26 June, 2022


Bond Scam Probe Is Making Democracy Into ‘Demo-Crazy’

By Vishwamithra

“The gull sees farthest who flies highest” ~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

One can examine the Bond-scam report and arrive at conclusions after such a close perusal in two diametrically opposed lights.

1. In the context of the current political environment, its apparent findings and President Maithripala Sirisena’s interpretations of the findings and his vicarious intentions of defaming some UNP members of Parliament, despite the fact that his very election as President was principally facilitated by the United National Party (UNP), would lead to him being branded a ‘traitor’. We need to note that the appointment of Arjuna Mahendran who is the central figure in this whole scheme of alleged corruption, as Governor of the Central Bank, albeit at the behest of Prime minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, was President’s responsibility and his alone.

2. One can also look at this Report in the light of the inherent culture that has been built around all government servants and those who are accused of misdoings have been partners in the alleged felony willy-nilly. Yet what government in power would dare probe into allegation against itself and withstand the cruel punishment meted out to them in the courts of public opinion? 

The content of the Bond-scam report may be true, may be contentious or even may be outright false. Neither can we argue the validity of the substance of the allegations, nor reject them outright. The Report is still under the Presidential care. According to some reports, ‘Sumathipala Udugamsuriya, Secretary to the Presidential Commission that probed Treasury bond scams has stated that the releasing of the report would be President Maithripala Sirisena’s prerogative. Udugamsuriya said so when the newspaper inquired from him whether a copy of the report could be obtained. The official said that their mandate was for a ‘fact-finding inquiry’ and report to the appointing authority. Responding to another query, Udugamsuriya said that about six copies were printed for members of the commission. Asked whether the report could be posted online; Udugamsuriya said that the commission couldn’t decide on that either’.

As opposed to the Special Presidential Commissions of Inquiry Act of 1978 wherein the powers of the Commission were far too wider than the one that held the inquiry held into the ‘Bond-Scam’, in that the 1978 Act could recommend as to what action should be taken consequential upon the findings of the inquiry, the ‘Bond-scam’ inquiry is a mere ‘fact-finding’ probe. The public humiliation it has generated, especially among those- whiskey-drinking, club-goers of the Colombo-elite kind, who were the very beneficiaries of vastly-concealed corrupt financial deals during the Rajapaksa regime, is immense. But that humiliation is essentially limited to those vulture-elites of Colombo. The issues that confront the masses are totally divorced from such sophisticated schemes of white-collar financial crimes. Ever increasing cost of living, apparent lethargy and apathy shown in the pursuit of the previous regime’s corrupt practices are predominant among the voting public. Allegations against the Rajapaksas are many; the very alacrity with which the ‘Bond-scam’ probe was concluded makes it look like a 100 meter sprint while the pursuit of the Rajapaksa-scams are appearing to be a Marathon. It is indeed very disturbing and distressing, especially among the UNP voters, who along with Tamil and Muslim minorities, elected Maithripala Sirisena as President of this country. Those who defied Sirisena at the 2015 elections are elated while those who supported him are aghast at the turn of events. That is democracy turning into ‘demo-crazy’.   

Yet, the findings of the ‘Bond-scam’ are ugly. They tell a story of massive fraud and corrupt intent of a select few in the Colombo politico-financial theatre. Whether President Sirisena releases the Report or not, both Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and President Sirisena must bear in mind that the masses must be educated of the glaring differences between the two governments, the Rajapaksa-led UPFA and Maithri-Ranil-led coalition, specifically in relation to the notion of transparency and accountability of democratically elected governments.

The current administration decided to inquire into its own public servants and its own Cabinet Ministers. That is a remarkable trait of a transparent and accountable government. ‘Yahapalanaya’, at least in this instance, is manifestly in operation, it seems. The return of the rule of law is something to celebrate. With all its weaknesses, with all its many a folly, its decision to let the press be free in a real sense and lifting of the gloomy shadow that trailed almost all anti-Rajapaksa journalists, the government has been successful in making its fundamental change visible in the current environment. The toxicity that engulfed the media personnel during the Rajapaksa-era is losing its stench; the Right to Information Act is having its tangible effects and the very political thugs, who during the Rajapaksa-era made all attempts to curb that elementary human propensity for intellectual curiosity, are taking refuge in that very Act and pursuing receding mirages of political victories.       

It is in this context of freer environment of political dynamics that the present debate about the ‘Bond-scam’ fiasco needs to be examined and dissected. While many allegations and charges are being still probed into and referred to the department of Attorney General, and awaiting further action as part of the due process afforded to each and every person so charged, during the Rajapaksa-led regime, the power-holders meted out ‘justice and fair-play’ at the whims and fancies of the ‘First Family’. What is evidenced in the current administration in the United States of America in which ‘Trumpism’ seems to be trumping the true and fair-minded Republican lawmaker, was manifestly apparent in the Rajapaksa regime. Mahinda Rajapaksa loomed over the UPFA members like a mighty Gulliver overwhelming the little Lilliputians.

In the present coalition there is no Gulliver nor are there any Lilliputians. Yet the leadership quality that is in evidence does, at times, seems to be far short of the necessary ingredients that make a steady journey all-congruent and seeking a stern and sure target.  There is no more negative image one can project than a one that is pregnant with ‘uncertainty’. That sense of uncertainty largely contributes to lethargy on the part of the players and nervousness on the part of the spectators. Both elements of human expressions, lethargy and nervousness are products of weakness and softness. The current administration needs to disrobe itself of that garb. The Maithri-Ranil Combo needs to dissipate that aura of negativity and transform that into a very positive force by taking the offensive to its adversaries. That kind of proactive elemental force might be absent today, but there is no reason or rhyme to presume so tomorrow.

Does the current regime have that elemental synergy to turn something negative into a positive force? There is ample opportunity and space for one such move outside the box. Why not both Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe call for a truce between the Elephant and the Beetle-leaf prior to the local government election? Some might perceive this basic idea as laughable and ludicrous. Therein lies the elemental reality of bold and audacious thinking.

The action that the UNP leadership needs to take regarding Ravi Karunanayake becomes very relevant in this context. The leadership must leap ahead of the average voter and his wildest imagination. Discipline and discipline alone can take any organization forward. If and when discipline breaks down, the whole organization is bound to collapse on itself. However, such iron discipline, that element which makes man advance beyond one’s confines is sadly absent in all political parties today, including the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

Leonardo da Vinci is associated with the following quote: “You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself…the height of a man’s success is gauged by his self-mastery; the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. …And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.” Such brutal truths are few and far between. Application of such universally relevant truths is not too presumptuous. Yet being as modest and simple as an ancient ascetic, a politician indeed never sees himself in the light of such a nihilistic lens. Scholars from Chanakya to Machiavelli and Aristotle to Bertrand Russell to Jean Paul Sartre and Noam Chomsky have all outlined the basic architecture of human behavior and its many facets of expressions in most lucid form and the ironical fundamental is that each and every such scholar has failed to draw players from the margins.

On the contrary, politicians almost always succeed in bringing in those who occupy the space outside the margins. Whether this is an intrinsic measure of politicians or a mere accident of political evolution, I do not know. Yet the large meadow of reality shows much greener pastures than one would dare to dream about. That is why the Bond-scam would remain in the realm of gossip rather than matters of consequence of hard political bargaining.

The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com              

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Latest comments

  • 4

    The author is panicking I think…….

    If Ranil had his way, we would still be cursed with Arjuna as the head of CB!

    Remember, remember little boy, who defended Arjuna in parliment and said his “3 man UNP” committee has absolved him of all crimes?
    Yep, the “clean” Mr. Ranil indeed.

  • 3

    there is no point of talking about the UNP leadership, deputy leadership. Foot Note Gang of UNP, those false book writers or most the UNP politicians. they proved they VVIP cone men and women. IT looks either the PResident is weak or he is also inthe same gang of Con-men.
    IT is JRJ who established the President’s fund. So, he can spend money as he pleases. That president’s funds continues to date and no one knows what is happening in that except they say it needs lot of money and some MPs even buy condoms out of that. It is JRJ who dais that his MPs have the right to steal in order to recover what they lost during the election. So, that habit continues and Even this govt either Matirhipala sirisena or Rnil Wickramsinghe did not stop.
    There are so many frauds, mismanagements goes on and no one talk as all those one problem in the society.
    Ranil or his gang of theives never quit, never will be fired. Only people have to remember and take decisions.
    It looks even the AG’s office is a farce.

  • 5

    Keep defending the murderous racist UNP; your party created Black July 1983 and Batalanda. Keep defending RW, Hashim, Malik and Ravi K. That is your prerogative. We do not expect objectivity from you. We realized your identity and your falsehoods. We know how you benefitted from GD. Stop blaming My3. He appointed AM because RW insisted and made sure it happened. We all know about the other crook during Preme’s time don’t we. He fled and came back to be advisor to RW again. Do not try to absolve your sponsors in your party. RW insisted on even reappointing AM and did not like Indrajith the honorable man. What is most bothersome about you is your alacrity to defend RW at all stages.

  • 5

    “Bond Scam Probe Is Making Democracy Into ‘Demo-Crazy’”
    We started with Demo-Crazy when we disenfranchised a million Ceylonese in 1949. We managed to keep Democracy at bay ever since.
    The bond scam probe may in fact be the start of the resurrection of democracy. We must live in hope that truth will emerge. As more scams we are wallowing in, are unveiled and the truth established we may eradicate this Demo-Crazy for good.
    By the way Vishwamitra, the gull which flies low picks up the food scraps!

  • 5

    Simple question to this writer. Do you think Ranil W was involved in this fraud ?

    • 3

      Yes. of course: He is the one who brought Arjuna Mahendran> Even after Cope find some faults Ranin’s commission freeed him from such allegation. Now as the President appointed his own team we found the depth of the fraud.

  • 2

    There is no better example than this how slavish bias can cloud simple logic. A has committed a crime. To say that B committed a bigger crime is no defence of A but rather confirmation/acknowledgement that A committed the alleged crime. To demand that A be absolved is to demand that A and B both be absolved. If the victim is the same in both crimes – in this case the people of Sri Lanka- it is double injustice. How prepostorous to suggest the judge ( Prsident) collaborate with the suspect (Priminister) on the basis that the criminal has helped the suspect in the past! Come on Mr Vishvamitra, who do you take us for?

    • 0

      soma ~ “………To suggest A be absolved is to demand A and B be absolved……..”.
      A and B are working towards mutual absolution – and they will succeed! The victims are easily distracted with something else.
      By the way, the price of the Russian freighter no longer worries us.

  • 4

    This Wishwa is a a pseudo intellectual, name dropping, joker and Bull shit artist, if you ask me!

    What a lot of tosh to say that Sira is as culpable as Bondscam Ranil who set up a NETWORK of scammers after taking the CB under his office!

  • 4

    Vishvamitra, why is it so hard for you to write an article with some intellectual depth without spewing vitriol about Rajapakshas? [edited out]

    • 1

      “….why is it so hard for you to write an article with some intellectual depth …..”poor guy at least he quoted Leonardo Da Vinci

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