Austerity Measures to be Observed by Sri Lankans
Posted on January 25th, 2023

By Engr. Kanthar Balanathan DipEE (UK), GradCert (RelEng-Monash), DipBus&Adm (Finance-Massey), C.Eng., MIEE, Former Director of Power Engineering Solutions Pty Ltd, Consulting Electrical Engineers

There are two levels of conventional systems of governance in any small country. (i) Central government taking responsibility for foreign affairs, financial, defence and territorial protection, (ii) Local Government who takes control of the local area. A small country like Sri Lanka cannot have several split administrations due to economic constraints as a result of natural and produced exportable resources. With Provincial Councils, the governing will be split into (i) Central Government (ii) Provincial Council, and (iii) Municipal Councils. Three levels of governance. A small country like SL is not wealthy and prosperous enough to have several levels of administration. With Bribery and Corruption, the three levels of governance will procreate 3 times the total of individual corrupt practices.

In the last 75 years of post-independence governance, the country faced insurrection, terrorism, the destruction of billions of dollars worth of assets, and the killing of people on both sides. Since 2004, the country faced a high level of bribery and corruption. Investments were carried out without proper planning and cost-benefit analysis. Most luxury investments are on collaterals. E.g. (i) Hambantota port and harbour, (ii) Port City, (iii) Lotus Tower etc. Probably these were constructed on the assumption that tourism will bring in more FOREX. The investments were a total economic failure. In the last 75 years, the country had faced an economic regression due to incompetent governance and political terrorism.

Politicians in SL have become quite greedy for power and wealth which is a symbol of third-world politics. Inter rivalry and racism inflicted a significant volume of economic disaster. The Planning division in the Treasury may not have done its job thoroughly and carefully, but executed to the Minister’s order. FOREX may have been siphoned on the order of politicians.

On the other hand, the Tamils of the North did not do their job properly but demanded a federal form of government. It’s quite clear that the Jaffna is a region of several islands locked tother. There is no way of generating income. In a way, the Tamils were a LIABILITY to the country apart from the upcountry Tamils. Tamil demand for equal rights was unreasonable and unfair from economics and income generation perspectives.

GOSL should, by an act of parliament revoke the 13th amendment. Purely because of economic disaster and there is no necessity for a different level of administration/governance.

GOSL should set up a council to address the issues and recommend a better way to govern the country.

A small nation’s conventional system of governance is the Central and Local governments. There are 24 Municipal Councils in SL which are the legislative bodies that preside over the largest cities and first-tier municipalities in the country. Quote, A municipal council is the governing body of a municipality. It has the authority to make decisions and act for the municipal corporation (the municipality), consistent with the purposes of a municipality and its authority and requirements under legislation, bylaws and policies. Most important of such powers are passing of resolutions, enacting of bye-laws and regulations, deliberations on local problems etc. In the council meeting the councillors move resolutions on a matter relating to municipal functions.

Maybe the GOSL parliament could review the powers invested in the MCs, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and the Councillors. The GOSL could also review the number of MCs and reduce it to a possible number by merging.

GOSL should give thoughts on the Banda-Chelva(BC) pact regarding the number of District Councils and the current proposal. The BC pact was a fool’s paradise. It is beyond the economic practicability of having Provincial Councils, several Ministers, Cars, staff etc. This is based on the people’s (politicians’) maturity and SL does not need several levels of governance.

As far as Tamils are concerned, the village people who vote think that only attorneys in the North are fit to enter politics, which is an unenlightened, ill-informed and unconscious part of human psychology.

The MCs are already in active service, and what is required is to review the powers and the number of MCs by an act of parliament. The two levels of governance are already present with a few reviews on powers.

Tamils can only talk about theory, however, not address the practicality and feasibility. Our culture is selfish-oriented and has a draconian dowry system for hoarding gold pieces of jewellery. Uneducated politicians in the GOSL parliament may not understand the gravity of the situation SL is going through but explain the difficulties, please.

GOSL could invite leading Professors at UOM, and UOC and discuss the alternative possibility of such MCs.

Recommend that the University of Moratuwa kick up a research project for a PhD or MPhil degree, on the option of solving the issues. That’s what the Universities are for.

Provincial Councils are a NO-GO for a small nation like SL.

Tamils are a Liability to SL.

May God save Sri Lanka.

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