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
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
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
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
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.