Joining the US bandwagon-sending a freighter for Red Sea Safety- a Severe Mistake for which our country weill have to pay dearly.
Posted on January 12th, 2024

Garvin Karunaratne, former G.A. Matara

As a small country with little resources and being harassed by the IMF today, we should know how to manage ourselves within the powerblocks of the World. As Sir John Kotalawala once said we have to be non aligned to any power block.

In short, we are today a bankrupt country with really no means of existence, other than begging for aid because of a major wrong decision made by President Jayawardena in 1977 to bow to the IMF and accept their Structural Adjustment Programme which did decide that we ban all development work, and live on loans. We had to abolish all the development programmes which we had fine tuned and worked on for three decades since becoming an independent country. Due to this major wrong decision by President Jayawardena we have increased our foreign debt, to $ 6 billion by the end of UNP rule and increasing to $ 56 billion by the days of President Gotabhaya and far more now.

We had a self reliant economy in the Sixties and I can vouch for the fact that we had eradicated poverty. We had a rice ration scheme that provided rice at low rates and at times free – we had eradicated poverty. All that was sacrificed when President Jayawardena caved in and accepted the IMF‘s Structural Adjustment Programme, which has actually caused us to build our foreign debt to over $ 56 billion today.

If we do send our ships and join the US brigade, we will be making a severe mistakefor which our country and every person will have to pay very dearly. We are indebted to China for helping us and what is important to note is that up to today China has not yet cheated us in the manner that the IMF has ruined us.

Let us not forget that a few years ago the USA tried to entice our country to sell our sovereignty to the USA by its MCC Programme for a mere loan of $ 550 million. One third of our country- a corridor from Trinco to Colombo was to be ceded to the USA for 200 years. Mind you the British ruled us for only 133 years.

Let our country not be caught in this trap. It is our sovereignty that is at stake.

Garvin Karunaratne, former G.A. Matara

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