Thu. Dec 2nd, 2021

By keeping large stretches of land idle without putting them into agricutural use Sri Lanka can never become self sufficient in food. 80% of land is state owned and state mismanaged!

  • Total land area = 65, 610 sq.km
  • North to south distance = 435 km
  • East to West distance = 240 km
  • Sri Lanka is largely an agricultural country but only 43.5% of land is used for agriculture!

We have a huge amount of idle land. At the same time we have a big landlessness problem, especially in the Northern Province (also because of idle lands still in the ownership of diaspora Tamils). Government is sitting on them and is always conspiring to lease them out to multinational companies for lucrative underhand deals.

Centralised power in the hands of a ruling family supported by the army is an oligarchy and can never be democratic and can never act in the interest of people. We have witnessed this ever since 1978.

  • Devolving power to people in the regions is good in many ways:
  • More democratic, better governance and more accountable to people.
  • More openness and transparency.
  • Less corruption, maladministration and nepotism due to local control and democracy.
  • People will manage the environment better.
  • Rational land distribution, more agricultural production, more food self sufficiency, less imports and less dependency.
  • Landlessness will cease to be a problem.

Vested interests of ruling families controlling the highly centralised state apparatus are preventing devolving power to people in the regions. We must get rid of centralised family rule. This can only be achieved by all the people in the regions (all 9 provinces) – Sinhala people, Tamil people, Muslim people and the Hill Country People coming together and taking power to the regions.

Let us start networking together and work in partnership. Let us create a better, a more prosperous and a happier Sri Lanka. This is my message to all my friends!

By Mylvaganam Sooriasegaram

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