Sri Lanka needs freedom not authoritarianism for growth, knowledge: economist

Mar 22, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka needs freedom to think, develop knowledge, secure property rights and rule of law, which leads of sustainable growth and prosperity rather than authoritarianism which may show temporary gains, an economist has said. “Authoritarianism will bring a quick acceleration in economic growth because everyion is forced to work harder than before,” W A Wijewardene, a top economist, wrote in his column in Sri Lanka’s Daily FT newspaper.

“But that acceleration cannot sustain itself because it does not produce the required pre-requisites for economic maturity and sustained economic growth.

“That pre-requisite today is the human capital development in a wider sense.”

Human Ingenuity

While a nation needed material inputs like, plant machinery and infrastructure. But it also needed people and human capital.

“A democracy is the best system for people to develop their human capital because new knowledge requires freedom of speech and freedom of expression,” Wijewardene wrote.

“The authoritarian rulers could suppress these freedoms having considered them a nuisance. But it hinders human knowledge development which is necessary for continuous economic growth.”

Wijewardene says people’s savi