WHAT WAS JAISHANKAR’s AGENDA? SRI LANKA ECONOMIC RECOVERY FROM MINUS 3.9% (2020) TO POSITIVE 3.3% (2021) SHOULD NOT BE TARNISHED WITH FAILURE TO SCRAP 13A
Posted on January 9th, 2021

By M D P DISSANAYAKE

1.PRESS CONFERENCE OUTBURSTS BY INDIAN MINISTER:

The BJP  government need to recognize  the rights of  majority Sinhalaese in the same spirit as they recognize the   rights of Hindus of India. Compared with the Congress Party, it is hoped BJP will review its foreign policy in future dealings with the new Rajapakse Regime. . 

The recent visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Hon Jaishankar should be seen in the light of above changes in approach by the Indian government.   However, during  the press conference Mr Jaishankar touched on the sensitive issue of principles underlining the 13A, expressing India’s commitment for the full implementation  with further devolutions to Tamils. 

It would be foolish for the Sinhalese to expect  that the visiting Minister should have ideally  extended  an olive branch to Sinhalese during his visit,  to address  the  issue of so called  minority rights or 13A.  .  Unlike some of Sri Lankan Ministers ( Mangala Samaraweera, Eran Wickremaratne, Jayampathy Wickremaratne,  former Opposition Leader Sambandan )and Prime Ministers ( Ranil Wickremasinghe) and President (  Maithreepala Sirisena) who condemn Sri Lanka on foreign soil, we have not witnessed any foreign dignitaries condemning their own country whilst visiting Sri Lanka. 

The visiting Minister not only met with Sinhala Leaders, including the current Sinhalese Opposition Leader, he also had closed meetings with Tamil and Muslim leaders who advocate disintegration of Sri Lanka.

The visiting Ministers comments during the press conference relating to the 13A should and must not be ignored.  The visiting Minister was trying to walk on the eggs very diplomatically, without offending Indian Tamils in India, Tamils in Sri Lanka and Tamils in the world.

But  Jaishankar has touched on an extremely sensitive issue  and has offended the majority Sinhalese.  It is now clear, his primary motive of the trip  had nothing to do with assisting Sri Lanka with Covid injections made in India.  His visit had nothing to do with the extension of economic co-operation between the two nations.  But his visit has the unique features of discussing the Tamils rights  as a prelude to the new draft constitution.   This was his Agenda even before he left India, other issues were painted to make it very glossy,   camouflage  in order to appease  ( or fool )Sinhalese.

Even though we do not endorse  the act of one courageous Sailor and an astrologer Wijemini Vijitha Rohana  on 30 July 1987, it should be remembered that Sinhalese are not fools.

2. HARD ROAD TO ECONOMIC RECOVERY:

2020 was an extremely bad year for Sri Lanka.  Its economy contracted by 3.9%. But unprecedented macro  and micro economic reforms carried out by the President  and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka did apply  breaks on the downward trend.   According to World Bank Global Outlook Report,   Sri Lanka is projected to achieve  a turnaround of  massive 7.2% GDP growth ( negative  3.9 plus positive 3.3) in 2021. The world bank projections for  2021   far exceed the GDP % of  2017 and 2018, which were 3.6% and 3.3%.  Larger economies like India is projected to continue negative growth into 2021.

Large volume of currency notes were printed by the current -government, mainly to meet the demands of cash distribution of Rs 5,000 each for covid  relief period.   If Rs 25,000 had been paid as suggested by the so-called Clayton Economic Graduate of London School of Economics,  Mr Sajith Premadasa, the economy would have been ruined for many more years.

CONCLUSION:

United Nations Human Right Council is to take up the issue of Tamils Rights once again in March  this year. Our unpatriotic Tamil Leaders are already sharpening knives.  The Indian External Affairs Minister’s comments during his visit underscore the perpetual tension between Sinhalese and Tamils, attempting to force the hands of new Leadership of Sri Lanka.  India must stop trying to get a leverage on Sri Lanka .

The Sri Lankan government need to affirm that there will be no room for any features similar to 13A  in the   proposed  draft constitution.  The government must issue these policy directives to the Romesh de Silva panel of experts. In the interim 21A should be brought in to scrap 13A.

The Rajapakse Regime is capable of running parallel two Agenda’s simultaneously, namely economy and non-devolution of power.  We are over-governed, not only Sri Lanka should scrap outdated Circulars, Administrative and Financial Regulations, it must also do away with excessive administrative institutions, such as Governors, Chief Ministers, Provincial Councils.    The local governments and municipal councils are adequate for  Sri Lanka, directly supervised by the central government. Lets run a lean and mean country, no fat-meat only!

The projected economic recovery is a good news, but failure to scrap 13A will be a bad news for  the government. 

Bad news spread faster than good news!

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