Sri Lanka food freedoms under fresh threat: report

Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange Dumith Fernando presenting the sponsorship cheque to President of CA Sri Lanka Manil Jayesinghe

Dec 08, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister D M Jayaratne had asked for a complete ban on fruit imports and asked for the price of wheat flour to be increased to a level people “could not afford”, a media report said. Farmers in countries like Pakistan produce better quality fruits than in Sri Lanka. While an import duty can inflict harm on foreigners as expected by economic nationalism, it also inflicts harm on citizens.

Import duties work by making products, foods in this case inaccessible to lower income earners to a “level they could not afford”. The very rich would continue to buy them.

Under Sri Lanka’s ancient kings, Sri Lanka’s economy was free. Sri Lanka’s post colonial nationalism and interventionism mimic developments in Eastern Europe in the late 18 century and early 19th century.

Clasical economists have warned that mindless economic nationalism leads to the oppression of large and small groups, which eventually results in misery and war.

Sri Lanka’s rice autarkists a few years ago proposed the baning of wheat based foods to patients in hospitals, one of the most helpless group in society. Sri Lanka’s rice autarkists had already taxed wheat flour and potatoes to high levels reducing ac