Neocolonialism: How it is conquering our country today.
Posted on August 8th, 2015
By Garvin Karunaratne
It is important to note that forces of neo-colonialism are ably conquering our country today. The IMF, an agent of Neocolonialism did make our country indebted by forcing the FreeMarket NeoLiberal Economic Model in 1977. Our inept leaders are furthering this model by selling everything in our country to foreigners and today we are at the cross roads.
The following statement by no less a person than Professor Jeffery Sachs is an eye-opener and indicates the forebodings of Neocolonialism for Sri Lanka today:
“There have long been two faces of US foreign policy since the United States became a great global power after World War II. US foreign policy has veered between the visionary cooperation of Kennedy’s Partial Test Ban Treaty and the reckless unilateralism of the CIA sponsored invasion of Cuba that preceded it….. Notorious acts of US unilateralism include the CIA-led overthrows of several governments (Iran, Guyana, Guatemala, South Vietnam and Chile), the assassination of countless foreign officials and several disastrous unilateral acts of war (in Central America, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Iraq). The US has thrown elections through secret CIA financing, put foreign leaders on CIA payrolls and supported violent leaders who then came back to haunt the United States in a notorious boomerang or ‘blowback’ effect (including Saddan Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, both once on the CIA payroll”. (From Jeffery Sachs: Commonwealth Economics for a Crowded Planet, Allen lane, 2008).
Porofessor Jeffery Sachs’ above statement has to be read with John Perkins’ book: Confessions of an Economic Hitman, where he admits that he wrote development projects for foreign funding, with bogus statistics, which when implemented led to a situation where the projects fails, with the funds getting back to the donor country (through consultancies, machinery costs, imports etc.) while the country is saddled with the debt. In other words it was a method of making the country indebted so that it would forever be under the thumb of the IMF and the Superpowers. Perkins was so disgusted of what he had done so he confesses in his book.
Sri Lanka was not an indebted country in 1977. Its foreign debt was only $ 750 million, which too was on project development, as opposed to loans taken for consumption. The IMF had till then given loans on a very strict basis. The IMF relaxed the criteria allowing countries that adopted the SAP to draw money for lavish spending and run deficit budgets, when there was no money. President Jayawardena capitulated to the IMF and followed the rulings of the IMF and the IMF led these countries on the path of ruination.
Under the UNP of President Jayawardena foreign funds obtained were used to fund the demand created by the liberal use of foreign exchange and the incoming funds have been used for imports, foreign holidays and foreign education. Earlier our foreign exchange was carefully utilized and we managed to keep ourselves afloat without falling into debt. From 1977 we squandered the incoming borrowed funds for luxury imports and luxury living and in that process we became an indebted nation. We can justify foreign loans being used to purchase arms and weaponry to defeat the LTTE. Today we have come to a point where we have to borrow further to service our loans. In that predicament we get further and further into debt.
What is the way ahead. We have to use foreign loans in the interests of our country and not for luxury living. The use of foreign loans recently for the building of the Hambantota Harbour , the Mattala Airport and the Highways are developmental and this offers the way for the future . This is the infrastructure necessary for development. However one has to develop projects in those areas to create incomes for the people using the infrastructure that has already been put in place.
It is a time when we have to act carefully; otherwise we will get conquered by the Superpowers and become their colonies once again.
Garvin Karunaratne , 8 th August 2015