The Two Faces of Sri Lanka
Posted on November 29th, 2011


ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ MOST WRITERS and commenters on this website cannot be faulted when it comes to their response to the issues of Sri Lankan sovereignty and its peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s arduous and successful fight against Tamil terrorism. What is disappointing however is how quickly the clarity, understanding and plain common sense displayed here melts away when the topic changes to the equally important issue of national development.

This can be seen on two recent areas discussed on Lankaweb: economics and road construction.

SRI LANKA stands on the cusp of prosperity. This will no doubt take the form of a unique Sri Lankan flavour of Western style capitalism tinged with Asian social policies. There will be a debate amongst the populace, and upon considering the various developmental modes and the past actions of those that advocate each one, they will decide whether they and their familiesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ best interests are served by the SLFP or the UNP models. And this is how it should be.

What is concerning is that many esteemed writers on these pages are taking the view that hard-left socialism, under any one of the various guises and trendy memes it has adopted since the fall of communism, should be part of the solution. This is patently false, and dangerous. Examples abound of countries which have cast aside the oppressive yoke of statism and socialism, and found the freedom of economic prosperity as a direct result. I need only mention one word to prove my point: China. Examples abound too of countries that have gone the other way, from riches to depravity, when capitalism was jettisoned and statist Marxism adopted. Again, one word is enough: Zimbabwe.

Many of those who write against capitalism fail to show any understanding of that which they denigrate, and fail to grasp the economic reality in which they live. No economic and political system has done more to advance humanity and reduce poverty than capitalism. People often put up the straw man that there are hundreds of millions of beggars in our giant neighbour to the north. That conveniently hides the fact that as one commenter astutely said on the Cross Talk program: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-poverty is the default position of humanity.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Capitalism lifts people out of poverty one group at a time, while socialism keeps everyone equally poor, hungry, sick, and oppressed.

It was not capitalism which brought the peripheral European countries ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” known collectively as the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-PIIGSƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” to their knees. Rather, it was a spending habit which these countries were unable to kick. A bloated public sector and low productivity meant successive governments had to borrow ever more vast sums to maintain the peoplesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ standard of living. They were not capable of paying back this money, but were able to conceal that behind the prestige of the Euro. Once the truth was realised, their economies went into free-fall.

True capitalism would have let these countries collapse under the weight of their own debts, devalue their currencies and then export their way to prosperity. But the Euro structure on which they rely prevents such an option ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” unless they leave, which many advocate. Rather than doing this, Greece has been forced to accept loans from the only source willing and able to provide it ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” the hardworking Germans ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” but this has been on condition of much needed spending cuts, which neednƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t have been so severe or extensive if Greece either had its own currency or had been more responsible in the boom years.

Responding to this dire situation, which is not due to capitalism in any way or form, some advocate what is cheerfully called the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Third Way,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ when this is just a repackaging of Marxism. Wishful thinking and a list of Kumbaya social justice demands does not make a coherent or practical system of economic and political governance. Most tellingly of all, the hints of racism running through a lot of this makes it little more than third world gobbledygook, not fit for consumption.

One commenter sees this as an opportunity to return to the old Sri Lanka, pre-colonialism, when everything was communal from the roads to the babies. It was exactly that primitive way of life which brought conquerors to the country. And living like monkeys with shared females and children in mud huts really is something to be ashamed of, rather than bizarrely praised.

THE RECENT opening of the Southern Expressway is a laudable achievement for this country, and particularly for this government. There are many problems which Sri Lanka must address, but infrastructure such as transport networks are long overdue and will serve a dual purpose: improving the economy and bringing people closer together. I await the completion of the highways to Jaffna and Trincomalee so that we can truly be a connected country.

But even here, we have the confused spouting nonsense. One writer objects to highways on the grounds of the environmental cost. He feels that a highway built on a tiny strip of coastline on a tiny island will doom the entire planet. He complains about the price of petrol being too low ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” tell that to the average Sri Lankan ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” and invokes the evil spirit of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-climate change.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Someone else implies that owning a car is some kind of sin against nature ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” and heck, we really donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t want to anger Mother Nature, the great Gaia, do we!

Too bad they have forgotten that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-climate changeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ is just the environmental cultist loonsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ fabrication, thoroughly discredited through the ClimateGate I and II emails. Furthermore, it wasnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t the great Mother Gaia that gave humans food, water, and prosperity. We rose above the animals thanks to our own ingenuity. Before agriculture and aqueducts were invented by the human intelligence, we were at NatureƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s mercy. It is shocking that many want to return to be among the animals. I mean, I donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t care if some people want to live that way ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” thatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s their right. But to enforce it on everyone else who wants to live like decent human beings is nothing but envirofascism.

Back to the article. In answer to the monumentally laughable ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-threatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ that is the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-climate changeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ bogey-man ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” formerly ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-global warmingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ until it was shown that the globe hasnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t warmed for over 12 years, and prior to that simply called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the weatherƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ by normal people ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” a solution of equally preposterous proportions is no doubt required.

So what is the authorƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s solution? He says some enormous dyke should be built around the country ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Apparently, this will prevent tsunamis ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” but will there be multi-day trawler sized gaps in the northern part to allow the tsunamis of Tamil Nadu fishermen and illegal immigrants to carry on coming through?

The questions of who will pay for it, what it will be made of, why any other country hasnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t done something similar (eg. Japan with a long history of tsunamis), arenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t answered. Neither is the more important question addressed: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-are you serious?ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

And what of the transport system itself? Well apparently the Great Sea Wall of Sri Lanka will be the platform for a circumferential electric railway line, so everyone including tourists gets to go round and round the island! Hooray! Although theyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢d probably be dizzy after a couple of laps. Someone else chimes in that automobiles should be electric. Both writers act as if electricity comes from thin air. So unless they, like I, decide to advocate nuclear energy ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” oh whatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s that? They donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t like nuclear either? ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” then they should really be thankful for fossil fuels.

In all, the conclusion to be drawn is that there is a strange disconnect amongst many Sri Lankan-writers. On the one hand they are for sovereignty, but on the other they fail to realise that it is ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the economy, stupid!ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ which brings true independence. They seem to have a penchant for self-destruction and a proclivity towards primitiveness.

Not for themselves, naturally, sitting as they do comfortably in the West surrounded by the marvels of 21st century life, but for those back home in Sri Lanka. Highways, airports, cars, electricity? You name it, they donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t think the Sri Lankans deserve it. Of course, they donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t put their money where their mouth is and actually live the life they advocate ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” in this regard they are much like the Tamil supremacists. Hell no, for all the cultists, Eelamists, and Marxists from Stalin down to the JVP itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Do as we say, not as we do.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

They still look at the world through the substance-tinged glasses of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-flower power,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ romanticizing the policies and practices which have brought so many great nations to their end. One author feels that his article of self-righteous third world bombast hasnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t been published because of some conspiracy against the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-truthƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ he holds. So clichƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚©, but then again, socialism itself is just one big clichƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚©. Its proponents donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t realise that the hippie era ended over forty years ago, and it ainƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t coming back.

Perhaps all this is a symptom of an anti-colonialist upbringing. This is the only plausible reason I can think of to explain the blatant hypocrisy which these writers engage in. Perhaps, by resisting the emblems and systems of the West ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” highways and capitalism ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” they are in some upside-down way fighting against the conquest of their ancestors by the imperialists. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Our way was better, more humane, more just,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ they seem to say.

At a very childish level it is understandable that they take this stance, but coming from adults it is to be condemned for the reprehensible act that it is: denying the Sri Lankans the comforts and prosperity which so many other peoples ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” especially the writers ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” enjoy today.

While colonialism and empire are wrong, it must be accepted that anyone on the planet would prefer to live in the West if given the chance ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” a chance which many of these writers have gladly taken at the first opportunity. Rather than learn from and then spread the advancements of their new homes back to their homeland, they try to prevent this, and in the process openly practice a perverse reverse colonialism which seeks to bring the West down to Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s level. This reeks of immature point scoring, and should stop before further embarrassment is caused.

The lessons for them to learn are simple. First, Marxism doesnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t work and leads to oppression. Second, people want a decent and comfortable life ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” capitalism and infrastructure is how to achieve it. Fortunately most Sri Lankans understand this.

It appears that the beginning of the era of peace has been revealing. It has shown who amongst us are true patriots, standing for development; and equally, who are the two-faced peddlers of poverty, brimming with envy at Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s rise and standing in the way of wealth for the ordinary citizens. All this so they can look down upon the Sri Lankans from their first world perch in the West.

With the construction of this highway Sri Lanka has finally caught up with Malaysia … of the 1960s. We have a long way to go, so I urge the naysayers to get out of the way of progress, or risk being run over by it. Progress waits for no one! Least of all faux-patriots who actively and shamefully seek the stagnation of their brethren back home.

15 Responses to “The Two Faces of Sri Lanka”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    Courageous writing.

    Though what matters is the content not the person saying it, it would have been better had the writer written it under his own name.

    Capitalism has its ills but it is the best economic model in the world. GFCs are far too seldom to blame them on capitalism. Communism/socialism has failed badly. It has alwso failed the people politically.

    Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, North Korea, Eastern Europe, Cuba are either non-existent or struggling badly.

    China is not a mixed economy. It is a capitalist economy ruled by dictators. They got the economic system right.

    Greece must fall under any proper economic system because it boils down to “pay for what you consume”. They postponed paying for what they consumed. The current crisis is the result of that which is an essention “correction” mechanism before things get even worse. That brings clarity once again.

    Over weight, unhealthy and inefficient USA is also suffering. But thanks to these signals they are looking at how to fix it.

    The communist-capitalist hybrid also fails as it has not succeeded anywhere. Capitalism has its own checks and balances that brings everything inline. That hurt some investors. It is part of any system. Most Sri Lankans want the capitalist economic system as they see it the best.

    Some Sri Lankans genuinely desire Sri Lanka to remain their Shangri La or the ultimate holiday destination close to nature or the place where time stays still. But for most Sri Lankans it is about poverty, lack of nutrition, lack of opportunities, unrest and backwardness.

    Development should be further sped up and widespread. Environmental protection is important within the development context. It should be within development needs. President Premadasa is still remembered because of the development work he carried out.

    Uptake of capitalism was very slow among Sinhala masses that made them the poorest on average. JVP exploited this twice and will do it again. The current capitalist trend must be allowed to sweep the entire island. Capitalism is also about law and order. No moral and legal business can run without law and order. Japan is a good example of maintaining cultural traditions within a strong capitalist economy.

  2. gunarat Says:

    MahamahaRaja hides behind a bloated pen-name to defend the virtues of capitalism and attack its critics.

    First, he should have the guts to reveal his real name to allow the readers to judge his qualifications to vilify those who have critiqued capitalism and socialism with sound reasoning.

    Second, he should define his terms with clarity so that he can substantiate his defense of capitalism and contempt for socialism with solid evidence.

    Third, he should not use arguments irrelevant to the issue. How does his claim that some critics of capitalism are its beneficiaries who live in the West become pertinent to his defense of capitalism? It’s like saying that Marx shouldn’t have written Das Kapital while living in London.

  3. nandimitra Says:

    Blindly following capitalism without considering the down side of the present system is nothing but suicidal. True capitalism has improved the quality of life of a few no doubt but humanity at large is suffering. The environmental changes, increasing poverty etc are nothing but a reflection of a few benefitting at the expense of the many. It is time to rethink. Every country must adapt it self to its needs it cannot be a a mass movement. To start with there isn’t enough raw material and energy for a utopia imitating the west spread right through the world. The greatest achievement of colonialism is the slavery of the mind. Blindly imitating the west will not bring the much needed improving of living standards. Sri Lanka before JRJ was the 27th in the list in terms of quality of living today after 30 years of capitalism we are way down. People have no hope their life long desire is to emigrate. That says it all

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    I agree with Nandimitra – go for Quality of Living and not pure Capitalism. Measure the growth of a country not merely through GDP, but also through PQLI (Physical Quality of Life Index, per Dr David Morris, USA). There must be a healthy mix of govt. run Essential Services, together with free enterprise. Rural folk must be enticed into the new era of growth, mainly through the agricultural & education sectors. Pure Capitalism is as bad as the other pure -isms, and can head for a fast nose dive in developing countries, particularly small islands like Lanka.

    By the way, does Lanka have Laws in place to govern Capitalism ? It now appears that some of the giants of Capitalism are suffering from lack of such, as loopholes are used to circumvent the Law, in favor of rampant profiteering.

    Dr Gavin Karunaratne has ably addressed some issues on how to improve the Agricultural sector plus some other practical ideas. Education in Lanka must turn away from the mainly Arts Faculty eduction to a mainly Science & Tech education, to meet the needs of the country whilst creating a host of new jobs.

  5. Dilrook Says:


    PQLI has been replaced by the Human Development Index. Sri Lanka ranks better than most developing countries.

    Sri Lanka couldn’t reap the benefits of the open economy and capitalism for 3 main reasons.

    1. The war that consumed 26 years out of 34 years of open economy. Only 8 years were without war. Out of that too 6 years were leading to the war. So blaming the system for lack of development is not fair.

    If not for the open economy, Sri Lanka would have collapsed under the weight of the war. But the economy became resilient thanks to the right economic concept.

    What happened following 1971? The economy collapsed!

    2. The mix of socialism and capitalism created plenty of waste and an economic mule.
    3. The majority was very slow in their uptake of capitalism. Things are changing now.

    There should be regulations within the capitalist structure to ensure most people are not leftout.

    State enterprises are not against capitalism. Singapore and China are good examples of how state enterprises regulate the economy within the capitalist structure.

    The mix of capitalist and socialist policies without the “isms” was pursued by CBK. It was called the “thulana-arthikaya”. It died the day it was born. These are not practical. What is needed is capitalism with state enterprices also going after profit, employment, competition, etc. and appropriate market forces based regulation to stop extremism.

    Extermes of anything is bad and should be avoided.

    Dr Garvin’s suggestions only work within a capitalist economic structure. Someone should do it. Otherwise these suggestions are of no use. That someone will only do it, if it generates enough profit for that someone. No one will do anything for social welfare.

    We have the,
    1. resources
    2. labour
    3. opportunities

    But what if we lack,
    4. capital
    5. entrepreneurship.

    Nothing will happen. Entrepreuurship can be developed and sustained only within a capitalist economy.

    Capitalism is here to stay. What we argue here is not about replacing it because that will never happen. What we argue here really is should the Sinhalese embrace capitalism as Tamils, Muslims and Burgurs have, or not? Those who don’t embrace it will go extinct.

    e.g. Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, East Germany (already extinct), Cuba, North Korea facing extinction.

    China, India, USA, EU, South Korea and Japan will never go extinct as long as they follow capitalism.

    Capitalism reflects the laws of mother nature – survival of the fittest. It cannot be avoided.

    The challenge is to make all Sri Lankans among the fittest in the world. Not to try invain to change the laws of mother nature.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dilrook: I support some of what you say, but I am not for PURE CAPITALISM. Pure Capitalism leads to pure Dominance over the rest.
    Big Money calls the political shots in a Democracy, as we can see in some existing examples in the world, even with checks and balances in place. Even voting machines have been tampered with.

    Besides, I think it is the Buddhist practices over the Ages that has saved Sri Lanka and not Capitalism. Tolerance, kindness & some sympathy has been practiced throughout the Times because of the Buddhist Teachings. Capitalism is the ‘new kid in the block’ and whilst having some pluses has some negative sides too.

    After the ancient ‘Raajakariya’ we had 500 yrs of Colonial Rule, followed by the Feudal system & Democracy with all sorts of problems from the past. Now at last we seem to be at the Threshold of something better, hopefully. Therefore the rural sector may be better off with a system such as Co-operatives where rural folk can feel they are in charge of matters and have their self respect intact.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    Sometime ago I saw a great cartoon in “Pick of Punch”. There was this guy, fat, in a black suit with cigar in mouth telling his son whilst watching out of his large window the smoke stacks spewing out fumes : “Son, Power is nice, but absolute Power is even better”.
    That says it all about PURE CAPITALISM !

  8. Dilrook Says:


    Pure capitalism is not good as with anything. But 50%-50% capitalism-socialism is not the way forward. A regulated capitalist system would achieve all your concerns.

    Developing tanks, uplifting farmers, elivating the poor can be done through capitalism.

    If farming families are given organisation skills, the ability to run a business, they can start milling and/or selling their crop direct to consumers. This can compete with existing middlemen and reduce price to consumers and give more to farmers. That is classic capitalism and this is what was in practice in Sri Lanka before colonial rule.

    The state can also make investments and run them profitably. Not to save farmers or consumers but to earn profit while giving a higher price (than now) to farmers, a lower (than now) price to consumers, employing rural youth.

    Rajakariya was a collective effort but the same can be done within the capitalist model. Farmers and water uses get together and finance the upkeep of tanks. The state can organise these. This way things get done.

    Colletive work is also found in capitalist systems. Sponsorship is another thing in capitalism.

    Ancient Sri Lanka followed the capitalist model. The feudel model comes closer to capitalism than socialism.

    There was no free education, no free medical facilities, absolutely no welfare schemes, janasaviya/samurdhi, unprofitable state enterprises in ancient times. even during Ravana times Sri Lankans were very rich. Every home had golden cups. Again during Parakramabahu the Great’s time, people were very prosperous that some even resorted to wasteful practices. That was despite two foreign invasions by the Sinhela army to Burma and South India.

    The statement, “not to let a single drop of water flow to the sea without productive use” by the great king is a capitalist glorification.

    It worked well with national security too. Illegal immigrants could not establish themselves in the country as they lacked capital. Because the stete didn’t provide any welfare to the people, there was a lean state structure with low taxes. A very large proportion of tax went into building temples, irrigation systems (the main source of the economy) and defend the nation.

    Buddhism was the main theme that protected the nation and it is the main security net for Sri Lanka for the foreseable future. Despite variations, great Buddhist nations including Japan have done very well following the capitalist model.

    Education is another area capitalist thinking can do plenty of good for the country. Instead of looking at free university education was a gift, a social benefit or a “good thing”, look at it from “value for money” point of view. Get the return taxpayers deserve from their investment. Everyone will benefit. There will be more doctors, etc. for the taxpayers. Education can remain free but the oreintation changes forcing more benefits to the nation.

    Same with medical facilities.

    Now the labour centred socialist views destroy national healthcare. The capitalist view looks from the capital aspect. How finances them? People. So a people centred (not workers centred) approach is needed to maximise the return on people’s investment in healthcare.

  9. Dilrook Says:

    We need a financing structure between the stock exchange and the rural economy.

    This structure (many independent organisations) will pool farmers’ savings/borrowings and invest in mutually beneficial profit seeking enterprises. They can do milling, transporting, storage and even selling. Money generates money for farmers. This is where the money is. In strategic management it is called vertical (forward) integration.

    This is the way forward.

    The longer we delay doing this the more powerful the nation’s enemies will be. Most powerful middlemen are traitors. They must fail for the nation to succeed.

    The Grameen Bank (run for profit and more profit) concept of Bangladesh is an example of the successful application of the capitalist model to the poor. We on the other hand followed a more socialist model on one hand (state banks writing off loans) and foreign banks skimming the rest.

  10. Dilrook Says:

    The main focus of it all is we should move more towards capitalism from where we are now.

    socialism———where we are now——————>>>>>>more capitalism than now………………………………extreme capitalism (NO)

  11. Cerberus Says:

    I see the arguments for and against Capitalism. The problem with Capitalism is the concentration of wealth that takes place over time. In some countries the money has corrupted the Democratic process to such an extent that it makes Democracy a sham. People are paid money by corporations to fund their elections and when they come into power they do the bidding of the corporations not the people who actually voted for them. One of the laws which is a must in any constitution is a law that says that individuals are different from corporations. The countries that are purely Capitalistic have a very poor standard of living for a large section of the people. Corporations generally always put profit making before the welfare of the people and the country. Sri Lanka is too small to take the burden of pure Capitalism. What ever controls that are imposed on the corporations they find ways to get round them and the people suffer.

    At the end of the day if the human heart is not involved in making some of the decisions then whether it is Capitalism or Communism the people will suffer. It was the Buddhist compassion that brought in free education, free health care and free food for the poor in 1948. It is due to the high literacy in Sri Lanka that the people have a high level of awareness and it is that which saved the country over the years. Please read attached article for more information.

  12. Voice123 Says:

    Lets leave aside the terminology of capitalism and socialism and look at the reality. The reality is that Sri Lanka is a strategically located smallish island in a region of big countries and powers. A small fish in a sea of big fish. The ancient Sinhalese were pragmatic and knew this well. Thats why they developed the island into an entrepot where all these big powers could gain some benefit from the island, in trade, as a meeting place for business and ideas so that the big powers would not feel the need to conquer the island completely and destroy its culture and assets through which all benefited. It was a delicate balancing act of high diplomacy and commercial acumen, building up the economy and trade of the country to keep the big powers engaged in a positive way. After colonialism common sense seems to have departed the Sinhalese decision makers who have fallen prey to the foreign ideas of Marxism and socialism. (Deliberate sabotage by the departing British perhaps?) Socialism (as in redistribution causing financial disincentives) may be suitable to big countries like Russia and India but certainly not to a small island like Sri Lanka. Today we are paying the price for this costly mistake. The standard of living we see in the West is due to centuries of accumulated technology they gained from all cultures – not just the market mechanism and “greed” as some describe it. Development is not westernisation or colonialism! Neither is a certain measure of market relations (call it capitalism if you may). The more Sri Lanka pursues anti-development, inward looking socialist policies, the more our enemies will benefit. The international clout of the LTTE is one symptom of this stupidity. Of course nobody (except for corrupt and hypocritical politicians and their kith and kin) wants to live in a country with shonky products and substandard infrastructure, health, education etc. Thats why people are leaving in planeloads from Sri Lanka and thats why some people risk their lives to go by boat to capitalist developing countries in the ASEAN region to the West and elsewhere. It is a perfect situation for the LTTE and the separatist diaspora. They sell the capitalist dream of emigration to greener pastures and spread lies about why everyone is wanting to flee Sri Lanka (“persecution against Tamils/genocide” etc) Sri Lanka at the same time! All you people still enamoured with the communist dream/nightmare – I say to you, wake up from your colonial induced stupor and learn some lessons from our pragmatic ancestors and save the country.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    Some business organisations in the west have power sharing arrangements with the workers of that organisation. This is done through the Board of Director representation and/or shares in the company business. It is the practice in many Germany companies to do so. It is mandatory by law in German business to have worker representation. President Harry Truman who was the American president after WW II imposed these laws for German businesses. Unfortunately, as far I know, he was not allowed to impose the same laws in America.

    Good business ethics a must as SOME Capitalism is allowed. What is the cut off line for bad business ethics ? Who decides that a business has bad ethics ? What are the penalties for bad business ethics ?

    We do need a powerful Administrative Service (SLAS) back in Lanka.

  14. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dilrook :

    I read your write up later. I still maintain that small time ‘capitalism’ during ancient times and now, and big time Capitalism now are two different activities. However, I do agree that the word capitalism’ can fall into a number of spheres of commercial activity. But, we weren’t so Globalised and complicated then, and local leaders had better control over events in Lanka. Neither was Lanka such a diverse place as it is now. Besides, the odds of survival against WMDs did not need to be considered then even though Lanka was important re her ports & trading even during those days. In other words, the Games are more complex now and care needs to be taken.
    I feel better with words like ‘Co-operatives’ for the safety our relatively unsophisticated rural folk.

  15. Cerberus Says:

    Everyone who has written in favor of Capitalism should read the book “Capitalism hits the fan” by Professor Richard Wolff. Here is a brief review. In addition 2012 has been declared the year of co-operatives for the world. This is the new system which will replace the standard corporation. It is very successful in Germany and many companies in USA are switching to this model. It is called bringing Democracy to the work place. When the workers participate in decision making for the companies there will be no relocation of companies, environment will be protected, workers rights will be protected, there will be no indecent bonuses paid to corrupt CEOs etc. Even during the recession in 2009 Germany told the business enterprises not to lay off any one. Instead they said to reduce the hours for the workers and then the Government paid those workers whose hours had been reduced the amount of money they lost. As a result everyone had money in the pocket, they kept working, they were spending money which meant the economy kept rolling along for the country.

    “Richard D. Wolff
    Olive Branch Press, 2010 – 262 pages
    A breathtakingly clear introduction designed to help ordinary citizens understand and react to the unraveling economic crisis. Capitalism Hits the Fan chronicles one economists growing alarm and insights as he watched, from 2005 onwards, the economic crisis build, burst, and then dominate world events. The argument here differs sharply from most other explanations offered by politicians, media commentators, and other academics. Step by step, Professor Wolff shows that deep economic structures the relationship of wages to profits, of workers to boards of directors, and of debts to income account for the crisis. Government bailout interventions have thrown too little money too late at a problem that requires more than money to solve. As this book shows, we must now ask basic questions about capitalism as a system that has now convulsed the world economy into two great depressions in 75 years (and countless lesser crises, recession, and cycles in between). The books essays engage the long-overdue public discussion about basic structural changes and systemic alternatives needed not only to fix todays broken economy but to prevent future crises.”

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