2 October, 2020

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On Believing One’s Own Sycophants

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

While there is no gainsaying the value of political supporters who fit the category of zealots in most circumstances, there is a “down side” to that equation for the Rajapaksa Regime that has coasted on such support for a long time.

The reason for such myopia would be obvious to anyone who observes the human condition no matter how cursorily.

In the last analysis, the truism that “If we don’t hang together, we will hang separately” is the bedrock of the movement to restore Mahinda Rajapaksa to his throne with all that entails.

There is absolutely no doubt in the minds of any observers of the Sri Lankan political and financial scenes that a very impressive web of absolute corruption has been built in a relatively short time, considering the extent and tensile strength of that web.

That the totality of the siphoning of public funds into private pockets may never be known is something that the very nature of the enterprise would suggest.

Mahinda Namal Wimal“Massive leakage” would be a polite term to describe what has occurred over the last ten years. “Haemorrhaging,” would probably be more accurate terminology. And that embezzlement of public funds has not been confined to any (privileged) stratum of the ruling clique. In colloquial terms, “every mother’s son” has been dipping into the public purse and I am talking here only of simple acquisition of government funds not of the more subtle “commissions” and “santhosams” that accompanied so much as the establishment of contracts, leave alone their execution.

To describe the (illegal) acquisition of the state’s wealth by private individuals as being on an “industrial scale” would not be an overstatement. On a local Pradeshiya Sabha level, I am aware that the most that will be spent on a particular road repair contract would be Rs. 4.7 million. The amount allocated for the purpose? Ten million rupees and this I was told by the Minister who claimed to have moved the funds from his Ministry’s budget specifically for that project. You do the arithmetic, dear reader, and take a guess as to where the “missing” 5.3 million rupees went.

What I have described is at, probably, the lowest strata of representative government in Sri Lanka.

People who are involved in this kind of criminality CANNOT afford a change to the status quo.

The veritable avalanche of objections to the establishment of the Financial Criminal Investigation Department has as its objective the prevention of the establishment of a tribunal, under established administrative and legal process, to deal with extraordinary levels of corruption. That some of the time of this tribunal which should have, logically, devoted its efforts to the larger thefts, was wasted on obvious forgeries and other scandalous (and criminal) conduct on a smaller scale is the unfortunate reality. This was, beyond argument, a very poor use of use of time and effort when there were bigger fish to fry.

The fact that pretty much the entirety of the judiciary had been systematically corrupted to an extent that had made it pretty much non-functional was the reality the SirisenaWickremesinghe government inherited and had to face. However, there was a need, identified by some of us, at least, to establish an array of tribunals within the bounds of established jurisprudence to deal with the mountain of illegality that the President elected on January 8th inherited. That did not happen for reasons best known to those who had responsibility to have done precisely that, beginning with Ministers designated with responsibility for “Law and Order,” no less!

Bewailing the fact that the horse is galloping into the sunset after those whose responsibility it was to have the stable door shut and locked is bloody cold comfort for the people of this country whose economic lifeblood has been drained by these political vampires. This is not being wise after the fact because there were many of us who were very specific in suggesting what steps should be taken to avoid this very calamity.

It is beyond dispute that the broad corruption of society and every element of administration and government has been to the detriment of a significant part of this country’s population. Unfortunately, the beneficiaries of that state of affairs do have, in comparative terms, critical mass. There have been enough crooks and their hangers-on to have significantly affected the decisions being made on a day-to-day basis in the matter of efforts to cleanse the Augean Stables of 21st Century Sri Lanka. The spread is from the topmost levels of the junta that ran this country up to the 8th of January down to some “catcher” at the Pradeshiya Sabhawa level. Every one of them knows that their days of illegal-cash accumulation might soon come to an end and, perhaps, more important, that there might be a price to pay for past sins. Can you think of a better glue to bind this little army together?

Many of those fighting to stay out of jail have already opened their purses to move bus-loads of people to public meetings in support of the Monarch seeking the return of his Throne. Their “generosity” in this regard is nothing but logical given that it could be a more-than-reasonable price to pay for a “stay out of jail” card and the prospect of losing all their accumulated loot into the bargain! These certainly could be desperate times for these bandits whose greed, in and of itself, would not have reduced their ability to see a rather dim future if they let anything resembling the “due process of law” proceed unhindered.

The surest way to ensure that their futures are not jeopardized would be for this army of crooks to bring back their patron(s). That would not only protect them from the sins of their recent past but have the added bonus of opening new vistas of theft with, perhaps, even greater impunity.

If the citizens of this country do not even now see what the future could well hold for them if they are found wanting in simple common sense, they will have nobody to blame but themselves for a calamity that will make the recent past, replete with butchery of incarcerated prisoners, look like a Sunday school picnic.

The collective Achilles Heel of this horde, however, is the fact that, by their very nature, those at the upper end of the pecking order feed on the smarm of those with a vested interest in maintaining their leaders. It becomes a vicious circle, the bonds of which are established at the expense of an accurate evaluation of the reality as the general population sees it. The miscreants and their hangers-on, perhaps due to some deep-seated psychological need, feed off each other with a “Machang, we are invincible and should not give in to any doubt on that score. Developing strategies that accept the possibility of the broad mass of the population of Sri Lanka wanting its pound of flesh for what we’ve done is nothing but defeatism and must be resisted at all costs.”

Of course there will be lapses, some of them based on established previous practices.

Whenever Sri Lanka was subjected to criticism of any kind, particularly by “the west”, Weerawansa and his buddies would respond in a dozen different ways. Mahinda Rajapaksa would hold up the metaphorically-whetted finger, check the breezes of public opinion and then announce the “official” position.

In a seeming return to that tradition of “covering every base with a different response” came the admission from Mahinda Rajapaksa that he had not only been aware of bribery and corruption among his horde on his watch but that he had knowingly overlooked such conduct. Now this is not some parent admitting that the apple of his or her eye was capable of being naughty. No, this was a clear and unequivocal admission of complicity in crime by one who, by his own admission, maintained files on those nearest and dearest to him politically. Not smart, by a long shot and an admission that has already begun to come back to haunt him thanks to the likes of Rosy Senanayake.

However, slip-ups of this kind are to be expected from those who seek to convince themselves of their invincibility even on the heels of a defeat.

But no matter how repulsive the glue that holds this horde together there is no denying how strong it is by its very nature. Remember, even if they have not heard it, they know, instinctively, that “Those who don’t hang together will hang separately!”

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Latest comments

  • 5
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    ah well writen article which goes to the depth of the prev regime

    but I’m worried really worried that CT’s resident scholar and Single Malt hero K A Sumanasekera alias ‘Athal Sumane’ wont like this article ;-)

  • 4
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    Emil van der Poorten –

    RE: On Believing One’s Own Sycophants

    “To describe the (illegal) acquisition of the state’s wealth by private individuals as being on an “industrial scale” would not be an overstatement. On a local Pradeshiya Sabha level, I am aware that the most that will be spent on a particular road repair contract would be Rs. 4.7 million. The amount allocated for the purpose? Ten million rupees and this I was told by the Minister who claimed to have moved the funds from his Ministry’s budget specifically for that project. You do the arithmetic, dear reader, and take a guess as to where the “missing” 5.3 million rupees went.”

    Sale Price : 10 million
    Cost of Project(COGS) = 4.5 Million

    Gross Profit =5.3 Million 53%
    ( Mark Up 5.5/4.7 = 1.127)

    Where did the Gross Margin go? To the Minoster and his cronies.

    Question: What was Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Cut on the Gross Profit? 20% 50%?

    Just Curious.

    so, if Mahinda does not come back, all this ‘business” is at Risk?

    MaRa MaRa chatu MaRa Amana MaRa Please come Back We need you- Please save Us— Mahinda Rajapaksa cronies and Baiyyo.

  • 1
    4

    Not only our inhabitant Guest Mr, Poorten , even the Elite rag Economy Next seem to be getting cold feet after the mammoth crowd in Anuradhapura.

    EN says Mangala’s ORAL front is under attack from Weerawansa, whom Mr Poorten seems to hate with passion.

    Mangala ‘s 5000 strong Youth Front is totally focused on giving oral support to the Batalanada Ranil’s UNP.

    They are campaigning orally all over the country, making our inhabitants come to the UNP.

    How cool.

    Despite Batalanada Ranil’s F…… CID grilling even Mrs Weerawansa, they haven’t come up with any charges , which even Yahapalana appointed AG or the CC would accept.

    Same goes for the ex First Lady.

    So much for the corruption which Mr Poorten is trying to pin on his political enemies.

    In contrast Singapore Mahendran and SIL did the biggest Heist at our Reserve Bank.

    Which is going to cost the Colombo Taxpayers , their children and even grand children big bucks for 30 years.

    And Mr Pooren is totally mum about it.

    Although one time Yahapalana supporter who was instrumental in bring unelectable cousin to become the PM , says the Cousin himself got Mahendran to organize the Heist to get funds for this Election.

    Mr Poorten surely must have seen it because I normally read only the Elite Rags in Colombo , because my Sinhala is a bit rusty.

    • 1
      3

      We think you have misunderstood their use of ‘oral’. It is meant to be in a total different context and is happening inside rooms.

      Oral and -nal is the usual thing within the current UNP.

  • 2
    2

    Despite the usual incomprehensibility of this stooge’s outpourings, there is the occasional glimmer of something that one can presume to understand. Unfortunately, those flecks prove, without exception, to be blatant falsehoods and/or fabrications.

    However, you can’t blame Sumaney for any of this because he is simply proving his mettle as a very apt pupil of his masters.

    • 2
      2

      Whose stooge are you grub?

      On whose behalf do you keep pouring your vile bile on every piece of paper you can find?

      Is the anger based on not getting the Rubber subsidy?

      We know you like a bit of rubber, wait, Kiriella will get back to you after August 18th.

    • 0
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      I am convinced that K.A Sumanasekera is the nom-de-plume used by the Rajapakses PR firm as not one person could be this gullible and keep ignoring even the admitted corruption by Mahinda Rajapakse. K.A Sumanasekera (or Rajapakse PR) name could be seen laughably rebutting every adverse fact published not only in CT but several others as well.

  • 1
    0

    Emil,
    You have sounded an alarm to stop a “tsunami.” That reminds me of an event just after the tsunami. FIFA had given a lot of funds through the Asian Football Federation to Sri Lanka also, among other things to build football stadiums in tsunami affected areas. SLFF had decided to build one in Kandy! Yes Kandy. I asked the Head of Asian FF whether he could divert the funds to the coastal areas in the North East and South. He eventually did but before he promised he mused that if Kandy was hit by the tsunami Sri Lanka would have been cleansed by the tsunami. Funny man!.

    Corruption in Sri Lanka is like a Flatworm. Cutting off its tail d Zoology class. No one, even MS, RW or CBK wants to smash the head of the Flatworms. I wonder why.

    • 2
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      n.ethirveerasingam:
      Thank you for one of your typically intelligent observations expressed with wry humour which makes it even greater reading!
      By the way, I’d really like to meet you in person if you’d send me an email providing the necessary contact information1

      • 1
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        Emil,

        I live only 10 miles NE of Halgolla, in Kandy town. Of course lets catch up sometime.

        Ishall email you.

  • 1
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    ah nice to see such a ‘scholarly’ response from our Single Malt H(z)ero Athal Sumane (K A Sumanasekera)

    Keep talking about the crowds Athal Sumane but let me tell you something,last week at a rally in Divulpitiya (near the famous Buddhist temple) where MR was not present but just juniors like Bandula and Udaya,all who went were given Fried Rice,Chicken,Brinjal Mojou,Dhal curry etc…..well when lunch is free who wont come for it but that does not mean they will vote for your paymaster Mahinda haahhahhaah

    Also on another note a Chicken Buriyani will cost at least Rs 250 at the cheapest joint so even at that rate who paid the bill for these crowds ?

    if such luxuaries were given for a meeting by Bandu boy and Udaya G then imagine the food and drinks at MR’s rally was it old arrack or Single Malt seems to be the question

    Also for a bunch of sinhala buddhists who talk like saints perhaps they thought Chicken was a Vegetarian dish when they served it to crowd in Divulpitya which is surrounded by famous Buddhist temples like Bellanwila,Rathanapitya and Borelasgamuwa

    over to you K A Sumanakella to reply or will it be a crabwalk as usual from you

    • 0
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      P. Lover,

      Fried rice, Chicken Curry Brijal Pahi, and Dhall curry sound bloody amazing.

      My mouth is already watering.

      Pleases tell me when and where the next one is.I might even bring my pocket flask with 200 ml Old Coconut.

      BTW don’t get disheartened yet.Your LTTE mate Sivajilingam has nominated for Kurunegala against Mahinda.

      He might poll the highest vote with the TNA supporters, Sira supporters and the UNP preferences.

      Do you know who Batalanda Ranil nominated for Kurunegala?

      Or sorry I got side tracked.

      What did they serve for Lunch in Katana?.

      Was it a three course meal in the Rest House because I didn’t see many faces even in the best shots which appeared in UNP rags.

      When your King Maker CBK’s name was mentioned, the booing went on for about 90 seconds in Anuradhapura

      Weerawansa in fact had to plead to the audience to stop,

      Just imagine when CBK mounts Raniil .. Sorry mounts the stage with Ranil and Mangalan.

      Mahendran and Alousious will have to get our Chef Pubilis to cook a special Take Out food parcel with at least a quarter bottle Molasses to bring the crows in.

      CTB buses which lined Baseline Road last time wouldn’t do this time.

      Mahendran probably will have to pay Gunasekara to hire his Yalpanam Coaches to bring the Elite and the Poodle Club members.

      Are you planning to join them mate?..

      • 2
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        @ Athal Sumane,please can you clarrify as to who pays for the UPFA meeting lunches and beverages and as Sinhala Buddhists is it ethical to serve chicken near so many temples?

        Pls explain without sidetracking

        You also say Guneserakea ( D S) runs a luxuary bus service to Jaffna and As far as I know Gunasekera is a Sinhalese man but your beloved boss Mahinda goes on stage to lie that Sinhala people are scared to visit Yalpanam so now im really confused pls help me mate so the logic is if Sinhala ppl are scared to visit Jaffna (which btw is a blatant lie) then how can D S Gunasekera run his bus service

  • 1
    1

    Ammata Siri………… Amarasiri ……………
    receive payment by the number of counter replies??
    Could you connect me to the source please to make a quick buck before the 17th……….
    Who pays better Mongol or………

    BTW Aamarasiri do not be a D/N service take a break or else money will have to go towards medical bills.

  • 1
    0

    The photo gives a very realistic depiction of a meeting of crooks conspiring to commit a series of outrageous acts on the citizenry!

  • 1
    0

    Where did the money go. There mjust be a trace on for fund mo0vement. We speak of money stacked abroad. We speak of money of the party collected from government sources. Government money spent on the Party. Massive money on commisions were channeled to the Party. This has to betraced. All Parties funds must be transperent.Payback for receipt allways follow to the loss of the People. MR from China, RW from USA, JVP from Korea are some accusations. Why silent. An appeal to court will reveal use of funds from the Corrupt.

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