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Ceylon Leftward Lurch.pdf

Ceylon Leftward Lurch.pdf

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Published by Veeramani Mani

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Published by: Veeramani Mani on Mar 19, 2013
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Friday, Jan. 17, 1964
Ceylon: Leftward Lurch
"Nothing happens," a British governor of Ceylon once complained: "The sun shines in the morning, andsometimes it rains in the evening." Those days are gone forever. Currently, a lot is happening in Ceylon,most of it ruinous. Declared a top government economist: "We've always lived well and without worry.Even the more humble people could pick a pineapple or coconut and catch a few fish. But now we're in realtrouble."No Sarongs. Responsible for the mess is the floundering leftist regime of Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, 47, who became the world's first elected female chief of government in 1960 after the assassination of herPrime Minister husband, Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike. Swept into office on a tide of emotion, the widow is quickly depleting an inheritance of good will.Campaigning in a parliamentary by-election, Mrs. Bandaranaike ventured into the countryside, where shehad once been a virtual mother image. Now, angered by the acute textile shortage that grips the nation, villagers greeted her by appearing in plain breechcloth instead of their usual sarongs and saris. When the votes were counted last week, the government candidate ran a poor third, reducing her bitterly divided SriLanka Freedom Party to 77 seats in the 157-member Parliament. To stay in power, the Prime Minister— who is also her own Minister of Defense, Foreign Affairs and Information—has increasingly relied on the votes of assorted Marxists, Trotskyites and Communists.Pressure from the radical left has forced Ceylon closer to the Red trade orbit, caused economic chaos. Thesevere textile shortage is largely the result of a policy that limits most imports of cloth to Russia, Polandand Red China. Other restrictions have boosted the price of potatoes, dhal (a tropical pea) and cabbage by 50% to 100%.Cash Shortage. The most serious crisis is a three-month strike for higher wages by 1,500 clerks on theColombo docks, which has mushroomed into a sympathy walkout by more than 13,000 other white-collar workers. Warehouses bulge with millions of pounds of unsold rubber and tea. Many of the vast plantationscannot meet their weekly payrolls because they are short of cash. Foreign trade is at a virtual standstill. Asthe Cabinet leveled a back-to-work ultimatum at the strikers last week, Colombo buzzed with rumors thatMrs. Bandaranaike could only remain in office by declaring a state of national emergency.Meanwhile, the leftward lurch continues. The island's new chief source of oil is the Soviet bloc, followingthe seizure of three U.S. and British firms (Esso, Caltex, Burmah-Shell) and the creation of a government
Page 1 of 2Ceylon: Leftward Lurch -- Printout -- TIME19/03/2013http://www.time.com/time/subscriber/printout/0,8816,875575,00.html

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