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Entries in Politics (2)


A Hundred years before 1956

The government has announced that 2012 will be the year of trilinguality; a key plank of the platform of Mano Ganeshan who placed third in the preference vote tally in the recent Colombo Municipal council elections, was equality of language. It is rare for a government and opposition to agree on anything, but in relation to the this vexed question that has fissured and broken apart this country for so long, there seems to be agreement. But still, even though the equality of Sinhala and Tamil has been constitutional since the 13th amendment of 1987, the reports of the Official Language Commission tell us, we have not made much progress in this regard. Why? Will we ever? What really at bottom holds back language equality?

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The Politics of IMF Conditions

There is a tendency I detect, especially among those in the corporate sector, who are as conscious of their location and responsibilities as nationals of this country, as I am, to view what ever conditions the Fund may impose as being beyond politics; good technocratic advise that we must take, for our own good. This is of course prompted in part by the mismanagement in a context of hyper politicization of our own monetary policy, but its also catalyzed by a view, infrequently challenged, in the English language press in this country at least, that the Bank the Fund and their allied institutions are rule-governed and ethical, non-political, technocratic and expert, almost infallible. But are they really?

Not at all. The World Bank and IMF come out of a neo-imperial arraignment through which the US and Europe still attempt to rule the world; it still goes with out saying the head of the Bank is a US citizen and head of the Fund, a European, with the US having a veto on IMF policies. And their respective Boards push for policies that will assist these national formations. Furthermore, the US itself does not subject itself to scrutiny from the IMF.

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