Comments on The 100 day Work Programme of the Common Candidate and the UNP controlling our Motherland again.
Posted on December 27th, 2014
By Garvin Karunaratne
In view of the fact that the Common Candidate has declared that Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe will be the Prime Minister it is easy to see how the Sri Lankan economy will fare. Regaining Sri Lanka, the flagplan of Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe when he ruled as the Prime Minister from 2002 to 2004 and the manner he handled affairs during his premiership discloses what can be expected.
The 100 day Work Programme put forwards by the Common Candidate also seals our fate.
Regaining Sri Lanka commences with the statement ;
“The truth is that Sri Lanka is in the thick of an economic crisis- a crisis born of deep indebtedness”.
The Common Candidate forgets the fact that Sri Lanka was made indebted and put on the path to greater indebtedness by no other than President Jayawardena.
It is important to note that Sri lanka was not an indebted country when President Jayawardena took over in 1977. It was President Jayawardena that accepted the IMF’s Structural Adjustment policies which converted a country that managed its finances without falling into debt, to a country that became indebted to such an extent that it had to borrow to pay the loans. This was because the IMF advised Sri lanka to do away with Exchange Controls, allow unrestricted imports and liberalise the use of foreign exchange and advised the country to meet the shortfall with loans from the IMF and the World Bank. This process of borrowing to spend, made Sri lanka so indebted that by 1986 the country faced an economic crisis, as stated by the World Bank itself in its publication Trends in Developing Economies (1990): “In 1986, the deterioration of the economy had become evident. The growth rate of the GDP slowed to under 4%. Unemployment rose to around 17% and gross official reserves declined to less than two months’ imports.”
In other words by 1986, in eight years’ after following the open- liberal economy as advised by the IMF Sri Lanka was totally bankrupt. Mind you this quotation is from the World Bank itself.
What happened was following the rotten process of living beyond one’s means. The IMF advocated the abolition of exchange controls and also allowed liberal foreign exchange for foreign travel, for foreign education and when there was no money advised the country to take loans. It is sad that none of our famous economists questioned the IMF as to what will happen when money obtained on loans cannot be paid
The loans were used for luxury living requirements- for luxury imports, for luxury tourism for the rich- to travel to see Niagara Falls, go on cruises to see the Northern Lights in the Norwegian fiords, for the children of the rich to find education in foreign universities and this type of spending sent back the foreign exchange borrowed at high interest back to the Donor countries. Though the funds went back with profits, on our country books the loans remained as a debt!
It was a trick played on all Third World countries by the IMF to make them indebted, purposedly done and the UNP must take total responsibility for this.
This topic is fully detailed in my Paper “Who made Sri Lanka indebted: Was it President Rajapaksa?” in The Lanka Web of 21/12/2014. and the Sunday Nation of 21/12/14.
Evidently the Common Candidate is going to take us further on this path.
The Ceasefire Agreement entered into between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE during the Prime Ministership of Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe, whereby the LTTE was allowed to go anywhere in the island but the non Tamil population could hardly dare to enter the LTTE controlled areas, when the Armed Forces were kept confined to the barracks also tells us what is in store for our Motherland.
One must also not forget how the Forward Penetration Squad of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, the masterbrain of Sri Lankan sleuths, which caused mayhem in the LTTE areas by deep penetration attacks was hounded out by one Assistant Superintendent of Police and the cat let out of the bag which enabled the LTTE to murder some thirty members of this heroic squad. This happened when Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe was Prime Minister.
These two facts will disclose how the LTTE will easily regain the Northern and Esatern Provinces once again. I was sad when I visited Sri lanka during the LTTE days because I could not drive through Trincomalee and Valachchenai my pet circuit area in my public service.
Lets have a close look at the 100 day Work Programme of the Common Candidate.
If he wins and takes office on January 10 th , he plans to appoint a Cabinet the very next day and appoint Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe as the Prime Minister on the next day. The Common Candidate fails to realize that the Prime Minister has to obtain the support of the Members of Parliament who belong to Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’sty. In short it is something that cannot be done.
This also applies to everything he hopes to do till April 23 rd because it is only on April 23 rd that Parliament will be dissolved.
If the persons who drafted the 100 day Work Programme had an iota of a brain, he would have known that the Dissolution of Parliament and a new group of parliamentarians have to be elected who are supportive of the Common Candidate before he can appoint or attend to anything through Parliament.
Further the 100 day Work Programme is full of appointing Councils and taking action on various political matters while the administration of the country is totally ignored.
What about Agriculture and Industry the main areas which can bring about employment and incomes to the people. The words Agriculture and Industry are not even mentioned. It is forgotten that agriculture was the flagship during the days of Mr D.S.Senanayake and Mr Dudley Senanayake both from the UNP.
The Common candidate has also conveniently forgotten the CDKU- the dreaded Kidney Disease that had already killed over twenty thousand and has crept into the kidneys of around a million people- so that they will also be eventual victims. What of the Dengu menace that wipes out people in the hundreds every month which is rampant and rages out of control. Who other than the person who was the Minister of Health from 2010 to 2014 that has to take responsibility for these catastrophes That was Mr Maithripala Sirisena himself and no other. Why is there no action taken on these two crucial area.
The Cost of Living is given a passing mention: “ A Vote on Account will be introduced in Parliament to implement special measures to provide relief to the people by reducing the cost of Living”
Why are the methods of reducing the cost of Living not given. He is silent on those because he is aware that it was during the time of the UNP that the total infrastructure that Sri lanka had built up to tackle the Cost of Living was totally abolished. That infrastruc economy.”
Reading between the lines in the 100 Day Work Programme as well as Regaining Sri Lanka I can easily see the pen of the World Bank sleuths in action.
Is that what our Motherland for which we all have sweated to bring about development and for the future of which over 50,000 heroic soldiers have laid their lives down deserve.
The Coop Crayon at Deniyaya was my flagship. It was he most successful project and so became the flagship of the Divisional Development Councils Programme. The method of making Crayons was unearthed by my Planning Officer Vetus Fernando under my guidance at the Rahula College Science lab. The Crayons were manufactured by Sumanapala Dahanayake, Member of Parliament for Deniyaya in his capacity as the President of the Morawaka Cooperative Union. From 1972 to 1978 till the industry was axed by the UNP of President Jayawardena the Coop Crayon was sold islandwide and provided employment to around a hundred youths. All this was lost and my blood boils when I see a pack of Crayola Crayons on sale in Colombo. That is what the Common Candidate will do for our industries.
Let me finally add a few word to support all what I have said. I spent eighteen years in the Administrative Service and last worked as the Government Agent at Matara. Wherever I worked I did something worthwhile. I worked so hard and was so recognized by the people that I could have entered Parliament if only I decided. But I am no politician, I remain an administrator for the people, wherever they need me.
In Sri Lanka I was never in charge of a Ministry as a Secretary to do something on my own. Instead I got the chance to do something in Bangladesh.. I designed and implemented the Youth Self Employment Programme in Bangladesh during my two years’ stay there as the Commonwealth Fund Advisor to the Ministry of Labour and Manpower. I trained the staff to carry on the Programme. I guided 2000 youths to become employed and laid down policies to follow. By February 2011 this Programme has provided commercially viable self employment to over two million youths. This Programme is today the largest and most successful employment creation programme the word has known. The closest programme to that in Sri lanka is the DDC Programme where we created work for 42,000 youths.
May these ideas offered from the bottom of my heart help my Motherland.
Garvin Karunaratne Ph.D.(Michigan State). M.Phil.(Edinburgh), M.Ed.(Manchester), M.A. & B.A.(Sri Lanka)