24 June, 2019

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An Independent Audit Commission: DEW Has Worked Hard

By Malinda Seneviratne –

Malinda Seneviratne

If you were to ask a cross section of the voting population whether they believe that elected officials fill their bank accounts through bribes, commissions, falsification of accounts and other kinds of illegal, immoral and fraudulent means, it is likely that the vast majority would respond ‘Yes, they do!’

For decades, the people of this country have seen exponential growth in the fortunes of the elected, regardless of their humble beginnings, righteous pledges to clean up and remain clean themselves and so on. It has come to a point where hanky-panky is taken as a given. It is an ‘inevitable’ that they have resolved to live with, an ‘ok’ price to pay provided that things they want get done.

This probably explains the generally lukewarm public response to the COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) findings. What is most significant about the revelations, then, is not the considerable evidence of mismanagement, inefficiency, corruption and downright fraud but the absence of horror on the part of the general public. It is an apathy that props wrongdoing.

It would be erroneous however to blame public apathy and a culture of looking askance for all the ills that plague political society. Sri Lanka is not an anarchic political (non)arrangement. There are laws. There are law makers and law enforcers. There is a state and there are institutional arrangements designed to uphold justice and fair play.

COPE findings have provided the Opposition with some debating points, but as expected, instead of strong statements to follow up with necessary action, the response from the Government side has focused on making counter-claims about wrongdoings of the UNP. That’s just not enough.
The scandal of the National Savings Bank purchasing The Finance shares at prices well above the going rate at the time has prompted the President to call for an investigation. Wrongdoers must be punished of course. Their pain should not however be alleviated by a different post in a different institution. More importantly, steps should be taken to prevent wrongdoing. Holes must be plugged..

All this call for the immediate constitution of an Independent Audit Commission empowered to brush aside the objections of politicians and made of individuals with high moral fibre and proven track record in things such as decency, honour, discipline and ability.
DEW Gunasekera has worked hard. So has the rest of the COPE team. If there is one way to reward them, it is to make bodies such as COPE meaningless.

(courtesy the nation Editor’s blog)

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Latest comments

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    To talk about massive corruption while ACTIVELY COVERING UP FOR AND JUSTIFYING THE EXISTENCE OF A GOVERNMENT THAT PAYS HIM TO RUN ONE OF ITS PROPAGANDA ORGANS must place Malinda Seneviratne at the top of the garbage heap of sycophants of the Rajapaksa government!

    Surely, Colombo Telegraph can find a few HONEST contributors to its website instead of giving this creature yet another forum for his mealy-mouthed inanities?

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    DEW as a former Public Servant attached to a very important department and the PS to Minister Kenuman, is not a corrupt Minister. I knew DEW when he worked for the Minister as a very humble and honest person. With his experience if he can establish a Audit Commission it will be a good service to the country and to stop wide spread corruption. But will he get the support of the other corrupt members of the parliament including Ministers?

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    I think Malinda’s proposition is excellent. The only hitch will be whether the appointees to this Independent Audit Commission are independent in actions. If it is to be like the other so called independent commissions, let us not spend public money on an useless institution.

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    …Get-rich-quicker schemes are bound to come to SL too… But its too bad we will continue to have numerous incidents like this in the future too, until we continue to have people who like-a the money-the.
    We cannot expect the standards of Nelum Gamage of the Bribery Commission anymore… Though I do pray for it to happen …..
    A smarter way to prevent these scandals of public funds is to be able to appoint the Judiciary or the SC and a Competent Auditor, by directly electing them during general or presidential election voting… (such candidates certainly need to be non-partisan to be eligible)… and it wouldn’t cost us too much extra to count the tick that the voter adds on the voting card for an independent judiciary and or SC and an Competent Auditor ….. if not … we will continue to be fooled by two-faced bureaucrats with smiles on their faces to beat the actors of Colly-wood…
    I will certainly not take my belongings or kids into SL until proper change happens in there…. and wouldn’t want the next generation to suffer from the swindling including the un-disclosable bad debt write offs of State Banks …. by the corrupt along with the Royal Party goons, citizen Silva etc …

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    Malinda,

    I have seen you rising to the right occasion. This article is in the correct path.

    Keep up your good work.

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    I was was never able to fatham what sort of a person malinda is hence I gave up on him.

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    Expecting one person to clean up the mess is a bit too much. The counrty as a whole is corrupt. Wether it is the politicians, the public servants,the banking sector, private sector, Farmers, labourer all are corrupt. Every one is only interested in,whats in it for me!What can I get for nothing seems to be the motto!!
    It will take a Herculian effort from many like minded people together, to clean up this mess!!!

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    Malinda, you know very well that this corrupt government will never allow any independent audit commissions. Were you deaf and blind when this government engaged in unprecedented level of corrupt activities in Sri Lanka in last 8 years. They used Government properties as their private property, without any transparency or accountability. They appointed of unqualified and undesirable people to high value government ventures ‘They went to the extent of meddling with judiciary so that judgement would be given always in their favor. They silenced the media which criticize these activities. You became the part of regime by defending it from the beginning. When Western countries criticized Sri Lankan corruption and human right record, you were forefront in defending this regime. Do you think you can wash your sins by publishing an article mildly criticising large scale corruption. At least we know that Dew Gunasekera knows what is happening is wrong but he feels that it is better to be with them and enjoy the privileges rather than risking his life.

    We will be happy if you do not deceive people by writing this type of articles to show that you are an impartial journalist

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    After reading almost all the articles of this so called ” journalist ” Malinda Seneviratne I ask you `”Do we have a journalistic faculty in SL universities?”

    Or do we do like ” Machang, you write, I will get some money for you”

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