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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 110

Response to Ranil's Wickremasinghe's "Rata Perata- fail

[b]Response to Ranil's Wickremasinghe's "Rata Perata- failure to use pledged aid- a crime"[/b]

By Garvin Karunaratne Ph.D - Former Government Agent, Marata

Ranil and the United National Party have failed to grasp that Aid is a trap to which Sri Lanka fell from 1977. In 1977 the foreign debt of Sri Lanka was at $ 750 million and that too on productive projects. Today Sri Lanka's foreign debt is around $ 10,000 million. This debt was caused by President Jayewardene and all succeeding Governments implementing the IMF's Structural Adjustment Programme which liberalized the use of foreign exchange, freed imports from regulations and simultaneously abolished/reduced the infrastructure that had been built up over the years to enable production in agriculture and industries.

With the liberalization, the incomes in foreign exchange from exports and services were insufficient to meet the expenses. This deficit was met by further loans and by the sale of assets (privatizations) leading to further increases in debt. This was the IMF policy followed by Jayewardene and this has been followed up-to-date.

Privatization of assets has only served to sell our paying assets to the rich and to foreigners. The profits end up with the rich or foreigners. Kabool of Pakistan came purchased Tulhiriya Mills, made money and ran away leaving unpaid loans, unpaid wages and a vandalized the mill which was once the showpiece for entire South Asia. Recently under Ranil we sold the CWE shops for a song and now the people have no place where they can buy goods at a reasonable price. Ranil pledges to privatize further while Mahinda says that he will not privatize State assets.Mahinda pledges that he will re establish the CWE’s retail outlets - shops.

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