17 September, 2021

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Women’s Rights, Economic Oppression & Human Rights 

By Laksiri Fernando –

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

“Oppression” refers to a mode of human relations involving domination and exploitation – economic, social and psychological – among individuals, social groups and classes within and beyond societies, and globally, among entire societies.” ~ David Gill, ‘Confronting Injustice and Oppression’

Rights of Women

Women undoubtedly are the most oppressed throughout all societies, north or south, east, or west, poor, or rich, developed, or underdeveloped, and throughout the most of human history. It is the number one human rights problem today not addressed properly. Out of around 7.8 billion world population, while male-female balance might be 1:1, there is estimated 1.7% people who are intersex. Whereas rights of all people are important, there is a clear oppression and marginalization of women and LGBT people in almost all countries.  

In the case of Sri Lanka, out of around 21.5 million population, females are around 50.7%, perhaps due to more males being killed in wars and violence. 

When we talk about human rights and oppression, the women question should be mentioned especially in the context of the International Women’s Day celebrated on 8 March. In this context, Dr. Santhushya Fernando’s speech on this day in Colombo should be especially appreciated. The remembrance of women’s rights or rights of all should not be limited to one day but all days. The most henious among women’s rights might be the sexual harassment and subjugation due to male domination in love affairs, family, workplace, politics, and society. All of us as men should be mindful of this situation. If it has not come from the socialization of childhood, it should be inculcated through human rights education with emphasis on responsibilities. 

There is a possibility that some of the human rights violations like women’s rights do happen because of the lack of awareness, socialization, or education. However, the social structures, property laws, workplace practices, profit making, and even religious institutions, justify and perpetuate them. Equality in education (perhaps largely achieved in Sri Lanka), equal pay for men and women, positive measures in promoting women in politics and social activities, are necessary in addition to promoting women’s rights through education.   

Oppressors and the Oppressed  

In historical awareness or advocacy of oppression, it is unfortunate that women’s rights have come almost at last. The first person who had talked about women oppression is considered as Alice Paul, beginning of the 20th century, but not yet in all aspects. Such was the prejudice or neglect. 

When we talk about oppressors and oppressed, in a dichotomic or dialectical manner, Friedrich Hegel was the first to talk about religious oppression, Catholics as the oppressors and the Protestants as the oppressed in Germany in the 19th century. We know more about Karl Marx, who not only talked about class oppression, but explained underlying economic reasons, the bourgeoisie as the oppressor and proletariat as the oppressed, later in the same century. 

The class analysis is still valid as the economic systems have not fundamentally changed except perhaps in countries where the state has strongly intervened as an intermediary like in China or Cuba. The Soviet Union has gone. Even in these societies the classes existed and still exists, but comparatively progressive to societies we live in. There are so many other thinkers who have followed the methodology or class analysis of Marx and Engels. 

Vladimir Lenin perhaps was more future thinking in extending this analysis to the global context talking about oppressed and oppressor nations under imperialism. What he or his disciples mainly meant by ‘nations’ is national states like Sri Lanka. However, there is a possibility of extending this analysis to see an ‘oppressed nations’ or an ‘oppressed national groups’ within a nation state. 

However, it is highly questionable whether an ‘oppressed nation’ or a ‘national group’ within a national state, which is particularly in oppressed conditions, could obtain genuine support of an oppressor nation for their grievances or liberation. There are serious moral questions involved in ‘oppressor nations’ (i.e. Western) apparent intentions or motivations. All national groups in an oppressed nation under imperialism, whether majority or minority, are in the same soup.  

There are several other forms to oppressor-oppressed dichotomy. One is caste. In Sri Lanka this is not unknown. Another is political. In a democracy when authoritarian governments take over or people feel or believe that is the case, that kind of a dichotomy might emerge. However, how far these are subjective, or objective is a subject for debate. 

There are equal possibilities of political oppositions (or outside forces) propagating these feelings or ideas. These are symptoms of an underdeveloped democracy where political power struggles are intense. Otherwise, the normal practice in a developed democracy is to wait for the next turn, while constructively criticizing an incumbent government progressively. Australia is one example. There are also needs of bipartisanship on nationally important matters like foreign policy or social welfare measures etc. Sri Lanka is terribly missing them, involved in terrible hatred and violent feelings against each other between governing and opposition parties. 

International Context         

The terms like ‘imperialism’ or ‘oppressor-oppressed nations’ are quite taboo these days as Marxism has become discredited. However, no one can avoid the distinction between rich and poor nations or countries. Even the IMF and the World Bank are compelled to deal with them at least superficially. This is also a number one human rights issue in the world today like gender oppression. Poverty and women’s rights go hand in hand in many respects.  

Since the end of the Second world war, which was considered a new era in human history, the poor-rich dichotomy or the gap has not subsided but increased. This is under the supervision of the UN with a clear human rights mandate. After the emergence of political neo-liberalism, the situation has worsened. 

There are people who believe (and behave that way) that poor countries like Sri Lanka are at the mercy of rich countries like USA, Britain, and EU or OECD countries. It is said that we depend on them for aid, investments, and economic guidance and therefore we should not criticize them even in the human rights sphere. Political realism is wrongly invoked in defense of this despicable approach. This is the colonial mindset whatever the words or terms used defending such shameful approaches. This is the same as what is told to women: “you are dependent on men and they are your superiors. Therefore, do what they ask you to do.” 

Challenging the West is also called ‘narrow nationalism.’ That is not the case. It is not nationalism, but justice. If it is nationalism, it is the ‘nationalism of the oppressed.’ What is rampant today in the West is ‘vaccination nationalism’ on their part. They themselves struggle and compete to monopolize the vaccine. Sri Lanka should support the call by India and South Africa to waver the intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments. Otherwise, there is no justice to the poor countries, like in the human rights sphere.  

Global Exploitation  

The countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America are poor not primarily because of their fault. The rich countries are exploiting them. The world is not only in a Lucas Paradox, where the capital does not flow from developed countries to developing countries although the capital per worker in developing countries is terribly low. Adam Smith’s or Milton Freedman’s free flow or free market does not work. In addition, the studies have revealed that the flow of money from poor countries to rich countries far exceed the flow in the other way round. Let me quote Jason Hickel “Aid in Reverse: How Poor Countries Develop Rich Countries” (The Guardian – Australia, 14 January 2017). 

“In 2012, the last year of recorded data, developing countries received a total of $1.3tn, including all aid, investment, and income from abroad. But that same year some $3.3tn flowed out of them. In other words, developing countries sent $2tn more to the rest of the world than they received. If we look at all years since 1980, these net outflows add up to an eye-popping total of $16.3tn – that’s how much money has been drained out of the global south over the past few decades. To get a sense for the scale of this, $16.3tn is roughly the GDP of the United States.”      

Is this not a human rights problem? How far this outflow of money impinged on economic and social rights of the people in poor countries, and the right to development in general? The UN big guns, including the High Commissioner for Human Rights, of course allow few hours for the member countries to discuss the right to development ceremonially. But no tangible solutions are proposed to change the situation. 

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Latest comments

  • 7
    4

    “The countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America are poor not primarily because of their fault.The rich countries are exploiting them.”
    Putting the blame on rich countries is not always a solution for the so called developing countries. Rich within the countries in these countries who are exploiting the poor is one of the primary barrier to these countries. For example, in Sri Lanka, only few rich families control the running of the country. Sri Lanka is one of the highly educated country but one of the worst human rights violating country in the world. Sri Lanka had continuous ethnic or religious riots, extremism, terrorism, war (it is one sided riot) involved destruction of economy, thousands of killings, highest level of corruption, no rule of law, no justice (judicial corruption) militarisation of the institutions but no attempt to resolve any problem. Who do blame for this? Will you blame LTTE terrorism? Do you blame Saharan terrorism? Do you blame USA or UK for this problem?
    It is simple to solve the problem. Just accept we were wrong! We apologise for the past! We need to unite! We will share everything! We make decisions together! We all equal! Law and Order is for every one. Judiciary is independent!

    • 8
      4

      Dr.Laksiri,
      “The countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America are poor not primarily because of their fault. The rich countries are exploiting them”
      Isn’t 70+ years long enough to remedy our situation? Blaming outsiders for our poverty is hypocritical.
      Let’s start with women’s equality, which is what this piece is ostensibly about. We crow from the rooftops about our woman PM, but it is still illegal for a woman to buy liquor! There is only one female DIG , but the rest are trying to unseat her. Is the West responsible for all this?
      How did South Korea and Singapore, which were poorer than us, become rich, like many other countries? Even the Indian rupee has gained 400% against our currency.
      The fault, Laksiri, is in our inability to govern ourselves fairly, our tendency to live beyond our means, and our reluctance to treat all citizens equally.
      When we send clowns like Channa Jayasumana to tell the UN that the Tamils are lesser beings because they have a history of “only 200 years in the country”, is it not surprising that they doubt our sincerity, leave alone our mental capacity?

      • 6
        3

        old codger

        “When we send clowns like Channa Jayasumana to tell the UN that the Tamils are lesser beings because they have a history of “only 200 years in the country”

        Now you see the quality of so called intellectuals.

        Even Sri Lanka’s dear friends Chinese are making mockery and money out of insulting Sri Lanka’s Sinha Flag.

        Don’t you think its time little islanders dump their constitution, flag and their sovereignty (whatever that maybe).

        SJ is going to argue it is a blessing for Sri Lanka to be insulted by Chinese.

        • 2
          0

          Native,
          “Intellectuals” like Jayasumana don’t even know that the powerful countries he is addressing themselves have immigrants in top ranks of their governments.

      • 0
        0

        OC
        The global economic and political systems are heavily loaded against former colonies.
        Imperialism is still a power to reckon. Only countries that broke with imperialism fully developed as truly independent entities. Look at the list of countries subject to awful sanctions.
        Many leaders who dared to show the way forward have been eliminated physically or politically through coups. The list is long. Aung San and Lumumba are among those killed and I fear that Chavez was poisoned; Cheddi Jagan and Nkrumah were overthrown; Mandela and Lenin Moreno were outmanoeuvred. Castro was a unique survivor.
        *
        Colonial grip was open and a foreign force was easier to fight. Neocolonialism is different with the dirty work is done by locals under duress. The struggle got harder after changes in the USSR under Khrushchev, and even harder after the collapse of the USSR and the capitalist shift of China.
        *
        This is no place for a serious extensive debate on neocolonialism, but let us not be lightly dismissive of the imperialist burden.
        *
        There is much humbug on the part of oppressive leaders posing off as anti-imperialists. But the need for a genuine anti-imperialist mass movement cannot be written off.
        *
        Recent events in Latin America are promising after a decade of setbacks that led to fascists and far right taking power. Things look more promising.

        • 0
          0

          S.J.
          My grouse is that people like Laksiri use neo-colnialism to cover up the real failings of ostensibly anti-colonialist rulers in Sri Lanka. If some ex-colonies which endured greater destruction than us could get rich (even Vietnam and Bangladesh are in the running) why do we insist on shooting ourselves in the foot?

          • 0
            0

            OC
            Anti-imperialism has for long been a handy face-mask for many a tyrant.
            We should thank JRJ for our plight. He destroyed the little we had as industry by privatization, liberalization of trade and letting in speculators.
            His FTZs and export of labour ruined local enterprise.

      • 5
        2

        Laksiri,
        Whether you or me agree or not the people who govern should agree not only agree in principle but also do in practice. In my opinion the government should first give up anti propaganda against Tamils and Muslims and accept the UNHRC resolution because it is the Government of Sri Lanka that promised to implement UNHRC resolutions, LLRC and Paranagama recommendation, 13 Plus etc. For me difficult part for the Government is convincing Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism and accountability of unlawful murders.

      • 3
        0

        Dr.Laksiri,
        “One focus could be to implement the LLRC recommendations and the recommendations of the Paranagama Commission with the cooperation of the PCs.”
        Why was this not implemented years ago? THIS is why external pressure is needed. Otherwise, nothing happens.

        • 4
          0

          old codger

          “Why was this not implemented years ago?”

          It is unreasonable to expect Dr.Laksiri to answer this question honestly. Therefore we must avoid asking him difficult questions.

          However, do you think he needs to review the history of Sri Lankan state’s pattern of behaviour over 65 years?

          All these years I saw only a little lion regularly jumping out of his tummy. I didn’t know the little lion had aged.

        • 1
          2

          OC
          External pressure may appear to work, but it does not deliver in the end.

        • 1
          0

          Paranagama Commission was used to suppress complains. Paranagama took the name and address of the complainants and sent Rapist CIDs to those houses while widowed women and children were alone. So the earlier UNHRC HC, Prince Zeid forced Mangala to shut that commission down. LLRC did not come this far. It stayed in war fronts which Expert Panel of UNSG has categorized as “War Crime” scene. LLRC said it felt in those war fronts there were serious law breaks took place so those needed to be investigated. Aanduwa never appointed any commission depending on LLRC recommendation until now. Hakeem, that time’s injustice Minister, went to America with a national action plan, which was Sinhala Intellectuals’ draft to cheat America just like they cheated UNHRC. Hakeem didn’t pass any relevant laws to make the action plan legally effective, locally, though he was the main champion on dismissing CJ Shiranee. Today, the comedy Hakeem released a long report on Afghanistan’s violence, but so far no word on the Resolution 46/L1 or the Communist Denesh’s withdrawal from Resolution 30/1, which Hakeem vehemently opposed, going to Geneva with Sinhala Cinema Supporting Actresses.

    • 2
      3

      Little now and more later said that Gentleman….little did we know he meant what he said then a very long time ago. LTTE did not know how to be clever I guess…masters FP never told the full plan.

      I am changing my carrier to become a lawyer so I know how to play the system around the world from now. Humanity redefined.

  • 6
    2

    Laksiri Fernando,
    You have written this article to cover up the massive human rights violations taking place in Sri Lanka, and selective in your approach.
    The United Nations, may be to rectify the barbarism of World War 2 had enacted a series of Human rights declarations. The first in this series is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). It is a non-binding declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly[ in 1948 and then In 1966, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) were adopted.

    It was so exhaustive covering up every aspects of human rights.

    Historically Australia is also one of the greatest violators and today behaves as if they are the model democracy and anti- racist and human rights defenders.

    Australia was built up on racism and racism is institutionalized in Australia but only outwardly voicing anti racist sentiments.

  • 8
    1

    The Marxists, Maoist, Socialists, Communists, Leninist, Stalinist, ……. Trotskyists, Peronists, …..

    have been talking bull.
    What has “poor countries like Sri Lanka are at the mercy of rich countries like USA, Britain, and EU or OECD countries” got to do with paying Rs 1000 to the hard plantation female workers most of them are employed by Sri Lankan Mudalalies?

    The intellectuals of this island have a completely alien concepts with which they analyse our home grown problems.

  • 4
    2

    Crocodile tears!

  • 8
    4

    I guess that is why Ranaviru had sex and some urinated over after shooting point blank. Another left a decapitated body in a suitcase in Armour street
    Your mentor boasted in Geneva , in Lanka womene rights are subject to domestic compulsions. Could you enlighten us what it may be ???

  • 4
    2

    Professor Laksiri Fernando has been writing many articles recently. They related to the ethnic conflicts in Sri Lanka and we were treated to propagandist views in support of the position of the Government.
    .
    Laksiri is a man of learning, and in this article, those aspects of his learning have come to the fore. These are important issues, I hope that he stays with these, avoiding those that have to do with local party politics.
    .
    We, who live here know how bad things have got in the field of party politics, and how much racism flourishes. Please avoid those subjects, because what you see from abroad is not what we experience.

      • 3
        0

        Every author should ensure that his/her writing supports the premise fully and fairly.

        Repeatedly reiterating a premise one-sidedly and unconvincingly is simply irresponsible and frivolous.

        If it is semantics that the author enjoys, then please choose topics accordingly so that your writings don’t undermine the just needs of lives in dire straits owing to their government.

        So far, the attempts at dealing “with some questions about violence/terrorism, its definition and more particularly does political violence/terrorism arise because of grievances or because of some other reasons” have been utterly dreadful.

      • 6
        3

        Dr Fernando,
        I had some respect to you as a senior scholar, but I dont think we should respect you the manner you behave no different to that Prof. Vitharana or the other few that cant be without Rajapakshes crime politics.
        You guys seem to have no hearts about the real issues in the country, but continue your blind support to racist Rajapakshes. Is it not disgusting ?
        We dont need to talk much, alone looking at the manner, you Laksiri Fernando (late sepatagenarian) supported that 52-day FAKE govt, gave me the feeling, it is so indifferent to you the kind of ilk, are not at all serious about real good values in your motherland.
        And as good governance promoters, who worked with Late Rev Sobitha thero, we perfectly, know it was the biggest mistake of Good governance govt not to fail in the process is punishing high criminals of Rajapakshe Junta Govt which lasted until 2015.

        Today economists and world experts repeat that srilanka has to pay billions of dollars by July 2021, most of the the kind of huge sums accumulated alone through the mismanagement of MaRa-Gota govt until 2015. All these are not clear to the rank and file yet today, because Rajapakshes are the pay masters behind the LOCAL media giants.

      • 5
        2

        Laksiri,
        I don’t agree that commenters are one sided. Not only some commenters but also some writers are also one sided. Blaming one side is not appropriate. You are right some may like some, others may like others. Some may be influenced by their religion, language, race or some alliances. However, the important matter is that Sri Lanka as a country of multi cultural, multi religious, multi racial people the following should be ensured: rule of law, unbiased judiciary, equality and accountability. I don’t think there is different opinions or controversies on these matters.

        • 0
          3

          Dictators use not only murder, but also threats of murder, to subdue the more timorous members of society. I was no hero, and I have no illusions about life after the death of my body. What are these unnamed prejudices that I harbour? Before you write the next threatened article about Human Rights, please send me your contact details, so as to get even better acquainted with me. Until then, don’t harbour the hope that it is my “prejudices” that speak.
          .

          I regret to tell you that I shall not only use the same word on you, but also say worse to ensure that you and your cowardly relatives in Australia may not sleep in peace. Like Pinochet you may live to be 91, but until then, I shall write so unambiguously that you shall be as haunted as Macbeth. “The Thane of Fife had a wife.” I know my Shakespeare well enough to know that it was not Macbeth that said that!
          .
          Please write only about “worthy subjects” like LGBTQ.
          .
          I know that you win, but I will ensure that my curses will resonate till the breath goes out of your body.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe

            • 0
              0

              Yes, Laksiri, this comes through as a threat, doesn’t it? A threat to do what? And what word should I be using on you?
              .
              It is only if you dare to write any more articles where you knowingly take the side of the oppressor. I’m hoping that my voicing of the strongest possible disgust at what a man of your education is contemplating will deter you from writing anything more siding with one of the cruellest regimes in the world.
              .
              My curses will be effective only to the extent that you have knowingly condoned evil. Therefore, shun those subject about which you know deep down that you are doing the devils bidding. The solution is in your hands.

              • 0
                0

                Tuesday morning:
                .
                Dear Laksiri,
                .
                The comment that I posted last night has appeared. It is a response to your request. I don’t like writing in this vein, but you have forced me to this position.
                .
                Now, may I request that you analyse what you claim are my “prejudices”?

                • 0
                  0

                  Clever, clever, Laksiri.
                  .
                  Well, all humans are stupid, I guess. And it’s a state of being so no examples need be given, whereas “Prejudice” demands exemplification.
                  .
                  I’ve now been looking at the rest of this article, and find it pretty good. Thanks.

        • 0
          0

          …….”Sri Lanka as a country of multi cultural, multi religious, multi racial people the following should be ensured: rule of law, unbiased judiciary, equality and accountability’….
          Hurrah for that idealistic description. Oh a Utopia – how I wish I will see that in my lifetime of a few years left.
          But practical pragmatism, does not leave me to see such ever.
          Which country is your example of this type.?
          But let us not lose hope and strive for perfection.
          Even though the extreme views even in CT, shows human beings thrive on strife.

      • 3
        0

        Laksiri Fernando (Author)

        ” I still must deal with some questions about violence/terrorism, its definition and more particularly does political violence/terrorism arise because of grievances or because of some other reasons.”

        What is the purpose or dealing with violence/terrorism if you do not want to dig out truth or stand facing truth?

        Please start honestly dealing with facts, not lies and propaganda, visit real people who suffered or continue to suffer. Record their sad personal stories. First, one must deal with one’s own demons.

      • 0
        0

        Laksiri,
        .
        May I know what prejudices I have?
        If somebody disagrees that is how he gets written off, is it? I have no supernatural hopes or fears. I have just submitted a comment to Rajith Perera cautioning him that we have both received warnings. You and your camp have given us adequate notice that we will face “violence and terrorism” from your side. Below another article, I have asked the LGBTQ community to understand that there are others who are at greater risk, and for them to be less “clangorous”.
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lanka-tells-un-that-womens-rights-are-subject-to-domestic-compulsions/
        .
        Yes, that is a “neutral” topic, but I’m sorry this is not going to be merely an “adverse comment”. Have you seen this article, and read what the author has said there?
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/professors-politics-peniya-the-blunderbuss-vaccination-regime/
        .
        You know by now that I do my homework, and I don’t loosely scatter insults. That surgeon has stated clearly that he voted for your hero, Gota. I haven’t really criticised you yet.
        .
        Please read what Dr Janapriya has called Jayasumana.
        .
        There’s the proof for you that Gota no longer has that support that you claim allows him to be the defender of Sr Lankan sovereignty.

  • 2
    1

    This is very much a hodgepodge mumbo-jumbo effort!

    Seems all efforts ultimately to take another shot the current UN HRC High Commissioner.

    Conclusive quotes from other news journals, books etc and academic terminologies don’t cut it when quantitating any issue. The citations need to go to the data level. It doesn’t appear that even the sources of the particular quotations dove down to that level. Regardless, it doesn’t seem that it is the author’s forte! There’s not even a point of reference in time for comparison of now and then in this lacking exercise.

    Where’s any mention of the great strides that have been made in terms of women’s rights over the past decades, and how self-empowerment and activism of women’s rights movement have flourished and are here to stay? Those women’s voices mattered and have been responsible for huge differences made around the globe. Because of them, there are less victims and more victimisers behind bars today.

    Did the author make any effort to learn of the various efforts and projects of the UN in promoting women’s rights across the globe including right here in SriLanka? Nope!

    Did the author make any effort towards belittling the UN HRC High Commissioner Ms. Bachelet? Evidently, he wouldn’t miss that chance.

    I suspect this is yet another execution of a veiled agenda.

  • 5
    7

    Laksiri you are wrong again. You expected us to be like Daily news readership but we are not. You write anything which is right I will be the first to agree which I had done years ago when you were truly freelancing. Now, you (nothing but) freeload on us readers.

  • 0
    3

    Regarding Women’s rights, Minister Sarath Weerasekera has signed the cabinet paper for the order to ban the Burqa in Sri Lanka saying that it is a symbol of extremism and affects national security.

    • 1
      0

      Svenson

      “Regarding Women’s rights, Minister Sarath Weerasekera has signed the cabinet paper for the order to ban the Burqa in Sri Lanka saying that it is a symbol of extremism and affects national security.”

      Instead the Prince of Darkness should order men to wear male chastity devices in order to protect women, children and men and cover their ugly faces.

  • 2
    0

    Dr. Laksiri Fernando,
    Indeed this is a very good article and Eye Opener for developing countries like Sri Lanka and I fervently hope you continue to write like this instead of ‘Propagandists’ ones, of the previous few weeks and months.
    Sri Lanka has not truly learnt or become knowledgeable over the past 73 years, as to the attitudes of donors (specially) in context development of the motherland, especially development infrastructure. The following is true to Sri Lanka in this respect, since independence. Now to the following quote by you which is totally and absolutely relevant in this case.
    “In 2012, the last year of recorded data, developing countries received a total of $1.3tn, including all aid, investment, and income from abroad. But that same year some $3.3tn flowed out of them. In other words, developing countries sent $2tn more to the rest of the world than they received.”
    “If we look at all years since 1980, these net outflows add up to an eye-popping total of $16.3tn”
    Alarmingly and in contrast, deviating from this norm and with SLPA having the experience and technical know-how (Colombo Break water was to my memory built and expanded by SLPA – Colombo Port Commission (CPC) and other ports in the hinterland and Fishery Harbours including dredging)

  • 1
    0

    Part 2
    If that is the case, what was the need to get the Chinese to build the Hambantota Harbour and Mattala Airport with Chinese Labour force (some say they are forced chines prisoners sent to Hambantota as labour). So we looked after the pay and upkeep of Chinese indentured prisoners paid by SL tax payers.
    What was the urgency and the importance to do so. That begs the question and we know who are the culprits shedding ‘crocodile tears’ about debt load of the country.
    I agree we (SL) have committed this crime not once but many times. So we are poorer by such malaise. After Independence we obtained technical assistance by means of JV and used Local content for GODB, INGINIYAGALA/SENANAYAKE SAMUDRA, RVDB, MOP I, MOP II, POLGOLLA, BOWATTENNE, UDA WALAWE, RAJANGANAYA schemes. In the process, we groomed our engineering/technical/administrative/project management staff skills to deal with it for 30 years (1977). No lack of talent to execute Multi-purpose irrigation Hydro Power Agri-development projects. You are right.
    The projects in SL, done by foreigners, that come to my mind (IBRD/ADB and State to State funded) are, accelerated Mahaweli projects of the 1979 – 1988 (10 years) era.

  • 1
    0

    Part 3
    This again we could excuse the politicians only on the basis of the following:-
    Original 30 year programme collapsed to 6 years completion period due to
    a. Acute shortage of food, in spite, the “accelerated crash food programme” of the 1970-77 government and rising prices of food and cost of living
    b. The chronic and acute shortage of power and the national grid, being unable to sustain the national electricity load and resort to cyclic power cuts
    c. Power cuts crippling industries and the export drive
    d. FDI’s being curtailed due to Power cuts and/or generate their own power

    All well and we could accept that we resorted to foreigners mainly doing the construction in the 4 “accelerated Mahaweli constructions (Kotmale, Victoria, Rantembe, Randenigala and connected access roads and irrigation structures) with the SL staff playing a subordinate role, due to required speed and/or specialty of construction and process,” (SL technical staff didn’t have previous exposure/expertise), such as,
    I. Victoria Dam(UK funded Grant) – Double Curvature Arch Dam (probably 1st of its kind in the southern hemisphere when it was mooted 1980)
    II. Kotmale PS (Sweden) – 1st Underground Hydro output GRID Power Station in SL
    III. Rantembe/Randenigala – coordinated and jointly as these were dovetailed – one feeding the other downstream (Germany)
    Believe the latter 2 were also Grants/Soft Loans, I am subject to correction though

  • 4
    0

    Yes . …Repeatedly reiterating a premise one-sidedly and unconvincingly is simply irresponsible and frivolous……..
    May be this applies to some of the comments expressed repeatedly too.
    A better approach would be to deal with the subject at issue in a more pragmatic way and discuss it without digressing.

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