What is happening now - through the even more dangerous and more destructive economic neo-colonialism - is that Sri Lanka and other third-world countries are being stripped of our resources but we are not even aware of it until it is too late and we are left with little or nothing while the TNCs accumulate billions of dollars and the ruling elite build their Swiss bank accounts.
Horrifyingly, the plunder through neo-colonialism by the TNCs and their political patrons or agents here is taking place mainly in the food and health sectors. Playing the role of the former imperialist armies here are some of the biggest profit-making TNCs – the transnational drug corporations, the trans-national food and powdered milk products corporations and the transnational agro-chemical companies.
A top state medical officer who is well aware of what is happening but does not wish to be identified said this week that the health sector in Sri Lanka had to a large extent become a big business because the trans-national drug companies were trying to run the sector. He said like the legendary Professor Senaka Bibile, he wanted to restore a health service where the well-being of the people was given top priority, but he needed the support of the media, health rights groups and the people to do this. The official, who for several decades has done an indepth survey of what is happening in the health sector, said because of the awareness brought about by the media, trans-national drug companies had become as notorious as big liquor outlets. Most people knew they were trying to plunder the wealth and damage the country's health. Thus the TNCs were finding it difficult to recruit a good professional staff as even medical representatives had a bad reputation among the people.
The official appeal to the media and health rights groups to bring about more awareness and more pressure from the people so that step by step, Sri Lanka could work out a national health policy including a national medicinal drugs policy and a charter of patients' rights and responsibilities, so that Sri Lanka would have a people-friendly health service with good Samaritans who heal the people, not to earn money but according to the highest traditions of the hallowed Hippocratic Oath.