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What is appropriate? The link between LIRNEasia and the book

A book that I co-authored with C.J. Amaratunge was launched last week. An excellent summary and review by W.A. Wijewardena in the Daily FT is the best that can be offered at this time to those who do not read Sinhala.

We did not write the book thinking in terms of LIRNEasia’s approach and research, but it appears that there has been a significant influence. Reflecting on the discussion that has already started, I find that the question of “appropriateness” is central both to the book and to the approach used by LIRNEasia. The options for judging appropriateness are discussed in my LBO column.

My co-author said that I was really not talking about policy (in the sense of words-on-paper statements) but more about implementing. Thus emerged strategy: “kramaveda.” He also proposed “Galapena,” appropriate. Not one-size-fits-all, but what is appropriate for our conditions.

What was left was the question of “appropriate for whom?” My contribution was picking “apata” (for us) over the nation-centric “Sri Lankavata” (for Sri Lanka).

I went into all that detail because the title focused attention on a critically important question. Advocacy of fit-for-purpose, fit-for-conditions or appropriate policy and regulation has been the distinguishing feature of the approach of LIRNEasia, the think tank that I head. What my co-author and interlocutor had cleverly picked up was that this pervaded both the text and the environment we were living in.

It is discussed in greater detail, in Sinhala, on Kirula FM (93.6) radio in Sinhala in a 30 mt program to be aired on August 31st.

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