Thursday, July 07, 2005

Plucking Tea

This is something that I just confirmed from a second source.

A recent World Bank document on the estate sector in Sri Lanka, grossly exaggerates the levels of poverty in the state owned estates. Yes there the situation there is poor, and it is generally accepted that estate areas are among the most poor in the country, but it is not as bad as the World Bank document makes it out to be.

S who originally put me onto the story believes that these figures are being manipulated to keep more and more money coming into the estates for poverty eradication programs. This source was one of the team who gathered the data that was manipulated. But A makes a few more links and comes up with another theory. A says the ultimate aim of the World Bank is the complete privatization of the estate sector and they can do this by twisting figures to show how shitty the state run estates are and how good the privately owned ones are. In reality the level of poverty in both state owned and private owned estates is shocking.

But the World Bank's tweaking of figures is more shocking. You out there, you know there's more to this story. Say it.


Ferial For Real...

As was expected, the Muslims are not too happy with the Joint Mechanism. One of the main things they are worried about is the percentage of their representation in the power structure of the Joint Mechanism, a.k.a. the Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure. They do have a point when they say: since in the North and East they were the most affected community, they should have more seats on all the levels than the Government of Sri Lanka (which here, and on most occasions of this sort, represent the Sinhala people) and the LTTE (which insists that it represents the Tamil people).

But everyone seems to agree that them asking for equal status to the level of having someone from the Muslim community sign the document, is just a bit too much. This is an agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and not an agreement between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. But just in cas they did have a point, and someone from the Muslim community, who represents Muslim interests (like the GoSL and the LTTE claim to protect Sinhala and Tamil interests) was to sign the document, who would it be? They would fight for months about it and kick each other out of their political parties. Bloody fun time it would have been for the press.

So anyways, after days of protests in the East (with political groups using children for their cause by making them skip school and take part in rallies), the Government is using the Muslim groups in their fold to do something about it.

It is rumored that Ferial Ahsraff of the National Unity Alliance (which broke away from the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress after the death of M H M Ashraff) or some of her representatives will be having a discussion in Kilinochchi with the LTTE to see what they can offer the Muslims of Sri Lanka. They have been talking about this meeting with the Tamil National Alliance (the unofficial representatives of the LTTE in the Parliament) and it seems all they have to do is agree on a date.

So Chandrika sends her own to negotiate with the LTTE and come back and tell the Muslims of the country 'We have got promises A B C and D from the LTTE so shut up!'. Now the relationship between then NUA and Chadrika's crew is very very complicated, but on this instance things look very very simple. Right now the Government is getting a lot of flak, and if things get messy in the future then it's not going to be the Government but Ferial and the NUA who're going to have to deal with the fallout. Scapegoats-R-us!!!

Now why is this important? I don't know. Will it calm down the Muslims? Will it placate them? Will it satisfy their need to feel that they too are getting something out of this? Like a friend said (I don't agree with him 100%, but...) Oh bloody hell no one's going to get anything out of this other than the LTTE so why don't we all just deal with it?'

OK Bad joke with the title. So shoot me!


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