2 December, 2021

Blog

Why Sri Lanka Is A Failed State

By Oliver A. Ileperuma

Prof. Oliver A. Ileperuma

The rupee is crumbling and ordinary citizens are taxed to the hilt in consumer goods, fuel and services. At the same time, what is squeezed from the common man is supporting expenses for the kith and kin of powerful politicians for sojourns abroad. The presidential entourage to New York last year is a case in point where 63 people joined the bandwagon for merry making in New York. By contrast, the husband of the New Zealand prime minister personally paid for his air travel since he had to take care of a new born baby. Prime minister too, not to be outdone, has ordered 2 luxury bullet proof vehicles for Rs.590 million rupees according to the JVP leader Mr. Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Is this where the hard earned money of the common man go as taxes? In my own case, after serving the University for 44 years, the provident fund savings I got is now taxed. I can understand if these taxes go to repair the dangerous suspension bridges or provide clean water to people suffering from the chronic kidney disease in the Anuradhapura district but not support the extravaganzas of ministers and other members of the parliament.

Corruption was rampant during the previous regime where massive amounts of money went into politicians on useless grandiose projects such as the Hambantota harbour, Mattala airport and Suriyawewa cricket grounds. In addition, there are other wasteful projects like the massive conference centre at Hamabantota larger than BMICH which is now gathering dust and a university hostel without any university. People voted for the yahapalana government hoping that such colossal wastages will not happen with the new government. However, people have been duped again with a worse den of thieves hell bent to rob the people of this country. There was even a proposal to build a railway line from Kurunegala to Habarana, a distance of 88 km, at a massive cost of 151,000 million rupees although it appears to have been withdrawn after heavy criticism. There is already a railway line to Habarana via Maho covering a distance of 113 km and the proposed line represents only a saving of 25 km. Only two passenger trains ply along this route per day due to low demand and there are no signs of any export processing zones coming to Habarana which has only a population of around 10,000. Politicians do not care for the needs of the country but only interested in the kickbacks when embarking on such unnecessary grandiose projects. Even a modest commission of 10% for the rulers means that those who decide on this project would have been able to reap a whopping 15000 million rupees. Eventually, it is ordinary people who have to pay thorough their noses in increased taxes and no wonder why Sri Lanka has the highest suicide rate in the world.

We have a democratic government where the people elect their representatives to the parliament. Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as “a form of government of the people, by the people and for the people”. This expression has to be changed for Sri Lanka as “a form of government of some people, by some people for some people”. Let us consider the pathetic situation of our present Government. In 2016, parliament approved Rs. 1.6 billion to import luxury vehicles for ministers and deputy ministers, some costing over Rs. 70 million. One media spokesman had the audacity to say that they need better vehicles to travel to their electorates while they were still using luxury benzes, BMWs for such travel. Is this what the people expect out of the parliament? A single day’s parliamentary sittings cost the Sri Lanka’s tax payer around Rs. 4.6 million and yet, when important policy decisions are taken only a handful of members are present. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya lamented on this pathetic situation when a supplementary vote was debated in parliament where only 62 members out of 225 members were present. Most of the members had gone to the inaugural screening of the film Paththni! It is the curse for the people who elected such parliamentarians who are helpless to stop this shocking and disgusting behaviour of our politicians. As a general rule less than 50% of the members attend parliamentary sessions even after the government increased the daily sitting allowance from Rs. 500 to Rs. 2500 last year. 

What is the solution for this dismal failure of our parliament? Personally, I feel that the parliament along with its rogue jumbo cabinet should be abolished. Only a few countries have progressed through parliamentary democracy. There were strong men like Lee Kwan Yew and Mahathir Mohammed who transformed their economies from the ashes. Other countries like Thailand and most of Europe have monarchs who have an overall responsibility for the well-being of their countries. Even England became prosperous after the authoritarianism of its kings. Democracy can only be exercised if the population is intelligent enough and the country is substantially economically developed, to elect their own representatives to the parliament. Are our voters intelligent enough to select whom to send to the parliament? The answer is an affirmative no. They will select drug lords, actors and actresses who have no feelings to the sufferings of the common man. The preferential voting system has made it worse where only the rich who can spend a lot of money throughout the district can win a seat under this system. The greatest disservice JR Jayewardene did to this country was enacting a new constitution with preferential voting and the creation of an almighty president.

Democracy, if it is a form of Government for the people has to ensure that all people should be treated equally. Here again, only some people, particularly those belonging to the ruling party are recruited to lucrative and not so lucrative jobs in the Government sector. The University system where I have personal experience can recruit a professor but even a labourer appointment has to be made from the list provided by the Minister of Higher Education. Once recruited, it is difficult to control these henchmen since they are the “minister’s men” This is most likely true for appointments made at most of the ministries.  This is the most despicable way in which democracy works in Sri Lanka. As result of a recommendation of the Youth Commission appointed  by the Premadasa government after the second JVP insurrection, all appointments to the Government sector were based on a competitive examination after open advertisement. Successive governments have conveniently forgotten about this procedure and instead appoint only party loyalists and friends to all jobs in the public sector.

Maintaining a minister in this cabinet cost at least Rs 1 million monthly considering their vehicle expenses, coordinating and private secretaries and media personnel. What is needed is to elect a non-partisan and an impeccably honest person as the President and get him to suspend the parliament for at least five years and draft a people friendly constitution. This is a fanciful suggestion which may be a distant dream. However, we should remember that “there should be a dream: otherwise people perish (proverbs:  29.18)”. The president once elected can dissolve the parliament and appoint a caretaker cabinet comprised of a few professionals, both from the public and private sectors to run the ministries but with no politicians. If the country can be run without a parliament for at least five years then a number of the present day problems can be solved.In Belgium, after the 2010 election, the two major parties failed to arrive at a consensus and the country ran without a government for a world record of 589 days! Government bureaucracy ran the country with a caretaker prime minister and 11 cabinet ministers and the annual growth rate increased from 2.5 to 3.3%. In other countries such as Finland, there are only 11 ministers and Holland has only 14 ministers. Yet their economies are booming and the citizens are happy. In Sri Lanka taxpayers support this jumbo cabinet of 30 ministers along with state ministers, deputy ministers and draining our meagre financial resources.

Another big drain on the national economy is the system of provincial councils which serves no useful purpose but only helps to a ballooning bureaucracy creating  administrative burdens on people. This system arose from the Indo-Sri Lanka accord which JR Jayewardene (JRJ) signed without any consideration to our national interests. One may say that India forced this system down our throats. However, If JRJ had acted wisely this white elephant could have been avoided. He made enemies with India insulting the Gandhi family and this resulted in India establishing LTTE training camps in India. His son Rajiv Gandhi carried on this antagonism and forced JRJ to accept this useless system of provincial councils. While it was meant to help devolve power to the North and East provinces, eventually it engulfed the entire country.

People gave a mandate to the present Government to abolish the presidential system and reconstitute the constitution, in particular the curse of the preferential voting system. To achieve this a committee was proposed comprising of 3 members from the parliament and 7 outside members. However, our parliamentarians who think they are the smartest  decided  to include 7 members from the parliament and 3 outside members. This was nearly two years ago and the committee has not succeeded in producing any tangible outcome.  They seem to work on the principle, “if you can do it tomorrow, why do it today” and tomorrow never comes.

For a country to prosper, law and order should be engrained in the administrative system. Enforcement of laws is left to the judiciary and if a simple civil case takes six years to solve, there must be something wrong somewhere. Land dispute cases can drag on for over 20 years by which time the original litigants are dead. Even for murder charges, the convicts are released on bail after a few hearings and the cases drag on for years. Does this kind of system operate anywhere else in this world? “Justice delayed is justice denied” is a popular legal maxim in the west. People have to suffer waiting for the dispensation of justice paying hefty amounts to lawyers. The present system only makes lawyers richer and the parliament which has many lawyers in its ranks will never enact laws for a speedier justice. Recently six people were convicted in Tangalle courts after a lapse of 22 years after committing the crime! Even Justice minister Thalatha Atukorale recently admitted that there are 750,000 cases pending judgment and the main reason is the postponement of cases. It is doubtful whether the Government will do anything to alleviate this pathetic situation. It is dangerous for an individual like me or even a newspaper to highlight the long delays on cases pending in courts to highlight the long drag on cases for the  fear of prosecution by courts as what happened earlier to S.B. Dissanayake and now to Deputy minister Ranjan Ramanayake.

In a true democracy, freedom of expression is taken for granted. In the USA, President Richard Nixon had to resign from Presidency after two investigative journalists uncovered the Watergate scandal. Previous Rajapaksa regime controlled the media through financial rewards to journalists, offering them foreign junkets and helping them to send their children abroad for education. Journalists who could not be bought were brutally assaulted, intimidated or even killed like in the case of Ekneligoda. The present government is no better with 13 journalists included in the presidential entourage to the United Nations in New York last year and it is not surprising that none of the printed media or even most websites had the courage to highlight this colossal wastage of funds. Such is the freedom of expression practiced in our country and can we ever claim that we have democracy in this land? Similarly, no mainstream news media reported on the extravagant spending of Rs. 590 million for two luxury cars to the Prime minister. What is even more surprising is the deafening silence of the Government on this reported abuse public funds.  

Many educated people I meet regularly complain about the present situation where there appears to be no hope. They openly criticise the two main parties for failing to serve the aspirations of the general population. I used to advise my students that they can go abroad after graduation but return back to serve the motherland. Now I give exactly the opposite advice to never return to this country ruined by the politicians beyond repair. What is happening in Sri Lanka is that power keeps on shifting from one set of crooks to another worse bunch and it is the future generations who will have to bear the consequences of hefty loans taken solely for the financial comfort of politicians rather than that of the common man.

The main reason for the falling rupee is our low national productivity. We import a lot of our food requirements like onions, dhal, potatoes, mung beans and gingelly. There is no plan to increase cultivation of these essential commodities in our own country. We are not making use of our natural mineral resources to strengthen exports. Abundantly found mineral resources such as mineral sands, rock phosphate, iron ores, throium minerals and graphite are either underutilized or not used at all. This writer has been agitating for over four decades to develop a chemical industry and manufacture value added products from our minerals and these pleas have fallen on the deaf ears of our politicians. Our rare earth minerals from Beruwela were processed and exported in the 1970s but after the free economy, this completely stopped and JRJ gave the equipment and buildings located at Katukurunda to the Police training school. Rare earths fetch high prices in the international market because they are extensively used to make sensors in electronics. Similarly, we export minerals such as ilmenite without any value addition and import its processed products at 1000 times or more. We have excellent quality graphite and we do not even make pencils locally out of graphite. Manufacturing phosphate fertiliser from Eppawela apatite will enable the country to save Rs 5 billion annually on the fertilizer subsidy alone and a complete factory to produce fertiliser costs only around Rs. 3 billion. Politicians think that this valuable phosphate reserve is their personal property meant to earn a few bucks by selling it to a foreign investor. Many previous attempts on building a phosphate manufacturing plant failed due to such political interference. Our financial planning is carried out by economists who cannot understand the difference between river sand and beach sands. Our main planation crops like tea and rubber are getting affected by a foolish ban on the popular weedicide, glyphosate based on the unscientific facts presented to the President by a Buddhist monk. Also, corrupt practices such as blending our tea with imported cheap quality tea has ruined the “Ceylon tea” trademark. Similarly our spices such as black pepper and cinnamon are adulterated by imported inferior quality products. According to newspaper reports, when the chief executive of DSI complained at the Economic council that they have to now import shoes from China our Prime Minister was annoyed and barked at this executive. He can clobber down such local businessmen using his power but what has his trio of friends in his economic planning division done for the economic upliftment of the country? His appointments to the Central bank and Sri Lankan airways were based only on old school ties and both failed miserably and even put these institutions in the back track.

These economic failures can only be corrected through the involvement of people, particularly the intelligentsia of the country. Mainstream political parties such as the UNP nor the SLFP (or even the SLPP) are well established failures to carry the country forward. A totally non-partisan President is the only way forward and people in this country should awaken from their deep slumber and think of a better country for their children and grandchildren.

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Latest comments

  • 11
    3

    Prof. Oliver A. Ileperuma,

    RE: Why Sri Lanka Is A Failed State

    ” In my own case, after serving the University for 44 years, the provident fund savings I got is now taxed. I can understand if these taxes go to repair the dangerous suspension bridges or provide clean water to people suffering from the chronic kidney disease in the Anuradhapura district but not support the extravaganzas of ministers and other members of the parliament.”

    Thanks for the write up.

    1. Para-Sinhala, Para-“Buddhists”

    2. Para-Tamil. Para”Hindus”

    3. Para-Tamil-Sinhala Para-Muslims

    4. Para-Tamil-Sinhala Para-Christians

    5. Mean IQ 79.

    6. Illegal and unconstitutional coup leaders. the President and Fake PM are at large, and the Parliament is not impeaching them.

    6. Executive Presidency of egomaniac JR.

    Quiz: Why, Singapore is NOT a failed state?

    • 8
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      Prof. Ileperuma,
      .
      Lankens in general would never learn it. That is where we lag on and on. Repeated failure behaviour seem to teach them no lessions. See, now with discussions being ready with TNA, but some senior politicians and their vicious being premediated to send the message across creating new kind fo devisions, are seen in the ground.
      :
      I believe, ALL PARLIAMENTARIANS should unanimously come to a consensus through a signed document swearing that none of Parliamentarians would utter silly blatant lies, racial statements or any anti-tamil or anti-muslim or anti, non sinhala statemetns since these documents are signed and agreed upon.
      :
      Media should also be thoroughly warned if they would abuse their pen or mouth against on going discussing be punished with highest fine.
      :
      Europe and civilized world is being controlled by LAWs and fines. This morning my speed was 5 km/h more than the limit allowed, but radar was reacted, and I will have to pay 25 Euro next days. :
      .
      Let alone today, LAW MAKERs and Professionals should sit together and do the job well, then the results would be stunning. If not now when ?

    • 0
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      Because shit heads like you don’t live there!

      You are full of shit.

  • 10
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    I think Sri lanka is Bankrupt. All those IMF pay outs, some of which doe snot come to Sri lanka instead are paid to american companies, are Bail out package. I hear, they Paid to PTL from Provident funds that is why Provident fund holders get lesser payments. They let Stock market holders most of whom are foreigners to take their earnings full 100%. Eventhough those Stock market earnings which are not taxed, help sri lankan to earn very poor pay because of the high inflation, taxing etc.,

  • 4
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    If youth gets angry and hav an uprising, if it is Sinhala west also will support. If Tamils West support the Tamils and we are srtill at the same place.

  • 9
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    “……….this country (has been) ruined by the politicians beyond repair.” No wonder it has ended up as a Failed State. There is nothing more to say!

  • 14
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    A very good write-up.

    “ordinary citizens are taxed to the hilt”

    Unbearable tax-burdening of the ordinary citizens is what got the French-revolution going …………. and the aftermath of the French-revolution transferred power from the aristocracy to the middle-class all over Europe.

    What we need is a simple violent revolution – sans any ideology – to transfer power from the well entrenched generational SL ruling class to some other entity – an entity yet unknown ………..

  • 6
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    I agree with your word the Failed State. Most Latin american countries are like that. Theys ay they had better living conditions and now they have only the local tourists. Sri lanka is a failed state definitely. Because it is the TOP that ruin the country. Every thing you say is correct. You should be just one individual. Listen to what poor People talk in Radio, TV etc., We can understand so manythings behind. Srilankan Education adn “Health are businesses for the ministers responsible. Just the way the previous govt was, this govt and their appointedd Beaurucrats are Thieves and incompetant,. They use media for their advantage.

  • 11
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    “Corruption was rampant during the previous regime where massive amounts of money went into politicians on useless grandiose projects such as the Hambantota harbour, Mattala airport and Suriyawewa cricket grounds. In addition, there are other wasteful projects like the massive conference centre at Hamabantota larger than BMICH which is now gathering dust and a university hostel without any university. “

    I stayed at Hambantota for a couple of days last year… and visited all of the mega projects the writer has listed including the Shangri – La hotel….The city is not entirely deserted…but this feeling of surrealism. …a dysfunctional city. I was not able to book a room at Shangri-La , not because it was full …but because it was empty….all the support functions were shut except for bare minimum staff…even the kitchen was shut !

    I read that the reclamation of the port city is complete. I also read that few investors who showed interest stayed away due to the fake government.

    It will be interesting to see if there will be any investors ….in the port city..

    or like the harbor and the airport….

    will Sri Lanka forced to hand over the entire port city to China!!!!

  • 7
    1

    Quiz: Why, Singapore is NOT a failed state? – Rtd. Lt. Reginald Shamal Perera knows the answer to this question.

  • 0
    14

    because u got taxed, u come up with fanciful over the top nonsense.

    • 3
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      The writer says Our main plantation crops like tea and rubber are getting affected by a foolish ban on the popular weedicide, glyphosate based on the unscientific facts presented to the President by a Buddhist monk.

      So it is interesting to see that Prof. Illeperuma regards that using glyphosate herbicide to be safe and that the ban, allegedly to save the country for the Kidney Disease, was unscientific.
      It was not only the Buddhist monk ( Ven Ratana) but also other self-styled apostates of the environment who came forward against the use of herbicides and even fertilizers. These are the people who claim to make Sri Lanka “Toxin Free”, and take us back to the days of the ancients, and return to “traditional agriculture”, use cowdung as manure, and traditional seeds instead of modern hybrids. Champika Ranawaka of the JHU was another supporter of this.

    • 5
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      Jehan, Have you read what the prof wrote. Are you you in politis or Are you just stupid?

      • 2
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        Abey,

        For some, like Jehan, stupidity is a virtue. They do not know if they are coming or going. It is all pat of the mix in the mean IQ of 79,

  • 7
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    Sirisena, Ranil, Mahinda and all their goons, and the rest of the people are in cooks land, and having a time, guessing all the things are good and merry in Sri Lanka. Man, in 2019 and 20, we have to pay back roughly over USD 7 billions as loan repayments, the highest in the nation’s history. If all are not careful enough, find ways to save more, stop waste and generate more revenue, there going to be huge pain for all. First off, the politicians should take pay cuts as an example for the rest, in hard times, even in Saudi Arabia, ministers and public officials had to take 30% pay cut in order to save their economy. Same in all other oil exporting countries.

  • 8
    1

    Sri Lankan people are like Rip Van Winkle waking up from 70-year old sleep. Rule of law started slipping from the time Britain left Sri Lanka:

    Laws were violated for Tamils with impunity from the very beginning. Then the Sinhalese youth suffered gross violations of human rights, not one, but twice. People in prisons are still denied human rights. Corruption gradually crept in politics. Buddhist monks dictated politics and even egged on wars violating international laws. Bribery and corruption are rampant. The society also takes part in these law breaking. Police and the armed forces are part of the lawlessness.

    Famous South American economist said that without the rule of law the poor will be exploited by the rich and the powerful. Many third world countries suffer from this malice.

    The kind of thinking that created the problem cannot solve the problem according to Albert Einstein.

    Things can only get wore in Sri Lanka before it gets better.

  • 7
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    Very sad article by the learned Professor. But he is only stating the bleeding obvious.

    Ever since political leaders became stool pigeons of local thugs and crooks, our democracy is well and truly stuffed. Look at the quality of candidates nominated by our recent leaders of our political parties. People are left with no option. It will be a long time before we have people of integrity and competence come forward to serve the country. A revolution or dictatorship might be the only answer if we go on like this.

  • 7
    3

    “Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as “a form of government of the people, by the people and for the people”
    “This expression has to be changed for Sri Lanka as “a form of government of some people, by some people for some people”.
    ————————-
    Given the present circumstances in this country this expression should be changed to “a form of government of the minorities, by the minorities and for the minorities” because TNA is controlling the Government. Sumanthiram has told ‘If necessary we can change the Government overnight’. Another guy has told ‘Cabinet should not take any decision related to work in Northern and Eastern Provinces without consulting TNA. Sumanthiram goes to Yapanaya and say they presented a draft constitution to the Parliament but Ranil says there is no draft constitution, only reports. Sumanthiram put ‘Draft for Discussion’ only in the English version.

    • 6
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      Hey guys, good morning being caught by freezing temps across Europe. But our struggle is to win lot more ANTI-RACISTS people than the opposite. There we must not give up adding our valuble thoughts to this platform.
      .
      If you EAGLE EYE would see everything that black, you would nt utter a single word in favour of any peace deals. That is psychology, but I wonder man in his late 70ties to see it yet like that.So tell me what would I think the racism growing in younger mind sets ? :
      :
      I have a dream that oneday masses and increasing numbers of SINHALAYA would become tolerant against their minorites so that we would not want to put a line between communities living in the country. :
      :
      We kill reptiles not knowing about them well. Likewise, you guys need to feel that we are all regardless of geographical locations we are, our blood would always be one known in homo sapiens. I have experienced whole lot of sinahalayas that would not come forward to share their thoughts for some reasons would not care about their race, religion or whatever lines between us. They just want to share their thoughts thinking we are all as brothers and sisters of one nation.
      :
      Longer you stagnated in rural corners, not being able to expose and share their thoughts and minds in the course of adolesence, unfortunatley, even younger onees get prey of PEOPLE of EAGALE eye.
      To me, if I would meet this man Eagle eye, would neverwant him leaving not allowing us to bring to Mulleriyawa or Angdoa. The kind fo reptiles are poisonous and kill sinhala community by their tongue spreads HATREDs.

    • 5
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      Eagle Eye,

      Come on man open your blind eyes. You guys have proved beyond any doubt that you are not capable at all of running a country. Just see what you guys have achieved after Suddhas left the country in the hands of the crooks and bogus patriots who only toiled to uplift their well being while cheating the majority fools. Bringing chillie powder, knife and pissing on Speaker’s chair is your parliamentary democracy. Please look at your weakness and inadequacies instead of being a racist and an obstructionist. Your racism has done so much to SL so now let some people who can do something to contribute. Lies…lies…lies including the Sinhala racist media who wrongly quote for mischief and guys like you just swallow. What is wrong when some changes are made in the North by cabinet it has to consult the local leaders? Isnt it democracy my friend. Dont quote Lincoln and that is too far fetched. Let us talk about the SL racist and warped democracy that has completely lost its bearings.

    • 2
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      Prof. Illeperuma is discussing an important problem prevailing in Sri Lanka. Please try to understand what he says. Don’t drag party politics and racist remarks although you are a hardcore party activist.

    • 3
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      Eagle Blind Eye

      “this expression should be changed to “a form of government of the minorities, by the minorities and for the minorities”

      True.
      A form of government of the Sinhala/Buddhist noisy fascist minorities, by the Sinhala/Buddhist noisy fascist minorities and for the Sinhala/Buddhist noisy fascist minorities.

  • 5
    0

    Prof: You are not alone in grieving for this Land like no other! There are so many out there.I wish they too would express their views, in this forum, like the way have done so forthrightly and admirably.
    Srilanka has not gone to the dogs; If it is so, its not bad; But its worse, it has gone to our Politicians!

    • 2
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      Plato

      “Srilanka has not gone to the dogs; If it is so, its not bad; But its worse, it has gone to our Politicians!”

      Brilliant.
      If it is so, it’s not bad; But it’s worse, it has gone to our patriotic crooks!

  • 4
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    Prof Illeperuma is to be admired for this forthright whinge. He has hit the nail on its head on most points that he makes. It is, though, inconceivable that we can have a ‘no politician democracy’ (or did he mean a temporary autocracy?) unless there is a revolution.

    He is also correct about Eppawala Apatite. Sri Lanka should manufacture TSP from Eppawala Apatite, which has lower levels of heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, instead of importing TSP from dodgy sources, which contain large amounts of heavy metals which are the causative agents for the CKDu epidemic the learned professor talks about.

    • 0
      0

      Unfortunately, this posting about cadmium is wrong.
      Europe allows 25 mg of cadmium per kilogram in the Fertilizer it imports, while UK imports Morrocan fertilizer which contains much more. NewZealand and Australia uses fertilizer from Nauru Island which contains some 90 mg of Cadmium per kg of fertilizer.
      But Sri Lanka standards insists that we should only import fertilizer with just 3mg of cadmium per kg of fertilizer. This stupidly misguided “high standard” (for which we pay dearly) is based on unjustified fear.
      When even the Nauru fertilizer available on the Australian or New Zealand market is spread in the ground, its cadmium contribution becomes NOTHING compared to the cadmium already on the soil due to geological sources. This is true even for Sri Lanka which has a significant amount of geological cadmium in its soil.
      These matters were nicely explained in a Seminar that I listened to last year at a Dutch University.
      We should NOT waste our apatite-phosphate by exploiting it or making TSP, but leave it for posterity as phosphate is a non-renewable resource. Our apatite is of very good quality as far as cadmium is concerned, but high in arsenic. Nevertheless it will become very valuable very soon.
      Instead we should buy cheap Nauru Fertilizer as is done in Australia and New Zealand, as long as it is available. Australia and NewZealand don’t have kidney disease even after decades of using fertilizers which are 30 times more polluted than what is imported to Sri Lanka. So the fear is unfounded.

  • 6
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    I fully agree with every thing written in this by the professor,I think democracy does not work where majority people are ignorant and dishonest.That is what is happening in Srilanka.The Srilanken politician know very well that they can use country’s wealth for themselves,and they still get elected.It is up to the parties to select honest and educated people as candidates,but they don’t do that,so electorate has no choice,so they have to vote for these crooks.In my opinion you can talk about Srilankan politics everyday but it will stay same for next hundred years.

  • 1
    1

    Will the chemical compound previously known as glyphosate cure this problem? Shall we revice it and legalise it in Sri Lanka alone?

    Money talks, doesn’t it?

    • 0
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      I don’t think so Chandre. That was most likely a red herring, although adjuvants in glyphosate might exacerbate its effect in mammalian systems.

      What will cure this (eventually) is a slow and tortuous process of grossly reducing the heavy metals that are carried by TSP, which will takes decades, as there is a huge amount of such toxic residue in agricultural soils.

      TSP also carries relatively large amounts of fluorine compounds which has polluted ground water. The latter is now blamed for CKDu, although histopathological evidence in biological samples point to classic toxic effects of heavy metal toxicity.

  • 5
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    everybody agrees with you but we are powerless to do anything about it short of bumping them all off
    but this too we cannot do so we are back to square one

  • 5
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    In a country social degragation is bigger than social integration, you cant expect lot more. There are varioius kind of culprits in our society. Best example, LAW makers in the parliament fail to get passed a tiny agreement, like for example, law reforms in many areas. They just abuse the votes of people and enter to SAKKILI house and just enjoy their supper round the clock, not having done the little as pledged in election manifestos.
    :
    And most dangerous seen in today developments, those who call themselves are the people s politicians show double lives in and out of parliament.
    :
    Best example – Former President aka Fake Prime Minister, illegally elected today s opposition leader Mahinda Rajapakshes, shows his OVERWELMLY hearted reactions whenever being asked abou this wholeheartedness towards any negotiable political discussion but he makes on and on rabble rousing public statements immediately he leaves president. This nature is growing as a cancerpatient’s metastasis.
    .
    Local media being caught by RAJAAKSHE loyalists working for his RACIAL agendas obviously making it worst – LIKE for example Derana and SIRASA are now in the view that CURRENT CABINET DECISIONS are blocked by TNA. And Current PM Ranil W is controlled by TNA. Just for their raical activities, these become fertilizer effect, since southerns would easily be manipulated by Rajapakshes propaganda.
    :
    If HAKGEDIYA (outer skeletons of sea creatures) or COW DUNG would become the STAPLE food of Rajapakshes, people being manipulated by Rajaakshe mantra, they would do anything witout questioning twice. :
    .
    All these are given publicity as LOUDER as they can by LOCAL BLACK media. So then poor people will get even more misled. They just believe what is in the air and gof or it.
    This has become a tricky game in this country today. Educated folks keep away not being able to digest this, but it is high time them to raise their voices.
    If not today when ?

  • 5
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    What I had been lamenting again and again in these forums for past many years is what the Learned professor has written in detail with examples.But we still have to admit it is the retarded Lankans who keep bringing these crooks back to power. Religion,Nationalism and other BS are the trump cards of our politicians to get to power.

  • 7
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    Who committed this crime – making Sri Lanka a failed state?

    – Mahinda Rajapukse – the Fake Prime Minister and the biggest criminal of our history who spent nearly Rs.900 million in 50 days of fake premiership for using helicopters, plunged the country to an everlasting debt trap by wanton borrowing of money from China for harbours sans ships, airports sans planes, useless highways in order to pocket in over $ 19 million commissions.

    – Spineless Batalanda Ranil who allowed his cohorts to loot the Central Bank through mega scams

    – Gotabaya Rajapakse who murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the country and disgraced the country by committing war crimes

    – J R J who paved way for the rise of tyrant executive presidents

    – Gon Sirisena and his henchmen who making constitutional coups to hold on to power

    -Sirima Bandaranayake for aligning with Mao’s communist regimes and insidious Soviet Russia and ruining the country through an unwanted economic austerity.

    The list goes on and on including Namal and Daham babies, Basil Hora, Willie Gamage who designed Helping Hambantota for Mahinda Rajapukse, Ravi Karunanayake who doesn’t know how he got his roof top luxury apartment.

    WE NEED MORE Prabakarans AND Wijeweeras to annihilate these existing criminals and their budding criminal offspring fraternity and reverse this DISATER

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    Thank you Prof. Illeperuma for your excellent article. It ought to be read by every Sri Lankan voter. I wish CT would publish a Sinhalese translation of it, and naively I also hope someone would send a copy of this article to every politician in the country too.
    :
    I couldn’t agree more with your proposition that Sri Lanka is a failed state. I share your dream – that the ONLY way out of this worsening spiral of misery the country is in is to one day have a very strong leader with impeccable integrity, supported by a highly capable team.
    :
    Yes, shut down the Parliament, the stinking cesspit of corruption, and throw away the keys. It’s beyond salvage.

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      I agree with your statement. Very good idea. Translate into Singalese and Tamil and send to each and every 225 goats in Parliament. Wait for response from them and have a debate in Parliament.

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    We are not yet ‘A Failed State’ Prof Oliver A. Ileperuma but we are very very close.
    .
    Failed States have rulers.
    A foreign country may install the ruler – example: Idi Amin, Pinochet, Noriega
    Rulers of ‘A Failed State’ lead lives of excessive opulence – examples : PapaDoc and BabyDoc of Haiti, the Marcos family of Philippines, Mugabe family of Zimbabwe
    The ruler keeps the ‘Uniformed Services’ in good spirit.
    The ruler will tax everyone but themselves
    The ruler will not worry about inflation even if hyper
    The rulers will force their subjects to slave overseas to pay for import of bulletproof vehicles and the like
    The rulers will prove how benevolent they are at ‘elections’.
    .
    Naughty naughty Lankans change rulers. Moves are in the pipeline to curtail this ‘freedom’.

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    We have to look for an honest or at least half honest dictator Prof Ileperuma

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    Thank you Professor Illeperuma. Anyone even with a bit of grey matter will agree with the analysis. What we need badly is to decide on the way out and take action. The politicians will never do it unlesss pressured by the people in a way they cannot ignore. So, the big qeestion is how we mount an effective people’s movement. Your writing is one big step. May be ‘senior’ academics and ex-bureaucrats with a non-tainted reputation should get together and start talking to average people. ‘Senior’ because people should see that it is not for their own personal benefit, an allegation made against civil society activists as some of them benefitted from the changes they helped to bring about, however good and valid the intentions were.

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    This is a wail by a man who is smarting over his superannuation being taxed.

    A problem with our country is that the rich, or relatively better-off people, do not want to pay tax. As an example, the so-called professors in our university system currently draw a salary of nearly three lakhs (Rs 300,000) from the public purse. They are also members of at least two superannuation schemes (EPA and the Uni fund). The vast majority of them only show up at the university during their lectures, a few hours a week, to read 20 or 30 year old lecture notes to helpless students. So basically its ‘money for jam’. They also give tuition in subjects such as ‘political science!

    A university professor with 40 years of ‘service’ can be expected to leave the system with around 25 million rupees minimum.Is there anything wrong with subjecting such amounts to a tax?

    It doesn’t look like education helps in getting rid of selfishness. Buddhism reminds that we take no material wealth or money at demise. So lighten up professors.

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    Hello Prof Ileperuma,

    I salute you for the article – although I do not agree with a benevolent dictator (it is an oxymoron)
    The present politicians are an absolute disgrace to the country. The only hope is that in this digital age the young will eventually change the country!
    Sri Lanka was FIRST world when we were in the University. I still remember undergraduates from University of London were placed at Peradeniya for short periods at the Medical School. Most of our university colleagues are in senior positions in the developed world. This evidence of our standing in the world.
    Just another thought – I was in the final year at Peradeniya University during the 1971 uprising that resulted in the elimination of a large group of young people who never understood the social dynamics in Sri Lanka. JVP (certainly not the present lot) could have had a real influence. The country was not grossly corrupt then.
    Will Sri Lanka ever be the same?

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    Dear prof! If you think and are decided that Sri Lanka is a failed state you should never stay in the country. You may go abroad and see how things go by in those ‘successful’ states.
    However, there are millions of Sri Lankans who believe that this country is not a failed state but it has been made to be a failed one by everyone including yourself.
    You have given several reasons to justify your point(s) and almost all of them have a logical justification. However, that’s not a reason for you to give up and hand over your motherland to robbers, rapists, thugs, liars and drug dealers. How can you live in a foreign country when your fellow citizens are abused on a daily basis by a group of power-wielding politicians and their ‘royal’ clubs.
    If you have not studied any history, please do some home work today. If it is difficult, just start with a historical teledrama like ‘Dona Kathirina’. See how Sri Lankans who suffered under the Portuguese fought against the injustices, lies, power hunger, and inhuman subjugation. They didn’t think even for a moment that they were a failed state but fought to save their country and nation. Had those Sri Lankans given up their attempt to save the country and nation, you could have been another Filipino today in Sri Lanka.
    Please forget about your PhD, study the country’s history and culture, her cordial relationship with other religious believers, and be a courageous Sri Lankan first before anything else! If you are an honest Sri Lankan in your heart and mind, it doesn’t matter to go abroad, live abroad, and/or even taking a foreign citizenship, because you would do what you can do to protect your motherland as well as your foster country as you take care of your father and mother.

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    This is all a well planned strategy by the west to make us a fail state & get their cronies in the yahapalanaya to do exactly what they want. When we are dependant on them we dance according their tune , just buying our assets for nothing, pressurising the government to give away anything the minority’s demands & list goes on.
    Taxing the people to their bones is also a requirement of the IMF. But does the IMF monitor that this money is not robbed by the politicians ?? Simple example is CB scam.

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      Luke

      “This is all a well planned strategy by the west to make us a fail state & get their cronies in the yahapalanaya to do exactly what they want. “

      What does the west want from you?
      We do not seem to have gold fields, diamond deposits, black gold, …. anything valuable except we have surplus corrupt politicians, war criminals, human rights abusers, crooks, criminals, racists, bigots, saffron clad monks, temples, mosques, viharas, …………. talkers, too many b***s carriers, paranoid, stupid, ……… people like you, ……………..

      Excerpts from Bhagavad Gita


      You came empty handed,
      you will leave empty handed.
      What is yours today,
      belonged to someone else yesterday, and
      will belong to someone else the
      day after tomorrow.
      You are mistakenly enjoying the thought
      that this is yours.
      It is this false happiness that is
      the cause of your sorrows.

      Unhappy Luke what are you moaning about?

      Life Is Dukka.
      Not only you embody Dukka but also spread it among the people.
      Your bad vibes destroy poison the minds of secular liberals.
      I suggest you stay inside your bunger.

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    Dear,
    Srilanka is failed state. I do not blame the politicians or political parties. The people should take the whole blame. It is we who elect the same old politicians and political parties even though we are fully aware that they lie, they cheat, they rob. They tell us the lies and create problems and make us to believe that they are the only ones there to save us. We never spend a minute to think with our common sense.

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