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Sri Lanka is like a mirage. You seem to see water nearby but you never get close to touching it. Since immemorial time, the economy of the country has been deliberately distorted by powerful outside forces and made to operate contrary to the interest of the people. Many current politicians of Sri Lanka perform their jobs as if they were estate managers of some faceless absentee landlord that lives in a foreign land.

Yes, there is an external arm that is linked to bad governance and corruption in Sri Lanka. It has always been so. It has never been in the interest of that external arm that Sri Lanka be properly governed. That external arm may change from time to time but it has always been there. At one time it was in the form of slavery or colonialism, and now it is in the form of the less visible neo-colonialism. Understanding the neo-colonial state in Sri Lanka is a very complex issue for ordinary Sri Lankans.

Pay attention to this statement made by Ghana’s former Minister for Information and National Orientation.

“After 20 years of implementing structural adjustment programmes, our economy has remained weak and vulnerable and not sufficiently transformed to sustain accelerated growth and development. Poverty has become widespread, unemployment very high, manufacturing and agriculture in decline, and our external and domestic debts much too heavy a burden to bear” – Kwamena Bartels, Ghana’s minister for works and housing, May 2001

(The IMF has received heavy criticism for its handling of various financial crises in middle-income countries: Mexico (1965), Russia (1998), Brazil (1998), Turkey (1998) and Argentina (2001). But perhaps the most famous is the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s)

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