Sri Lanka cannot be a China or Vietnam: An Economic Science lesson to political liars-Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy   -Opion
Posted on July 4th, 2016

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

I have read the above statement made by new Governor of CB with dismay ,as he has not specified what reforms we need to initiate .

As an economist he will speak about GDP ,Export Potential, High Labour cost and nothing about how to improve the productivity.

He talks about attracting investors, but he does not know about the unbearable obstacles Industrialist and investors are facing to get a project of the ground

( I as an investor is facing so much difficulties in  getting the  approvals from  agencies like CCD.CEA ,SLPA ,UDA,MEEPA  .Megapolis,Southern Development Board  etc etc etc to start a foreign currency generating project which will also provide employment  )

The governor also states that under such a situation, Sri Lanka should plan its future economic growth through a policy of promoting increased private sector centric exports and attracting more direct foreign investments.

Can he spell out how to attract those foreign investors??

As an industrialist and a foreign investment promoter let me suggest  what we should do .

Our labour laws are too democratic and too anti productive ,hence we need to have hire and fire  policy to make the labour force and blue collar workers to have a fear  psychosis from losing the job. If they get fired ,the whole family may starve hencethey will be reluctant to strike.

State should make them borrow more for education ,health care and  housing at a reasonable low rate of interest to entice them to have a high loan burden.

When they have a obligation to repay high loan instalment, they will work harder and become fearful in losing the job .

With a democratic government we cannot have strict labour laws. In Vietnam and China they do not have much democracy, hence the labour force cannot revolt.

Second suggestion is to get the women be  the head of the family who should be signing for the borrowing, as they are more responsible in repayment of loans ,In order to repay the loans she will not allow her somewhat revolutionary husband to play around with his job.

(This idea was given to me by an ex JVP leader in seventies –Mr Susil Siriwardane !)

Third suggestion is for the mighty president to suspend the constitution and become a Benevolent Dictator ( The way he appointed the Governor and now tackling VAT issue, amply proves that he does not have to listen to MP’s !)

If I have a chance of being his right hand man to implement above ,I will work harder as I will be a worker who will have a  fear of getting fired.

Lastly, stop giving and financing facility to buy cars ,three wheelers and  lend the money  to Industrialists so that they  work harder to repay the loans and produce more and more .

I cannot think any other way to come out of this economic mess

Dr Sarath Obeysekera


5 Responses to “Sri Lanka cannot be a China or Vietnam: An Economic Science lesson to political liars-Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy   -Opion”

  1. Christie Says:

    1. Our trade unions are run by Indian colonial parasites or their students.
    2. Countrie’s economy should be in the hands of the majority, not the minority Indian colonial parasites.
    3. Benevolent dictator or do you mean a benevolent Indian governor. Governors only carry Emperor’s orders be they benevolent or not.

    Sarath if you wont to proper and improve your business then get Indian Colonial Parasites as partners, but then you will be gone in few years or months.

  2. Christie Says:

    Sarath I don’t know whether you read any of the comments to your articles Since 1956 it is the fall of the Sinhala businesses. Sinhala businesses managed to survive under the British-Indian imperialists.

    Since Mahinda there was another surge of Sinhala businesses, now they are declining and Indian merchants are prospering.

    In your industry remember Taos of Ceylon run by Philip Gunawardanes nephew a son of Harry Gunawardana. Taos is no more.
    But look at Gnanams a second hand goods, drugs and juggery dealer who ended up as one of the leading industrialists and businessman of Ceylon. He was a financier of the Socialists of Ceylon. Those days Mylwaganam permamnent secretary of the Ministry of Industries helped all Indian Colonial Parasites to prosper. Coomaraswamy another of them will helkp them to prosper but not the Sinhala business people.

    Comaraswamy another Indian colonial parasite will help

  3. Dilrook Says:

    A hire and fire policy will lead to problems with the ILO, US GSP and EU GSP (in addition to GSP plus). Our exports will collapse as buyers will shun our exports. At the moment our factories and workers’ rights are way above most countries. Although it adds cost, it is essential to export to the destinations we export to.

    Also such a policy would cause violence at the workplace and outside it. In countries that follow a hire and fire policy, killings, assault, sexual violence, etc. against managers are more common as workers resort to other means.

    People generally don’t default on loans. Most loan defaults are done by politicians and their crooks. If this can be fixed, the default rate will be well within manageable levels.

    Having a single point of contact for investors through the web is the best way to help them. Taxes should be reduced so that people can save and invest. VAT should be abolished so that people can save this money and either invest or use it for consuming more goods and services. The public sector must be reduced in size.

    English fluency must be raised rapidly. More trade schools are needed and government investments. Japanese, Korean and Germany fluency should be increased as needed. Currently we cannot tap these service industries. Call centres, outsourced purchasing, accounting, data centres and maintenance centres are very profitable. If Sri Lanka can grab some these from China, India and the Philippines, we don’t have to lower the working standard of people.

    Local investors are more important than foreign investors. By definition, foreign investors take out many times more than they bring. Otherwise they simply don’t invest.

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Although I sympathize with Sarath Obeysekara about his problems dealing with the highly politicised and corrupt bureaucracy in Sri Lanka, some of his recommendations are truly frightening!

    There MUST BE AN EQUITABLE BALANCE between the right of employers to control their business and get a fair return on their investments and resources, and the rights of workers to be treated fairly and earn a living wage in return for the only resources they have: their skills, knowledge and experience embedded in their labor.

    This relationship, like all others between a buyer and a seller, must be regulated by government for fairness to both parties. If one party is in a position to dictate terms and hold the other at ransom without legal recourse, there will be conflict and failure to achieve their separate but intertwined goals. It is a marriage …. just like that between two spouses …. that must be made to serve the interests of both parties.

    However, one thing is clear: the abuse of workers who are citizens of the country and the majority of its voters will not ensure the long term survival of the employers. That is the lesson we must learn from every revolution in the recorded history of mankind. Employers and employees must come to an equitable agreement, and it is the duty of government and the courts to ensure fair play.

    It also amuses me to read that Sarath Obeysekara recommends to Aiyoo Sirisena that he brcome a “benevolent dictator”!!

    Perhaps Sarath has forgotten that being a dictator, arguably not benevolent in the eyes of opponents, was one of the major criticisms levelled at Mahinda Rajapaksa by the REGIME CHANGERS of January 8, 2015!

    What Sarath really should say is that we had a strong, patriotic, decent and able President before January 8, 2015, and that in our COLLECTIVE STUPIDITY we allowed him to be unfairly demonized and ousted from power, and that we are now wailing for his return to save his ungrateful fellow citizens from the resulting chaotic mess we have since fallen into!!

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    The way out of the dilemma of high labor costs IS through high productivity, that can enable higher profits for the investors, and higher wages for the current working citizens of our country. Higher productuctivity can be achieved by training our workers more to become more skilled, and surrounding them with the high technology and capital equipment necessary to put those skills to work. In that way, we will create a workforce that is able to earn a higher wage relative to the cost of living, and improve their standard of living. The goal should be to enable our workers to enjoy a better, more fulfilling life, in the land of their ancestors, among their loved ones, contributing to the growth and prosperity of their Motherland.

    Furthermore, from a national perspective, our goal should be to produce a very good life for ALL of our people, and NOT TO PRODUCE UNLIMITED PROFITS for investors, Sri Lankan or foreign. We should have a CLEAR VISION and UNDERSTANDING of our goals and when what we have is ENOUGH! Wit hour such an understanding of what is good enough for us, we could in time transform our beautiful island into an unlivable highly industrialization place like Hong Kong!

    Furthermore, the solution IS NOT to import cheapest foreign workers to replace the high cost citizen workers of our country, nor is it to outsource the work to a foreign country with cheaper labor costs.

    If we import cheap foreigners just because either our labor costs are high, or we do not have workers with the necessary skills, we will convert our country into a land populated by foreigners, who will inevitably become citizens, swamp the local population, and will inherit the country replacing us.

    Furthermore, as we displace current citizens by importing cheap workers, our people will be forced to flee abroad to earn a better living. That accelerates the replacement of the current population with foreigners and Sri Lanka eill cease to be the land inhabited by the descendents of our Sinhala ancestors.

    Again I ask, WHAT IS OUR NATIONAL GOAL?? Is it to replace ourselves in this land, or to devise the solutions to enable our people and our descendents to live in this blessed land of the Sinhala People in perpetuity??

    Judging from its current activitirs, the Yamapalana GOSL seems to be hellbent on replacing the Sinhala Buddhist people of Sri Lanka with imported foreigners and Co vets to minority religions.

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