If the country is to be saved…
Posted on July 19th, 2018

Prof. N.A. de S. Amaratunga

This government is about the worse we had since independence. There is not a single area where the government has not failed. None of the promises made before the election in 2015  has been fulfilled. Leaving aside those promises what is worse is that the government had failed even to maintain the standards achieved by the previous government. Instead the government, like a standing fool, has helplessly watched  the country slide downhill, unable to act. One could blame the people for voting into power a government made of parts which are not functional. The previous regime fell for two reasons; cost of living which affected the poor and exaggerated accusations of corruption which influenced the educated. The voters however, have brought in a much worse government into power, worse in every respect including cost of living and corruption. The people after much suffering may have realized their folly and must have learn a lesson as shown by the unprecedented defeat the SLFP and also the UNP suffered at the LG polls on the 10th of February 2018.

This government has no time to look into people’s problems. It has so many other problems that it has no time for the people.  Most of the time it is trying to sort out its inter-party and intra-party conflicts, power struggles, and no-confidence motions. When it is not doing that it is busy trying to fabricate legal cases against the opposition and preempt its leaders developing into potential presidential/prime ministerial candidates. Or  they are busy trying to find ways and means of postponing elections. And when they are not doing that they are busy trying to please the western powers, the regional power and the Tamil separatists by implementing the UNHRC Resolution proposals. And then they have to try and hide Arjuna Mahendran and also protect the Central Bank robbers who are entrenched in the government. And when the government is not doing any of the above it is traveling abroad.

This government seems to be determined to ruin the country’s economy. The government  should have set up a good team of economists who have a proven record and who are capable of developing a national economy which would ensure that people are not overburdened, the agricultural sector is well looked after so that we could be self sufficient in food, the local industry is protected so that there is certain amount of industrial growth, and achieve a reasonable balance in exports and imports. This kind of national economic policies are abhorred by this government’s masters, the western powers and their tool, the IMF. So, instead what the government has done is to employ economic advisers  who have no originality but who has the ability to do the bidding of the  IMF.  This was no blunder or mistake on the part of the government, it was obeying orders of its masters. Readers who are familiar with the works of John Perkins and his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” would know how the IMF ruined the economy of Philippine and several other countries.

The other such deliberate evil act of this government was the appointment of a set of thieves to head the  Central Bank and then keep its doors open. Government made sure that the thieves were given every opportunity to rob the Bank and get out without getting caught. In fact the government wanted to allow the robber another go at it. The Central Bank lost about ten billion which is enough money to build a few harbours, airports and highways. The two Economic Hit Men; the IMF and the Bank Robber have cleaned up our coffers and we may never recover.

The disaster that has struck our economy could be gauged by comparing the status of the economy in 2014 with that after 2015. The economy in 2014 according to every parameter was on a sound footing and was expected to reach middle income bracket soon. The GDP in 2014 was 5.8 compared to 4.5 in 2016. Foreign Direct Investments was US$ million 939.3 in 2012 – 2014 compared to US$ million 763.4 in 2015 – 2017. External Assets in Aug.2014 was US$ Mn.10684  which has come down to US$ Mn. 8993  in Jul.2017.  The Govt. debt as a percentage of the GDP was 68.7 in 2012 which has increased to 79.3 in 2016. It could be seen that the economy under the present government has performed poorly. Considering the fact that the European Union and the West are the best buyers of our products and the fact that the government has won them over to their side one would expect the economy to do better and the new found friends to help us to achieve rapid growth. Leave alone rapid growth the west could not prevent our economy nosediving. This is exactly what the West wants. Obviously it does not want us to be economically independent.

The government seems to be willingly taking the country deeper into the mire of economic dependence. It has just got the green light from the High Courts to go ahead with the proposed Active Liability Management Bill which would enable the government to borrow up to USD one trillion. The Bill will remove the controls and restrains that prudent governments strictly adhere to. Unless the government is planning to go on a borrowing frenzy it wouldn’t think of enacting such crazy laws. Sri Lanka’s indebtedness in all probability would increase in leaps and bounds in the coming months and it could lead to financial insolvency and eventually would result in compromising the country’s sovereignty. Sri Lanka is already in the grip of western powers. It interferes in the country’s internal affairs at will. Economic dependence would tighten the noose that was placed round the country’s neck with the cosponsoring of the UNHRC Resolution 30/1. Our slavery started with that outrageous act of the government; cosponsoring a UN resolution against its own country, first time it has happened in the history of the UN..

Thus the sovereignty of our country is going to be grossly violated by a two pronged attack by the western powers;  creating a dependent economy characterized by heavy indebtedness and forcing the country to abide by the UNHRC Resolution with all its recommendations.  The government probably agreed to cosponsor this treacherous Resolution hoping the western countries, which had helped it come to power, would further help it to develop the economy as well. The West did the opposite. However, all this goes to prove the naivety of the government, it should have known that the West is interested  only in pursuing its own agenda as its past colonial record shows, and Sri Lanka’s importance to them is nothing else but its strategic position in the Indian Ocean. They wanted Sr Lanka to be economically dependent on them so that it will do their bidding. This they have achieved thanks to the slavish government.  The weak and dependent economy and the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 would enable the western powers to take a firm grip of Sri Lanka by its neck and use it in its geopolitical agenda.

Every time the UNHRC meets the implementation of its proposals is thoroughly reviewed and we are prodded to move faster.  At the recent meeting they expressed in no uncertain terms their dissatisfaction about the progress Sri lankan government has made and insisted on the full implementation of the Resolution including the appointment of a hybrid court (The Island – 22.03.2018).  This Resolution employs the latest weapon that western powers use to bludgeon third world countries and sometimes also China and Russia  into submission; allegations of human rights violations during internal conflicts. Its clauses  have several proposals which if implemented would make us a vassal state of the Western powers. These proposals called on Sri Lanka to enact a bill on  Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance” which the government hurriedly did on the 7th March 2018 under cover of the gloom that descended on the country due to communal violence.  Further the government has recently  appointed people who openly support the LTTE at Geneva to  The Office of the Missing Persons”. Some more bills are in the pipe line; Office for Reparation” which has been drafted and ready, The Truth Seeking Commission”,  Special Court with Independent Counsel” and the act which makes all these collectively much worse;  Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act”. These laws would enable anybody from anywhere in the world to take action against any of our war heroes and get them extradited for kangaroo trial.

Moreover, the draft Constitution which was presented to the parliament, though it has unitary pretensions, obviously is designed to grant federal powers to the provinces. Constitution reforms is also strongly recommended by the UNHRC Resolution. At every Geneva meeting the government is reminded of the need to carry out constitutional changes if it is to ensure post-conflict communal reconciliation. Least said about the reconciliation that could be achieved by a federal constitution is best. When all these laws come into effect and commissions and counsel are appointed, which going by past record  would in all probability comprise  LTTE sympathizers, it could be said that the Western powers, via their obedient servant the UNHRC would be able to wield enormous power over Sri Lanka. People of this country would have no sovereignty of their own to talk about.

How did the government come to this pathetic state? A leader desperate for an election victory, a common candidate with a private vendetta,  the Western powers with a geopolitical agenda and Tamils with a separatist agenda got together and plotted to oust the previous regime. It can be seen this alliance in the first instance, has come together to solve their own problems and  not  the country’s problems. The desperate leader went all out to align the country with the Western powers hoping they would help to develop the economy. He did his utmost to please the West, even castigating China and stopping their huge projects. Obviously the plan has not worked and the gang is caught by their necks. We don’t mind if it is their necks but the country is getting suffocated and would soon be no more the Sri Lanka that all of us love.

The desperate leader ironically had to go on bended knees to China and start their projects on  terms favourable to them. This shows that those in charge of the government lack an understanding of the world economic situation and a vision of the emerging global power polarization. In their eagerness to please the west they rushed to denigrate China, a country which has been a true friend to Sri Lanka not only in the economic sphere but also at the UN going out of its way to support us when the western powers were gunning for us. Further, unlike the western powers, China does not interfere in our internal affairs and preach us on human rights and constitution making. The previous government, whatever its faults may be, understood this aspect of world politics and adopted their foreign policy accordingly. Thus it could control external interference and conduct the war to a conclusion and thereafter undertake a massive development project with unprecedented Chinese assistance. This government on the other hand antagonized China to please the west and got nothing in return except a nosediving economy not to mention a UNHRC Resolution against Sri Lanka.

What baffles us, leaving aside the slavish capitulation to please the West who helped them to come to power, is the government’s refusal to capitalize on the opportunity created by the revelations made by Lord Naseby. At the recent meeting of the UNHRC  in Geneva  the Sri Lankan delegation, instead of making use of Lord Naseby’s findings to defend their country, had reaffirmed the government’s commitment to implement the recommendations of the Resolution. Lord Naseby had revealed the difficulty he faced in digging out the  evidence which proves  our army had not committed war crimes. Most of the British High Commission war time dispatches have been redacted according to Lord Naseby. All this shows that Britain is not interested in finding out the truth but is doing its utmost to conceal it and our government strangely is colluding with Britain in this dastardly plot. No doubt it would be most embarrassing to the government to challenge a resolution it had cosponsored. Yet the people would expect it to eat humble pie for the sake of the country. The government has the opportunity to clear Sri Lanka’s good name and  of the accusation of war crimes. Any other government would grab the opportunity and go to any length to clear country’s good name. This government though servile to the West is not so naive as to miss this opportunity to do some good service to the country and score points in the eyes of the voters when elections are around the corner. There has to be a good reason for the government to down play the importance of Lord Naseby’s findings, as its spokesmen did at media conferences and then repeatedly reaffirm its commitment to the Resolution at Geneva.

Obviously the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 must be useful to the government as it is to the West. For one thing the Resolution could be kept in reserve as a deterrent against the previous regime’s leaders who prosecuted the war. It could be used for instance to stop them from contesting future elections.  Further as the government will have to depend very much on the Tamil vote in the coming elections  it cannot antagonize the TNA by not implementing the recommendations of the Resolution. Government has started to persecute the war heroes, several top notch officers of the armed forces have been taken into custody. The CID has started questioning the officers who were attached to the most important bases which played a crucial and decisive role in the war against the LTTE in the North. The TNA which supports the government has to be kept happy. Their support at a presidential election could  be decisive.

Mr Neville Laduwahetti writing in The Island on 21.03.2014 says If the country is to be saved, those who carry the banner of good governance need to come out of hiding and stand on the bridge as well.” He says Mr Nihal Jayamanne the eminent lawyer has already come over to stand on the bridge. So has Dr.Upul Wjeyewardena as he says in his excellent letter in The Island on 23.03.2018. The country needs as many as possible of such intellectual giants on the bridge if the country is to be saved.

Prof. N.A. de S. Amaratunga

2 Responses to “If the country is to be saved…”

  1. Christie Says:

    The country will be fully pledged Indian Colony.

  2. Nimal Says:

    Today is a very busy day for me and let me put my 2 cents here.
    If we genuinely wants to save the country the get the people and the system that bring us relief and usher the highest standards that is enjoyed in countries like UK by getting the colonial types back.It might take 70 years to change the demented culture we have built up over 70 years since the so called independence since 1948.
    I am glad that the Zimbabweans wants the white settlers to remain and get their confiscated land back.Inspite of the injustices the white people done on the natives they developed the country to be one of the best in Africa and they could regain that was lost, together with the indigenous people on EQUAL TERMS where everyone has a chance to make a decent living.

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