Achieving Economic stability

Both leaders of the government, President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are compelled to listen to popular demands of respective political supporters. In general there two demands are discussed in the background of coming elections. Firstly, there is pressure to increase filling government sector jobs with supporters. If there are no vacancies they expect expansion of activities for development. Secondly, there are demands to go for development projects that create jobs while money will come to local level contractors, Professionals and workmen.

Almost, competition has been created by the pressure of these commercial and industrial manipulators. Market is expanding and all activities are expanding in all directions.

The government on realizing the success of concessionary loan scheme is to introduce further concessionary loans to widen the schemes enabling the stakeholders to move towards next generation economic activities in their respective areas. This is attractive information for all classes. One statement says migrant workers will be given up to Rs.10 million concessionary housing loans to be repaid in 15 years with two-year grace period. This may be because it has been perceived that the dream of many of the migrant workers is to have their own house. But due to lack of proper guidelines and bad financial management it has become impossible for them.

According to the new scheme proposed, migrant workers who have registered under the Foreign Employment Bureau will have to save a considerable amount of their remittance in a local bank and the 75 percent of the interest rate will be borne by the government through Treasury. Another scheme introduced to provide concessionary loan up to Rs.2 million is for three-wheeler owners to convert to a safer and comfortable mini taxi service with small cars. The government will bear 75 percent of the interest rate and the three-wheel owners, who operate their own three wheelers and who are above 35 years of age are entitled to this concessionary loan. As Lanka is fast reaching a country where its ageing population is on the increase, Minister Samaraweera has proposed to introduce another loan scheme of providing Rs.10 million with 75 percent interest concession to construct elderly care centres as private sector investment.

The newly introduced loan schemes with the previous schemes will be continued in the year 2019 as well and on the proposal made by Minister Samaraweera the Cabinet approval has been granted to allocate Rs.700 million to pay the interest rates to banks through which these loans will be channeled. The United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG), in their election manifesto in 2015, made a promise to create an additional million jobs in the economy. This provides context for Minister Statement, and makes it an important issue of public interest. Minister’s statements take us to the worldwide development of politics of economic development and human rights.

Social democrats and socialists

Across much of the West, in the industrialized world, the left faces a ‘resurgent’ threat. Less than 20 years since a majority of Western governments were social democrats and socialists are in power. Now it has changed. But at the same time Marxists has emerged as popular political trends in many countries including US. Some say that picture could soon change.

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) is on course to win the federal elections due in May 2019 and become the country’s dominant political force. Marxist has operated in a manner to enhance this possibility. The ALP governs in five of Australia’s eight regions and holds a consistent, election-winning poll lead over the right-wing coalition government. Under Labor leader Bill Shorten, a lawyer and former trade union leader, the party has moved left on the economy, welfare and work while remaining moderate on many social and cultural issues. By combining a radical vision for economic justice with a commitment to national unity and social cohesion, the ALP has won this position. Political analysts believe these ideas and strategy hold key lessons for those out of power and struggling to forge a majority coalition, not least UK Labour and the US Democrats. Marxist by working closely with this trend has won over the radical youth.

Like Britain, Australia is now governed by a centre right that is divided and directionless. In line with the British Conservatives, the ruling Liberal Party, which governs with the racist National Party, lacks a majority in parliament and is preoccupied with handling racism. Since 2013, the Liberals have endured three coups against their leader and prime minister. Thus the Liberals are paralyzed by ideological contradictions between liberalism and racism. It has so far failed to revive the fortunes of the Liberal-National coalition. Party lost a safe seat in a recent by-election and has proven unable to articulate an alternative to the coalition’s traditional fusion of free-market fundamentalism with right-wing identity politics. In consequence, the government has lost ground to the fascists of One Nation Party led by the far-right populist Pauline Hanson making a resurgent Labor that is capturing the popular mood on economic injustice. This shows how the people are moving into left and right polar.

Twenty seven years of, so-called uninterrupted economic growth in Australia, which avoided a recession following the 2008 financial crash have disproportionately benefited the wealthiest 20 per cent. In response to rising inequalities of wealth and power, the ALP pressurized by rising Marxists has developed an ambitious agenda of spending commitments on housing, health, infrastructure and education, funded by the proposed abolition of tax concessions that favour home and financial share ownership.

Signature policies include fully implementing a National Disability Insurance Scheme, providing more equitable, needs-based school funding, and expanding both university and vocational training places.

The party is also considering introducing worker representation on company boards and other forms of stronger workplace power.

Labor is seeking to fuse fiscal responsibility with economic egalitarianism in ways that renew the party’s historic commitment to ‘civilizing capitalism’ through transformation, rather than incremental reform or wholesale revolution proposed by Marxists.

The ALP’s economic ideas are underpinned by a public philosophy of the common good – providing everyone with a share of those things that make life worth living. In his book For the Common Good, published in 2016, Labor leader describes it as an attempt to “bring together the people of this country – the men, women, children and families of inner cities, suburbs, regions and remote communities; indigenous, local and immigrants; small and big business, workers and unions; young and old; progressive and conservative. It’s time to transcend the cycle of division that has characterized our politics for too long.”

Democratic decision-making

“A commitment to the common good is about pursuing personal fulfillment while meeting ones obligations to one another and wider society. This provides a richer conception of justice than the coalition’s arid philosophy of maximizing utility and promoting freedom. It seems Australian Labor’s ethical purpose helps the party to address not just economic injustice but also social fragmentation and cultural instability. Migration and ethnic and religious diversity provide both dynamism and potential for community conflict.”

With almost 30 per cent of Australians born overseas, popular participation in democratic decision-making is as vital as effective citizenship. Hence this ALP’s promotion of a nationalism, that balances respect for diversity and difference with integration into a common culture and an appreciation of the Australian way of life. Apparently this is going to be an example to the entire industrialized world. These developments show the way forward for Lanka too.



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