Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Economic Forum 2016 – an alternative view

I have written some harsh words about the above in the past few blog entries, not out of spite, but in trying to get a point across where chances are missed and we never seem to learn from our mistakes. Sri Lanka is an exercise in missed chances due to a lack of vision of those who are entrusted with her future.

Lets face it, the PMs office knew of this event for at least three months, as it had been planned well ahead. In the middle of this, we have Nawaz Sharif visiting, Tony Blair is putting in an appearance and now the Norwegian Foreign Minister is winging his way here, all at a time when full national debate should have been engaged PRIOR to the start of this event, so that the populace at large could be well versed in what was at stake here.

We should have had mini fora of academics and thinkers all throughout the Country last year, and the prize being entry to the present Forum. The participants will then have had months to consider alternatives and be able to compare international economic ideas with their own, to present and thereby amend any misconceptions at the Forum to lead to a consensus of how best to move forward with implementable solutions without further delay. How much more profitable and worthwhile would this have seemed to the presenters if they know that the Sri Lankan intelligentsia have debated the issues at hand, rather than be confronted with the proverbial morons in the audience who don't have a clue.

Why leave it to a bunch of Harvard Economists to dictate our fate? We should have had a debate on the sequence of events preceding the evaluation and implementation of their recommendations, by pointing out some aspects that are not properly understood about Sri Lankan psyche and the lotus eater complex that is unique over and above the typical Island mentality that has constricted growth due to decisions taken that are detrimental to maximizing our true potential as a nation with a huge potential, mis identified and not identified!

I am not crying sour grapes for not having been invited, as I have sufficient representatives there with whom I can have a debate on the what ifs, though it would be nice to critique it without strings, that the other completely biased Media contingent will expound on topics they have no clue about, in tomorrow’s newspapers.

Any reader of my no holds barred blog will realize if I am of the caliber of person, versed enough in the reality of how this nation functions to understand the practicalities of recommendations and advice given to Sri Lanka by distinguished panels of experts in their fields of study. I don’t have a PhD in Economics but I can have an intelligent conversation with any Economics Professor on the completely unconscionable exclusion of some of the most significant contributors to the growth parameters of Sri Lanka.

The value, training and marketing of Sri Lanka’s biggest Natural Resource, namely of Human Resource, has ONLY HAD scant attention, when it SHOULD have been the most important and critical factor in our development process for the past 70 years. If it had been identified and properly exploited then, we would be probably the richest per capita country on the face of the earth today, and not struggling with unending problems of our own making.

Instead we are still debating on how to improve the quality of our miserable Education System, when we had a better system before Korea decided to re engineer and now have a world beating Human Resource capacity, that is only constrained by its shortage!

Let us therefore understand this basic before we try to solve non existent issues. 


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