Sri Lanka Could Bounce Back Quickly, If Politicians Allow It – Oped


Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister has correctly said that the country’s current predicament is its own making. He also might have further said that if Sri Lanka’s recovery from the present economic mess were to be delayed, it would also be the country’s own making.

Millions of patriotic and responsible Sri Lankans living in the country and other parts of the world must be following the developments on a daily basis with great concern and be feeling highly frustrated when they read the news about continued protests on the roads , blocking traffic and shouting slogans. Particularly, the massive agitation by the students a few days back make one suspect whether these students have an adequate understanding about the gravity of the situation.

The problems faced by Sri Lanka today cannot be sorted out by demonstrations and protests, but only by chalking out careful and appropriate agricultural, economic and industrial revival plans. The continued public agitation will certainly disturb the government officials and think tanks in the government, who need the cooperation and support from all quarters and a peaceful political climate.

Let not anyone be under the mistaken impression that the agitators on the streets and the politicians who criticize the government day in and day out are the sole representative gathering of the silent majority of the people. They are not.

While millions really feel sad and humiliated to see the present conditions in Sri Lanka and the disturbing news about Sri Lanka appearing in the global press , leading to loss of reputation for the motherland, they certainly do not approve the methods of the agitators and the politicians.

The past Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and several ministers in earlier government have paid the price for their mis-governance and a new Prime Minister is in office now. He needs support, guidance and suggestions and not brickbats, since such brickbats and abuses will only retard the recovery process of Sri Lanka. The government needs time and a peaceful condition to work out the road map for recovery and implement the strategies.

In the difficult conditions in Sri Lanka today, the Government may have to take some drastic measures that may have to bypass existing procedures and regulations to some extent. The government may have to bow down to some extent to the conditions imposed by the international financing institutions and other countries, which are willing to provide much needed help to Sri Lanka at this critical time.

Every Sri Lankan would agree that in the past few weeks, the only country that has come forward to help Sri Lanka in material terms with understanding and goodwill is India.

What is shocking about Sri Lankan politics and politicians is that some of them seem to be favourably inclined to one country or the other, whereas they should be favourably inclined only towards Sri Lanka.

Suddenly, a controversy has been created about a renewable energy project in Northern Mannar district, which has been given to Adani group based in India. Speaking before the Committee on public enterprises, the Chairman of Ceylon Electricity Board appear to have remarked without care, caution and a sense of responsibility that the Indian government pressured Sri Lanka to give the order to the Adani group. Some politicians appear to have applauded such a statement.

What should be seen is whether this renewable energy project would help Sri Lanka, particularly since the project has a short gestation time for implementation. In the present time of fuel crisis when Sri Lanka has no money to buy fuel from abroad, the renewable energy project is much needed and will reduce the demand for petroleum fuel. Why oppose this meaningful project?

At least for the next twelve months, politicians and media should allow the government to move on with its recovery plans, instead of creating hurdles by making critical remarks, which would be a counter productive move.

Sri Lanka, the great country that it is, deserves better and let the politicians and the agitators go silent for the next twelve months.

N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

One thought on “Sri Lanka Could Bounce Back Quickly, If Politicians Allow It – Oped

  • June 13, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    A very biased article towards its end. Perhaps this same “What should be seen is whether this renewable energy project would help Sri Lanka” attitude should be applied to the contract that was CANCELLED for the SAME project before this dodgy Indian deal. The latter (the Indian so called deal) is done without a single global tender. The former (that which was cancelled) was an Asian Development Bank funded project that had been finalised after a global tender (in which a reputable Chinese solar firm won in competitive bidding). Double standards much!


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