NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE ECONOMY OF SRI LANKA
Posted on September 10th, 2019

BY EDWARD THEOPHILUS

The biggest mistake done by the yahapalana regime was neglecting the economy and national security and these two vital areas have clearly understood by Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa.  The current unofficial presidential campaign shows that except Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, all other buoyant presidential candidates are reluctant to talk about the national security and voters especially Sinhala voters doubt about these presidential hopefuls, why they are reluctant to talk about the national security and why they are behaving like stupids without ensuring the national security.  If these presidential hopefuls are reluctant to talk about the national security people/voters of the country doubt whether they love to the country. Are there powerful people behind them against the national security of Sri Lanka is an unresolved question to voters when compared to Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa and many have a strong question whether these presidential hopefuls talking for money than working for the country. Therefore, people have strong confidence in Mr. Rajapaksa’s policies as he practically demonstrated his abilities and the strength of policy implementation process during the Rajapaksa regime. 

Yahapalana advocates persistent with a utopian state model, which was/is believed to achieve many irrelevant things in the country, but ordinary people of the country are not interested in such targets as they would not deliver caress benefits to them.  The best example for this is the behaviour of Lakehouse publications, which are publishing many irrelevant matters and people who are intending to vote for candidates opposite Mr. Gotabaya will change the mind not to vote for candidates against Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Lakehouse publications make too many lies to the country like Arjuna behaved in 1970s. The other real trend in Sri Lanka is that Sinhala people of the country is uniting with Mr. Rajapaksa as the yahapalana advocates attempted to divide the nation for political purposes and minor communities such as Tamil and Muslim in the country supported to this division of Sinhala people as it bolsters them to gain unreasonable advantages from politics and mess-ups the country.  Yahapalana advocates love messing the country focusing on unnecessary issues than achieving what people needs from firmed policies on the economy and the national security would be a hindrance to them making money and other benefits from foreign NGOs.  The real experience in the country during the past century indicated that political parties openly talked about unimportant issues but people who did not listen to such useless points of armchair criticism. People want active solutions for the issues, which are the economy and national security.

The economy and national security is the priority of all countries in the world including the USA, China, Russia, India, Europe, Japan and South Korea and others.  If any candidate ignores the two vital areas voters in Sri Lanka will regard, she/he is not suitable to be president and voting for such a candidate would be wasting votes.  Thinking in this line Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is in front.

The right-wing politicians publicly expressed that they will convert Sri Lanka to a Singapore without understanding the realities.  The main difference between Sri Lanka and Singapore is the size of the population in each country.  Sri Lanka has 22 million population, which is double compared to Singapore, where has a strong market surrounding countries with a small population.  If Sri Lanka’s population is less than 10 million like in Singapore, the per capita income of Sri Lanka would have the US $ 12000 per year and such a situation is theoretically developed status with potential to a higher level of growth.  The other best example is the size of Sri Lanka’s economy is equivalent to New Zealand but people of Sri Lanka do not economically enjoy people like in NZ because of the higher population of Sri Lanka naturally prevent the economic benefits of people.  Late 1950s Sri Lanka identified issues about the size population, the rate of population growth and skills related issues, but the proposed plans to gradually resolve the issues were not successfully implemented due to misguided policies of so-called left politicians’ attitudes or beliefs. Karl Marx would have told a person born with one mouth and two hands it is not practical in modern technologically advanced states.  Although the idea of Marx was relevant to his era it is completely irrelevant to the modern era. Now Sri Lanka is facing a serious issue of an aging population and without the ability to deal with related issues.

The liberal economic policies introduced in 1978 identified the prime issue of opening the economy, despite the requirement of essential disciplines for liberal policies and the economic advocates failed to develop a regulatory framework for the stability of the country. The national security should have given priority since the early 1980s and the benefits of market economic policy expanded only to regional Sri Lanka with a higher rate of inflation created by government spending, which helped to give a reasonable price to products and services of rural people.  The regime of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa honestly attempted to tackle issues facing with terrorism.  During the regime of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa did many things but unable to control population, governance-related issues and rapid modernization consistent with technology.  The Rajapaksa regime honestly attempted to expand the economic development to the rural area, however, it was failed to convince people that the government policy was to refocus economy to attract rural people after defeating the terrorism.  When the Rajapaksa regime was defeated in 2015, the yahapalana people did not know what to do and how to do.  The advocates of yahapalana behaved like ladies who were crying for money consuming local alcohol in funeral houses without understanding the economic and security related issues. What should do to get out of the issues?  In this background, policy-makers in Sri Lanka need lateral thinking to find solutions and I would like to mention Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa to use his team to develop policies and procedures for the following areas.

Sri Lanka needs developing own economic system, which is not aligning to any country and the market of all countries USA, China, India, Russia, Europe and all other countries of the world are vital to make a strong export economy.  There is an intensive competition to capture the market and the competition between the USA and China gain leadership of the world influences forces Sri Lanka to stay non-align stand as the country shouldn’t play politics with these countries.  Managed capitalism should be the prime strategy, which helps everyone to be rich if they work hard and internationally competitive.  There is no doubt that Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has good economic and security policies, however, I like to point out vital areas that should be worthwhile considering.

Modernization must be the slogan, catchphrase or motto of the new government.  Modernization should expand to all activities including security, economic, social and cultural activities concentrating on changing the attitudes of people, focusing on creating a responsible community for all activities of the country. People of Sri Lanka are highly irresponsible and they are used to pass the bug but the country needs a disciplined society.  The best example for this is Japan where had been implemented modernization since Meiji restoration and modernization entirely changed the attitudes of Japanese people.  The world economic forecast doesn’t look bright as IMF forecasted that the annual growth rate would be 3% and many western countries may go to a global recession and Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa might not able to do all what people are expecting, he must show he is capable of doing not like Mr. Sajith Premadasa playing double game and talking bullshit in front of an educated society.                                             

  • Enhancement of productivity.  The productivity of employees in the Public and Private sectors are lower and while increasing pay, productivity enhancement must be used as a part of life. Employees of Sri Lanka are highly satisfied with the increase in monetary wages than real wages and it needs policy development for productivity enhancement and increases in real wages based on the productivity of employees
  • Enhancement of Product Quality.  This is the biggest challenge.  No body like to give hard earned money for low quality products and services as what happened during the SLFP regime from 1956.  Encourage people to produce quality products and services using technology.
  •  Development of product and service quality.   Product development and product quality development are essential factors in export development.  This is not only for the industrial area, but it should be in all areas including social, cultural and religious areas, where quite behind and Sri Lanka has a difficult to attract tourists and the market because of current weaknesses.
  • Enhancement of competitiveness. Why Sri Lanka has a difficulty to attract export market because products of Sri Lanka are not competitive.  For this purpose, Sri Lanka needs learning many advises from China and working with China to enhance the competitiveness of products and services.  We can see that employees wearing clean suites, but they no competitiveness like the dress.  This is a problem with attitudes.
  • Expansion of share ownership of the country creating regional stock markets in all districts and combine value of regional markets should list in CSE.  This will boost employment opportunities and improve the stock ownership of rural people in a process of converting rural poor to be wealthier. The policy will create social democracy in the country.  No capital should be involved in public companies, but the government must observe the operations and provide advice in various ways.  This type of program supports to promote products and services development and marketing related activities.  It would give ownership of the rural economy to rural people without government spending.  This program would create more than one million new jobs to the country and stop sending women to the middle east.
  • Expanding of the ownership of public enterprises offering shares of public corporations to rural people through above mentioned public companies. A Considerable percentage of shares of public companies should give to foreigners such as people in China, India, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, Russia, and other countries.  This will ensure gaining company management skills by regional people, who will become owners of the wealth of Sri Lanka.  The action improves the foreign exchange earnings by US $10 billion and radically increase in foreign assets improving Sri Lanka’s Rupee value to US 0.50 cents. And reduce government spending and create an excess budget. (I will write further on how to change the economy)

One Response to “NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE ECONOMY OF SRI LANKA”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    PREVENTING ENCROACHMENT of Sri Lanka’s TERRITORIAL and ECONOMIC ZONE waters by Indian Trawlers is an IMPORTANT ASPECT of not only PRESERVING Sri Lanka’s Sovereignty, but also PROTECTING THE LIVELIHOOD of its citizens.

    Here is a RARE news article of Indian Origin that SUPPORTS that view!

    ………………………….
    India’s Reach in Maritime Domain Awareness: A Hit or Miss for Sri Lanka?

    Sept 12 (Diplomat) Achieving maritime security is a top goal of any country with access to the sea and largely dependent on the seas for international trade and commerce. For such countries, securing vital sea lanes of communication is both a strategic and an economic interest of utmost importance.

    India’s Navy has grown in both size and capabilities since the late 1990s and is the only Navy with a blue water capability in South Asia. As India’s modernization efforts have persisted, there has been increased Indian involvement in Maritime domain awareness (MDA) with Indian technological assistance reaching different parts of the Indian Ocean region. Today, growing skepticism of multilateralism, regionalism, anti-globalization sentiments and nation’s self-first attitudes are hampering security cooperation.

    Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) has been a bone of contention between India and Sri Lanka, souring otherwise cordial relations. Due to fears of Indian hegemonic designs, countries such as Sri Lanka are cautious when engaging India for assistance in Maritime security.

    Encroachment of Tamil Nadu trawlers into Sri Lankan waters by trespassing the International maritime boundary line (IMBL) is a serious threat to Sri Lanka and a continuous menace. Reportedly, IUU fishing in Sri Lankan waters by Tamil Nadu trawlers has caused direct losses for Sri Lanka between rupees ($32.3 to $115.4 million) per year.

    Sri Lanka’s Fisheries (Regulation of Foreign Fishing Boats) Act No 59 of 1979, along with its amendments, provides the legal framework for imposing penalties on the offenders and perpetrators.

    Although activists, such as Thiyagaraj Waradas have been vocal about regular arrests and prosecutions under the act, deterrence through implementing law and order is only one side of the coin.

    Tamil Nadu Trawlers engage in IUU because they have exhausted fishing stocks on their side of the IMBL. In order to divert and redirect mechanized bottom trawling to other forms of income, the Indian government should provide alternative incentives to Tamil Nadu fishermen.

    Therefore the Union Government subsidies to Tamil Nadu Fishing Sector are important reforms to be implemented. In order to deter IUU, the Sri Lankan Navy must step up with regular patrols and arrests for which maritime domain awareness and accurate real time reporting is a necessity.

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