THE PRESENT CRISES IN SRI LANKA- A FRIGHTENING OVERVIEW.
Posted on February 22nd, 2022

Editorial

Feb.22nd. 2022

Sri Lanka’s present crises borne of an ill political wind based on detrimental administration and bad choices as it appears are of a severe  socio-economic nature that can end in bankruptcy which seems like an impending disaster looming over the horizon.Despite warning signs  the Government seems to be unconcerned and act as though it might blow away in the manner of a proverbial ostrich burying its head in the sand where properly targeted drastic action which is the key to resolving it seems to be the furthest thing from the Rajapaksa administration currently dabbling in issues of lesser priority than one imminently at hand and the nation continues its agitation in apprehension and uncertainty which could result in dire ramifications for all concerned which in all probabilities could include themselves..

It precludes the rationality and reason towards the well being of the Nation that the people appear to be completely unaware of the gravity of the situation where post haste remedial action is needed( if not already too late!) to prevent a downward spiral as Sri Lanka teerers on the edge of economic uncertainty as well as issues relative to Covid 19.

A clear plan of action to address this entire situation invariably rests on the  nation’s stability both economic and relative to the Covid 19 situation.The enforcement of the health rules should be given equal or higher priority in the total program as well as bolstering the economy which disastrously seems to be slipping out of control for which the Administration seems totally responsible.

Sri Lanka according to knowledgeable world financial analysts is alarmingly rated as being close to bankruptcy and desperately in need of dollar resources where foreign investors cannot be expected to come to her rescue due to the high risk involved and thereby forced to borrow short term loans at high interest from unscrupulous lenders further compunding Sri Lanka’s woes and consequently being subjected to a foreign debt trap as the lenders invariably demand more than a pound of flesh in return.The foreign exchange reserves to buy essentials like food and medicines from abroad appear to be running out. The lack of dollar reserves will lead to a severe shortage of essentials. The result will be racketeering and high prices – a black market. This will send prices up further and a worse case scenario could plunge the country into dire straits all too frightening to apprehend as well as comprehend!!

One report says, quote “Within the country the economic situation is extremely bad and specially people in the villages and the ‘urban slums’ are suffering terribly. Within Sri Lanka 60% of our population is living in poverty. Hunger is widespread and many live on one meal a day. The malnutrition level has gone up to 18.3% (which means that out of five children who are five years of age one is suffering from malnutrition). Not only will the body and mental development of these malnourished children be badly affected, it can have some adverse impact on the entire future generation.

Quoting further and appropriately,” so how do we prevent or minimize these unfortunate trends? The question asked is how long will this

Covid-19 pandemic last. On the basis of experience with past pandemics and epidemics, which have generally existed in epidemic form for two or three years, they have then become milder routine infections like the common cold, or influenza. The appearance and increase of herd immunity contributes to the above change.Hopefully with Covid -19 too this will be the case.

With regard to the repayment of our loans as a country which has been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the global economic crisis we are entitled to re-negotiate and restructure the repayment of our sovereign debt. Accordingly we should ask for a period (say about five years) where we do not re pay our debt to the creditors.

This is to enable us to bring about the requisite changes of the policies that will result in sustainable development. During this period we can ensure that our people obtain their essential needs and their suffering be minimized.

The welfare state (free health, free education, allowances to the needy etc.) must not only be properly implemented during this period but also be sustained in the future. Our dependence on loans can be minimized by ensuring that the haves also take a significant part of the burden. The tax rate in Sri Lanka, both personal (14%) and corporate (18%) is one of the lowest in the world. This must be increased to well above the upper limit of tax charged in countries of Europe (35-40%).

A significant section of the future generation will be mentally deficient, in addition to being short and thin and may behave abnormally. There may be an increase of crime and misbehavior. This trend has already appeared among a significant section of the present younger generation (who have lost their jobs, and become drug addicts as well as part of the underworld) ” end quote.

It is horrendous prediction for the once beautiful and well balanced nation of a once proud and dignified people which hopefully can be averted with timely intervention and the right measures taken.

Points for the Administration to ponder upon before impending disaster takes over the smooth functioning of Sri Lanka even in some small measure as the vultures of the opposition and disgruntled enemies of the state are ready to pounce on the shortcomings of a faltering and what could be, a failed state if the current trend continues..

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