For Ranil’s vision to fulfil
Posted on January 11th, 2016

By Paneetha Ameresekere Courtesy The Ceylon Today

Nonetheless, Ricardo Hausmann, the current Director of the Centre for International Development and a Professor of the Practice of Economic Development at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, seemingly threw a dampener to Wickremesinghe’s vision, when he said that Sri Lanka will have to first uplift its revenue base if the Premier was to fulfil his dream.

He said that Sri Lanka’s revenue at 12.5% of GDP was too low, whereas a country like Sri Lanka should have a revenue ratio of 25% of GDP. Hausmann moderated the event.
Meanwhile, Nobel Laureate for Economics Joseph Stiglitz said that one way to increase revenue is to levy carbon taxes. Nonetheless, Sri Lanka appears to be doing just the opposite, by not only levying, but increasing taxes on environmentally friendly vehicles, when such increased levies should have had been passed on to pollutive, petrol guzzling vehicles.  Nevertheless, Wickremesinghe outlining his vision said that 50% of the island’s population lived within a radius of 75 miles from Colombo, the epicentre of the Premier’s ‘megapolis’ dream.

However, global investor Geroge Soros, yet another speaker at the event, said that Sri Lanka’s development model should follow the Seoul model and not the Singapore model, simply because the latter doesn’t have sufficient land. He also said that the ‘elevated’ monorail type of transportation which is too expensive, doesn’t suit Colombo. “Better to have toll roads,” said Soros.
Before developing a megapolis, Wickremesinghe should first scrutinize as to whether there is demand for such structures? China’s ghost cities are a prime example of where supply more than outpaced demand.
When Wickremesinghe’s uncle J.R. Jayewardene developed the Colombo Port, he rightfully eyed the Indian market, which then was a 500 million population strong, which since has exploded to 1.3 billion.

Colombo Port is a hub port in South Asia, straddling between Singapore and Dubai, the other two hub ports in the region. So, Jayewardene’s port investment is paying off, in economic terms to the island.
Wickremesinghe in his speech outlined the government’s plans to develop economic ties with India via a technological and economic pact with Sri Lanka’s giant neighbour. Nonetheless, India needs to open up its services and manufacturing sectors at least to Sri Lanka, if Wickremesinghe’s vision of making Sri Lanka a megapolis in the region is to reap dividends.
If India’s doesn’t do that, then there will be no global demand for Sri Lanka’s megapolis, probably ending up similar to China’s ghost cities.

Probably a silver lining is the proposed Chinese funded Colombo Port city project, now stalled for political reasons. If the Chinese are willing to fund that with no strings attached, then allow it to go its way.
But with China’s economy currently crashing, one wonders whether Beijing is willing to restart the project, stalled by Colombo’s then new political masters, at least co-led by Wickremesinghe, after the regime change of 8 January, 2015.
India is the seeming star in the world, according to Stiglitz, with its economy growing at 6-7%, and Sri Lanka is rightfully placed geographically with the former being the latter’s closest neigbour. But is India willing to walk that extra mile on behalf of its tiny neighbour? That’s the million dollar question?
The skill of Jayewardene, in negotiating the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord and ensuing that Delhi fulfils it to the letter; from an economic perspective, should also be Wickremesinghe’s game plan, when negotiating the proposed technology and economic agreement with India.

Otherwise, his vision of a megapolis, if built, would be like Admiral Horthy without a ship, or, even worse and more closer and a recent home analogy, like former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Hambantota Harbour and international airport in the same locality, built at massive public expense where ships don’t dock and planes don’t land.

3 Responses to “For Ranil’s vision to fulfil”

  1. Christie Says:

    Hi Folks, Chandrika is the agent of the Indian Empire, Sirisena is the Governor selected and voted in by the Indian colonial parasite block vote and Ranil is the Cooliie

  2. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Tradgedy for Sri Lanka is, still a lot of people believe these guys’ empty words. There are ample evidence to
    show their treachery, destruction, murder, mayhem and robbery. Still a lot of Sinhalese don’t see it and belive
    every empty word coming from these people’s ‘backsides’. If your memory is very very short, cast your mind back
    to 2015. What has been done? Nothing.

    Some of maru sira and pol pot ponil’s achievements in one short year.
    5,000 billions gone from CB daylight robbery
    Buddhism gone from school curriculums
    pensions gone (beg on the streets after retirement)
    brave soldiers sent to prison
    tiger boys released from prison to start their drealam campaign
    1000s of acres from HSZ given back to aid drealam campaign
    wilpattu burning and making more homes for the multiplying xxxx.
    place of Buddhism gone from the new constitution
    unitary state gone from the new constitution
    naval cordon removed and let indians fish in our waters
    naval cordon removed and let illegal immigrants to come and settle down in the north and east.
    UNBELIEABLE ACHIEVEMENTS FROM THE
    UNPelievably UNPatriotic party!

    THIS IS YAMA PALLANGE YAMA PAACHANAYA INDEED!

    See the list is very long. In one short year they have done enough damage to Buddhism, Sri Lanka and the
    Sinhalese. Still some Sinhalese donkeys don’t see anything wrong with these traitors. Tamils, mussies and catholics always
    vote for the UNPatriotic party and in return UNPatriotic party always look after them. Some stupid Sinhalese think it is so fashionable to be the supporters of the UNPatriotics and vote for them.

    Thambi mudiyanse signing peace accord isn’t an achievment to be proud of if you are a Sinhalese. Now the 350-miile long island has ministers, state ministers, chief ministers, deputy ministers, mps, mayors, deputy mayors, etc. etc etc. etc. etc.. Is there any other people than ministers, deputy ministers, mps, etc. etc. in Sri Lanka?
    In Sri Lankan politics from boss to his peon are all powerful.

    It is farcical and laughable to suggest thambi mudiyanse skillfully negotiated. He was just an impotent politician in front of the indians and the west. He put the foundations to break up Sri Lanka. Adarmistaya who was so brutal in killing Sinhalese Buddhists was a poodle in front of indians. Contrast this with MR who stood up against indians and mighty west and won.

  3. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Even an uneducated village farmer can see what is happening in Sri Lanka now.

    As Suranganee Seneviratne says ‘Corruption’, cronyism, and nepotism and ‘democracy’ have become the war cry of regime change makers even prior to the events that have resulted in deadly consequences in the middle east and elsewhere an ‘Arab Spring’ was sprung upon the people.

    The regime change makers have successfully applied the same strategy In Sri Lanka, and now, a well-structured procedure is in place to destabilise the country first by abolition of executive presidency, which is the primary stumbling block that prevent fragmentation of the country into a number of ethnic based regions’ and then by introduction of a new constitution taking away unitary nature of the country. Sri Lanka President hints a federal Constitution (http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/01/11/sri-lanka-president-hints-a-federal-constitution/)

    Police dictatorial powers are fully guaranteed to prevent any political opposition to this plan which is very conspicuous now with recent incidents happened in Colombo University Students clash, Handling of the Kotadeniyawa child kidnap case and the Ambilipitya youth assassination case by the local police. Police now openly says that, at any time, gathering of more than five people can be considered as Unlawful Assembly even if the persons do not have an illegal purpose or if their meeting will not breach the public peace of the community.(This has been stated by the Police Spokesman in an interview held by a TV Channel)

    Majority Buddhist Sinhala people will have no say until the “Yahapalanaya” politicians dismember the whole country into ethnic enclaves with majority land mass acquired and controlled by the Tamils and Muslims while Sinhalese people are being cramped into the highly populated southern and Western part of Sri Lanka.

    Ranil’s infamous economic policy of “Capitalism without Capital” will force taxation as the primary source of Capital required by the government that will, in turn, inevitably force living standard of the country to go down to the lowest forcing the intellectual capital of the country to be completely destroyed to facilitate foreign investors to exploit the cheap labour of the poor population for ever.

    They have already taken the decision to remove Buddhism and Ceylon History from the school curriculum so that future generation will not have self-esteem and pride in themselves.

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