Sobering Thoughts

Feb 03, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s independent English weeklies have slammed decades of mismanagement as a war-ravaged island wracked by inflation and corruption prepares to mark 60 years of freedom from British rule on February 04. “What we are now confronted with is a nation in peril, at the mercy of foreign aid donors dictating good governance to what is, a sovereign state,” said the privately owned The Sunday Times in an editorial headlined ‘She’s my country still’.

The newspaper said the government was “borrowing relentlessly” from banks, “for unborn generations to pay in the future.”

Public funds were “pilfered and squandered”, the newspaper said, and one in 20 Sri Lankans were working overseas “to keep the home fires burning, often in pitiful conditions” amid unemployment, under-nourishment and “skyrocketing” prices.

The Sunday Times said the country was in the grip of corrupt politicians with a worsening human rights record while an insurgency was “taking a terrible toll on life, limb, property and the economy.”

Deeply Flawed

A columnist at the Sunday Island said a left-oriented social change that started in 1956, while bringing free education and high literacy, was deeply flaw