20 September, 2020

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A Personal Appeal To Austin Fernando

By Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

For Personal Priority Attention Please

Austin Fernando Esq.

Secretary to the President,

Presidential Secretariat,

Janadhipathi Mawatha,

Colombo 1.

Dear Sir,

Supporting the President’s Call for Assurance of Good Governance

I was glad to receive the invitation for a discussion with the President on 22nd January 2018. I had planned to make use of this opportunity to bring to the kind attention of the President and Yourself, some Issues requiring priority personal attention. Regrettably the meeting was cancelled late that morning. I submit this letter in pursuant to the aforesaid plan and to seek essential leadership action from you in the above regard.

On many occasions, the President has spoken of how the assurance of good governance, rule of law and independent justice systems under his watch, have led to the risks of international sanctions, which could have crippled our economy and the sovereignty of Sri Lanka, were avoided by his strategic leadership action and confidence building international relations strategies.

In the above context, I am unsure as to whether the authorities have brought to your attention, a new challenge that has emerged, which if not addressed with priority in a timely manner, can bring back the risks of creeping sanctions, which can again damage the forward march of the state, the economy and negatively impact on economic activities and the common people.

The challenges referred to arise from Sri Lanka being classified by the Financial Action Task Force within the light grey area of classifications, as an” other monitored jurisdictions”, along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ethiopia, Iraq, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Vanuatu, and Yemen.

If you have not been made aware of above and had not reviewed the action steps planned to be taken by all connected stakeholders in a collective and committed initiative to prevent the possibility of Sri Lanka, being further downgraded following the next review by the International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG) to “dark grey” area classification; and instead in fact assuring that Sri Lanka will be upgraded from the current classification; it may be opportune for you to take strategic action on behalf of the President in a timely way with required priority attention.

I had in addition planned to stress at the planned meeting, the importance of the following additional strategic steps being leadership directed under your oversight.

1. The strategic importance of early action being taken

a) to ensure that serious violation of Financial Action Task Force recommendations and the misuse of or engaging in irregular and unauthorized foreign exchange transactions damaging the financial stability, international classification and sovereign rating of Sri Lanka, are made a predicate offense under the money laundering legislation. This has become essential in the face of the Foreign Exchange Act No 12 of 2017 de-criminalizing the misuses of and illegal uses of foreign exchange. This reform is essential in order that several high profile investigations now in progress by the law enforcement agencies, regards the large scale violation of Exchange Control Law and associated money laundering offenses are to be continued, suspects prosecuted and perpetrators brought to book. You will recollect the many submissions I made to you in this connection, when the bill to enact the new Foreign Exchange regime was in progress; and the assurance you conveyed that the relevant amendments will be incorporated during Committee Stage amendments, whereas such amendments were not incorporated in the adoption of the Bill.

b) Create by Statute a Serious Frauds Office and an Independent Public Prosecutor. The Serious Frauds Office so created must absorb the present activities and progress all the pending investigations before the Financial Crimes Investigation Department of the Sri Lanka Police. These strategic steps are essential in the face of legal cases now before courts challenging the legal validity of the Financial Crimes Investigation Department and the challenges posed by not having a dedicated special Resource to take independent decisions on high profile prosecutions of serious crimes and progress them with due diligence and professional attention.

c) To enact a standalone Proceeds of Crime Act

d) To legislate and empower law enforcement authorities in the course of any investigation to call upon suspects to provide asset and liability declarations, sworn affidavits, audit and other validation certificates from independent third parties,

e) To legislate that any person, making a false declaration, giving a false statement, submitting a false affidavit, statement or document, or misrepresenting, misleading or misdirecting law enforcement authorities in the course of any investigation, is committing a serious criminal offense punishable by a mandatory jail sentence. (eg. in the USA such an act is considered a “Felony”)

f) Compulsorily require all public servants and all persons contracting with or engaging in any economic or administrative transactions with the State to be bound to report to the relevant authorities all instances of non compliance with laws and regulations they are aware of.

2. Request the Inland Revenue Authorities to examine and if found liable, charge with retrospective effect, all primary dealers engaged in trading in government securities with income tax, financial VAT and where appropriate deemed dividend tax due in terms of the applicable statutes

I trust that this personal appeal to you for strategic leadership action will receive your kind attention

Yours Sincerely,

Chandra Jayaratne

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Latest comments

  • 6
    6

    I think this is all BS. You can create so many authorities if they are not working it will be like Bribery commissioner, FCID, Attorney General – none working. Don’t take serious about foreign authorities. There country always talk about shutting down their govt, increasing debt limit which they do. Sri lanka also did it amidst all the red lights. In order to continue it they established legislature for it and they would change it increase the debt limit. It is venezuela which was enjoying good living conditions. Now, CHAVEZ gone, the country is struggling , has civil riots, coups and severely down graded. It is Chaves who complained that american financial agencies wrote negative reports about them and he did not listen. Sri lanka is in the same predicament and In contrary to Venezuela, Sri lanka is following their advices and is sending Sri lanka to bankruptcy, changing laws , so foreigner can buy the country out right.. I don’t know why a FTA should help Singapore to open manufacturing plants here. It is only the tariff changes would help. So, Sri lankan authrorities need to be careful about this BS. Ranil and the gang do not know what they are doing. They are not even good being bulls in the china shop. They are screwing up everything and looks they do not know what they are doing. they just talk and do what ever IMF and MCC says. they also send different consultants.

    • 2
      1

      Jim softy

      Great

      Jimmy the dimwit for president.

    • 0
      0

      Jim softy Dimwit

      Lets face it this is a nation of commissions.
      Why would a country need so many commissions.
      By definition commissions are normally established to smoothly cover up the wrong doings. If there is complain about fraud send in the police to investigate everything surrounding the specific fraud. Then learn from police investigation. In order to have a thorough investigation Police or investigating institution and the members should be free of political interference, adequately resourced, well trained, ………… employed right persons, ……………………. who cannot be bought or sold.

    • 1
      0

      CJ good initiative.,
      Priority should be given to Audit Bill and investigation of those named in the Panama papers. Why would any Sri Lankan who had made money legally sent funds to Panaman when Asia is the Growth Region of the world?!

      All those listed in Panama Papers must be investigated as Tax dodgers and money launderers, many of whom pumped and dumped at the CSE.

    • 0
      0

      Softy,
      Just don’t take seriously this guy. He is just fetching Austin’s name to destroy UNP Ravi. But it doesn’t fit into the game.
      UNPyers have to go to prison after Commission’s coy investigation. But the Communists have to to even with a coy Commission, direct. Communists are not just polluting this world, but the upper and lower worlds too. Burying a Lankan Communist’s body in Meethotamulla will plute even that garbage dump. When those Pakayas walk into parliament noisome, comes beyond Kotte lake.

    • 0
      0

      Jim,

      If you can dismiss Chandra Jayaratne’s views as ‘BS’ , then I am afraid it says a great deal of your own thinking and your contributions.

      It is indeed regrettable that that our people cannot discern between the chaff and the grain.

  • 8
    0

    right now, Sri lanka does not have a AUDIT bill. It is being delayed since the Mahinda Rajapakse times. Horapalanaya is the same. What is the Good practices that were being discussed. Why suddenly phenel code , criminal code are not working. Why suddenly started working for foreign exchange regulations breakers or the money launderers. system is not functioning for some. why is that. the major problem is LAW MAKERS are thieves and system works for them. Some others work for the west to sell the whole thing.

    • 3
      0

      I agree with JS. Sri Lankans will not be able to buy any land in their own country. Bloody foreigners with cash invading the country and buying up everything and our traitors in the form of law makers welcome the foreign money for their commissions. With that money they go and buy properties in foreign countries, which they could otherwise only dream of. This sort of misgovernance work for them crooks, and the local indigenous population end up with nothing. In 100 years at this rate, the locals will have to jump into the sea and commit suicide as they have nowhere to go.

    • 4
      0

      Mr. Jayaratna could have done better writing this piece. The second paragraph is pretty muddled. Perhaps this is symptomatic of the current muddle in the country.
      However, the ONLY solution to the situation is to go back to basics. I don’t believe that corruption is the major reason for the mess. The real reason is our inability to live within our means.
      Why oh why do we have to spend BORROWED money on flashy cars / buildings/ infrastructure?
      I am currently sitting in Bangalore watching the Metro gliding by on an elevated structure above the highway (a real one with even 3-wheelers on it). I saw something similar in Cochin, a smaller city than Colombo.Even in Cochin there are miles of new apartment buildings, compared to which ours are puny.
      If the Indians can do it, why can’t we? Are we not congenitally incapable of hard work? Do we not expect everything free? Do we not elect politicians who promise to give us everything free? The day that a politician promises a balanced budget and no subsidies AND gets elected is the day that Sri Lanka will start to get out of this mess.
      Of course there will be poor people (as in India). This may sound unfeeling, but poverty does give you an incentive to work.
      I agree with Jim Softy that there is no point appointing more commissions. Our culture is such that any commission can and will be subverted.
      The other alternative is to dump our false pride and call in somebody else to manage the country. India or China? Take your pick.

      • 1
        1

        old codger

        “The other alternative is to dump our false pride and call in somebody else to manage the country. India or China? Take your pick.”

        Brilliant
        However, I rather prefer all the descendants of Kallathonies be sent back to any country of their choosing. For example Dayan may prefer Cuba, China, Vietnam, ….. or Antarctica.

        “If the Indians can do it, why can’t we? “

        I am sure Percy the dated, disturbed , toilet watcher……….. is dying to ask you if Indians can why can’t they build enough toilets?

        The long established culture in this island is to glorify criminals, murderers, mass murderers, thieves, highway robbers, bigots, racists, ………….. as if they were/are the role models.

        Then of course if one can revisit the past 70 years of history one should see the entire nation building idea/process have been preposterous. A country that denied citizenship rights to a section of hard working people, language rights to another section of people, attempted deny access to rationed higher education, access to employment, promotion, …. in the absence of job creation (stagnant or slow growing economy) state job allocation was based on nepotism or parochialism irrespective of one is suitable for the job or not, …………………

        Basically the essence of this country can be explained away by quoting:

        “Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies,cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms-greed for life,for money,for love, for knowledge – has marked the upward surge of mankind.

        by Gordon Gekko –
        ”Wall Street” film.

        By the way the original script came from Ivan Boesky (a discredited American Stock Trader) probably learned it from Sri Lankan politicians, bureaucrats, Sanghas, Pancha Maha Balawegaya, …..

        • 0
          0

          NV,
          Maybe the key is that we have too many toilets in Sri Lanka?

          • 0
            0

            old codger

            “Maybe the key is that we have too many toilets in Sri Lanka?”

            According to 2011 Census about 95,000 persons do not have access to toilets in this island. So the Lankys are better off than Indians.

  • 4
    0

    Mr. Channdra Jayaratne: This written letter is good merely to put things on record; but do you believe that will bring any results. I doubt. Did you read what President said at a Media Briefing held at his official residence? He said: ” The Finance Ministry records show only 1 Trillion out of 10 Trillion received; but large sums have been deposited into “Private Accounts” and other “Institutions” in a “Systematic Manner”, instead of being deposited into the Treasury” . Further he says: “Even during the last three years, “Sale” of Government Institutions has been done even without referring to the Cabinet approval.” You referred to the Foreign Exchange Act No. 12 of 2017. You think, that piece of Legislation did not go through the Cabinet and the President was “unaware” of it? It was debated in Parliament and the Opposition, mainly the JVP pointed out the PLANNED COUPE that it embodied to give an AMNESTY to all Foreign Exchange violation carried out hitherto and hereinafter. So this President who now makes a big hue and cry over the balance 9 Trillion that was not deposited with the Treasury ; but states, that went into “Private Accounts” and some “Institutions” should have had the COURAGE to KNOCK DOWN this new Foreign Exchange Act by at least taking into considerations the opinions expressed in Parliament. The Flood Gates have been OPENED for all the RACKETEERS in and out of the country to operate with impunity and nothing can be done about it. The President is one face of the same coin of “Yahapalanaya” GILLMART. You also ask for an “Independent Prosecutor”. Who is our Attorney General? What is he? Isn’t he to be Independent? What has happened to him today? Answer these questions true and honest to your good common sense and you will find the status that will fall on your “Independent Prosecutor”. Mark my words: We, our country will be classified not Light Grey; but DARK GREY classification very soon if this present state of affairs continue.

  • 2
    1

    There is little doubt that Yahalapana is taking the country on a downward slope to national bankruptcy. While it is good to stall or prevent the inevitable, whether the creation of additional judicial institutions is the answer to the problem has to besriously debated and discussed. Particularly so as Chandra Jayaratne is a well known apologist for YAHAPALANAYA. Can we forget that it was hewho brought a spurious action in the Supreme Court to cover up the Bond scandal soon after it was discovered in order to secure a ruling to prevent further action on thescam. Fortunately the Supreme Court was wise andrejectedhis move. So the public has to be ever vigilant of these moves coming from members of the notorious Friday Forum which had a hand in bringing about The Yahapalana regime.

  • 4
    0

    Austin sir, Trillions of financial robbery is a shocking revelation. Only a strong leader of ACTION can recover. Prez. not understanding English is handicap for progress NOW. We cant stay in last generation. Must MOVE ON, though his intentions are good. He must groom educated person for different type of political office to prevent robbers taking over again to complete their job of koti valge. How they must regret.
    As you know, GMOA powerfully got into SLMC with purpose to overturn. Only fools cant see beyond their nose. Idiotic SAITM solution shifts wrong to continue problem without local SLMC recognition. Convey to President pl. the solution is to shift STUDENTS to STATE where automatic recognition is given to locals and govt. hospitals are accessible without competitive battle. This will happen after suffering, so why not now and avoid continuing national crisis. There is excellent educated leadership material in GMOA to be used to advance nation unless politicians feel insecure and inferior to allow. Finally people will allow as they are robbed. That is strong reason against private medical education NOW expected to go same way.

    We all have only the now to set things right, as later we all die anyway. SAITM is already legal. Affiliate to new state med. school to solve problem NOW or will be forced to do it later when students have suffered more. Let SLIIT start anew and work for 5 years with GMOA in the SLMC. Wisdom is as valuable as obeying law.

  • 2
    0

    Dear Chandra,
    I was amazed to read the suggestion 1(f) , requiring public servants to notify all irregularities that they become aware of. In the past, those who did so were thrown into the dustbin and that is continuing. Ultimately they are made to look fools and seriously repent for what they did. Unlike in the “Good old days” of the Civil Service, the present Administrators are not bureaucrats but kleptocrats. Chandra! If you read the papers you know that fellow Palpita (the first accused) was convicted for the Silredi Affair. (Of Course the Appeal is pending). But what did the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration say at that time (which got wide publicity)? Whatever the other mechanisms, the state officials are governed by a disciplinary process and the investigation report says that Palpita only followed instructions. My Foot! Does that mean that if a public officer is instructed to commit murder and he does so he is not guilty of murder? That fool of a Secretary retired from the service in huff and now functions as a public relations consultant in the Prime Minister’s Office. Incidentally that office has now become a place to store garbage such as disgraced Cabinet Ministers and discarded Ministry Secretaries and chaps who lose elections. Those who know tell me that the present Administrative service is called the Daylight Robber’s service and the President’s Office is full of them churning papers. So Chandra! Don’t be surprised as to why you’re promised meeting with His Axcellency didn’t take place. I would not be surprised if the meeting would never take place.

  • 3
    0

    It is a great opportunity for Mr. Jayaratna and his ilk to gain cheap publicity.

    Any way it is a waste of time writing to them as I have found out. These idiots do not know how to read English or do not attempt read and understand. Lot of this stuff is way over their little heads.

  • 3
    0

    Austin Fernando is a public servant. Instead we must write to the President to instruct Austin to check the claim that between 2004 and 2014, Rs 1 Trillion of foreign loans and grants have gone missing as stated in CT of 27 January
    “Cabinet Sleeps On National Audit Bill Despite More Than 100 Requests For Action: President”

  • 1
    0

    What I heard even inside the country some constructions did by govt were meant for the family. for example, think the govt arranging the road and clearing the road for Car races but revenue go to individuals. that has happened a lot. Money was given even to Yahapalanaya members. So no one wants to prosecute any one. they all talk.More committes that and this will not work. clean the system. See 45 national list MPs. almost all have baggage. I heard even some Stamp print money went to private accounts. Stadium buildings was for private purposes. REMEMBER SOME ONE SAID, FOR GO’D SAKE, RANIL HAD TO STEAL MONEY IN ORDER TO FACE MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE. More beaurucracy will not work. It is the people. cut down the number. Will the president prosecute the thieves and clean it.

  • 1
    1

    The Public Service is now at its height in corruption so much so the Ministers in charge of these Departments have turned a blind eye to happenings there. An example is the Immigration Dept.`s
    citizenship Div. With the commencement of granting dual-citizenship since March, 2015 it is estimated
    that the illicit income earned by Officers here from the top to the bottom runs in mllions of rupees. The
    fact that 31,000 have been granted thus far reveals that 10% of them being Tamils (Diaspora) who have
    the wherewithal to get off hassles by Sinhala Officers manning these desks, have bribed them with ease a
    fixed fee set by the mafia operating since commencement. The rate was USD 350. This is nothing to a
    foreign-earning family. The arithmetics are: 3100 (10%) say 50% only bribed. 1550 x USD 350 x Rs.150 =
    Rs. 81 MILLION- Did the Officers attached to CIABOC ever look into this even when informed? No. Their
    Officers too got a share? This is present day Public Service!!

  • 1
    0

    “Wealth beyond means” is a crime in many countries.
    Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu went to jail for this.
    Why not implement this first, especially among those declaring assets, later among others?

  • 0
    0

    To legislate that any person, making a false declaration, giving a false statement,……… Blah Blah ….is committing a serious criminal offense punishable by a mandatory jail sentence. A communist’s pretty cheap-naive attack on UNP Ravi.

    8th grade politicians’ assumption is Sinhala Buddhist are “Modayas”. Communist Activists assume even the upper middle class Sinhalese are racists and imbeciles. Thus they put up their drama. All over everywhere, in Lankawe, are financial frauds. Exchange Act 2017 was not just to save UNP Ravi. The narrow minded Communist is trying to push Ravi into some kind of trouble because he knows Demulu Mahendran has to come back and accept the crime and give evidences against UNPyers. This Demelo Mahendran is not Undayanka or Jaliya Wickramasuriya to dodge forever with the support of both parties, UNP and SLFP.
    The Exchange Act 2017 was bought in to convert the massive looting of Old regimes from Black into White. The New crook was fully active in all the Old games too, until he ate Sinhala Buddha’s Aappa and got enlightened. Now he is in the Ship Game too. He has to bring in the Russian Money. Latter, he can tell in the next government that is Belarus or Khalistan ambassador did it and that guy had gone to Siberia so our CIDs can’t go to that cold. Did Communist Jayaratne ever talked about the Russian Ship robbery? Can he suggest making a new commission that when Chinnaiah rejects, the commission has to reject the Ships too?
    New crook had said it was not his fault Old Brother Prince escaping. He told Ranil to have the CID reports read by a lawyer, but it was Ranil who closed the files and saved the Old Prince. Did he ever released the files he said he have on Old Crook? Robbing is to government, covering by misdirecting is to Communist’s activists’ job.

  • 0
    0

    Native Vedda: and NOT Native Veda: You suggest to let the “Police” investigate complaints and frauds. At present, we are doing that in “STYLE” . That “Police” is headed by an IGP who has set an example to the rest of the personnel with a salutation, thus: “Yes Sir…… Yes Sir…….Yes Sir, Is that Nileme?….Yes Sir, I will get the file…..Yes Sir, he will not be arrested”. He also has “Instituted” a practice following Buddha’s Teaching for all the Police personnel, high and low, to get engaged in “Meditation” before start of the day. You know these personnel are on shift duties and that could be the time given to criminals to operate. Then the investigations done will be ended with “Yes Sir……Yes Sir….Is that “Madusha” (from Ambalangoda) Yes Sir…I will look into that and No arrest Sir…..”. How about recommending this set up to rest of the world or to any country of your choice? We live with and enjoy it.

    • 0
      0

      Douglas

      Though I agree with you in toto the point I was driving home is the pattern of behaviour of the police and commissions.

      Until something is done to curtail politicians’ behaviour and their greed driven support for party and party leaders, … until they and their leaders are subjected to accountability, and made the saffron clad wannabe power brokers to keep their activities to just Protestant Buddhist ecclesiastical services, …. …. nothing is going to improve.

      Now you see why we should oppose to having chapater II in the constitution.

      Example, the UVA Chief minister misbehaves. He surrenders and was released on bail. A crowd gathers. He returns as a hero of some sort. Buddhist monks freely (?) make their their presence available around him, was the first sign of warning to the rulers, don’t even think about charging me, I am protected by the symbols of saffron power, rituals, …. and a rent a mob, ….. Well the victim will continue to rot.

      He will gallantly win the next election. Two fingers to the victim, two fingers to law and order, two fingers to do gooders, two fingers to chattering classes, big up your’s to the ordinary people, …

  • 0
    0

    14 institutions relating to corruption in Sri Lanka:
    FCID,
    CIABOC,
    CID,
    Presidential Task Force,
    The Auditor General,
    CIAB,
    Financial Intelligence Unit
    Anti-Narcotics Department,
    TID,
    SIS,
    CCD.
    COPE,.
    All of them investigate – 3 yrs. gone. Sword Sirisena decides now that the LG Elections will
    also “investigate” via Voters?

  • 0
    0

    C J
    Sensible but unlikely.
    In the present setup the President is powerless without the PM’s approval. It is an exercise in futility.
    The constitution needs radical change. That is the challenge. As usual and sadly the answer seems to be the status quo.

  • 0
    0

    I was toying with the idea whether a Death Sentence would kill all the Bribery and Corruption in the Country; But,on the other hand, Srilankans being so resourceful, could bribe their way through, and create another round of Bribery and Corruption!

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 0
    0

    Your letter has reveled that entire state in terms paralysis statues since result of 2015 January 8th by revolution..
    The’ Rainbow Revolution’ by supposed to be delivered of so-called has been disappear once and for all which that is ongoing governances has been that mismanaging by MS, UNP Ranil Wicks and CBK ?
    That is truth of politics proven beyond doubt that under the UNP “democracy” is nothing except corruptions are their life-line of politics by leadership of Ranil Wicks.

    By and large that Current democracy advocating by UNP policies quite impossible redress in near future of Sri lanka.
    The very issue is nothing else ,the lack of vision of political of leaders of that an unity and coalition government

  • 0
    1

    Mr. Austin, Please convey that now Minister has agreed at GMOA strike that no further PMC to be established, for President to immediately EXECUTE SAITM INTO STATE, and provide for completion of long delayed medical course with more hospitals. This will automatically abolish SAITM. Those with MBBS should go into internship (NCMC)

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