Connect with us

News

`People swept away by economic tsunami’ -Eran

Published

on

The main opposition SJB says that Sri Lanka is the only country in the world that has faced unprecedented price increases of essential commodities such as gas and fuel.

Addressing the media at the SJB office in Kirulapone, SJB MP Eran Wickramaratne on Sunday said that during the same period Sri Lanka degenerated into a dangerous situation with regard to its foreign exchange reserves.

Wickramaratne said even the countries in the Asian region had recorded a positive GDP growth, FDI and foreign reserves.

Before the start of the press conference, Wickramaratne observed a two-minute silence in remembrance of the tsunami victims, where over 35,000 Sri Lankans were killed 17 years ago on Boxing Day 2004.

Wickramaratne said that Sri Lankans were looking for solutions brought forward by an individual, a President, which had been greatly disappointing. As a result, the country had plunged into an Economic disaster through autocratic policies and family rule.

“In a society problems are complex and there are no easy solutions. There is a need for a wise leader who should have the support of a team who are honest and have proven expertise and experience in governance and economic management. People’s belief in an individual’s ability to steer the nation has ended in disarray ushering autocratic family rule. Higher officials take no responsibility for decision-making as their views and opinions are often disregarded.”

“Because of this family rule, the higher officials say they were not part of the decision-making process even though they were present at such discussions. Even the Cabinet of Ministers claims that they were not aware of Cabinet decisions, even though the Cabinet secretary has publicised those decisions. It proves the decisions are taken by a closed coterie, and the ministers have become just on-lookers. Recently, the Agricultural Ministry Secretary, who is an agricultural scientist, was removed from his position as he warned of the possibility of starvation due to the decision not to import chemical fertiliser. The Secretary had pointed out that it was due to ill advice and a dead rope given to the President by people who did not know the subject,” the former banker turned politician said.

Elaborating further, the MP explained that the promotion of myths and lies made people believe in an individual or family being able to rescue the nation. Speaking on corruption that had engulfed the country, he pointed out that millions of dollars had been paid for unseen aircraft and unseen fertiliser.

He said that Sri Lanka was an exception where revenue from exports, foreign direct investment had gone down due to economic mismanagement rather than the Covid pandemic. Almost all countries were affected by the pandemic, but not a single country was as badly affected as Sri Lanka, because of better economic management in those countries.

“The people of this country are being swept away by the economic tsunami just as they were swept away by the tsunami in 2004,” he said.

The MP referred to the irrational management of the exchange rate and forcing Sri Lankan workers overseas to convert their Dollar remittances at banks at Rs 200 per Dollar while the gray market was over Rs 250 per Dollar. The overvalued Sri Lankan Rupee logically encourages exporters to under invoice their exports in Dollars. Poor exchange rate management has caused foreign reserves to plunge to dangerously low levels.

Over 1.5 trillion Rupees of money printing by the Central Bank has been the main contributory factor pushing inflation into double digits within a short period. The average inflation rate of 2014-2019 of 3.5% has shot up to an average inflation rate of over 10% in 2019-2021. The inflation rate in November has exceeded 11%, Wickramaratne said.



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Waste galore at State Ministry of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals – COPA

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

State Ministry of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals has failed to follow the action plan for pharmaceutical procurement approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, the First Report of the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) reveals.The report was presented to Parliament on Friday by Prof. Tissa Vitarana.The COPA has also observed that the Ministry has failed to maintain the required temperature in the stores owned by the Medical Supplies Division and stored medical supplies in the corridors there as well as in hospitals.The COPA report says the Ministry has purchased certain drugs from the local market at a huge additional cost. Those purchases were made without estimates.

The Ministry has also issued substandard medical supplies to patients, and it does not have a system to find out if a drug has failed a quality test, the COPA says in its report.

“The Ministry also does not have a system to check samples of all the medicines purchased and there is also a propensity for supplies to expire,” the COPA has said, adding that the Ministry tends to purchase branded drugs. It has recommended that purchasing of drugs under trade names be regulated.

“Sri Lanka does not have facilities to check the quality of certain drugs. Therefore, it recommends that a mechanism for checking the quality of each drug be developed, and that the laboratories in the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority should be improved to meet the standards of the World Health Organization,” the COPA said.The COPA has also recommended that medicines should be ordered based on consumption rather than estimates, to minimise waste caused by expiry of drugs. “The Committee emphasised the serious health problems that can result from issuing medicines that have not been registered with the National Medicines Regulatory Authority, and recommended that this be rectified as soon as possible.”

 

Continue Reading

News

Persons with disabilities educated on their rights

Published

on

Text and pictures by PRIYAN DE SILVA

The Disability Organisations’ Joint Front (DOJF) has been conducting a series of workshops throughout the country to educate persons with disabilities on their electoral rights with special focus on physical accessibility to polling stations, ability to vote, access to electoral information as well as the targeting of electoral information/voter education to meet the needs of marginalised communities.According to the recent census report 1.8 million people in Sri Lanka are living with disabilities and of this 1.2 million persons are eligible to vote.

The DOJF and its sub-cluster members also plan to address the above issues by identifying the major electoral issues that affect persons with disabilities and other marginalised communities in relation to the electoral process.The key stakeholders in relation to electoral reform in Sri Lanka are the Election Commission, the parliament, and political parties.Commissioner General of Elections Saman Sri Rathnayake, and Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Reforms and Electoral Studies Manjula Gajanayake, were the resource persons at the workshops held in Colombo, Jaffna, Puttalam, Matara and Nuwara Eliya.

Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1975, ratified by Sri Lanka, ensures that disabled persons have the inherent right to have respect for their human dignity.Disabled persons, whatever the origin, nature and seriousness of their handicaps and disabilities, have the same fundamental rights as their fellow-citizens of the same age, which implies first and foremost the right to enjoy a decent life, as normal and full as possible.Disabled persons have the same civil and political rights as other human beings; paragraph seven of the Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons applies to any possible limitation or suppression of those rights for mentally disabled persons.

Continue Reading

News

Fitch downgrades Sri Lanka further

Published

on

Fitch Ratings, on Thursday (19), downgraded Sri Lanka’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency (LTFC) Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘RD’ (restricted default) from ‘C’.On April 13, Fitch downgraded Sri Lanka to ‘C’ rating, following the announcement that Sri Lanka has suspended debt servicing of several categories of its external debt, including bonds issued in the international capital markets and foreign currency-denominated loan agreements or credit facilities with commercial banks or institutional lenders.In a statement Fitch said that it downgraded Sri Lanka’s LTFC IDR to ‘RD’ following the expiry of the 30-day grace period on coupon payments that were due on April 18, 2022, on two international sovereign bonds.

“We have downgraded Sri Lanka’s foreign-currency issue ratings to ‘D’ from ‘C’, given the default on the senior unsecured foreign-currency bonds and the cross-default clauses triggered in the other rated international foreign-currency sovereign bonds,” Fitch said.However, the rating agency kept Sri Lanka’s Long-Term Local-Currency IDR at ‘CCC’. Fitch said that the government has continued to service local-currency debt.Sri Lanka’s credit rating has been dropping steadily since late 2019. The ratings dropped from ‘B’ on September 27, 2019, to ‘CCC’ on June 14, 2021. The country’s credit rating was downgraded to ‘CC’ on December 17, 2021.

Continue Reading

Trending