Get on with it
The LTTE has made a spectacle of itself
to the international community. It has not been able to resolve
the power-struggle between those who want a negotiated settlement,
and the military-wing mandarins who see their own spheres of influence
waning if there is a transition to peace.
While the LTTE
sorts itself out, however, the Government must keep an eye on its
own defence mechanism. Irrespective of the LTTE's own idiosyncrasies
of the moment, the Government must get on with it, and forge a coherent
policy that concentrates on the economic development of the entire
There has been
- maybe - a little too much obsession with the LTTE these few months
(not that that aspect of Sri Lankan politics can easily be ignored)
but there is also a need to divert one's attention to other areas.
The LTTE, after
all, is not the be all and end all of this country's national affairs.
We can say from an appraisal on the face of the facts, that there
seems to be a new focus on aid and the need to implement development
and infrastructure projects.
But one major
drawback to this whole saga of foreign aid over the years has been
the stink that has always been associated with politicians and their
side-kicks lining their pockets with commissions, to the detriment
of the people.
This is one
compelling argument the LTTE is using, in demanding that they determine
the destiny and direction of all the aid that will be committed
to the North and East. Right or wrong, there is a feeling that corruption
is once again raising its ugly head, with the new set of politicians
in power now in the incumbent dispensation as well.
It's well and good to fast-track Government tenders and privatize
in the process we see how tender-fixing is taking place quite blatantly
and how even profit-making state ventures are privatized to benefit
financial backers of ruling party Ministers.
and Corruption Commission is closed for business since February,
it needs to also be mentioned. In this backdrop of events, the Government
will need to be cautious that reeking corruption in high places
and monopolies by a handful of people, who are siphoning their profits
to bank accounts overseas, does not boomerang on itself by way of
social disorder and revolution.
The aid that
Tokyo is pledging is strictly not a gift. These are repayable by
generations unborn. These loans then must be put to maximum benefit
for generations yet to be born.
And for now,
there must be accelerate job creation through public investment
projects; more ordinary people need more money in their hands- and
all the foreign monies pumped into the system must trickle down
to as many ordinary people as possible if all this hullabaloo about
the Tokyo 'aid' conference is to be meaningful to the ordinary folks
at home, in the first place.