We’re worse than Ethiopia - Udara Rathnayake

8 July 2020 05:38 am - 23     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Udara Rathnayake started his political career in 2013. He was elected as a Western Provincial Council Member in 2014.  

Your Educational and professional qualifications?

Bachelor of Science in Business Management, University of Essex  
Master of Science, University of Colombo  
Professional experience in diverse industries ranging from exports, imports and apparel industry.   

Vision for education of children and youth in Sri Lanka?

The current education platform needs drastic changes. It has to be up to date, fit the current job market and be tech-driven. I believe in structural support for schools when it comes to facilities, but we must really revamp the things we teach our children. We must encourage a more communicative education system where children are allowed to constantly question things. I understand with the current constraints,we can’t do more capital investments, but we can start with changing attitudes, immediately.   

Views on technical education?

We must concentrate more on technical education as there’s only limited facilities for children to have university exposure in Sri Lanka. Some 800,000 young people are driving three-wheelers. If we can empower them with technical qualification, they can have two careers. That will contribute more to the economy.  

Your ideas for improving employment prospects of youth?

I truly believe we have youth with a lot of capacity. A few main issues like insufficient access to capital have to be rectified. For any type of loan, banks want collateral, limiting available opportunities. A lot of young entrepreneurs do not have the initial cheap capital required. We must somehow make a platform to encourage young businesses to give them low-cost funding. I want to initiate a programme where there will be cheaper, low-cost funding for new startups. Why I came into politics was mainly because I crave to create opportunities for those around me.  

Your stance on the MCC?

I haven’t personally read what the conditions of the MCC are as I haven’t had access to it. Therefore, I cannot comment on it. They must make this a public document so that people will know what it is exactly, and the people can decide if it’s good or bad for the country.   

Your solutions for the ailing public transport system?

We’re worse than Ethiopia, which has better transport infrastructure. It’s quite shameful. We’re the weakest in the region, so we need intensive investment. I personally encourage public-private partnership as these infrastructure assets could be investments. If our intention is to give the service to the people, whether it is owned by a company or the nation is irrelevant.   

Vision for the protection of the environment and climate change adaptation? 

I don’t think our politicians have given a lot of attention to climate change. Forget climate change, we have not given solutions to garbage disposal. I think we are the only country where people died in a garbage dump collapse. But we still haven’t given a solution to this problem even after three years since the disaster. It’s pathetic. Climate change is very important but in the Sri Lankan context, the immediate necessary steps must be taken before that.  

"The current education platform needs drastic changes. It has to be up to date, fit the current job market and be tech-driven"

Views on discrimination based on sexual orientation? 

We must put a lot of regulations in place against discrimination. When it comes to the LGBTQ community, our people have not been exposed to this area so much, so there’s a lot of fear involved. We must educate people and show the existence of this segment. It’s just a fear without knowing. Personally I have nothing against this community and I believe everyone should be given the same rights, opportunities and treated equally, irrespective of gender or sexual preference. But most people haven’t had the opportunity to engage or have a conversation with a person of this community.   

Why should people vote for you?

I am someone who will stand by my conscience, I will always stand by what is right, according to my beliefs, irrespective of my party. I don’t fear to point out the wrong. It’s a ‘yes sir’ culture in politics, but I will not fall into that culture. That political culture should be challenged and changed.   

  Comments - 23

  • Raya Abate Wednesday, 08 July 2020 07:36 AM

    Dear Party Candidate; I wish you good luck in whatever you are running for. Naturally I can not comment about the content of your argument being a citizen of Ethiopia. My beef with you is the utilization of an African country as the lowest denomination of a national existence about which I am sure you have absolutely no idea. You have obviously learned how to belittle other nations and people from the professors in Essex. Please do not use such comparisons when you can argue the merits and qualifications you posses for the office you seek. Good luck

    Aman Said Wednesday, 08 July 2020 07:37 AM

    We’re worse than Ethiopia’ - Udara Rathnayake So Why is Ethiopia your bench mark? Perhaps you dont have 8k documented history? Please explain your title

    A Wouhib Wednesday, 08 July 2020 08:36 AM

    Please do your homework before making comparison with another country that you have no idea about. I don't have to see the details on your arguments, but Ethiopia can be better than any county in the world in many ways!! If I were you, I take my time and do my homework before opening my mouth!!!

    Srian de Silva Wednesday, 08 July 2020 09:35 AM

    Th e comment about Ethiopia is totally wrong and displays an ignorance about that country. The reactions from Ethiopians are absolutely justified.

    Rachita Wednesday, 08 July 2020 09:51 AM

    The comment about Ethiopia shows the immaturity of this politician, first respect other countries in whichever context you elaborate on, second know about the countries you speak of. young, educated but naive about the world

    Teddy Wednesday, 08 July 2020 10:33 AM

    Have you ever travelled to Africa? Ethiopia..Please compare yourself with your neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, India, etc,.

    Charith Withana Wednesday, 08 July 2020 11:52 AM

    By the looks of his explanations, It is clear he has no idea about Sri Lanka. He is good for a job at Thosa Kaddey.

    Mudalali Wednesday, 08 July 2020 04:52 PM

    Why Thisaru Kade, Dan racist comparison.

    Ahmed Wednesday, 08 July 2020 11:54 AM

    Ethiopia is now a fast developing African country with a proud tradition. True, there was a famine and starvation but that was in the past. The national airline is the oldest airline in Africa and the most profitable airline on the Dark Continent. Can UL stake a similar claim? No, UL is nowhere near as efficient or is being run by a set of clowns. I am surprised at your statements

    Samson Wednesday, 08 July 2020 11:58 AM

    We are not as bad as you say. You are contesting from the wrong party.

    Kim Wednesday, 08 July 2020 05:31 PM

    Sri Lankan's are even going to Ethiopia for employment now because they cannot afford to feed themselves and their family. As such Ethiopia cannot be considered a poor country. The head of WHO Dr. Tedros Adahnom Gebreyesus is also an Ethiopian.

    Parama Sinarta Kodithuwakku Wednesday, 08 July 2020 05:36 PM

    Looks like you have a postal UK degree. If you have a real degree, why do you join politics with grade 8 people? Have you seen any other country other than SL?

    G Ayalew Thursday, 09 July 2020 07:08 AM

    Wow! Such a disparaging remark from a “supposedly educated” want to be leader about a nation or people you have no clue about. Best if you stick to your political platform if you plan to win the election. Ethiopia’s fortunes or misfortunes don’t do you “s..t” at the ballot box.

    Prem Nalin Thursday, 09 July 2020 07:29 AM

    Sri Lanka is a small island but comparing to our neighbour India (

    Dhammika Thursday, 09 July 2020 02:11 PM

    Etiopia once was a famine hit poor nation but today its one of the 10 richest nations in Africa .

    Dharsun Thursday, 09 July 2020 05:06 PM

    Please do not make comparisons with Srilanka and African countries. Srilanka is streets ahead of many African countries in development and political progress. God forbid if wankers like you come into power for we will end like Africa.

    Kim Friday, 10 July 2020 05:21 AM

    There is not much of a difference between Sri Lanka and some of the countries in Africa since we are also very much dependent on Chinese loans caught up in this so called Chinese trap.

    P S Silva Friday, 10 July 2020 10:23 AM

    Just some info about Ethiopia. Not sure what he means. www smartertravel com /addis-ababa-transportation-taxi-train-bus-airport-tips/

    Sambo Friday, 10 July 2020 11:30 AM

    All these qualifications will only be productive how you behave in society, be honest and listen to the peoples problems and not make false promises

    Bandu Friday, 10 July 2020 12:40 PM

    Biggest mistake is joining wrong party. But then you had no alternative as only UNP had vacancies for newcomers whatever qualification.

    PERERA Friday, 10 July 2020 01:01 PM

    Middle class of the post colonial countries always tries to compare other colonial countries in order to be "feel good", thinking that will make them more closer to the their colonial master than others. All due to ignorance. Any event Ethiopia is fast developing country. Ethiopian Airline has 126 Aircrafts including 54 Long Haul Aircrafts and 32 Medium Haul Aircrafts. It is more than Sri Lankan Airlines, Bangladesh and Pakistan International Airlines together. Matter of fact it has more Long Haul Aircrafts than Air India. Please go to the relevant web pages and check yourself Mr. Ratnayake.

    G. Wijayasiri Friday, 10 July 2020 06:37 PM

    Ethiopia is one of the ten African countries that are doing extremely well in recent years-before the Coronavirus. I believe the rate of growth last year exceeded 8% under the leadership of Prime Minister Aby Ahmed. It is an insult to Ethiopia with which we in Sri Lanka maintain close relations

    sss Wednesday, 15 July 2020 10:45 PM

    question to be addressed. Why higher education, in its more than 80 years in existence has been and continue to be a non factor in the economy. It is blue collar workers who shoulder the economy and the educated simply exploit their efforts.


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