A little book summarizing “How the IMF sabotaged third world development”.
Posted on March 28th, 2017

Reviewed By Professor Chandre Dharmawardana, Ottawa, Canada.

Dr. Gavin Karunaratne, a seasoned administrator and Economist trained at the University of Michigan. He has presented to the reading public a little book of 60 pages, where he takes up cudgels against the International Monetary Fund. The story is told using his newspaper articles and editorial comments going back to almost two decades and racing up to modern times. The story begins in the era of the Ranil-Chandrika cohabitation era when Prof. Sachs, Director of the UN Millennium Project and a stalwart of the IMF visited Sri Lanka in 2003. Other western emissaries are taken up in other chapters, in the context of economic crises of various third world countries, and how the advise of these emissaries led to the enslavement of those countries to western capitalism and forces of globalization.

An attractive feature of Dr. Karunaratne’s book is that it gives a quick summary of the scope and scale of IMF action in so many third world nations. Today in Sri Lanka, the politicians in power are in lockstep with the thinking of global capitalism and the IMF. The politicians in the opposition may be ready to vociferously attack the IMF, but they too, when in power, went to the IMF with the begging bowl in hand. And yet, there is a substratum of thinking public who understand the perils of courting the IMF too closely. The rise of Brexit and Trump in recent times have unleashed movements against the very global capitalist forces that are behind the IMF.

Dr. Karunaratne’s book is not aimed at the specialist reader who will look for graphs and tables of data. Instead, it is addressed directly to the layman, without the jargon. I can recommend Dr. Karunaratne’s book to those readers who are looking for a rapid but lucid discussion of the policies of the IMF, and how they are detrimental to our sovereignty as well as to our economic well-being where the discussion is directly oriented to Sri Lanka’s concerns.

Dr. Kaurunaratne is a Peradeniya graduate who had entered the Sri Lankan Administrative Service in the Fifties when it was open only to the best, and still had the exclusive aura of the old British Civil Service. He worked in many administrative and developmental capacities; and as the Government Agent of the Matara district in the early 1970s. His subsequent Ph. D work at the Michigan State University in Rural Development made him learn much from the Comilla Programme of Rural Development. He is a regular writer on matters of national interest.

The books is available to readers at Amazon.com, via the URL:


One Response to “A little book summarizing “How the IMF sabotaged third world development”.”

  1. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Third world?
    Where is the second world?
    Why not developing world?

    Third world is a derogatory word used to look down on people in those countries. We all forget how much suffering
    caused by the so called first worlders to the people in those countries. They may not have put a satellite to orbit,
    but they are also people.

    A very good example is our country. Their occupations resulted in hundreds of thousands deaths to our ancestors.
    We are sure those deaths are not nice ones. Then they destroyed countries for good. They brought people from
    other countries (like in our case 100s of 1000s from tn) made way for eternal blood baths. They brought with
    them their religion and divided people. Eternal damages!

    What happened to natives
    in Australia, New Zealand, Brasil, US, Canada, Peru, Argentina etc. etc.? Any idea? They have been driven away or murdered, some even
    facing extinction. The so called first world still using developing countries like political footballs to achieve their
    goals etc. Haven’t we paid enough for first world’s successes? Calling these countries third world is the ultimate
    insult after what these so called first worlders done. Anything they should be ashamed about the past and help them getting
    on their feet. What they did with the gun then, now done with their financial muscle!

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