Sri Lanka opposition says better governance will preserve trade concessions
Source: LBO – Pic by Reuters
Sri Lanka’s opposition presidential candidate promised better governance which will lead to a continuation of trade concessions from the European Union and tough new anti corruption laws.
Retired general Sarath Fonseka, who led a campaign to crush the Tamil Tigers said a return of better governance would ensure the continuation of the generalized system of preferences plus (GSP+) trade concessions from Europe.
“I can confront and deal with any concerns and explain,” Fonseka said. “We need not hush up anything. Our hands are clean.”
He was addressing Sri Lanka’s business community along with opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe of the United National Party and Somwansa Amerasinghe from the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, ahead of presidential polls due later this month.
Exporters are due to lose trade concessions to Europe later this year over human rights violations and state denial of civil and political rights to the people set out in international conventions signed by Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s exporters have been hard hit by a global slump and an overvalued currency from high inflation from 2006 which has ‘overvalued’ the rupee against currencies such as the US dollar.
UNP’s Wickremesinghe said there will be a more “flexible” rupee and help for exporters.
Analysts say a currency depreciation would help improve the competitiveness of exporters and also help increase nominal state revenues to help finance a 10,000 rupee a month promised pay hike to Sri Lanka state sector.
The ruling coalition has said that the pay hike would cost 132 billion rupees a year and has instead promised a 2,500 rupee hike, which would be a less of a burden on private citizens.
From 2004 Sri Lanka’s already bloated state sector has expanded by around 30 percent to 1.1 million workers. People outside the state, have for years contributed in taxes, inflation and currency depreciation to keep afloat a bloated state.
State enterprises also make large losses and are topped up by taxes collected from the people.
Fonseka said businesses were suffering high levels of taxes up to 64 percent and it would be brought down.
Opposition spokesmen have said cutting corruption will help finance a state sector salary hike.
Fonseka is promising a new anti-corruption agency modelled in line with a UN convention against corruption to be set up by a caretaker administration he hopes to set up after coming to power.
He has also promised to implement and amended to the constitution and set up an independent constitutional council to free the public service from partisan political interference that has crippled state machinery.
According to Fonseka’s platform a bill proposing amendments to an existing constitution would also be put forward before parliamentary elections are held.
Wish you goodluck with the coming election. Its time for Mahinda to go.He had destroy the country with poverty & corruption. Under his leadership he had damage the view of srilanka.Pray coming election he is out of office.
Just by hearing what he’s said in past interviews, in sherdog’s current interview, and in what he’s said repetitively over and over and over again when aasked if he’s going to the UFC. It’s pretty much cut and clear and obvious that he isn’t and probably won’t ever come to the UFC. And anyone who thinks otherwise is just wishfull thinking or in denial.
I too agree with Ansar. Any donkey can understand what MR is trying do. State media is trying to promote MR.But.we know what is happening ia and aruond. As citizens of this contry we have responsibility not to give another chance to MR. So, vote for SF who has scrifieced 40 years of his live to this country. Further, we are sure that SF will do a better job than others.
Dear General Sir,
I am a retd army officer, not from your regt. But I know you well. Let Illangamage or any Illango or hivala to criticise you. There, is no harm for you. B’cos people hv a confidens on you. You have to deal with policy matters. Not with mud. But, whenever you response to mud, Control your temper. It is natural that you loose your tempe as those are false allegations.
answer for all comments..pl.don’t show u r politicle ambitions by writing nonsons..our contry loving educated and wiser people will get together under one flag declearing their vote..but it must be hurt power greedy people those who can sell their mother and motherland for come power..all knows the thruth..why we won the war,..how we won the war..who were behind the war ..who carried it up to 30 years..think twice..give u r valuble vote who can bring prosperous…to our motherland..
I am a retired army officer too. and because i have seen SF at work, i have become a devotee of him. he is greatest leader i have ever seen.
as the leader of all armies he has the knowledge and training to build up our country. they are trained to maintain ministries and any aspect of economy in case of emergency. he has more knowledge on economy than mahinda. so he is the best fit.