17 September, 2019

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Good Governance On hold?

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Affairs, referring to the controversy surrounding the Central Bank bond issue of February 27, 2015 (i.e. allegations of insider trade where Governor Arjuna Mahendran is on the spot over his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius making quite a packet within a few days) pats his Prime Minister and party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on the back for appointing a 3-member committee to investigate relevant allegations. He says ‘good governance is about due process (and) should apply to all, those in the previous government and the current one.’

Indeed. Wrong is wrong regardless of identity and affiliation of wrongdoer. It is a welcome direction-change from previous governments which have almost exclusively probed ‘past crimes’ while sweeping under the carpet allegations directed at them. There is a problem however in backdating investigations only to allegations made since January 1, 2012. That’s pretty arbitrary. But that’s only one of the problems. To understand the politics that frame the issue and to make a proper assessment of Harsha De Silva’s ‘graciousness’ on has to bring in other elements of the context.

First we have UNP’s General Secretary Kabir Hasheem in a chest-beating frenzy, threatening to take to the streets if Parliament is not dissolved by April 23, 2015. ‘It’s a campaign promise,’ he screams. True. He need not scream. Even a whisper would be loud enough if he has been as vociferous about electoral reform. As things stand what we are hearing from his party is, ‘elections now, reforms later (maybe)’.

By giving the investigating panel a wide mandate (wide in terms of time period to be reviewed) the UNP can, theoretically, can hope for damage control. It’s a long period to cover. No one will blame the panel if it takes a few months to come up with a ‘comprehensive report’. And if they can’t do it before April 23, then the UNP will not have to deal with flak. Convenient.

Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association, an early beneficiary of the election result and a man who was associated in a case against Mahendran’s predecessor now says that his association is selective about which corruption cases to champion. Jayasuriya is a staunch supporter of the party. We can leave him alone. Far more serious is the identity of the investigating panelists. It is made of three lawyers, none of them of any great distinction. All of them are associated with ‘UNP Lawyers’ Collective’. They are to investigate, let us not forget, a matter in which the accused is said to have used for the transaction a state bank chaired by another (and more prominent) member of the UNP Lawyers’ Collective!

This is a matter of urgency. The panel has to make a determination on this particular issue right away because the Central Bank Governor is implicated. The man has serious responsibilities. His actions have serious and far reaching repercussions, ‘good’ and more crucially ‘bad’. If he’s under a cloud, it spells dark days for the entire economy.

We are talking about a case where one dealer puts in bids to buy so much when the capital required for such a transaction is way beyond the particular bidder and a state bank is used for the purpose. It is a massive naduth haamuduruwange baduth haamuduruwange (that’s Sinhala for grand insider deals) made even more scandalous by getting friends to pass judgment on it all (at their convenience!).

Enough. This is not the Rajapaksa Regime. This is the yahapaalana dispensation. Good governance is the signature theme. There’s way too much ‘shadow’ on the Governor for anyone to believe any ‘good’ will come out of it. He has to resign forthwith.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    0

    Malinda,

    I have to agree with you for once. You are right in this instance. Not that my acceptance of this article restores your credibility as an unbiased journalist but this is how you should have written exposing your MR and his government. The space on CT wouldn’t have been enough to cover all their wrongdoings but still you should have done it as we the public want journalists who report without any bias.

    Your comment that “Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association, an early beneficiary of the election result and a man………….” Is also right but that does not vindicate you for being heavily bribed (computer and all) by the previous regime to propagate their crooked ways and corrupt practices.

    I stand by the fact that I am a staunch supporter of this regime but If they are wrong I will not cover-up for them. In this instance they have messed-up big time and need to be told so which you rightly highlight in this article.

    • 2
      0

      Pot shot – you scored a bullseye!

    • 1
      4

      Malinda Seneviratne Mahinda Shill and white-washer,

      While it is good that you point out some of the shortcomings, they pale in comparison to the crude governance of your paymaster, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who wasted 5 years, and made such a mess, and all that time you, Shiil, was white-washing.

      What do you take on first? Corruption and Robbery or Criminality?

      Why not write about all those Crooks, Robbers and Criminals, who are still at large?

      What about the Coup? White-Vans? Your Caligula?

      Why wait to arrest the Master Criminal Gota? Didn’t he order the killing of Lasantha Wickramatunga?

      Gota to be arrested? Why delay?
      THURSDAY, 12 MARCH 2015 12:26

      Former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa could be arrested and investigations carried out for giving permission to establish a floating armoury to ‘Avant Garde’ company and for having transactions with the said company says Cabinet spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratna. He said investigations have been already carried out regarding the floating armoury.

      A decision would be taken as soon as President Sirisena arrives after completing his UK tour said the Minister adding an intensive discussion regarding the issue was carried out at the National Executive Council that met yesterday(11th).

      Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has been accused of several crimes. Former Minister Mervin Silva too filed a complaint at the CID with evidence. Mr. Mervin Silva accused Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa of being involved in several crimes including murder and abductions committed during the Mahinda Rajapaksa government.

      http://www.lankatruth.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8530:gota-to-be-arrested&catid=42:smartphones&Itemid=74

  • 3
    3

    Malinda – How come you didn’t realize that ‘good governance’ was virtually nonexistent under MR. against whom you had barely anything critical to say? None so blind…???

  • 1
    3

    Malindaaaaaaaaaaaa.

    “Naduth haamuduruwange baduth haamuduruwange” .

    Why Do You Forget So Soon!.
    They say You are an Educated Person, But it cant be?.
    You are afraid to call a spade a spade?. Don’t you?
    and do not have self respect like Uneducated Jarapassa Clan?.
    Are you suffering from same syndrome as your Patron Mahendaran Jarapassa??.
    F king is telling “I have no memory of all those”, like Kudu dumiya.

    That Should be Because, Educated and Suffered People of Sri Lanka Gave a Good slap and spit on your F king’s face.
    So Bugger Forgot every things and Now trying to come over the trauma.
    They are the clan Who practiced that, “Naduth haamuduruwange baduth haamuduruwange” and Did Inside dealing with Central Bank CABBA.
    All afraid of facing the World,
    but You all have No shame at all. Don’t You Malinda?.
    Now Do not try to do BABA HUKUN.

  • 5
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    Amazing arguments in the comments!! The previous Government was worse therefore bad governance by the present regime should be tolerated. One would think that ‘good’ governance is an absolute.

    • 2
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      Lynx – that’s pretty ‘iffy’ logic, is it not?

      Bad governance should NOT be tolerated, regardless of the performance of what went before. There was no comparison drawn between the two. My comment was reflective of Malinda’s ‘objectivity’.

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