"A PERMANENT SOLUTION"?
YOUR EXCELLENCY MADAM PRESIDENT, DO WAKE UP TO REALITIES!
by Prof. Hudson McLean
At this present time, the politicians should
stop trying to pull wool over the eyes of the electorate by talking of
"A Permanent Solution".
With the current "pussy footing" of
the political leaders, only way to dream about "A Permanent Solution"
is hoping that the Norwegian mediators would wake up and remove the belligerent
Tigers Permanently to Bergen or to any other Norwegian Fjord. That should
be regarded as both Permanent and a Solution.
Perhaps one might take a hint from the recent
Israeli-Palestinian example of shunting off the wanted Hamas terrorists
and gunmen who took refuge in a Holy site in Bethlehem, temporarily to
Cyprus, awaiting an invitation from a third country who may wish to grant
In the case of Sri Lanka, the Norwegians can
clear two hurdles in one fell swoop and then the Sri Lankan citizens may
propose Erik Solheim as a candidate for the next Noble Peace Prize.
At this precise moment, one should consider
Permanent and Solution as two separate subjects.
A good example of Permanence is-;
That the LTTE TIGERS are simply marking their time permanantly building
up a political infrastructure and laying corner stones for the next insurrection.
The weapons are continuously being smuggled
in by moonlight under the very noses of the Sri Lankan Defence Force who
are unable to take appropriate actions due to political constrains imposed
A defensive Solution should be to-;
Give a free hand to the Defence Forces to take all necessary actions to
prevent such illegal acts.
In the meantime, Ranil and his team are waiting
patiently, accepting all excuses for postponing "peace talks"
supported by the Norwegians. It might be May or perhaps June (which year?),
but then whilst there is a cease fire, one should not rush to arrive at
any destination, should one?
It is very likely, and as an intelligent unconfirmed
guess, the Norwegians led by Erik Solheim are privy to some of the strategic
thinking of the LTTE Tiger Terrorists, that the peace talks will materialise
only when the sun begins to rise from the West.
As expressed in an earlier article, one has
to give the benefit of the doubt to Ranil W. So far, he has played his
cards brilliantly. If he accepts the delay of a mirage of a peace conference
in order to set up a commercial and political game plan, we salute the
However, Ranil W must divest his interests from
the day to day defence activity and start rebuilding the country. The
operational defence logistics should be transferred to the new Security
Council with the Minister of Defence in the Chair. The President, as the
Commander-in-Chief, shall deliver clear objectives of the government and
allow the Military a free hand to reach the defined objectives. A very
clear practical programme was delivered by Mr. S. L. Gunesekera recently
in another news media.
The Role of the Clergy has always been a debatable
point in Sri Lankan politics. As a Christian, I fully support the active
role of the Buddhist Clergy in defending the Faith and the followers.
Equally, the Christian Clergy should do likewise. However, the Clergy
must, whatever the belief, first, last and always, defend the Motherland
in which they and their followers live. In a situation where the citizens
of Sri Lanka have suffered loss of life due to unwonted terrorism with
an ultimate objective of causing disintegration of the Island, the Clergy
of all Faiths have a solemn and a sacred duty to defend the integrity
of Sri Lanka.
An immediate Solution to secure the Permanent
problem of security is neither political nor military, but should be in
the form of commercialisation of Sri Lanka. No. Sri Lanka is NOT For Sale.
That should put several readers minds at rest. Develop a well defined
Investor Strategy. Invite medium to long term foreign investors to this
strategic location which offer multiple user benefits. Once the plans
mature into a reality, the LTTE terrorists would think carefully before
they explode suicide bombs in areas dominated by a mixed expat management
and a local labour force.
In order to encourage a Permanent flow of foreign
investment, the government should plan an international investor strategy
directed at the Small-to Medium size Enterprises (SMEs). It is counter
productive to invite major global players who will create high labour
intensive projects today, after squeezing every single drop of economic
benefits from the government and withdraw with the low tide. It is preferable
to have five hundred individual SMEs with a wide international market
platform employing five hundred heads each rather than to have ten major
conglomerates employing twenty five thousand each.
A Solution would be to grant tax holiday and
other incentives to investors who create employment units of five hundred
heads and more. For each five hundred unit employment project, incentives
maybe based on the percentage of exports with a labour component built
in. For example, the manufacturers should be obliged to sell upto 30%
of its production in the domestic market and the labour content of the
ex-works price should be a minimum of 30%.
Until a concrete and a feasible Solution to
the current overall problem, both in the political arena and in the economic
infrastructure, is created and enforced, Permanence will be dangling in
the distant horizon.
Madam President, With due respect, may I suggest
that without simply criticising the government arbitrarily, propose an
objective and a concrete transparent programme with a time frame and a
cost benefit schedule intended to deliver defined Solutions.