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Doing what needs to be done in Sri Lanka?

If you cannot remedy the skills shortage in Sri Lanka, you can never compete in the world of today, says the World Bank?

by Victor Cherubim

We have almost everyone talking about the forthcoming Presidential election candidates in Sri Lanka.

We have also everyone talking about what has not been done in Sri Lanka.

What then is what needs to be done and is still not done?

If what needs to be done what people need, why is it not done?

Why is it that the people who have been in power for decades not been able to do, what needs to be done?

Free for poverty or poverty-free country? 

Is it because people in government have not got the capacity to do what needs to be done?

Is it because our elected representatives have lost the plot or the will to do what needs to be done?

Is it because they have not got the"Mind Set" or the"A" levels to do the job that they have been entrusted by the people of Sri Lanka?

Is it because they are expecting someone else to carry out the job they promised the people of the country that they would do and failed to do? I

There is a job to be done in Sri Lanka?

It has to be done now, not tomorrow? Why?

There is no denying of the sovereign power of the people which will be exercised at the next Presidential election?

Will there be a radical change in the way the constitutional power of the people of Sri Lanka be exercised at the next Presidential poll, by the way we see people wanting accountability?

Many Sri Lankans understand that making the country more competitive in the global economy is an absolute necessity. It may be easier said than done, but that it has to be acted upon, is hardly in doubt.

The majority of ordinary Sri Lankans fear increased competition, especially the unfair advantage of the private sector from abroad and the limited skill sets in the country. You need innovation to compete, If you do not possess the skills needed for innovation you cannot compete and Sri Lanka could easily fall into the "Class of Failed States".The Power of the People of Sri Lanka may never
want to accept this position?

Sri Lanka has had a brain drain for nearly fifty years. Talent and skills have migrated abroad. They have voted with their feet and gone abroad. You have to bring back those who have sold their skills abroad. and give them incentives to return back.to their motherland, which perhaps, is not an impossible task?

If you cannot remedy the skills shortage in Sri Lanka, you can never compete in the world of today, says the World Bank?

Knowledge Share

We know that attracting skills is not easy. There are, however, ways and means of a course correction.

Britain was in a similar situation before joining the European Union, There was a justifiable fear that migrant labour from the Continent would displace the local population. Equally, there was a desperate demand from Europe's skilled labour, like Doctors, Nurses, IT Technicians, Builders, Carpenters, and specialist manual workers, wanting eagerly to come to Britain to share their knowledge base as well as to learn English and the British way of life..They were happy to work in Britain and happy to repatriate their funds to their homelands in Europe. Now after over 40 years, Britain understandably wants to restrict free movement of people from the Continent.

Sri Lanka too now needs an "Open Door Policy" to attract not necessarily foreign labour, but migrant Sri Lankans to return to Sri Lanka, to rebuild their motherland, giving them all forms of inducements, say Overseas Investment opportunities, Citizenship Rights, Voting Rights, other tax incentives, to name a few?.

Capacity Building

First, Sri Lanka needs to seek growth opportunities and foreign investment from beyond its borders.

"We have seen no country today has been able to create opportunities for its people entirely within its own geographical boundaries. To succeed in this open environment, Sri Lanka will need to implement its skills base, better understand the supply chain as well as produce higher quality goods and services,"

We are told Sri Lanka attracts less foreign investment than other comparable economies. Further, only a small proportion of these investments generate diversified exports. Will the power of the people allow this to continue in the future?.

People need to know what to build on, what to improve, what to leave alone and what to ignore?

We need to identify the unmet needs of our people, not the wants which our politicians think our people desire?

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