Sri Lanka – Way Forward Long Immediate and Long term
Posted on July 9th, 2022

Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM Wellington  NZ

I have no dispute with any body who says that mismanagement and corruption have been the main reasons for the current dollar shortage which is the reason for the oil and gas queues and the consequent misery.

The COPA Committee sittings televised nearly daily shows that this corruption is not confined to politicians only but also rife among top govt officials without whose cooperation the politicians can’t get their commissions .

The answere to the problem then is finding the dollars in the immediate term , medium , term and long term.

All the finance ministers in the last 18 months have only been concentrating on finding dollars through further loans , from India, China, Japan, IMF and world bank.

The two quickest ways for SL to earn the dollars not borrow the dollar, s is the way Sri Lanka did it till 2018 , ie through Tourism ($4-5 Billion) and foreign worker remittances ($6-7Billion), when  with Covid 19 both of these stopped 

Now both of these have opened and are back . When SL opened its doors to tourists inJan ‘22, 30,000 came , Feb ‘22 60,000 came , March ‘22 106,000 .At our peek in 2018 we got about 210,000 pm , 2.4 billion in 2017/18 per annum despite Easter bombing bringing in a revenue of $4-5 billion per annum

Since April 22,, the start of the Very, very justifiable Aragala to get rid of Gota and all the mismanaging, incompetent & allegedly and sometimes established corrupt Rajapaksha s,  Sri Lanka’s tourism has collapsed with June having less 1000/ day despite next door Maldives having a tourism Boom exploiting the pent up demand for sun and sand after two years of lockdown in Europe.

Today, I saw on TV a European family coming through Katunayake with cycles for mum and dad and hooded attachements for the two Children.Tourists want come to SL, and repeatedly. The Russians were coming 250/ flight 3 days / wk with Putin publicly asking it’s citizens to go to Sri Lanka, till some scheming forces created the Aroflot debacle, making SL loose even the Russians.

The scenes of Aragala and Gota Gama puts off tourists. This leads to less dollars, les oil and gas, then longer gas and oil queues , then even less tourists, then even less dollars and even longer queues so the escalating downward spiral of dollars and what follows as above, continues.

If the increasing tourist arrivals till April was allowed to continue the queues and misery today would be much less if not at all.

Those in the Aragala must accept at least some of that. Though they did not cause the problem , though the politicians and to some extent govt officials caused the problem, However and sadly, now,  Aragalites are contributing to preventing its resolution.

The world media are focusing their Cameras and Mics on them . Can’t they atleast make known by word and banner that we want tourist to come back in droves.

The other source of dollars before were remittances. The workers r back overseas but the message from Aragala grounds is don’t send your dollars through the banks”.So the money exchangers get loads of dollars but they don’t clear the gas and oil ships.So the queues get longer and the misery gets more and more.

At least this message to remit your money to SL  & it should be sent through SL banks should be loud and clear from the Aragalites.

Dear Aragalites, pease do these.
The long term solution is to build beyond tourists and remitances.

The most sensible suggestion for continuing cash flow so far,  is what I have seen from Dammika P starting
with his 10year residency program for $ 100,000!dollars which RW seems to be stalling. 50 such applications are stalled at the Treasury and hundreds more are in the queue. All these people are already iin SL on short term visas . DP has published in the net his very credible more extensive program for cash flow of dollars, led by Tertiary Education institutions for foreign students using SL’s very educated teachers. DPis already offering multiple courses for school children at all levels and in tertiary education, through his DP Education” portal, using SL’s best teachers  entirely free of any  charge

The many other ways to a long term resolution of the dollar crisis id through , further developing our agriculture & Industry ,(Agro, IT, Service, Manufacturing , Apparel ) where Colombo Port city  and Hambantota Industrial Zone stand prominent. Another important venture is Renewable energy , where Mannar Island Wind and Solar Energy projects stand prominent . Sri Lankans should desist from being mislead into thinking that every foreign investment creating new dollars out of bear unproductive land  is selling the country

Another important way out of long oil and gas queues is to find our own Gas & Oil. Ex Minister Gammanpila till a few months ago, mapped out carefully  the extensive  Mannar, offshore Gas resources using new areal photography technology ,  enacted the necessary legislation to protect exploration from corruption as happened in countries like Nigeria, had plans to execute the exploration at no cost to SL [paying the explorers using part of the revenue, even upto 50%. He  was due to attend a conference of Offshore  Oil Explorers in Texas on 6th of March to sell his plans . Unfortunately he was removed as minister on the 3rd of March. These plans have to be urgently revived and executed. I was pleased to see the COPE committee headed by Anura Yapa, instructing officials do so. However, I fear for success of this, it would need an enthusiastic Ministerial leadership and push, most preferably  Udaya Gammanpila himself    
Irrespective of all of these  every SL should seek to get  tourists and foreign worker remitances back immediately to SL Banks to end SL’s  misery as fast as possible. The Aragalites should give leadership to this.
enhancements in Agriculture ,
Rnewable energy and SL gas exploration,
Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM

Wellington  NZ

Sent from my iPhone

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