Monday, December 4, 2023

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SL youth uprising results in new think tank ‘Institute for Political Economy’

By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka‘s Institute for Political Economy’ is set to become a catalyst in navigating a progressive path towards an equitable Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the youth uprising (Aragalaya).

It has paved the way towards ousting former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa ending his economic policy blunders.

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is widely attributed to local corruption, poor governance and mismanagement of the economy by the previous regime.  However, the country’s crisis is also enabled by flawed global systems, institutions and treaties.

An independent think tank, the Institute for Political Economy (IPE) has been set up to stimulate and inform debates and discussions on public policy implementation in Sri Lanka amidst a turbulent global economy.

Its founders said IPE, inspired by the Aragalaya (අරගලය/அரகலய/struggle), aspires to be a centre for progressive thought and critical analysis dedicated to rewarding work over wealth and calls for systemic change in Sri Lanka›s political economy landscape.

IPE is committed to researching and disseminating transformative economic policies and development strategies.

IPE›s core strength lies in the dedication of its volunteers, who comprise a network of academics, economists and professionals located globally.

IPE aims to promote current global debates calling for a recalibration of the global economy, away from entrenched financialised interests and is committed to seeking viable alternatives. 

There is growing recognition that entrenched vested interests, including in the Global North and in Sri Lanka, are hindering equitable and ecologically sensitive development trajectories.

As a virtual organisation, IPE welcomes all individuals committed to exploring alternatives that shield Sri Lanka from the excesses of the current global economic order and confront contemporary development challenges head-on.

“We believe that it is essential to develop critical analyses of mainstream policies and challenge conventional thinking,” said Charith Gunawardena, who co-founded IPE, along with Kanchana N. Ruwanpura and Kanishka Goonewardena, both professors at their respective institutions.

“Our collective aspiration is to foster an environment that encourages collaboration, draws on expertise from around the world, and advocates for transformative system change.  By acknowledging existing inequities, we can collectively shift economic processes towards a progressive, egalitarian, and democratic direction,” said Gunawardena.  As IPE embarks on its journey towards proposing transformative economic policies, it invites stakeholders from all sectors to join hands in this critical endeavour. By combining diverse expertise and perspectives, IPE aims to create a powerful force for positive change in the country.

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