Business

Private sector leaders fund ‘political gorillas’: Top economist

A leading economist charged that private sector leaders fund the political campaigns of politicians they can manipulate, and then complain about the lack of progress and development in the country.

“I’ve discussed with the leaders of the private sector and they all fund politicians. And we fund the kind of politicians who will do what we want. Then we complain the political system is not working,” said Verité Research Executive Director Nishan De Mel, speaking at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit which opened yesterday.

He charged that the private sector does not fund ‘good’ politicians and Members of Parliament such as State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne.

He likened this system to a community of Gorillas, where the normal rules do not apply.

“Most companies have learnt the art of surviving in a broken system. It’s something like surviving in a Gorilla community. The normal rules don’t apply and you try to be the first and biggest gorilla. Then you can manipulate the political gorillas and you build the system to work just for you as a company and a group of companies.”

However, De Mel said that such self interest ultimately backfires.

“So everybody works for their own self interest and their own self interest is ultimately undermined. Then we wonder what happened to our laws, implementation, bureaucracy and country. Then we’re surprised. “

He concluded that politicians cannot fix the system alone and a solution must be found collectively.