17 October, 2021

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Pakistan’s Hour Of Glory & Sri Lanka’s Hour Of Shame

By Rajeewa Jayaweera

Rajeewa Jayaweera

A five-member bench of supreme court judges in Pakistan, in a landmark decision, has disqualified Nawaz Sharif from the office of Prime Minister. Sharif’s disqualification is on grounds he lied of his assets during a corruption probe.   

The court has referred Sharif and his Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, his former accountant, to the Corruption Court.

Accusations against Sharif revolves around ownership of four apartments in Park Lane, a neighborhood of the wealthy, in London.

The Panama Papers, an unprecedented leak of 11.5 mil. files from the database of the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca, indicated Sharif’s three children Hussain, Hasan and Maryam owned three off-shore companies registered in British Virgin Islands, engaged in deals worth USD 25 mil. 

The Sharifs claimed, money had been obtained from the sale of a steel mill in UAE and invested with the former Prime Minister of Qatar. Rejecting the explanation, the supreme court constituted a high-powered team to investigate the matter.

During the course of its investigations, the team uncovered the fact, Sharif himself had been the Chairman of a UAE based company, Capital FZE, which he had not declared previously.

The supreme court ruling, disqualifying Sharif from holding office is based on non-disclosure of his involvement with Capital FZE in wealth disclosures, mandatory for all parliamentarians in that country. It is Sharif’s contention, assets being in his children’s names, he is not liable to declare such assets nor pay taxes on such assets.        

Despite corruption being endemic in Pakistan and democratic institutions weakened due to successive coups d’état since independence in 1947, Pakistan’s judiciary, in this instance, has demonstrated its independence and unwavering commitment to the rule of law. It has also upheld the principle, ‘no one is above the law’.

In what is perhaps Pakistan’s finest hour since independence, it joins the small and elite group of nations of Brazil, South Korea, Venezuela and USA to have disqualified a sitting head of state / government from office, for corruption. 

Mossack Fonseca notified its clients on April 1, 2016 that it had sustained an email hack. Pakistan’s Prime Minister announced his resignation sixteen months later, on July 27, 2017.

Back at home, we in Sri Lanka are still grappling with investigating the Central Bank bond scam which took place on February 27, 2015 resulting in the loss of over Rs 10 billion to the state coffers.

Twenty-nine months on, the scam is being investigated for the fourth time.

The first investigation by a committee of three lawyers with no experience in financial markets and instruments, appointed by the Prime Minister, found “no direct role” by former Governor of Central Bank in the transaction.

A second investigation by a special sub-committee of thirteen government and opposition legislators appointed by Committee of Public Enterprises (COPE) of the 7th Parliament was made irreverent when the President dissolved Parliament on June 26, 2015 no sooner report was completed.

The third investigation by twenty-five members COPE of the 8th Parliament established many irregularities in the bond auctions of February 27, 2015. The report recommended ‘legal action against former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and all other central bank officials who are responsible for the scam’. It totally debunked the ‘no direct role by Governor Arjuna Mahendran’ verdict by the Prime Minister’s original investigation team of three lawyers. Even though the report was agreed to by all COPE members, fifteen members (non-governmental) signed the report without footnotes whereas nine government members insisted on footnotes prior to signature. One member abstained. Government members resorted to many tactics to hinder the investigation. One of the worst offenders was a greenhorn first time parliamentarian and Deputy Minister. Suffering from a bout of amnesia, he recently challenged an audience and demanded all those present who had paid brides to municipal officials to get work done to own up without “pointing fingers” at others. The Chairman of COPE, a member of the official opposition in parliament claimed, he was to threaten by some members. The investigation report was finally made available on October 28, 2016,   

A fourth investigation by a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) appointed by the President is currently under way. During the current investigation, several questionable acts by former Governor of Central Bank, his son-in-law who was the major shareholder of the company which benefited from the bond scam and some Central Bank officials have come to light.  Some details unraveled by CoI have not appeared in the three previous investigation reports.

The President, for reasons best known to him, constituted the CoI with two supreme court judges which empowers them with investigative powers only. Three supreme court judges would have empowered CoI with more than investigative powers. 

A young woman, giving evidence before the CoI, recently claimed her luxury penthouse apartment had been rented by former Minister of Finance, currently the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Lotteries, for a monthly rental of Rs 1.45 million. The transaction had been executed by the former Central Bank Governor’s son-in-law. She has further claimed the same apartment had been purchased at the end of six months rental period by a company for a sum of Rs 165 million. The concerned Minister’s spouse and daughter are directors of this company.

The minister has not responded to date to summons issued by CoI, to seek clarification. Reasons given by the minister for not responding to summonses are; attending cabinet and security council meetings and parliament sessions. He obviously attributes less priority to CoI summons than to cabinet and security council meetings and parliamentary sessions which he misses regularly when travelling overseas on ‘official business’.

In this instance, the minister is considered innocent till proven guilty. However, the impunity with which he displays his arrogance stems from the impervious attitude adopted by the President and Prime Minister towards ministers and politicians under investigation for corruption.

This minister was charged for money laundering some time ago. Nevertheless, the good governance administration saw it fit to appointed him Finance Minister while he was under investigation. He was subsequently exonerated of charges.

If the President is genuinely desirous of expeditiously unraveling the bond scam, a directive to all Ministers and officials to respond to summonses from CoI regardless of other duties would be most helpful.   

The President recently accused the UNP, one of the two main coalition partners, of soft peddling corruption investigations related to the Rajapaksa regime.

All hindrances faced by corruption investigations and acts of omission amounts to state sponsored protection for corruption.

While Pakistan basks in its hour of glory, Sri Lanka has no place to hide in its hour of shame.

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Latest comments

  • 9
    2

    Rajeewa Jayaweera , —————————————————————————————————RE: Pakistan’s Hour Of Glory & Sri Lanka’s Hour Of Shame ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
    Sri Lanka not only had hours of shame, but years of shame since independence , courtesy of Para-Sinhala “Buddhism”. Not only that Monk Mahanama produced Mahawamsa, that was an insult to the Buddha. —————————————————————————————————————
    Besides, we have Mananayakas who have no shame, and of course the politicians have no shame ether,.and thee are 224 of them in the current Parliament!

    Do you think that the average IQ of Sri Lanka, 79, has something to do with that?

    • 7
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      Amarasiri

      Good to see you back in form.
      Are you alright? I mean physically.

      Rajeewa Jayaweera seems to think Pakistani history commenced only in July this year. Pakistani Judiciary rarely demonstrates its independence and activism unless of course the army is behind its decisions.

      “Pakistan’s Hour Of Glory & Sri Lanka’s Hour Of Shame”

      Since its independence Pakistani Army and its foreign friends have been running the country covertly or overtly. Pakistani Army has a history of failed wars and losing substantial size of land, funding and supporting terrorism, war crimes, ……………… What glory?

      • 2
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        Native Vedda, —————————————————————-

        “Are you alright? I mean physically.”–Amarasiri is all right physically, mentally and intellectually. Could be happier, if Mahendran or Alosius, would be kind enough to donate a Penthouse for Amarasiri’s positive inputs, —————————————————————————————————————————-
        //“Pakistan’s Hour Of Glory & Sri Lanka’s Hour Of Shame”
        Since its independence Pakistani Army and its foreign friends have been running the country covertly or overtly. Pakistani Army has a history of failed wars and losing substantial size of land, funding and supporting terrorism, war crimes, ……………… What glory?//————————————————————————————–
        Native Vedda, do you have some experience in evaluating the report cards of students? Some students excel in some subjects and perform horribly in others. What Rajeewa Jayaweera has done, is point out, how Pakistan and many others have managed to perform well in the subject of Judiciary, compared to Sri Lanka’s judiciary. While the overall report card for Pakistan may not be great, in part due to its violent birth and refugees, and division into East Pakistan (Bangla Desh), and several wars to claim Jammu and Kashmir, that is rightfully, Pakistan’s, and so far no plebiscite. ————————————————————————————
        NV, your loin cloth is contaminated by the Hindian ISI, and it is time you change the Hindian contaminated loin cloth. Despite all these challenges, Pakistan has managed to be a nuclear power, and produced a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. Certainly, Pakistan has quite a ways to go, battling Wahhabi-Salafi-Islamic Fundamentalist idiots like, the Sri Lankan’s who have to fight the low IQ Para-Sinhala “Buddhists”.

        • 5
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          “”Despite all these challenges, Pakistan has managed to be a nuclear power, and produced a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. /22

          Go on shaggy tell us more about harem harami syndrome.
          When uncle sam decides porkistan is not a necessity it will not exist.
          Uncle sam let russia and china survive the german and japanese onslaught. now who is still calling the shots but the white pirates of 1600AD – uncle sam.

  • 8
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    In Sri Lanka corruption is a qualification for public office.

  • 14
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    Mr Rajeewa Jayaweera,

    A crook is a crook. There are no niceties about it. Ranil with his ham-fisted cover-up and Ravi “caught with the goods” should resign; if not, made to resign. There are no two words about it. …………
    But my biggest bone of contention with you esteemed learned sons of Lanka is this,

    “the Central Bank bond scam which took place on February 27, 2015”

    All you learned gents forget the history of this whole shindig! It’s not as if Ranil and Mahendran walked in to the CB and said let there be corruption – like God said, Let there be light – and presto there was corruption! Without going into language hypergyrotics, the simple truth of the matter is, that the EPS is the biggest pot of gold in SL; bigger than the combined value of all the listed companies of SL! The great intellect who discovered this is Ajith Nivard Cabraal. Since this great discovery there had been systematic attacks on the pot of gold/EPF by the great protectors/lovers of the poor working-man to relieve them of their burden of a comfortable retirement. First, there were pump and dump schemes to trim the EPF of excess weight and keep it slender and comely. Then came Cabraal’s Einstein-ion discovery; to pay enormous commissions from the EPF (which is managed by the CB) to transfer money from one section of the CB to another section of the CB. Just brilliant!

    Perpetual Treasuries Limited wasn’t incorporated on the February 27, 2015. It has been doing “business” for a long time under Finance Minister Mahinand; Cabraal’s sister was also a director. Ranil is just the bungling bloody nincompoop who got caught with his pants down and now holding the baby. All the other clever smooth-operators got away with their loot. I just love it when you paragons of virtue, forgetting history, try to pin this on just one group, when all are crooks! How do you distinguish one group of crooks from the other? Any scientific methodology from you academics? :))

    ……… I know the Cabraals and the Aloysiuss ………. they are smooth operators. Whichever Sinhala party is in power they will bribe them – with whatever means – and make money to live the “Good Life.” I have no quarrel with them; I would have done the same. If fellow Sinhalese are only interested in eating “Kavum” who am I to stop them? …….. Let me also throw in a “Kokis.”

    • 4
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      Nimal Fernando
      You are missing the point. My piece if not about Ranik W, Mahinda R, Arjuna M, Nivan C or any others. It is about the possibility for the judiciary to remove a sitting Prime Minister from office. Another contributor has commented “Pakistani Judiciary rarely demonstrates its independence and activism unless of course the army is behind its decisions.” I beg to differ. The judiciary played a lead role in bringing back to office, suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as well as ousting former military strong man Parvez Musharaff. Pakistan judiciary, unlike ours, can not be easily suppressed. May I also point out, USA is a corrupt country. However, it did remove a sitting President from office for corruption which has to be acknowledged and appreciated.

      • 3
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        It runs to the tune of uncle sam the main contributor to pakistani coffers. Pakistan has no income otherwise and India would have captured it long ago. In the wars between india and pakistan many an american pilot was gunned down over kashmir.
        the puppet show.
        You are a heedless man.

  • 8
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    Sri Lankan people are being looted and resources are being sold off to sustain the super luxury lifestyles of its corrupt politicians – under the guise of unity government.

    Ravi Karunanayake and Ranil Wickramasinghe must be forced out of office, IMMEDIATELY and tried in open court, and put behind bars for High Crime against the people of Sri Lanka. So too Mahinda Jarapassa, his brothers and sons and Nivard Cabraal, Mahendran and Aloysius. Their assets should be confiscated to pay off some of the national debt/
    Diaspora crook Chita Ranjan Hullugalle, who has a US passport and bought apartments at Premier Pacific Apt. in Colombo 7 in 2015 with funds looted from Central Bank,(where Ranils’s Constitutional Crook laywer Shibly Aziz who represents Nimal Perera also owns apartments), is the mastermind behind the Perpetual Treasuries Bond scam. All this should be investigated. The UNP and US diaspora networks of corruption run deep – also with Kanage.
    There is ample evidence to indict Ranil and Ravi whose assets must be ceased to pay of the national debt. Ranil has sold off Hambantota to pay off debts accumulated by his corruption.

    The so called unity govt. that crook Kabir Haheem speaks of is a grand excuse for MEGA CORRUPTION by UNP and SLFP politicians alike.

  • 7
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    What happened to Sri Lankans named in the Panama Papers? That inquiry too was swept under the carpet by Ranil Wickramasinghe, with advice of his US backers the right wing Millennium Challenge Corporation MCC, IMF and World Bank that never mention Financial Crimes and Corruption as the reason for the massive National Debt of Sri Lanka. MCC, IMF and WB simply want to increase taxes on the poor who are forced to pay for the debt and crimes of the rich!
    Today we see clearly the nexus of corruption between UNP’s Ranil Wickramasinghe and SLFP’s Mahinda Rajapaksa, via the Buddhist Ministry crook, Avant Guard Scammer, Wijedasa Rajapaksha, was made Minster of InJustice to block investigations on Mahinda Rajapaksa and family- to sabotage Sirisena.

    Ranil’s corruption is also backed and funded by the US government’s right wing Millennium Challenge Corporation which also offered 1.1 billion of Fake Development Aid which will be consumed by its Fake development Experts at the same time that Ranil was selling Hamabantota to the Chinese for the same amount – 1.1 billion USD! What a circus of international and local corruption – all in the name of Development too!

  • 7
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    Rajeewa Jayaweera: “Pakistan’s Hour Of Glory & Sri Lanka’s Hour Of Shame”
    Sorry Rajeewa, Pakistan’s glory was short lived. The shameful period is set to continue.
    Pakistan’s ousted prime minister moved on Saturday to install his younger brother as his successor, less than 24 hours after he was forced aside in the wake of a corruption scandal.
    The ruling party that Nawaz Sharif headed until a court ruling disqualified him from office nominated his brother, Shahbaz, to eventually take over as leader – although he must first have to stand for election to the national assembly.
    Sharif also put forward Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a staunch ally, to serve as interim prime minister while his brother contests a by-election.
    Successive GoSL have been of questionable moral fabric. Allegations of corruption started from Xmas day tsunami of 2004. Mega scale corruption allegations kept surfacing. The bond scam is the first which got washed in public. This is sort of glory hour but to celebrate full glory all corruption allegations must be investigated.

    • 6
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      Mr Pillai
      In as much as move is already underway to appoint former PM’s brother as Prime Minister till elections in 2018, if it is constitutionally possible and permitted, it is not corruption. It is no doubt anti ethical. However, do bear in mind, it is no better or worse that what Sri Lanka did in 1958 even though it was not SWRD Bandaranaike who was responsible for his wife, hitherto a housewife, assuming party leadership and premiership. Though anti ethical, it was legal. That is the curse of dynastic politics prevalent in South Asia with Senanayakes, Bandaranaikes, Rajapaksas, Nehrus, Bhuttos, Mujibur Rahmans and Abdul Gayooms to name a few. That said, let us admit, what Pakistan’s judiciary has done in this instance and once before in August 2008 is commendable and yet to be equaled by our own judiciary.

  • 2
    0

    Very true, However nothing will happen to Ravi K since Ranil and the clan are involved in this biggest robbery in the history of SL> I will bet you that Ravi K will go scot free.

  • 2
    0

    Nimal Fernando,

    Scientific methodology will not do.

    The appropriate methodology is Research Methodology!
    Why not appeal to the social scientists?

  • 5
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    Hats off to Rajeeva Jayaweera. He sayss . “One of the worst offenders was a greenhorn first time parliamentarian and Deputy Minister. Suffering from a bout of amnesia, he recently challenged an audience and demanded all those present who had paid brides to municipal officials to get work done to own up without “pointing fingers” at others. The Chairman of COPE, a member of the official opposition in parliament claimed, he was to threaten by some members. The investigation report was finally made available on October 28, 2016, …..”

    Find out who owns an apartment at Empire Residencies adjoining the former Empire Theatre. Who gifted it? Two Deputy Ministers including this one and one from a district south of Colombo. They
    were given by none other than Arjun, the richest robber in Sri Lanka

  • 4
    0

    Pakistan is not an example to Sri Lanka. It is one of the largest kleptocracies in the world. It is ruled, when democratic, essentially by two clans. In that, there may be a similarity with Sri Lanka.
    Largest group of kleptocrats were the Rajapakses, whose hirelings write a lot of rubbish in the CT. We got rid of them through the court of the people, not the Supreme Court which they had packed.
    Their replacements are now going the way of the traditional SL politicians and fast becoming as crooked. Again, one day they will have to face the people. But, this time around, do we have an alternative? That will be the big question.

  • 4
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    nimal fernando: The EPF is the “Pot of Gold” for all the successive Governments. All have sucked blood out and continue in the secret game as brought to light at the hearing of the Presidential Commission. But this Commission has no “teeth”. Then who has the “teeth”? The members who contribute to the fund out of their earnings have the SAY. Are they talking about it? Do the Trade Unions who represent them talk about it? Do the so called “Socialists” and “Human Right” activists talk about it? Not a single of them are even alive to the “dangers” that are taking place. If this happened in a “Well Informed” work force, the Governments would have been toppled. Then we would not have the need to stage strikes on crippling the common services that the people need to have in their daily lives. Where is that so called “Solidarity Of The Workers”? What are they “Barking” on? What do they “Demand” out of their representatives – the Trade Unions? That SILENCE helps immensely the CROOKS in Governing to ROB the “Pot Of Gold” that belong to the workers.

  • 3
    0

    This is what should happen in SL,!

    If politicians have broken rules, or violates the constitution.
    Public must be able to complain and if found guilty, Supreme court must have the right to remove them!

    Congratulations to Pakistan justice system. Keep it up!

    I am waiting for pigs to fly in SL!

    • 4
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      srinathan gunaratnam

      “I am waiting for pigs to fly in SL!”

      Many of my neighbours have been awaiting to see it happen for the past 70 years particularly the years 1956, 1971, 1972, 1978, 2009, 2015, ….. … Well they are still awaiting. In the meantime my Elders wisely warned them pigs cannot fly.

  • 1
    0

    To all readers; an inadvertent typo error need be corrected to read as ‘The Chairman of COPE, a member of the official opposition in parliament claimed, he was threatened by some members.’ Sincere apologies.

  • 3
    0

    The Supreme Court in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan would not have done this without their all powerful military; specially the Army, having a hand in it. Compare Pakistan to India. Pakistan is virtually 100% Muslim. Backward, mostly run as a military dictatorship. Occasionally democratic but the very powerful military controls a significant percentage of the economy. It is a Kleptocracy. Pathetic Pakis will always look with resentment at the Indian Economy and Indian Army. They got their behinds thrashed resoundingly in three border wars with India. India humiliated them so that is their greatest passion. The military once with Pervez Musharaff conspired to oust Nawaz Sharif after Nawaz fired him for their dirty failed war in Kashmir. All in all with the exception of Malaysia and Indonesia most muslim nations towards the Middle East are thuggocracies, dictatorships, feudal kingdoms or run by dictators like the former Soviet Republics. This verdict was approved by the Military. It is like in Thailand. So called Buddhist nation where the Military coups succeed ONLY if the King approves it or goes along with it. Bhumibol did that so many times. Pakistan is a basket case of pathetic underachievement. It is also in the throes of a deadly struggle between educated Urban middle class and the backward Taleban type muslims of the type Lateef Farouk and Hilmy worship. Filthy place. We Hindus and Buddhists and Christians make a much better Sri LAnka even with corruption. Our women are not backward.

  • 0
    0

    Why wont the Civil Soiety file action against these fools and have them all taken out?

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