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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lunatic expenditure on mega projects and the mythical investors expected to come in large numbers

by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne
Many economists believe that the greatest depression in human history is still in its beginning stages.

cartoon courtesy of: lakbimaNews.lk

What the media and many officials often refer to as the left over from the global financial crisis is in fact the end of the beginning.

The real thing is yet to come. Originating in 2008, the global economic crisis took the world by storm: banks collapsed, those corporations considered “too big to fail” became bigger failures, governments bailed out their financial and manufacturing industries, masses of people lost their jobs, the ‘developing’ world was plunged into a deep systemic crisis and food prices rose, which in time spurred social unrest.

A great global debt crisis, originating in Europe, hit Greece and Spain, but some say it is destined to consume the industrialized world itself. Though many claim that we are in a “recovery,” things could not be further from the truth.

One report said recently “Evidence of a deterioration of global manufacturing growth and renewed weakness in job creation in the United States emerged. Add to that a daunting list of aggravating factors: an outbreak of worldwide risk aversion, high crude-oil and gas prices pinching consumer demand.”

And now top financial experts are warning of a new financial crisis altogether. They say, “There is definitely going to be another financial crisis around the corner… because we haven’t solved any of the things that caused the previous crisis.”

While the world of global capitalism is struggling to avoid the disaster faced, Mahinda is continuing as a slave of the system. In spite of debts collected due to the monstrous war, and the lunatic expenditure on mega projects to expand the infrastructure facilities to the mythical investors expected to come in large numbers; he is planning to gain development by hosting the commonwealth games 2018.

“There will be an investment between USD 3-4 billion on the city. Not all of this will be connected to the games, but will be on ports, sports stadiums and other basic infrastructure developments,” Cabraal explained. The government has obtained the services of foreign Public Relations Company PMP Legacy for the next six months.

“A consultancy fee of LKR 2.6 million has already been paid to them,” he said. The funds will come through numerous ways, both government and private sectors for the constructions to meet the deadlines.

While Mahinda is dreaming of a journey within global capitalism by compromising with global powers on the issue of devolution to the Tamil homeland, his friends in the Sinhala chauvinist camp is preparing war on a different front. Professor Nalin de Silva, my ex comrade, is in the forefront of a struggle against MNCs producing pesticides.

For several decades many left organizations were campaigning against the destruction caused by the chemicals used in modern agriculture. They showed that the path of development given by these chemical inputs in agriculture will cause destruction of food production in all developing countries.

In fact these methods challenge the nature and will cause an irreparable damage to the soil, a marvelous product of nature. Nalin has concentrated on the danger of arsenic in pesticides.

However instead of answering the problem of pesticide the government has stared a clamour on paddy poisoning. Poisoning of rice is an effect that could be developing. Whether there is going to be food poisoning or not, pesticides using arsenic should be stopped immediately.

Even North America now has restrictions on harmful arsenic-based pesticides, due mainly to four years of intensive research by a team led by Environment Canada.

The effects of these chemicals on human health, birds and insects only started to come to light after they were used to fight off an epidemic of mountain pine beetles in British Columbia’s forests. The government has become slaves of these global masters to the extent, to accept poison rejected by people of those countries.
Nalin instead of harping on ‘dangers’ of autonomy to the Tamil peasants and fishermen, at least at the moment, has faced the real enemies of the people of Lanka. Pesticide companies have become pests to the world humanity.

Obviously, I do not agree with religious obscurantism Nalin uses in his campaign. The campaign for environment friendly agricultural methods devoid of poisons that kill all living things in soil is the answer. Fertilizers used by generations of testing could be used again with improved technology.

We must stop attacking nature, under the pretext of improvement. Our struggle should be within Mother Nature with tested technology and best collective traditions developed by our ancestors. I mean all traditions in this country, Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and others.