16 October, 2019

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The Buck Of Corruption Floats Up

By Malinda Seneviratne –  The Nation Editorial

Malinda Seneviratne

‘The Rising Crime Rate’ is a standard essay topic in schools and has been so for decades. It says something about the persistence of the phenomenon and also a manifest inability and lack of will on the part of relevant authorities to combat the menace. It points to complicity or deliberate, systematic and skilled partaking.

The National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) is reported to be investigating four ministers, two deputy ministers and several provincial politicians and members of local government authorities alleged to have been implicated in bribery and corruption. ‘Four’, commonsense says, is a small number and sadly it is the smallness of number that is ‘news’.
Mismanagement, pilfering, cutbacks and such have made the news before. The play of power and bucks in the sustained development of the menace has not gone without comment.

While applauding the NIB for its work, it must be mentioned that there’s a reason why few would be impressed, given the perception that big fish are either left alone or let loose courtesy loopholes of the law.

The politician is not alone. Officials have also been named and shamed, but tend to be relocated with little bruise to reputation or reward. The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has found rampant corruption in over 200 state institutions. The President has already removed six heads of state corporations and more heads are to roll it is said. The process however seems to be so slow that foot-dragging must be suspected.

If there are bribe-takers, there are bribe-givers too. Corruption is not the preserve of the public sector. Corporate crime, including palm-oiling for attractive contracts, hardly makes the news. And just last week, the website www.colombotelegraph.com revealed details of a massive US $ 1.5 million pilfering from the FAO. The UN itself stands accused of being indulgent of monumental corruption and the UN Secretary General himself has been accused of covering up. As for the ardent advocates of good governance, transparency and accountability such as the Free Media Movement and the Centre for Policy Alternatives, they’ve been caught with pants down and forced to hide behind some see-through underwear they call ‘lack of clarity’, ironically. And need we even talk of sports bodies, beginning with Sri Lanka Cricket.
Response has to be multi-fronted. It is a tough task because the good tend to lack the resources and the bad come with bucks and patronage and are fully armed. The ‘underworld’, moreover, is not underground, but operates at all levels, all sectors and across all social classes and up and down the pecking order. We need the laws and we need the enforcement, but in both departments the doers remain accused, compromised and (naturally) unwilling.

On the other hand, we are a country that had the resources to defeat the world’s most ruthless terrorist outfit. We had the wherewithal and personnel to capture and bring home Kumaran Pathmanadan (KP), Prabhakaran’s chief operator internationally. The expertise exists then. So too the full backing of the general citizenry. What then is missing?
Well, it is known that when the boss is crooked, it is a license for his/her subordinates to indulge as well. The reverse is more revealing. If the minions are in to picking, the chances are the boss is either incompetent or him/herself corrupt.
The President must understand that just as he, as the Executive in a constitution where executive sway is absolute, deserves the major credit for vanquishing terrorism, the ‘buck’ of criminality invariably floats towards him and on to his desk. It is good that he has taken a stand and initiated action, but the country needs and deserves evidence that he is fighting the good fight, no holds barred. If there are no concrete results, he will be accused of incompetence and complicity.

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    Its like you read my thoughts! You seem to grasp a lot about this, such as you wrote the e book in it or something. I think that you simply could do with some p.c. to drive the message house a bit, however instead of that, that is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

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    Malinda might have got ashamed for my previous comments, anyhow in this present circumstance of threats to journalist this article is fair enough.

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    Malinda Seneviratne states above, ‘We are a country that had the resources to defeat the world’s most ruthless terrorist outfit. We had the wherewithal and the personnel to capture and bring back home, Kumaran Pathmanadan(KP).

    Could one be serious or naive to believe that our personnel, kicking aside treaties between countries that exist to extradite the wanted, captured and brought KP home? The truth is that KP was escorted and provided protection to come back home. KP and the crowd are those who double dealt Prabahkaran to rid them. Now after KP arrived he is in the best of comfort and well looked after by MR for the favour done in helping MR to defeat and dispose of Prabahkaran. This is like how Prabahkaran disposed of Thamilselvam giving information of his whereabouts. Now KP is waiting for the elections to the North to be held for him to take over as Chief Minister. So is Tamara Kunanayagam who is helping MR from the Tamil clan waiting for position and power. The deals these LTTErs have had with MR will be out soon.

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    On the other hand, we are a country that had the resources to defeat the world’s most ruthless terrorist outfit. We had the wherewithal and personnel to capture and bring home Kumaran Pathmanadan (KP), Prabhakaran’s chief operator internationally. The expertise exists then.

    Was it efficient? It took 30 years, 100K lives, and resulted in a massive brain-drain. The economic costs speak for themselves. If the priority had indeed been to win the war, then the thing to do would have been to have a draft two decades ago. This is not a novel idea; most countries that embark upon a major war have a draft. Anyway, there must be more to this totally inefficient way of conducting a war. For one thing, there are spillover effects. The same levels of corruption, inability to innovate, diplomatic maneuvering, lack of political resolution as per the Tamil Question, etc. that resulted in the war dragging on, are quickly materializing in a post-war context. If these matters are not attended to abruptly, there will be another struggle of some kind, but this time it will be internal, e.g. from within the ranks of the majority community.

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    What can I say.You nailed it.Not an easy job but if you can corner the
    so called most ruthless terror outfit and destroy them and hunt down its Intl chief operator on a foreign soil,what’s stopping you from putting the house in order?With all the power in hand?With all the public support in the background?Answer is simple.We don’t have patriotic leaders(only patriotic actors)we don’t have uncorrupt teachers,we don’t have uncorrupt public administration and we don’t have anything else corrupt free because we have made it a religion with
    the establishment of politics as its head.

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    It appears that it has been missed out that this story of bundling KP from Malaysia, then to Bangkok to Sri Lanka is a total hoax. How can our Secutity Personnel walk in to other countries and bundle people through their Immigration when there are Treaties to adopt for extradition. As I said KP had been escorted with full protection for the favour he did to MR by betraying Prabahkaran to be killed. That is why KP is looked after so well now by MR regime with the prospect of him being elected to the North as the Chief Minister. Douglas Devananda will have to play second fiddle or he will not be successful at another attempt on his life.

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    When MR has KP for the North and Karuna for the East to show solidarity with MR to protest against any influence from the world body on Human Rights or War Crimes in the future where will the Tamil Diaspora stand? That is the end of all Investigations against MR. See how Karuna in full suit sat with the MR govt. supporters to protest against the recent so called Resolution from the US. When individuals like Tamara Kunanayagam and crowd lend support to MR there need not be devolution put on paper as an ammendment to the Constitution but defacto is sufficient to fulfill the needs of the new Tamil Leadership to come.

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      Yes, MR has a few well-paid lackey Tamils to fool the international community. But of course, the real power in the North and East is the military.

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        Yes the Military is in control at the moment. Sooner or later MR will not be in a position to continue due to various reasons.

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    I am very happy to read this blog by Malinda, with whom I had many mail exchanges about him licking the boots of Rajapaksa brothers for favors. He is wrong in one instant, KP was not bundle out by our Intelligence guys headed by Kapila Hendavitharana. KP surrendered to the D/Sri Lankan HC in Malaysia and was brought to Sri Lanka as a special guest of Rajapaksa family and, according to KP’s own words had breakfast with Gotabaya at his residence. Gemini’s theory is not 100% correct but partially correct, as KP never helped Rajapaksa to catch Prabakaran, as he wanted them out safe in the Indian ocean. KP was wanted by FBI, RAW and CIA for crimes he committed and as a mass murderer, but as the drag line was getting closer KP did a deal with Kapila Hendavitharana through one of his handlers in Thailand, Henda got friendly with when he was attached to the Sri Lankan HC in Thailand. What Gamini says about KP going to be the Chief Minister may come correct if Rajapaksa can hold on to power, but if they get eliminated then KP will end in a American or Indian jail. What Malinda failed to note is all corruption in the country is sponsored by Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers, but Malinda is afraid to say so directly. White van, 10 to 20% commission on contracts, deviations from NPA guidelines, borrowing money from China on commission basis and giving contacts on the same basis can be stopped then Mahinda may be able to stop the corruption and bring the country to a level playing field. But will Mahinda and brothers do this? As Malinda says if Rajapaksa brothers allow corruption and all other White van activities and murder and rape to go unchecked Sri Lanka will be in a very serious trouble from all the IC bodies and the Economy will be in tatters allowing a summer of Middle East to come to Sri Lanka.

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      Krishna, You assert that KP did not help MR to trap VP, but wanted the lot to escape out into the Indian Ocean? Are you serious in believing that KP handed himself without knowing what happened to VP. KP exactly knew what happened at ground level in the War front, because it is he who helped MR to decimate VP and a oart of the LTTE cadre and some civillians who opted to remain with them after the War Drama was steered to a conclusion where it was publicised that the LTTE was holdings the civillians as a Human Shield. If the LTTE was holding the civillians as a Human Shield and was massacering any who defied and try to escape how did the civillians wade across the lagoon by the thousands in Rubber dingies and boats. The question is who provided the civillians with rubber dingies and boats to escape if the LTTE was adamant and using them as a Human Shield? This was the drama that was enacted. What happened was after the majority civillians left the area MR with Gota side tracking from the agreement massacred VP and the crowd remaining. The present story about the white flags and the accusation of around forty thousand being killed is refering to this lot by the world body. To believe that KP did not know anything that happened at ground level just to hand him over is out of context. KP and MR both knew that MR could market KP for the North and sell him to the Sinhalese Chavinicts as the Sihala Urumaya who have nicely accepted Karuna and Pillayan to the East. So MR will have no problem to sell KP for the North. Further MR knowws he can easily ward off the Tamil diaspora when there are two Tamils from the LTTE working with MR to defend him. In such a scenario where does the Tamil Diaspora stand? KP definitely is having a hand in eliminating VP for him to succeed in the end, after which he handed himself to MR and not otherwise. The first body supposedly of VP was a look alike and thother it is not our forces that killed that man, the look alike, because the body was discovered after Maj. Gen Kamal Gunaratne received the information on his mobile a call. Now who could have given the call other than the party who disposed the body there and not that he was killed by our Forces. What did the MR regime do? They took the whole country for a ride celebrating the death of VP. VP’s death, if at all was after the civillians leaving Puthukuddiirippu where the Forces massacred the remaining LTTE and VP.

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    Malinda:
    Are you totally without SHAME of any description?

    You work for the President’s cousin, Wickremesooriya, domiclled in London, as Editor-in=-Chief of the Nation, a paper that the President himself described as belonging to them! And you have the gall to talk about corruption which is DRIVEN BY YOUR MASTERS AND FROM WHICH THEY BENEFIT. You hold some poor peasant who has to pay a bribe to one of your masters to do what they are getting paid for as guilty as the recipient of the bribe? You are beyond description!

    It does seem that there is NO LIMIT to your hypocrisy. You piece of bullfeathers is much like Goebbels telling the world that the Third Reich should clean up its act!

    If you are not prepared to desist from this absolute b…s..t, somebody should put you out of your journalistic misery!

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    Anti-Boru…you really should get some gripe-water, sister!

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