Get on with it
The LTTE has made a spectacle of itself to the international community. It has not been able to resolve the power-struggle between those who want a negotiated settlement, and the military-wing mandarins who see their own spheres of influence waning if there is a transition to peace.

While the LTTE sorts itself out, however, the Government must keep an eye on its own defence mechanism. Irrespective of the LTTE's own idiosyncrasies of the moment, the Government must get on with it, and forge a coherent policy that concentrates on the economic development of the entire country.

There has been - maybe - a little too much obsession with the LTTE these few months (not that that aspect of Sri Lankan politics can easily be ignored) but there is also a need to divert one's attention to other areas.

The LTTE, after all, is not the be all and end all of this country's national affairs. We can say from an appraisal on the face of the facts, that there seems to be a new focus on aid and the need to implement development and infrastructure projects.

But one major drawback to this whole saga of foreign aid over the years has been the stink that has always been associated with politicians and their side-kicks lining their pockets with commissions, to the detriment of the people.

This is one compelling argument the LTTE is using, in demanding that they determine the destiny and direction of all the aid that will be committed to the North and East. Right or wrong, there is a feeling that corruption is once again raising its ugly head, with the new set of politicians in power now in the incumbent dispensation as well.
It's well and good to fast-track Government tenders and privatize loss-making State

ventures, but in the process we see how tender-fixing is taking place quite blatantly and how even profit-making state ventures are privatized to benefit financial backers of ruling party Ministers.

The Bribery and Corruption Commission is closed for business since February, it needs to also be mentioned. In this backdrop of events, the Government will need to be cautious that reeking corruption in high places and monopolies by a handful of people, who are siphoning their profits to bank accounts overseas, does not boomerang on itself by way of social disorder and revolution.

The aid that Tokyo is pledging is strictly not a gift. These are repayable by generations unborn. These loans then must be put to maximum benefit for generations yet to be born.

And for now, there must be accelerate job creation through public investment projects; more ordinary people need more money in their hands- and all the foreign monies pumped into the system must trickle down to as many ordinary people as possible if all this hullabaloo about the Tokyo 'aid' conference is to be meaningful to the ordinary folks at home, in the first place.

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