Maha Sangha and Public were betrayed - Champika Ranawaka

29 April 2014 04:22 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Says Hambantota episode is a classic example that law does not apply to everyone equally

Minister of Technology and Research and General Secretary of the government coalition partner, Jathika Hela Urumaya, Patali Champika Ranawaka in a scathing attack on the government’s Strategic Development Projects Act, said that the passing of the Act was a clear indication of the political clout the businessmen involved in the ‘deal’ possessed. He however, stopped short of saying that the passing of the gazette, which he opined clearly included ‘ casinos’, would compel the party to leave the coalition, but asserted that the actions of the government during the passage of the Act, would be a massive blow to the governments popularity and faith of the populace.

Ignoring of the Maha Sangha and the Public

The fact that the Mahanayakes of all  four Nikayas, the Maha Sangha together with the general public opposed the opening of casinos and despite this, the fact that the government went ahead and passed the gazette, is a clear indication of the political clout that these casino businessmen possess. Such is the magnitude of their political clout.

This issue has many facets. The first is that there is a provision within the constitution that clearly specifies the rulers to have their foundation in the morality of the people. This is found within the constitution of the country itself.

Casinos are an internationally operated operation which is entirely based on gambling. The fact remains that although, not on a grand scale, there are a few casinos that are being operated in the country, with or without licences.

But the existing casinos become those which could be ignored in comparison to the proposed casinos.
Casinos in effect are against the traditions and the morals of the masses of this country.

 The first thing is that it is a gamble, secondly with casinos of this sort a necessary implication is that an international prostitution ring would make inroads to the country, together with this small fire arms would also be brought, together with drugs because these are certain by-products of the casino industry.

Industries of this sort also most certainly pave the way for money laundering where ‘black money’ is made ‘white’. This sort of thing happens even today. Human smuggling and other issues are also by-products of the casino industry.  Therefore there is going to be massive moral implications to the Sri Lankan society as a result of this.


The Money laundering, and economic impact

If you take Macau, in China as an example, the number of prostitutes who were around 100 prior to the introduction of casinos evolved into tens of thousands as a result of them. In some countries, entire economies were crippled as a result of the introduction of casinos. Casinos cannot even be compared to the traditional forms of gambling. As of now there are around four casinos, some which have a board saying that permission would be granted only to foreigners.

 But the fact remains that these casinos have no law and the law of the country does not apply to those who patronise or operate them. For example, not one foreigner who enters the country in order to gamble has declared the money they bring into the country, or the money they take out of the country, as a result of their winnings.

So how do these people who gamble today in the casinos that are available, play without money? How do they take their winnings out of this country?. It is clear that they use the ‘ Undiyal’ method of dealing which is a shadow market running parallel to the economy . Gopi the terrorist who was behind the recent revival of the LTTE had received 29 million rupees through this Undiyal method of money sending.

Then recently it was revealed that a State Politician from India who had come and won hundreds of thousands of rupees left the country without declaring any of the winnings. This also happened as a result of dealing through this “Undiyal” mode of swapping and transferring money. This shadow economy is unaccounted for and there is not a single benefit that the country will accrue.

Besides this, every country that promotes casinos has ensured that these are constructed beyond the capital city in order to negate the impact it could have on the national economy. If you take the United States, China, Russia and any other country which possess casinos, they have ensured that it be built in remote zones in order to curb the negative impact it could have on the economy and also prevent the casino economy from taking over the national economy.

But what have we done here? We have proposed the casinos to be built in the heart of the capital city. The direct impact of this is that the black economy that is created will overtake the country’s economy. We have to this day not assessed the real economic impact these ventures could have on the country except for estimating the amount of jobs it could create.

A shadow market and a black economy will most certainly be created with drugs, prostitution, human smuggling and small arms. A person who makes money by selling drugs will through gambling make the money legal. It will create a dragon that we would have no control over.

The BOI has hoodwinked the masses

There was this notion that this is a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and therefore it is a good for this country. There can be nothing further than truth. The BOI through its projects have actually crippled the local economy, if you take the era before 1978 there were around 300,000 people employed in the handlooms sector and after the introduction of the garment industry the entire handloom industry suffered and has now been confined to a few hundred people. Fact remains that although there is an agreement between the BOI and a Foreign Investor, the amount that is agreed upon is never actually realised. If you look at the statistics it is crystal clear that although the publicised and agreed amounts are attractive and seem beneficial, the amounts that are in actual fact realised from these agreements are only between 15% and 20%.

If you trace the history of FDI’s, the catalysts for which was the environment laws that were put in force in the USA and the West. The moment these laws were brought in, the factories that were situated in these localities were re-located to Sri Lanka and other countries such as China and Korea. However, China and Korea ensured that they got the best out of these FDI’s by absorbing the technologies, innovative management methods and other such offshoots of an FDI. In Sri Lanka, 60 % of our water resource has been plundered the environment is polluted and  what we have received as a result of these FDI’s are very marginal despite repeated assurances that with the capital infused in to the economy through FDI’s there would be absorbing of such benefits such as technologies and management strategies. Besides, there is actually no reason for these FDI’s now because the simple fact is that these technologies and management strategies are not confined to a certain Multi National company and are freely available on the internet.

Our economy is still on models that are outdated

The economies around the globe have faced three stages in the past two centuries. First was, factory driven economies where low cost labour, low cost of resources and with minimum environmental regulations were places in which factories were established.

Thereafter it shifted to technologically advanced places, and modes of production. Innovativeness, and efficiency driven modes of production was what the world was evolving to. Unfortunately we seem to be stuck in the first category where we are still living with the mentality of these outdated notions of ‘factory development’ when the rest of the world has evolved in all other spheres. This is what we have fallen to, we have focused on building all the highways around the country without focusing on production. We have done everything possible to provide a service oriented economy when in actual fact our focus should be on innovation and production. That is how this country is going to develop. The introduction of these casinos are also a part of this factory mindset.  The people who handle the economy in this country together with the corrupt white collared bureaucrats think they have found the easy way out through casinos and other such ventures when in actual fact we have to focus on developing our latent resources, on our people to be able to innovate and produce goods that the world could benefit from. Instead of focusing on the above these corrupt white collared criminals are using the easy way out which is to do underhand things and pave the way for this sort of nefarious activity to thrive in the country.

We should put a stop to this because the future of this country is at stake and we the JHU intend on being the ‘ Balancer’. The forces against us are the ‘ Builders’ as we have seen all over the worlds, the force that evolve against them have to play a balancing role in order to ensure that the people of this country reap the maximum in their potentials. We will be submitting our plans and future thought process in the future in order to educate the public about how we intend on being this balancing force.

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