Thursday, October 8, 2015

How pathetic is it to already expensive vehicles to increase the Duty further?

It is plain wrong of the Finance Minister to even hint at a duty raise in the budget.

The price of vehicles in Sri Lanka are unconscionably high, and just the threat of raising it further is purely an attempt at enriching the people (traitors for want of a better word) who buy cars from overseas and keep them unregistered in their lots knowing full well that by just holding them, they will make money, instead if just putting the money in the bank.

This encouragement of keeping unproductive capital wasted on Car lots, rather than being used to develop the economy is further encouraged by this statement of the Finance Minister, unless of course he is smart, where he actually reduces the taxes, especially on Electric and Hybrid Vehicles as he should to encourage conservation.

For some unknown reason Sri Lankans have a love for cars, and spend a very high proportion of wealth on the motor car, even though it is just a vehicle to get from A to B, and many wealthy households have numerous vehicles as it is considered to be better than money in the bank that has not been declared, and the black money in cars is safe, the value of cars seem to rise instead of fall!

INSTEAD OF THIS ASININE and childish ruse, the Budget should increase the price of fuel by at least Rs25 a liter for both Petrol and Diesel to bring down the road congestion as it is BOTH POLLUTING AND A HUGE DRAG on the balance of payments. Further a one off Rs15,000 tax on all vehicles including motor bikes registered in the last 5 years, will suck a lot of excess liquidity from the market. Hell this will be unpopular, but so what as this govt. has 5 years to run, and by this masterstroke can get the economy back on even keel, without another worry in the world!

So Ravi Karunanayake, I have given you the best advice any rational person can give, and if you follow my advice I can assure you, most of the battles you are trying to solve will come good. Also the renegotiation of high interest foreign loans into low interest ones, and the forward purchase of oil at the US$40 equivalent for 5 years before the new refinery comes on stream will be the master stroke that saved the day for this economy. You will be hailed a hero, but the downside is you will not have been able to siphon some funds into your personal pocket illegally as is your wont. But hey as a good Christian this is your chance to go to Heaven as another would take you straight to Hell!  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Time to wean Sri Lanka from its Rulers no Servants!

It is the Sri Lankan disease that we have had the misfortune of being enslaved by people who purport to serve us, but who have instead ruled us, and since at least Independence, from which point we have been the masters of our destiny, destroyed this country, no matter what way you look at it.

The Time is ripe to change this phenomenon, that has clearly NOT WORKED, and with the maturity and lessons we have learned through heavy loss of life during this period, where forces took on the brutal Governments of the past and lost, we must resolve ourselves not to look on Government as some alien creature, but the result of our own folly, where we appoint, in the pretext of electing individuals, who you would never trust your infant child with for all the tea in China!

Fellow Countrymen, we will continue to elect people, who you will never trust with your own possessions, so in order not to be disappointed with having to permit them to hold sway, let us strengthen the institutions, namely the Presidential Commissions hopefully devoid of elected people, so that those unfortunate enough to be elected due to winning a beauty contest, and good enough only for that contest don’t have power over how people are ruled.

For example let a Public Service Commission determine how public servants pay, promotions and recruitment are managed. NO POLITICIAN should have any say in how someone gets a job in the public service.

GET IT!! If we succeed in strengthening these institutions, then the elected people merely change some of the subtle points of our lives, and NOT the whole fabric of our lives. In most Countries things don’t change drastically no matter who is in Government, and the less they can influence us, the better, so we can get on with our daily productive lives, with the State being the sole source of a barrier.

Let us only allow them to determine matters of policy in line with some of their manifestos, but the daily functioning of society must be left to local elected officials and strong institutions to ensure, stability, continuity, safety of the citizen and if a new constitution that enshrines legal safeguards for vulnerable sections of society, then it will further strengthen the rights of citizens, that elected Governments cannot change willy nilly. It is important that we continue to pressure our Government to put in place the checks and balances they promised, and NOT allow them to conveniently forget the conditions on which they were elected, and once these cast iron safeguards are in place we will be able to breathe easy, knowing personal grudges, and pettiness cannot destroy.       

What has happened to the High Interest Loans from China? Are we not able to renegotiate them downwards? Save billions annually in interest~

This is a Political Blog begun in June 2011, when one criticized the Government at one’s peril, and therefore one needed to be anonymous in bringing to the attention of the reader some of the goings on.

I have been a lone ranger fighting for the rights of the people this long, and whilst I have been happy with the turn of events on 8th January and 17th August of this year, I have yet to see a significant change in the attitude of our leaders, away from self interest to the public interest.

I am still with the notion that the PM is the only honest elected politician we have in Sri Lanka today, I just hope he can take control of the position he has and put political expediency aside by yanking the rogues, the moment they are caught with their hand in the till. He MUST set up a Internal Espionage system to catch all the notorious gangsters in the Government in the act, so he can dispatch them where they belong.

I now take up the story of the High Interest Loans as reported 4 years ago!

Whilst I am a firm believer that these loans can and should have been renegotiated downwards, the silence from this Administration on this is tome deafening! I expected annual interest payments to drop by over Rs250B as a result of the negotiations, and I can only conclude that the few people in the know about it, HAVE not resurrected this as they have been personally been handsomely paid off by the Chinese unbeknownst to the Prime Minister, who would be horrified at this Treachery.

I would ask the reader to alert the PM that this issue alone could result in the single biggest cost reduction of the Government grappling with how to fund its ambitious spending plan in the Budget that is set to be laid out on November 20th 2015.

I found it funny that the Finance Minister has asked for suggestions from the public relating to the Budget, without addressing the single largest source of cost reduction to him, that will make his task so much EASIER.

I simply ask the question, WHY NOT!!! On behalf of the Country.

The Bottom Line – This blog is dedicated to all Sri Lankans and bequeathed to

Scrap A levels if not stop schools at O levels!

Students don’t go to school after O levels despite the purported 80% rule where the schools can only permit students to sit A levels if their school attendance exceeds at least 80%. All schools flout this rule as being unenforceable and worse it gets worse every year.

Go to any A level class in a Government School  and you find less than 10% of the class students in class, and if you are lucky you find a Teacher in the class. In the new subjects like Technology, supposedly being taught in 231 schools islandwide, due to the incompetence of the Teachers who have been poorly trained there are NO STUDENTS as they are all in Tuition classes.

I am assuming this has not come into the fore in Parliament because most parliamentarians have not gone beyond O levels, so they are NOT competent to talk on the subject lest they display their ignorance. SO this is the status of schools in Sri Lanka.

When 100% of students now attend private tuition classes, some in classes exceeding 1000 in lecture halls, what is the point of Education if all students are in crammers aimed at exam technique to get a grade at their A levels, but other than that who learn NOTHING useful that can carry them any further in their lives. Please remember that even students from Moneragala schools attend Tuition classes in Nugegoda, along with the Colombo School students but who qualify to get into University under a lower Z score for Moneragala District, making a mockery of the whole University Entrance system.         

The present Government’s stated policy of 13 years education in schools for all is plain WRONG and an infringement of personal liberties if not their Human Rights. We are educating an increasingly unemployable population due to the method of education, where the State has effectively handed over teaching to private tutories, as we pretend we are in a free education environment. 

Where is our Education Minister on this? I guess he is just too uneducated to answer any of these questions and is grappling with a minor topic of whether or not to allow students to attend tuition classes in school time! What an absolute moron he must be to even get into this discussion, as I have explained the situation above in such a way that any idiot understands it, so it is a no brainer.

You cannot force children to go to school if you do not have competent teacher to teach them. If you have a competent teacher in your school, why would you spend thousands during school hours to attend private tuition classe? Get a brain please first, the Minister of Education.  

Criticism is justified only when an alternative is proposed

Sri Lankans are a highly politicized lot, who love to take the existing Government to the cleaners. When people get together, Government bashing is fair game. All the faults are pointed out. But wait a minute what is the missing link?

In most other countries, along with criticism comes a very constructive proposal for change or improvement, so that the misdeed can be seen in perspective and corrected. Our education system ONLY teachers people to complain and not think of ways to improve their lot, or the lot of their Country.

We go the other way and compound the misdeed, as in yesterday’s case where the Finance Minister shoots his mouth off, saying that any money remitted from overseas will be gladly accepted, not taxed with NO QUESTIONS ASKED!

Come on ! get a life! Are these the people we have entrusted with to manage the Country’s scarce resources in the most productive way? Any person with common sense will say “De Ja Vu” as people can steal money from the Country in the Billions, stuff them in Foreign bank accounts, and when the Government changes, bring this loot back to enjoy living in the Country, from which you stole the money. How bizarre can that be?  

This is almost like saying, he the Finance Minister will also engage in this corrupt practice of depositing his ill gotten gains in foreign accounts, and when the rogues of yesterday, return to power he will want a “quid pro quo”  allowing him to bring his loot with no questions asked!

This goes to the root of the problem, where incompetent people are put in positions of authority to further denigrate their title and put the Country to shame, where they do not realize that there is a better way to encourage the remittance of foreign funds from holders of foreign currency or accounts, without encouraging evasion.

It is now up to the PM to stop his Ministers from shouting their mouth’s off on matters they know nothing about, and instead use the State’s resources to bring the people to book for past transgressions, as that is what the people want, not general amnesties for traitors.

We expect better from our leaders, to correct the wrongs, make things better and perform their tasks with diligence, putting the Country first and only themselves much further back, instead of themselves first! Is this so much to ask for? 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sri Lanka is at full employment – There are NO takers for the million jobs the Prime Minister has promised!

I believe the Government is missing the true picture of the Sri Lankan problem.

I can give 50,000 jobs today at Rs 20,000 a month. However I want a work ethic from the employee that requires coming to work on time, and using the thumb print clocking system. I will dock pay for absenteeism and I will require discipline in the workplace, to ensure maximum productivity of my workers.
I will dock pay for productivity losses, where I expect a minimum volume of throughput from the employee and what that is depends on the particular job that he or she does, and will be related to that, whilst not being unrealistically harsh.  

I don’t want shirkers, who have to take time off for a wedding or funeral or take a relative to hospital. I will only give a 15 minute tea break for my 6 day work week, and a 45 minute lunch break working a full 8 hour shift.

I will give paid training to the employee to improve their productivity, and move onto a more responsible task, after the training. I will pay full EPF and ETF payments on this salary and make the employee permanent after the statutory probationary period.


I am serious. I don’t have to give anecdotal evidence, as I have tried to recruit people for unskilled jobs, which do not require qualifications but which with OT means one can take between Rs35K and Rs40K a month, but have had no takers. This is a serious problem!!

It is so serious that there are around 250,000 vacancies with NO takers. What is worse, those in the private sector are asking me to find them jobs in the Public Sector, as they believe I can fix them in some Government job through my connections with the Government! When I mentioned this to a person highly connected to the Government, he would not accept my assertion, and I was willing to bring the 10 people who are pestering me for the Government jobs even though they have well paying private sector jobs, merely because they believe there is security of tenure, where they cannot be sacked, they have retirement benefits and the pressure of work is much less, as they would rather be unproductive in every sense of the word. This remarkable phenomenon must be looked in context to realize the huge economic impact of the present Government’s pay raise to the public sector has set a bad precedent.

What does this tell you? There is no one desperate for a job at the wage rates offered. The point at which they will join the workforce if they are unemployed or underemployed, is around Rs40K not a cent less!

It is wise for economists to understand this, and make provision for that in their models of monetary policy and full employment equilibriums. So WE MUST direct our policy in a direction that takes the above into account, and concentrate on improving the quality of life of those who are really in need!
There is NO question that the alternative carrot of overseas employment hangs over this as a sword of Damocles, because even if the individual has no intention of going overseas, they use the argument that if they were overseas, for example as a maid, they will earn this amount, NOT giving allowance that the catch is that they cannot take time off to go for a funeral or avurudhu! And that their volume of work may be much higher than would be the case in alternate scenario.

This explains why about 50,000 vacancies as domestics in Colombo go unfilled, and about 25,000 as drivers go unfilled. Even my sister cannot find a driver in Colombo who can come to the House at 6.30am to take the child to school, and whose salary, including EPF ETF and  Overtime  would be paid by a company and who could expect to earn around Rs40,000 a month with this overtime.

The cost of leaving their families and having to find accommodation in a lodging house in Colombo, have a modicum knowledge of Colombo roads, and having to get up so early are all factors that deter this status. The point at which she could get one is Rs50,000 and provide, breakfast and lunch!  

I know of no economic theory yet, and I may have to devise this theory for my Nobel Prize, that has done extensive studies of the price point of entering the workforce in societies like Sri Lanka, where theoretical alternatives as referred to above exist, and home comforts even without a job seem to be available where temporary work for a day or two like fishing or accompanying a patient to hospital will earn enough pocket money to meet one’s needs not supplied by the home. 

We have to completely rethink employment policy due to the inflexible nature of our workers who want the job brought to their home, rather than having to go out of the home to do a job. We may have to leap into the next century to give all our people work from home with a computer type of employment opportunities which the new technology permits, whilst all production and real work will just have to shift outside our shores as we DO NOT HAVE a comparative advantage in the production of those essentials, that will just have to be sourced by way of imports.    

Contrasting Mahinda and Ranil - written 4 years ago in this blog - very amusing and Oh! so timeless!

I refer again to the 21 contrasts I wrote at a sitting with NO reference to any document, but purely from my logical induction.

I note that I forgot the most obvious, being that RW does not die his hair whilst his esrtwhile rival does! In my view that says it all, if any person with common sense can distinguish between real and fake!

So here is a repeat along with the reference to the previous blog entry.

So what does it mean when you say black and white? – Ranil and Mahinda are at opposite spectrums - you make the choice!

People sometimes wonder how RW has remained the party leader for so long. It is because no one has emerged within the party to come close to challenging him in terms of a person who can be contrasted against the President. Just think about it. If either KJ or Sajith were the party leaders, people will compare the superiority of the President against both of them. As the qualities are comparable and not distinguishable, so it is a matter of criteria without contrast. Similar mould!

When it comes to RW it is a wholly different kettle of fish. He is so different it is not funny. Unfortunately the party and the press has not endeared themselves to this fact and done the comparison so people can make an opinion based on the facts. Let me try just to explain.

1       RW is a knowledgeable intellectual on a range of subjects who reads avidly. MR in contrast is more interested in meeting with people and gossiping.
2       RW knows and practices Buddhism in a way that MR cannot match, but he does not make a media show about it. MR on the other hand knows nothing but gets the media to portray him as a great Sinhala Buddhist. It is only a vacuum title with no roots.
3       RW has not changed his behavior for the media since he got into politics for the sake of a show. Be it behavior of kissing babies or calling people by their first name. He believes kissing babies and telling them he is giving them a huge debt to repay when they grow up is a very dishonorable thing. Instead he knows the name but pretends not to know!
4       RW will not change his attire to garner popularity or votes unlike his nemesis, he just wears what he feels comfortable. He will even wear a blue shirt, to show he is not concerned about criticism by supporters of that attire.
5       No one can point a finger at RW as someone who is either a crook or lived off the benefits of office. I shudder at the thought of what mud is attached to MR who has lived off politics all his life.
6       RW has no family favorites for high office that he hopes to leave for the future, unlike MR who is completely spoilt for choice with every family member being given a position, unlike any country on the face of the earth.
7       RW is not a people person gathering disparate opinions to make decisions by consensus, unlike MR. People see that as a weakness in RW character.
8       RW has lived in his house all along, except in Temple Trees, whilst MR has been in state accommodation. Even Carlton is someone else’s and he pretends it is his. No one therefore has been told the truth. Lies become truth
9       MR likes his name on all monuments. RW will fight to make sure his name does not appear on anything even many of the institutions he has founded.
10  MR has a file on all his closest advisors and Ministers, so that the dirt can be exposed when or if they desert him. RW on the other hand has it in his head, not wishing to expose those who let him down. Good examples are the people who left the party against whom he has not uttered one word.
11  MR resorts to the underworld to threaten or bump off anyone who has crossed him. RW on the other hand believes in Karma and expects the punishment and retribution to be meted in other ways.
12  RW sees through sycophants, and MR laps them up, see Sajin and Mervyn if any proof is required.
13  RW would rather reduce debt and balance the budget and is conservative in his policies. MR on the hand will give anything if it means receiving credit and will sell the country to make good on the promises, whether or not there is money in the treasury.
14  RW is an international statesman and MR is an international Pariah except in states such as China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Burma.
15  Despite accusations to the contrary, RW had a vision for Sri Lanka that was far more comprehensive and visionary than the Mahinda Chinthana was or Idiri Dakma could ever be. However he lost the Presidential in 2005.
16  RW managed to split Karuna and Pillayan from Prabarkaran, but never made a deal with Prabarkaran for money as MR did. The CFA however was a grave mistake, thanks to the Norwegians who were duped also.
17  Mahinda loves the media spotlight, and RW hates the media spotlight, something that is essential today in order to gain votes in a democracy.
18  RW is from mainly Kandyan stock, proud that one of his ancestors fought and was killed by the British in some 19thCentury war, whilst MR is looking for every connection he can muster to make a case that he is descended from Dutugemunu and to fool everyone when he is only from the junior branch of the Rajapakse family, where MP Nirupama is from the senior one!
19  MR greets everyone like his long lost friend in a jovial and warm way, whilst RW passes by his closest friend without even an acknowledgement or nod, as if he had not seen him, though he has but does not deem it necessary.
20  RW is of the Sri Lanka University system, and went to Law College. He had the chance to go overseas, but chose to study in the state university system. MR did not got to University and instead did his law exams when he became an MP in 1970 at age 24 and became a lawyer at around age 30.
21  Percy Mahendra changed his name to Mahinda for expediency, whereas Ranil did not think he needed to change his name to get ahead in politics.