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DateLine Friday, 6 March 2009

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South - South cooperation

The bid by Sri Lanka's Central Bank to obtain USD 1.9 billion from the IMF coincides with the call by the Global lending agency to the international community to act urgently to rescue developing countries now poised to take the full brunt of the global economic recession.

In this respect the observation by IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss Khan at the launch of a study entitled 'The impact of the financial crisis on Low income countries' assumes significance.

He said, "After hitting first the advanced economies and then the emerging economies, a third wave from the global financial crisis is now hitting the most vulnerable countries." He has also warned of the political destability and possible anarchy in these countries in such an eventuality.

Already several third world countries are feeling the bite of the economic recession with the closure of factories, production assemblies and large scale worker lay offs. These countries were initially insulated from the collapse of the world financial markets

where only the major economies were caught up in the vortex.

Now the crisis has come home to hit the poor underdeveloped countries with the 'meltdown' so to speak seeping far and deep to take a stranglehold on the vulnerable economies.

In this context it is also significant to note another observation made by the top IMF official. Here is what he had to say: "the crisis puts at risk the major achievements of higher growth, lower poverty and greater political stability that many low income countries have made over the past decade."

This may well be true of countries such as Sri Lanka which was cruising along fine holding the economy steady against the buffeting winds of the global economic recession even while fighting a costly civil war.

But as the IMP official noted sooner or later all developing countries are bound to be caught up in the current that have been lashing with the fury of a tidal wave to hit the major economies of the world resulting in once proud communities being reduced to penury.

Amid this scenario it is highly unlikely that the world financial powers now busy devising rescue packages for their economies would turn their attention to poor developed countries. Even President Obama's stimulus package to bail out US banks have run into criticism. Therefore it is futile to expect a relaxing of purse strings to bail

out other fallen economies before the leading economies first out their own house in order. The Instruments that were devised to help backward economies such as the Millennium Fund is all but swamped away by the raging tide.

Hence it is now time that all these beleaguered nations take stock of the situation and device their own solutions to overcome the present crisis that would hold them in good stead even for future upheavals.

Being well acquainted with each others' situations there is bound be a positive outcome from such a South - South cooperation that would eventually be able to withstand major financial crises.

For too long have been we looking to the West in the role of supplicants while allowing our common resources to be appropriated by the rich nations.

Now with the South gradually being able to assert its self in the global sphere on many fronts it is appropriate that it takes bold moves to devise a common economic strategy that would insulate ourselves from the vagaries of the West.


Challenge to CMC

Now that the Supreme Court has ordered the removal all unauthorised and illegal hoardings within the Colombo city it is hoped that the CMC would go the whole hog and remove all unauthorised structures that dot the city landscape and revert the Colombo city to its glory days when it was described as the 'Garden City of Asia'.

We are not privy to the full scope of the Supreme Court Judgement and whether the ruling applies to the rash of cut outs and billboards advertising politicians particularly during this election period.

Today any visitor entering the city is greeted by these giant cut outs and hoardings of politicians and lesser minions some with dubious reputations. There are also other structures strategically placed at busy intersections where images of such personages are most visible.

If as the Supreme Court ruling has also called for the removal of all 'illegal advertisements' these structures too should necessarily fall into this category. It will be interesting to see if the CMC dares take action to remove such structures which have marred the city's landscape and obliterated its skyline.
 

Caring for the people

Despite the conflict in which we have pushed the forces of terror to a small parcel of land in a corner of Sri Lanka, we have not lost sight of our duty to protect and care for our people - the ordinary people who have suffered from the conflict.

Full Story

UNP faces unprecedented public wrath

Senanayake dynasty throughout history took tremendous efforts to evolve the country’s polity into a new shape which is beneficial to the common man. UNP Deputy Leader Rukman Senanayake is following in the footsteps of his ancestors who left an indelible impression in the country’s political arena.

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