22 October, 2020

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Due Diligence On All Fronts

By Malinda Seneviratne –

Malinda Seneviratne

There are rules forced on countries through covenants signed or arm-twisted into signing. There are rules forced on rulers through constitutions.  There are rules forced on people by laws enacted by representative bodies.  Then there are customs or sirith, those handed from generation to generation by way of cultural ethos that speak of propriety not necessarily right and wrong in the eyes of the law.

Laws, if they are to work, need to be comprehensive and clear with attendant mechanisms that obtain compliance. Sirith are less robust but given that they are the product of many centuries and are embedded in life practices, customs, belief systems, language and metaphor, must be counted as necessary and useful support systems for legal frameworks that are not out of tune with culture, heritage and relevant philosophical predilections of a given society.

In the first instance, then, we are hampered by a disjuncture between law and sirith.  Be that as it may, one thing is clear, sirith tend to look after themselves and the relevant society, but greater diligence is required in the case of laws.

About ten years ago, Dr. Sasanka Perera, Sociologist, wrote about various Christian organizations with dubious agenda entering the country by using the Companies Act.  Some even had BoI status at the time.  If ‘god’ is business, then of course we are at ‘Anything Goes’.  What is pertinent is the larger issue of loopholes.  Put another way, we are talking about inadequacy and flaw leaving room for all manner of racketeers, local and multinational, to bypass screening mechanisms or worse purchasing of the approvers directly and indirectly.

We saw this in the controversy surrounding contaminated milk powder.  Fonterra was deliberately dragging its feet in clearing the shelves and that’s bad.  What’s worse is that the health authorities seemed intent on outdoing Fonterra in efforts to a) keep people in the dark, and b) taking prompt and precautionary action.

The protests over contaminated water in Rathupaswala and other places make people wonder if the relevant authorities have the will and the resources to make sure people are safe from industrial pollution.

Is the mad rush to woo investment making relevant authorities turn a blind eye to the environmental costs which, in the final instance, the people have to pay by way of disease and death?

We can safely say that diligence was at zero when policy makers of an earlier era placed bets on the Green Revolution and chemical inputs.  The WHO report on arsenic was scandalously suppressed and when it did come out, results were found to have been averaged out so that permissible levels do not appear to have been exceeded, even though a distribution would probably show that certain communities are at severe risk.  We know that Fonterra has indulged in unethical advertising and has ‘placed’ representatives in approving/disapproving bodies such as the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka, ‘purchasing’ support by way of sponsorships and other payments both to individuals and organization.  We know that hundreds of doctors double up as drug-peddlers and product promoters.  We know that policy makers, scientists, state authorities, academics, advertising agents and sections of the media have colluded time and again to cover up gross violations of environmental safety standards by fly-by-night multinationals and even established corporates.

We lack the laws, we lack the vigilance.  And it is a problem that plagues all spheres.  For example, we don’t screen those who seek our vote.  We don’t demand that the elected stick to mandate.  We don’t punish those who err.   We don’t question the approvers, we don’t watch them and examine credentials.  This goes for approving agencies as well as the self-appointed grandmasters of ‘civil society’.

Where is the diligence? There’s not much of that.  Who is diligent? There’s not too many of those.  The most alarming fact is that those who are required to be diligent also warrant exercising diligence over, media included.

It boils down to the citizen.  If the citizen doesn’t make a person decision to be vigilant, to educate him/herself, raise questions, exercise caution and so on, then it is guaranteed that he/she will be the knowing or unknowing recipient of poisons, the unnecessary, bad policy and other kinds of violence.

An alert citizen will recognize other alert citizens.  An alert citizenry will trump and arrest the errant official, pernicious corporate, unethical advertiser and greedy product endorser and brand ambassador.  Our systems are flawed and our officials lacking in integrity.  We have been negligent and therefore complicity in the debacle.

There’s no way around it though. We have just one option: diligence.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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    This a direct quote from this lackey of the Rajapassa:
    “We lack the laws, we lack the vigilance. And it is a problem that plagues all spheres. For example, we don’t screen those who seek our vote. We don’t demand that the elected stick to mandate. We don’t punish those who err. We don’t question the approvers, we don’t watch them and examine credentials. This goes for approving agencies as well as the self-appointed grandmasters of ‘civil society’.”
    This is unmitigated BS. The people who, literally, pay you are running a terrorist government THAT IS DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS STATE OF AFFAIRS and you expect “us” to do something about what they have put in place and are maintaining by every crooked means in the book, backed up by guns?
    Is your hypocrisy and insult to the intelligence of those reading CT without ANY boundaries, you ……..?

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      Spot on Yako! This MS Bullshit artist points a finger at everyone but his paymaster and the biggest CULPRIT – the uneducated and corrupt Mahind Rajapakse and his family and cabinet of crooks that lacks the EDUCATION AND EXPERTISE to do due diligence.
      Rajapassa and his uneducated cabinet of corrupt clowns hate professionals and qualified people with expertise who can show them up.. All qualified and educated people are leaving Lanka because only corrupt Rajapassa cronies are able to work in the Debacle of Asia…

      The so-called Minister of Health is a corrupt and criminal rogue, whose brother has grabbed State land and built a massive hotel (Sudu Araliya) on watershed reservation land in Polonnaruwa). ANd now to cap it all, Basil Rajapassa aka. Mr ten percent, who not phased by the Debacle in Rathupaswella is about to create another ENVIRONMENT and DEVELOPMENT DISASTER in Gampaha – by getting the always breakdown Chinese company that built Norochcolai Plant to build a resavoir and divert WATER to Gampaha! What a frigging

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    Jack Ass

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    “About ten years ago, Dr. Sasanka Perera, Sociologist, wrote about various Christian organizations with dubious agenda entering the country by using the Companies Act. Some even had BoI status at the time. If ‘god’ is business, then of course we are at ‘Anything Goes’. What is pertinent is the larger issue of loopholes. Put another way, we are talking about inadequacy and flaw leaving room for all manner of racketeers, local and multinational, to bypass screening mechanisms or worse purchasing of the approvers directly and indirectly.”

    Please comment on Packer the casino king. Is he God?

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    Dear Mr.MoleLinda SeneviRotten,
    Why don’t you advise your Mafia Boss Mara and his Under Boss Attila the Goat to leave the United Nations and turn this country into a hermit KingDumb like North Korea?
    After that his royal highness and his royal family will never have to worry about hoo man rights or genocide charges…and then this cuntry could strive to become the greatest demoCrazy the world has ever seen and maybe aim to become the masters of the universe oneday? Then you could wrangle a job as the Mafia Boss of Lake House with Rajfool AbeyKnickers as your Under Boss and you’ll could rename Lake House as the Ministry of Truth. Hudson of SLBC could rename it as SLBshit and SamaranaYaka could rename Rupavahini as MaraVahini and all the Mafia Bosses and the majority jackasses could live happily ever after…forever and ever.

    The End

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    The things that make up Malinda:
    1. Let me use the word “sirith” when the word “norm” would have been adequate, so that my Sinhala Buddhist credentials are worn on my sleeve.
    2. Let me peddle in misinformation – let me not say how the Gamapaha District Court has set aside the enjoining order.
    3. Let me hide my own role in supporting the misconceived attempt at saving foreign exchange in the whole milk food disaster.
    4. Let me misinterpret the law by insinuating that an organisation incorporated under the Companies Act is a “business” and take a swipe at Christian organisations. The Companies Act is a tool to grant legal personality – not all organisations incorporated under the act are “businesses” – but hey let’s sweep that under the carpet.
    5. Let me not exercise vigilance where it is due – e.g. the appointment of a crony as the Chief Justice under dubious circumstances, the white elephants that are being bred in Hambantota, the family cronyism that is prevalent, the Carlton empire, the junkets on which the ruling elite enjoy themselves, the somnambulist sons and fathers who cause embarrassment to the State on land and air, the ridiculous tamashas ….

    Malinda’s homilies are just hilarious.

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    Malinda – of what good is “due diligence on all fronts” when “all fronts” are being controlled by those to whom “due diligence” means nothing? Come on man, give us a fookin break!

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    We will do ‘Due Diligence’ a day after this rogue fake king is toppled. On that eve you would be rushing to Mattala to catch a flight to China along with other crooks.
    First thing we would do is cordon off the exits. So stay put Harvard joker.

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    A rather vague and airy fairy narrative that does nothing to resolve the issues the writer discusses. He seems to have said a lot without actually saying anything!!

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    At this rate,Malinda will be the next recruit to the Diplomatic Service.
    Already, there are quite a few like him there.

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      As I told earlier,
      this nutcase and Raja pal abeye are on the list for next depoly Mutt assignment.

      And Foreign ministry should be under Dr Kudu Mervin.

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    Percy Jilmart- I see coining,renaming,playing games with names is something you guys are great at.I haven’t heard any such ever.
    I go into fits of laughter.
    Really,are you guys joking or is this a way of showing your anger.
    It puzzles me.

    ex- MoleLinda SeneviRotten.
    Rajfool Abeyknickes
    and many more on every thread on CT.

    What is the end result?

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    Guys, Guys, spare the poor man!

    We all know that he is a pseudo-journalist passing on his pseudo-wisdom to the unwary.

    MS, my advice to you to escape these critics is take a break…. fly Mihin Air to a far-off land… and don’t come back!!

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