23 September, 2017

Harsha de Silva: Are You Contributing To Instability?

By Amrit Muttukumaru

Amrit Muttukumaru

Reference your article published in the ‘Colombo Telegraph’ – “Sri Lanka’s Role In The Indian Ocean & The Changing Global Dynamic” you have shamefully IGNORED MY QUERY:

Open Quote

“How could you state:

“THE GOVERNMENT OF SRI LANKA HAS A CLEAR VISION OF WHAT IT WANTS TO BE IN THE WORLD TODAY”

when the yahapalanaya government of which you are a key minister demonstrably does not have the WILL to address the scourge of corruption and impunity in the country. This includes its own transgressions such as the alleged Central Bank Treasury Bond scams and the failure to introduce in parliament a credible National Audit Bill which was a major campaign promise.

After the January 2015 presidential election one does not witness the OUTRAGE demonstrated by you in its run-up which includes your press conference on 17 December 2014 in the presence of Eran Wickramaratne another Yahapalanaya minister where with a slew of files in tow you inter alia referred to casino, drug, ethanol MAFIAS and alleged MONEY LAUNDERING in locations such as St. Nevis & Kitts, Seychelles and Dubai.

Here is the link to your 17 December 2014 press conference. This must be a ‘new low’ for promises being reneged with impunity.

In the run-up to the elections you also referred to alleged unlawful EPF investments in the stock market.

Work on the ‘Colombo Port City’ project (now renamed) which you reportedly called “Colombo’s largest land scam.” in partnership with ‘China Harbour Engineering Company’ you alleged was “banned by the World Bank” from 2009 to 2017 is continuing.

What is the difficulty in pursuing these cases consistent with the rule of law if you have the evidence to back-up your claims?” CLOSE QUOTE

My question was raised in the ‘RESPONSE’ section of your said article in the ‘Colombo Telegraph’. Normally they are answered on the SAME DAY. You too have followed this practice in your response to Dr Laksiri Fernando vis-à-vis your same article. Whether he is satisfied is a matter for him. It is now FOUR DAYS since my query.

Stock Market ‘Mafia’

In relation to the then resignation of SEC Chairman Thilak Karunaratne you have reportedly commented – “regulator has been captured by the mafia”

I ask:

i) Should you not disclose the identity of the “MAFIA”? Please do so.

ii) What meaningful action did you take in this regard when you were Deputy Minister, Policy Planning and Economic Affairs under yahapalanaya?

iii) What meaningful action has Mr. Thilak Karunarathne taken in this regard after he was REAPPOINTED SEC Chairman by yahapalanaya in 2015?

Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva in conversation with Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Thilak Karunaratne

CA Sri Lanka Corruption

As far back as 4 November 2010 (Ref. my e-mail) I brought to your attention (not that this was needed!) of the miserable failure of CA Sri Lanka (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka) to hold the ‘Partners’ concerned of the two largest audit firms in the country – PwC & Ernst & Young accountable for the ‘open and shut’ case of professional misconduct in the fraudulent privatisation of SLIC (Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation) confirmed by (i) Supreme Court (ii) Parliament’s COPE (iii) Attorney-General and even CA Sri Lanka ‘Ethics’ Committee itself. This was to NO AVAIL! 

You are aware that CA Sri Lanka established by Parliament by Act No.23 of 1959 is answerable to Parliament.

In the context of the ‘Partnership’ Law in Sri Lanka where all ‘Partners’ are ‘jointly and severally’ liable for any wrongdoing will you as a PARLIAMENTARIAN:

1) DEMAND that CA Sri Lanka will forthwith disclose the IDENTITY of those who were ‘Partners’ of PwC and EY at least three years prior to 11 April 2003 which is the date on which the fraudulent SLIC privatisation took place?

2) WARN CA Sri Lanka that not holding the ‘Partners’ concerned accountable violates with impunity Section 17 (2) (b) of CA Sri Lanka Act of Incorporation?

How could anyone be sincere in combating corruption when chartered accountants and auditors who are the first line of defence against corruption in all entities dealing with financial resources are not held accountable?

Conclusion

By not meaningfully acting on your OWN EVIDENCE and PROMISES, are you not letting down the many people who believed in your apparent championing of good governance?

I request you in the PUBLIC INTEREST to provide CREDIBLE ANSWERS to the questions and issues raised herein.

The so-called yahapalanaya government with its own share of alleged terrible corruption and abuse is committing harakiri by its acts of omission and commission. The deplorable manner in which the alleged scandalous Central Bank Treasury Bond scam is handled with ENDLESS investigations and no meaningful action taken to hold those concerned under the Rajapaksa administration ACCOUNTABLE for alleged egregious corruption and abuse are prime examples. This has left the door wide open for a comeback by the Rajapaksa clan with its assorted hangers-on led by the charismatic Mahinda. This is in relation to the largely ‘colorless’ yahapalanaya leadership. One gets the sense that a large section of people are confused and despondent. The minorities feel let down. One thing is certain – the country is in for a long period of INSTABILITY. Have you contributed to this?

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Latest comments

  • 10
    2

    Another charlatan who took the public for a ride with
    his big talk .

    • 5
      2

      I think it is not their problem. The duo in leadership block one behind the other, so that these ministers cant face the people today.

      For some hidden reasons, all the facts have been kept aside. May be the due in leadership will expect somethign else. That is why the move of the current govt is that slow.
      Else, I dont think Dr Silva and Eran Wickramaratne are not honest. We need to raise the question to Mr Sirisena. As to why he stood against FCID s bold acts had been done by Mrs Dhilrukshi Wickramasinghe.

  • 10
    0

    These are two very promising people we have. Unfortunately both have made the wrong choice of CAMPING with the wrong Leadership and the “Venue.” That “Wrong Choice” itself shows their incapability of making correct decisions in all of their directions towards making Sri Lanka a better place. There are few more “Promising” young blood in that CAMP; but unfortunately all of them are not capable of breaking the “Barriers” imposed upon them by the “Leadership” and the “Party Discipline” rules.

  • 8
    1

    Harsha is not contributing. He is just watching while those who masterminded regime change are destabilizing the country. The game plan is:

    1.Use ‘Corruption’ and Good Governance’ as slogans to convince the voters that a ‘Change’ is desirable.

    2.After regime change is successful, increase the debt burden by encouraging the new government to borrow more.

    3.When the government is saddled with a ‘Real Debt Trap’, dictate the government what to do.

    Those who are behind regime change will not allow a stable economy/country to emerge.

    Harsha has told:

    “We’re not the same guys who used to tell you various things and then forget about it three days later… We want the world to know that we’re different—that we’re going to do what we say we’re doing.”
    –Harsha de Silva, Sri Lanka’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, to National Geographic (November 2016)

    Harsha, Is your government doing what they promised to the people or are they doing what the paymasters of the regime change are dictating them to do?

    • 5
      2

      What an idiot, that is why he was the key person to meet EU men latey in terms of final rounds of talks held in Brussels.

      Please check parliamentary hansard records, to get the fact, this man contributed as no other amidst the JVP praises.

  • 7
    0

    It is Ranil wickramasinghe’sFCID. Ranil wickramsinghe should have warned all subordinates to keep the mouths shut.

  • 7
    0

    Harsha De Silva.

    You posted an article here in CT.

    Why don’t you come and write a comment to this article.

  • 11
    3

    Harsha is nothing but a lot of big exagerated words and empty promises.. delivering nothing. .just horrible..!!

  • 6
    1

    Great work Mr. Amrit, keep it coming! As an accountant concerned with corruption, inequality and Accountability you would be interested in the Report on the Bailout Business by Amsterdam based Transnational Institute that names 4 accounting firms, Deloitt, Ernst and Yong, KPMG, Price Waterhouse that organize bailouts to benefit the Global 1 percent. https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/tni_bail_out_eng_online.pdf
    Sri Lanka is today being primed for IMF’s “BAILOUT BUSINESS” that benefits the global 1 percent and impoverishes the rest. Bond scam Ranil’s team of economic hit men (Ravi K. Malik, Eran, Harsha the Foot note man) follow IMF orders, and have made NO attempt to track Financial Crime and get back the funds looted by Mahinda Jarapassa family and money laundered to Singapore, US and Dubai or investigate Panama Papers to PAY OFF some of the massive National Debt of Sri Lanka. Rather, poor people have to pay more VAT taxes on a bill drafted by IMF.
    IMF and EU forced the Greek People to pay while the politicians and their business cronies who looted the country are living luxurious lives. Sri Lanka is following same model of money laundering some of the funds looted by Rajapaksa and cronies into real estate and tire factories. Hence the apartment building bubble in Colombo, in the absence of real growth and good jobs in manufacturing and services in the real economy.. Most of the looted funds including Bond scam monies are course is in Dubai, SIngapore and US. USA is the biggest hub for black money, where 60 percent of all real estate sales over 1 million USD are to shell companies. Long live the global 1 percent and IMF!
    Mr. Muttukumaru, Also check out the Kaiser Report on the “Never Ending Bailout Business” on RT.. Interesting stuff..

  • 14
    0

    I am glad that you mentioned Tilak karunaratne the chairman of the SEC.

    He is typical of Sri Lankan political adventurists and operatives.Karunaratne is said to be a successful businessman.

    I think he started politics in the SLFP then joined SL Gunasekera in the Sihala Urumaya in the 1990s. Later he went to the UNP under Ranil and became the treasurer of the UNP.

    It is obvious that he also had connections with Mahinda(MR)who had become President( in 2005). MR who had no idea about the stock market invited karunaratne to be the Chairman of the SEC. Although Karunaratne has been a successful businessman in the 1980s and 1990s he was no expert in stocks or capital markets.It is like asking Dasa Mudalali or Navaloka to head the SEC.But karunaratne left the UNP and took the job at the SEC under MR.

    At the SEC Karunaratne thought his main job was to investigate the various investors and kept harping on alleged rackets in the market.

    But the stock market went down alarmingly. MR who listened to some of the players in the market removed Karunaratne.After his removal an angry Karunaratne went around denouncing various investors as market manipulators and criminals.

    When the UNP came back into power one of the first appointments made by Ranil (RW) was to restore Karunaratne , now in his 80s as Chairman SEC.

    We all thought that the crooks and manipulators he could not bring to book under MR will now be charged and jailed.

    Now nearly three years later we see no action from our ancient Chairman.Stock market has had one of the worse runs in recent times( this we do not blame the confused Chairman )

    Another sad chapter in the way things are done in Sri Lanka.

  • 5
    0

    Muttu: Eran Wickramaratne the banker with Harsha, Bond scam Ranil’s foot note man, with NO DUE DILIGENCE, had hand picked the dodgy San Francisco Private Equity firm Texas Pacific Group or TPG (with advice from the right wing Millennium Challenge Corporation thats messing in Transport Sector in SL), to take over the failing Sri Lankan Airlines after it was looted by MR’s family and then Ravi K and the UNP before they moved on to loot the Central Bank.
    TPG planned to Cherry pick assets from the Carcass of all but dead Sri Lanka Airlines in what is called “Debt restructuring” aka. asset stripping, and sell the assets and transfer the funds to Caymenn Islands.
    Only TPG pulled out since it got into massive controversy in Australia trying to buy and asset strip Fairfax Media. Check out the story on Australian Broadcasting Corp: TPG’s past dealings with Myer offer some insight into how it may have proceeded with Sri Lankan Airlines offer: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-09/tpgs-past-dealings-offer-some-insight-into-fairfax-offer/8508310

  • 7
    0

    Amrit:

    To be honest and credible, there must be a backbone. Isn’t it unfair on your part to expect one on a lame Harsha. Harsha is a political beast, devoid of any shame on renegading on promises.

    As I had often mentioned, the former Singapore Premier had to once go after a dear friend who was a fellow cabinet member (Minister) for corruption and that is what he did. In Sri Lanka we have clowns who change their clownish faces when it suits them. To take the bull by the horns, one needs balls but that has been in very short-supply or even at times non-existent.

    Flagging a dead horse doesn’t serve any purpose Amrit. What makes you think that the bunch that is holding power has any right to take action? Those on either side of the divide are just shifting the divide when it suits them. They all belong to the same stock. If you scratch my back, I will scratch yours. Surely you must have heard that.

  • 8
    1

    Well said AM. Harsha has become another Mawbima blood sucker. Very tasty eh.?

  • 9
    1

    The collapse of this government is imminent. Politicians in the yahapalanaya are like any other politician of Sri Lanka-eager eyed and full of wisdom when in the opposition but completely blinded when in power. The people’s hope for change in 2015 has been dashed by these two faced monsters.

    MR and the JO will come into power not because of their strength but because of the weakness of this administration from a point of governance and corruption which are both rampant. The people hated MR for it and now they hate the Yahapalanaya government for what they do.

    Where do the peace and democracy loving public now turn to?

  • 9
    0

    These chaps are actors. Harsha thanked uncles and aunties in Kotte for voting for him and soonafter the victory posted a photo seated on an executive chair in a posh office. Shows his thinking shame on his PhD from US. Ranil and these guys have no interest in this country and are implementing Soros agenda through Millenium Cor. enriching their resumes dreaming that someday they will land a job at UN or a teaching assistantship at MIT or Harvard. Hope this becomes a reality. Poor Eran is no where to be seen. Managing the country is a different ball game not that easy as when you in the opposition shouting on every stage. Mara the village bumpkin will make the correct move at the right time.

  • 1
    0

    Maybe he has, but unable to implement!!

  • 11
    2

    I really wonder how and when Harsha got this doctorate!
    That is all,
    man talk like a jack ass. The other one sounds like a real thick skin justifying the car permits.
    And no achievements what so ever, at least a policy, law!

  • 2
    11

    It is not fair to attack this government. They are only 2 years in power. Ranil has been going around the world and marketing Sri Lanka as an investment destination. He is getting FTAs done and hoping to boost our economy. They need time. The corruption cases are complex and as Ranil says he wants to be 200% sure before the Rajapaksa’s are prosecuted, as otherwise they will appeal and get acquitted. At any cost we don’t want that Rajapakse again – what is the purpose of having nice roads and shady trees when there is no human rights and freedom of expression.

  • 2
    7

    Why ?

    We perfectly know it is not his problem to stay mum in the mentioned issue. But not to distablize the unity, they have to stay like that. Else, Dr Silva has been a genuine person as I know.

    We are no surprise the way you the ilk that would lick the balls of MR etal even today would ever know how one would complete a doctoral disertation.

    Besides, you Gunaratnam, has been a critique to all that have been longing Rajaakshe to be punished if investigations would bring the evidence.
    You are SHAMMELESS person, and have learnt nothing even if you abuse UK soil for your livelyhood.

    • 6
      1

      We don’t want genuine persons, We want politicians who bring solutions, not talking bull shitters.

      • 2
        4

        We dont want anyone else, but Rajaakshe, then only we can run our all illegal businesses.

        Lately, I happened to talk to a young chap in Ba wella, He was hell bent Rajapakshee, Asked how he earns his living.. His story revealed to me, was, he had the chances to hire his car for the IRAN invested project in that part of the country.

        Just because people rejected Raja last time, this young chap is very opposed to current govt.

        And one another said, current men dont pay smile.
        Then the others next to them said, it was no rains, and that is why they would hate Sirisena.

        And another, similar to the mind set of Srinath from London said, earlier we made all kind of illegal sand/soil business, but new govt blocks everything, so he hates.

        Then another man who was identified as a drug trafficker said, current men are unlike Rajaakshe, they would allow police to raid them, and so, he would never support current men.

        Then another old woman a relatve a PS leader in that area, would hate CURRENT men, since, the illegal businesses had been carried out by her son is now stopped, by current govt, and so they woudl hate.

        All the above men and women should be relatives of Srinath Gunaratnam from UK. Now you will get as to why the idiots back MR.

      • 2
        0

        Why cant you do some work by returning to Lanka ?

        From why you drop down are beyond all democractic nature. So I think you should better help the new govt or ground authorities for example getting the drug traffickers cornered.
        There they need intelligent people of your nature. Mr Srinath Gu

    • 1
      0

      This comment was to what Srinath has added.

  • 1
    0

    Muttukumaru,

    Thank you for the reminder of what Dr Harsha has become during the last years. Like many others I had high expectations.

    I hope that you will receive a reply from him.

    “THE GOVERNMENT OF SRI LANKA HAS A CLEAR VISION OF WHAT IT WANTS TO BE IN THE WORLD TODAY”

    when the yahapalanaya government of which you are a key minister demonstrably does not have the WILL to address the scourge of corruption and impunity in the country. This includes its own transgressions such as the alleged Central Bank Treasury Bond scams and the failure to introduce in parliament a credible National Audit Bill which was a major campaign promise.”

    They have a vision but it is not realistic and Dr Harsha must know it.

    I am one of the many thousands who follow Dr Harsha in Social Media. Unfortunately the updates and messages I remember from the last months are related to his traveling and being stuck in traffic yesterday due to drivers who “cheat”.

    I am sure that Dr Harsha is a very wealthy man and can take his family (wife and 1-2 teenagers paying full price) to USA and Australia using his own money. Then there are the domestic get aways to play golf etc.

    While his other followers may find all of this traveling normal I cannot stop thinking about how the majority of us live.

    How can a minister and a MP have enough time for all the private traveling?

    Is being stuck in traffic a good enough reason to tweet about it? Are we going to receive more of his “traffic alerts”?

    For some reason the other politicians I follow do not send similar “news”.

    As to “Sri Lanka’s Role In The Indian Ocean & The Changing Global Dynamic” I must confess that I didn’t bother to read it. I assume that it is another attempt to market a vision that will not work.

    • 5
      0

      Lone wolf, Harsha’s son was given a scholarship from the Presidents Fund to study in the US when Mahinda Rajapakse was President.

      It is no surprise no government wants to publish the list of beneficiaries from the Presidents fund !

      • 0
        0

        harry hatton,

        “Harsha’s son was given a scholarship from the Presidents Fund to study in the US when Mahinda Rajapakse was President.”

        I have not spent excessive time with the traffic alerts and pictures of Dr Harsha and his family traveling. You may be correct because usually he travels with his wife and daughter.

        “It is no surprise no government wants to publish the list of beneficiaries from the Presidents fund !”

        Please use RTI. I have until now believed that the fund is used for foreign medical treatment of the VIPs and some hand outs for the poor. Never heard of scholarships.

  • 3
    2

    Harsh has ruined his political career by sticking up for homos.

  • 1
    1

    In all fairness, this country needs a Prabhakaran type of a leader. Imagine what he could have achieved for Sri Lanka as a whole if he had been made the leader of Sri Lanka. For a start, he would have meant a lot for women, a much safer SL. Those corrupted politicians may have sought asylum in foreign countries or may have found sanctuary in the Welikada prison. May be the sinhalese politicians were dead worried that the “Prabhakaran contagion” may have undone their access to unimpeded grab and had to stop him in his tracks.

  • 2
    1

    National Audit bill in it’s proper form if passed, would have been the most important single legislation to eliminate or minimize corruption in every level of public service in this country. It is not a toothless act that is expected. Powerful National Audit Act and a commission are a must If we want to eliminate inefficiencies and corruption in the public sector. It is strange that such an important peace of legislation has been almost totally overlooked and neglected by the so called yahapalana government. Why the ministers and deputies are so scared of being audited independently? Come on Harsha, If you are genuinely honest you should give the lead for this Act. Will wait and see.

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