I was going through the 2013 budget speech, via my dad’s Facebook really, and came across this terrifying statistic – “The Government now engages 1,300,000 public servants. This is twice the size in 2005.” Now, for country of barely 21 million people, I would venture that this is a lot. Yet Mahinda followed up with “We have therefore, decided to recruit qualified staff in selected categories”. Not the ‘therefore’ I was looking for.
Archive for the 'GoSL' Category
Ah, mainly more taxes and a few less taxes. Mahinda just delivered the budget, in his role as Finance Minister I guess. The family still controls over 50% of government funds, but there’s the parts we’re allowed to know. I’ve highlighted the items that are interesting to me, from the diligent Sunday Times summary. All snarky comments (within brackets) are my own.
Channel 4′s new doc is still bullshit, wrapped around a seed of truth. People suffered and died, but Channel 4 – like Kony2012 to a degree – is too quick to use that suffering to further a simplistic agenda. They completely ignore the history and context of Sri Lanka’s civil war and instead offer up war porn, strategically staged by the LTTE, proposing the decapitation of Sri Lanka’s elected government and military as a solution. It’s bullshit.
A political dog whistle is a code word that sounds reasonable, but which the faithful can hear. In the US it would have been something like ‘states-rights’ for slavery and segregation. In the Sri Lankan context, many people are using ‘accountability’ to perpetuate the Eelam war by other means. This blogger Anapayan puts it well: “Tamil nationalists’ demand for accountability is not meant for reconciliation or justice rather a political maneuver to suit their incompatible political agenda.”
Sri Lanka is full of fake protest (fauxtests if you will) and everybody is live streaming the UN Human Rights sessions and, uh, I’m just trying to ignore it all and hope that it goes away. I’ve heard that international pressure forces the government to .. aaah. It’s all irrelevant. Everyone just comes off as posturing assholes.
Mahinda has made a Sri Lanka that looks like it’s growing, but on the ground it’s not as it seems. People don’t much care what he builds as long as their lives move ahead, but recently everybody has moved back. Petrol, electricity, bread and fish are all up. Essentially everything. The bill for whatever we’ve been building has come due, and it’s shocking. It’s like walking out of Arpico and being like, ‘how the fuck is Rs. 10,000 in this plastic bag’.
Getting police reports is a pain. I’ve had two receipts in my wallet for like four months now and I’ve basically just given up on carrying valid ID. I don’t do well with printed anything (mailing a letter can take me up to a year), but the process is difficult in and of itself. In the best case it requires two trips to the cop-shed, in an average case three, or in my case, an infinite loop. Mercifully, this policy is set to change.
The Tamil National Alliance has published their response to Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Report. They are predictably not too happy – they think that 1) the commission was flawed 2) that they almost blindly accepted government narratives 3) that war crimes were ignored and 4) that (vaguely) an international investigation is necessary. I half agree with them.
The 13th amendment is viewed as part of political reconciliation in Sri Lanka. It (devolution of power to the provinces) has been ignored since day one. In that sense it just hasn’t worked, and isn’t working. I’m also beginning to think it’s not even a good idea. What changed my mind was the words of a Tamil politician, Arun Tambimuttu:
Governments are almost uniformly disliked, because they suck. Their main selling point is that they suck significantly less than no government, or really bad government, but that’s a hard sell.