Last week’s BT-RCB poll on the cost of living and the challenges this year drew many comments from the regions, which were held back and not published due to lack of space. Here are excerpts of those comments (both adverse and in praise of the Government) received by the Research Consultancy Bureau (RCB), which conducted [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

No challenge to the authorities to ensure financial resources are properly spent


Last week’s BT-RCB poll on the cost of living and the challenges this year drew many comments from the regions, which were held back and not published due to lack of space.

Here are excerpts of those comments (both adverse and in praise of the Government) received by the Research Consultancy Bureau (RCB), which conducted the island-wide poll:

From Uva:

-The popularity of the Government is unshakable at the moment due to the absence of an alternative.
-Dictatorship has taken over governance by democratic means in this country.
-People will bear up any hardship if development work is truly being done but in reality what happens is that they are fattening themselves (influential people) at development’s expense.
-Cost of Living (COL) will come down if Government stops wasting resources. Unfortunately there is no challenge to the authorities to ensure that financial resources are spent properly.
-Sports, religion and justice all have been politicized.
-They twist everything in terms of politics and govern against people’s opinion.
-The President has started a new game playing to the hands of ministers and spending lot on publicity.
-Though they removed emergency; now they add new laws almost every week against people.
-As if they have forgotten the past, the Government gives undue places to Wimal and Karuna who are working against the majority community.
-State gives priority to those lying and giving false promises.
-People are most likely to take to the streets in 2-3 years time if this kind of governance and dictatorial rule continues.

From the South:

-The Government gives bad examples and expects a just society.
-Because there are some doubts about the last presidential poll, people like Mervyn continue to dominate politics.
-All COL data are prepared as required by the Government and much of it is not accurate or false.
-The country’s debt is astronomical and the COL goes up while Ranil keeps mum.
-State officials are behind the corruption. The Government directs them and no administration in the past was as corrupt as this.
-Rejecting proposals of the LLRC the Government cries itself hoarse about foreign powers trying to dictate terms to the Government.
-The administration is worried about the upcoming Geneva human rights conference and is trying various ruses (to win the support of-many countries) but is unlikely to succeed.
-On the guise of thwarting terrorism the Government makes various laws to retain terror.
-With COL rising the way it does people are bound to die of hunger/starvation. (Note: So far there hasn’t been a single recorded death in Sri Lanka due to starvation).
-An individual’s income today (particularly the middle and lower income groups) is less than their expenses, primarily due to waste and corruption in the name of development.
-The rise in the COL is natural with a war of 30 years, says the Government to justify its misrule.
-People do not die in the streets due to hunger, so we need to support the Government’s development plans rather than condemn it.

From Sabaragamuwa:

-This Government is always popular both ways – whether for good or for worse.
-The COL index and rise of prices according to Central Bank reports are misleading and not practical.
-Politicians who fatten on tax increases, are insensitive to the rise of COL; they don’t feel the pinch since they live on people’s misery.
-In the name of development the country has been pawned wholesale; one day this nation will be full of beggars.
-Instead of a steady economy, the Government has only piecemeal plan; helps the rich and make the poor poorer.
-MR’s rule helps his extended family and not the people.
-Where the economy is concerned – the Government ended a 30 year war, is on course with a good plan and it is the duty of all to support the Government.
-People’s lives will collapse at this rate and lead to street protests.
Sections of Government are behind the terror and mayhem of this country, which is heading for dictatorship. This is worse than terrorism.

From Wayamba:

-As the country is developing slowly people will have to bear up.
-MR tells the people to tighten their belts but he enlarges the cabinet while increasing the comfort zones of ministers.
-This Government is pawning people’s rights to keep itself in power.
-Whatever people say of rising costs, the Government is doing a job regarding development and so it remains in popularity.
-Today’s top man is Rajapaksa and no power can displace him.
-Any Government falls in grace with time and so now it is the decline of this regime.
-Though much publicity is given regarding relief for flood victims nothing much really is being done, only a lot of noise.
-The Government will stoop low to remain in power and retain its popularity.
-Our people have created hooligans and thugs to become ministers in spite of their dubious backgrounds vulgar manners.
-The Government never worked with the people’s welfare in mind, but for their own safety and well being. They destroyed the opposition on their way to dictatorship.
-The Government is following a policy of colonialism at any cost.
-Weerawansa cries out at foreign powers doing damage here but that’s all a ruse to divert attention from the real problems faced at home.

From the Central Province:

-The Government is drunk with power and a 2/3rds majority, and doesn’t know what it’s doing.
-As good people we need to tolerate difficulties since the Government is doing its best on a development path.
-The present bad time is nothing taking to consideration the incremental disasters that happened in the past.
-The Government is attempting to make our nation a loner in the international community by its dictatorial stance.
-The Government is attempting to make the nation a debt ridden one pawning it to former colonial powers.
-Internationally the nation is being isolated due to this rigid rule.
-The COL is being made worse by mudalalis and other elements.
-There is no democracy any more as the Government has taken over the judiciary.
-While China and Japan are helping Sri Lanka, the US is pulling our leg. They resent the progress of this country.

From Batticaloa:

-The Government’s extravagant expenditure is burdening the people.
-The COL is high due to high taxes levied on the people.
-Everyone in a family has to work to survive. The elders in society are now a worrisome issue now.
-Bread, once a poor man’s food is now a luxury with its rising price.
-Though there seems to be some development, there is also corruption under its cover. These burdens are now on the people.
-As every item is at a high price not many can engage in business and all business houses are facing this situation.
-Those who excelled in their studies are able to obtain foreign jobs but for others there are no jobs here. The brain drain is due to free education and it doesn’t help the country. As its benefits do not come to us going for jobs abroad should be stopped.
-Even the educated find it hard to find jobs unless they have political clout.
-Electricity costs are high since there is no other alternative.
-People are uneasy with rising costs though the war has ended. The so-called development is taking place under this cover (high COL).

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