The Sri Lankan professional hypocrite

Friday, 20 January 2012 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

At a recent seminar an activist pointed out that our country is filled with professional and private sector hypocrites. This is very true private sector people in the recent past have jumped the line and begun to sing praise on behalf of the government. This is not to say the government is not performing. The President is one of the few leaders who have lived up to our expectations. But has his government and officials delivered the same way?

It was only two weeks ago your paper highlighted the tragic balance of payment crisis the country currently faces, that we are burning the candle from both ends by keeping intrest rates down and protecting the U$D and the large gaps in the Central Bank road map. But today Preethi Jayawardna, I see has so lovingly praised the achievements of the Central Bank and the progress the economy is making. Why is then the IMF so concerned? Then the recent country risk assesment? We all know the treasury and the Central Bank are at loggerheads over the controversial stand the Central bank is taking defending the Rupee. Dr Jayasundra is a veteran and competent Economist. He has raised this point in your very paper. The country has already lost $ 2 billion of its borrowed reserves defending the Rupee and Mr. Jayawardana is praising the Central Bank, This is not surprising to a reader like me because he has been put as Chairman of The Finance Company a company controlled by the Central Bank and now he has been appointed to the Board of Commercial Bank, a bank dominated by the state institutions.

Preethi Jayawardana however needs to be commended for spending so much time researching and putting together this article despite his fighting schedule being involved in so many institutions as shown in his profile at the end of the article and being only a Chartered Accountant generally good at reading a balance sheet, unlike some of the other columnists. The time has come for professionals in this country to uphold the trust the country has placed in them and call a spade a spade.

People who write to the FT and influence the thinking in this country must be accountable for their pronouncements. Could I recommend that the FT get a few competent economists to share their views on the Balance of Payment Issue and review Mr Jayawardana’s pronouncements.

R. Fernando.