21 June, 2024


There Is No Alternative To The Principled Conduct Of Government

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

The phrase that constitutes the pith of the title of this piece is probably one that has been used and abused by the self-righteous more than any other in the realm of political comment.

However, that said, in practical terms, THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE to doing things in a principled manner. If you deviate from that straight and narrow path you are going to end up in chaos. It is as simple as that.

The whole Mahendran brouhaha which doesn’t exactly promise to make the Rajapaksa regime (MR1) look like the epitome of principled civilized governance is still just the tip of an iceberg that has definitely been forming thanks to the behaviour of the leaders of the Maithripala/Ranil (MR2) lot.

The real slide began a while back with the toleration extended to some of those from the previous regime who defy polite description, several of whom had also been defeated at the last polls. They were enlisted and given (well-paid) positions of authority and prestige by the MR2 lot in the name of necessary political expediency. I have referred to several of these over the past months and they have included one who has pronounced, essentially, that it will be over his dead body that any of the Rajapaksa clan will face justice in the courts of this country, following that up (or was it preceding it?) by impeding the Avante Garde investigation. Then you had the other senior functionary who is contributing – there is no other word for it – to the poisoning of the citizenry of Sri Lanka’s hill capital so that the peace and quiet of the custodian of the tooth relic will, in no way, be at risk. Apart from weird and wonderful proposals for subjecting the Kandy lake to some kind of “flyover,” a corollary to that hare-brained proposal was to put a Rajapaksa-type super highway through Udawattakelle. Even if both of these schemes were beyond ludicrous, they served the purpose of diverting the public’s attention from what was really going on – pandering to the whim of someone who, with the active support of the previous regime, had ensconced himself as the custodian of what has been described as Sri Lanka’s most important place of worship.

These are but two examples of those who seek to protect crimes that have and/or are being committed against the people of this country because the theft or diversion of resources that should go towards health care and education (among other essentials), obstructing justice and pollution leading to serious health problems for thousands of people are simply CRIMINAL OFFENCES.
If the preceding sounds repetitious, I make no apology for that being so. We need to pursue accusations of these kinds against the guilty until they are removed from positions that give them the authority to do such evil.

I would submit that, given what has transpired in this country since January 8th of 2015, even the massive boondoggle that Arjuna Mahendran’s son-in-law is accused (allegedly with his father-in law’s connivance) is a great deal less damaging than it would be under normal circumstances and could, in the final analysis, provide cover for the greater ongoing injustices and crimes committed by those in the seats of power.

The Mahendran Fiasco should not simply provide cover for the injustices, deceit and theft that the citizenry of this country has been subjected to for far too long. I hope it will provide the lever for a general cleansing of what is swiftly approaching Augean proportions in the matter of stables of those in the seats of power.

The utterances of our head of state which led directly to the resignation of the head of the most important Commission entrusted with inquiring into bribery and corruption in this country certainly set the stage for a seriously precipitous slide into the mire from which we thought we might be emerging. If anybody should have tendered their resignation it should not have been the lady concerned. At best those comments about her conduct were less than sagacious. At worst they cloaked issues of abuse and theft of national resources in procedural gobbledegook. No matter how you cut it, it was NOT the lady who was certainly on the side of those who had been victimized by years of violence and embezzlement of public resources who should have resigned.

I trust I will be forgiven for not holding my breath in anticipation of change that we thought was on the cards prior to the “Affaire Mahendran” because it now seems that that contretemps will simply provide a means of diverting attention from the need for punishment for the mass theft of public resources, both past and present, and from the cruelty, injustice and violence visited upon this country by the regime that preceded MR2. That, unfortunately, appears to be the current “reality” of politics in the country we call home.

To put a positive spin if such is possible given the circumstances, on the most recent and massive boondoggle, it does provide an opportunity, no matter how slender, to further provoke those of us who are insistent that some degree of decency, principle and that most elusive of attributes in Sri Lanka – good governance – into continued agitation and pressure. For those of us who are in serious danger of giving up the good fight let me close with a quote of which I will never tire by Margaret Mead, the eminent anthropologist who said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

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  • 2

    Emil van der Poorten

    RE: There Is No Alternative To The Principled Conduct Of Government

    “However, that said, in practical terms, THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE to doing things in a principled manner. If you deviate from that straight and narrow path you are going to end up in chaos. It is as simple as that.”

    Looks like the “President” Gon Sirisena Gamarala, does not fully accepts that.

    Looks like Ranil W.also does not fully accepts that.

    So, all the Paras, Parasdeshis from India, in the Native Veddah Aethho are in fix except the wrong doers.

    • 5

      “Principled Conduct”

      Talk of principles/morality/ethics leaves me confused like no other.

      I always hark back to one of Einstein’s thought experiments.

      What if you are transported back into the pre-stone-age? And one morning, you are on your way hunter-gathering. A comely lass walks your way in a flimsy grass-skirt. What would you do? Would you pass her by? Or would you grab her by the hair and take her behind the rocks? Would you still be “moral” if there is no retribution/consequences?

      I guess it’s wise to look for a set of rules like road/traffic-rules that people obey out of self-interest, rather than for non-existent innate goodness/morality of man.

      If there ever was/is principles/morality/ethics we wouldn’t be still looking for exemplary leaders.

      It’s just a thought-experiment; now, before you modern feminists-supporters come at me with all guns ablaze, let me say I agree with you, that girls dress mini-skirts, hot-pants, ………. etc, for no other reason than to strengthen man’s moral-fibre. No arguments there.

      • 3

        “”I always hark back to one of Einstein’s thought experiments.””

        American Girl In Italy – Then
        After WWII, 23-year-old Nanalee Craig decided to travel alone around Europe. This photo was taken in Florence, and shows over a dozen men openly staring at the beautiful woman.

        American Girl In Italy – Now
        Craig is now 86-years-old. When asked about the photo, she said, “Some people want to use it as a symbol of harassment of women, but that’s what we’ve been fighting all these years… It’s not a symbol of harassment. It’s a symbol of a woman having an absolutely wonderful time!”


        tolerance is not in your culture pedophile buddhist- we saw it at Tsunami rescue operations.
        Prince Charles visit to obtain justice for a Russian girl.
        Its always a question of who gets the plum and lions share at table so how can you think of all men/women are equal under the law??

        “I guess it’s wise to look for a set of rules like road/traffic-rules that people obey out of self-interest, rather than for non-existent innate goodness/morality of man.”” rules are like policies – negotiable.
        the privilege of interpreting literature and laws is the cause of heart burn.

        Rules are there to be broken but not Laws. traffic rules are broken to avert hazards- see the proto-type on web.

        • 0

          Hey Zorro, buddy,

          Why all these different handles? Have the “morality” to stick to one. See Bud, it’s easy to talk about morality but difficult to practice it. eh ? :)

          As usual you have missed the boat.

          All those men in your pic let the girl pass because they know there’ll be retribution/consequences; not because of an innate “morality.” They do not follow through with what their faces express, not out of morality but out of fear of retribution.

          That’s exactly my point! Thanks for the illustration. :)

          There are no moral/ethical/principle/what-have-you connotations in traffic-rules/laws. People “try” to obey them out of self-interest, so that they themselves do not fall victim to others who break them. It’s in everybody’s interest to follow them. Although sometimes people break, but when caught, nobody argues that they shouldn’t be there. Well, except the mad. :)

  • 1

    As Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr once said:

    “Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.
    The more things change, the more they are the same.
    Every man has three characters – that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has.”

  • 1

    Emil van der Poorten

    RE: There Is No Alternative To The Principled Conduct Of Government

    Not for the Politicians. See how Gon Sirisena Gamarala and RW were behaving.

    State enterprises: Ministers reveal massive losses amounting to Rs 300 bn
    Dayasiri alleges some journalists ‘too much’

    Minister Premjayantha asserted that Sri Lanka needed to take punitive measures to tackle waste, corruption and irregularities. The former UPFA General Secretary Premjayantha recalled how Singaporean National Development Minister Teh Cheang Wan had committed suicide in Dec 1986 in the wake of Premier Lee Kuan Yew directing him to go on leave. Premier Yew had issued the directive soon after Corruption Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) initiated an inquiry.

    Minister Premjayantha pointed out that in spite of Minister Wan being a close associate of Premier Yew the former had no option but to face corruption probe or commit suicide.

    Minister Premjayantha said that he had been among a group of parliamentarians recently given an opportunity to meet one of the highest ranking officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CP). Responding to a query from the visiting delegation, the Chinese official had emphasised that the CP had remained in power for over 70 years primarily due to its readiness to punish those found to be corrupt regardless of their positions in the party.

    Urging the media not to misinterpret the Chinese example Minister Premjayantha said that the national economy was in a shambles due to a widening trade deficit. Estimating Sri Lanka’s annual import bill at approximately USD 20 billion, Minister Premjayantha pointed out that exports and foreign remittance by Sri Lankans working overseas amounted to USD 10-12 US and approximately USD 7 billion, respectively. Minister Premjayantha asserted that the remittances could fall unless crude oil prices stabilised.


  • 1

    Mr. Pooten:

    You people are just complaing. But, they are manipulatimng the system just to plunder more from the country. Arjuna Mahendran had done 24 episodes of the same thing. Up to Now, news bulletins are talking only about one. Sri lankan people will never win from that by taking back the money given fraudulently because prime minister and other ministers are part of that. COPE had been manipulatd heavility to hide the truth. Sujiwa Senasinghe, I suppose, want to prosecute journalists who published the report. there are more than one COPE report. They havn’t submitted the report by due date. Some big mouth MPs who talked about other’s corruptions (Ranjan Ramanayake, UNP MP) had refused ot not yet signed the document.

    Besides everything, Maithripala Sirisena has send some bills through the parliment to establish foundtions for him and there are many such foundations. Those foundations are there for accumulating wealth by means what ever the way they get. It can include bribes which comes as donations, commiss or charity money. They don’t submit expense report on these which means, a legal way to steal from the country.

    In decent societies, even the small gift should be reported.

    These foundations are not opened to report their revenues or expe4nses to Tax authorities. So, Ta free income and hidden from public.

  • 1

    Emil van der Poorten has thrown a better spin than a Murali doosra. Spinning the Arjuna Mahendran crime with the ball, out of the field all the way to Singapore, while getting a big wicket, all the Rajapaksa out in one ball….! Mr Poorten is the best spinner Colombo Telegraph / Colombo has!!!

  • 2

    “The whole Mahendran brouhaha which doesn’t exactly promise to make the Rajapaksa regime (MR1) look like the epitome of principled civilized governance…” blah, blah, blah.

    But the thing is, mulatto, the yaMapalana thieves haven’t been able to catch, prosecute or jail any of the so-called robbers of the Rajapakse regime. All the Rajapakse thieves with shit in their back pack, like Nimal Siripala, S. B. Dissanayaka, Mahinda Samarasinghe are propping up the homo-gang UNELECTED.

    So how can you keep chanting this fraudulent mantra of Rajapakse thefts, while cleaning the treasury of 15 billion! Do you know the meaning of the word SHAME?

    There is a saying, never trust a man who does not wash his backside after defecating. Looks like their (part) descendants are not any better.

    • 0

      From what little can be comprehended from what you have said, it certainly looks like a load of the material in which you seem to revel, whichever of your orifices it emanates from.

  • 2

    This government is well sponsored and reluctantly oiled by Obama.
    Victim The Trinco 5 pop knows too well Obama made history defending Rajapaksa at District Court Columbia.

    See them shoot in the north like deer in a park.- the law is skewed like Sobita’s skinhead. The fascist are there because they do not want to reason.

    When the outcome is fixed, when the system is rigged, people lose hope – they stop dreaming, they stop trying.

    Dog in the manger Sobita stole the ultimate weapon, power in voting (to a sexual intercourse Maithuna )and it was ++ by BTF/BTF.

    Now it can only get stale with the silver being sold for the asking of a few.

    If only there could be an honest $1 salary CEO to run the spice island??

    Tell me have you ever heard of Snake and Kidney Puie?

    Dani dani dani doni dani dani dani dey
    Dani dani dani doni dani dani dani dey
    Tiddy dani dani doni dani dani
    Dani dani dani goni gani
    Tadi dama dani goni gani
    Dani dani dani dey

  • 1

    FIL & SIL ( as one commentator put it) collecting LKR 5 Billion in just 12 months of Yahapaana Bond trading is no Big Deal according to Pootin.

    How cool.

    UNP Pin Up Boy 36 Million LKR Sene is the number one Defence Council of FIL & SIL Bond Traders, assisted by Kalu Ajith another UNP Heavy Elite.

    Sene threatened to go to Yahapalana High Court soon, to prove that COPE is a political witch hunt by HandunNatta after the Report was published the other day..

    My Elders tell me these two heavy weights are among the highest scoreres at the last Election.

    Not only Aiyo Sira but his mae Batalanada Ranil also gave Yahapalana Gigs to discards,

    And I can name a few.

    But them helping Rajapakasa is a lot of Bovine Manure ..

    Even a high school math graduate would know ,Shares in Apollo, Kingsbery. Hilton,and even Malawana Walauwwa put together wouldn’t add up to even half of LKR 5 Billion..

    FIL & SIL have made our Sinhala Politicians in the South look like Pick Pockets when it comes to the size of the loot.

    Wonder where Malik Samre is, after drinking Moet with FIl & SIL at the “Yahapalana Bond Auction” after party.

    • 1

      KASmaalam KA Sumanasekera

      I really really really want to help you but I am sorry I couldn’t find right person who is willing or able stop you from ranting.

      • 1

        Dear Native,

        Who you really really should help are the inhabitant Yahapalana Suckers who now are paying 14.65 % on the LKR 600 Billion Bonds , which FIL & SIL arranged..

        With your Dollar Income Stream you should seriously think of contributing something to relieve at least their mental agony if not this Financial burden , which even their offsprings and their offsprings will be lumbered with.

        BTW, Do you know Mahendran has a perfect alibi, to get off the hook.

        It is none other than the Yahapalana Ranil, who gave the instructions.

        Three UNP mimisters namely Ravi, Samare and Kabir met Mahendran 3 days before the Bond Auction.

        No wonder Samare drank Moet with Mahendran in the Yahapalana CB Board Room.

        How cool…

  • 0

    Principled conduct of government? To me that sounds like a perfect Oxymoron. But let us grant you your argument. Then can you cite examples of nations where this is practiced? Certainly not in the USA or Britain. So where do we look for Principled conduct of government Monsieur/Meneer Van Der Pooten?

    Keep looking.

    • 3

      Camembert Phew!!

      “So where do we look for Principled conduct of government “”

      The American Dream. UK too.
      “What makes us exceptional is that we are a nation of laws, and that we are all equal under those laws – Hillary’s corruption shreds the principle on which our nation was founded,” he (Trump) said.

      At Crony Capitalist Lankawe there are constitutional provisions for school dropouts Buruwanse.

  • 0

    At least its out in the open – not shoved under the carpet and the accusers bumped off like in MR’s days!

    • 0

      Error correction:
      Response should read:

      “From what little can be comprehended from what you have said, it certainly looks like your cranium contains a load of the material to which you so freely allude. That is the only explanation for the muck that seems to emanate from whichever of your orifices seems to be open when you write to CT.”

    • 0

      transparent zoo keep loving the gossip??
      Beaver Moon 14th November ?,?14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter in the sky,
      try to hold a moon beam in your hand? (if you know what I mean?)
      for it won’t come as close again till November 25th 2034.


      • 0

        Bum… Bum…

        Know the ghetto saying, “Beware of the Jew’s tongue and Goiyam’s hands”. Loving the gossip is path to hell.

        Me thinks, moon beam will be shadowed long before 2034.

        How is that?

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