Once a man has lost his credibility, in law, no weight whatsoever would be placed on any utterances made by him.
In his 2005 Election Manifesto Rajapaksa, when campaigning for the Presidency for the first time, with full support of the JVP, promised to the people to abolish the Executive Presidency (page 97 – 2005 manifesto). Now the very person promises to do the same, within one year in the event of his re-election to Office for the third time (page 17 – 2015 manifesto).
Will any prudent person take any notice of this promise?
Then again in the 2010 manifesto, when contesting for the second term, Rajapaksa promised to take ‘whatever measures’ needed to eliminate frauds, corruption and malpractices. But what he did in practice was completely the opposite.
For instance he made the Auditor General redundant and irrelevant. For the last few years the Auditor General has not been able to audit public offices and publish its annual report, as no one seems to be taking him seriously. This disrespect to the office of the Auditor General has opened floodgates for mass scale corrupt practices running into billions of rupees.
And after having inflicted such a damage now, in his 2015 manifesto Rajapaksa pledges to the people to strengthen the office of the Auditor General with sweeping powers ‘empowering it to conduct independent investigations’ (page 19 – 2015 manifesto). Surely, this is nothing more than an insult to the intelligence of the people who has been taken for a ride through out.
Case of Blatant Abuse of public funds with scant respect to the Rule of Law
In the recent past, the Customs investigations have revealed the abuse of tax-free car permits by LOLC and LB finance to embezzle ten of billions of public funds. These permits have been issued with a condition that vehicles imported under such permits shall not be disposed of any manner for a period of 3 years.
Whist the Customs inquiry into this major fraud was being conducted, a special Treasury directive was sent to the Director General of Customs nullifying the entire fraud investigation. The directive said that the stipulated condition imposed by the said permits have been ‘removed with retrospective effect’, compelling the Customs investigators to abandon the inquiry altogether.
The abuse of office was not to end there. The officer who headed the investigation was ordered not to initiate any fresh investigations into such abuses or seize any vehicles sold unlawfully abusing the permit scheme.
The officer had no other alternative but was forced to make the following minute on the Treasury Directive and close the case.
“… Please note the contents of this letter and the effect it would have on our cases. DGC asked me to release the files already taken over…”
This very same issue some time later was referred to the Corruption Commission urging them to inquire into it as it was offence under section 70 of Bribery and Corruption Act (use of public office of those permit holders for private gain). But the conduct of the commission has only suggested that it is also in the firm grip of President Rajapaksa, as it did not even bothered to reply to the written complaint made against this mass scale abuse of public funds.
This is a classic example that demonstrates absolute lawlessness and chaotic situation in the govt business under Rajapaksa regime that simply condones any form of frauds. This simply endorses the view that ‘what President Rajapaksa does is completely the opposite of what he pledges to the people. But in his manifesto placed before the people in 2010 he promised to take ‘whatever measures’ to eliminate frauds, corruption and malpractices.
And now he pleads people to have confidence and faith in him and for all what he has done. And surely people will show their gratitude squarely at this Presidential election for bequeathing them with a failed state with no machinery to check wrongdoings in unimaginable scale.