25 August, 2019

Blog

Some “Wonders Of Asia”

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

I have, from time to time, referred to the camp followers of the Rajapaksa Regime (MR1) who fattened their wallets and visited destruction and death upon those who were seen as enemies of their patrons. Those references have, generally, been “in passing.”

Also, given a grossly over-burdened judicial system in this country, it is understandable if the primary effort was to net the big sharks first and deal (or not deal) with the acolyte remoras that survived (very well!) on that body politic. However, what has clearly emerged in the past year has been that it has been an infinitesimally small number of even those sucker-fish who have been prosecuted while their host monsters continue to swim free.

One that fits into the category I describe was taken into custody for signing cheques worth hundreds of millions for the building of houses in Tsunami-ravaged parts of the country, houses that, up to now – more than ten years after that calamity – have not seen the light of day. After a period in custody- spent mostly in rather comfortable “digs,” at state expense, in one of those places referred to as a “private ward” in Sri Lanka’s premier public hospital, he was not only set free as the proverbial bird but employed, presumably at a salary “befitting his status,” by the very government that had taken him into custody in the first place! As to what happened to the very serious charges that would, in similar instances, have been laid for the alleged crime, suffice it to say that your guess is as good as mine. The indications, though, are that they have disappeared much as humans dragged into white vans did, not so long ago. The exhortation to “Put up or shut up” is surely deserving of modification to “Prosecute or exonerate,” in this context.

Incidentally, this individual’s defence at the time of his initial apprehension was something to the effect of, “I only signed the cheques. I didn’t know anything else about the whole business.” If this came from the office peon it might have been credible. However, emanating from a top-rung functionary with the kind of financial authority he obviously possessed, it seemed, at the least, a bit bizarre.

But “the powers-that-be” obviously bought his response because he has been re-employed by the very government – Maithripala-Ranil (MR2) – that took him into custody in the first place! “Only in Sri Lanka you say?” Well, we are “the wonder of Asia” after all, aren’t we? And this government might well have felt obliged to indulge in practices even more weird and wonderful than their predecessors in order to maintain that status!

The benefits reaped by sycophants in uniform are epitomized by one of the high-flying brand who, after his retirement from the wide blue yonder was appointed (and re-appointed) to head the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union as, in point of fact, some sort of “security” to the Presidential progeny while those delightful young men, all three of them, sought to treat the rugby field as some kind of Sri Lankan sports slaughterhouse. Before he reached this position that carried a plethora of perks, this gentleman (I use the term with generosity) reportedly built himself a holiday home on land that had been designated as part of a World Heritage Site in the Knuckles mountain range, using the resources of the service he headed to do so. Then, even the genuflectory local media ran a few “minor scandal” stories on the subject and the kerfuffle, such as it was, ended there. Before it did, it was evident that all the relevant authorities were aware of this brazenly illegal act but have not seen fit to do anything about it. Then or since.

The other instance I wish to refer to has far more sinister underpinnings.

It is of an individual who was an integral part of the well-organized campaign of total obstruction of information and deliberate obfuscation that was a feature of government policy during the final – “Nanthikadal” – phase of the conflict between the Sri Lankan security forces and what was left of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), obscenely titled “The Humanitarian Operation” by the man who only recently departed his Empire. The services provided by this man to the Emperor were of the most obsequious kind at all times but, nevertheless, distinguished by their ruthlessness, when required.

When the Tigers were finally vanquished on the battlefield and the surviving civilians “rescued,” among those “rescued” were the four doctors who had more than lived up to their Hippocratic oath under truly unimaginable conditions. Subsequent to a threat made against them when they were successful in getting their appeals for a cessation of incessant bombing attacks on supposed “no fire zones” out to the world, they were, on the record, threatened by the head of their service. While I don’t recall the specific punishment threatened, there was no doubt about the gravity of its nature given the impunity with which this man’s patrons were carrying out a variety of extra-judicial sentences.

I distinctly remember the time that these four members of the medical profession were presented to the nation at a media conference. This was after they had been held in custody for several days and to describe their appearance as “bedraggled” at the time they were put before the TV cameras would be to overstate their well-being. I understand that one of these doctors who chose to follow the most important part of their Hippocratic oath – “Do no harm” – has since had a complete breakdown that prevents him continuing in the profession to which he was, very obviously, a credit.

The upward progress of the medics’ boss in the matter of very highly-paid employment continued unabated, however, a reward, not only for his stout defence of the MR1 regime in the final days of the war but, perhaps, also for his conduct relative to post-mortems in the Action Contre La Faim execution atrocity, something which also refuses to go away thanks to its very enormity.

The first of these steps was into the office of an international agency located in one of Asia’s major cities. Here he proceeded to draw a salary (and perks) befitting an international civil servant, traipsing the globe at no expense to himself or his spouse.

However, like all good things, this phase of his upwardly-mobile career ended. The “official” reason advanced for his contract not being renewed was, I understand, that he was an “unwitting player” in some internal politics involving the government of his host country and Sri Lanka. However, that this man’s past might have emerged in the continuing, unrelenting controversy over the suppression of information and the carnage relating to the end of “the war” and associated events, his public pronouncements relative to them and the potential embarrassment that might have ensued if his contract was extended, are factors that could well have played a part in the parting of the ways.

However, talk about falling in you-know-what and emerging smelling of roses! On his return to dear old Sri Lanka, the man lands a job with a multinational drug behemoth in his home country with a monthly salary that exceeded what most Sri Lankans probably earn in a lifetime.

The man’s continuing easy access to the halls of power along which Mahinda Rajapaksa then strode is not likely to have hurt his chances of securing the position he did! After all, Sri Lankan society is no exception to the old adage that “it’s whom you know and not what you know” that matters and this man’s “connections,” very obviously, had commercial value, particularly in the most profitable of capitalist enterprises.

This employment being in the private sector, the chances are that, now that MR1 is out of power, this man’s bosses will find someone else that has similar entrée into the MR2 halls of power, suggesting that the adage I quoted in the previous paragraph can sometimes have its down-side!

Of course, this man, like the one I referred to earlier, may simply display his chameleonic skill and change his political colours and/or be simply accommodated, as have so many other square pegs from the MR1 regime, who now occupy the round holes of the MR2 regime.

As redundant as it might seem, I cannot resist the temptation of another old quote in closing: “the more things change, the more they remain the same.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 3
      5

      Jim Softy the low life racist pariah must have written something so brilliant, CT removed his comment.

      • 3
        4

        CT is run by christians including Dalit Tamils.

        Does that Explain every things ?

        • 1
          0

          @Jim Shitty, CT is run by low life racist pariah haters such as me.

    • 1
      0

      Aren’t some hymies lucky to own hundreds of acres of land in our little Wonder of Asia? But these hooked noses are still trying to make fun of us.

      Thanks for the 15 Rs monthly bursery hym.

      • 0
        0

        Yapa M:
        Different pseudonym, same monumentally stupid anti-Semitism. Wish I was Jewish, then I might be able to send some Mossad-type Zionist to stop the spewing of racist hatred!

        • 0
          0

          [Edited out]

  • 5
    1

    Dear Emile,

    Don’t keep hitting your head on a stone wall. These things won’t change in Sri Lanka. Like the stone carvings in Anuradhapura, these are etched into the socio-political fabric of the country.

    Consider this. In the US, the true power is not with the President, the Congress or the Senate. It is with a faceless mob, who run the country and has their hands on all levers of power. Sure, they don’t connive together behind close door. But their will prevails over a façade of democratic governance.
    And so it is with Sri Lanka. There exists, in Sri Lanka, a class of rascals, who are able to worm their way into the corridors of power, corrupting the elected and corroding governance, and making the people’s representatives mere hand tools of this evil set.

    Rajapakse, a good man to start with, fell a victim to this unseen, intangible and vicious environment, two decades before he first became president. In the end, he became, without himself realising, a member of this particular mafia. Sirisena will, perhaps, go down the same path. Ranil, because of his education, background, and possibly due to his intellectual pursuits, may not fall a victim. But then, he has no appeal to the majority Sinhala-Buddhist voters.

    Only person who was capable of ridding the country of these flesh-eating human vermin was Sarath Fonseka – had he been elected in 2010. But then he went cuckoo – Field Marshal, my foot!

    So, instead of fretting over these things in your fading years, read Cecil Balmond’s, your schoolmate’s, books on art, architecture and fantastic structures….

    • 5
      0

      Ken Dharmapala:
      I have to disagree with you when you say, “Don’t keep hitting your head on a stone wall. These things won’t change in Sri Lanka. Like the stone carvings in Anuradhapura, these are etched into the socio-political fabric of the country.”
      If a bunch of people didn’t do precisely that – “hit their heads” on the Rajapaksa wall before Jan 8th 2015, you be the judge of what the situation would have been today!

    • 0
      1

      Now who are you I wonder? I have most of Cecil’s books, incidentally, and am also an old Trinitian.

      • 0
        0

        How come? A female, a Trinitian?

        • 0
          0

          Yes, I was the only girl in the school that year, studying A levels – 60/61

      • 0
        0

        Manel Fonseka:
        I was gone from TCK by the time you did your A-Levels there. I do recall Cecil as very bright but significantly younger than I and his father at Peradeniya, a very distinguished member of that University’s staff.
        While TCK did impact on my thinking over the years after, I don’t subscribe to the belief (that some appear to!) that Old Boy status at that school made one superior in some way. Goodness knows TCK has produced its share of reprehensible characters, particularly recently!

    • 2
      2

      Mr. Dharmapala,

      “Consider this. In the US, the true power is not with the President, the Congress or the Senate. It is with a faceless mob, who run the country and has their hands on all levers of power. Sure, they don’t connive together behind close door. But their will prevails over a façade of democratic governance.”

      While it is true that power is diffuse in the American system, with the President circumscribed by Congressmen, Senators, Lobbyists, as well as some within the ranks of the government whose insubordination frustrates presidential policies, your characterization of a ‘faceless mob’ is not quite true.

    • 0
      0

      “Rajapakse, a good man to start with, fell a victim …, “
      Now he is a Victim, I knew it all along.

  • 0
    0

    Let the guessing game begin:

    Those who correctly guess the names of the hustlers referred to by Emil will get prizes (sponsored by Yahapalanaya).

  • 1
    3

    Mr Poorten,

    Are you on to a ” Who Done It ” series in the Yahapalana Second Year?.

    Haven’t you done enough beating that dead horse?..

    How about a critique on Hirunickers input to our new Yahapalana Constitution?.

    Because my elders told me Ms Hiru is not just only a pretty face..

    She in fact has attended the Law College in Colombo…

    I watched Batalanda on TV, when he presented his Constitution Bill to Hirunicker’s colleagues in Parliament Yesterday.

    And I couldn’t believe it, when Batalanda dis his own dear darling old Uncle for appointing only 5 to write our current one, the Clayton’s Yahapalana Constitution.

    Although it delivered the PM ship to Batanlanda who couldn’t get it on his own for two decades..

    Batalanada instead is going full monty and appointing all 225 to do it this time.

    BTW Did you attend Law College?.

  • 1
    0

    Emil.

    These are the reasons why Srilanka is referred to as A Land like no other.

  • 1
    0

    EvdP has gone as far as he could, but truth to tell, most of his descriptions could easily fit the profiles of (at least) a dozen or more in our island zoo. To describe this sub-species as ‘chameleon’ would in fact be doing a disservice to chameleons, who only adapt when needed as a defence mechanism. The sub-species we are talking about deserve close study, but they are as elusive as our native lorus. Yes, they are at their best about sundown and afterwards, and their natural habitat is the cocktail/dinner circuit, carefully chosen so that they will see, and be seen by, ‘only those useful few’. Their connections are impeccable, and usually come with the right school tie(s). Those outside this crucial ring are cultivated and suffered, only because they could be ‘useful’. Most of the species operate under the media radar and their speciality is providing ‘valuable’ advice, services, and other ‘favours’ to the highest in the food chain (‘valuable’ is usually interchangeable with profitable). Their political affiliations are ‘fluid’ to allow them to move and deal at ease with the widest range of our political spectrum. This is vital to ensure that fickle changes in political fortunes will not affect their longevity. Indeed this oleaginous lot are well capable of, running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. Watch them when you can, suave and exuding gravitas, they can work a room with about as much ease as a pickpocket does the crowd waiting for the Yal Devi at the Fort station. When they catch you watching them, they will give you an insipid, watery smile to let you know that they know what you are thinking but they don’t care. Because etched in invisible ink on the sharp edges of their pristine calling cards are the words ‘entitlement’ and ‘impunity’.

    This parasitic sub-species will, like the poor, always be with us.

  • 3
    1

    @Emil van der Poorten

    Did you too swallow hook, line and sinker, the mighty election promises made by Yahapalanaya on the back of rumor, which admittedly smelled VERY delicious and appetising in January 2015 but has turned out to be just that… Rumor.

    Certainly a useful tool to fool the masses with. Reminds me of George Bush’s “Smoking Gun, Mushroom Cloud” assertion – which is giving back a full 17 years after the fact !

    After a year in power, which should have been adequate for any administration worth it’s salt to bring charges against the corrupt, the much-vaunted Yahapalanaya (for which I recall, you too blew many conch-shells, banged on drums and danced “kaavadi”), has yet to do ANYTHING !!

    So either they fed you a line of BS

    Or there is nothing they can prove

    Which simply means

    They lied to you and all the other simpletons.

    And to keep the simpletons satisfied in the last 10 or so months, our Enlightened Administration picked a couple of low-level functionaries who had no power to defend themselves BUT who usefully had signing power and have had no choice but obey the directives issued by the Ministers, and threw them in Jail to the accompaniment of much fanfare.

    And How the Simpletons Rejoiced !!

    If BS was on the menu, the choice to swallow it was entirely yours. I use “yours” figuratively of course.

    In thinking about it, I would imagine it would be a very easy task to track down the BILLIONS of dollars that were rumored to have been stashed away by the previous regime, yes ? Particularly since we now have the Mighty US on our side and as BFF (I am told they can track a single person from space and kill him at will – and blow up all the other wedding party guests at the same time)

    BILLIONS of dollars is the GDP of our little island and as I am given to understand, the financial systems of the world keep track of any sum more that ten thousand dollars being moved from place-to-place. How many transfers of 10,000 dollars would it take to move billions of dollars I wonder ?

    But hey, who bothers to THINK anymore ? Most of us are content simply to follow the most fragrant @rse, right ?

    Tell me though, in reference to your “Prosecute of Exonerate” comment, do you believe that it should NOT be the case ? Is that how it’s done in Canada ? Guilty Until Proven Innocent ? Is Brian Mulroney still in jail for the Airbus affair, even though no charges were laid ? I am harping on Canada because I know you have intimate knowledge of the country.

    Incidentally, you obviously object to the salaries these folk are paid.

    So tell me please, if you had the same level of qualifications, expertise and experience as these do, and were employable, would you be enticed from a well-paying job abroad, to work for a rupee salary ? I hope you understand what I mean by “rupee salary” Please be honest. A simple “Yes” or “No” would suffice.

    Understand me well.

    IF the Yahapalana government is serious in combating corruption, it could have done so much sooner. That it has done nothing speaks volumes. It is either doing the same thing that Mahinda Chinthanaya did or it really has no charges to bring. My money is on the former and also on the possibility there are too many skeletons in the Yahapalana Closet that charges will uncover.

    99% of Politicians in Sri Lanka come into power simply to make money. Those who don’t are independently wealthy and just want the power.

    That is the Beginning and End of it.

    And all of us are stupid

    • 3
      1

      maalumiris

      “And all of us are stupid”

      I can certify it.

      I am just curious, when did you first have doubts about a universal truth known to wise people for more than 100 years.

      Here is the composition:

      I am Sinhalese therefore I am stupid.
      I am Tamil therefore I am stupid.
      I am Sri Lankan therefore I am stupid.

      I am stupid, therefore, I must be a Sinhalese, Tamil or Sri Lankan

    • 7
      1

      Tell me, what sort of an idiot would leave a trail for others to find out where one stole and where one hid the loot? Also when the loot runs into billions and provided by contractors who do business around the world and know in which tax/legal haven to stash the money they pay as commissions/bribes and how to hide the ownership from prying eyes.

      No politician would leave evidence of his or her corruption for someone else to find out and expose. This is particularly so when they are advised and guided by their own appointees at the Central Bank and the Finance Ministry.

      One has to be extremely naive to have believed that politicians of whatever colour would ever be caught with their pants down.

      • 0
        5

        @Ken Dharmapala

        “Tell me, what sort of an idiot would leave a trail for others to find out where one stole and where one hid the loot?”

        If it was hidden SO EFFECTIVELY and there was NO trail., how come Yahapalanaya was able to announce and publicise it so much ?

        I repeat, Rumor and Innuendo.. BS All The Way !

        If I say that YOU were the recipient of millions in kickbacks, would that make it true ? I should be able to provide proof, should I not ?

        Yahapalanaya is very long on rhetoric, rumor and innuendo but very short on proof

        • 5
          1

          Not so my friend.

          The allegations of corruption were based on the fact that many of the projects initiated by the previous government were way above what they should have cost. For instance a professor at Moratuwa University did an analysis on road projects to show that what was spent on roads is 50 to 200% more than what it should have, based on other projects carried out in other countries of the same level as Sri Lanka and on similar terrain.

          Then there was the question of interest rates agreed to pay for loans, well above the prevailing market rates.

          The list is long.

          And finally, just look around and see what were this mob before they took power and what they are now – in terms of wealth. Did they become rich on their parliamentary salaries or did money dropped out of the skies?

          It is precisely because of the gullibility of people that politicians continue to rob without any fear. And because of party loyalty people fail to see any evil when it is “our man”.

          • 0
            4

            @Ken Dharmapala

            “The allegations of corruption were based on the fact…”

            In which case, I ask yet again.. If there are so many facts, Where Are The Charges ? For That is the crux of the article.

            Emil Van Der Poorten is in a terrible state because There Are No Charges ! No one has been Brought to Book, people are traipsing around freely. It should Not Be Allowed. Whatever will the neighbours say ?? We must chuck people of the previous administration into Jail willy-nilly, and throw away the keys.

            Because rumor says there are Facts. Yet no one can find these rumored facts. Even the people who said |”We Have Facts” are being very coy about it a full year after the Fact.

            I think you are as jaded as i am with Yahapalanaya. On that at least, we are in agreement !

            • 4
              0

              (1) The “Fact” is that projects were contracted out for amounts far more than what they should have.

              (2) The “Fact” is that those who awarded those contracts or signed off on them are now far richer than when they entered politics – obvious from their present lifestyle.

              (3) The “Fact” is that there are millions of dollars in bank accounts of these people in foreign banks which the governments of those countries are refusing to freeze.

              (4) The “Fact” is that there are Sri Lankan nobodies who own multi billion dollar worth assets in foreign countries – where how they came to own such assets are mysteries.

              Look, friend, don’t try to defend those who steal from the public purse, be they UNP, SLFP, JVP or even TNA (if such is the case). This is your money and my money, but mostly that of the innocents slaving it in the Middle East, sweating it out in garment factories and picking tea leaves in the hot sun!

          • 1
            3

            Ken, Sir, Where is this mythical report of cost analysis by the said Professor, or is that too is Hidden in a mythical bank vault and the Yaha dudes need help of the west to recover that!

            • 4
              0

              It was published in the Sri lankan newspapers. I think Sunday Times. Go, check it out.

      • 3
        0

        Ken Dharmapala:
        Thanks for saying so eloquently what many of us KNOW to be the facts around the wholesale embezzlement of national resources by a gang who make Ali Baba and his band pale into insignificance.

    • 0
      0

      “But hey, who bothers to THINK anymore ? Most of us are content simply to follow the most fragrant @rse, right ? “

      Right!

      • 0
        0

        Inconvenient:

        You should know all about that, right?

    • 1
      0

      Maalumiris:
      Your question which reads:
      “So tell me please, if you had the same level of qualifications, expertise and experience as these do, and were employable, would you be enticed from a well-paying job abroad, to work for a rupee salary ? I hope you understand what I mean by “rupee salary” Please be honest. A simple “Yes” or “No” would suffice,” is based on a BLATANT FALSEHOOD and, therefore,doesn’t lend itself to ANY answer leave alone a “simple” one.
      I’d suggest you wake up a little earlier in the day before you start posing “Do you STILL beat your wife?” types of questions!

  • 0
    0

    @Native Vedda

    Thanks for the endorsement.

    I am going with your last option. “Sri Lankans” includes Sinhalas, Tamils, Moors, Native Veddas, Malays, Chettie’s, Bahai’s, Sindhis, Bohras and Burghers and all people that makeup the diversity of our country.

    Since I am speaking with particular regard to the Sri Lankan Condition, it does not mean that others are Not Stupid. There are Stupid Americans, Australians and Indians, Stupid British, Pakistanis, Nepalis and French, South Africans, Israelis and Zimbabweans (and others of course)

    Sri Lankans don’t have a monopoly on Stupid.

    • 1
      1

      What matters is the percentage … dont you think so ?

      Even if you have added this to NV, please let me draw your attention of lanken particular stupidity of vote eligible folks

      a) Even if the majority were informed by JVPers and other right respecting groups, MR et al were given a huge mandate even during last election – why ? how would you elaborate this please ?

      b) Today the manner they talk about the Good governance – is far from all acceptable levels – because the public in general feel if they are given food rations and cars for some – it is yahapalanaya… this is what I heard by talking to small groups – even consisting of graduates.. ” yes, preivous govt did a lot to the public- regardless of huge fund abuses”…

      I think in general, they have no idea to differenciate good and bad.
      That has lot to do with the stupidity of the folks or not ?

    • 2
      0

      maalumiris

      ” it does not mean that others are Not Stupid. There are Stupid Americans, Australians and Indians, Stupid British, Pakistanis, Nepalis and French, South Africans, Israelis and Zimbabweans (and others of course)”

      Are we competing with rest of the world to hit the bottom? Their stupidity is not a very good excuse for us to celebrate our stupidity.

      The question is to be or not to be a stupid.

      • 0
        0

        @Native Vedda

        I don’t wish for you to believe that only Sri Lankans are stupid.

        That was the intention

  • 1
    1

    Never ever trust a Lankan politician who are all crooks. We have been ‘taken for another ride..as always. Lankans will never learn & Lanka will never prosper.MR1 or MR2 are all the same. RW is just a waste.
    Buruwansa should be made the Executive President of Lanka ! He might do a better job.

    • 0
      0

      Gotabhaya would do the best job, but there would be a very heavy price to pay for his efficiency. Would it be worth it?

      • 3
        0

        paul

        ” Would it be worth it?”

        Only if you are willing to share this island with “Lumpenproletariat”.

        • 0
          0

          NV:
          So you ARE Lumpenbourgeoisie, thought as much!

          • 2
            0

            InconvenientTruth

            “NV: So you ARE Lumpenbourgeoisie, thought as much!”

            Please don’t take me seriously. I am only dropping names that I don’t have in-depth knowledge of. How come you tolerate Dayan or praise him for the same crime and not me?

            • 0
              0

              Dayan who?

      • 0
        0

        What would be that huge price?

        • 0
          0

          Inconvenient:

          “Huge price”? For one, we would have to put up with those ass-kissing editors praising their monkey-bosses tails.

          Although it looks like they will be back in the guise of ‘Presidential Media Advisers’!

  • 3
    0

    To all those who’ve made intelligent observations about the central thrust of what I have had to say:
    Agreed that money laundering jurisdictions live on their protection of people who stash hidden loot with them and that,in the circumstances, it is not easy to track down any or all of it as witness one middle eastern country’s refusal to provide the Sri Lanka government investigators with information about the dirty money stashed with them.
    However, what I have tried to focus on in the three little tales I’ve repeated is that THERE IS NO EVIDENT WILL ON THE PART OF THE PRESENT DISPENSATION TO GO AFTER THE “BIG FISH.”
    As for the inane question of whether I believe in “prosecute or exonerate,” it hardly merits a response.
    The suggestion that I have ever countenanced the likes of Brian Mulroney and his airbus adventures is typical fabrication. My political track record of better than a quarter century of ACTIVE opposition to the likes of Mulroney, Day and Harper should speak louder than running around like a decapitated chicken every time some story without foundation is peddled about!
    P.S. to Sumaney:
    WHEN are you going to employ that English “tuition teacher” or have they all given up on you?

    • 1
      3

      @Emil van der Poorten

      “To all those who’ve made intelligent observations about the central thrust of what I have had to say”

      I do hope “made intelligent observation” does not mean “agreed with me”

      Maalumiris never said you supported the Mulroney shenanigans. What he suggested was you seem to want to dispense with the rule of law when it comes to things you disagree with in Sri Lanka. Summary Justice, forget Due Process and Proof..

      What he DID ask was whether that was the way things operate in your adopted country.

      Anyway, it’s all quite simple. Yahapalanaya lied and you believed them. You are horribly disappointed and now want to correct the situation, even if it means resorting to MR tactics

      Just because Yahapalanaya spun a bunch of “stories without foundations” to you does not mean you should do the same.

      • 2
        0

        Maalumiris:
        If yours is an attempt to indulge in intellectual gymnastics, I’d suggest you divest yourself of the mental prosthesis that, so obviously, forms a significant part of your make up.
        It REALLY doesn’t hurt to stop fabricating and deliberately misinterpreting what people have to say. Try it sometime. You might discover the value of such an approach.

        • 1
          1

          @Emil van der Poorten

          Oooo…! So many Big Words ! Must be the abroad English knowledge you had which makes you feel entitled enough to look down upon us locals who are not as skilled in the art of using English as she is spoke.

          Your smarmy put downs to us who don’t apparently meet your expectations of English smacks of a particularly odious form of superiority complex on your part.

          Everybody uses mental prosthesis, old boy. Even you’ve resorted to it in your article – so don’t be getting on THAT particular high horse here.

          When you attempt to write next time, try “Balance”. Don’t listen to Rumor and present it as Fact. You might find it more in tune with your advertised values

    • 5
      0

      It is true that there is no real interest on the part of the government to go after the “big fish”. That is understandable. Sirisena, a cabinet minister in the Rajapakse regime, voted in favour for every act, some of which were despicable. Obviously he couldn’t have survived otherwise. He may have been a reluctant party to those. Had he done so just to bide his time until he could topple Rajapakse, it would have been great. But I don’t think so. He was very much a part of the corrupt system until he saw a better opportunity; that of challenging Rajapakse and taking the mantel for himself. Under the circumstances, I don’t think he has the will to pursue the “big fish”.

      Ali Baba and his thieves have hidden their loot in secure caves around the world without leaving a trail for some flat-footed sleuth to pursue. New York Times in an investigative report, some months back, showed how such black money is invested in Manhattan properties through trust funds whose human beneficiaries disappear into the mist through convoluted legal arrangements originating from rogue havens such as Seychelles. So, going after the “money” is a futile exercise.

      What the government could do, if they are serious, is to get an independent and technically competent body to examine what was paid for the mega projects of the previous regime and determine what should have been paid for those projects. If the realistic estimate of the price is X and if the government has paid X + 25%, then, there is circumstantial evidence that 25% or thereabouts was skimmed off in the deal. Sure, no one can be prosecuted and convicted on that basis. But at least people will know the real extent of the thievery of the previous regime.

      The other thing the government could do is to send the Inland Revenue after suspected politicians and government officials. If one had been a salesman in the Singer Company before becoming a politician and now lives a luxurious life with children studying overseas and owning properties, surely Inland Revenue can ask how he or she made the money.

      Al Capone, the Mafia Boss of Chicago in the 1930s was not jailed for murder, extortion, prostitution, or drug pedalling but for tax evasion! None of the other crimes were provable because of a wall of silence and perfect covering of tracks. It was his inability to account for his luxurious lifestyle that landed him in jail!

      Sri Lanka too should find innovative ways to go after the crooks, politicians and public officials, who steal (or have stolen) from the state coffers. That is the only decent thing the country can do for those whose lives are a perpetual and miserable struggle, be it in the Middle East as a domestic, a garment worker in a sweatshop or a tea picker in the sweltering sun.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.