By Emil van der Poorten –
The title of this piece should, in fact, read, “You shouldn’t be able to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds” because that would be more appropriate given what I am about to say. However, since most editors don’t want long titles to the articles they accept for publication.
On several previous occasions I have drawn attention to the “insurance buyers” within the higher ranks, of the current government.
The most recent was the son of one of the most useless Prime Ministers it has been our misfortune to have been saddled with. This man, now a Minister of some description in the coalition government, admitted that he was a close associate of a major drug dealer, a Pakistani, accused (and never apprehended and prosecuted!) for attempting to smuggle out of the Port of Colombo something like 260 kgs of heroin. The paper trail of the ultimate in hard drugs being moved out of the Port without demurrage being charged led straight to the PM’s office and his chief functionary who was the signing authority for the exemption. There were then ready admissions, bred of the absolute impunity of those who thought they were going to exercise their authority over us “ordinary” Sri Lankans forever, that the drug dealer of international standing was not only a frequent mealtime guest at the Prime Minister’s residence but had funded the then-P.M’s son’s provincial election campaign, leading to his capturing the largest number of votes.
All of the above appears to have been swept under the increasingly accommodating rug, developed for that purpose by the MR2 (Maithripala/Ranil) government.
Let me be blunt: particularly those of us who placed themselves at significant risk for being critical of the MR 1 (Mahinda Rajapaksa) government did not do so in order to have that lot replaced by a twin in the matter of moral, ethical and principled conduct or lack thereof.
There are several members of the current government, ensconced in its hierarchy, and their hangers-on, who sucked up to the Rajapaksas and their buddies as if there was to be no tomorrow. Where they sit in the scheme of things today hardly needs emphasis but needs repetition. They and their friends who were bosom buddies of and launderers of dirty money for the previous regime are being clasped to the bosom of the MR2 lot. I am not about to suggest the motivation for all of this because you’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to know what is going on in broad daylight, if there is such a thing in politics!
The singular lack of anything resembling ethics, principles or morality by the current bunch is something to behold! What is even more disgusting is the fact that the level of impunity displayed in this regard is beginning to rival that of their predecessors, even if minus the white vans (for the moment at least!)
I do not think that either of the leadership team – Maithri and Ranil – can be unaware of what is going on: they have become a part of the problem and not the solution. Let me reiterate, neither of them is deaf, dumb and blind politically or in any other way that is relevant to what is under discussion.
They have become participants in a web of corruption which can hardly be distinguished from that of their predecessors. The details might be different, but the whole is already giving clear signs of moving towards being identical.
On a lighter note, I am informed that a man with extremely close links to the previous corrupt regime, particularly through his entry into the luxury automobile business, is rumoured to be preparing to trade a couple of Lambhorginis currently sitting in his care in an Arabian Gulf country, for some kind of monopoly in the matter of manufacturing vehicles, probably to be supplied to the Sri Lankan government. The “upside” of that story is contained in a theory that the tuk-tuk drivers of this country might soon be replacing the (unwittingly) humourous slogans on their three-wheelers with Lambhorgini, Maserati or Ferrari logos. For those expressing incredibility at this sort of scenario, I would suggest re-visiting the famous story of 260 kg shipment of heroin in which the office of a Prime Minister played a very interesting role. And I use the word “interesting” as in “May you live in interesting times!”
There are a large number of people in this country who voted out a violent and corrupt regime who did not, in so doing, intend to have them replaced by their kissing cousins complete with “get out of jail free” cards.
To repeat, we got rid of the previous set of thieves and murderers NOT to have them replaced by their kissing cousins and if that means launching another campaign to get rid of another corrupt regime, so be it! After all, to paraphrase a famous historical figure, “we have nothing to lose but our (new) chains!”