The Sunday Leader

Metropolis Godzillas out of step with the neglected rural masses

By Trevor Jayetileke

The Economy is in a right Royal mess with the Growth forecasts downgraded by the IMF, the Rupee depreciating against the US$ and the Stock Market rather flat and lacklustre.

“Yahapalanaya” seems to have lost its way with its Mandate which is pretty much on the Anvil and causing Policy vacuum  since the 100 day bluff in 2015.

The pyrrhic victory in a No Confidence Motion held recently against the PM is now working in favour of his nemesis  looking an inevitable choice for PM even before 2020. In my opinion the JO is biding its time till the UNP  has run itself to a nadir.

What may be in store for  Mother Lanka is uncertain  when a Cabinet is  reshuffled  four  times like changing Pillows for a bad Headache. Under these circumstances the capability of the leadership comes under scrutiny and  does not need  a Rhodes Scholar to remind us of the ‘Any Buffalo’ gaffe.

The Free Market Economy since 1978 has brought us to the edge of the cliff with its disadvantaged  at the end of their tether. Two of the Troika that engineered the regime change in 2015 are Politicians who have still to grow out of their Rompers when one considers their Leadership  with one even without  a Legacy to show.

The ADB is willing to give US$2.7Bln for  Development Projects and if I may repeat why not build a New Oil Refinery  of at least 150,000 Barrels of Crude oil refining capacity per day and use the saving of 100% local refining as a lever to cut back on the subsidies that distorts  the Market Forces that determine  an equitable Fuel pricing formula to the end user.

Having scored their own Goal through the ‘Bond Scam’ a Powerful UNP Minister is said to be pushing hard for a deal to be struck with a Indian Company (PPP)  to buy LNG for a 20 year period without any concern for Good Governance  pledged in January 2015.

I would tell our readers a Story which would highlight the missed opportunity for a LNG Power Plant. I helped an Australian Business Delegation to come to Sri Lanka which had a Seminar with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on the 2nd September 2002.

The best oil and gas company in Australia from WA was in the delegation even before I got involved and offered to build a 350MW LNG fired Electric Power Plant in Sri Lanka.

This plant could be extended even up to 1050MW if and when required. A former SL Rugby player  was their Advisor and we still lament over it which  was a BOOT  project with the LNG  Plant  to be handed back to the CEB.

The second proposition for the present regime is to  seriously consider  letting  go the Monopolies that are non-essential to the State and only required to maintain its internal security and Sovereignty /Territorial integrity and make them at least  PPP’s that inject  innovation, ingenuity and talent  of  private enterprise from  all the 9 Provinces of Sri Lanka.

Though we say we are a Free Market Economy the drivers are predominantly  Politician and their cronies who are Corrupt to the core., and not answerable to anyone but themselves.


Trevor Jayetileke is a Sri Lankan Oil/Gas Prospector of the Southern Sedimentary Lanka Basin, Promoting Australia Sri Lanka Bilateral Trade & Investment since 1993, Freelance writer from Oz.

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