Author Archive for Raj Gonsalkorale

The Debt-to-GDP ratio, and foreign reserves, the measures of a country’s economic health

Wednesday, June 26th, 2024

By Raj Gonsalkorale The Treasury is aware that the country is in a difficult place. But that difficulty is not visible on the surface. Fuel is available, electricity is available and public and private transportation is in place. It’s the mirage that seems to matter to most rather than reality At the Treasury we are […]

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Taxation should be an investment that people are making for their current and future well being

Thursday, June 13th, 2024

By Raj Gonsalkorale Taxation needs to be looked at from a different perspective and models of taxation needs to be examined. Taxation should be looked at as part of a social contract between a government and the people who pay tax. It is part of a partnership between the government and the public and it […]

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Economic Transformation Bill: Finally, an opportunity to do things differently

Monday, June 3rd, 2024

By Raj Gonsalkorale ‘Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting different results – Albert Einstein. The concept of a legislated economic plan that incorporates economic parameters (or targets) is an opportunity to end 76 years of insanity. The challenge for the major political parties is to accept the concept and then work out any […]

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Palestinian holocaust: The oppressed has become the oppressor.

Monday, May 20th, 2024

By Raj Gonsalkorale During the war, leaders of the Allied countries—the Soviet Union, United States, and Great Britain—received reports of mass shootings of Jewish civilians, including women and children. In 1942, they learned of the Nazi plan to annihilate Europe’s Jews. While leaders occasionally publicly denounced violence towards Jews, they prioritized winning the war over […]

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The widening gap between rhetoric and reality

Thursday, May 2nd, 2024

By Raj Gonsalkorale On the 138th observance of World Labour Day, born from a historic struggle for rights, our nation stands at a pivotal moment. Regardless of political affiliations, it falls upon each of us to shoulder the unshakable duty of fortifying our economy and propelling our nation onward– President Ranil Wickremasinghe Political catch phrases […]

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Political coalitions purely in pursuit of power will aggravate political immorality and unethical behavior.

Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

By Raj Gonsalkorale Political ethics requires leaders to meet higher standards than would be necessary for private life. They may have less of a right to privacy than ordinary citizens do, or no right to use their office for personal profit. Personal or private morality and political morality are often viewed as a conflict of interest […]

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Is Israel the effective superpower of the world?

Monday, February 12th, 2024

By Raj Gonsalkorale Prime Minister Netanyahu: “We can’t finish the war without eliminating Hamas leadership” (https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/politics/1707129128-gantz-denies-plan-to-replace-netanyahu-through-likud-report). US President Joe Biden told Israel’s prime minister a military operation in Rafah should not happen without measures to ensure the safety of civilians, the White House has said. In a call with Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr Biden said Israel […]

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76 years on, is Sri Lanka Independent or in-dependence? What are we celebrating?

Wednesday, January 31st, 2024

By Raj Gonsalkorale There was no fight for . . . freedom which involved a fight for principles, policies, and programmes . . . No. It just came overnight. We just woke up one day and we were told, You are a dominion now.” —S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, Ceylon Prime Minister (1956–1959) Sri Lanka […]

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Politics without substance or substance without politics? People have a choice.

Wednesday, January 17th, 2024

By Raj Gonsalkorale The Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum for the year 2024 is held from January 15 – 19 in Davos, Switzerland, under the theme ‘Rebuilding Trust’. It aims to restore collective agency, and reinforce the fundamental principles of transparency, consistency, and accountability among leaders. Judging from events unfolding in various parts […]

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Has the JVP unequivocally ruled out an armed struggle to win government?

Friday, January 5th, 2024

By Raj Gonsalkorale In an interview with the Daily Mirror in December 2023, Senior JVP member Dr Nalinda Jayatissa stated that in the latest opinion poll, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake was leading among all the prospective presidential candidates and there was no need for the JVP to take up arms once again – https://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/JVP-led-NPP-believes-in-a-unique-Sri-Lankan-economic-model-based-on-socialist-principles-Nalinda-Jayatissa-former-MP/231-273197 […]

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Israel and Hamas; Strange bed fellows fallen out with each other?

Sunday, December 10th, 2023

By Raj Gonsalkorale As Aaron David Miller, a Middle East expert at the Woodrow Wilson Center, observes, a strange, self-sustaining relationship remains. Israel’s hawkish government — comprising many politicians who have little interest in seeing the creation of a separate Palestinian state — dwells on the security threat that Hamas’s crude rockets pose. Hamas depends, Miller writes, on “an ideology and strategy steeped in confrontation […]

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Breach of public trust; throwing stones from glass houses

Thursday, November 23rd, 2023

By Raj Gonsalkorale Economic mismanagement by successive regimes made Sri Lanka bankrupt. Rather than proposing a collective self-reflection, analysing mistakes made and looking to the future rather than dwelling on the past, some politicians are throwing stones from glass houses and pretending they are fully clothed Emperors. It is common knowledge that the Sri Lankan […]

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Sri Lanka, a second sinking of the Titanic?

Saturday, September 30th, 2023

By Raj Gonsalkorale The international outlook is uncertain again amid financial sector turmoil, high inflation, ongoing effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and three years of COVID – The IMF Global growth is projected to slow significantly amid high inflation, tight monetary policy, and more restrictive credit conditions. The possibility of more widespread bank turmoil […]

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Drug shortages and impact on health outcomes; Is it only the tip of the iceberg?

Monday, September 11th, 2023

By Raj Gonsalkorale On the night of April 14, 1912, though, only a few days into the Titanic’s maiden voyage, its Achilles’ heel was exposed. The ship wasn’t nimble enough to avoid an iceberg that lookouts spotted (the only way to detect icebergs at the time) at the last minute in the darkness. As the […]

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Are all Sri Lankan Children of one Mother?

Sunday, August 6th, 2023

By Raj Gonsalkorale It was the Roman lawyer, Cicero, who in his De Re Publica, uses the literary device of the Dream of Scipio to give the authority of Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, the greatest of the Roman Republic’s citizen soldiers, to the proposition that the ‘populus’, the people, served by a true republic is […]

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Toxic Agriculture and the Gates Foundation: Beware of Gates bearing Gifts?

Sunday, June 18th, 2023

By Raj Gonsalkorale As for food security, the foundation would do better by supporting agroecological (agrochemical-free) approaches to agriculture, which various high-level UN reports have advocated for ensuring equitable global food security. This would leave smallholder agriculture both intact and independent from Western agro-capital, something which runs counter to the underlying aims of the corporations […]

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The Open economy: Killing the Goose that began laying Golden eggs. Have we learnt lessons from past mistakes?

Sunday, May 7th, 2023

By Raj Gonsalkorale An Eastern analogue is found in the Suvannahamsa Jataka, which appears in the fourth section of the Buddhist book of monastic discipline (Vinaya). In this the father of a poor family is reborn as a swan with golden feathers and invites them to pluck and sell a single feather from his wings to […]

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Weighty words about an economic revival may not mean much to many hapless Sri Lankans

Monday, April 3rd, 2023

By Raj Gonsalkorale Many Sri Lankans are concerned about their next meal, the high cost of living, deteriorating health, stagnant incomes, how to buy school requisites for their children, malnutrition and increasing poverty which they experience on a day-to-day basis. While restructuring the economy is a must, politicians must balance this with redress for the […]

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Don’t blame the IMF and look a gift horse in the mouth: Sri Lanka has not been capable of managing its economy.

Friday, March 24th, 2023

By Raj Gonsalkorale The IMF agreement is much more than the USD 3 billion that accompanies it. In the overall scheme of the country’s foreign debt (now estimated at around USD 48 Billion) and overall debt at 115% of GDP, with no funds for foreign debt repayments and no foreign exchange to purchase essentials, the […]

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The AUKUS military alliance and the submarine deal; Foresight or Folly?

Saturday, March 18th, 2023

By Raj Gonsalkorale Former Prime Minister of Australia Paul Keating has labelled the AUKUS military alliance and more specifically the recently concluded submarine deal as the worst mistake Australia has done in its history. His national press club address has been widely publicised and does not need repetition here. It is however interesting to discuss […]

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Sri Lanka: Is unbridled tourism the panacea for all economic ills?

Friday, March 3rd, 2023

By Raj Gonsalkorale Tourism, as it is well known, is a major industry in Sri Lanka. The foreign exchange it brings into the country and the hundreds and thousands of people who are directly and indirectly employed in this sector makes this industry a vital one for the country. It is one of the most […]

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Why not tax the informal rich rather than the formal poor?

Monday, February 20th, 2023

By Raj Gonsalkorale While levying an income tax on individual earnings to supplement government revenue is a necessity to meet government expenditure, the issue in question is the perception and/or the reality of its unfairness and the lack of confidence and trust that people have about the way the tax they pay is spent by […]

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Sri Lanka LG Polls; Would 27.2 million US Dollars (Rs 10 Billion) address fundamental questions relating to democracy?

Saturday, January 14th, 2023

Raj Gonsalkorale The following passage from the Britannica (https://www.britannica.com/topic/democracy) is a good commencement point to discuss the much debated Local Government poll in Sri Lanka. Conducting the election is said to cost around 10 Billion Rupees of State funds, assuming such funds are available to spend in the bankrupt Sri Lanka. Besides State money, individual […]

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How living as a true Buddhist could avoid an environmental catastrophe

Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

By Raj Gonsalkorale “In my mind I see a group of chickens in a cage disputing over a few seeds of grain, unaware that in a few hours they will all be killed,” -Venerable Thích Nhất Hạnh Zen Master late Thich Nhat Hanh was a global spiritual leader, poet, and peace activist, renowned for his […]

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Is the current political system and the politicians it produces equipped to address challenges in 2023 and beyond?

Friday, December 23rd, 2022

By Raj Gonsalkorale Has the symbiotic interdependence between the political system, politicians and religious institutions been a major contributory factor for Sri Lanka’s economic bankruptcy? A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker – It’s […]

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Resolving the ethnic issue: Thinking and acting outside the box is the pathway to a solution, not bellowing old, failed tunes

Sunday, November 27th, 2022

By Raj Gonsalkorale Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results -Albert Einstein A challenge for all political parties.  Why not a second chamber with equal representation for Tamils, Sinhalese, and Muslims? The momentum for resolving the ethnic issue that has bedeviled the country since independence has taken a […]

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Food security during economic insecurity and instability

Saturday, November 5th, 2022

By Raj Gonsalkorale Food Security means that all people always have physical & economic access to adequate amounts of nutritious, safe, and culturally appropriate foods, which are produced in an environmentally sustainable and socially just manner, and that people are able to make informed decisions about their food choices (https://www.resilience.org/stories/2015-01-09/what-is-food-security/). The FAO defines the four […]

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Sri Lanka: Ostriches with heads in the sand on the impact of a Global recession? Is an economic alignment with India the only answer?

Monday, October 17th, 2022

By Raj Gonsalkorale Another global recession is imminent. The US, UK, EU are all expected have lower growth rates and China’s growth has slowed down. India stands alone as a country that my bets weather the storm. There has been no discussion about its possible effect on Sri Lanka and what mitigating steps should be […]

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Sri Lanka: Aragalaya has a message. Don’t shoot the messengers

Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

By Raj Gonsalkorale One needs to question whether strengthening of Sinhala Buddhist hegemony has been a consequence of other religious denominations veering more towards orthodoxy and fundamentalism or whether it has been the other way about. There is confusion as to where the Egg is and where the Chicken is. During a meeting in Anuradhapura […]

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The NATO Alliance of Sri Lanka: No Action, Talk Only way to overcome an economic crisis

Saturday, August 20th, 2022

By Raj Gonsalkorale Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results – Albert Einstein Where are the protestors, the system has drowned them. Where is the system, it is where it has always been. Where are the people? they’re all back in the hole they have always been” – paraphrasing the lines […]

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