While government leaders, the Treasury and the Central Bank are boasting of high economic growth rates, per capita incomes and foreign exchange reserves, a senior minister has warned state institutions which take loans from state banks that they should not default in the repayment of the big loans they take.
Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera, who also heads the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), reportedly told a workshop in Galle that the state banks played a vital role in sustaining Sri Lanka's economy despite global recession, and these banks should not be weakened.
Amid deception or double standards, lies, damn lies and the worst form of lies which are bogus statistics, it is clear that the Rajapaksa regime must take immediate steps to curb unprecedented corruption, restore parliamentary democracy instead of the parliamentary hypocrisy we have today, and bring about major structural changes in the economy if we wish to have sustainable development.
The economic crisis in the United States, the European Union and other parts of the world including Sri Lanka clearly shows that the globalised capitalist market economic policy has failed with several countries including Greece and Spain virtually going bankrupt. This policy which was fully swallowed by Sri Lanka when the J.R. Jayewardene government took office in 1977 has produced a monstrosity instead of a trickle down concept as predicted by the advocates of this policy. We see in Sri Lanka today a virtual catastrophe where some 85% of the wealth and resources of the country is controlled by about 15% of the population comprising mainly the rich and ruling elite -- that means basically the Rajapaksa regime and those who give it support or obedience.
Award winning writer Arundathi Roy has told us that there are not four but five major religions in the world today. The four major religions are Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. What is the fifth? The Market. That means the globalised capitalist market economic policy. Tragically though probably unknowingly, hundreds of millions if not billions of people are today worshipping the fifth major religion -the Market. Though put in sophisticated terms, the crude reality of this market religion is that it promotes selfishness and greed, which the other major religions tell us are the root of all evil. The market religion provokes people to get to the top, if possible by fair means, or if not possible by foul means. Sri Lanka has been enriched for generations by the other four major religions, and we need to turn around to the social justice taught by these four major religions if we wish to build a solid economic foundation with lasting peace and a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources.