Development needs of Sri Lanka – Lessons we can learn from other countries
Posted on July 23rd, 2010

Gumperaliya

Now that the President has reiterated the need to Develop the country, it is important to understand the term ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-DevelopmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. Is development the improvement of the material status of the people or is it more than that.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In USA unbridled Capitalism has held sway for a long time. It has not improved the Quality of Life for a large mass of the people.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  In the last 10-20 years the gap between the rich and the poor has become very wide in USA. The Corporations in USA give only 12 days vacation to a person for a year, and in most places of work this includes sick leave.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  In Italy it is 44 days. Most of the other developed countries have more vacation days per year than USA.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The former President George W. Bush inherited a surplus economy and used the money to give large tax breaks to the very wealthy and to launch a war on Iraq based on a lie. Net result is he handed over the economy with a very large deficit to President Obama.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ USA has a very high rate of crime with the highest incarceration rate in the world. This is since some of the States have handed over the prisons to the private sector. They get paid on the number of prisoners they hold – so there is an incentive for them to make sure the prison population is kept high. By contrast Canada has a good welfare scheme for the people and as a result the crime rate is low. If the money that USA spends on prisons, and police was spent on welfare there would be far less crime.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The poor have no health coverage and the insurance companies, drug companies, and hospitals make massive profits. Most of the CEOƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢S of the companies make salaries and bonuses in the $10 Million range. (Anyone interested can watch Michael MooreƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s films ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”SickoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Capitalism: A love storyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢).ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The corporations are running the country and democracy has no meaning since the corporations can pour millions of $ into the party coffers.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Obama was elected to office on the promise of health reform and it is a strange paradoxƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  that after it was done in the face of stiff opposition from the Republicans, the Democrats are now unpopular. The reason is thatƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  most of the media is owned by the corporations and they tell lie after lie to the people who believe it after a while.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In USA, the big banks have been shown up as cheap tricksters. Henry Paulson worked at Goldman Sachs and left it with $500 Million bonus and then joined the US treasury department under George W. Bush. He was the architect of the TARP fund which was tax payer money to save the Banks when they were collapsing. When the TARP money was used to save the Banks the executives in the banks gave themselves Million $ bonuses. Goldman Sachs has now been hauled up before the Congress since it has been shown that they were betting against the mortgage backed securities while encouraging clients to purchase them.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  That is how investors from abroad suffered. This is similar to the infamous Ponzi scheme by Bernie Madoff but the Madoff scheme was less offensive as it affected the locals only.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Christianity is used by the West to take over countries by destroying the existing cultural matrix which holds the society together. The Churches works hand in glove with corporations, governments and NGOs to take over countries. A belief system foreign to the country is introduced to break down the social fabric and then it is easy for the corporations to move in and take over the economy. It is easy for countries like Africa where there was no established strong religion and culture, but in countries such as India and Sri Lanka the Church has run into opposition.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ So what are the lessons for Sri Lanka from all this.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Unbridled Capitalism is as bad as Communism. When capital and the means of production are controlled by a few then the rest of the population end up as slaves to those who are in control. In Europe most of the companies are owned by the employees which is now the trend in USA too. In almost all the countries in the world, except in Brazil and USA, it is a kind of Socialism that works. Sri Lanka is called the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and we must make sure we maintain the Socialist infrastructure. Sri Lanka has survived due to a literate population who participate in democracy. The CWE did a great job in making sure the people obtained their basic needs at a reasonable price. Ranil W. dismantled what had been built up over decades obeying the dictats of the World Bank and IMF. He even wanted to privatize the water supplies and rivers. Imagine if the Corporations got hold of basic necessities in Lanka. In the end, it is proper that the State has to look after most of the fundamental needs of People, such as power, roads, police, defense, prisons, education and health care.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Investment of money in Sri Lanka. We need to be very careful as to who comes in with money to invest in businesses. As India found out, with companies like Union Carbide when there was an explosion and many people died or suffered illnesses for life, there was no compensation paid out by them to the victims families. The mining of our mineral deposits should be handled by the State. If given to outside Corporations they will come in and rape the land and extract to the maximum and devastate the environment and leave since they have no love for the country. Their greed knows no bounds and most are motivated by profit alone. We need to have strong laws in place to control these activities. Outside companies, if they do come in, should be taxed so that we take into account all the resources they use, including air, water, minerals, and the environmental damage. In USA environmental assessments are done on every project. In spite of that the BP oil disaster is a good example of how powerful corporations can dictate terms to governments.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Planting of GMO crops in Sri Lanka. Planting of GMO crops (Gene modified crops) in Sri Lanka should be not allowed unless a crop has been used in other countries and proven to be safe. In USA,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Monsanto corporation developed GMO seeds for Soy, Corn, etc.,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  have been patented. As a result smaller farmers who try to save their seed and plants have been hauled up in court and charged. Since Monsanto own the patent only they can issue the seeds which gives them a monopoly in the seed market. People such as IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Vandana Shiva have been leading the battle in India against these companies which tried to come in and patent even the Basmati rice and the Neem tree which have been used in India for over 10,000 years. The new varieties of Soy developed by Monsanto are resistant to weedicides such as Roundup. Large acreages are planted with this Soy and then the land is sprayed with Roundup which kills all the weeds. The Soy is left standing since it is resistant. No one has done proper studies to see the effects of these GMO crops on human health.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Monsanto isƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  meeting with a lot of resistance in Europe and are trying to off load them on developing countries. The greatest dangers is that even if a small field is planted with the GMO crops they can pollinate the regular crops and modify everything around them since the pollen is carried by wind. Anyone interested can watch a video on the subject called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Food IncƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ which shows the large scale farming in USA, what it has done to the environment, and how it has emaciated the small farmer.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Freedom of speech is very important. There should be public channels without commercials for educational programs for the people. In Sri Lanka most of the media is owned by two groups,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  MaharajaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s and Ranil WƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢sƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  family. It is important to break up monopolies and open up the media to the public to view the best programs in the world. Maharajahs import cheap US and Indian movies for the tv. It is important to show and create movies about the Sinhala culture so that the younger generation do not try to imitate the trashy side of culture in the West. In a predominantly Sinhala Buddhist culture there must be channels which cater to our cultural needs.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ There need to be stringent banking and investment regulations. There should be an Authority to over see all the Banking activities including investment banks so that what happened with ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Golden KeyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ does not repeat it self again. USA recently passed such laws in Congress.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Bring in anti conversion laws to prevent conversion by economic means and coercion. Protect Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s children from the Pedophiles of the Catholic Church and also the Pedophile & Gay tourists who visit Sri Lanka for sex holidays. The poor in Sri Lanka convert to Catholicism due to economic pressures and jobs in the private sector. Most of the jobs in the Sri Lanka private sector are given only to Christians and Catholics. It may also beƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  because the Christians and the Catholics obtain a good English education unlike our Sinhala only education.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The rule of law must prevail for all. Unless the same rule of law prevails for all, there will be no order in the society.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Also, right now the Muslim men can marry more than one woman so they have large numbers of children and are multiplying rapidly. The Tamils have Thesavalami law which prevents anyone other than a Tamil from buying land in the North and East. However Tamils are free to buy land any where in Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Top Class Free education must be brought into the main stream. We have fallen so far behind during the last 30 years of mismanagement by successive GoSLs. English must gain better status if we are to remain competitive in the global economy. Without English students cannot access the latest findings in Medicine, Engineering, Computer Science etc. All the students must be computer literate. At the same time we must start teaching history again to ensure the younger generation know our great history. Ranil W and Chandrika stopped the teaching of LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s history in schools.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Understanding of the spiritual laws or Kamma laws. With the Buddhist culture we have it should be easy for people to understand the true nature of the visible universe. As the Buddha clearly pointed out everything around us is constantly changing. That is why he called it ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The IllusionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. We must act taking into account the spiritual or Kammic laws instead of short term immediate gain which I call the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-shark mentalityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. Most of the people who decide foreign policy of various countries seem to have this mentality. USA has been following this policy for a long time. There is a book called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-OverthrowƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ by Stephen Kinzer which studies US foreign policy over the last 100 years. Every single negative action of USA backfired on USA with really bad consequences.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  This is how Kamma acts. We can learn from these and make sure the Governance of Sri Lanka is always based on moral, ethical policies which look carefully at the long term consequences for country, the environment as well as the world and our neighbors. Buddha prohibited certain types of activities such as sale of intoxicating substances (including alcohol), sale of arms, killing animals, dishonest dealings, etc. If Governments follow some of these simple rules the world would be a much better place. The Buddha laid down principles for good Governance. Anyone interested could look it up in ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-What the Buddha TaughtƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ by Dr. Walpola Rahula page 85 under Duties of the King. There are good examples of this good Governance as when King Asoka ruled India, the land over flowed with milk and honey. Prosperity follows peace and peace follows when the country is governed justly.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In closing I wish to point out that the Tamil diaspora are still trying to propagate an untruth by use of money to influence UN and US congressman. It will never succeed since truth always wins. In 2000 I wrote an article in the Lanka web ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The Myth about EelaamƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ which predicted that Prabhakaran will meet his end like Hitler did. This was at the height of their power when Ranil W and others were working hand in glove with the Norwegians to divide the country. As predicted the events came to pass. When leaders of the world begin to realize these Kamma laws then peace will begin to come to earth. “Dhammo bhave rakkati dhamma chari”.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

2 Responses to “Development needs of Sri Lanka – Lessons we can learn from other countries”

  1. Andare Says:

    This is an excellent article. People should heed the good advice given. It is interesting to note that in European companies there is at least 51% representation by the employees on the company boards which prevents the type of large bonus and salary payments to CEO and Presidents which happens in USA. Even though Germany was practically leveled after the World War II today they are one of the strongest economies. While in USA with no controls the CEOs have extracted the maximum profits for them selves at the expense of the companies. The European companies are doing well even though they look after their employees much better compared to the US companies who have had to keep on moving their production to China and India to maintain the profits so that the CEOs can pay them selves fat bonuses.

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    This is good reading material for those planning Economic Development in Lanka. Many lessons can be learnt from abroad and from our own past. Those who hold the money, land, businesses & media, if lacking in ethics, can ruin an entire country in a short time. We must hold on to our core values of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam & Christianity, of respecting precious human life,
    and all other living things, wherever possible. Then we will truly win, and be proud of our win. Remain Non-aligned as a country, give help & receive help, wherever possible.

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