30 September, 2020

Blog

What The Hell Is Going On?

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

In a previous column I raised the issue of what, if anything, some of the recently-appointed members brought to the Sirisena/Wickremesinghe Cabinet and its subsidiaries.

While some of those appointments were obviously driven by the political compulsions of a broad coalition, many of them were inexplicable in the context of a government laying claim to any degree of democratic morality and supposedly dedicated to cleaning out the Augean stable of violence and corruption that they had inherited from the Rajapaksa rabble.

Already, the man who had a well-documented track record of being purchasable for the occasional air ticket – John Amaratunge – has effectively proven that he should NEVER have been appointed to any position of prominence. Will the Sirisena/Wickremesinghe cabal even now divest themselves of this guy, when, of all things, he stands accused of being involved in thuggery of a kind that was the very forte of the Rajapaksa bunch and the elimination of which was the avowed intent of the new government? I know that what is invoked every time a suggestion of this kind is made is the tired old saw, applied particularly to criminal conduct, that a person is innocent until proven guilty. However, given the moral foundation that the current government lays claim to, I would suggest that if there is even the hint of unacceptable conduct, those so accused should stand down, at least temporarily, until the issue is resolved. This is not some revolutionary principle that some Sri Lankan genius invented. It is a time-honoured practice that has proven its worth over and over again in countries that practice the governing practice called democracy.

Yasara

*There are at least a couple of glaring examples in Australia, one of which was simply an attempt to salve the hurt feelings of a woman jilted by one of the Royal Family, the exercise requiring accommodation (and designation befitting an experienced diplomat) for, not only herself, but her family as well!

And Faizer Mustapha? The man, who had the always-lurking ability to embarrass a government opposed to all that Mahinda Rajapaksa’s gang stood for, has now succeeded in doing so with a threat to resign, allegedly because he was prevented from appointing his father as head of Sri Lankan Airlines! Talk about a weird sequence of events: a member of this government is able to embarrass it for not doing what its predecessor did so consistently and in opposition to which it was elected to govern!

Then you have another turncoat with the one-time illustrious name of “Senanayake” letting the late unlamented Defence Secretary off the hook when he was found in possession of two baby elephants, one of whom was apparently “granted” to him by a “Sannasa” from his monarch of a brother and the other of which he was “looking after.” There appears to be no provision, even in the monstrosity of a monarchical constitution that Mahinda Rajapaksa created, for him to bequeath a baby elephant to anyone, leave alone a brother who might well have intended to use it in the manner that Kandula was used to breach Elara’s defences by an illustrious Sinhala king. This needs particular attention since the Rajapaksas (and Mervin Silva) claim descent from that very king!

As for the second elephant calf, the erstwhile Defence Secretary had apparently claimed he was looking after it for “someone.” There didn’t appear to be any evidence forthcoming as to who that “someone” was and in what manner the animal came into Mr. “Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s tender care, leave alone from where this animal was obtained. I rather doubt that it was found wandering around Colombo 7 and that it had followed some banana- or pineapple-bearing, large-hearted human being into the afore-mentioned Mr. Rajapaksa’s garden where it had been persuaded to join the rest of the exotic menagerie there for “safe-keeping.” Interesting indeed and provoking the thought that if one were to commit a bank robbery and be found in possession of the loot, an appropriate defence might be that what resided under one’s bed was there for “safe-keeping.”

A little footnote to all of this might be the fact that the Minister of Wildlife during the time all of this “safe-keeping” was being performed, Vijithamuni De Zoysa, has stated, unequivocally, that no President had legal authority to “grant” animals, domesticated, feral or wild to anyone because that authority rested with the Minister responsible for the Wildlife Department. As for the baby elephant deemed to be in the care of Mr. Rajapaksa by Minister Vasantha Senanayake, the suggestion from that same ex-Minister was that this animal would not be on the national register maintained for such pachyderms.

The simple question is, “Why the hell was this particular Senanayake given such a position of responsibility and why, after a display of this kind, has he not been removed with the utmost dispatch?”

Then you have the fact that a plethora of blatantly political appointments to what was euphemistically referred to as the “Diplomatic Service” have not been reversed. There are at least a couple of glaring examples in Australia, one of which was simply an attempt to salve the hurt feelings of a woman jilted by one of the Royal Family, the exercise requiring accommodation (and designation befitting an experienced diplomat) for, not only herself, but her family as well! The other is a case of a man who serves as an appropriate rebuttal to those who invoke the names of Lakshman Kadirgamar, Jayantha Dhanapala and Kumar Sangakkara as examples of the illustrious alumni that Trinity College, Kandy produced over the years. Has this character not been recalled in an attempt to avoid the pollution of Sri Lankan streets or those in the less-savoury parts of Europe where he was reputed to have been “rolled” (on more than one occasion!) after a night on the town? The gossip in political circles in Sri Lanka was that the man until-recently our President, had issued an edict that this “diplomutt” was not to be brought out from Down Under under any circumstances because he had potential to be a huge embarrassment to the Rajapaksa Regime if he returned. Think of that: someone who could embarrass the Mahindarajistanis being left to sow his particular brand of Sri Lankan wild oats Down Under at our expense! If it was legitimate to recall a retired head of the Senior Service (the Sri Lanka Navy) from his ambassadorial posting in Australia, surely the rest of the despicable flotsam and jetsam should have been recalled from all over the world? If that was too time-consuming, couldn’t the Sri Lankan government simply have informed the host countries of the withdrawal of their status as members of the Sri Lankan diplomatic service, leaving them to an appropriate fate, sans accreditation of any description? I know this might have provided that most unsavoury of Commonwealth leaders, Tony Abbott of Australia, with a tad of embarrassment given his support of Mahinda Rajapaksa, up to and including giving his buddy gunboats, but what the hell…. You can’t win them all!

It is undeniable that there are some very significant and valuable first steps that the new President and Prime Minister have taken such as having the guts to appoint a eminently-qualified Tamil as Chief Justice in spite of the sinister message of the drums of racism and xenophobia which continue to be beaten by Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cohorts, drums which still have significant resonance among a large part of the voting public. However, the concept of the “curate’s egg” comes to mind in these circumstances because being “good in parts” only means that the rest of the egg is unfit for consumption.

This government has to begin cleaning house NOW if it is going to sustain the claim on the basis of which it was elected to govern this country. Otherwise, there is going to be no extension of the “Hundred Days” and we, as a nation, cannot and should not have to endure the return of anything resembling the Rajapaksa Regime.

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Latest comments

  • 15
    2

    Well, certainly there are shortcomings.

    Although the difference now is anyone is allowed to take MPs to courts if laws have been broken. The impunity is no longer there.

    Furthermore, a journo from Daily News for example can freely publish the story how Faizal wanted to appoint his father using his position.

    He/she can be certain he will have a job even get a promotion hopefully. The Daily News team is yet to fully exercise this new found freedom however. They should!

    So unlike before, those who are in the media for example can go beserk with creative story withing on any subject to their liking.

  • 17
    0

    Emil you hitting quite near the target now , whoever comes, whether it is MR, MS or Ranil, the buffoonery is the same , only difference is Ranil’s boys speak in English ! I will give two examples-Paddy Vitharana keeps surfacing whenever Ranil is in power. He is a Royalist ( and RWs buddy )who started as a Chef in the 1960s when our main accommodation were the Rest Houses. Later he joined Keels and also Carsons. He is a decent man . But don’t these chaps become irrelevant at some point ? Tourism is a new ball game now. We are talking about tourists who spend $1000 a day. Most of tourism is on-line today. But in old Sri Lanka ancient statues keep resurfacing as the solution !
    Tilak Karunaratne-former Sihala Urumaya, then SLFP, much later UNP treasurer. Apparently a Chemistry graduate who has a large chemical industry which he started in early 1970s . Then about 4 years back he seemed to have made contact the King MR who appointed Tilak as Chairman of CSE. It was obvious that MR had no idea about the functions of the CSE-not only a regulatory body but also a capital market instrument. We are competing with Mumbai, Singapore, Bangkok etc for investments. So clueless MR appointed Tilak Karunaratne an amateur in capital markets like his predecessor Mrs. Sugathadasa. When our market virtually died MR removed him. Tilak said the market was manipulated by a mafia. Even if they did, the market was dead, so how can they make money !
    Tilak like Paddy Vithana is again considered quite a honest guy now in his late 70s. While honesty is very vital for the market , to flourish we need dynamism, modern capital market methods, etc, etc. Moment I read his name I felt like yawning. He has no idea of a modern stockmarket.
    These are fast evolving dynamic fields.
    Hasn’t this country young , able and honest men ? Ranil is looking for old dada’s who are totally dependent on him . It is like Dads Army, very entertaining ! But that is all.

  • 12
    2

    Even this government is not prepared to do what it takes. They better expose and educate the masses on the corruptness, extravagance, egotiscal, and dictatorial ways of the entire Rajapaksa family. Educate the masses on the importance of free speech, the importance of an impartial judiciary, the importance of the separation of powers, the importance of an independent press free of threats, the importance of independent law enforcement, and most importantly that elected officials are meant to serve not rule the people. I understand that it is an interim government with a mandate to enact constitutional reform and hold fresh elections in Arpil where a more permanent government should come in to power and this cabinet may be a deal done with the lesser of two evils. However, I pray and hope that for the future of this country that the post April government is made up of better figures than the current cabinet. If the Rajapaksa’s return, the country will have no hope for better future where the Rule of the Law is supreme and the rights of the people unalienable. A future which does not offer equal opportunities for minorities, protects freedom of speech and information, and does not promote peace and hope but fear is not a future worth having.

    • 0
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      Saviour20

      “Even this government is not prepared to do what it takes. They better expose and educate the masses on the corruptness, extravagance, egotiscal, and dictatorial ways of the entire Rajapaksa family. Educate the masses on the importance of free speech, the importance of an impartial judiciary, the importance of the separation of powers, the importance of an independent press free of threats, the importance of independent law enforcement, and most importantly that elected officials are meant to serve not rule the people.”

      Have you heard of the Common sense Phamplet Sri Lanka 2015″

      Sri Lanka Crisis Pamphlets 2015?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_%28pamphlet%29

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_American_Crisis

      The Low National IQ Scores?

      http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

  • 4
    2

    Even this government is not prepared to do what it takes. They better educate the masses on the corruptness, extravagance, egotistical and dictatorial ways of the Rajapaksa. Educate the masses on the importance of free speech, the importance of an impartial judiciary, the fact the executive and legislative are meant to be separate, the importance of independent law enforcement, and most importantly elected officials are meant to serve not rule the people. I understand that is an interim government with a mandate to enact constitutional reforms and hold fresh elections in April where a new government will come into power and therefore this cabinet may be a deal done with the lesser of two evils in the grand scheme of things. However, I pray and hope that for the future of this country that the post April government is made up of better figures than the current cabinet. Had the Rajapaksa’s stayed, this country will have no hope for a better future where the rule of the law is supreme and the rights of the people unalienable. The rights of our citizens must and should be viewed in a higher regard, something the old regime did not. A future which does not offer equal opportunities for minorities, protects the freedom of speech and information, and does not promote peace and hope but rather fear us is not a future worth having.

  • 4
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    Yasara’s family does not live in Sydney FYI both parents and brother lives and work in Sri Lanka

    • 11
      4

      Sunil:
      I stand corrected in the matter of the place of residence of Yasara who I suppose is the young woman who was appointed as some kind of “Deputy Consul” in Sydney, Australia.
      Since you are obviously well-acquainted with this young woman, you could, perhaps, acquaint us with the circumstances of her appointment and her qualifications to represent Sri Lanka as a diplomat. Would you also please confirm that she re-located to Sydney ALONE, without any other members of her family.
      I trust you will be as prompt in supplying readers this information as you were in correcting me.
      Thank you.

      • 8
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        Thanks for your response Emil. Yes I do know her family and can confirm that her mother is an Ayurvedic doctor and still operates her clinic, father is a television director and is currently directing a teledrama for Searnavahini and brother is a pilot currently employed at the national carrier. She is a political appointee that’s no doubt but I do know that she is a UK graduate and followed a special diplomatic training conducted by the foreign ministry. But as you say there are career diplomats waiting in line for these posting and should be rightfully given the oppertunity.

        • 0
          0

          Sunil:
          Thank you for that.
          I would, however, be obliged if you would answer the rest of my question, particularly as to whether Yasara re-located alone or, if not, who else was re-located with her.

          • 0
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            You [Edited out}

            Cheers

            Abhaya

          • 0
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            Yes Emil, she was relocated alone and I can confirm that she lives alone in Sydney. You might be able to get in contact with her parents in Sri Lanka for confirmation.

  • 15
    1

    Unless MS takes steps with RW to reign in Misisters etc for wrong conduct after awhile their behavior will become the norm and we will have to live through another nightmare.

    If Attanayake MP can be arrested where is Sajin MP,Namal,MP and even Gota? …living in luxury!

  • 11
    1

    The natural tendency of politicians, even those with the least potential to become corrupt, is to opt for expediency, than talent, in making appointments to political and administrative office. We have seen recently that Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremasinghe are no exception.

    Now that the freedom of expression (tv, newspapers, electronic media) is restored let us use that facility (as Emil has done here), to apply pressure on the rulers to desist.

    Let us insist on the rulers to install legislation to make “malice” an integral element of the offence of libel / defamation within a political context, requiring that malice be proved beyond reasonable doubt, even in civil suits seeking compensation.

    Let all newspapers provide a prominent forum for citizens to report abuse / corruption / and the like, to be published, if the newspapers are satisfied after enquiry that such allegation warrants official investigation.

    Name and shame should be considered standard instrument to cleanse political life. The Medamulana goons bled the country dry because such practice was absent.

    Let us build pressure against Maithripala and Ranil to implement this, and many other measures that are available to eliminate corruption.

    We live in a rich country. The proof is that we are still alive considering the massive looting that has taken place. Example 1: spending 157 million rupees on kaapalla jolikarapall in Nov / Dec 2014 on Presidential Palaces’ food / drink bill alone. Example 2: A minister has not paid excise duty 800 million rupees on his distillery due for the last seven months. Example 3: Mohan Peiris / CDL : Rs 619 million. Example 4: Ex President places order for a plane for Rs 2000 million. Example 5: SriLankan and Mihin lost (aka stolen by Management) Rs 115 billion during last 5 years. Rs 115,000,000,000, nearly a billion dollars.

    Let us insist that legislation is enacted immediately to compel all politicians from President to PC level, to declare their assets and liabilities and make it available in the public domain. Do it through a Govenment Web Portal. If Maithripala says no then we know he is not honest.

    Sans corruption we will have the money ; let’s use it for the good of the country. Bring pressure to bear on the Ruler to live a simple life. No need to carry retinues to where ever he goes. Let him do his work from his office, let him effectively supervise his subsordinates to make sure they are do theirs.

    Bring pressure to bear on the Government to collect all dues, avoid corruption, stop waste and thieving. Spend the money on EDUCATION and HEALTH, to build a prosperous country. 4% on GDP on Education is peanuts – make it 15%. Similarly health. Provide health care and medicine free to ALL the people. It is reasonable to spend at least 10 percent of GDP.

    Let’s exploit the Freedom of Speech now available. Every time Rulers deviate let us ridicule them and let us put pressure on them to reform their ways. Ridicule stops pomposity in its tracks.
    Let’s build a better tomorrow.

  • 16
    1

    The following has been reported:

    The JVP office for public complaints received a complaint yesterday (3rd) from a person engaged in mining sand at Welikanda in Polonnaruwa District against President Maithripala Sirisena’s brother Raju Sirisena, also engaged in sand business. Mr. Sujeewa Sudasinghe, a businessman engaged in mining and selling sand complained that sand mined by him is forcefully removed by Mr. Raju Sirisena.

    If the President, Maithripala Sirisena is to maintain / enhance his credibility and respectability, it behoves on him to order a public enquiry to be carried out by a respected member of the Judiciary, and the make the record available to the public.

    To bullshit will be at the President’s peril. Beware Mr Maithripala.

    • 4
      1

      Regarding the Polonnaruwa Sand Racket, it was heartwarming to read the following report in “Lanka Truth – 4th February”:

      President Maithripala Sirisena, due to the mediation of JVP Organizer for Polonnaruwa District T.B. Sarath, has taken measures to stop the illegal sand racket carried out by one of his brothers Raju Sirisena say reports. … President Maithripala Sirisena, taking action on the complaints received, has informed his brother to stop the sand racket.

      One cannot help but look back on the last few years of Sri Lankan history with deep regret. Only if Mahinda Rajapaksa could have had a little more love for the country than for the misplaced love for his Family, what a Hero he could have been, instead of the Paraya he has become, and what a Paradise we will be living in today.

      Thank you Mr President. Thank you Maithripala Sirisena. Please continue to tread the same noble, sincere, and patriotic path. Your simplicity and strightforwardness is uplifting.

      • 0
        0

        At the same time one has to take serious note of the CT complaint that they suspect CT is being blocked, at least being monitored, by SLT.

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/expose-srisena-brothers-continue-rajapaksa-policy-of-blocking-colombo-telegraph/

        Naturally there will be a suspicion that Maithripala wanted his rotten brother at SLT for nefarious purposes.

        High time he find the time, just like he finds the time for his idol worship, to personally answer these charges.

        I personally want to see how truthful a person you are Maithripala. Or was Chandrika dreaming in that recent video?

  • 9
    1

    Why is Mr Maithripala taking so long to kick Mr & Mrs Hirumburegama out of their positions?

    • 4
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      Their sons are college mates.

  • 10
    0

    Get rid of Faizer. He does not represent the Muslims. He only represents himself and his family.

    • 10
      0

      Muslims do not need MPs with Muslim names, except those elected by predominantly Muslim electorates. It is in our interest to vote for National Parties only.

  • 4
    2

    Bitching and complaining are of course useful.But the key lies in the hands of the people themselves. Appealing to a new bunch of politicos is a side event. I have been shouting myself hoarse from well before the elections about public vigilance (while extending support to MS to defeat MR).

    If I may be permitted to quote from by 28 December piece:

    “This brings me to the key strategy to adopt. The people of Lanka must stand on their feet and mobilize independently of either of these candidates. Yes, in the end we may vote for Mr Sirisena, but I recall an incident when Lenin moved a Central Committee resolution somewhat like this: “The Party calls on the people to vote for scoundrel-X against scoundrel-Y, for such and such reasons”. I do not advocate we apply such colourful language to our protagonist, but I am sure you get my point”.

    MS-RW are miles better than the MR-bunch of rogues and scoundrels, which is not saying much, but keep them on a tight, short leash.

    • 0
      1

      Kumar David

      We remember your valuable efforts to bring about the CC concept to fruition which finally buried the stinking Medamulang Gang.

      But the war against corruption is not over. You are relaxing. Get hold of Sobitha again. Hold public meetings again and speak against the corruption that’s going on now. Start with the appointment of Sirisena 2 as SLT Chairman. Todays news that Upul bugger has been appointed as BOI chairman is very upsetting. The thieves are not in jail. Why? Maithripalana bullshit must stop. Elections are over ; not need for anymore PR. Palana should be according to the law in the statute books.

      Gambling and Casino must stop. Why are Sumathipala, Ravi Wijeratna, and Dhammika Perera still not in jail. For X’s sake there is a law against gambling. They have still not paid the tax due under the regulations concerning gaming/gambling “regardless legal or illegal”. What’s happening? Ask Sirisena for an explanation.

      To do this openly, publicly start a public website. Invite the public to write in complaints about corruption, crime, non-enforcement of the law against certain individuals, and selectively against other individuals. Investigate, if there is a prima facie case publish and demand an explanation or action from Maithripala.

      Call in donations to employ staff and administer the website like a public utility.

      I can go on. But the above I mentioned only as examples of what you can do. Initiate, other will join you. Sobitha and you and make it work – to cleanse public life. Get to it. Sorry for the peremptory tone. But that was only to impress the need to act. Go.

    • 0
      0

      Dr.David.I started to work in the year 1965 and in 1967 I joined a Public Corporation.My experience had been absolutely disgusting, as far as Govt appointments are concerned.The organisation was managed by a Board of Directors.The first one I met had a Tailor representing a Colombo based Muslim politician and a drunkard representing a NCP based politician. The next board apponted in 1970 had a price joker as the chairman- dismissed from Public service for his ability to write fictitious reports on rice production,with a Karawala Mudalali as a colleague, then later on an exDirector of a Plantation Company appointed a security Guard from the same institution as a director.

      As much as I wish My3/RW combination the best, it is unlikely that on the Human Resources front there will be much change.I will also bet with you, even this group will not pervade to develop managerial talent from within ie promote employees from withing to the Board of Directors and Chairman.

  • 7
    0

    EMIL.

    As usual,a spade is a spade.I will tell you something about this guy FAIZER.
    He began his public life with CWC Chief Thondaman. Accordingly,he was appointed as Vice-Chairman of the NHDA in 2002 when Thonda was Minister in Ranils Govt:
    At the same time his father Faiz MUSTAPHAH was High Commissioner in London. As usual Faizer broke away from Thondaman and even took him to court!Later on Faizer joined MARA and every knows how he betrayed him.MARA went out of his way to even appoint Faizer as a Presidents Counsel which he did not deserve at all.Now as usual the betrayal mode is switched on and as usual he is holding MS TO RANSOM.Appoint my father FAIZ as Chairman SriLankan Airlines or else I quit,he says.

    PACK HIM OFF.

    • 1
      0

      If its a rumour and proves to be the truth, there is no option but to dispel him the cabinet of ministers…..

    • 1
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      What is MS waiting for? get rid of him

  • 13
    2

    Emil

    Your points about John Amaratunge and Faizer Mustapha are well taken. But you have gone completely overboard with regard to Wasantha Senanayake. No doubt Gota is a criminal and tough action should be taken against him, but don’t let it impair your vision and judgement. Wasantha displayed moral courage in being the first to cross over and is again showing character in adopting a fair-minded and legally-sound approach to dealing with the malpractices of the previous regime. How would you like if I write you off as a train wreck for the bloopers you have made in your life? Take it easy, Okay?

    • 2
      1

      Off the wall:
      The central issue is that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s possession of two baby elephants CANNOT BY ANY STRETCH be considered legitimate given the evidence available.
      That is a simple fact borne out by all the evidence available to the public at this point.
      I don’t give a tinkers dam whether Wasantha Senanayake was the first or last to cross over from MR. I suppose it took him a significant length of time for his conscience to kick in. That conduct sounds very suspiciously like simple opportunism to me. Perhaps, as you suggest, he saw the light but I hope you’ll forgive my skepticism in that regard.
      Back to the central issue: why when there was ample evidence of a complete irregularity was not a very obvious remedy sought?
      As for “bloopers in (my)life,” as one who has made my fair share, I have always had to face the consequences thereof and I have simply stated that Mr. Senanayake does the same. Fair?

  • 4
    0

    Very well said, Emil, as always!

  • 5
    0

    As might have been expected, Emil Vanderpooten has fired the first real salvo at the new government. While being greatly relieved that the Rajapaksas have been booted out and a sense of unity is being fostered among the different communities in Sri Lanka, What the people asked for and what was promised was a real change. But it appears that what we have been dealt, after the election, is a new hand but from the same pack. Can we hope that at least at the Parliamentary elections we will see a new set of politicians emerging; unless this happens, there will only be more of the same.
    By the way, not only the diplomutt presently in Australia, but Faizer Mustapha and his father are also Trinitians.

  • 3
    4

    Shifty Johnny used his Catholic Passport, to get a free ride to the Vatican and receive a personal blessing from the Holy See.

    He would have never had this privilege in his Elite, Anglican Vella Party the UNP.

    Johnny then organize the mother of all election violence in Wattala, under the Good Governance and new Culture of Sira/Ranil Yahapalanaya.

    And the SLFP has to come to the aid of the Wattala victims, to get some justice from this UNP brute.

    Poorty at least has brought it to the attention of the Intelligentsia.

    Wonder where the Good Governance vigilantes JVP and JHU are?

    Cant wait to see who they vote for when the No Confidence vote comes up.

    That is if Sira and Ranil uses a good governance clause to stitch a deal to silence the SLFP leadership.

    Has the Holy See wasted his blessing?…

  • 2
    2

    Never knew Mustafa wanted his old man as the Boss of Airlanka..

    That bloke from the Rag Trade sounds good now, although he is running a few Sweat shops..

    Why was Mustafa summoned to Singapore which is one the old LTTE activity centres?. ?…

  • 1
    0

    Emil,

    And a great many people like you who entertain some optimism about Sri Lankan politics I say, good on you, but I have to go further by saying that you all need a reality check.

    With all due respect, your optimistic outlook for Sri Lanka brought about by the change in government from the horrific misrule of Rajapaksas, are hopes we all go through. Every change of government gave us all kinds of new hopes.

    However the fact is no changes in government has brought lasting peace nor prosperity. All politicians played the racial card, placating the mahanayakayas, worshipping the tree and end up playing crony politics. The light at the end of the tunnel has been elusive in Sri Lankan politics.

    There is no point nitpicking on reprobates such as Paisa Mustaphas, John Amaratungas, Vasantha Ekanayakas and such ilk.

    At the end of the day the change in recent government will end up as always it does where the wool pullers pulled the wool over the eyes of the gullible voter; the smooth talkers craftily buried their corrupt pasts; the inept coming to power premising the impossible; the monks giving a new twist and a spin to old squeaky records; the Hakeems quietly and successfully sneaking into the triumphant team and the pole-vaulters vaulting either before or after into the winning side.

  • 3
    1

    President Sirisena who has the reputation of being a non-corrupt politician made a big blunder by accepting the presidency of SLFP, a party he accused consisting mainly of MPs who are either corrupt or drug dealers or murderers or alcohol dealers, for the sake of getting the support to implement the 100 day programme. Is it worth? Now he is in a dilemma whether to take action against these culprits of his own party.

    • 3
      1

      He genuinely wants to take action against all those corrupt politicians both in the government and opposition sides but much worried about the 100 days programme which must be carried out by hook or crook….

      Sirisena and Ranil are helpless because of their untimely and ill conceived election promises made before the Presidential Election.

      • 3
        0

        Good. People can patiently wait another 72 days to find out whether most of the SLFP MPs that president Sirisena categorised as drug dealers or ethanol dealers or murderers at election rallies will get arrested or not.

    • 0
      0

      @Patriot: He genuinely wants to take action against all those corrupt politicians both in the government and opposition sides but much worried about the 100 days programme which must be carried out by hook or crook….

      Sirisena and Ranil are helpless because of their untimely and ill conceived election promises made before the Presidential Election.

  • 2
    0

    Well said Emil.

    I am at a loss to understand why these dubious characters with absolutely NO knowledge or skill of foreign policy are representing Sri Lanka. They should not have been appointed at the first place. Should not they be recalled to SL and leave all of us the embarrassment? I have quite a few contacts in Australian govt and they laugh at the individuals you had mentioned from both ends.

    Why or why these people dont vacate their posts and go home? If they have a real threat to their lives, perhaps they could claim refugee status, dont you think?

    Apparently they get a good dole if you succeed in your refugee claims. Could someone let these individuals know of that possibility?

    Cheers

  • 1
    0

    WOW, Emil the tide has turned ! So many positive comments to one of your pieces, has it ever happened before ?

    Even Sumane doesn’t seem to be able to drum up his usual negativity.

    The herd is following a new leader, well done.

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      Envious? Sapattu Lansis are no match for the bund builders. Live with it.

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    dear Emil, very good exposition of some of the relevant facts once again. Any well meaning government coming after the Rajapaksa regime should necessarily have the characteristics of the Parson’s Egg, good in some parts but rotten in the others. Inevitable. It would take some time to get a good egg. Remember it is Sri Lanka. Bensen

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      the situation is more or less like übergang interior. So to search for hairs in the soup is not what we should do. At least to support them to succeed the 100 day. All these men and women are suffering from lack of patience.As if they are born today- they try to address those issues.

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    Dear Emil, I am wrecking my brain trying to explore the motivation behind Ravi Karunanayake’s budget proposal, among other things, for foreign investors desiring permanent residency, to invest US$10 million, repeat US$10 million. This must be a ploy to keep them away, but why? Also, former Sri Lankans desiring the Dual Citizenship, for reasons of inheritance from aging parents or simply to return back home with acquired skills, experience and capital, now have to pay Rs.500,000 as fee for each individual. E.g. a family with 2 adult children will have to fork out Rs. 2 Million. The irony is that when the fee was less than Rs.100,000 until 2011, only about 3,000 applied and this is not a significant revenue generator.

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    Looking at some of the appointments the Maithripala government has made, it would appear that Sri Lanka is starved for talented, qualified, competent individuals. Is it really possible after providing free education in Sri Lanka for the last seventy years?

    High time someone capable undertook the task to compile a list of appointments made and make publicly available, to compare against each appointment, a list of individuals who would have been far more suitable.

    Start with the Timber Hora at SLT.

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    Dear Mr. van der Poorten,

    Whilst understanding your frustrations on the current short-term government speed or ability to redress the grievances that kicked out previous regime, I would urge you to also consider the following factors;

    1) The 100-day program and its mandate, which to a very great extent is on track. I believe we have never had the privilege of such a clear program with delivery dates and deliverables.

    2) The hand that is dealt in terms of the personnel of the current government was not dealt by those in government but by us the people of Sri Lanka, we cannot demand such change, when we have dealt such a bad hand of, crooks, liars, criminals, etc…

    I believe the current focus is to support and ensure firstly, that all the facets of the 100 day program are implemented; secondly when the next opportunity arises for us the people to select our representatives at the upcoming general election, ensure that only those who are worthy of such office be elected.

    This way the post 100-day government will include people who would ensure that Sri Lanka truly becomes a miracle that it truly should be.

    Finally we the people should no longer, sit back and expect our leaders to deliver, but should be a driving force supporting them, but also expecting them to be the exemplary statespeople they should be.

    Petros

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      Petros:
      I do appreciate what you have had to say.
      However, as one who has, for several years, criticized the criminality of the Rajapaksa regime, at some little personal risk, I might add, I have no intention of letting the current regime off the hook in the matter of living up to the promises it has made and the expectations it has created.
      While we need to encourage the current government in the good work on which it has embarked, I believe it is also the responsibility of EVERY Sri Lankan to hold that government’s “feet to the fire” at all times. If we don’t, it will take us back into the slough out of which we have only just emerged.
      As a post-script, I notice that today’s headlines proclaim the recall of the political parasites parading as “diplomats” overseas. Good !
      NOW HOW ABOUT PROSECUTING THOSE WHO CONSPIRED TO PUT THE FINAL NAIL IN THE COFFIN OF DEMOCRACY ON THE NIGHT OF JANUARY 8TH?
      Isn’t that a matter of fundamental importance and urgency?

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