What is more important? Agriculture or aviation
Posted on June 26th, 2012

Ranjith Soysa

It is reported that Mr Hemakumara Nanayakkra has resigned from his position as an Adviser to the President on Agriculture on a matter of important principle. Mr HM rightfully has protested to the plan to put up domestic airports in the present locations of Kundasale agriculture school and a seed farm in Nuwara Eliya.In the context of current unstable world economic environment rightfully the priority of Sri Lanka should be in agriculture and appropriate industries. Hence, one cannot fathom how the Government opts for aviation at the expense of agriculture.

Sri Lanka’s commercial aviation is in doldrums with both Sri Lanka Airlines and Mihin Air loosing millions of public funds due to wrong marketing and illogical expansion of services. Further, the rising fuel prices and the depreciation of Sri Lankan currency will force even the domestic aviation to give into other economical transport modes. For the short term gains in ventures like tourism it is not advisable to grab agricultural real estate at present or in the foreseeable future

Mr Hemakumara Namayakkara deserves our thanks for pointing out that the President is being misled and in this instance probably by the BRAND NEW SLFP men now ruling the roost.

9 Responses to “What is more important? Agriculture or aviation”

  1. AnuD Says:

    That particular farm had been a seed – farm.

    So, the govt will establish a air port, most probably a helipad and landing strip for small aircrafts, so that govt politicians and henchmen can land their helicopters and they will import seed from overseas.

    Sri Lanka does not have any long term visions to implement irrespective of the incumbent govt’s thinking. Therefore, every govt does in their way and they call it development. Once the development is over many things in Sri Lanka are also gone for ever.

    I suppose, agriculture minister and another minister had to lie in order to get this out. First the minister said, it will become a airport and the other minister denied saying previous minister under stress.

    When every one says that president is being misled it becomes a true Alibaba and Forty – thieves type story.

  2. Naram Says:

    Ranjit, You supporting Mr Nanayakkara have raised a point that requires genuine concern. A government that came to power promising to raise the living standards of villages are losing their way,if they are thinking future lies in Helipads and may I add car racing as was reported previously. Add that to the test matches played to minute crowd we soon see the government is held to ransom by white elephants no doubt coming with gifts from far away lands.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Multi national companies in agriculture have demanded the govt import ALL seeds.

    So the govt is doing that.

    If govt closes down all local seed manufacturing, that will result in protests. So they close down seed manufacturers with fancifull BS. Same end result.

    After that multinational companies will DICTATE what we eat and how much we eat! Loveley. It only affects the SOUTH because Tamils in the north already bring seeds illegally from Tamil Madu.

  4. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    Ranjit – We all had some confidence on this goverment due to various relations (friendship, party affiliations) with it. However these have deteriorated with time, so is the government. A protest or agitation against an issue is construed as an action against Mahinda’s government. We need not support blindly anyone who is attempting to destroy a forest, agriculture or country as a whole. Most Sri Lankans do respect the government and the President mostly over the win over LTTE, and seems to have developed an obligatory syndrome.
    The indigenous varieties of common vegetables are disappearing fast as genetically modified ones have been introduced which have a better yield, probably the only reason. Farmers are unable to sow the seeds of GM vegetables and grow them as they are not viable, they will have to buy new every time. We have only a scanty plan to grow our own seeds which should really be on a massive scale. The Officials at grass root level are corrupt (milk industry is one which needs mentioning), parliamentarians who are behind all this GM varieties get huge commissions from the principal companies in Asia and elsewhere on a regular basis. Anyone who points the finger at them will face litigation as the government is corrupt to the hilt, from top to bottom. The Think Tank of President is impotent and fear of losing their jobs, currently at a total budget of Rs.10 billion(I sincerely hope this figure is correct as per a news item). Anyone who goes against the government will face severe repercussions including death as there are around 100 thugs in every electorate who have the blessings of the government. This President will never fight corruption.

  5. AnuD Says:

    So many things happening, no one knows.

    Recently, high-milk producing cows were imported from Australia and divided among needy families. After that, MILCO, govt milk buying company stopped buying milk.

    So many things happened after that. Some how, some people have already given those high milk yielding cows to BUTCHER. A multinational company has taken over the milk – business.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    Concerned Sri Lankans should take matters into their own hands.

    For instance, the Buddhist Temple lands could be be used to grow Organic local plant seeds and the Temples used as a depository for these Seed Banks. Local village farmers should join up with the Buddhist Temples and do what is necessary to safeguard the land and our People for a safe food supply. That is how Democracy works.

    If true, building a heli-pad and removing Kundasale Agri School & Seed growing is an Unpatriotic Act. The matter should go to the highest levels and the School & seed growing restored.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    Formation of a strong, small Sinhala Research Centre (SRC) a must to guide GoSL and safeguard the country on the intellectual fronts a must. On a matter such as Aviation vs Agriculture, the SRC would have clearly pointed out all the pros & cons, making a clear choice for Agriculture.

  8. sena Says:

    Prior to 2009 rural people carried the economy and fought the war while educated and urbanites to the most part only paid lip service. Post 2009 rural people still carry the economy. And MR despite his claims to having a policy of self reliance has embarked on a luxury consumption binge on borrowed money to cater to non producing city folks, professionals and officials plunging the economy to great debts which in tern is now threatening to reverse the gains of the victory against terrorism.

  9. nilwala Says:

    The problem with the GoSL is that they do not communicate sufficiently with the public before going ahead with making decisions that massively affect the public and which look dubious when unexplained – as demonstrated by this one relating to the Kundasale farm being taken over for an airport. On the face of it, it seems not to be in the national interest. HemakumaraN is a good man and his resignation is a loss. So the nation needs to know why he resigned rather than stay in and convince the GoSL that this is not a correct decision for national food security. If we are going to buy seed for crops from elsewhere – and especially in the background of what is now known about global corporations with their GMOs being involved – that could be v. dangerous indeed.

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