Sri Lankan Government has vowed to make the country “Asia’s wonder” or “miracle of Asia”. In some senses Sri Lanka is already a wonder; for positive as well as negative reasons. Sri Lanka has traversed from high-intensity armed conflict or civil war (pre-2002) to cessation of hostilities (Feb 2002 – Dec 2005), Tsunami natural disaster (end 2004), relapse into civil war (Dec 2005 - May 2009), and ultimately to the end of civil war (post- May 2009); perhaps the only country in Asia that has experienced such extreme misfortunes and fortunes in just a decade. Sri Lanka’s economy has been remarkably resilient despite human-made and natural disasters as well as an acute external shock (post- September 2008 global financial crisis) in the last decade.
On the morning after the election result was announced I woke up to a stale old day. The winning margin of the election was too big to believe. The hope for believable change has turned into an unbelievable status quo. If it is the destiny of Sri Lanka, I humbly accept that. Now that the Sri Lankan people have chosen the President of the country for the next six years or eight years (depending on the interpretation of the Constitution by the Supreme Court), it is time to strategise a robust post-war economy.
The thirty-year battle against terrorism has turned into a vicious battle for the spoils-of-war in recent times. This post war phenomenon does not augur well for the people of Sri Lanka. In a strange quirk of history, what took place within the Tigers of the North since February 2004 is now taking place among the Lions of the South since May 2009.
Can the off-springs of the supremacists of both the State and the non-State in Sri Lanka convince and free their respective fathers out of their insular mindsets? Could the enigma of Barack Obama prick the conscience of the State and the non-State powers that be in Sri Lanka? Can the exemplary message of the American people inspire the general public in Sri Lanka (irrespective of ethnic affiliation) to break out of the shackles of parochialism, communalism and fascism?
Two years have passed since President Rajapakse took office in November 2005 and therefore it is timely to review the performance/management of the economy, which I term Mahindanomics. The salient features of Mahindanomics are the following
In spite of rising GDP growth rate, declining unemployment rate, and strong stock market performance the Sri Lankan economy is showing signs of severe strain in terms of rising inflation, negative real interest rate, rising budget deficit, sharp increase in broad money supply, depreciation of the rupee, increasing current account deficit, and fast depleting overall balance in the external balance-of-payments
The Sri Lankan economy is on a precipice as a result of prolonged drought, soaring world oil prices, absence of clear and tangible economic policy framework, and lack of progress in kick starting the peace talks.
The proposal by the LTTE on behalf of the Tamil people for an agreement to establish an Interim Self Governing Authority for the North East of the Island of Sri Lanka” reads the preamble of the LTTE proposal, and therefore every single Tamil person in Sri Lanka has the right to comment on this proposal. It is this inalienable right the reviewer exercises here.