Frankly, I am shocked out of my mind at these statistics in the article. If true, I am simply lost for words. It is a clear indictment that the nation is headed for disaster, especially if illicit alcohol is 40% of the total alcohol consumed.
Where is the police on this? Surely, they must know the moonshine distilleries in their area, and are they simply paid off, to look the other way despite all the protestations of the leaders that they are concentrating on ridding moonshine? This is a social menace, as the inputs going into the illicit brew fries the brain for want of a better word.
Is there a long term breakdown of law and order, as no one seems to care, when law enforcement clearly don’t want to upset their gravy train. The clear breakdown of law and order is apparent, as this kind of activity, while so prevalent only gets reported only because a boru show is required occasionally to show that something is being done about it, to a gullible public, little realizing it is just a planned hit for a rogue in high places to earn some brownie points.
The smuggling of cigarettes that has now reached epic proportions, is an added menace, as the state is deprived of revenue, while the media is so full of “Johnny come latelys” crying about the import of Chinese Brand Cigarettes fully duty paid, to offset this smuggling racket indulged in by Chinese Expatriates, desperate for their preferred fags.
So no media explains the rationale for the Finance Minister’s request, and just another boru show for the gullible public by Leaders eager to earn some brownie points pretending they really care about the health of the nation.
How much more of these smoke and mirrors stories do we want to fed with? Everything is not what it seems, the truth purposely hidden so the agendas of the crooks are permitted at the expense eventually of the people who pay more for everything, and the state that loses natural tax revenues, that they can easily earn, instead of forcing consumption taxes on Sugar, Dhal, Potato, Onion and Flour just to name a few essentials on the hapless public.
The need of the hour is to reform all those paid by the public purse, who are enriching themselves, while not even performing the basic tasks they have been assigned to do. While all this is going on, much of this illegal income, is also spent on these vices, I have mentioned, both buying taxed and untaxed Tobacco and Alcohol, in a circular vice that is slowly strangling the nation.
As is very clear, the outcry is against the Finance Minister who is asking for permission to import Chinese Brand Cigarettes, as there is a massive Chinese Population, who are dying (leterally) for these fags, and in other countries there are procedures to import anything in demand, as long as the proper procedures and taxes are paid. So if there is a problem with the CTC monopoly on cigarettes in Sri Lanka, then just pacify them by increasing the Tax on these Chinese Cigarettes a little, as that will both increase Govt. revenue while at the same time prevent eating into the CTC revenue gravy train, and reduce the incidence of smuggling, which is now one of the biggest businesses in Sri Lanka today.
Why or why am I stating the obvious, when most of the nation is so ignorant as to what is going on in Sri Lanka. They are of course ignorant because we have a press that is pathetic. They don’t seem to want to inform the public, so the public can make up their mind on what is right and wrong as well as what is moral and immoral.
One commentator on the link said that when legal alcohol is so expensive it promotes illegal stuff. The issue is not that it does not, if we have an effective policing then we can minimize moonshine that is a health hazard killing the nation as a NCD of major proportions. However the pricing of alcohol is another issue I don’t want to touch here, but his sentiments are reasonable, where we must encourage people to change from high levels of alcohol drinks to those with lower levels, like Beer and Lager, and still ensure that the Government gets their fair share of revenue in the process, by managing the taxing to maximize on return to the State Coffers. It must be done in a way people don’t feel it, but where the state enriches. So that having cops purposely looking for speeders just so that they can tax them by giving Rs3,000 speeding tickets is an unfair way to tax, they should catch errant motorists who are a menace on the road, not one who is speeding on an empty stretch of road being no nuisance to anyone, just easy bait to a greedy policeman.
There are many philosophical questions we need to answer here, for which we don’t have any easy solutions. As you can see, I am for a very careful analysis of these social issues to maximize public policy for the public good. Students of public policy are faced with theoretical problems, while I am directing my readers to the real problems of the day.