18 December, 2017

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Crony Capitalism: Are We Waiting For An Arab Spring Or A Hong Kong Type Uprising?

By Charitha Ratwatte –

Charitha Ratwatte

Charitha Ratwatte

Redefining conflict of interest

The Arab Spring has turned out to be a great disappointment. It is fast turning out to be a winter of great discontent and suffering for the poor people who threw out a bunch of dictators with great aspirations of establishing an accountable and responsible liberal democratic government.

However, the dark clouds have a silver lining. Two classic examples of crony capitalism were exposed. After the dictator Ben Ali was thrown out in Tunisia in 2011, a total of 214 businesses and assets worth $ 13 billion, including 550 properties and 48 boats and yachts, were confiscated from the deposed President his associates and relatives. Meanwhile in Egypt, where President for life Hosni Mubarak, was ousted soon after Ben Ali, 469 businesses linked to his family and cronies were seized.

Politically-connected firms

Analysts have, post-Arab Spring, conducted a uniquely detailed study of the damage that crony capitalism does to an economy. In Egypt for example, it has been estimated, that 60% of all profits generated by businesses were raked off by politically-connected firms. But surprisingly, their share of the economic cake was far smaller and in fact provided only 11% of employment in the private enterprise sector.

In the Arab countries subject to the Arab Spring effect, politically-connected firms were surprisingly lucky in having non-tariff trade barriers being imposed to protect their businesses. It has been estimated, based on research, that around 71% of politically-connected firms were protected in this manner, by a minimum of three such barriers, protecting their business from imported competition.

Lucrative concessions on energy costs were one chosen way of the politicians to protect their cronies. In those countries 45% of politically-connected firms operated in high energy-consuming industries.

In Tunisia the cronies concentrated on the lucrative telecoms and air transport sectors. Entry into the sector was controlled and regulated to limit the competition.

In 2010 these two sectors computed 21% of all the profits made by businesses in Tunisia. Yet the two sectors constituted only 3% of private sector output and provided only 1% of jobs. They had far higher profits and market share than non crony firms in industries entry into which was controlled.

Camouflaged business and enterprise

The situation post Arab Spring unfortunately seems no better. In Egypt, the military is spreading its tentacles into business, emulating the military oligarchies in Thailand and Pakistan.

This seems the path which ‘camouflaged business and enterprise’ is taking in many countries; getting into many labour intensive, lucrative sectors such as infrastructure, leisure and restaurants, to absorb underemployed uniformed personnel who would otherwise be idling.

This results in a huge misallocation and waste of taxpayers’ money and a crowding-out of private enterprise, which would do a better job more efficiently and at competitive prices.

Ambani empire

In India this issue of crony capitalism had been raised. The patriarch of the Ambani empire, Dhirubai, was so famous for succeeding against the odds, in the highly-regulated ‘permit raj’ that a block buster film – ‘Guru’ – was made starring Abhishek Bhachchan and Aishwarya Rai. His sons carry on the tradition.

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recently initiated a preliminary inquiry to probe whether India’s Insurance Regulatory and Reliance Authority (IRDA) unfairly favoured Anil Dhirubai Ambani’s Group Reliance General Insurance Company while levying a Rs. 20 lakh penalty for ‘unauthorised’ sale of health cover. They are looking at the circumstances under which the penalty was brought down from a possible Rs. 17,500 crore.

Ambani’s Reliance Industries had been demanding higher prices from the Government for natural gas extracted from their concession off India’s eastern coast, saying that costs had gone up in an unexpected manner. The Modi Government raised prices, but the company said it was not enough. Reliance had launched arbitration proceedings against the Government of India demanding a rise in prices earlier. But the increase does not seem to satisfy Reliance and the other company involved, BP.

Recently the Supreme Court of India annulled some allocation of coal blocks to conglomerates to extract coal, made over a decade ago, accepting allegations that there was a lack of fairness and transparency. While the Judiciary’s attempt to clean up the system was admirable, it caused chaos in the business sector and the investor confidence on the certainty of doing business in India.

India’s banking system

India’s banking system has also endured a torrid time of late. The sector has been caught out by an economic slowdown and also beset by bad debts. Arundhati Bhattacharya, the head of India’s largest lender, the State Bank of India, has declared that a through regulatory shakeup is required to prevent a repeat performance as Asia’s third largest economy strains to recover.

Almost a year into her role as Chairperson, she has said: “This has been one of the toughest times in the history of Indian banking.” She declared that State-backed institutions have “been able to hold it together,” but only just.

Bhattacharya took over the giant public sector lender, which controls a fifth of India’s $ 1.5 trillion bank assets, around a year ago, as a wave of problem loans hit major industrial conglomerates, many of whose investment projects had been delayed by the country’s lethargic bureaucracy.

In a common refrain from country’s where crony capitalism rules the day, she has called for “a little more teeth” and firmer regulations to target indebted tycoon cronies of ruling politicians. She expressed the view that rates of bad and restructured assets will keep rising for “at least a couple of quarters more”. This is despite bad and restricted assets having already hit around 10% of loans.

Tougher rules for defaulters

India needs tougher rules for defaulters, as well as a “proper bankruptcy law to help get orderly resolution of bad assets”.

Only a few months ago, liquor baron and Kingfisher airline Tycoon Vijay Mallya was declared a ‘wilful defaulter’ by an Indian State-owned bank. The meaning of this is that the bank was of the opinion that he wilfully and deliberately opted not to repay loans despite having resources to do so. This is a unique, if welcome, case, as few other business tycoons behaving in a similar way have been targeted in the same way.

Bhattacharya’s plain and outspoken style is shaking up the normal compliant, crony capitalism environment, in India. She has also targeted and criticised the country’s slow moving legal system, saying “what we need is a faster resolution through the courts,” stopping debtors stalling debt recovery efforts by obtuse legal devices.

She says that Indian banks share part of the blame. Lenders need to stiffen their attitude to politically-influential large industrial conglomerates. She says such crony industrialists “go from one bank to another, playing off banks against one another”.

India’s Mr. Sahara

In a similar vein, the saga of the rise and fall of Subrata Roy, India’s Mr. Sahara, is another crony capitalist classic. The flamboyant tycoon Subrata Roy’s fall from the rarefied heights of India’s pantheon of billionaires to a prison cell in New Delhi’s Tihar jail is one-in-a-million legends.

The enigmatic founder of the Sahara India Pariwar Group built his empire based on his knack for taking deposits; ostensibly from tens and thousands of millions of poor Indians without access to formal banking services.

The investments and interests of this Lucknow-based group spanned real estate, media and the retail trade. It once ran an airline, which flew to Colombo too. The brand sponsored, until December 2013, the Indian Cricket Team; the brand and the logo on Sachin Tendulkar’s shirt, was familiar to any cricket fan.

Roy, who refers to himself as ‘Saharasri,’ literally Mr. Sahara, is a combination of shrewd businessman, flamboyant showman and cult leader. He required new employees of Sahara to greet each other with ‘Good Sahara’ instead of ‘Good Morning’!

New recruits were whisked to Sahara City – a whimsical blend of office space and recreational area, complete with a funhouse – for lengthy induction sessions including six-hour log speeches by Roy. He spoke on ‘collective materialism,’ ostensibly ‘the perfect blending of materialism and emotionalism’.

Those who had the misfortune to arrive late or doze off as Roy kept talking until well after midnight, were subjected to various forms of public humiliation, such as being forced to stand the rest of the time or write public apologies.

In 2010 the Sahara Group bought London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. Two years later it acquired the prestigious New York Plaza Hotel. Today Sahara and Subrata Roy, the Group’s self-styled ‘Managing Worker,’ are facing an uncertain future.

Contempt of court

Since March 2014, Roy, the man who one hobnobbed with Bollywood stars, sporting heroes and top politicians, has been in jail for contempt of court, after failing to appear at a Supreme Court hearing in connection with Sahara’s battle with securities regulators over a $ 4 billion convertible bond issue.

Sahara’s executives, speaking on behalf of the jailed Subrata Rory, insist that the business remains robust, unaffected by Roy’s detention. But the Sahara billboards, once ubiquitous in Lucknow, have disappeared, and a lawyer for the Group has admitted that the Group struggled to pay staff salaries, rent and electricity bills after some of its bank accounts were frozen last year. Tamal Banyopadhyay, author of ‘Sahara: The Untold Story,’ says: “They are under some financial pressure. Liquidity is an issue.”

India’s laws allow up to six months’ imprisonment for contempt of court, which Roy has already exceeded. But as the price for his freedom, the Supreme Court has ordered that he pays around $ 1.6 billion, half in cash and the other half in bank guarantees, to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), to refund investors in the convertible bond.

In 2011 SEBI ordered Sahara to repay all investors to the convertible bond, together with an annual interest at 15%, after coming to conclusion that the Group had broken capital market rules by miscalling the bond issue a private placement in order to avoid regulatory scrutiny. Sahara claims it has already refunded 93% of the duped investors, and has struggled to come up with the cash ordered by the Supreme Court.

In July 2014, in an unprecedented step, the crony tycoon Roy was allocated a special room inside New Delhi’s Tihar jail, equipped with telephones and internet connections to give him an opportunity to dispose of Sahara’s trophy foreign hotels, London’s Grosvenor House and New York’s Plaza, to raise the funds ordered to be paid by the Supreme Court. But by the end of September, he was unable to put through any deals and was sent back to his normal cell.

India’s media has give wide coverage to the story doing the rounds that Sahara’s impressive asset portfolio may very well have been accumulated in part by a providing haven for the ill-gotten gains of corrupt Indian politicians.

The Indian electoral system, like many others in the region, needs vast amounts of cash to be spent at election time. Politicians need convenient places to park the funds, as when mobilised, to draw out and spend at election time.

Jayalalithaa Jayaram

Witness the case of Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister, the redoubtable Jayalalithaa Jayaram. Jayalalitha is a three-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

She and three of her cronies, Sasikala Nadarasan, Ilavarasi and V.N. Sudhakaran, have been convicted, in September 2014, of corruption, having assets which could not be accounted for and misusing her office during the period 1991 to 1996. The trial went on for 18 years. It was transferred from Chennai to Bangalore to ensure fairness.

The assets which came under purview in the case included farm houses and bungalows in Chennai, a farm house in Hyderabad, a tea estate in the Nilgiri, valuable jewellery and investments in banks. A raid on her residence in Chennai yielded 800 kg of silver, 28 kg of gold, 750 pairs of shoes, 10,500 saris, 91 watches and other valuables.

She is the seventh politician in India, the first MLA from Tamil Nadu and the third on an all-India basis disqualified by the Supreme Court of India’s judgement in 2013 on the Representation of the People’s Act that prevents politicians convicted of corruption from holding office.

Violating every principle of good governance

In our South Asia, crony capitalism, is therefore not among the unknowns (and that is probably an epochal understatement!). In some countries there is a very special variety, which reeks of conflict of interest.

Owners with executive power over business conglomerates which have interests in businesses covering the whole English alphabet – A to Z, from Airline General Sales Agencies to Zucchini cultivation and processing, and everything in between – including casinos, export of Sri Lankan produce, financial services, freight forwarding, port operations, rubber gloves, shipping, stock market trading, tea plantations, tea and commodity marketing, tourism and leisure, etc., also hold office at the highest administrative level in ministries of Government as secretaries and chief accounting officers.

This violates every principle of good governance, including, Gautama the Buddha’s Dasa Raja Dharma, Hinduism’s Code of Manu, Islam’s Fiqh, the Christian 10 Commandments, the Establishment Code, the Administrative Regulations, the Financial Regulations and indeed every other known rule of civilised good and decent behaviour! This is the veritable great-grandmother of conflict of interest!

The natives, they do it in spades!

Indeed the words ‘conflict of interest’ will have to be redefined to catch up with the violations of principled public administration and the prudent management of public finances. That doyen of British colonial investments in the colony, way back in the days of the British Empire on which the sun never set, when the epitome of “Not done old chap, stiff upper lip and all that, we Brits do not indulge in such shenanigans, it’s just not cricket, eh what? We leave such things to the natives”. And the natives, they do it in spades!

Chas. P.…, who started the whole caboodle at ‘Dakunu Lake, Aga Nagaray, G….. Puray”, must really be rolling in his grave, in the coir dust, in shame! Such people also hold office in regulatory agencies which regulate industries and services, in which corporates in which the office holder has investments are big players!

Public officers are the ‘guardians’ of the public purse, who, by tradition, custom and law, should not have interests in the sectors they work in or regulate. When the proverbial cat is put in charge of the pigeon coop, the jackal in charge of the chickens, and the wolf in charge of the sheep – whither good governance?

No wonder a person purporting to hold high judicial office wondered aloud the other day whether good governance actually existed anywhere in the world! This is further compounded when one of his predecessors in office publicly seeks the forgiveness of the people for giving an erroneous judgement in a case involving an important personality and the misuse of donated resources. What are we coming to? Where are we headed?

Time to take a stand and object

It is really time for good upstanding people interested in maintaining standards and public probity to take a stand and object to this sort of behaviour. The Judiciary in India, to their everlasting credit, have taken a stand in the Subrata Roy ‘Sahara’ and the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa cases.

But where is this sort judicial activism taking place in the rest of the region? All we have is a former Chief Justice confessing in public and begging forgiveness for admittedly giving false judgements! Pathetic!

All the while taxpayers’ money, and money borrowed at exorbitant rates from foreign sources, is being splashed on prestigious white elephant projects, not to mention the alleged siphoning off. These loans have to be paid back by the taxpayers of future generations.

Chinese submarines come and dock in Colombo’s new harbour, berths in Hambantota Port are allocated to Chinese ships, and SinoShip News says that Chinese State-owned companies will operate four berths.

Were all these disclosed at the time, when those infamous nonexistent rocks were being blasted? These are the questions which have to be answered. But will they ever be? When crony capitalists are holding critical positions in the administration and making money while suppressing any objectivity in decision making?

Are we waiting for an Arab Spring or a Hong Kong type uprising? Has not this ‘Wonder of Asia’ been through such experiences before, sufficient for a century? Did not certain worthies complain to the human rights bodies in Geneva at that time, setting the pattern for today’s crises? Do we not learn the lessons? History repeats itself for those who do not bother to learn from the lessons of the past.

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Latest comments

  • 2
    1

    Satya-Yuga 4,800 years,
    Treta-Yuga 3,600 years,
    Dwapara-Yuga 2,400 years and
    Kali Yuga- 1,200 years
    Total = 12,000 years

    MR is the unfortunate man who fell into the last loop of Kali Yuga. He messed up everything under his control as a victim wrong advice. He did not paid any attention to these dangers befolling on dishonest rulers around the world to be careful. (not using the head). Likewise, he created another New Yuga of own called Moda Yuga for 5 years of which he is spending the last 3 months now.

  • 7
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    Waiting for the people to rise will not work in this debacle of Asia.

    It is up to the opposition to get on the streets and risk some bodily harm if they are genuinely interested in saving this Country.

    • 2
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      Couple of months back, some guys started international petition against BBS Gnanasara (after Aluthgama incident). I forwarded the request to about 100 Katubedda/Pera University graduates friends who were in middle age. I only got 5 positives responses (Christian Sinhalese) saying they signed the petition, none of Sinhalese Buddhists I sent the link signed the petition against BBS.
      Arab spring , Hong Kong or Thailand style protest would not come from Sinhalese-Sri Lankans.. (It is our fate, Karume., so what to do Ane!)

    • 0
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      Can’t imagine Colomboans(e.g.) taking to the streets risking bodily harm to overturn things. They have to rest assured that their newly betrayed exclusive circles will move them into greater profits once the masses have been given the chance to utilize the spill-over wealth.

      Sri Lanka has a marvelous work-force. Even the ones that went to ME learned the work the hard-way, and are now poised to take on the challenges of living in-country and working within the new system flushed with the China pervasiveness.

      This is quite different from the laid-back Arabic and Pakistani lifestyles, and the discrimination-of-the-masses heritage of India. The military oligarchy of Thailand can be compared to the military oligarchy of the US where jobs are specially created for the military establishment. Comparatively, Sri Lanka’s population are of a higher educational level. Lankan ingenuity is widely known,it seems.

      But we will hope the current regime will take heed and involve more of the oppositional voice. A Unicameral government is quite ok. Rajapakse will win. Better for everyone to prepare for what is best for the country.

  • 2
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    Charitha

    Informative and fine. It will be good to compare TN 2014/15 and SL 2015. All the wonders that JJ is doing are with post-dated cheques(bribes)encashable in fiscal 14/15. They amount to 53.3% of the state’s own tax revenue of Rs 918 billion.

    MR is opening the floodgates for fiscal 2015. Are the flood waters less than 53% of SL’s own tax revenue?

    Good for you to enlighten the readership

  • 3
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    I admire you for publishing your thoughts. India is going in the right direction. By electing Modi 5 months ago, indians are trying to fix the years or wrong doing. Sri Lanka has a lot to worry about in comparison e to India.

    India has fiercely independent press, election commission and a Supreme Court. Sri Lankan has none. These elements are necessary for a vibrant democracy. Indian politicians are corrupt but the the bureaucrats are largely honest. In Sri Lanka, both the elements are corrupt. I am hoping that Modi will fix these even though it is not going to be easy. The elimination process has to start at the top. Indian administrative service is already shaken up. Sri Lanka has a corrupt Central Bank governor which is unheard of in most countries. Indian Reserve Bank has some of the top professionals in the country. They always had.
    The government controlled banks in India like SBI are listed in the Mumbai Stock Exchange. They are answerable to the public shareholders and if they do not perform well the stocks will be punished. It is true that some politicians have used them as their piggy banks in the past. I do not think Modi will allow that going forward.

    Sri Lanka’s corruption has to stopped at the top. It has become inherent to the culture today whether it is in the government or the private sector. The longer it takes to fix it, the larger the damage it will inflict on the society.

    Sri Lanka’s external debt is creeping up as the country continue to invests in unproductive assets (ports, airports and airlines etc.) Eventually the currency/ the economy will pay a price for that if it goes unchecked (remember the Asia Crisis?). It is beautiful and will keep the SL interest rates low when the foreigners come and by SL treasuries. It will be rather painful at the first sign of instability when they start selling the treasuries and head to the exits.

  • 3
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    “Are We Waiting For An Arab Spring Or A Hong Kong Type Uprising?”
    A Ratwatte Imagination running riot and a Dream………..

    Dreaming of destroying the country in a smilar manner Velu Bab did.
    Known devil is better than the unknown at this juncture.

  • 8
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    Let alone Arab Spring, I don’t think even Hong Kong Style Sit down will take place in Sri Lanka.

    In my opinion Sri Lankans lacks discipline, we are not united, we do not communicate with our fellow citizens effectively, we are very good at treating foreigners but we always look at our own countrymen with a suspicious mind.

    What did recent university students do ? instead of sitting down and showing dissent they wanted a quick solution by storming the Parliament building which was met with as expected excessive force, instead they could have taken collective approach to engage the masses. (Lack of unity is the problem)

    We know only one route that is violence even to settle a simple altercation. MR Gov is fully prepared and they will not hesitate to use maximum force to quell any kind of protest. If it is peaceful MR will ensure with their goons violence is unleashed.

    Only way out in Sri Lanka this my humble opinion is by VOTE, again lack of communication and inability educate the masses effectively hampering the voter swing towards a just governance.

    How did R. Premadasa won with a land slide ? It’s about communicating the message to masses.

    • 0
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      Afzal,You have made a mistake with Premadasa. It is a fact that Premadasa provided a vision, implemented a part of it -One million houses.That vision of Premadasa carried with him the electorate. Prior to that, as a junior Minister he started installing the prefabricated bridges.That was unique and sat well with villages covering small streams.That was not Premadasa’s invention. Prefabricated structures were one of Engineer A.N.S.Kulasinghe’s development.That brought Premadasa into political prominence with the masses.What brought Premadasa into the presidency were two other factors.(1) He made JRJ mortally scared of his life. The parliament Bomb, the killing of Kuliyapitiya MP Jayatilake and Galle MP GVS de Silva ensured that JRJ was deadly scared to act against him.The two MPS proposed and seconded that JRJ should go for a third term.(2) The 1988 Presidential election was well and truly fixed. Mrs B whose upbringing and culture -educated at St Bridgets and not at Sancharachchi gardens did not stand a chance. Premadasa was, in present day language a street fighter.Mrs B was not.

  • 1
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    Dilma Fernanado spent nearly a Million bucks to sponsor a horse race in Melbourne last weekend.That is Aussie Dollars.

    It is just one race out of 10 for the day as I understand, Dilma Fernando would have spent another few hundred thou , entertaining his crony capitalists in Australia.

    But no records of Rajapaksas or their relos drinking Bubbly and eating Tasmanian Salmon Sushi in Dilma Marquee.

    At the same time Colombo Elite were at the Hilton ,eating Bratwurst and Kartofell Chips and drinking German Pilsner to celebrate the Oktoberfest.

    Again there are no sightings of any Rajapaksa siblings or their girlfriends among the party crowd.

    Now, would these people throw away their Pilsners, to pour on to Chattam Street and Torrington Square to join Charita Ratwatte, even he manages to persuade the UNP to organize an Arab Spring?.

    Keselwatta Kid is the only UNPeer who can call up a few of his mates in his dad’s old turf

    But would he do it, when he has to front up to the Sinhala Buddhist Dalits to contest from Matara?.

    Ravi apparently was apprehended with 4 mates who are MPs , including one Yogarajan, for breaking in to the Defence Training Centre of the Port Authority.

    Wonder whether this was an attempt to steal the secret details of the Nuclear Powered Chinese Sub.

    Or it is a trial run for breaking in to our Defence Force Stations if an Arab Spring springs up.

    With the Reverend and Surendran declaring that they are now totally aligned with the TNA and hence the UNP, what Yogarajan was doing there is a worry.

  • 2
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    Mr. Ratwatte, is it your innocence or the ability to forget the bad past that made you write this.The story is the same be it India or SL.I am now in my mid seventees. From my teenage days, I have been hearing these stories.At that time these stories did not envelop the country’s leader. The stories about the leaders started to emerge only after 1977.One of the subjects ping pointed in these columns was the fate of the state owned Fertilizer Manufacturing facility and how the imports ended with people connected with the presidential secretariat.How lands owned by the LRC were given to cronies.Remember the coconut land at Putlam.
    This story had been repeated ad nauseam since 1977 with no exception and increasing by geometric progression.

    The causum for this state of affairs must rest on the pirith noole brigade who will subvert the Buddha’s teachings for a free Benz car and now SUVs.

    I do not believe that there will be a Arab Spring in SL.People who could have stood up were eliminated since 1987.

    However I have great trust in nature. Mark my word, in a few years, the people from the NCP, East and the SE of this country will have to move toward the centre and the western areas. Then only the fun will start.No army will be able to stop them.To them it will be Libertad ad Muerte.With that will come the projected rise in the sea level by 7 meters.May all of us attain Nibbana by then

  • 1
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    http://www.voltairenet.org/article185085.html

    Mr. Charitha Rathwattha:

    Read the above article and see who wanted Arab Spring. Then decide.

    Hong Kong what ever too, problems of the capitalism and western influence both together.

  • 3
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    With regards to the Arab Spring, the Arab people who lived under the dictatorships of Ghaddafi et al obtained FREEDOM FROM their respective dictators’ rule. But for the most part the people did not obtain the FREEDOM TO exercise the benefits of democracy – freedom to speak ones opinion, freedom to read a free press, freedom to associate, freedom to have and join political parties and democratically oppose the government, freedom to practice ones religion, freedom to vote etc.

    To expect western style democracy, which took centuries to evolve in the west, to take root anywhere overnight is unrealistic. It might take decades. All the long standing dictatorships had ensured the total dismantling of all forms of good governance – independent public administration, independent police, independent judiciary etc. Once those were gone and the dictator ruled supreme, there was a huge vacuum below the dictator and his immediate family and cronies. Therefore, when the dictatorship collapses (as all dictatorships do) the vacuum can only be filled by other thugs and lunatic fringe religionists as the liberal educated classes have been liquidated a long time ago. We saw this time and again as the Soviet Union and its vassal states in Eastern Europe, ruled by dictators, collapsed one by one. Very few have achieved anything like a western liberal democracy model in the full sense yet, nearly 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Empire. The lesson for all countries and citizens is that the longer a dictator is allowed to carry on like that, the bigger the vacuum and the more chaotic the transition. Hence the absolute need to oust them as soon as possible.

    Once upon a time, Sri Lanka was fortunate to inherit the checks and balances of the Westminster style of democracy that had evolved over many centuries in Britain. But a few short years after the British left we began to meddle with it and restrict the freedoms ‘TO’ in many ways. Mrs B not only threw it all away with her republican constitution but also ruled for seven years under Emergency Law which effectively over-rode even her own constitution. Then JR decided to do his act. The one good thing about the JR constitution was that it made violations of Fundamental Rights justiciable, and any citizen could challenge the government if his or her fundamental rights were violated. JR did not like it very much but allowed that law to continue. Chandrika did not like it at all and soon installed her own puppet CJ who simply refused to hear the majority of citizens appealing to the Supreme Court. She eve went to the extent of proroguing Parliament to save her lacky CJ from impeachment. Of course he later stabbed her in the back and then stabbed the whole nation in the back in the ‘Helping Hambantota’ case. But that’s another story. MR has been even more blatant and got rid of his own puppet CJ who questioned just one ridiculous law which gives carte blanche to robbery of state funds under a smokescreen called Divi Neguma. Now we have a totally subservient CJ and no one can hope to get any justice from the judiciary.

    In that scenario, talking of eliminating corruption is a futile exercise. The corrupt are at the very top of the heap and control everything including the politicised military, politicised police, politicised public administration, and politicised judiciary, not to mention the extra-judicial white vans. The only hope is a Sri Lankan spring as elections are and will be rigged. The near vacuum that has been created below the ruling family can still be filled with civilised people. The individuals who manned independent public institutions – military, police, public administration, and judiciary are still alive and so at least a modicum of good governance can be established fairly quickly. But the clock is ticking to a point of no return.

    In conclusion, look at the terminology of deterioration.

    First of all, at Independence, had a world class public service called the Ceylon Civil Service (CCS). Note the words ‘civil’ and ‘service’. The CCS fielded the best educated in the country and ran the Ministries as Permanent Secretaries (note the word ‘Permanent’) and ensured the AR and the FR (Administrative Regulations and Financial Regulations) were strictly followed. Under the Permanent Secretaries there were the Public Servants. Note the words ‘public’ and ‘servants’. Those core words, ‘civil’, ‘service’, ‘public’ and ‘servants’, said it all.

    Then Mrs. B, like other rulers to follow, wanted subservient individuals in all the Ministries. First of all she did away with the CCS and its Permanent Secretaries. She then had politically appointed impermanent secretaries under each Minister, and those ministry secretaries’ loyalties were to the ruling party and the ruling individuals, not to the country as a whole. Gone was the word ‘civil’ and instead we had the Administrative Service or the SLAS.

    Next we changed the terminology for the rank and file workers in government. They were no longer Public Servants (i.e. servants of the taxpaying public) but were now called Government Servants, i.e. servants of the government, meaning the politicians.

    The destruction was complete.

  • 0
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    In my view that Charata Ratwatta what that people who are believed in traditional values of school of thought ,which such ‘Arab Spring’ that strict interpretation of the democracies’ are mentally disturbed, that is unacceptable our society as whole.

    In view of the present psychology of orthodox conservatism ‘Spring’ Arab by Ratwtta of his theses core of political neo-Liberalism is a mode of resistance to change regime by encourage uncertainty our ongoing democratic social order.

    The type of ‘Spring’ change linked that turn into ‘fear’ ‘aggression’ and ‘intolerance of ambiguity’ that motivated Social Cognition by Ratwatta that undermine recently, won Peace and Stability of
    Sri lanka, which after end of War of terror 2009 May led by MR ruling alliance.

    So in addition have to being identified ‘Spring’ that ground as potential TERRORIST that created anti-establishment movement, which undermine Republic Constitutionalist Democratic are now danger of being diagnosed by mental disorder Conservatism politics of UNP.

    The ‘Arab Spring’ is a single motivational syndrome advocated by Chritta Rawatta of political conservatism of Neo-Liberalism. And what should done with political conservatives suffering ‘spring’ from that motivated regime change social cognition?
    In the theory of political ‘Spring’ as in everything except civilization or culture there is a collapse of present order.
    That IS wrong predication by Ratawatta version of ‘Spring’.

    All power Country like Sri lanka, that is ultimately derived from PEOPLE. The people delegated power to President and Parliament as secular matters of democracy .The ‘Arab spring’ that expression political disorder founded that become a naked power struggle for politicatcs . This type of unsuccessfully game of politics so-called ‘SPRING’ that undermine on going Political, Economical and social RENANISSANCE came into being recently since 2009 May.

    All NATIOANL MOTIVES, ECONOMIC MOTIVES AND BUDDHIST MORAL MOTIVES OF CIVILIZATION WILL LEADS TO THAT ALL COMBINED TO STRENTHEN, WHICH SRI LANKN SOVEREIGNTY, DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPEMNT PATH OF SUSTIANTABLE CAPITALISM TURN INTO REALITY.THE EFFECTS OF THIS CHANGES WERE REALLY MOMENTOUS.

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