………….

      It appears that you are happy to reverse whatever gains al be it minuscule made by the women folks in this island. Your leaders had already started the process, sending the women to Medieval Middle East Kingdoms in order to liberate them from their family, washing Arab bums.

      • 2
        3

        Oh c’mon Native!

        Be kind to poor Lester ……… he is one of Gota’s propaganda-team’s little boys sent out to do a man’s job.

        Ye can’t blame the poor sod for trying his level best!

        If ye guys don’t let up ……… I’m going to write for Lester ……. help him please his master and avoid the white van ride to oblivion.

      • 1
        0

        Native,

        99% of improvements in human living standards are due to science and technology, not to democracy or politics. Again, Saudi Arabia is an excellent example. They have very high living standards because foreigners built everything for them. But zero democracy. Right now they are bombing Yemen day and night with $20 billion USD weapons bought from Trump.

        As usual, your data is wrong. Who is washing Arab bums? In 2016, GCC remittances were as follows: India: $36 billion, Egypt: $14 billion, Pakistan: $12 billion, Phillipines: $9 billion, Bangladesh: $8 billion, Indonesia: $5 billion, Nepal: $5 billion, Sri Lanka: $4 billion. I think you have some fantasy of abusing poor women, just like your late 182 kilo diabetic leader who turned them into bombing machines.

        • 1
          2

          Lester

          Is it your responsibility to worry about women from other countries washing Arab bums? Charity begins at home. Let the rest of the countries worry about their respective workers. I suggest you start taking care of your people.

          “I think you have some fantasy of abusing poor women, just like your late 182 kilo diabetic leader who turned them into bombing machines.”

          On the contrary the idea is to make sure you racist bigoted nationalists
          understood /realised what you lot have done to this country since 1948 to drag it to such a state that the women are forced into such pathetic situation. Rather than glorifying racist fascists why don’t you focus on the real issues?

          • 1
            0

            Native,

            Only a 3rd class mind would abuse hard working women with foul language. So, you are showing your true colours here. I have personally met many of these women, quite a few of them were Filipino, they are normal women working hard to support their families at home. What do you know about racism, go and take a swim in Nanthikadal Lagoon to clear up the rubbish in your mouth.

            • 1
              1

              Lester

              “Only a 3rd class mind would abuse hard working women with foul language.”

              True.
              You look at yourself, the rulers, liberators, ……………… not only they approve of it but practising abusers, ……… send women to Medieval Middle East Kingdom to be abused, ………….. so that the lazy bums could stay idle at home and enjoy a jolly good life style.

              You should be fighting with your demons, not secular citizen.
              Go find the women folks whom you export in large quantity (as some form of commodity) jobs and real jobs.

              • 0
                0

                Native,

                Most women who go to the Middle East are not abused. Only in your sick mind are they abused. Also, remittances accounted for only 7.9% of the Sri Lankan GDP in 2018. Meaning 92.1% of GDP came from elsewhere. Learn basic maths before making foolish statements.

    • 1
      3

      Lester Lester old boy!

      To hell with China and the rest of the world. There is a very good recent example.

      What economic development did the Rajapkses achieve in their dictatorship from 2010 – 2015? Please please please please ……. no generalities and platitudes …….. specifics please.


      1.

      2.

      3. and so on …………………

      Ye can start with …… getting commercial flights to land in Mattala, 5 minutes after taking off from Katunayake. …….. Now that’s “economic development” of the highest order. I grant you that.


      Stalin also had 0 unemployment in the collective-farms …………. first he reduced the population by millions and used them as fertilizer in the ol’ farms to increase crops …… according to the World Bank, that itself brought down the level of unemployment significantly …… Less population; less people unemployed!

      The whole country was under his iron grip ……. what he said was the “truth” …… if he said unemployment was 0 ……….. presto, unemployment was 0!

      That boy ol’ Stalin was no fool! ….. Good ol’ Adolf comes a distant second for cooking up the books ……. among other things ………. well, more efficient use of gas for cooking.

      But ol’ Gota doesn’t know anything about gas; only how to pump it, No?


      Gota is just a pumped full of air …….. ignorant, uneducated, bloated, weak, sissy, poor caricature of a man, No? …….. Who doesn’t have a single original idea of his own, No?

      Yes, No?

      • 2
        2

        nimal fernando

        Must you make your point so loud?

        He can’t hear you out because his head is elsewhere, buried ……………

  • 4
    1

    Some what closer to facts and truth. But telling this to our retards is as good as “blowing a trumpet into deaf ears”. Our retards are full of racial bigotry ,resentments, revenge and immorality. For years our governments were using war as an excuse, which may be partially responsible for our economic downturn.Even then money was looted in military procurement (Udayanga, Jaliya are now in hiding) But after war it was just one family who went on to exploit “war victory” as their own, to loot and rape the country.(where some of the soldiers are still committing suicide due to mental/physical health issues ) They borrowed money from loan sharks , reaping in billions as cuts, spend on white elephants to boost their stupid egos and to make public believe “we are a wonder and miracle” of Asia..They hired rogues like Cabral to manage the account books , who manipulated the treasury, CB and stock markets to reap more ill gotten wealth for them and the crooked businessmen who are now financially supporting nefarious activities. With the stolen money they went on to buy MP, s elections and amend constitution as they wished. They bought judges, law and order so much so bureaucrats were busy covering up evidences and paper trail. In the mean time any dissent was met with violence and death. Yet our retards once again getting ready to bring back the family to power.

    • 3
      3

      Chiv,
      “Yet our retards once again getting ready to bring back the family to power.

      In 2015, retards sent Rajapakses who crushed Demala terrorism and gave priority to economic development producing a GDP growth of around 7% out and brought Gamarala and ‘Royal Gang’ to power hoping that ‘Wenasa’ will make this country a heaven. But during the past four years these guys have turned this country to a hell. Robbing the Central bank is the only thing the ‘Royal Gang’ did successfully. So do you want the same guys to return to power?

  • 0
    0

    Samaraweera,
    *
    I’m sure all of you are state-of-the-art administrators and policy-makers. But you have missed one fundamental area in your grandiose plan of country : environmental destruction, climate change, and the heritage destruction and cultural degradation of our fragile island.
    *
    All that you are so clever at doing is surely going to build the India land-bridge to further balance out your equations. We will have to link hand and fingers with fellow Indians, send rockets to crash-land on the moon so the Americans can use the next stage of space formulas and equations over the sobbing masses of S. Asians. Deep green ancient forests will be replaced with spiky palm-oil trees where monkeys will not be able to swing on , and forest eco-systems will be replaced will be severely imbalanced with mono-crop fauna and flora.
    *
    Use the two-decade plan and prioritize traditional agriculture and fishing and merchandising, and all the other “modern” commercial intricacies will surely come in abundance (it’s the law of karmic goodness).
    *
    Btw…… Asian countries east of us did well because they had some oil and gas- Singapore, their banker. Countries that did not have Oil&Gas remained agrarian and socialist. And we were too good as Buddhists to take black-money from Indians and become the Switzerland of the east.
    *
    ps. Thailand has a king, and all politicians of whatever party in power implicitly conform his bidding. We too must have a king.

  • 0
    2

    I cant believe the Cretins from Matara keep electing this moron.

    • 3
      2

      Abhaya

      If Colombo District Cretins could elect bigoted stupid Wimal Sangili Karuppan Weerawansa why not Matara? Or for that matter if Kurunegala cretins could elect crook and war criminal why not Matara a moron? …………………………….. 225, ….

  • 0
    3

    While Ranil was leading on anti-West speeches and policies, CB looting, impunity and masterminding with other two of the trios in coups, 19A to stabilize his PM job while destabilize the country and other destruction, during that time Mangala spread lies around the world about the internal marvel of the Yahapalanaya administration, protected the $18B of the Old Royals, introduced the Foreign Exchange Fraud Amnesty Act(2017) to have Lankawe listed as money laundering Headquarters of the world.
    FDI is not coming in for the last 4½ years because Ranil’s anti-West actions and Mangala’s lies. America is ready to work with Old Brother Prince but not with Ranil or Mangala. Mangala owes an explanation on that for Sinhala Buddhist Modayas.
    If anything Mangala is saying honestly true, then why Mangala is trying hard to replace Ranil with a politically unknown child the Vaalaiththodam Jr? Why is he thinking such and achiever Ranil will not be able to win the election?
    Mangala means master in games.

  • 2
    1

    Eagle, pretty simple. The election is between a PIMP , “who goes around fixing people ” (taking care of other person,s crimes, murder, fraud) and a MURDERER. Who is going to be your number one choice ?????

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