13 December, 2017

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Can Sri Lanka Survive Endemic Corruption?

By Shiny Wijesundara –

My heart bleeds for Sri Lanka. 70 years of Independence has but reduced this thrice blessed nation to wallow in it’s own spittle, unable to extricate itself. The rainbow revolution has faded, not extinguished fully but well on the way to self destruction. The cause is clear but politicians are unwilling to trod the path set out for them by the people in 2015.

This government was given an open cheque to change the course of history. What better platform than to have the two main protagonists joining to steer the country on an even keel. We were fooled.

Colombo, considered to be the most affluent, learned, well informed, better than other districts in infrastructure, schools, hospitals has always voted with the UNP. One could safely assume that the informed judgement is for the UNP. The rural areas has not recovered from the fib SWRD played on them. True, more Sinhala and Tamil children from rural areas have got greater opportunity to enter Universities and thereby secure better jobs both in Sri Lanka and away. That however, has come at a price.

It was in the sixties that the Z score was introduced in order seemingly to level the playing field for Districts with less facilities in schools to have a lower mark to enter Universities. Fifty years have gone by and the system is yet in place. Successive governments have not improved the facilities in these Districts to the level of Colombo, Kandy, Galle and Jaffna. Unpardonable. Colombo and other empowered District’s children are being discriminated by continuing the Z score system The government may say that there is no funding available to do so. But, there has been funding to build new Airports, Harbours, Cricket Stadia, Lotus Towers etc. Perhaps to the politician these are more important than building a Nation’s human resource capital. Will the next generation be allowed to reach their true potential or would they have to go abroad to achieve it? Even little infants adopted at a tender age of two fortunately clutched from their poor farming parents by foreigners have achieved dizzying heights as evidenced recently. Shame on us the people. More shame on you, the politicians who were trusted by us.

President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, please listen.

You were given the responsibility to change the course of history. It was not an individual victory for either of you. It was meant to be for the people who by then were confused, robbed off, misguided, murdered, abducted by a most dastardly of regimes. All the rhetoric you used against that family of black guards during elections, we know were true. But you have failed. You cannot say it is the system. The people were with you to change the system. You are not able to do so. We do not believe there is a Macron moment to save Sri Lanka. Only because the larger majority have been fooled to think their lot is to suffer and kneel before the politician. So pull up your socks…..for our sake.

We have seen our people continue to vote in larger majorities the rogues, drug peddlers, murderers et al. These poor voters have seen the humble beginnings of the politicians who subsequently build palaces in their village, buy palaces in Colombo and overseas and live extravagant lives.Yet they vote them in on larger majorities at the next election. We are a clever nation (are we?) and foolish too at the same time.

Why are the Rajapaksa’s still roaming free? Most of the other politicians against much corruption charges were levelled are yet free. The most dastardly of crimes committed by the so called “war hero’s” under illegal orders are not pursued purely because the Sinhala Buddhist heritage they seemingly saved would make the present lot lose votes. What a country to have a leadership consisting of the two main parties unable to carry the people to see right from wrong. This government was voted in on the path breaking work done by journalists such as Lasantha Wickremetunge, Keith Noyarh, Poddala Jayantha et al who were made to pay a price for their efforts. Lasantha, paid the ultimate price. The perpetrators are on bail and so is The One who gave orders. So it is with Rugby player Thajudeen. Reports say that over 90 investigations are before the Attorney General for advise. Tosh. Does the Police send files to the Attorney General when a man robs a bicycle? Knifes someone? Does the IGP’s of other nations take orders from the Minister? Is the Inspector General incapable of leading his Department without political advice? Why on earth are Independent Commissions, for?

We find this government gasping for breath on the back of the Bond scandal. There appears to be a prima facie case. Ravi Karunanayake seems to be knee deep along with former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and his son in law Arjun Aloysius. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe giving evidence before the Commission for now appears to have been given the benefit of the doubt but certainly soiled his image built over time. No one called him dishonest but truth be told his judgement of people has been found wanting time and again. His ability to listen to advice (if he ever does) therefore would come from the wrong sources.

It is a well known fact that the majority of our politicians are corrupt. There yet remain a few new entrants and young bucks who mean well. For the corrupt it is the art of the possible to remain/grab power with the attendant riches to be got illegally. The private sector businesses too are hand in glove. They are corrupt too. Corruption is now endemic in Sri Lanka.

We need to accept it if we are to move against it. There is a low rate of convictions through the judicial process and politicians use this to their advantage. Innocent until proven and till such time get elected and claim riches, over and over again.

So, where do we move from here? Some are rooting for the return of the Rajapaksa family. Be it Mahinda or Gotabaya. That would be falling from the frying pan to the pyre.

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Latest comments

  • 9
    0

    So pathetic. Ranil and M&s came to power with such a promise to end corruption but they now support corruption.
    They never took action.
    They know all but they do not care ..
    Only way is to put all behind bars .Sri Lanka will never be Singapore.
    Never .Never .Never .
    I hope it would not another African country with Mugabe as head .

  • 6
    0

    As the saying goes “you cannot pour new wine into old wineskins”. If you do it will burst and destroy the wine.
    At least from the UNP there are quite a few educated and respectable young politicians that joined “Yahapalana” govt. But they are caught in the system of the old politicians. One scratching the back of the other and obstructing justice and playing the old game of scamming the public purse.

  • 8
    1

    The pathetic state SL is in is due to the stupidity of the masses. The hypocrisy of SWRD by exploiting the masses by playing the Sinhala Buddhist race card prevails even today. The education system needs a complete overhaul because, instead of improving the standards of rural schools, the standards were brought down to create the so called level playing field. As a result, we have lethargic & corrupt Govt. officials & medical professionals with a chip on their shoulders. Despite the preferential treatment from the Govt. with duty concessionary vehicle permits & tax free salaries, they fail to serve the people who funded their university education. In fact, the gravy train is so good, they want to consolidate their positions & don’t want others outside their educational circles to join the club. The rich will always have the privileges & the opportunities for a better education abroad but for the average middle class, the aspiration of a better education & a better life is limited. Unfortunately, even the products of old established esteemed institutions have failed in providing a rounded education when we hear of the audacity & despicable conduct of the likes such as RK, Sujeeva Senasingha.

    We have an uneducated President with a questionable past (& present) who is totally out of his depth, a PM with the right credentials but who failed miserably & a bunch of morons & yobs in Parliament where a majority have not even the basic qualifications even to get a clerical job. So what can we expect? The only way the country can go forward is by a better, job oriented education system which not only provides the knowledge but also teaches integrity, ethics & common humanity.

  • 4
    2

    Mahinda Rajapakse is following the Western politics. He has forgotten, Avant guard, Greek Bond Scandle, Hotejs bought, So many mega projects. How did Namal Rajapakse got billions, How did Basil Rajapakse got real estate in the USA, India and in Sri lanka – some without named owner, Why So many MPs from the MR govt was arrested, how some ministry secretariess became billionaire businessmen. Ranil is just going along the same steps of Mahinda Rajapakse. Because of the relationship in different ways, Ranil tried to outsmart Mahinda Rajapakse and failed.

    • 8
      0

      “How did Namal Rajapakse got billions?”

      Aachige Manik Malle!

    • 3
      1

      Dumbo Jimbo, can you explain what ‘Hotejs bought’ mean?

    • 4
      0

      If you really want to solve this puzzle explore what the deal was between MR & RW in the wee hours of January 09th, 2015.

  • 7
    0

    Its time we the citizens show our real power, take to the streets, line them up and shoot them all. Enough is enough. Our country has enough talent and brains to take us safely into the future.

  • 4
    0

    “Can Sri Lanka Survive Endemic Corruption?”
    Shiny Wijesundara reflects the desperate situation we are in.
    The fact that we survived this long shows the resilience of Lankans but we have nearly reached the limit.
    The rulers have used (and still use) the public service, armed and police services, for selfish ends. A very corrupt structure has set in and this must be cleaned up. Is this possible?

  • 4
    0

    A sound article.
    We voted for yahapalanaya to put an end to corruption. The mass robberies of MR, Basil, Gota, and the sons are clearly evident. Malwana land without an owner (Basil). Daisy Achchi buying lands for Yoshitha (gem merchant dropping gems at her door step). MIG deal and Bellamusa holdings (Gota); Also massive frauds from Colombo beautification projects (Floating market, Bellanwila walkway launch cost 12 Mn). Namal company – unexplained money, CSN frauds etc. Unpaid MR TV ads during election time. Wimal Weerawansa- two passports- Robbing State Engineering Corp etc. Aluthgamage, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Welgama, Johnston cases etc all clear.
    Hyatt robbing – Gamini Senarath, Port Robbing Prabath Bandu, etc- swe all know
    Greek Bonds, Hedging deal, Commonwealth bid wastage, Cabral robberies etc.We will never see these cases ever concluded. Because Ranil has cut a deal with MR. Now more scared because if MR returns he will take Ranil & clan on the Bond issue. Yahapalanaya corruption no better. Agriculture Minister paying 190M rental upfront to a friend’s building and not occupied for 1 year.
    There is no hope for Sri Lanka

    • 0
      0

      Sam, your unending list of corruptions hopefully does not send the proposed SAITM transfer unit also into the pit. Must follow realistic motivated nation building visionary gam udawa Premadasa plan to absorb SAITM into a national starting uni. like Wayamba, Moratuwa or Sabaragamuwa. SAITM students have paid their finances to give hospital to govt. Why not give their MBBS too which they paid for to enter internship court verdict as Class Action Law. This is the only complete solution NOW.

    • 0
      0

      Why not first educate our stupid citizens to crave poor better standards and their daily work ethics and other aspect of life in line with honest country should be inculcated, then they will vote for the best party which has to be created with the help of honest gogeters from the country and from abroad.

  • 2
    0

    Easily one of the best essays I have read on CT. Shiny. W.
    Unfortunately, most people in this country are unable to distinguish between Good, Bad and the Ugly.!.

  • 1
    5

    A polylogia of a yahapa catcher! By the name of Shiny Wijesundara who never shines and open to the ground truth. According to him/her, UNP wins in Colombo “district” always! This typist does not understand the difference between a district and an urban limit. Yes Colmbo City limits have always been in line with UNP because of the artificial demographic. So much so to the level of a thinking of the typist Shiny!

    Stop lamenting Shiny. Go and light a lamp for Prabha along with Shivaji for new year, if you have missed it on Nov. 26th. Because that is THE only thing Sri Lanka received in the name of “yahapalanaya” under Siri-Ranil duo.

    • 5
      0

      max

      X Mas is around the corner. You should be getting ready for merry making instead you are celebrating VP’s birthday.

      By the way didn’t Dr Mahinda Rajapaksa (LLD) and Dr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (DSc) allow public racist Somwansa to celebrate Weerawansa?

      Whats the matter with you people?
      Are you still living in saffron clad thug Gnanasara’s amude?

      • 0
        0

        NVVV your still painting white on VP and the gang theoriticaly? Whatelse should I expect from a shit carrier of Tamil chuvanism – the curse to this country at least since the year 1831!

        Do you think Shivajilinkam’s or Sridharan’s or the thug that holding the education portfolio in northern province or CM of NPC’s amude is comfortable than Gnanasara’s?

        If you feel so, I have no objections bro.

  • 6
    2

    Can Sri Lanka survive endemic Corruption?
    The possible answers to this question are Yes and NO. If we continue to follow the same political system we cannot get rid of the corruption ever. What is the main factor that puts barrier to take actions against to those corrupt the Nation? As the writer correctly identified that SWRD Bandaranaiyake’s Sinhala only act and educational system policies contributed most to the current status. Further, Dr. Colvin R De Silva’s introduction of Buddhism into the constitution and stanadardisation based on language. These changes gave enthusiasm to Buddhist Fundamentalists to break the law & order and the system now institutionalised in every thing and you cannot change unless there is a mass scale revolution. Even today, Mahinda with the full pledge support of the the so called left movement & Buddhist Monks using the race and religious card with bloodbath of innocent civilians in order to come back to power. They are prepared to buy politicians at any cost. Will the Sinhalese masses prepared to challenge the threat faced from Buddhist Fundamentalists?

  • 2
    0

    The answer is a definite NO, I was fortunate enough to know the meaning of a democracy and see elected leaders working for the welfare of their people only after leaving mother Lanka and lived in a foreign land for more than 15 years, As one among few people decided to leave and return with the intentions of ” giving back’ , fortunately did not give the citizenship which was hard earned, I see no hope at all for our mother Lanka.

  • 2
    0

    Only way SL can overcome corruption is by bringing before the courts on a priority basis all bribery and corruption and murder cases of politicians. It also should be law of the country when a politician is taken into custody there is not bail allowed as the politicians are expected to hold a higher standard. Every ministry should have a monitoring body where the members of these bodies are not politicians or past politicians but civil society members.

    • 0
      0

      Good idea! But about 80 percent of the Sinhala, Muslim and Tamil politicians will end up in prison dear Park!!

  • 1
    0

    Only way SL can overcome corruption is by bringing before the courts on a priority basis all bribery and corruption and murder cases of politicians. It also should be the law of the country when a politician is taken into custody there is not bail allowed as the politicians are expected to hold a higher standard. Every ministry should have a monitoring body where the members of these bodies are not politicians or past politicians but civil society members.

  • 0
    0

    Why this country cannot ind few honest men or women?

    Corruption is like cancer in Sri Lanka. It is eating away the social fabric of SL in front of it citizens. And they seem helpless. People like Ranil, who has done so much damage to this country over a 40 year period, has to go. Turning a blind eye to corruption is worst than participating incorruption itself. The bond scam exposed that Ranil the emperor has no clothes.

    A country that ignores murder and let the murderers go free has no soul. That is exactly what this administration is doing. Is My3 too trying to make a buck buying gun boats before his term expires! As if SL has not enough loans needs weapons. SL’s debt/GDP ratio is now close to 80%, the ratio Greece had before its economy collapsed. Greece is still recovering.

  • 2
    0

    Until we have a Sinhala Prabhakaran who will tie MR, Got Baya, RW, CBK and My3 to lampposts and whip them, we will not get rid of corruption.

  • 0
    0

    it is time all right thinking people organise a save sri lanka movement. The present politicians have lost the trust of the people

  • 0
    0

    The Sinhala Theeravaada Buddhists have been giving free hand to the politicians engaged in implementation of the false and imaginary Doctrine “Aryan” – Sinhala – Sinhalese – Theeravaada Buddhism -Lanka with one to one correspondence. Now the country has become so corrupt that nobody on earth could make any change and make Lanka free of corruption and malpractices! Within 5 – 10 years the country will become ungovernable!! Even at that time the Sinhala Theeravaada Buddhists will be satisfied if the Government continue to refrain from giving all the RIGHTS to the Tamils and Sinhala Theeravaada Buddhists Rule the Tamils!!

  • 0
    0

    They have ALL had their chances, and all have been found out. Moreover, they are ALL shameless, still screwing the country for all they can get. Fooling the people and bastardizing our ‘democracy’ to take power.

    As long as good people do nothing, they will carry on with their crooked ways.

  • 1
    0

    You can end corruption by picking up the entire Rajapaksa family in a white van and send them directly to hell. Then all will stop!!!!!

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