After the fuel hikes and slide of rupee: State of Sri Lanka’s economy and future prospects

Dr. Neavis Morais is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the Open University of Sri Lanka, and in this interview looks at the state of Sri Lanka’s economy. As couple of days ago the Economist Intelligence Unit noted that, tweet

Around the same time, Sri Lanka’s Central Bank said it cut this 2012′s economic growth target to 7.2 percent, down from 8 percent. There’s a big difference between the Central Bank’s and the EIU’s growth projection. The interview begins with Dr. Morais looking at this significant discrepancy, and why it exists. He notes that whatever the Central Bank says, it is highly doubtful Sri Lanka will achieve anything close to 7% GDP growth, and flags the failure of macro-economic reforms targeting economic growth as a central factor. Dr. Morais also speaks about the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Under Utilised Assets Act, which was rushed through Parliament as an urgent Bill last year and notes that it sends the wrong signals to the private sector. Noting that around 30% of the budget goes for debt repayments, and another 20-25% as salaries and wages for State sector employees, Dr. Morais flags that prudent thinking to manage high public debt and debt servicing is necessary, but largely absent.

We also speak about the impact of the increases in diesel and kerosene (very likely to go up again in July) and the resulting increase in inflation and utility expenditure on consumers, and how this could play out over 2012. Dr. Morais looks at how the exponential growth year on year of tourism inflows can help support the economy, and also how, if at all, the Euro zone crisis can impact our own economy. More generally, we talk about the Occupy Wall Street movement and economic justice, and how today, the market is not a phenomenon fully understood by even economists, and what this means for ordinary citizens.

Dr. Morais looks at the problems of budgetary allocation, where even post-war, defence spending alone has exceeded the allocation for the entire social sector (health, education etc), and that though defence spending may now embrace tourism, service delivery and other economic aspects, the comparative underspend on the social sector is deeply worrying, and a significant problem.

The interview ends with Dr. Morais stressing the need for principled reform of Sri Lanka’s economy, and that playing around with the economy is not worth the risk.

  • Keynes!

    “Principled reform of Sri Lanka’s economy”?

    Should the principles be based on Keynesian or Hayekian principles?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dzhI3O6Brc

  • yapa

    Problem with the Economists of our country both in the government, opposition and the other institutes seems to be their inability to quantitative analysis of issues. There economic figures seem to be obtain through letters and sentences , not through numbers and calculations. If economists of this country had some capability of doing some calculations, rather than making sums through “circumbendibus” and technical jargon, or at least had some common sense, they would have easily understood the absurdness of the economic predictions of this country.

    The Government has no shame to publish them, and the other economists also had no ability to level any specific criticism against them than just vague and partial political criticisms.

    Really, absurdness of these figures were not due to the fluctuating economic variables, but solely due to the inability of the intellectual authorities to calculate or analyze them. Our economists outside the government could not counter the fairy tales of the economists in the government. I am not an economist, but I will ask a few simple questions about those economic predictions even a grade ten student can understand but economists of the both camps did not understand.

    1. The Government announced that per capita GDP will be doubled in 5 years time. Did any economist of the opposition was able to disprove/debunk (I mean disprove/debunk)this blatant lie thrown at this whole country and the people to show that the country would soon become the “Wonder of Asia”?

    To double the percapita GDP in a five years period, the country must have a continuous economic growth of 15% though out that five years period. Has any country ever achieved such a high growth rate and will any body expect any country would achieve it in future.?

    2. The government claims that PPP (purchasing power parity ) is continuously growing in the country. I do not understand how any real economist can keep their mouth shut and accept this when the “Rate of Inflation” is higher than the “GDP growth rate”?

    I think we need some Quantitative Economists, addition to qualitative ones. Otherwise no economist would make such absurd predictions or no economist would spare such “bailas” without stripping them in broad day light in a public place like Galle Face.

    There is a scarcity of true economists for the country.

    Thanks!

    • http://srilankalandoftheblind.blogspot.com/ PresiDunce Bean

      @yapa
      Haven’t you heard of Dr.Harsha De Silva? One of the few economists around who is not scared to challenge the government on it’s funny economic utterances.I am looking forward to the day that groundviews does an interview with Dr.Harsha De silva.

    • Keynes!

      Yapa,

      In 1939, the world’s first winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics called for a reconstruction of economics along quantitative lines by presenting his report titled Statistical Testing of Business-Cycle Theories to the League of Nations.

      J.M. Keynes’ reply was immediate:

      “Newton, Boyle and Locke all played with alchemy. So let him continue”

      If you ever meet Dhammika Dharmapala, who is now attached to the University of Illinois in the Unites States, you can ask him about it.

      It’s Dhammika Dharmapala, not Dhammika Perera.

      • http://etofinda yapa

        Hey Keynes!;

        I think your grand father Keynes also made a mistake. I don’t think Newton, Boyle or Locke played with alchemy. First two were renowned Physicists and the last one was a Social/Political ideologist, if I am not mistaken.

        However, your grand father’s economic theories have no much validity today just as the destiny of any other theories of Economics. Today’s revered Economic theories will be invalidated with the fuel crisis, and almost all swill succumbed to death very soon with the end of fossil fuels reserves found under the crust of the earth.

        You will have to start to find a new set of economic theories for that “primary society to be born” that will have no electricity or pumped water or motor vehicles, that doomed day is coming in less than 100 years. One can venture into today itself and undertake extensive research to find that set of Economic theories and upon success will be able to be the Nobel Laureate in 2070. Sometimes the Economist will have to hire a canoe and two men with oars to go to Sweden to take his cache of Krona. I would like if you honour your lineage of Keynes by trying to achieve the goal. Ha! Ha!!

        To be serious a bit, I think Economists cannot perform their duty as Economists if they do not know their numbers. If you look at the books of Renowned Indian Economist Amartya Sen (Nobel Laureate) you can see his analyses are full of Mathematics, Calculus, Statistical models, Algebra……what not? Just like Physicist cannot know his Physics without Mathematics, Economists of today cannot survive as Economists without the know how of Mathematics. They can survive as politicians or teachers.

        In the Economics Departments of the Universities of our country, Mathematics lessons are usually undertaken by the lecturers from the Mathematics Departments. This is an indication that the Lecturers of the Economics Departments cannot handle the simple Mathematics required for the basic degree level or the Masters level. Otherwise Economics lecturers are the best people to teach Mathematics required for Econ students, not the Mathematics lecturers. Without that lower level knowledge of mathematics, how can so called economists/lecturers analyze any Economic issue? They are unable to do any creative work in Economics. They have no wings to fly. Some birds can’t fly! If Economists want to fly, they will have to upgrade their knowledge of Mathematics. Otherwise they cannot make predictions the way it has been doing for a long time.

        Thanks!

      • http://etofinda yapa

        Correction………

        “Otherwise they [cannot] make predictions the way it has been doing for a long time.”

        Should be

        “Otherwise they can make predictions the way it has been doing for a long time.”

        Thanks!

      • http://etofinda yapa

        Hey Keynes!;

        “In 1939, the world’s first winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics called for a reconstruction of economics along quantitative lines by presenting his report titled Statistical Testing of Business-Cycle Theories to the League of Nations.”

        I feel you made your grandfather an accuse with your faulty statement above. The first Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded only in 1969.

        “In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden’s central bank) established the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. The Prize is based on a donation received by the Foundation in 1968 from Sveriges Riksbank on the occasion of the Bank’s 300th anniversary. The first Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen in 1969.

        The Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden, according to the same principles as for the Nobel Prizes that have been awarded since 1901.”

        Hey Keynes!, you believe in Time Travels? Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • Keynes!

        “Everyone has a plan, `til they get hit.” – Mike Tyson

        Yapa,

        Don’t put parts. I will substantiate my claims and help you “get the poto” by defrocking the karate costume you have put on to frighten me.

        1. Things would have been clear had you asked the renowned economic historian Dhammika Dharmapala. Instead, you went to Bellagio’s Casino down Duplication Road and consulted Casino Dhammika for advice. No wonder your understanding is so warped.

        Nevertheless, here’s a video of Grandfather Keynes purchasing Newton’s papers at a Sotheby’s auction in 1936. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdmhPfGo3fE

        This video is also available on Public Broadcasting Service’s website under the Nova Science Series.

        Grandfather Keynes’ played an instrumental role in bringing out Newton’s secret belief in alchemy.

        2. I wrote about the report titled Statistical Testing of Business-Cycle Theories, which was presented to the League of Nations. This report was also sent to Grandfather Keynes for his review. Who do you think the author of this report was?

        Please Google and find out the answer to this question. You will then see a remarkable similarity between the name of the author of this report and the winner of the first Nobel Prize in Economics. Coincidence eh?

        3. So, you think Grandfather Keynes, myself and other economists do not know our mathematics eh?

        Granfather received a first class B.A. in mathematics in May 1904 from the University of Cambridge. As for me, I came under the tutelage of one of the finest mathematics lecturers in this country. You can view his profile at http://www.cmb.ac.lk/academic/Science/Departments/Mathematics/staff/Hameem,%20M.%20H.%20K.%20M.htm

        Other economists such as Saman Kelegama of the Institute of Policy Studies have advanced degrees in mathematics. Saman has a first class BA and Master’s in math from IIT India.

        4. As for your little blurb about Amartya Sen’s love affair with numbers, let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth itself. In the Human Development Report of 1999 published by the UNDP, Amartya Sen says “the HDI, which is inescapably a crude index, must not be seen as anything other than an introductory move in getting people interested in the rich collection of information that is present in the Human Development Report. Indeed, I must admit I did not initially see much merit in the HDI itself, which, as it happens, I was privileged to help devise.”

        Amartya Sen knows the limitations of using quantitative indicators in economics. Although Sen uses a lot of mathematics and statistics, he does so with caution because he knows the limitations of doing so. I hope Amrtya Sen’s words will stop you from riding his coattails.

        As for me, I am not aggressively resisting econometrica per se. What I oppose are the attempts at statistical inference without any prior effort of ascertaining the suitability of the economic material for making such inferences. Let me take the case of GDP since you have been whining about how wrong the predictions have been in your first post on this forum. Although GDP is given as a numerical value, expectations of GDP in the future is dependent on many non-numerical factors such as the political parties that will come into power, the issue of trade union action, inventions, resolutions at the human rights council and so on. So, even if the governor of the Central Bank and the Government are not lying, it would be difficult to put a number on future expectations of GDP.

        The GDP number did not turn out to be a tenable model of decision-making. And that is the very reason why Mahbub ul-Haq proposed the Human Development Index, which his chum Amartya Sen hesitatingly approved!

        Now, before you go meet Casino Dhammika for further consultations, I suggest you view Holly Rollers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3s4o6gAQRk which sure gives better moves than the basic strategy of Blackjack.

        5. Your attempt to pooh-pooh Keynesian thought in the face of the fuel crisis can also be easily debunked. Obama’s Cash for Clunkers was an eco-friendly Keynesian stimulus that was put in place in 2009. That, my friend, is a classic example of using Keynesian thought to mitigate the fuel crisis and the impact on the environment.

        “It`s not the size of the dog in the fight, it`s the size of the fight in the dog.”

      • Keynes!

        Yapa,

        I will substantiate my claims.

        1. Here’s a video of Keynes purchasing Newton’s papers at a Sotheby’s auction in 1936. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdmhPfGo3fE

        This video is also available on Public Broadcasting Service’s website under the Nova Science Series.

        Keynes played an instrumental role in bringing out Newton’s secret belief in alchemy.

        2. I wrote about the report titled Statistical Testing of Business-Cycle Theories, which was presented to the League of Nations. This report was also sent to Keynes for his review. Who do you think the author of this report was?

        Please Google and find out the answer to this question. You will then see a remarkable similarity between the name of the author of this report and the winner of the first Nobel Prize in Economics. Coincidence eh?

        3. So, you think JM Keynes, myself and other economists do not know our mathematics eh?

        Keynes received a first class B.A. in mathematics in May 1904 from the University of Cambridge. As for me, I came under the tutelage of one of the finest mathematics teachers in this country. You can view his profile at http://www.cmb.ac.lk/academic/Science/Departments/Mathematics/staff/Hameem,%20M.%20H.%20K.%20M.htm

        Other economists such as Saman Kelegama of the Institute of Policy Studies have advanced degrees in mathematics. Saman has a first class BA and Master’s in math from IIT India.

        4. As for your little blurb about Amartya Sen’s love affair with numbers, let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth itself. In the Human Development Report of 1999 published by the UNDP, Amartya Sen says “the HDI, which is inescapably a crude index, must not be seen as anything other than an introductory move in getting people interested in the rich collection of information that is present in the Human Development Report. Indeed, I must admit I did not initially see much merit in the HDI itself, which, as it happens, I was privileged to help devise.”

        Amartya Sen knows the limitations of using quantitative indicators in economics. Although Sen uses a lot of mathematics and statistics, he does so with caution because he knows the limitations of doing so. I hope Amrtya Sen’s words will stop you from riding his coattails.

        As for me, I am not aggressively resisting econometrica per se. What I oppose are the attempts at statistical inference without any prior effort of ascertaining the suitability of the economic material for making such inferences. Let me take the case of GDP since you have been whining about how wrong the predictions have been in your first post on this forum. Although GDP is given as a numerical value, expectations of GDP in the future is dependent on many non-numerical factors such as the political parties that will come into power, the issue of trade union action, inventions, resolutions at the human rights council and so on. So, even if the governor of the Central Bank and the Government are not lying, it would be difficult to put a number on future expectations of GDP.

        The GDP number did not turn out to be a tenable model of decision-making. And that is the very reason why Mahbub ul-Haq proposed the Human Development Index, which his chum Amartya Sen hesitatingly approved!

        5. Your attempt to pooh-pooh Keynesian thought in the face of the fuel crisis can also be easily debunked. Obama’s Cash for Clunkers was an eco-friendly Keynesian stimulus that was put in place in 2009. That, my friend, is a classic example of using Keynesian thought to mitigate the fuel crisis and the impact on the environment. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it`s the size of the fight in the dog” said Mark Twain. I hope my explanation gives you an indication of the size of the fight we Keynesians have.

      • http://etofinda yapa

        Hey Keynes!;

        I was just kidding when I quoted J.M. Keynes as your grandfather, sorry, I did know that it was real, I am extremely sorry about it. (Why man you are tickling me, let me write this, Keynes! is awaiting my response.)

        BTW, what was your quotation at the beginning of your post,Keynes!? “Keynes has a plan, `til they get hit.” – Mike Tyson?, you fought with Mike Tyson?, What was the outcome?, same?

        Any way only now Keynes! I really understood the fearful situation I have faced with, fools like me only understand the reality through practical experience only, just like way the old toothless tiger learnt the lesson. Let me confess my self my own pathetic situation through that story.

        An old toothless tiger, once found a pot of “blue moon” hidden by a local politician who was dreaming to be a rich man like a national politician who has a more sophisticated business related to the rising sun, when get a puff of it. Toothless fellow was happy to have a drink than to have something to chew. After the pot went through his throat, just like me he felt some dutch courage and wanted to test his ability, by challenging the beasts in the jungle. So, he went ahead with his plans. First, he meat a mongoose. He asked, “Hey! monga, are you afraid of me”? Mongoose bent his head and said “Most powerful venerable sir!, yes, baya bhoy!”. So, the fellow was very happy and went ahead with the plan. Next he met a fox. Same question, and the same answer. Happier, went ahead with the plan, next prey was a wolf, Hey! wolfi, what is the you are in for?, are you afraid of me? “Baya bhoy!”. Now, just like me the toothless was full of courage that there will not be a single monster that would not fear him. He went further, with his chest walking two feet in front of him. Then my friend saw two tree trunks eating some leaves, its short tail was moving slowly. My friend went close to him and asked, Hey!, elephantiasis, are you afraid of me? Tree trunks didn’t move. So he repeated, no response, what an insult? So, he went closer and gave a shot from his cats paw to the back of the mighty body. Being disturbed with his luncheon, turned backed with a mighty trumpet, got hold my friend with his long nose and threw away the fellow on to a far away bush.

        My friends spinal cord was broken, blue moon passed from down, hen pecked and murmured ” I just asked a simple question, why did you break my back? If you did not know the answer you could have told so, what is the big reason to get angry”?

        Hey! Keynes!, thanks for the response. I too would like to response to you my friend, thanks,grand son. Ha1 Ha!!

      • yapa

        Dear Keynes!;

        I think your opposition proves me right. You are saying that good economists have sound Mathematics backgrounds. I know that Amartya Sen is a Normative Economist, but he knew his Mathematics, the value of Mathematics in Economics, and uses it in the places where it is necessary and essential. You say your grandfather Keynes was also with a sound Mathematics background.

        You further proved my idea that Economists in our universities are unable to teach Mathematics necessary for Economics, given you learnt Economics in the University of Colombo. In the staff list given there, there are couple of my Mathematics teachers as well though I don’t know who is greater.

        BTW, don’t you think HDI is a better indicator than GDP per capita as a measure of “development”? That was developed using Mathematics. No Mathematics, no HDI formula, not even per Capita GDP formula. Can you tell me the state of Economics in a world there is no formula for per capita GDP?

        True that HDI is insufficient, but can you cite an indicator (quantitative or qualitative) that is capable of totally capturing “development”? Not only Economics has no capacity, it was never able even to define what really “development” means. I think Amartya Sen was questioning the insufficiency of HDI, not its validity. I would like to question the inability of Economics to identify a set of harmonics economic variables with the reality of the world that could last consistently at least for ten years. I propose almost all the economic theories are based on shortsighted greed. Economics is a wounded blind pig whose wisdom and conscience is permanently locked.

        Normative Economists like Amartya Sen was able to see this reality through the prism of the suffering of millions of masses in his “human continent” amidst those sophisticated Economic theories your grandfather and likes have developed.

        It amazed me, form your post it seems that fuel crisis is a peanut for Keynesians. Please educate me how Obama’s Cash for Clunkers Keynesian stimulus resolves the fuel crisis, understanding the contents of the videos and the gravity of the problem from this Mathematician.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY&feature=list_related&playnext=1&list=SP6A1FD147A45EF50D

        I must admit that your word riddles, persuaded me to ask you some question that may not be correct. However, I didn’t know the personal affairs of Newton and Boyle, I know almost all their important theories quite well. But if you ask me Newton’s Laws of Motion, his theory of Gravitation, his corpuscles theory, his findings in Light, Calculus….., or Boyle’s Law in Physics or their applications I will tech you a marvelous lesson.

        I have heard that the name of Newton’s dog is “Diamond”, though I am not very sure of it. However, I don’t know his wife’s name or his cat’s name. If you know that please let me also know about it.

        Ha! Ha!!

        Kook forward for your response.

        Thanks, Keynes!

      • yapa

        Collapse of the world explained in 3 minutes!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBTWUpPXknc&feature=related

        Keynesian Economics? Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear Keynes!;

        “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it`s the size of the fight in the dog”

        Will watch the fight between the under dogs of J. M. Keynes and Issac Newton to see whether the size of the dog or size of the fight in the dog will decide the fight.

        One, two, three…….

        Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • Keynes!

        Yapa,

        1. The winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics has stated that “by all means let’s have math in economics — but as our servant, not our master.”

        http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/11/mathematics-and-economics/

        2. Economists need to have a grasp of a whole plethora of fields to make judgements. Just ask the Law and Economics Movement or Feminist Economists or those engaged in the field of Ecological Economics.

        Arguing that economists in our universities cannot teach math is kinda’ like arguing that economists cannot teach Law, Sociology, Biology or Physics, which are all specialised fields. Just ask yourself the question as to how many mathematicians can teach economics?

        Indeed, your attempt to perch mathematics on top reminds of the joke about the body parts who argued about who would be boss.

        Had the economist Ronald Coase preened his understanding of physics and the history of property rights, his Coasian electromagnetic spectrum theory would have been less embarrassing.

        3. Arguing that the HDI is a better indicator than GDP is like arguing that the altimeter on an airplane is better than the fuel gauge!

      • http://etofinda yapa

        Dear Keynes!;

        I don’t know how I missed this post.

        I should commend you, you taken an excellent effort to answer me, will see how:

        1. You have quoted a saying of a Nobel laureate to show that Mathematics is not important in Economics, not to take Mathematics as Mater but to take it as a servant.

        No one has advocated to take Maths as the Master in Economics, but I just emphasized the undeniable necessity of Mathematics in Economics for understanding Mathematics, without which it is almost an impossibility. What I said was Mathematics has become an essential supporting subject in Learning Economics.

        The Nobel laureate you referred has not refused the necessity of Mathematics, but indirectly indicated its significance. Do you understand the mode of non verbal communication of gestures, my dear friend?

        2. I think you have not understood the difference between Mathematics and the other subjects you have referred. Mathematics is an abstract subject, which is used in almost all other subjects in improving them, like what Logic does in them. No any other subject is so influential on other subjects as Mathematics or Logic. It is not incorrect to say that no subject today can stand by themselves without the help of Mathematics, but not without the other subjects you mentioned. Your feeble attempt to dilute the unique significance of Mathematics equating it with some other subjects is not an honest endavour, I should say. No one will accept your equation, especially in this context. Your parable of “body parts” is out of context and irrelevant, and only an attempt to cover up the bankruptcy.

        3. Your exaggerated example is totally inappropriate and a dishonest attempt to cover up the truth with a verbal sharpness.

        Unlike airplane an fuel gauge, per capita GDP (not GDP, as you have mentioned) and HDI are devised for the same purpose as measurement of Development”, hence unlike airplane and fuel gauge they are comparable. Per capita GDP represent only a fraction of development, that is just one of the indicators of Economic development alone while HDI, a broader indicator, that indicates, the development of the spheres of Economic , education and health. Do you say three rupees is worthless than a rupee?

        An indication of the worthlessness of an Economist who knows no Mathematics or who is not rich with of honesty.

        Thanks!

  • justitia

    Dr.Morais was not asked for solutions to the economic crisis.Was this deliberate. Of course, the solution is to curtail expenses, wastage, fraud & close/curtail unnecessary state enterprises – but how to achieve this is a question none wishes to answer.

  • http://etofinda yapa

    Bandula explains how to survive with Rs. 2,500 a month

    http://www.adaderana.lk/news.php?nid=17535&mode=beauti

    An Economist!, ha! ha!!

    Thanks!

    • http://etofinda yapa

      A spoon that has been in the soup from 15 years. Ha! Ha!!

      Thanks!

    • http://etofinda yapa

      Please post here.

      Goliath is cautious to challenge Davids, and to challenge only Goliaths of his caliber.

      Ha! Ha!!

      Thanks!

  • http://srilankalandoftheblind.blogspot.com/ PresiDunce Bean
    • http://etofinda yapa

      Yet to see the white patches under the wings. (You know the proverb, “kana kok suda…………….”)

      Thanks!

  • Izeth

    13 Amendment should be SCRAPPED immediately.

    All Sri Lankans irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion or caste must demand the immediate scrapping of the 13 amendment.

    • yapa

      My view is also that 13th Amendment should not be entertained.

      1. It is something imposed upon us by force.

      2. The ground realities have now changed with time than when it was introduced in 1989.

      On the other hand there is no solely political solution to the Sri Lankan issue as it is more an Economic Issue than a political issue. The political issue is a consequence of the “struggle for more resources” (mainly for and) within ethnic communities. It is a consequence of reluctance of “privileged people” to accept an equitable distribution of limited and among people of this country.

      13th Amendment is insisted to secure a disproportionate portion of land to one community of this country, that is why they are struggling for “Land Powers” to “merged North and East”, which has the most uncultivated lands in the island. Police Powers is to protect, secure and ensure the ownership of the land to a particular community and Finance Powers is to strengthen the position.

      All in all, 13th amendment is for disproportionate distribution of resources of this country on ethnic basis and is a long lasting threat to equity and equality of the people of this country. As it promotes a doctrine against the equality of the people it is undemocratic, against the Rule of Law.

      I think in terms of Economics, Politics or Ethics it is ubjustifiable and tremendously harmful to the interests of the people.

      I think this is the naked truth about the 13th amendment and long lasting political struggle between North and South, many shy to talk, to save their dignity in fear of being humiliated as “not aligned with modern norms of the developed world”.

      Can anybody argue against this naked truth?

      Thanks!

      • yapa

        Correction……..

        “It is a consequence of reluctance of “privileged people” to accept an equitable distribution of limited [and] among people of this country.”

        should be,

        “It is a consequence of reluctance of “privileged people” to accept an equitable distribution of limited land among people of this country.”

        Thanks!

      • http://srilankalandoftheblind.blogspot.com/ PresiDunce Bean

        @Yapa
        Many happy returns of the day Yapa.
        “Three things cannot be long hidden: the Sun, the Moon, and the Truth.”
        -The Buddha-
        Much sorrow and bloodshed could have been avoided in SL during the last 64 years if people like you and your leaders had followed and lived according to the principles taught by the Buddha.

      • yapa

        Dear PresiDunce Bean;

        You think I am not not aligned with modern norms of the developed world?

        If so please justify your perception.

        I don’t guess answers in Mathematics. I do sums and arrive at answers. If my sum is incorrect, you are free to correct it, not just to express your guessed answer.

        Please show me how I am wrong.

        Thanks!

      • http://srilankalandoftheblind.blogspot.com/ PresiDunce Bean

        @Yapa
        You say that the 13th Amendment should not be entertained, because it is something imposed upon us by force. So what about all the things the Majority has imposed on the minorities by force?
        1) The sale of meat and liquor banned on full moon days.
        2) Film halls closed on this day as well.
        3) Buddhism being given foremost place in the country instead of the more logical idea of giving all religions equal place.
        4) The national anthem which was there in Sinhala and Tamil, now being restricted to being sung only in the Sinhala language.
        5) A non-Sinhalese Buddhist not having the chance to become the President of this country unless he is a Sinhala Buddhist.

        …any comments yapa? :D

      • yapa

        Dear PresiDunce Bean;

        There is no reason to reject good things even if they are imposed by force.

        When you were in the school how many times you have been caned? (Uncountable?, Ha1 Ha!!)

        Seeds of weeds we throw away, and secure the seeds of paddy, we do not throw both of them because both are seeds.

        Seemingly similar things can get entirely different treatments, it is not a reason to be grunted.

        Your different view is a result of a logical fallacy.

        You know what fallacies are? The ideas seemingly correct, but really incorrect.

        Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear PresiDunce Bean;

    I think 4 and 5 above are incorrect.

    3. giving all religions equal place is not a logical idea at all. Do you think giving truth and untruth equal place is a logical idea? Giving good and evil equal place is logical? You can differentiate things on qualitative aspects as well in addition to quantities.

    You see the similarities, but turn your blind eye to the differences. In assessing some thing you should not consider just one aspect, but try to capture all the aspects. Otherwise an elephant can become a vinoving fan or a parapet wall, and your theory can be a “flat theory”.

    Thanks!

    • http://srilankalandoftheblind.blogspot.com/ PresiDunce Bean

      @yapa

      I am impressed by the enlightened thoughts you have regarding how minorities should be treated in SL. If you ever decide to run for PresiDunce, you can rest assured that all the minorities including myself and my family would vote for you. ;)

      • yapa

        Dear PresiDunce Bean;

        If I become the PresiDunce with your vote, I will give all the minorities equal rights as the majority. (If I become HE the Honourable PresiDunce the King, I might forget my promise, it is a separate matter.)

        You think that is not reasonable and sufficient for minorities?

        You want more and more and more……… forever, dear PresiDunce Bean?

        Thanks!

  • Happy Heathen

    PresiDunce Bean

    If we are to strive for modernity, I think the aim should be to do away with all organised religions, not to give them equal space as it has been amply proven that the morality and religion are two exclusive entities.

    Whatever progressive steps taken by successive Sri Lankan governments with regards to Women’s Rights, Animal Rights and Gay rights have been always pulled back by religious communities. MORE IMPORTANTLY BY MINORITY RELIGIOUS GROUPS.

    Please read on the current debate on Abortion – who are the sections vehemently opposed to it? Is it the silent majority or the vocal minority?

    Arthur C Clarke once famously declared “One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion.”

    After all, Freedom FROM Religion is a basic human right as well.

  • http://srilankalandoftheblind.blogspot.com/ PresiDunce Bean

    @Happy Heathen

    It’s not only the minority religions that are against Gay rights, Women’s rights and abortion…the majority religion is also against them. One funny example is that every time someone mentions women’s rights, people from the majority religious group brings up the story of how Sri Lanka is known for electing the first female prime minister and how we also had a female president. According to their line of thinking, therefore women in SL have equal rights as men.

    • Happy Heathen

      PresiDunce Bean,

      “It’s not only the minority religions that are against Gay rights, Women’s rights and abortion…the majority religion is also against them.”

      That automatically proves my point that we need to do away with all organised religions, rather than giving them space. Thank you!

      However, I am not sure which majority religion you are referring to…. If it is Buddhism (apart from it’s not being a religion – refer what leading atheists have to say about Buddhism)there is nothing in Pali Canon about homosexuality despite what saffron robed people have to say.

      The existing ‘Buddhist’ prejudice against gays and women are legacy of Victorian values imposed on Sri Lanka.

      And you have conveniently left out animal rights……..