23 April, 2024


An Innocent Utopian Dream

By Sarath de Alwis –

Sarath De Alwis

As the lyrics of the song ‘death of a dream’ suggests,  shattered dreams turn out to be wickedly funny. The lights we kindle burn us out. Yet we keep on running. We cannot catch the horizon, it is always further than we know! Running never ends.

In an article published in mid-February of the epochal year of 2015 I predicted the trajectory of the ‘Yahapalana’ government.

 In that piece of conjecture captioned ‘Maithri’s Mandate and Ranil’s Royalist Regency’ I said that “Sri Lanka was witnessing a constitutional experiment that would soon turn out to be elitist and exclusionary.

A popular mandate was being dwarfed by an unelected regency. That there was a clear danger of the popular mandate being misread as a partisan power enterprise instead of the reform project as was intended. 

The day Ranil decided to make Arjuna Mahendran governor of the Central Bank that was deliberately placed under his own ministerial purview the innocent utopian dream of a nation suffered a still birth – a fetal death.

Instead of a war on privilege, Ranil launched a campaign against the only privilege of the underprivileged- our privilege to hope for change. 

A magistrate in Singapore will now rule on the findings of our bond commission and the alleged offenses committed by one of its citizens while he was empowered to put his signature on our currency notes. 

President Sirisena insists that it was Great Bank Robbery – Maha- Banku Mangkollaya.  

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has convinced himself that he had nothing to do with it. Those accusing him of complicity or knowledge of the scam are advised to read the report of the Presidential Commission. As far as he is concerned the commission had not faulted him. 

Sirisena continues his grandstanding on the issue unabashed and unconcerned. Recently, the President publicly faulted the government of Singapore for not acceding to a request he personally made to the Prime minister of the City state to hand over Arjuna Mahendran- the Singapore citizen, the preferred choice of his handpicked Prime minister to be the governor of the central bank in the first hundred days of his presidency. 

An overblown frog in a small pond is entitled to its hallucinatory croaking no matter who is around the park. Nobody bothers with a toad. It is different for a head of a state. 

The Executive President can deliver his hazy homilies on the universal sanctity of the Tripitaka and the potency of the noose as a deterrent for drug traffickers. He can question the collective wisdom of the constitutional council. If he thinks that it will earn him a second term, good luck to him 

When he complains about a state which is mindful of its squeaky-clean global image, he must not expect that sovereign state to remain nimbly numb as the UNP bigwigs did listening to his tirade after reappointing Ranil.  

The Government of Singapore has responded. According to AFP news agency a spokesperson for Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that authorities in the city-state have been cooperating with their Sri Lankan counterparts on the case since January.

“To date, Singapore has not received the requested supporting information and documents.”  

The report adds “We look forward to receiving the requested information from Sri Lanka, so that we can consider the request further in accordance with our laws.” 

The report also points out that “Singapore can extradite fugitives, to declared Commonwealth countries, which include Sri Lanka.

The media maestros of the Presidential Secretariat have responded with graceless spin or what Orwell called ‘newspeak’! No reference is made to the international news agency. It targets the local media that reproduced the news report. The report published by the Sri Lankan Media “quoting a statement purported to have been made by a spokesperson of the Singapore Foreign Ministry; were completely false.”  

Then, they construct the truth as they care to make it. 

“The Attorney General of Singapore has requested for further details on the charges brought against Arjuna Mahendran, our Attorney General is now in the process of forwarding the details that have been requested. Therefore, the news item published in the local media quoting a statement purported to have been made by a source in Singapore, cannot be accepted as the official statement of the Singaporean government.

The Singapore extradition act is available in the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia Pacific September 2007

I am no lawyer. Laws are drafted, crafted, studied and interpreted by lawyers. That precludes my venturing in to space that angels fear to tread on. 

But it does not prevent me from deriving   some common-sense understanding of the process by some assiduous reading of the Singapore Extradition Act. 

It contains a schedule of 30 offenses and qualifies their applicability as “aiding and abetting, or counselling or procuring the commission of, or being an accessory before or after the fact to, or attempting or conspiring to commit, any of those offences listed.” 

 “The extradition crime”, in relation to a declared Commonwealth country, means an offence against the law of, or of a part of, a declared Commonwealth country. 

Here is the rub. “The act or omission constituting the offence, or the equivalent act or omission would, if it took place in or within the jurisdiction of Singapore, constitute an offence against the law in force in Singapore. 

In clause 7 (1) the Singapore Extradition Act defines the restrictions ‘on surrender of persons to foreign States.

A person shall not be liable to be surrendered to a foreign State if the offence to which the requisition for his surrender relates is or is by reason of the circumstances in which it is alleged to have been committed or was committed, an offence of a political character. 

The President who declared the Tripitaka as a national heritage and now seeking to make it a world heritage while advocating the noose to punish drug dealers seems to have gone down the political avenue on the subject of Mahendran’s extradition.  

It must be maddening to hold the weight of an executive presidency.  

Singapore is one of the four top financial centers of the world competing with New York, London and Hong Kong. Among global financial centers it is by far the most stable with meticulously enforced laws governing insider trading, market manipulation in securities and futures, corruption and other financial crimes. When it comes to white collar crimes, Singapore has a matchless track record in prosecuting rogue bankers.   

I may be wrong. The way I read it, our Attorney General must convince a magistrate in Singapore that Arjuna Mahendran committed an offense punishable under Singaporean laws by agreeing to be made Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka knowing well that his Son in Law was in the business of bond trading and primary dealer of Government Bonds licensed by the Central Bank.

Arjuna Mahendran when he appeared before the commission insisted that he only carried out the instructions of the Prime Minster. When he appears before the Singapore Magistrate, he will very likely maintain the same explanation, defense, rationalization and vindication. 

The Bond Commission has not faulted the Prime minister on his pick of a governor of the central bank. The Commission mindful of the enormous burden of the office of Prime minister sought  his explanations  in the form of written submissions and he was summoned in person only to seek clarifications. 

The Prime Minister told the commission that he advised Arjuna Mahendran to insulate his responsibilities from his primary dealer son in law. The Prime minister in appointing Mahendran did not consider the possible conflict of interests. 

Singapore is quite comfortable with strong Prime ministers. Its laws applaud and protect officials who comply with orders they receive from the prime minster. 

The 8th January 2015 reform agenda was stifled in its embryonic stage on 24th January 2015 the day when Ranil the new Regent put Mahendran to cast the coinage of the realm.  

The caption- ‘Innocent Utopian Dream’ is borrowed from Tariq Ali whose recent book ‘Dilemmas of Lenin’ describes the  October revolution an  ‘Innocent Utopian Dream ‘that was strangled in the years of Stalinist terror.   

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Latest comments

  • 6

    Sarath true true: and behind Ranil’s Royalist Regency is Trumpland whose Human Rights Endgame combined with low intensity Economic War against Lanka ( that has put Lanka into the Washington Consnsus IMF_MCC_WB debt trap), is setting up a US military base in Trincomalee. Surely you must know by now that Ranil and his NeoLiberal butterfly mafia (no offense to gay people) are only the wall pape,r in the great game between US in its Cold War against China in the Indian Ocean.
    MCC and IMF draft Lanka’s economic policy and security policy in Wasghinton and Ranil and the butterflies merely rubber stamp the Washington Consensus policy to beggar Lanka and turn it into a US base. Similar tactics as in Haiti, Venezuvela, and the debt trap as with Argentina, Greece, Ecuadore, etc.
    In fact, the recent Heritage Foundation report on Sri Lanka says clearly that there already is a US navy logisitcs hub in Trinco.

    • 3

      Don Stanley,
      Are you by any chance paid by Sirasa Maharaja?

      • 1

        The innocent dream continues with Perpetual Treasuries’ board member and US citizen Ranjan Hullugalle whose passport was impounded and then returned recently, who ran a dodgy Las Vegas hedge fund now buying and moving into Shangri La apartments when just a few years ago he was merely renting an apartment in Colombo!

        Ranjan H with wife owns apartments in Premier Pacific Apts should be investigated for illegal assets and his assets should be ceased and returned to the EPF which was looted in the Bondscam. Singapore Mahendran, US Citizen Hullugalle. US citizen Muhandan Kanagy of ICTA a pattern emerges in the Diaspora looters of the wealth of the Sri Lankan citizens.
        Now this same US citizen Bondscam scammer. Ranjan Hullugalle has been appointed by Bondscam Ranil’s nephew Ruwan Wijewardena to Lake House board as JVPs AKD pointed out recently in parliament. Why??????
        Bondscam Funds are being laundered via apartments for Ravi K and Hullugalle who should both be behind bars.
        AKD raised the

        Bondscam funds have been laundered

    • 3

      Right on Don!
      Wonder why Sarath just keeps beating his chest over corrupt local politicians but never talks about the external parties and foreign fake development “aid” networks of global-local corruption -particularly Uncle Sam ? USAID has provided fake “aid” and Xperts to the SL parliament and Bribery Commission to undermine these institutions them for years.. USAID took various Lankan politicians on trips to the US to see how democracy works in its homeland of corrupt lobbies, hyper security and surveillance.
      After all, it is pretty obvious as to which external party is behind much of the rot and the bi-partisan UNP-SLFP-PP-TNA-JVP corruption racket that has turned Parliament into a cesspit– in the name of FAKE RECONCILIATION while debt trapping Lanka in the IMF-big banks sovereign bond traders debt trap and Bail Out Business as the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam terms it..

  • 5

    The response from the media maestros of the Presidential Secretariat is indeed pathetic. And Ranil must take total responsibility for this fiasco of appointing dodgy AM as our Governor of the Central Bank when there were far more competent professionals around. Does he? Indeed not.

  • 8

    There are those who claim that this “bond scam” is the greatest fraud in our history. But even so-called experts have not come up with any figures , even though the well-paid pundits at Sirasa (including the fatso who has to wear suspenders to keep his pants up) keep flogging a dead horse. The Singaporean demand for real evidence should be an eye- opener for the brainwashed true believers. Frankly, there is no evidence, and that’s why Maru Sira wants kangaroo justice.

    • 6

      “that’s why Maru Sira wants kangaroo justice.”

      He is desperately fishing for a second term.

      Why is Sirisena so obsessed with Singapore?

      We can’t get down Udayanga from Ukraine ………. and Jaliya from the US.

      Has Sirisena made attempts to get them down as well?

      But it was utter stupid of Ranil to appoint Mahendran ……….. there are some good Cabraals and bad Cabraals ……….. but all the aloysiuss are crooks. He was warned by many.

      • 3

        As the title says, Ranil is a utopian dreamer. Good ideas but bad implementation.

        • 3


          What you say is true ……… but Ranil’s sheer pigheaded stupidity leaves him defenceless. ……… I feel Ranil is not conducive to reflection ……… he should reflect on his past mistakes …….. but the arrogant streak in him makes him think he is infallible …….. the question is how long can we go on believing Ranil will deliver? ……… it’s no different to waiting 70 years for a pristine messiah to fall from the sky.

          But the other side on the coin – what you are always really pointing out – is …….. because of a lack of a proper defence on Ranil’s part all the bigger and monumental crooks have successfully highlighted “The Bond Scam” as if it’s the only scam that took place. “The Bond Scam” didn’t happen in isolation …….. it’s just another one of a series of scams carried out by Cabraal and the Rajapakses over a number of years ……… and the “victim” is always the EPF.

          Every man and his dog knows the Rajapakses are crooks so there is no traction to be gained by accusing them ………. but Ranil came with the “Clean Man” halo and he ruined it even without gaining a cent for himself; that’s how stupid Ranil is. …….. What is playing out – more than the scam itself – is the people’s disappointment in Ranil’s inability to maintain his clean image.

        • 3


          Prior to Mahinda the SLFP were small time crooks (the UNP were the sophisticated crooks) just robbing cooperatives and such ……….. but the genius of Mahinda is tapping Ajit Nivad Cabraal, a UNP-man, the day he was handed the nomination. Mahinda knew such sophistication was lacking in the SLFP-side if swindling had to hit the big times. Cabraal was the right man for the job. There are good Cabraals; Ajith Nivad is not one of them …….. and more sophisticated in the darker arts of money laundering. He did a brilliant job.

          History has proven Mahinda was right; he is still out roaming free.

        • 2

          Another thing I should add is,

          I haven’t had time to read the whole shebang ……. so, I stand to be corrected on this ……….. contrary to what the people are led to believe the Central Bank didn’t lose any money; it was the EPF that lost the money because the Bonds were sold to the EPF at a higher rate than that they would have normally paid …….. and a part of that went as a commission to the on-seller.

          The real crux of the whole shindig is ……… the hard-workingman’s EPF/money was robbed by both sides of the champions of the hard-workingman ……… try telling that to the hard-workingman! ……. It’s great that Lankan pols have such gullible to work with; it’s either UNP, SLFP, Sinhala, Tamil, Buddhist, Muslim ………. one always shields one’s side and pass the blame to others ………

          I wish I could find such gullible gals all around the world ……….. I would be in heaven while still here ………. gotta ask Native how it’s done ………….

    • 6

      Old codger in this kind of thing it is very difficult o give an exact figure.Do you think the 3 ministers turned up that morning for breakfast with mahendran on their own ? What is the unseen hand ? You might say MR !

      Why did Ravi K produce that laughable one line , undated , unreferenced letter ? Why did Ranil appoint a UNP committee to look into their own fraud ? Was it an internal matter of the UNP ?

      How many times has Ranil met the pup Aloysious after he/father-in- law were discovered as common thieves ? Where did they meet ?
      Apart from being a conman now Ranil appears very incompetent Too

      • 1

        I am NOT saying that there was no hanky-panky. Ravi should be in jail for providing info to Aloysius. But all this talk about billions in losses is utter rubbish. Any kid with a calculator can tell you how much interest has to be paid OVER 30 YEARS on the bonds. That is in no way a “loss”. If you need money, you have to pay interest. Even if it wasn’t Aloysius but several other bidders, the results would be the same.
        Is this so difficult to understand?

  • 3

    Who is the Wealthiest Sri Lankan of All time & Which DYNASTY is it = Ans.MAhinda Rajapaksa & RAJAPAKSA DYNASTY
    good article Inaccurate Title : How come this article EXCLUDED MR—- Sri Lanka’s Greatest Adored Mad man …The king of Lunatic KINGS of all time that Ruled Sri Lanka.

    it is important to point out what & why RW-Ravi and all have Decided to pull off this Heist – Looting of the CENTRAL Bank – Since MR ruled SL he has managed to gathers so much wealth through CORRUPTION that it is no way possible NOR plausible for any individual nor to a group to gather so much wealth……
    Last year there was major Tsunami took place at JAVA-SUMATRA-INDONESIA.. Death toll 1200 ++ Massive Property Damage .guess what…rest of the world Including Global media didn’t gave a CRAP…why ? they have dismantled Tsunami warning system…WHY / So they can RECEIVE BILLIONS upon BILLIONS of TSUNAMI AID..Rebuilding….They RECEIVED…nothing….

    Do realise MR’s wealth Primarily Originate from TSUNAMI Aid Received for SL in 2004 where he was Minister of Fisheries…so Looking at this RW decided to do the Impossible

    • 1

      “Do realise MR’s wealth Primarily Originate from TSUNAMI Aid Received for SL in 2004”

      If that were the case,this so called “yahapalana gov.” would have begun their witch hunt with the Hambanthota tsunami fund case but it was not so.
      So,You must say why it was not so if you are to maintain that there was in fact a tsunami fund fraud.

  • 1

    Can’t understand why Dr Alwis took so long to realize something which even the Drover’s Dog knew long before 2015.
    That is why our intelligent Majority who make up most of the Inhabitant population kept Dr Ranil at Bay.
    Venerable Sobitha hired Appa Sira through Whiskey Madam and changed all that.

    Now we have the results.
    All the bragging of Dr Ranil about Developing everything has produced nothing.

    Dr Ranil was even forced to eat the humble pie and beg the Chinese to resume their Aid Programs and even FX Loans….

    The latest Loan to build Kandy Kirra’s Express Way to the Temple of the Tooth had to come from the Chinese, whom Dr Ranil said will have no place in his Yahapalanaya ,becuase his Uncle Sam will see to it..

    This Singapore I don’t think is as clean as what Dr Alwis tries to portray.
    D.MK Boss in Madurai apparently is the guy behind that 3.7 Biilon USD FDI , which Dr Ranils Economics Rainbow Boys were boasting as the new wave of Foreign Investments to Lankawe
    The DMK Boss .apparently has organized a shelf company in Singapore as the front man.

    Where did the DMK boss get 3.7 Billion USD?.
    Why does he want a Singapore Company , when Dr Ranil is keen to give ETCA to India, with Tax Free Customs ,Free Immigration , Unlimited access to all Hindians to Buy Invest , Work and Play as they like.

    Forget about Dr Mahendran . Appa Sira can stand on hid Head and Shout .
    That is all for the Gallery.
    Dr Ranil is not stupid.
    Dr Ranil does not even have his best mate’s Mobile Number.

    Anyway, my gripe is why Sira is chasing Dr Mahendran, when the beneficiaries of the Bond Robbery are his close Aides and even Ministers in his Yahapalanaya..

  • 3

    Sarath De Alwis.
    Frankly I don’t know what you are talking about and you are a Hypocrite You are trying to make a Mountain out of a Mole Hill. This Bond scam which is being blown out of proportion is Centered around a man who happened to be a Tamil. There are many other important issues facing the Country which you all have ignored. How much has this Bond Scam cost this Country in my view not as much as MR and his Cohorts have swindled . You are prepared to let them enjoy the proceeds of Crime because they are War winning Criminals. MR”s assets now stand at Trillions and he is the 7th richest in the Country and have you asked how a Hambanthotta THUG amassed such a vast fortune. I have heard fantasy theories such as they are Land Owners . My friend he came to Colombo in a “ Maddu Vandil” as a Pauper. Even the whole of Sri Lanka is not worth that much.
    And by the way you already have a PhD you don’t need another one. God will show mercy on you if you care to write something on the Plight of the Tamil mothers who are still looking for their loved ones and the DISGRUNTLED Tamil Diaspora will pay you millions.
    Let me pick some holes in your fantasy theory taking into account the 300 word cap.
    1) In an article published in mid-February of the epochal year of 2015 I predicted the trajectory of the ‘Yahapalana’ government.
    *** I know where it is heading . Straight to the bin because it is headed by a so called appeaser who you all loathe.
    2) In that piece of conjecture captioned Ranil’s Royalist Regency’ I said that “Sri Lanka was witnessing a constitutional experiment that would soon turn out to be elitist and exclusionary.

  • 5

    Ranil has led the UNP for nearly 30 years. Where is it now ? Desperately avoiding elections ! Ranil is like Pettah businessman-just a cunning bugger out to gain what he can. By the way has he stopped going overseas on first class tickets to give lectures to foreigners !

    You cannot give sight to the blind.Ranil has made the UNP a mediocre party of racketeers

  • 0

    I am NOT saying that there was no hanky-panky. Ravi should be in jail for providing info to Aloysius. But all this talk about billions in losses is utter rubbish. Any kid with a calculator can tell you how much interest has to be paid OVER 30 YEARS on the bonds. That is in no way a “loss”. If you need money, you have to pay interest. Even if it wasn’t Aloysius but several other bidders, the results would be the same.
    Is this so difficult to understand?

  • 0

    Sarath De Alwis: I know you want to protect some Individuals and political parties here. A full comment written about this won’t be liking you you or CT , so the comment policy will come to the Front. Other than that, all 225 politicians are part of the Scam. They are used to it and they expect it every time something happens. Even Politicians Drivers, children of Ministry Secretaries got bond Scam profits. In that context who did not get it. But the those who read those comments must notice Maithripala sirisena’s KIDNEY disease fund is Rs 2000 million. Bond Scams had originated in 1997. I heard even some Big wigs of SLPP do not like bond Scam report coming outside. I do not know this much is too much in order to the comment policy come forward.
    In this context, a Singaporean Private businessman is going to start a Petroleum Refinery in Srilanka. should the president allow it. Because, Singapore will be partial if a disagreement arises because of the Petroleum company. For Matirhipala sirisena must Think about that and It is not one way.
    Mahinda Rajapakse had lot of opportunity. but he did not use it. HE preferred thuggery and Dynasty building project which is very common inside the parliament. See how many families are chosen leaders for Srilanka. when Singapore became partial with Arjun mahendran deporting, signing a FTA with Singapore is very dangerous even if the USA says DO It.

  • 0

    Singapore is alive because of Business. So, if a Business prone country says go this way. Singapore do it. When the deciding factor is Money, Singapore is like a butcher.

  • 1


    *** You have already passed judgment even before it has been tried.
    3) A popular mandate was being dwarfed by an unelected regency. That there was a clear danger of the popular mandate being misread as a partisan power enterprise instead of the reform project as was intended.

    *** How can you say popular mandate when it was only a wafer thin.

    4) The day Ranil decided to make Arjuna Mahendran governor of the Central Bank that was deliberately placed under his own ministerial purview the innocent utopian dream of a nation suffered a still birth – a fetal death.
    *** In your view it should not have been even conceived because of the Tamil Gene.
    5) An overblown frog in a small pond is entitled to its hallucinatory croaking no matter who is around the park. Nobody bothers with a toad. It is different for a head of a state.
    *** This is very interesting and you have hit the nail on the head. Here I make the comparison and compare the attack on LTTE when people say they are also guilty of War Crimes . How can they be when they were reacting to the attack on their Habitat which was flooded by the Sinhalese TYRANNY. You are right MR as the head of State is accountable and should be punished.
    I can go on but 300 beckons

  • 0

    The trajectory of the Yahapalanaya government is one best known, and very personal to myself.

    After the initial teasing, and euphoria, it burst into life (in January 2015), then firmed up and stood stiff and proud for an year or so. Slowly, rigidity deserted. It shot itself. These last two years it has collapsed, tired and flaccid.

    Maithri Sira has suddenly realised his future depends on getting it back up again. He is blowing gently, hoping to revive it. Will it stand stiff, proud and tall again. Only time will tell.

  • 0

    NO – it was not an “innocent” dream. 2015 was the craftiest political conspiracy backed by a Himalayan mountain of money. To get one of his own devoted acolytes to break Rajapaksa was a clever political move no doubt, dirty as dirty can go. But to portray a main pillar of Rajapaksa government till end who could betray his master in such a shameless manner as the Mosses to lead the ‘Yahapalana’ movement was an ignomity of the worst kind. A brilliant example of the power of propaganda. Real string pullers backstage who certainly must have analysed the phycological profile of Gamarala managed to fool Sobitha Thero. Many like Sarath Alwis are now feigning victim of this low level Silysena.
    I am asking this for the umpteenth time – wasn’t there a better crook to choose from as a matter of respect to the people?
    Dear Sarath you don’t blame a mad dog. You arrest those who brought him on to the street.


  • 0

    Dear Sir

    Thank you for the article. It is interesting when so much is said about this event yet no formal request has been made to Singapore?? Without insinuating guilt on anyone this shows our system is unable to report facts to the citizens of SL so they can respond accordingly/be satisfied with their representatives taking care of their respective scope??….that is to bring justice/accountable etc.

    We are the worst enemy for ourselves where we can not even discuss the crimes without referencing to Sinhala snd Tamils even on subject of this nature ‘the need to know facts for people of SL’ as to what is happening to their Nation says it all why we lost all we had????

    Developing a country is a journey and we will have all sorts of challenges…one must know.there is no ready made solutions and only tailor made are available that we need to make them made to measure for ourselves.

    The wrong responses/irresponsible behaviours can only lead to more injustices is proven beyond reasonable doubt in SL…a historical fact. When people of Sri Lanka not united to take care of themselves no one else will do that for them is a fact we should have learned through the death of all the Mother Lankan Children since 1970.

    We continue to do dirty washing in public will be exploited/we are getting repeatedly raped will continue…….war crimes and constitutional reforms, Tamils, Sinhalese & Muslims????????

    The fundamental questions you have raised are very appropriate and thank you and I get it……….It is not just about the Singaporean subject/procedures rather how we are managing our own affairs as a Nation and why we are keep failing ourselves even on an open subject requires answers to people of SL??

    No one bothered to give answers to date to people of SL….means we are being ruled by aliens from outer space???

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