Kath Noble

A view from somewhere near Kilinochchi

Posted in The Island by kathnoble on September 25, 2013

Reflections on the first election to the Northern Provincial Council

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERACampaigning for the Northern Provincial Council was so miserable that I decided to spend election day as far away from politicians as possible.

Both the UPFA and the TNA disappointed. Two months ago, I wrote a piece saying how bright the future would be if the totally useless discourse of patriots versus traitors could be done away with, as seemed to be happening with the TNA having nominated Justice Wigneswaran as its chief ministerial candidate and the UPFA talking of putting forward Daya Master. But within days of publication, the UPFA had done a u-turn and declared that no former members of the LTTE would be included in its list, leaving it free to equate the TNA with the LTTE and argue that a TNA victory was bound to lead to the establishment of a separate state.

The TNA behaved no better, doing its best to restore the links with the LTTE that it had so successfully severed during the nomination process, with Justice Wigneswaran going to the extent of calling Prabhakaran a hero – very heroic, wasn’t it, shooting people who weren’t willing to die shielding him from defeat?

As I watched television the night before the election, almost every other sentence referred to the LTTE.

Yet there is no such organisation in Sri Lanka today.

What can be found are Tamils, and they are worse off as a community than they were three decades ago. The LTTE failed them, whether they realise it or not, and it is up to those of us who care about the country to ensure that the TNA does not do the same.

I am hopeful, but the election campaign was a reminder of how dangerous politics can be.

With that in mind, I spent election day trying to understand what life is like for the people who suffered the most in the war.

Because it is this same group who will suffer if the TNA cannot sustain the peace.

A couple of around the same age as my parents welcomed me for the weekend in their home a few miles outside Kilinochchi.

They don’t yet have a house, but they have managed to put together a fairly decent makeshift structure from whatever they could find or were given. They have built dry walls from the bricks of their old home around a new wooden frame, and covered it with a roof of tin sheets, palm leaves and plastic. Inside there are three ‘areas’ – a space roughly four foot by ten foot for cooking on an open fire, around ten foot by ten foot arranged as a ‘living room’ and six foot by ten foot for sleeping. (During my stay, much to my embarrassment, they slept in the ‘kitchen’.)

In their four acre property they have a well, which needs to be repaired but is still offering up water, albeit not of a very enticing colour. Anyway, we drank from it. They don’t yet have a proper toilet either, so we also carried water from the well to another makeshift but quite reasonable arrangement some distance away in the bush.

They are still waiting for help with basic infrastructure, but their situation is not desperate.

Incongruously, they already have electricity, and a television and a fridge and various other ‘luxuries’ provided by their children, who have lived near Colombo for years.

This support from relatives is vital, since they have very little income. They make a ‘living’ by running a vegetable shop in the Kilinochchi market, but I saw for myself that there is not enough custom to sustain all of the traders. How they are going to continue even this poor existence as they age further and are unable to cycle the quite considerable distance into town on a daily basis, I don’t know. They hope to clear their land and start cultivation when the rains come next month, but that too is no life for the elderly, and all of the youth of the area are busy looking for opportunities to get out.

Starting to build their lives again at 70 years of age is a pretty appalling prospect.

In terms of basic infrastructure, many of their neighbours are better off, with numerous newly constructed houses to be seen in the surrounding area.

Almost everybody seems to have received bicycles and household items from NGOs.

Some have also been given farming equipment and animals.

It is interesting to note that while the husband believes that the reason they have not yet received many of these things is that allocations are being made according to the number of members in the family, the wife feels that they are being discriminated against by their local government official, curiously enough for not having given their children to the LTTE.

They voted for EPDP.

A friend of mine living abroad wanted me to ask them why they support a party that according to allegations made to the American Embassy ran or runs prostitution rings for the Army. I told him that these people have never heard of Wikileaks – the source of the story. They don’t know English and they had never used the internet before I helped them to have a chat with one of their sons over Skype.

For me, such questions are tantamount to harassment.

Neither he nor I paid more than a brief visit to the Vanni when it was under the control of the LTTE. We did not experience the fighting up close. And we did not live in Manik Farm.

These people went through all of that.

Anyway, in those days, the TNA was supporting the LTTE, which is proven to have done much worse.

The suggestion seemed rather intolerant, and indicative of the politics of people like us who are generally quite ungrounded in the various realities of Sri Lanka.

It was a real pleasure to see the old couple go out to vote on Saturday, and to talk to many others who found time in their days to do the same. The mood in Kilinochchi seemed upbeat, as indeed it had on Friday and did again on Sunday. People went about their business as usual after voting.

The Government must be congratulated for accepting the inevitability of a TNA victory and ensuring that election day passed more or less without incident. In Kilinochchi, the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections reported that thugs attacked one of its monitors who objected to food being given to voters by EPDP, but otherwise there was very little to complain about. Of course something like 90% of the posters on view in Kilinochchi were for the SLFP, plus another 5% for EPDP and only 1% for the TNA. But that just goes to show how useless it is to ruin the environment and spend money that generally has to be earned via untoward activities trying to win over the public with posters. The result in Kilinochchi was almost the exact opposite – the TNA received 82% of the vote and got three councillors elected, while the UPFA received 17% of the vote and got one councillor elected.

There were more serious incidents elsewhere in the Northern Province, but even they compared favourably with the norm in Sri Lanka and with the experience in the other two provinces that went to the polls on Saturday.

The result itself, combined with the high turnout – 73% in Kilinochchi – did more to demonstrate the return to normalcy than any of the Government’s rather silly propaganda.

Indeed, I was very happy to note on my way from Colombo that no member of the Security Forces attempted to find out where I was going or what I was doing – as they should have understood long ago, this only reinforces the feeling that they have something to hide.

The Omantai checkpoint was a symbol of the disunity of the country.

The major problem in Kilinochchi would seem to be the shortage of business, largely due to the fact that the entire population was displaced and in the process lost everything they owned.

That is why land is so important – it is the only capital that people have, and very few of them are in a position to buy anything other than the ‘essentials’ that it produces. Acquisition by the Security Forces for their quite bewildering array of camps in the North is bound to be a major source of ongoing conflict so long as no reasonable alternatives are found by means of a genuinely consultative process. This should also include some effort to assess the environmental impact, since the camps must at the very least place an additional burden on water supplies in what is a relatively dry area. The impact on the livelihoods of the people affected by them must also be considered.

The TNA position on the military presence in the North is clearly ridiculous – they insist on a return to pre-1983 levels – but the Government should understand that it is in its best interests to settle the issue once and for all.

Even they can’t possibly believe that all of the land they are occupying is genuinely needed.

Not far from where I spent the weekend, the Security Forces have set up a training camp – an assault course is visible from the road. Obviously that need not be in the outskirts of Kilinochchi.

(Incidentally, the only minor road to be paved in the area leads right up to the gate.)

But land alone is not enough, and the TNA must immediately get going on its promised comprehensive plan for the development of the Northern economy. The UPFA did not get much beyond transportation, which is useful but certainly not sufficient – at the moment, it is mostly used to transport goods from the rest of the country into the North and people from the North out.

Fortunately, Justice Wigneswaran and his colleagues will soon realise that they have no future as politicians if they can’t persuade Tamils to continue living with them.

This article was not published by The Island.

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Sri Lanka’s economic hotchpotch

Posted in The Island by kathnoble on September 18, 2013

How the Government is increasing tariffs to promote local industry while simultaneously negotiating free trade deals

carsThe Government’s economic policy is quite a mystery. It combines elements of what economists regard as completely contradictory ideas, unencumbered as it is by any clear ideology or even vaguely worked out plan of action.

Consider its approach to international trade.

Last week, the Indian media reported that India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki is to decide on whether to set up an assembly unit in Sri Lanka by the end of this financial year. It would be its first overseas venture.

Its chairman was quoted as saying that the initiative is being considered in the wake of significant increases in tariffs by the Sri Lankan authorities. Maruti Suzuki exported 15,000 vehicles to Sri Lanka in 2011/12, accounting for half of the 29,000 new cars sold in the country – preowned vehicles made up the remainder of the total market of 59,000 vehicles. But sales have dropped sharply.

Import duty on cars has been increased from 120-291% to 200-350%, while import duty on threewheelers and twowheelers has been increased from 51-61% to 100%. Excise duty has also been increased.

Sri Lanka is the largest export market for Indian cars, earning them $800 million in 2011/12, so manufacturers have responded with considerable concern.

Typically, it has been portrayed as a move to undermine India in favour of China. The story in the Business Standard referred to a $20 million investment by a Chinese company in an assembly unit in Sri Lanka, suggesting that the changes in the Sri Lankan tariff regime were part of the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration’s enthusiasm for all things Chinese.

That Sri Lanka has moved closer to China in recent years is undeniable.

China has become Sri Lanka’s biggest donor. As Saman Kelegama of the Institute of Policy Studies noted in a recent speech, China provided 25% of the Government’s foreign assistance in 2010, up from virtually zero a decade ago. The major donors in 2000 were the Asian Development Bank with 27% and Japan with 20%, which now account for only 11% and 13% respectively.

He repeated the long list of projects in which China has been involved – from the not so appreciated Norochcholai coal power station to the as yet unproven Hambantota port and airport via the Southern and the Colombo-Katunayake expressways, the Moragahakanda hydro power and water supply project and the surely purely decorative Nelum Pokuna theatre.

India is extremely keen for people to draw attention to the potential dangers of depending on Chinese aid, and Saman Kelegama referred to a couple. He said that the interest rate is generally high, while China usually insists on the use of Chinese workers.

He also claimed that technology transfer was relatively limited, compared to Indian assistance.

These may indeed be problems, but at least as I have argued in previous columns the Chinese don’t have grand ideas about how the Sri Lankan economy should be run, as is still the case with the West and Western influenced multilateral institutions like the Asian Development Bank.

One problem that he didn’t note is the lack of transparency, with the details of projects undisclosed and thus opportunities for corruption multiplied.

Really there are no great deals to be had with aid. All countries give while expecting to receive – now or later – which is why trade and investment is so crucial.

We’ll come to that shortly.

But it is not only China that has been providing more funds to Sri Lanka of late. India is now the second biggest donor, accounting for 15% of foreign assistance in 2010, again up from very little a decade earlier. Indeed, the increase in Indian finance to the Government may very well be a direct result of the increase in Chinese finance, since India is trying hard to avoid any erosion of its influence.

Sri Lanka’s links with India have been growing too.

If there is a competition between India and China in Sri Lanka, both are winning when it comes to economics.

And the changes in tariffs on vehicles play no part in it.

They are actually elements of a surprisingly positive yet completely unpublicised effort to promote local industry that has seen four assembly units being set up since 2006, not just involving Chinese firms but involving Indians and Koreans as well, according to a paper on economic policy under Mahinda Rajapaksa by Australia based economists Premachandra Athukorala and Sisira Jayasuriya.

The authors would appear to be gung-ho neoliberals, so they are not very keen on either the policy or Mahinda Rajapaksa, but they do suggest that it has had an impact.

It certainly shows that there is an alternative to the Government’s most common practice of offering investors a whole lot of freebies if they deign to come and do business in Sri Lanka, as I discussed a couple of weeks ago with regard to its plans for higher education.

This is what I mean when I say that its economic policy is a hotchpotch.

And one can’t even rely on the mess to remain the same over time – its shape and dynamics are constantly changing.

Last week, as Maruti Suzuki was talking about setting up an assembly unit in Sri Lanka to get around the increased vehicle tariffs, the Government announced that it was pursuing a Free Trade Agreement with China. According to a statement by senior Communist Party member Liu Yunshan on the occasion of his visit to Sri Lanka, negotiations have been going on for six months already, although this is the first the public have been told about it.

Without a proper plan for the economy – dreaming of making Sri Lanka the centre of the world as in the now infamous five hubs strategy doesn’t count – it will be extremely difficult for the Sri Lankan side to do a good job.

Since China thinks much further ahead and a lot more seriously about literally everything, there are plenty of reasons to be worried by this news.

The Free Trade Agreement with India did not turn out to be very helpful in securing for Sri Lankan businesses access to its huge market, despite the hype put about by the Government and its ever willing supporters in the media. As I have discussed in other articles, its major success was in helping Indian manufacturers of a couple of products using raw materials from Southeast Asia to circumvent high tariffs in India by temporarily basing part of their processes in Sri Lanka – trade which slightly improved Sri Lanka’s balance of payments while it lasted, but came to an abrupt end when India changed its tariff regime.

China’s huge market is likely to be at least as difficult to crack.

Meanwhile, with a Free Trade Agreement, Chinese goods that Sri Lankans are already buying in bulk would enter the country without tariffs, making them cheaper and thus more attractive for consumers, but also reducing the already very limited revenue of the Government and using up even more valuable foreign exchange.

Of course, the Government may not actually sign – this may end up like the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with India, which has been negotiated for almost ten years and finally appears to have been dropped.

It’s not generally considered a good omen when not getting around to or not being able to decide on a course of action is regarded as the best possible outcome.

This article was published in The Island on 18th September 2013. The internet version may be accessed here.

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Another job for the TNA

Posted in The Island by kathnoble on September 11, 2013

On the party’s manifesto for the Northern Provincial Council elections and its responsibility to lead the Tamil community away from armed struggle

fireA couple of weeks ago, I said that the TNA should intervene with Tamil Nadu politicians on behalf of the fishermen of the North. They should explain that there is no point in having a devolved administration if it cannot solve the immediate and urgent problems of the people who vote for it, and one of these is poaching by the trawlers of Tamil Nadu.

Sadly, there is no mention of the issue in the TNA manifesto for the upcoming provincial council election.

The only reference to fishermen suggests that their livelihoods are at risk not because all the fish in the seas from Puttalam to Trincomalee are being scooped up by somebody else, but due to restrictions by the Security Forces.

Of course just because the Security Forces claim that there are no longer any bans or pass systems in place doesn’t mean that they are not making life difficult for fishermen. The acquisition or occupation of land on the coast is another very important way in which their livelihoods are being affected, and a recent survey of former IDPs by UNHCR says that 3% of respondents (25% of families who make their living from fishing) cite military restrictions on their activities as a major impediment.

But that is not the whole story.

Given that according to the same UNHCR report, around 90% of Northern fishermen live below the already impossibly low official poverty line of Rs. 3,641 per month – Rs. 120 per day – one would have thought that a little more careful consideration of their fate should be a priority for the TNA.

In fact, there are many omissions in its manifesto, and many points on which it deserves to be pulled up, as Dayan Jayatilleka has done in an article that appeared in The Sunday Island, focusing on the way in which it treats the LTTE.

As he points out, it would have been better not to mention the LTTE at all than to include such uncritical and deceitful references.

One paragraph of the manifesto stands out: ‘While no progress was being made on the political front to solve the burning national issue, the LTTE continued its armed struggle. Though initially there were several military outfits, since 1987 the LTTE emerged as the sole military force in pursuing the struggle. Successive governments entered into negotiations with the LTTE and in February 2002 the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka signed a Ceasefire Agreement and later agreed on a set of principles called the Oslo Communiqué. However, the ceasefire did not last and hostilities broke out between the government forces and the LTTE with the military confrontation coming to an end on 19th May 2009.’

Of course the election that the TNA is about to contest is for a body that itself constitutes political progress, thanks to the 13th Amendment. Claiming otherwise is just stupid.

Even more stupid is continuing to whitewash the crimes of the LTTE.

Navi Pillay gave some good advice in her press briefing at the end of her tour of Sri Lanka – she called on the diaspora not to glorify the LTTE. She made a point of describing the LTTE as a ruthless, murderous organisation, and noted that her only other visit to the island had been to attend a commemoration of Neelan Tiruchelvam, who was assassinated by an LTTE suicide bomber in July 1999.

As she could have added, he is one of many Tamils to have fallen victim to the LTTE.

The latest is Senthilkumaran Ratnasingam, who set himself on fire outside the United Nations office in Geneva on Thursday. LTTE websites claim that he did so because he was disappointed with the outcome of Navi Pillay’s mission.

Obviously she isn’t going to change her opinion of the situation in Sri Lanka as a result of his actions, so he has wasted his life.

Indeed, such violence simply confirms that she was right to address the issue of extremism in the diaspora.

Dayan argues that its manifesto suggests that the TNA is being guided by elements of the diaspora who continue to support the LTTE – presumably in the hope of a reincarnation – or by such feelings within its own ranks or vote base.

If that were the case, why did it nominate Justice Wigneswaran as its Chief Ministerial candidate?

Some observers have claimed that the TNA’s choice was strategic, to conceal its real intentions, but such a strategy should surely have included presenting a less controversial manifesto. It is much easier to ignore a manifesto than to ignore the Chief Minister.

On balance, I believe that the party does want to move in a conciliatory direction, although obviously it could and should be doing so a lot more quickly and clearly.

But after three decades of war, optimism has to be combined with caution.

One of the reasons I argue that the TNA must be bolder in setting a new course for its community is that the people who will suffer the most if the political system breaks down again are of course the Tamils. The TNA has a special responsibility to ensure that it makes democracy work for them, whatever obstacles are put in its way by the Government.

Having supported the LTTE, whose efforts on behalf of Tamils involved an awful lot of them being killed, the TNA cannot complain that this is an unreasonable expectation.

Anyway, there is no alternative to reconciliation.

The TNA has to guide its people away from the armed struggle, whether they are here in Sri Lanka or in the diaspora, and it has to do so before any more 35 year old fathers of three decide to turn themselves into human candles. People take such extreme steps because they have been misled about the situation. They have been convinced that it warrants the sacrifice of their lives, and that their actions will contribute to some kind of change.

They are wrong on both counts, and it is up to the TNA to put them right.

That means being honest about what the LTTE did and didn’t do, and what the consequences were for the Tamil community and why.

It also implies refraining from exaggeration. After all, the real problems are bad enough.

One relatively small example from the manifesto is the section on law and order. There are clearly many reasons to worry about what is happening in the North, and I have written in these columns about incidents like the attacks on the Uthayan newspaper and the disruption of the TNA’s public meetings by thugs apparently connected to or supported by the regime. The North must also be suffering the results of a phenomenon that is affecting the whole of Sri Lanka – the politicisation of the Police. I have expended quite some effort in discussing in particular the way in which the Police stand by while Sinhalese extremist groups attack Muslim holy places and property. Given this behaviour in the South, it would be foolish to imagine that the Police are doing a brilliant job in the North.

But is there a specific crisis, as the TNA suggests?

I don’t know, but the UNHCR survey referred to at the beginning of this article would seem to suggest otherwise. It says that only 1% of former IDPs had experienced a ‘serious security incident’ involving a family member since their return (the fieldwork was done between November 2012 and March 2013). At the same time, 54% felt that safety had improved, while another 36% believed that there had at least been no deterioration.

The research also finds that 89% of respondents would report a crime, while 75% of those who had visited a   police station in the previous year were satisfied with the result.

Only 4% of respondents described the relationship between the Police and the community as bad – 50% said it was good.

However, the report also states that only 60% of women feel safe to stay at home without men being present.

Of course it doesn’t exactly confirm what G.L. Peiris claimed in his response to Navi Pillay’s statement either, that Northerners are essentially happy with the role and presence of the military – 16% were generally positive and 29% were generally negative, with 43% considering that it is not a problem and 12% expressing no opinion.

This may be just the way politics works, but some people take it seriously.

This article was published in The Island on 11th September 2013. The internet version may be accessed here.

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Come on over, everything’s free in Sri Lanka

Posted in The Island by kathnoble on September 4, 2013

How the Government is planning to replace free education with Free Education Zones

highwayForeign investors must imagine that this country is a vast, uninhabited wasteland. Because if they are willing to start a business here, they are literally deluged with gifts. They get a conveniently located piece of real estate, hooked up to all of the necessary services, for very little or sometimes nothing, while they are earnestly reassured that the Government is working really hard to ensure that they can come and go smoothly via the most modern of infrastructure – brand new ports and airports, a network of expressways and so on. And no matter how much they make in profits, they won’t be asked to pay so much as a rupee in tax.

No doubt they are delighted to find that the scenery is quite nice too. They can congratulate themselves on their good fortune while reclining on a palm-fringed beach, champagne flute in hand.

This week, it is the future of Sri Lankan youth that they must pretend to care about.

A few days ago, this newspaper carried a report of an announcement by the Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education regarding what he described as ‘Free Zones for Education’. The Government is planning to establish five of them – in Gampaha, Hambantota, Puttalam, Trincomalee and Kilinochchi.

Naturally, these are not going to be zones in which education is free but zones in which companies will be free to sell education without any of the normal controls.

They are to be given 100 acres each to set up their campuses.

If the agreement already reached with the University of Central Lancashire is anything to go by, they will also be offered a fifteen year tax holiday, followed by ten years in which they will pay at a concessionary rate. Twenty five years later, they may perhaps be ready to compete with other businesses.

I hardly know where to start.

The Government relies on two arguments to justify bringing private universities to the country. First, it says that it doesn’t have enough money to expand access to the existing state universities, so a lot of young people are missing out on the opportunity to get a degree. Secondly, it says that students whose families can afford to pay for their higher studies are currently sending them abroad, which means that Sri Lanka is losing precious foreign exchange.

For the sake of argument, let us assume that there is absolutely no possibility of increasing the budget allocation for higher education, although this is obviously not the case.

What is the degree that students can expect to get from these private universities?

If it is to be of value to young people, it must help them to get a job. If it is to be of value to the country, it must equip them with the skills needed to develop the economy.

Is it going to do either?

At the moment, there are more degree-holders in Sri Lanka than suitable employment for them. That much is obvious from the fact that there are ‘trade unions’ for unemployed graduates. What happens as the number of young people going to university increases? The University of Central Lancashire is expecting to enrol 10,000 students when it commences operations in Sri Lanka. Since there are currently only 25,000 places to be had in state universities per year, even a single institution in each of the five zones would boost the number of graduates threefold.

The more people have degrees, the less use they are to job seekers as indicators of intelligence and the capacity to work. They have to provide sought after training.

This is also obviously the case with regard to their contribution to the country’s development.

And for training to be sought after, it has to be of good quality. Employers are not stupid – they know what is being taught and how, or they very soon find out.

We may immediately rule out the possibility of standards being guaranteed by regulation, since the state has demonstrated very little interest in managing corporate activities to date and it is not likely to develop the capacity to do so in the near future.

So what is the plan?

The Government seems to believe that quality can be assured simply by offering incentives to good institutions to encourage them to come to Sri Lanka. It says that the freebies referred to above are only for ‘reputed international universities’.

That statement itself is a bit doubtful, given that the first agreement to be signed was with the University of Central Lancashire. The United Kingdom has 48 of the top 400 universities in the world, according to the most respected ranking, but the University of Central Lancashire is not one of them. In fact, I would suggest that even the majority of British people have never heard of it.

But even if it is providing a perfectly reasonable education in the United Kingdom in a few subjects, which is quite possible, why should we assume that it will be able to do the same in Sri Lanka?

There are three problems.

First, doesn’t Sri Lanka have different training needs to the United Kingdom? The curriculum of any programme offered in this country ought to be different if it is going to help its participants to find a job, and also if it is going to contribute to the development of the nation. That is common sense, since the two countries are at very different stages and have very different economies.

In fact, this draws attention to a larger problem. Who is going to decide which courses will be offered in private universities? Their choices will be guided by what young people are willing to pay for now, or at the most what they are likely to be willing to pay for in a few years. They will follow the trajectory of the economy, not play a role in shaping it, as higher education led by state universities should attempt to do.

Secondly, who is going to teach in Sri Lanka? Are Sri Lankans currently working in British universities going to come ‘home’? Are British professors going to move to Sri Lanka? Private universities will more likely face the same recruitment problems as the existing state universities – even if they offer higher salaries, which remains to be seen, the jobs will not be secure.

Finally, what incentive will private universities have to do a good job? Demand from young people for higher education is so strong that they will constitute absolutely no check on the quality of the courses.

There may be many problems with state universities, but at least their objective is education.

If there really is a need to expand access to higher education beyond the capacity of the budget, the next best option is to offer additional places at state universities on a fee-paying basis to students with the next best marks, not to allow companies whose sole motivation is making a profit to decide who gets to study what and how.

Both options have the same close to zero chance of stopping young people going overseas to study – the main reason they go is not to get a degree but to try to settle there permanently.

So much for the Government’s logic.

I am not sure whether even the Minister believes it. More likely is that this entire debate is being conducted because some businessmen see the higher education market as potentially extremely lucrative.

And they are probably Sri Lankan.

While a lot is now being said about the Government’s handouts to foreign investors, especially in the light of the appallingly low level of taxation in the country, one question that is never asked is how many of them are actually Sri Lankans. These days, it is not only the West that has multinational corporations. Sri Lanka too is developing its share, and they are in a prime position to exploit such opportunities. They can send money out of the country today and bring it back to a very warm welcome tomorrow.

This article was published in The Island on 4th September 2013. The internet version may be accessed here.

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