7 August, 2020

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When Politicians Fail: Politics, Power & Morality

By Siri Gamage

Dr. Siri Gamage

Politically acquired power is dominant in countries like Sri Lanka even going beyond the sphere of governance to the extent of claiming exclusive rights and privileges in the name of representative democracy. There is a lot of unhappiness among well-meaning Sri Lankans of all ranks about the current state of play in the political arena. Democratic system of governance and associated institutions have been diluted over the decades by introducing an executive President, politicisation of institutions and tampering with the constitution. The safeguards that average citizens can expect from a text book parliamentary democracy are not in existence. Politics as a means for acquiring power to govern have become extremely antagonistic and acquired power by the elected politicians is not utilised for the benefit of many.

In this context, we need to look for another force that can guide the country out of the mess that have been created collectively by our political leaders since independence. In my view, this force is none other than the moral force already existing in the broader society in various forms. As the Buddhist monks in ALUTH PARLIMENTUVA (26.12.2018) argue, the religious leaders may be called upon to organise a liberatory national movement without succumbing to further political pressure. After all, the moral order in societies like Sri Lanka with a history of culture, civilisation, religious pluralism is much stronger than the political order which is subject to various divisions, distortions, upheavals and conflicts. When politicians fail, moral power has to be invoked collectively to become a force for positive change.

The best example of a moral leader making demands and commitments from political leaders and parties in Sri Lanka in recent times comes from the role played by Rev. Maduluwawe Sobitha (1942-2015) and his National Movement for Social Justice before the 2015 Presidential election. At the time, political leaders of various colours visited Naga Viharaya day and night to obtain his blessings for the party or coalition they represented. Rev. Sobitha had a blueprint for good governance. He did not deviate from it when meeting different political leaders. He occupied the moral high ground in a country where the corrupt political culture had eaten into the core of body politic. It was beginning to impact on the moral order as well. Unfortunately, before he demanded accountability and transparency in government decisions in accordance with his blueprint for which present leaders made commitments, he passed away. This was the misfortune of the people and country. Had he lived this long, perhaps we may not have witnessed a bond scam. Punishments for corrupt behaviour of elected and public officials in the previous regime would have been meted out. Ruling class, instead of serving themselves once in power, would have been made to understand that their prime responsibility is to serve the people at large. Executive Presidency would have been abolished. In its place, a more representative democratic parliamentary system of governance would have been installed. Most of all he and his organisation would have been able to keep an eagle eye on any deviations from the commitments made in the name of Yahapalanaya.

Unlike in some other countries such as Cambodia, since democratic and solidarity space for change is not completely overtaken by the state and/or governing political parties, even today initiatives of such nature shown by Sobitha phenomenon have the potential to occupy the third space over and above mainstream political coalitions formed to acquire and retain state power in order to bring about much desired positive change in governance with a humanistic slant.

Politics of Disunity, Self Interest and Privilege

Already, there is enough criticism of the existing political culture and behaviour of elected politicians. This has been the case for decades. Criticism alone is not going to deliver the anticipated results in terms of Yahapalanaya if we rely on the existing ruling class itself. We need to look beyond. The ruling class has been transformed in the last few decades, especially after the introduction of Provincial Council system in 1987. Layers of politicians from lower socio-economic classes, with low education and poor moral convictions have entered the field of politics from the provinces. Some of them have entered national politics and national government also. Thus, the composition of national parliament today is quite different to what it was during the time of Dudley Senanayake, N.M.Perera or Colvin R de Silva etc. Instead of a house of debate, disciplined critique, consultation and compromise for the national interest, it has become a place of petty rivalry, division, pseudo heroism and conflict.

What we have witnessed in the last few months, especially after October 26th, 2018, highlights the importance of power in controlling the lives of people, institutions, public revenue, and how conflicts among those holding formal power in the ruling class can lead a country to a very chaotic situation. Formal power is acquired by leaders of political parties during elections that are colourfully conducted with grand shows, advertising, manipulation of media to galvanise support from the party hierarchies spreading into rural hinterland. Political parties are the vehicle on which leaders of parties gain formal power. Before, during and after elections politics within such parties and outside involve a lot of horse trading, promises, commitments (public and private) by the leaders. No one in the right mind will engage in party politics merely for symbolic purposes –though this cannot be completely ruled out at the grass roots level where party symbols have made some individuals and families lifelong supporters irrespective of what the party offers them after the elections

For some, politics has become a fulltime vocation; they live and die in politics. For them, there is no life without it. With such individuals and families, political dynasties have been made. Members of such families remain in politics, one after another supposedly to serve the people! Any emerging politician from the provinces outside such families has an uphill struggle to become successful in the face of subtle competition political dynasties built over decades mount. Once in power, those who occupy seats and levers of power have access to public assets and revenue. They have to make individual and collective decisions about how to distribute the rewards of politics, to whom and in what proportion? Should they make decisions regarding such public assets for the benefit of many or should they at times act to serve their own families and close friends? In the last few decades, Sri Lanka has failed miserably when it comes to the behaviour of elected politicians and parties on this count. Corruption cases such as the Bond Scam have proven time and again that the population cannot put their trust in the politicians they elect to the parliament and exercise power on their behalf to make the right decisions with moral convictions. Political order has taken over the entirety of public life and space to the detriment of age old community values and public aspirations. Playing politics has become an exercise in gaining power, wealth and privilege rather than a way to serve the communities elected representatives represent, especially those without a voice. Those without a voice, the majority, are preached with political sermons on a daily basis by using the mass media. I wonder how often these politicians listen to the people in order to understand their mindset, needs and aspirations?

Alternative Path

What is the alternative? My argument is that the disempowered population together with the guardians of moral order need to focus on the potential role of the same to preserve the civic order and sanity rather than rely on conventional professional politicians if they are to secure a truly authentic, corruption and nepotism free government (yahapalanaya) and a just society. Guardians of moral order needs to step in and galvanise the public through a new countrywide organisation demanding corruption free governance for the people. Unless this happens, the future of the country is doomed.

It is pleasing to see that 15 civic organisations have come together to form an alliance including Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne from the Sarvodaya movement. I read that they are even willing to enter the political arena to achieve their social justice objectives. Though the model adopted by this alliance is somewhat different to that adopted by Rev. Sobitha, it seems to have the national interests at heart. I admire their intentions, courage and vision for a better Lanka. It is concerning to note that the National media gave very little publicity to this alliance. Instead, their focus is the rivalries among the same, entrenched political class. Another example is the activities of a democratically minded youth group who recently organised a two-day seminar in Vavuniya i.e. AFRIE. ‘The conference participants established Youth for Democracy—a new collective with youth from multi-ethnic and multi-religious backgrounds who have a demonstrable mobilization capacity of 1,000 villages collectively for democracy, human rights and reconciliation. During the conference, youth activists together planned multi-ethnic initiatives towards strengthening democratic values for the next 5 years, which they deem important at the moment when democracy is at stake in the country, through eliminating corruption, human rights protection, promoting justice, ethnic unity and countering authoritarianism’. Recently concluded The Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) was one more example of a civic organisation fighting for democratic rights in the country. (The Island 28.12.2017). Latest episode of Aluth Parlimentuva broadcast on 26th December 2018 includes a useful discussion among a team of Buddhist monks, Christian priests and Mr. Edward Jayakody where the need for a national movement to address the current decline in political system is emphasised. Mr. Victor Ivan leads Punarudaya movement with a focus in building a social force for country’s redemption. I am sure that there are more civic organisations and religious leaders concerned about the current situation and wanting to do something to correct the path. If these initiatives currently conducted in isolation from each other culminate in a national movement, then the prospects for future action and capacity building may become a reality.

Conclusion

The aberration in the governance process enacted on 26th of October 2018 was corrected by the Supreme Court. This change has given added momentum to the UNF led by Mr. Ranil Wickeremesinghe and the UNP led coalition. The reinstatement of Mr. Wickremesinghe has been interpreted as a reinstatement of democracy. His and his colleagues’ struggle to retain the PM and cabinet position has been described as a win for democracy and democratic governance in Sri Lanka. There is some truth in this statement. However, the story does not end there. The economic policies that the UNF carried out before the change of government in October were neoliberal. His government actively encouraged foreign capital to come to the country and start mega projects. Little they did to encourage indigenous entrepreneurs to initiate new ventures. Instead of encouraging country’s agricultural sector to innovate and produce for the export market, the UNF encouraged more and more imports. It also encouraged a consumer culture through expansion of supermarkets. It looked after the top end of society and neglected the middle and lower classes. Government and the country experienced a heavy foreign debt trap. Concept of development adopted by the UNF was lopsided. National assets were alienated. If the same economic mantra continues, there will be resistance from the disaffected segments of society. They will look for a messiah to salvage the people and society. Taking he mantle of guarding democracy alone will not bring the bacon home for the UNF. It has to change its policies and policy making procedures. At the grass roots level, in cities and villages, disempowered people need to be liberated from the bondages of established hierarchies, parties, families and pseudo discourses that portray one group of people against another.

What is necessary to purify the corrupt establishment and by extension society at large is a centre of progressive moral leadership that can not only understand the predicament of society and its key institutions in non-sectarian language and devise a language, argument and discourse toward developing an agenda for reform. Those holding positions in apex hierarchies –whether they be political, religious, economic, cultural –have proven to be incapable of initiating and sustaining such a discourse. Rev, Sobitha displayed the necessary characteristics for a progressive reformist agenda as well as organisational capacity. We can learn lessons from this experience.

Corruption and mismanagement in the body politic and governance is such that it is time for another Sobitha to emerge from the apolitical, moral space to play a similar role together with civic society leaders and groups for the country to be placed on the right path. People cannot rely on Diyavanna house alone to look after their welfare and the country’s coffers. Such a personality can emerge from the religious leadership or civic leadership with a progressive bias. In this day and age where the modern technology is cutting across various boundaries and allow people, especially the youth, to organise collective action, such leadership can emerge from socially conscious, educated, concerned middle class layers of society also.

My wish is for a moral leader, a council of such leaders, or a civic organisation with moral courage and non-partisan outlook to embark on a renewed mission to safeguard the country from the corrupt political class by organising a countrywide movement for social justice and Yahapalanaya with a truly humanistic approach

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Latest comments

  • 3
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    Dr Gamage,

    thanks for your valube article.

    Lanken society is down to all appalling levels for various reasons that the nation was set during 30 year old civil war.
    The respect and dignity is gone out of touch as not times in the past in today ‘s society. Not many would respect the other as is the case in 70ties and 80ties inthe country. This we the ones living out of the country notice even more each time travelling home.
    .
    The onyl way out would be to rebuild the society by improving education and political awareness of the people. We need lot more prefessionals to work efficiently on that matter than any other physical development inthe country. For what purpose we need to build unused airports, unused harbors, play grounds, stadiums, galleries etc, so long the average mind set would not be subjected to any kind fo human development.
    :
    I happened to watch a video on YT few weeks ago, – young girl friend/fiance was being killed by her bf, while a group of youth just keep on recording – those youth had no guts to save the life of the poor girl. Their argument was ” police had asked them not to close any kind of criminals even if you have chances to save the life of someone”. See how unhearted youth have become today?.
    .
    They dont care about the value of human life today. They just would do anything for their selfish gains.
    Rajakshe POLITICS caused to that extent average mind set to be indifferent and be familiar with illegal manner. Youth would not respect law and order thanks to them today. May well be, they feel if Rajapakshes and their kith and kin are allowed, that should be exemplary to the nation. In same time, all the Rajakshe crimes are being continued with BUDDIst monks being close to them. That is the other bad example that Rajakshes send out to lankens.

    • 1
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      Samson Gunawardena “Rajapakshe POLITICS caused to that extent average mind set to be indifferent and be familiar with illegal manner”

      Why blame the Rajapakses alone. This was started by the 1977 regime.If JRJ kept to the work under taken by Mrs B, this country would have been a rich country, we would have retained the high moral back ground we were trained in. That rgime made crooks out of us.

      The best way to treat the Buddhist monks id to force them to derobe the moment they are found to go ourside the accepted norms. If they demonstrate on the road, strip them naked and burn their clothes.

    • 0
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      Dr. Siri Gamage you are right. This whole lot has to be thrown out, every body.These political parties should be disbanded and new ones brought in.

  • 0
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    Dear Siri,

    Whilst I stand with you on your arguments :

    1. We need to look for another force that can guide the country out of the mess that have been created collectively by our political leaders since independence. In my view, this force is none other than the moral force already existing in the broader society in various forms.

    2. The best example of a moral leader making demands and commitments from political leaders and parties in Sri Lanka in recent times comes from the role played by Rev. Maduluwawe Sobitha (1942-2015) and his National Movement for Social Justice before the 2015 Presidential election. At the time, political leaders of various colours visited Naga Viharaya day and night to obtain his blessings for the party or coalition they represented. Rev. Sobitha had a blueprint for good governance.

    3, In fact I was directly involved with the NMSJ campaign long before the likes of Sarath Wijesuriya, when in, I and my team were developing software solutions to ensure that foreign remittances would be remitted to the NMSJ a/c without any hindrances.

    4. I am still of the opinion that it is the ONLY protocol of money remittances to the NMSJ
    thus is the ONLY money transfer Protocol for the NMSJ.

    • 0
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      Glad to know Darshana. SG

  • 2
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    Dr Siri Ganage,

    Thanks for the succinct article. Ben, Maduduwe Sibitha Thero and others, tried but was Only partially successful. It is the same political Cabral with occasional additions that are controlling the destiny of the land. The third alternative is trying to do it peacefully, but the populace is dissatisfied.

    How did the French do it? The Russians? The Chinese? The Turks? The Tunesians?

    What comes later may not necessarily be pretty.

    • 1
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      Amarasiri, you have hit the nail. The French Revolution is the best example, the next is how Gen Ne Win and President Park of Korea are the best examples.I admire Ne Win fiorthe manner in which he brought the sadfron robed under control

  • 1
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    Thanks Siri Gamage for a thoughtful and timely article.It is absolutely necessary to build a national mass movement outside the existing political parties .The movement need not be confined to professionals but be inclusive of all ethnic and religious communities.

    Once the masses are mobilized leaders will automatically emerge from the movement but care should be taken to ensure that ambitious individuals do not hijack the labor of many for their personal and parochial agenda.

    But what the movement is going to do is much more important than simply mobilizing the masses-corruption and nepotism free may be necessary, but not sufficient. Anti UNP or anti Rajapakse rhetoric could only be a short term slogan.

    The vision and the strategy have to be formulated to inspire the masses and the youth to carry forward the movement towards the goal.
    But Siri Gamage, your concluding para is a disappointment as you have not convincingly argued for a alternate policy framework.

    Enterprise Sri Lanka and FDI are the corner zone of UNP Vision 2025 with export driven agro-industries.
    Critisize UNP policy with facts and figures, merely saying neo-liberal policy will not do!

  • 1
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    D,. Siri Gamage: “Politicians have failed”. NO – They have “SUCCEEDED” very well – of course, “Individually” and “Collectively”, within their “Family Circles” and “Cohorts”, on the “BLOOD” of those who have put them to power. How? The simple answer is: POLITICS is “BIG BUSINESS” without the need to make any INVESTMENT of a CAPITAL. The entire country has been engulfed in this “TSUNAMI” style disaster. How do we ESCAPE from this situation and “RECOVER” has become the every day discussion of the society. That is how we see all these NEW organizations are coming into being and there is BUSTLE going on around us. Didn’t we see the same “BUSTLE” prior to 2015? Yes, we did and that is how it “GIFTED” us with “Yahapalanaya” “DRAMA”, Are we, once again to receive another “GIFT”? NO. Not this time. Let us first SEE, what the “GIFT” is like. There must be a WELL PLANED and a WORKABLE PLAN that which will be placed before the PEOPLE and NECESSARILY introducing the “TEAM” who will make a FIRM COMMITMENT to EXECUTE the plan. That “TEAM” must be well MONITORED and AUDITED for PERFORMANCE by an “INDEPENDENT EXECUTIVE” body that will take necessary executive action of DISCIPLINING , (inclusive of dismissals) of the FAILURES. There are very many details to be worked out on this “PLAN OF ACTION” and hopefully these “Organizations” will get their acts together. If that happens, we would have some HOPES.

    • 1
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      The mistake in 2015 was that the NMSJ relied on political leaders to deliver the goods. This mistake is not to be repeated this time by allowing politicians to Hijack the momentum created by a national movement.

      True the vision, mission, agenda, goals, strategy and outcomes are all important. These need to be collectively worked out. As the monks in Altho Parlimentuwa state, an education that serves national needs and interest is a key. One monk says, education involves knowledge, skills and attitude. But the current education in Lanka provides knowledge only? In my articles elsewhere, I have pointed out this knowledge is imported and thus we are made dependent(see Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences in January 2019, and Social Affairs Journal 2016). Such dependency prevails in all other fields, economic, political, cultural.

      Vision has to be to make Lanka independent and self reliant again not only in knowledge terms but all other spheres.e.g. agriculture, industry, health and welfare, animal husbandry, enterprise. (I agree that the UNP belatedly introduced Enterprise Lanka program).

      This time an expanded and inclusive National Movement for Social Justice should field its own candidate/s for national elections.

  • 0
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    You have explained the problem in summary. If you listened carefully. these days, National list MPs are very vocal. They openly talk of money and minister post. Read about Palitha Range Bandara. Then take Jayampathi, Sumanthiran, Rajotha Senarathne etc., Are they accountable to the Elelctorate when we do not have elelcorates but only the elelctoral districts. All 225 are thieves. Thhey do not have national policiees for developing the different secrs of the Country. The major task of every prominent politicians that is PResidents and PMs is to manover and use money, power and authrotiy to win the next election. The mjor need is they should eliminate National list first. Foreign countries are overpowering us because we bend to them. USA couild not kill Fidel CAstro with their super power status. All prominenet politicians arer very weak in their abilities. so, they use corruption.
    I suppose, you are in Sri lanka and you do not involve this to the public and do not organize a group explaioning this to the public.
    INGOs are diasaster to the country. Sri lanka should use Chinese Rule book to curtail INGOs. some other countries have completely eliminated INGOs. They should not be in Sri lanka and In Sri lanka many Politicians are foreign agents.

  • 1
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    Dr. Siri Gamage: Though you did not address me directly, your comment, I presume originates from my comment appeared just above yours. You referred to that TV discussion titled “Aluth Parlimenthuwa”. I too watched it and keenly followed the presentations. Yet, when I saw that “Buddhist Priest” seated in between the two Christian Clergies, Rev. Medagoda Abeytissa, my “Suspicions” of a beneficial discussion went wild. Anyway, the way he talked of “What is NEEDED” was a complete change of a 360 “Turn Around” of what he is doing with the “Deposed King” “MR & Co.”. Can we TRUST and TOLERATE these types of HUMBUGGERY . I definitely know the rest of the participants are well aware of this “Priest’s” role in the present day politics. These are the “CRUSADES”, these newly forming Organizations have to be careful of. This is called “INFILTRATION” by the corrupted “Agents” to disrupt with hidden “AGENDA”. Another very important fact, I forgot to mention in referring to that “BUSINESS” aspect of politics. Hereafter, politics nave to be declared an HONORABLE SERVICE and those engaged in that SERVICE must “HOLD” an “HONORARY” position without any “Monthly Salaries” and all other “PERKS” excepting a payment of a “HONORARIUM” for their up-keep only. That is the only way to CLEAN the stable and fill it with HONORABLE POLITICIANS.

    • 0
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      Dear Douglas,

      This disclosure is very informative indeed.A National Mo cement by civic and religious leaders etc. has to be extra careful not to entertain infiltrators.
      SG

  • 2
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    Another impractical, inconsequential, dick-less idea from a so-called academic domiciled overseas, thanks to free education provided by our sweating farmers.

    The greatest service you can do Gamage, is to keep quiet, keeping these stupid ideas locked up in your head.

    Have a happy 2018 that way.

    • 0
      1

      It seems that you can’t see the tree for the woods Mr. Amare Liyanage? Where do you get this load of personal hatred from?

      A person’s education or place of residence has nothing to do with the ideas I propose. I m grateful for the free education that I received but my parents were equally responsible for the education I received. You will note that most of the children of Sri Lanka’s middle class and upper middle class are domiciled overseas. I can understand that the parents of those whose children were unable to join this bandwagon are somewhat jealous of this phenomenon. You may not know that half of my career was in a leading university in Sri Lanka. Free education is not a license to spend one’s whole life in troubled Lanka -tough some pseudo deshapremis proclaim so. . Nowhere in my degree certificate indicates that I could not travel abroad or reside in another country as I choose. You are not arbiter of my choices or what I write. Politicians try to do so. If you have a valid criticism or a point I am quite wiling to listen and even correct what I write . with compassion and best wishes for 2009! SG

  • 0
    0

    Siri Gamage,”Vision has to be to make Lanka independent and self reliant again”

    Is it possible for Sri Lanka to be independent and self-reliant?.

    It failed during 1970-77 and discredited.

    Could it be repeated successfully?

    Globalization is the panacea for all ills. This is the economic order spearheaded by the west since the end of cold war!

    China benefits globally due to globalization and actively promote trade globally!.

    Trump with his America first, try to protect US economy through tariffs against China and even EU!
    EU and ASEAN are success stories where national barriers are broken to benefit economy of scale on a continental basis.

    Next globalization worldwide is the target.

    Brexit is an aberration that could not survive for long.

    Siri Gamage in this scenario, do you sincerely believe that closed economy is the way out for a country like Sri Lanka?

    We made a blunder in the year 2015 with the single issue.

    The single issue being the abolition of executive Presidency!.

    But it ultimately turned to be the defeat of Mahinda Rajapakse!

    Nobody thought beyond the defeat and the consequence is the present impasse !

    Do yo want the history to repeat?

    • 1
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      Hi Sri-Krish,

      Im not talking about a closed economy. In fact I am talking about an export economy based on a sound national economy(desheeya arthikaya). For example, Thailand exports vegetables and fruits and receive over 5 billion dollars annually I am told. What does Sri Lanka do? Import everything and distribute via supermarkets. Our rural economy has been neglected. Milk production, rice and coconut production, tea and rubber, minor crops, and manufactured goods via social enterprises as in Thailand need to be encouraged. Most ion all our human resources i.e. young talent and professionally qualified segment have to be employed to produce some product or service. Mantra should be production, production and production. Of course in Lanka producer is exploited by intermediaries. (In the 70s, the United Front Govt. tried to address this problem.). The Chinese have identified what is consumed by those in other countries especially in Europe,Australia,Canada,NZ and USA. They then manufacture them and export. In Australia, furniture shops have items produced in China. Name of shops are different. When the Chinese produce various items cheap, all others buy them and re-sell in local markets. Sri Lanka can find some areas for such exports. Govts have to facilitate such ventures.For this there has to be a vision and strategy.

  • 0
    0

    Siri Gamage,

    Agreed,

    Export economy is the key, forget about self- sufficiency.

    Modern technologies with innovation and value addition promote agro- based industries and makes significant contribution to economic development to all segments of agriculture thus agro based Industries facilitate industrial development.

    Our entrepreneurs lack entrepreneurship, technology, innovation, research and development and capital.

    Massive capital from Banks- Local banks, World Bank, ADB that may lead to debt trap?
    Our entrepreneurs need exposure.

    Collaboration with foreign entrepreneurs are necessary to build up our nascent entrepreneurs.

    To capture export market we have to face fierce competition. even cut throat competition from our neighbors.

    Economy of scale is another problem. We cannot depend on cottage industries. We have to capture market and supply chain..

    Lastly we cannot compromise on quality.If we do so it is at our own peril?

  • 0
    0

    Dr. Siri Gamage: Thank you. I am taking a very serious view of the “INFILTRATION” factor very well “Planned” and “Organized” by varying “Interested Groups” including the “MEDIA MOGULS”. However, this note is to say a THANK YOU for responding to the commentators that which we very hardly see.

  • 0
    0

    Dr Siri Gamage is spot-on ~ “……..At the grass roots level, in cities and villages, disempowered people need to be liberated from the bondages of established hierarchies, parties, families and pseudo discourses that portray one group of people against another………”.
    This ‘disempowerment’ thingy started seventy years back with the then government disenfranchising a million of the poorest and the weakest.
    Then came the “Ape Anduwa” which excluded a section of the population from the ‘Anduwa’. This gave way to elitism and today it is a friendly between super elitists.
    .
    The events from 26 October onwards has taught us that there is more to Yahapaalanaya.
    Our hopes are that movements like Aluth Parliamentuva will grow into a national movement.
    .
    Both teams playing the friendly are bad. Replacing the teams is a big big ask. We can force the teams to clean/preen themselves. The concept ‘Yahapaalanaya’ is precious.

  • 0
    0

    Some loyal UNPers have not been given ministry they probably deserve. They have shown their angst with the threat to fence-jump.
    .
    The prevalence of fence-jumping is a bane. Do habitual muli fence jumpers like Wasantha Senanayake and Aundika Fernando have a place in parliament?
    .
    Banning fence-jumping is an easy step towards yahapaalanaya.
    Please Aluth Parliamentova, consider the merit of banning this.

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