Scientists warn that if this socio-economic system is not changed, a more dangerous situation than Covid could arise, says Dr Harini Amarasuriya, Member of Parliament for the National People’s Power. She said this addressing the online conference ‘Who is responsible for Covid?’ held by the National People’s Power on the 16th.
“We have been experiencing Covid for over a year and a half. Also, the government and various groups are making various analyzes in this regard. People are facing various economic, social and health problems. The government says Covid is the cause of all the problems today. This suggests that it was a very prosperous country that is being plagued by this pandemic. On the other hand, it is said that we need to adapt to the ‘new normal’. In all of this, we experience the loss of those closest to us in great pain and suffering.
This has posed various challenges to our country as well as the world. The socio-economic policies pursued for decades are very well established today, no matter how weak those structures are. How to correctly understand the present moment that has arisen through this? What should we learn? Have we really considered priorities in our lives so far? There are a number of things like this that need to be reconsidered.
For example, two of the most frequently heard words in recent times are “essential services.” What has become essential to society during this year and a half? First is the field of health. From doctor to PHI. On the other hand, we understood the importance of sanitation. And food security is very important. Food production alone is not enough. It became clear how many essential services there are, from transportation to delivery to the customer. We were also able to understand how problematic it is to close schools and universities.
The government emphasized that there are sectors in the economic sector that cannot be closed. Among them are garment factories in the export zones. It became clear that their employees were doing a very important job. How were these employees treated when they were told that this field was essential? Even now how they are being treated is problematic. It has been proven that these are the lowest paid people who have become more essential than the highest paid people in our society. Then it becomes clear to us what importance we have placed on them. Businesses operating for profit had to face serious challenges during the crisis. It became clear what would have happened without the intervention of the government. In the field of transportation, it was well understood.
But we have to think about the kind of social relationships that society has ideologically shaped. The basic premise taught in this economic system is that man is a selfish animal. The man emphasizes that he works best only in competition. Over the decades our personalities have been built to accept and act competitively. But competition and selfishness did not help us at this moment. In a situation where a government is not fulfilling its responsibilities properly, we are somehow holding up in the face of the crisis through our cooperation and caring for each other. It is not the competition or the selfishness that is helping us to get through this stressful situation.
Let’s understand what the decades-long socio-economic system has provided. Global wealth has grown exponentially, but so has inequality. I will present some statistics on this as examples. The richest 1% of the world’s population has more than double the wealth of 6.9 billion people. 50% of the world’s population lives on less than US $ 5 a day. In our country, 20% of the population possess 50% of the country’s income. The poorest 20% receive only 5% of the income.
There are plenty of food, wealth, and resources. But there is a huge disparity in distribution. The government says government revenue has fallen by reducing tax revenue. The number of people working without pay is increasing. Also, natural disasters are increasing day by day due to the increase in the environmental pollution in this economic system.
On the other hand, pushing to unlimited consumption, development models that do not have future sustainability, etc. are hitting the low-income people hard. Scientists warn that if this socio-economic system is not changed, a more dangerous situation than Covid could arise.
In this situation, we should not accept the new normalcy of the government. This does not have to be adaptable. We must be very sensitive to the lessons being taught and learn them correctly. In that, we must all intervene to change this, realizing that the development model and socio-economic system we have adopted so far can no longer be tolerated. We sincerely invite you to join us for this cause. ”