Eran exposes SL’s plight of human capital flight; Govt. not bringing any solution to preserve health sector

Eran Wickramaratne, Member of Parliament of the Samagi Jana Balavegaya, accused the government of not bringing any solution or alternative arrangements to preserve the health sector of the country as it asserts the right to life of the citizens.

Though the health sector now faces a brain drain with increasing numbers of the sector fleeing the country, the government has not yet proposed an effective solution for it. Samagi Jana Balavegaya Member of Parliament Mr. Eran Wickramaratne said this while commencing the parliamentary debate by submitting an adjournment proposal yesterday (07) regarding the exodus of human capital driven by poor decision making of the current government.

Eran drew attention to two key USP’s of the country – location and human
capital. Brain drain is not something new to the country, some people left
the country in 1956 because of the Sinhala only language policy - many
burgers and Tamils left the country. The second weave occurred after the
Black July of 1983.

Social environment is considered to be a key reason for a population shift of this nature, ‘push factors’ of a source country. Sri Lankan is currently
witnessing its third weave of brain drain and research point to a few key
reasons that is driving the current weave;

a) the absence of forward-thinking leadership

b) inflation and the burden of taxation

c) lack of necessities

d) rule of law under duress

It seems that many people who leave the country in this era have no hope
of returning to this country. We need to explore how best we can brain gain, whilst we support the right of each individual’s choice in leaving or staying on in the country. Eran made a subtle call on the conscience of those who attained a free education at the cost of the people and their moral obligation to serve the nation. We need to find new means to look after the people who are in the country and the parents and elderly of those who have left for greener pastures.

We cannot develop or rejuvenate the economy without skilled labour and
international business will not enter the country when it lacks human
resources. We must not only stop the brain drain but provide high quality
education in par with international standards so that we attract and retain

Current investment in education is 1.5% of GDP, which needs to increase to 3%.

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SJB policy is that investment in human resource development takes precedence over infrastructure development as was the case with the more recent governance policies. We believe that all should have a higher education and training, be it university, professional or vocational. But the government alone cannot do this and it is a must that we open to the private sector and also for nongovernmental and non-profit

Government has an obligation to oversee the quality of education and it is the responsibility of a government to regulate and quality control
the sector.

Last but not least we need to bring back the children of our nation. Sri Lanka is one of the countries with the highest percentage of its nationals living and working abroad, along with more who have taken up permanent residency overseas.

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They are one of the biggest assets to our country with top quality education, training, exposure, highly networked with access to updated technology.

We need to redefine our outdated laws to attract the overseas residents and their second and third generations back to the country. We must rethink our approach and ensure ease of return to Sri Lanka offering dual citizenship for those who will contribute to the country and permanent
residency. We must open the country to reverse the brain drain and brain

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