By Amrit Muttukumaru –
The million dollar question is why have Rotarians and Lions (i) not taken on Mangala Samaraweera, Finance and Media Minister head-on and challenged him to name the Presidents he alleged with “personal knowledge” are Sri Lanka’s top dealers in illicit drugs? (ii) not filed a defamation case against him for his failure to withdraw his allegations in full? Is the reluctance due to fear it may open a Pandora’s box?
It is unbecoming for leaders of Rotary and Lions to behave like our politicians in the hope that the limited attention span we are known for will blow this too away.
Let’s face it – Samaraweera’s strident allegation claiming “personal knowledge” that Sri Lanka’s top dealers in illicit drugs are not those languishing in jail but some of those holding high posts in social service organizations such as some Presidents of Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs and Buddhist organizations is unprecedented and damning.
More damning are Rotarians and Lions apparently seeking umbrage under Samaraweera’s dubious apology in the press:
“Inadvertently, I also mentioned Rotarians and Lions Clubs, which I deeply regret.”
Readers can LISTEN to his words in the link given below and decide for themselves whether there is any likelihood of any “inadvertence”? (3:27 onwards)
This reluctance is a severe LET DOWN of the PUBLIC who give donations and their general membership. As to why the general membership themselves are apparently not insisting on this is possibly a reflection of the malaise in the country vis-à-vis supine voters and the political leadership.
It is curious as to why after stridently claiming “personal knowledge” Samaraweera has singled out “Rotarians and Lions Clubs” for an apology while effectively confirming his same allegation against ‘Buddhist organisations’. It must be emphasized that Samaraweera has on his own volition unilaterally softened his stance on Rotary and Lions.
It would seem strong bonds of ‘friendship’ have influenced Samaraweera to selectively soften his reference to Rotary and Lions. This is the man who made the allegations with “personal knowledge”. Apparently he has no friends in ‘Buddhist organisations’ although a Buddhist monk who is Founder/Director General of a large charitable NGO was until very recently District Governor of Rotary Sri Lanka.
It must be acknowledged that Rotary and Lions over the years have undertaken commendable social service projects – in some instances not without controversy.
Even the so-called ‘apology’ under which Rotarians and Lions are apparently seeking umbrage is wishful thinking. Samaraweera has not let them off the hook when he asserts:
“There may be some individuals in society that join various organisations for such reasons.“
The bottom line is that continued silence and a state of denial by Rotarians and Lions is very damaging to these organisations as it will cement negative perceptions in the public psyche.
Rotary and Lions owe it to the youth of the country who are members of their fraternity through Rotary’s ‘Rotaract’/ school-based ‘Interact’ clubs and ‘Leo’ clubs of Lions.
Both Rotary and Lions which solicit and receive public funding from local and overseas sources claim to be ethical, transparent and accountable.
JohnSiva / August 2, 2018
I dont know much about these groups in Sri Lanka but the allegations wont surprise me.
But i do know that charities operating in Africa are often fronts for various shady activities. For example the wildlife conservation groups based in the west are involved in land grabbing, evicting local communities and stealing natural resources for western powers. All the while pretending to be concerned about ‘saving wildlife’ in Africa. This was exposed by a Kenyan named Mordecai Ogada who has helped start a movement in Africa to expose these wildlife NGOs and have them evicted from the continent.
The charities that claim to bring health care and education to Africans are often releasing all kinds of drugs and chemicals onto the unsuspecting African villagers. Basically using them not only as guinea pigs for tests, but trying to orchastrate social changes. Bill Gates charity was accused of illegally sterilizing women in both Africa and India without their consent this way. But the story was quickly buried.
I have little doubt in my mind that narcotics are being flooded into Sri Lankas poor by those in high positions.
Don Stanley / August 2, 2018
Thank you for speaking out on the UNEDUCATED Finance Minister’s bullshit!
Today we have a Fake News “war on Drugs: to distract us, when in fact Lanka needs “a war on corrupt politicians” and Bondscam Ranil’s economic hit men.
Ranil should be impeached for destroying the Central Bank of Lanka’s reputation.
As..Dr. Ali noted today on this CT website, suicide rates among those trapped in micro-fiance company rackets are very high. So too elderly suicide rates are rising. Sri Lanka is today in depression with dramatically falling growth rates.
Lanka is in the “Middle income country” Debt Trap because of Bond scam Ranil’s Corrupt team of economic hit men -politicians, and an uneducated Finance Minister who dances to the tunes of Fake experts from Washington -IMF and MCC to make the global 1 percent richer with financial crimes and foreign economic hit men who pose as development and economic “advisers” .
The country ‘s poor and middle class is being bled and looted by the “financialization of the economy” by foreign Insurance companies –Fair First, AIA Alliance, and local microfinance companies which should be investigated and regulated.
Do not be fooled by the Fake News “war on drugs”. The coming war is against Corruption.
soma / August 2, 2018
How can a MINISTER , let alone an ordinary citizen, keep the names of drug dealers for himself withholding from law enforcement authorities is the more relevant question. Why didn’t the law enforcement authorities immediately appear at his door steps and request him to please cooperate? At a time when the President wants to hang the drug dealers why didn’t he ( the President ) immediately order his minister to divulge the information to the relevant authorities?
This homo sapien is still witholding information with regard to the 18 billion (mind you not 17 or 19) of Rajapaksa and the palace coup after 2015 elections.
Don’t yoù see Mr Muthukumaru that , no body including Lions and Rots takes him seriously.
Ajay / August 2, 2018
I think the point Mangala was trying to make was that the drug problem has reached such alarming proportions where even some people in positions of moral leadership are involved in this menace. He is right. We must applaud his courage in saying this. I think where he went astray was in trying to give examples of such positions. I don’t think he was insinuating any particular individuals, but it could still be construed as such. Realizing his folly, he has since apologized. Now if we are serious in our concerns about the growing drug menace, we must move on instead of harping on Mangala’s gaffe.
wannihami / August 3, 2018
Ajay, man Mangala does not “try” to say things, he is not a babe in the woods, this has been his strategy always, plant the seeds of a rumor, generally a blatant lie and watch it grow. I’ve said it before I will say it again, Mangala is talented, highly talented in the art of Goebbels like propaganda, that is his value to any party who enlist him.
The Oracle / August 2, 2018
Much akin to the 18 Billion Dollars we are still trying to locate , three and a half years later .
JD / August 2, 2018
What Mangala Samaraweera said explains very well that even during the last govt, Who the king pins i the drug trade and who profits from it are known. but they di dnot want to stop it. I think What Maithripala Sirisena is doing at the end of the five year period is the same. Just using it to exploit voters.
JD / August 2, 2018
The whole govt set up is fradulent and supports corruption. What has happened to Sri lanka is, two govt leaders in two occasions e mptied Sri lankan banks. One leader did not know that the country’s economy need correction. Instead he tried to cheat voters by having elections early. He lost. the second leader emptied the baks he di dnot know that the previous govt was watching. HE tried to use ultra liberal economic policies which was recommended by MCC and that uis not working as we are an importing country with no money. Just take example, just the way Mangala tries to fool media, All other ministers do the same exploiting. MEdia is banned to report these things and they write for moey and country is in the same path for ever.
Robert Wanasundera / August 2, 2018
Mangala has apologized and now case closed.
Why dig up old wounds again. Sounds very stupid.
Analyst / August 2, 2018
The problem within and out of the Parliament and among the Politicians are Pure Greed and fear of losing their Political Powers.
They’re just protecting the past and present lot.
Solution for this is not voting for the ” Old Hags ” choose new young educated ones without blemishes.
It’s very difficult because these Old Hags have money lands and power to buy votes.
They will sell their own wives girl friends to stay in power,
This is why I call that Srilanka is Doomed with past Curse.
Curse to an individual, or a family, even to a country is much more powerful than we imagine.
All the Hypocritical Poojas, Danahs, and non stoP Preachings, All night Sermons are Just waste of money and time.
One needs to do GOOD DEEDS NOTHING BUT GOOD DEEDS IN THEIR LIVES.
IT SAYS IN THE 8 PRECEPTS ,
if one cares to Read and follow this Lord Buddhas teachings our country can atleast reduce the effects of the CURSE FALLEN ON TO THIS COUNTRY BY THE PAST AND PRESENT INHABITANTS OF THIS CURSED NATION.
IN THE NAME OF RELIGION AND BELIEFS RIVERS OF BLOOD HAS DRAINED IN THIS COUNTRY.
THATS WHY THE SAYING GOES AS KARMA IS A BITCH.
DO WE KNOW WHETHER KARMAM OR KARMA A FEMALE OR MALE!??
There are truths in this what ever!!!
It’s all in ones mind how to conduct ones own lives.
Be less greedy and DO GOOD DEEDS. DOING GOOD DEEDS WITH STOLEN MONEY FROM THE STATE/ POOR ARE THE SINS WE ACCUMULATE FOR US AND OUR FAMILIES FOR NOW AND FOR ONES FUTURE GENERATIONS.
SAADHU ! SAADHU! SAADHU.
jim softy / August 2, 2018
Sri Lankan government has been historiacally corrupt. Why cant we elect a monk as a leader to eradicate corruption. Mha Ven Gnanasara is committed to eradicating corruption
Burt / August 2, 2018
It is not late you can start a movement to elect Ganasara as the next President of Sri Lanka.
Paul / August 2, 2018
jim softy, if you want to impersonate Jim Softy you need to write more like him. He never posts one sentence crap just to create division. His crap is far more detailed.
nalmen / August 2, 2018
me thinks he talks too much to be taken seriously
JD / August 2, 2018
It is very common Every minister saying that HE would reveal the names of something they did. but they never reveal.Ranjan Ramanayake said that there arr 175 Drug Delaers in Sri lankan parliament. REcently also, Ranjan Ramanayake did some kind of grinding like that. WE here that he is set up fior CONTEMPT OF COURT CHARGES.
JD / August 2, 2018
I read in newspapers., one time LAnza was caught in NEgombo I suppose for drug importing. when Police when to arrest him Mahinda Rajapakse was there to hug him and stop the arrest. Later LAnza, I heard, was migratig to Australia. Now, he is bak and is with the JACAKOL OPPOSITION with so many ALIases. There is a story he is willing to built a private railway line from NEgombe o to Gampaha. We know Duminda and Bharatha Mallawarchchi had a shoot out. Those things are common in some places in the west. STory goes is very organized gangs had a war for Turf, eight er for invading or to stop invasion or simple drug dispute such as did not pay the money. I here former govt head still is familier with those. Another is one embassy packages were drug parcels. many of these politicians are friendly to that. But, Sri lankan media is bottom feeders. they never investigate these.
JD / August 2, 2018
I think some Drug dealers or affiliated ones have commented here.
JD / August 2, 2018
Daniel duterte like person or an muslim govt is the best to eradicate drug menace. Because there are now laws, just jump into the house and shower with the machine gun. In Sri lanka, If the drug meance is to be eradicated need to start with politicians, but not the hang man who will get tired pulling the LEVER. Instead, firing SQUADs and need to be televised. I am pretty sure, one govt will not like it. It is not eh govt policy those who earn money here in Sri lanka in order to spend in the democratic process.
K.Pillai / August 2, 2018
We all know that there are worms in that there can of fish. Mangala opened it and later declared, “Some of the worms only look like worms are not really worms”.
We must look inside the can including the ones left out by Mangala.
Burt / August 3, 2018
The family that brought white van culture, impeached a sitting CJ using uneducated cronies in parliament of yesteryear. now has this to say.
“Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the current government was ‘militarizing’ the country’s system of governance.
Addressing the Joint Opposition’s protest rally in Colombo, Rajapaksa said giving police powers to the military to curb the drug menace was only the initial part of this process.
“The military will soon start hear court cases too” Rajapaksa cautioned his supporters.
He also asked if the backbenchers of the UNP and the SLFP were in agreement with such measures.
He also told the international community to ‘think twice’ before dealing with the current government.
“When we come back to power, we will reverse some of their deals. So I want to warn the international community to tread carefully,” the former President, who fell out of power in January 2015, said. “
K A Sumanasekera / August 3, 2018
” Police” who was hanging out with Mangala’s Cabinet Buddy Minister Fonny was busted by the STF a couple of days ago.
He apparently had a few grams in his posession.
When the Colombo Journos published a Photo of Fonny in Paliyagoda, Fonny made a big Ha Hoo, and accused the STF of being an Asylum.
Lions Boss in Colombo gave Mangala a better Serve with some juicy phrases too, which I am not allowed to write here..
And it is not the end.
Loins are going to file charges against Mangala claiming damages for their reputation.
Not sure of what the Rotarians did or are doing about it….
JD / August 3, 2018
The second most important article published in NEW YORK TIMES is that POPE HAS DECLARED DEATH PENULTY ON DRUG DEALERS NOT KING PINS and NOT TON THOSE WHO SEND IT is inadmiislb ein all Cases. Why POPe is itching on this or why NYT published such an article saying it was POPE who said that ?USA is evangelist. Even TRUMP talked negative aabout POPE but just before the election and he met POPE after the election.
charles / August 3, 2018
Mangala has a knowledge about drug dealers because he is involved too. The way he talks and acts ,nobody suspects him.
Sinhala_Man / August 3, 2018
Dear Mr Amrit Muttukumaru,
Do you not realise that with the entire cabinet, except one, indulging in populist rhetoric, there wasn’t much more that Mangala Samaraweera could have done? Law enforcement has to be attended to by those who have been put in charge of it. It should be there consistently at every level.
Once Mangala S. has apolised for any implication that his words may have carried that the Lions and Rotary have been involved as organisations in drug trafficking the issue is over. Let us not exaggerate the importance of voluntary organisations like Lions and Rotary (and Freemasons). Being invited to join them is a sign that an individual has made his mark in Social Circles. They lack the means to check on any possible criminal activities by their members. That is not their function. The projects that they get involved in are usually worthwhile, and society is grateful.
Because they have a certain amount of credibility, crooks who want cover will “creep, and intrude, and climb in to the fold”. Society has to founded on something stronger than that. There has to be commitment to counter the evils in society full-time. Dilettantism won’t do. That is the theme running through this article by Grusha Andrews, and most of the comments:
We deserve more serious articles. I’m losing heart. This comment of mine lacks the necessary passion.
K.Pillai / August 3, 2018
Will the ‘other’ side take Mangala to courts?
Both sides know that they are in glass houses.