Nothing wrong in IMF's 'cooperation' policies
Revolutionary Marxists in Sri Lanka canvass for the present system to be replaced by a new one, as opposed to reformists who believe that the capitalist system can be made "kinder and gentler".

The age of imperialism with domination of finance capital and monopolies, and the total subjugation of the colonial world to the will of the major powers, the Marxists were potential allies of the proletariat when demanding cheap credits for the small farmers and small businessmen, agitating that within the capitalist system these layers are crushed by the big business, monopolies and banks.

Marx, Lenin and Trotsky would swallow their words if they heard the IMF Senior Resident Representative making a presentation recently at the oldest Club in Sri Lanka, reflecting how global partnerships with the IMF can be made in Asia.

Through working relationships between government and international agencies, between multinational corporations and the people and between civil society and donors, he advocated that a two-way partnership sharing ideas, comparative advantages and sometimes, even resources be developed.

Jeremy Carter went on to say that the IMF shares a strong commitment in Asia to tackle the challenges of growth and poverty and that poverty reduction can be made only with high levels of economic growth which are sustained and broadened. He further went on to subscribe that advanced economies must provide support with both aid and trade.

In this context the IMF-Asian partnership, he said, was based on assistance being more flexible, sharp and responsive and supportive of regional integration. What is then wrong with these policies Mr. Marxist?

The IMF policy prescription for Sri Lanka is, in the next six months, to try and stabilize the economy, get people to cooperate, and attract investments. For the medium term, the prescription was to tackle poverty at its roots with specific focus on income, health, education, access to services and markets, increase productivity through better incentives, optimise the use of capital as the key to growth and eliminate corruption in both public and private sector governance.

These are true reformist policies fitting the present needs of the economy and society in Sri Lanka, sans big hang ups, and down to earth with focus on the masses.

In view of the above IMF policy prescription, what could be so distasteful to the "Marxist JVP", "capitalist UNP" and Mr. Secretary to the Treasury? The IMF prescription with stress on "get people to cooperate", appears to common-sense-driven civil society as an acceptable way forward for Sri Lanka.

At a time when none in politics, government, opposition, governance and business is cooperating with each other, "cooperate" has to be the main objective. JVP, for the sake of this nation and its future, go back to the school of Trotskyism and study how your fanatical and often ultra-left tactics and policies are leading the way to Stalinism.

These ideas on the need for a permanent revolution must now be tempered down to a state of cooperating with the reformist polices of the IMF.

Why can't the UNP cooperate for the sake of future generations, instead of fool hardily clamouring from every street corner, while banging on kitchen utensils, demanding that the cost of living be brought down and unrealistic salary increases and subsidies on petroleum products and fertilizers be given? Mr. Secretary to the Treasury, what is the rationale for your recent tantrums that the IMF and the World Bank are dictating terms to Sri Lanka? What has irked you to the rhetoric that "We must always have a disagreement with the IMF and the World Bank?" Why not cooperate within the IMF partnership prescription? Big brothers in big business why not support the IMF policy prescription of investing, tackling productivity, good governance and corruption (not limited only to codes of conduct that gather dust) and directly link up in tackling poverty at its root (not limited only to Social Charters and CSR conventions)

To all of you, cooperate is the 'mantrum' message from civil society, with a humble request to take a cue from Deepal Sooryarachchi, the young marketer and evangelist on media, who has Krishnamurthy as his guru, quoting the maha vakya of Vedhas, the predecessor of Hinduism (not Marxism or Capitalism), " The truth is one but paths are many". So let us all resolve to "cooperate" and seek the truth with salvation for the majority of the Sri Lankan society and for this purpose take many paths that converge on truth.

Back to Top  Back to Business  

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.