Maths barrier explains Sri Lanka’s economic success
EconomyNext – Sri Lanka’s international lenders have often questioned the quality of economic data despite the authorities maintaining that there is no massaging of figures, but the president’s latest election manifesto explains the disparity.
President Mahinda Rajapakse’s "The path to win the world" manifesto admits that 50 percent of high school students have failed mathematics. He promises a probe into the poor mathematical skills of students.
However, his Housing minister Wimal Weerawansa, 44, has proved that the problem is not something that started during the stewardship of the president in the past nine years.
A dropout from the Kalutara Tissa Central College, Weerawansa famously declared recently that two divided by two equals zero. No wonder government figures do not add up.
Despite the general student population lacking mathematical understanding, the president’s manifesto promises he will launch an indigenously designed and constructed remote sensing satellite by 2020.
If re-elected, President Rajapakse will also expand space technology, a move that would fit in nicely with his youngest son Rohitha’s ambition to become Sri Lanka’s first astronaut.
With both main candidates promising the sun and the moon in their remarkably similar manifestos, there would be a lot of merit in Sri Lankans undertaking space travel.
Sri Lanka’s astronomical statistics have often been questioned by the IMF and the World Bank despite their local representatives being described by the opposition as "jokers." (see EconomyNext story here: http://economynext.com/Sri_Lanka_opposition_to_negotiate_with_IMF_direct_instead_of_%E2%80%98local_jokers%E2%80%99-3-611-1.html)
At least one officer of the Census and Statistics department was sacked last year for alleging that GDP numbers were boosted on political advice.
With the admission that 50 percent failed maths at high school, the challenge for the government would be to achieve a 100 percent fail rate so that the electorate will eventually stop questioning the fairy tales of economic success.
Jehan Perera - Executive Director National Peace Council