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Sri Lanka has to enhance freedoms to boost economic well-being: PM

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has to expand freedoms of the people to improve their economic, social and spiritual lives, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in an Independence Day message.

"In order to make the spirit of freedom more meaningful to us all, the Government must take steps that reaffirm the liberties of the people with regard to their economic, social and spiritual well being," he said in a statement.

"During the last two years, we have been able to achieve many steps in the right direction; restore democratic values, rebuild relationships with friendly nations and affirm mutual trust while focusing on revitalizing the economy towards laying the foundation for a nation that has overcome various differences and is firmly anchored on principles of freedom and human values.

"Only a path that unites all can pave the way for a stronger Sri Lanka, a path that calls for what each of us can give of ourselves to our nation, to our common future and to a better tomorrow."

Sri Lanka celebrates gaining self-determination from British rule on February 04.

However some critics say using that self-determination, the elected ruling class over the years took away many freedoms of the people, using a European style law-making parliament, the most notable included language freedoms.

Key laws that took away economic freedoms included, expropriation of land and businesses that destroyed property rights, a draconian exchange control act and monopolies given to state agencies and enterprises, preventing the ability of other citizens to engage and compete in such activities.

In 2017, Sri Lanka’s courts which were made independent under the current administrations have re-affirmed education freedoms by upholding the education freedoms of students of a private university, helping break a state monopoly in education.

But on the negative side the central bank has reduced the freedom of less affluent citizens to get credit to buy a three wheeler, a type of a poor man’s car.

In a modern society freedoms are taken away from unarmed citizens by armed robbers and an armed state. (Colombo/Feb04/2017)

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