Sri Lankan Prime Minister Should Build Confidence and Not Fear Amongst Sri Lankans

 People are seeing the conditions themselves in their day today life and it does not require a Prime Minister to say that the conditions are extremely difficult. 

by N.S.Venkataraman

Large number of Sri Lankans who have been hoping against hope that Sri Lanka’s economic crisis would be resolved soon,  must have been disappointed after reading the statement of the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in Parliament that Sri Lanka’s economy has collapsed after months of shortages of food, fuel and electricity.

At the present stressful time that Sri Lanka is passing through, what is urgently needed is that morale of the Sri Lankan citizens should be  sustained and protected by releasing  a detailed and time bound action plan for revival of the economy .  The term “collapse” used by the Prime Minister is the term that should have been totally avoided and certainly use of such term does not   create confidence in the leadership capability of the Prime Minister. 

It is very well known that a weeping soldier can never win a war.

What is required in the present situation in Sri Lanka is that the strength of

Sri Lanka in various forms should be quickly identified and people should be made aware that the basic strength of the country is still intact .  Prime Minister should tell people that there is no cause for alarm or despair , to enable them to  expect  that the present difficult conditions would go away soon  and would encourage the people to strive hard to  forge ahead towards such direction.

What has Sri Lanka to gain by   the Prime Minister declaring in  the parliament that Sri Lankan economy has collapsed

 People are seeing the conditions themselves in their day today life and it does not require a Prime Minister to say that the conditions are extremely difficult. 

If one would carefully analyse  the present scenario in Sri Lanka, it would become clear that there are many options. All that is required is  to work out an action plan to exploit the strength.

It is a sad fact that some politicians in Sri Lanka and some professional agitators are making it difficult for Sri Lanka and it’s government by  conducting public demonstrations , using vituperative language against the government and keep on insisting  that President Gotabayya should go. Any person , even with minimum understanding of the present conditions in

 Sri Lanka,  would readily know that if President Gotabayya were to go today, it would lead to more chaos and confusion.  Whatever may be the mistakes or any inefficiency of President Gotabayya, the fact is that he is duly elected President in  electoral democratic  process and his term is not over. When his term would be over  and next election would be due, Gotabayya  can be defeated, if the people would feel so.  Meanwhile, certainly Gotabayya is trying to retrieve the situation and let him be given the opportunity to do so.

Sri Lanka is a democratic country and people have liberty and freedom unlike dictatorship or feudal system or communism.  But, this democratic system does not give the liberty to break the street lights, burn the buildings and stone the police men , whatever may be the issue. If the agitators and small minded people use the liberty in a democratic system to indulge in violence , they have to be punished and made to respect the rule of law.

Today, in  the tough conditions and  with some politicians not thinking beyond politics , Sri Lankan Prime Minister has a challenge.   In any situation where there is a challenge, there would also be an opportunity for the leader to prove himself equal to the task. The use of term such as “collapse” does not help.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister must certainly be a worried man and perhaps, emotionally used the term “collapse”. Or,  he must be frustrated due to the reckless behaviour of some politicians and must have used the term “collapse” to warn them about the gravity of situation.  Whatever may be the anxiety  for Sri Lankan Prime Minister, he ought to keep his cool.

Announcement of some new  meaningful   projects, even if it would be long term,  would create a sense of hope for Sri Lankans. Two examples are given below.

Sri Lanka has reasonably large  deposit of natural graphite of good quality. There is huge   and increasing global demand for  high purity spherical  graphite , which is produced from natural graphite   and high purity spherical graphite is used as anode material in the   fast growing lithium ion battery sector.

Sri Lanka has  good deposits of ilmenite and rutile, which is the raw material for the production of pigment grade titanium dioxide, for which the global demand is around 7 million tonne per annum   and growing at 7% per annum.

Caffeine is produced from tea waste and Sri Lanka is in an ideal position to set up caffeine plant   from tea waste and such natural caffeine is in much demand in the world as against synthetic caffeine.

So many other opportunities can be readily cited.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister should invite the multinational companies to set up such plants in Sri Lanka  , providing them   attractive conditions.  This could quickly bring huge investments from abroad , which is what Sri Lanka need today.

Why Prime Minister is not highlighting such opportunities to Sri Lankans,  convince them that Sri Lanka has great basic strength and telling the people that all that is required now is disciplined and focussed hard work.

 Sri Lankan prime Minister  need to provide leadership  and   talk about positives and should not reduce himself to the level of a cry baby.