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Editorial - Alarm bells ring on unrestricted imports

13 July 2012 06:30 pm - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Just as we swallowed wholesale the globalised capitalist market economy and are now paying a heavy price for it with a dangerous gap between the rich and the poor, we also appear to be swallowing the good and bad factors in information and communication technology.

Senior Minister and Communist Party Leader D.E.W. Goonesekera, addressing the party’s 69th anniversary sessions lashed out at the capitalist economic policy and the unrestricted imports which were draining millions of dollars out of Sri Lanka. He referred to mobile phones, pointing out that though Sri Lanka’s population was about 20 million, the number of mobile phones in use was more than the population. He said some people had two or three mobile phones including the latest 3G variety. Even domestic aides and others doing low-pay jobs were flaunting their mobile phones which now have snob value or give social status.

While we commend Mr. Goonesekera for speaking out on such issues we also need to ask why he and other socialists like Ministers Tissa Witharana and Vasudeva Nanayakkara do not have the courage to resign on a matter of principle. The reason or excuse they give is that they could bring about some moderation or a middle-path policy by being within the Cabinet. If that excuse has any validity, they have miserably failed so far because the capitalist policies are continuing with wholesale corruption, fraud and blatant abuse of public funds turning the misery into a mess and a muddle.



Not only mobile phones, we see unrestricted and unmonitored imports in so many other areas, so much so that the cost of imports is more than double what we earn from exports, and the country is facing a balance of payments crisis though the Government’s economic pundits are boasting or bluffing about high growth rates and per capita incomes.

We wish to focus today on the unrestricted imports of food, so-called nutritional supplements and medicinal drugs. Sri Lanka is losing hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign exchange because of the lack of comprehensive and effective national food, nutrition and medicinal policies. Loads of the food we import are unnecessary or non-essential, while some items are unfit for human consumption. As for nutritional supplements, it was sad if not shameful to see the subtle promotion of such items at the recent annual sessions of one of Sri Lanka’s leading medical associations. While Sri Lanka’s dairy farmers are struggling to sell their fresh milk which has all the necessary nutrition at a low cost, the promotion of imported nutritional supplements tantamount to an act of child abuse. As for medicinal drugs, a homeopathic medicine has cured hundreds of people of the dreaded dengue. But the multi-million-dollar allopathic medical business continues to reject or scoff at it while more people are dying and hundreds are suffering.  
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  Comments - 2

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  • CHANDRAPALA Saturday, 14 July 2012 04:36 PM

    There is no different between them and other politicians in the government though, they are representing the leftist political party in our country. They have joined hand with a government which is full of corrupts, Bribery and malpractices. Until they hold the Ministry posts in this government they should also partly responsible for the present situation.

    Anton Weerasinghe Sunday, 15 July 2012 05:24 PM

    Mr Marxists! it is too late. When the UNP was in power you criticised the then rulers, But when you got on the SLFP wagon you all for got what is good for the country and you people only thought of your self and power.


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