A simmering volcano
Posted on February 18th, 2016

Editorial Courtesy The Island


The riot police yesterday liberally used water cannon and tear gas to disperse a protest by thousands of unemployed graduates who took to the streets in Colombo, demanding jobs. Their protests are not of recent origin. Successive governments have attempted ad hoc remedies without addressing the root causes of the problem.

The problem of graduate unemployment cannot be wished away. Nor can it be solved with tear gas, water cannon, road blocks and the appointment of various committees. There does not seem to be an alternative to recruiting graduates to the state service as a short-term solution if the present situation is to be defused. A long-term solution requires a well-thought out national strategy.

It is being argued in some quarters that thousands of graduates remain unemployed because they are simply unemployable. This assertion is not without some merit, but the question is what successive governments have done, all these years, to make them employable. There is a school of thought that university education needs to be geared towards employment if graduates are to secure employment without staging street protests. While there is a pressing need for enabling graduates to acquire what the job market requires, politicians and policymakers should not lose sight of the fact that universities are no job training centres. The role of seats of higher learning should not be limited to churning out workers for the job market while the need for a radical overhaul of the university system cannot be overemphasised.

The unemployed graduates’ protests serve as an eloquent argument against the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) which, if implemented, will facilitate an influx of foreign workers here at the expense of educated Sri Lankan youth. A country with jobless, frustrated youth brimming with antipathy towards society is a simmering volcano.

Meanwhile, if ECTA is inked at India’s behest, it will certainly make an already bad situation worse. The Portuguese got the King of Kotte to agree to let them secure a toehold and went on to build a massive fort. This has been our experience with all the pacts with foreign powers throughout history.

India cannot be so keen to sign ETCA out of any love for Sri Lanka. It was only the other day that we published an article which revealed that 250 persons with PhDs had been among hundreds of thousands of candidates for a peon’s job in that country. Why Sri Lankan professionals including doctors are opposing ETCA is not difficult to understand. Old dogs, it is said, bark not for nothing. (We hope government pundits won’t accuse us of denigrating professionals by calling them canines!)

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has been a pillar of strength for the opponents of ETCA. It is only natural that not-so-surreptitious attempts are being made to debilitate and silence the GMOA and its leaders are being harassed. If the powerful doctors’ union is silenced the resistance campaign against ETCA is bound to fizzle out. This, we believe, is the battle plan of the proponents of ETCA all out to bulldoze their way through.

The signing of ill-conceived pacts like ETCA will only swell the ranks of educated youth staging street protests demanding jobs.

14 Responses to “A simmering volcano”

  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    SRI LANKA, a beautiful verdant Island, is rich in Agriculture. There is NO incentive for the Farmer to develop the Lands. The Finance Minister wants to give FOREIGNERS, our productive land on a 99 year lease, which, as a Sri Lankan, I think is CRIMINAL. The Finance Minister has some Star Performance credentials, particularly in Financial Skullduggery. He has no qualms in giving our Productive Lands to Foreigners to make money with our fertile land, make it unfertile within years, and de-camp with colossal profits.

    The Prime Minister promised 10,000 jobs. Where and when is it starting ?

    This is a simple suggestion to him.

    Establish Co-operatives with a group of 50 Graduates each, Give them 5,000 acres, or even 10,000acres, and monthly seed money to subsist. Let them clear the Land and prepare it for Agriculture. Give them the Agricultural Equipment to attend to their needs. Once the Land is cleared, they can Start with Cash Crops. I suggest Solo Hawaai Papaya as one type of crop. It can be exported, or juiced for export, other than the local market. Let them learn Management Techniques in-situ on the job. Let them build houses for themselves in the vicinity. Give them Agricultural Professionals to teach Agricultural techniques. Let them earn their own Money to start Life. This way they don’t have to face Tear Gas and Water Cannons. GIVE OUR OWN YOUTH OPPORTUNITIES, WITHOUT MAKING THEM WALK THE STREETS. STOP GIVING EMPLOYMENT TO FOREIGNERS.

    Another suggestion.

    SRILANKA is a beautiful Island surrounded by the Great Ocean. Opportunity is waving at our Youth and the Government wants INDIANS TO TAKE OUR RESOURCES AND WEALTH. Once again, establish Co-operatives with 50 Graduates each, give them Financial Loans to buy boats for long period Fishing. Let them get local Fishermen involved in their venture as Teachers. This is a very lucrative Business and they don’t have to wait for long periods to get income. From DAY ONE they can get income. THEY CAN PAY ALL THE LOANS ON BOATES WITHIN ONE YEAR. Iam talking through experience. I went out in a fishing boat, 20 miles into deep Sea, hoping to put a boat. I was talked out of it by family. The guy who introduced me into this venture had over 20 Boats. At that time, he told me that I can completely pay off my Loan in THREE MONTHS.
    Simultaneously, another group of 50 graduates can buy the Fish, and Can it for Local Consumption and Export. This is very LUCRATIVE BUSINESS. In this case the Government will have to give financial resources to put up the Buildings and Import the necessary Machinery. Possibly, it could be manufactured in Sri Lanka. So much for just now.

  2. aloy Says:

    I endorse Susantha’s proposal 100%.
    GOSL should make earning money by unethical means very difficult. When opportunities have been given people will try to work hard. As can be seen some countries like Phillipene are ahead of SL in providing IT services to other countries. Does it means they are more intelligent that other people?. No, they have programmes to train their students in large numbers for lower rank jobs. SL also should do that type of training for those unable to proceed with higher education at least for women.

    The first salvo against RW’s attempt to go ahead with Indian ECTA has been fired by JHU. If he tries to do it by force, perhaps unexpected will happen and this time it will be even less than two years in power. However he need to reign in media like Derana, Hiru etc which have been started with questionable resources.

  3. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    When UNPatriotics are running the country they do what they like. Protests? No problem. That’s the
    pattern set by thambi mudiyanselage jr. Just get a few pathalayin and silence any opposition.
    Do a google search for Sri Lanka’s underworld gangsters. All UNPatriotic’s pathalyins top the list.

    Since thambi mudiyanse jr, lk premadasa, pol pot ponil carries on with pathalyin. Kill anybody, any number
    no problem. Only thing you have to make sure is the murdered are Sinhalese. No problem what so ever. Batalande
    killer knows it. He knows he is untouchable. He has the advantage of being a token Buddhist and die hard catholic.
    So the west will always come to his rescue. Even archbishop two three of south africa will come to his defence. I wonder why?

    So who cares about protests? Who cares about the Sinhalese? That’s his attitude. There are a lot of Sinhalese donkeys still vote for this pol pot ponil PM (Pathala man).

    Please click the link to find out more about his brotherhood.

    http://ltte-christian-ties.blogspot.com/

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Excellent ideas by Susantha.

    Add FREE birth control material to all adults. Population explosions can bring down all achievements.

    I remember the bill board campaign of the earlier JRJ UNP : “Punchi Pawla Ratharang” ! How true. Same for all ethnic groups.

    Or else sad ‘cannon fodder’ syndrome results ….

  5. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    Thank you Aloy, Thank you Fran, for concurring with me. Our Country is RICH in Resources and so much opportunity is waiting. Not one single MP wants to Organize and do something Productive. They are looking for ways to line their pockets only. LOT OF PRODUCTIVE TIME WASTED. ***PROCRASTINATION IS THE THIEF OF TIME***

    SRI LANKA HAS BEEN BLESSED WITH **THREE** GOD SEND STREAMS OF EMPLOYMENT. THEY ARE:-

    A…..AGRICULTURE B……FISHING C……EXPORT.

    I DO HOPE THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE WILL TAKE MY CUE AND START ON MY SUGGESTION RIGHT AWAY.

    ELEPHANT HOUSE SHOULD GET INVOLVED IN THE MANUFACTURE OF **FISH PASTE** FOR SANDWICHES. IT IS RICH IN VITAMINS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN, OTHER THAN ADULTS. IT IS A MONEY SPINNER.

    Can some one please print this out and send to the Presidents, and Prime Ministers Offices. Thanks.

    LIKEWISE, I DO HOPE THAT THE MINISTER OF FISHERIES WILL START TO COLLECT OUR WEALTH FROM THE OCEAN, AND DIVIDE IT AMONG OUR YOUTH, BY GETTING THEM ENGAGED FULL TIME, FISHING AS A PROFESSION.

    AS PRIME MINISTER ONCE SAID, I HAVE THE RIGHT TO SHOOT, IF INDIAN FISHERMEN ARE ON OUR SIDE. JUST DO IT.

  6. aloy Says:

    Big talking ministers must be given specific tasks to accomplish within a given time frame and those who fail should be fired. The ports minister should not get involved with sports and try to get best use of Hambanthota. The aviation minister should remove the bottlenecks at Katunayake and make it a proper service hub for transiting passenger mostly from India. It has reached its capacity, therefore a new terminal is urgently needed. This will be a money spinner. The time has come to stop elections and playing politics. Our country had enough of it.

  7. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    Aloy !! In the Mercantile sector, when we were give top Managerial Posts, we were given a list of duties. The last clause says, any other duties not specified here would be deemed as responsibility towards the Company.

    Likewise, there should be a Master Administrator, who should list out the ministerial duties. The Government can get the Services of retired CEOs, and Chairmen of the Mercantile Sector to pool in their thoughts and prepare the List of Duties.

    Equally true, THE PRIME MINISTER should ask all the Members of Parliament, to hand over to the SPEAKER, the list DEVELOPMENTS they envisage carrying out in their ELECTORATES, during the oncoming Fiscal Year. This must be given publicity in the Printed Media, so that voters in the Electorate will be behind the MPs to ensure that work promised is being implemented.

    THE SLOGAN **GOOD GOVERNANCE** SHOULD NOT BE A PASSWORD TO PULL THE WOOL OVER THE EYES OF THE MASSES, PERIOD.

    This above procedure should be made MANDATORY to the Chief Minister and his retinue of Sleep Walkers, in the Provincial Council, so that Government could make specific Financial allocations.

    A very glaring instance of neglect and APATHY was shown by Wigneswaran , when he hardly spent 75% of the Financial Allocation given to the Northern Provincial Council, at the end of the Budget Period. This is done with sinister thoughts, to fiddle with the money. The Government should take the monies unspent towards Development, back into the Treasury. I don’t think this was done. SO WHERE IS THE SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTABILITY ??????

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Good ideas by SW.

    But IF GOSL does those Endians will be angry for taking away their opportunities!! I know we should NOT CARE about Endians and it it is OUR country but ALL political parties do care about Endians.

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    That is most of the problem here : INDIANS AND THEIR CONTROL, CONTROL, OF SRI LANKA.

    INDIA cannot control Breakaway State Tamil Nadu, and wants to control TN through Sri Lanka – and control Lanka as well.

    So this is most of the problem. Any ideas ?

  10. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    LORENZO !! IAM HAPPY YOU LIKE THE IDEAS. Just to ask you a favour. If you are in Sri Lanka, can you please print this and post to the Prime Minister, to his Office. It is useless sending it to President, as I think he will not be able to comprehend the Agriculture and Fisheries Ideas. Prime Minister is very much more Intelligent, and he is sure to grasp the Concepts and act fast. If you are not physically present there, could you ask one of your trusted friends to print and post to Prime Minister. Thanks in advance.

  11. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    YES FRAN !! I have a good idea. The Prime Minister has to act on it. Give Hundreds of Graduates Financial support, in the form of Loans to buy Boats, and flood the North with a thousand Boats, with the NAVY looking after their Safety and Welfare. That will stop Lolita crying to Modaya to get the release the fishermen and HER BOATS, on a DAILY BASIS.

    Graduate Unemployment solved to a great extent.

  12. Dham Says:

    Tamil master plan is to shfit Tamil Nadu to Lanka.
    It is Tamil Lanka they want, with Sinhalas working for them.
    Probably they may even rule better than our Sinhala robe wearing Tamil at heart pretenders.

    Unfortunately Sinhalaya cannot recognise the Ariya Suite Tamil at heart betrayers. SInhalaya go after Ranil, the known devil betrayer and whoever connected to him. Whoever currently on his side.

    Our country is in great danger friends.

    I don’t care very much of Ranil&Co. I am scared much more of those who pretend to be working for Sinhala baudhdhayas . When they grab power, they will be ruthless. They will readily say full YES to India and Tamils. That will be the final nails in the coffin. Most of the writers will stop writing here then.

    You can see the plans very clearly.

    1. Why set up two extra Tamil Nadu High Commisions ?
    2. Why cannot scrap 13 A ?
    3. Why cannot STOP THE BOATS ?
    4. Why must release BOAT PPEOPLE and send back every time LOlita cry ?
    5. Why release those Tamil Indian Drug Convicts on Death”Raw” and never release the Sinhalas ?
    6. Why Sunil was never released after 2009 revloution ? ( now signing petitions)
    7. Why help set up Elam Council and hadover to a dangerous BIL ?

    If we rely on these Sinhala Baudhdhaya Pretenders will we be able to save our country ?

    Are these activities not mistakes ? We thought surely they were. But until today – no acknoledgement.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    Susantha,

    Seriously speaking, it seems that INDIA always pounces on her poor border countries out of a sense of insecurity – just like some politicos/people.

    So is the best thing to do is to have some permanent arrangement where INDIA ceases to feel that insecurity ? How can that be done ?

    Is it to have an MoU with INDIA/UN re INDIA’S SECURITY – that is, Lanka will not do anything rash to upset INDIA’s Security issues ? The Proper legal jargon must be used.

    In such an event, INDIA will stop trying to take over Lanka via Tamil folk & the Economy of Lanka. Tamil Nadu will also cease to be a constant threat to Lanka, with ideas of acquiring Lanka for Dravidastan, etc.

    Over to more knowledgeable folk …..

  14. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    FRAN !! IT IS NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF SRI LANKA FOR INDIAS INSECURITY. WE SHOULD NOT GET INVOLVED IN THEIR INTERNAL AFFAIRS. SRI LANKA SHOULD ASSERT ITSELF AND SHOW INDIA THAT WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE SERVILE TO THEM. NEITHER SHOULD WE HAVE TO GET ON OUR KNEES AND APPEASE THEM.

    WHEN INDIA SEES MAGGOTS WITHOUT VERTEBRAE GOVERNING THE COUNTRY, THEY TRY TO GET THE EDGE OVER US. TRUTHFULLY SPEAKING, OUR POLITICAL RESOLVE TO FACE INDIAS CONSTANT INTRIGUE IS NON EXISTENCE OR VERY WEAK.

    TAKING OVER LANKA CAN BE ONE OF THEIR DAY DREAMS. WE SHOULD GET CLOSE TO CHINA AND PAKISTAN, WE SHOULD ACTUALLY HUDDLE CHINA AND PAKISTAN. THEN INDIA WILL DEFLATE.

    OUR POLITICIANS SHOULD NOT GIVE IN AT EVERY TURN TO INDIA.PERIOD.

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