By Granville Perera –
The United National Party (UNP) led common opposition won the Presidential election in January 2015. Their partners including Civil Society organizations ( and our dear old Rt. Venerable Sobitha himi) that joined the campaign for regime change were penniless. The cost of the election campaign ran in to several billions for the UNP, the main architect of the common opposition. The Indians and the West (USA, Norway, Switzerland etc.) invested heavily on the UNP to cause regime change, but nowhere close to the campaign funds needed. Malik Samarawickrama, the man who handled the campaign money for the common opposition was known to make frantic calls to top business leaders pleading for financial support even on the 7th of January 2015. If Maithripala Sirisena (at that time a mere puppet of the common opposition) had lost, the entire lot including the Sirisena family would have been buried or fed to the vultures by the ruthless Rajapaksas. So Malik Samarawickrama and Ravi Karunanayake begged, borrowed and probably stole to keep the campaign afloat. The end was more than 3 billion in unpaid bills. The government in power could not dishonour or postpone its commitments, so Malik went to the central bank and …. Now the sacrificial lamb Arjuna Mahendran has been slaughtered. The rest will be undocumented history.
Arjuna Mahendran, the little brat of Charlie Mahendran, one time top diplomat and Ranil Wickremesinge advisor had the credentials to take over at the helm of our country’s central bank. Veterans like Indrajith Coomarasamy and many others were overlooked (not even asked) because they would not have submitted to the whims and fancies of the Samarawickrama-Karunanayake clan. So, with Arjuna in place, Malik started his ball rolling. The scandalous son in law of Arjuna, Arjun Aloysius (who was a Rajapaksa side kick) was asked to bid.. and the campaign deficit was bridged. Ravi Karunanayake, as finance minister got the state banks to bank roll Arjun Aloysius and a cool 3.4 billion went to pay the Sirisena campaign debts and some left overs to the pockets of the schemers.
There is nothing new about this deal. Both Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe probably knew every little detail about the scandal. None of them can open their mouths because the shit would hit the fan. Corruption has become part of the political culture of all developing nations and Rajapaksas perfected it in Sri Lanka in their decade long rule. They have learnt well from the despots of Uganda and Seychelles Islands, but no one believed that Ranil Wickremesinghe would stoop down to Rajapaksa levels. Sirisena, still probably doesn’t understand the intricacy of this scam, hence he makes little noises that are laughable. Little does he realize that all these were done to save his butt?
This is not the first time such deals had taken place, The pyramid scheme king, Cabraal mastered this scam for the Rajapaksas and Sri Lanka continued to lose billions every few months. The Rajapaksas were masters at borrowing and used every opportunity to amass wealth for their next twenty generations. They even had plans to send the little brat to the moon and beyond at Chinese expense, courtesy EXIM bank. The commercial lending rates in the international markets were as low as 2 to 3 percent on the US dollar, but the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China was a willing lender at interest rates as high as 8%. Our great grand children will have to pay these debts, so the Rajapaksa siblings and children made hay while the sun was shining on them. They are yet to answer for their follies. Will they ever be held accountable? I believe they will, eventually.
Sirisena is desperately trying to save the SLFP from splitting. A split would mean that they will not come back to power for the next twenty years. So, he continues to hold the Rajapaksa corruption, murder and plundering of the LTTE wealth as ransom to keep the party as one. How long can he hold on? When will the UNPers rebel? Basil who doesn’t care a damn about the party (or his siblings) is ready to have a new start for the breakaway SLFP. People who talked about Yahapalanaya have brought in the Yakkas from the SLFP to rule us now.
Arjunas’ seems to be in a bit of spot these days. Captain cool Arjuna seems to have suddenly become a stud and is making furniture for his mistresses. I can understand if it was a comfortable bed, but it looks like his taste is in culinary delights, so he is making pantry cupboards for his newfound beauties. With his brother by his side to collect his dirty collections, they are having plenty of wine, women and song, or so say his union leaders. His unions are also accusing him of storing huge amounts of aphrodisiacs in shipping warehouses? What an irony for one of the men who led the Yahapalanaya battle. Thank god, the Arjunas and Arjuns would soon be history, God willingly or as my Muslim brethren would say insa allah.
Ranil and Maithri cannot let the Rajapaksas take over the country again. The sunshine revolution of the people is not their private property. People risked everything to bring about regime change and they cannot be betrayed. Its time Ranil Wickremesinghe mounts the galloping horse and takes control of the reigns, and guides the nation to prosperity. In the process, he can drop any number of Arjunas or Sirisenas. He alone is the mortal who could do this after all the plundering done by the decade long rule of Medamullana traitors.
For those of you who do not buy my theory, I have great respect, because I too find this to be a long shot, because in a country like ours, facts are worse than fiction. Shalom from the conspirators.