Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Leaving Mrs Muzzamil out of an important election and a possible chance at an upset is one the perpetrators MUST answer to the People
The pressure that the old guard put on the UNP leader to leave Mrs Muzzamil who had done much to garner the female and Muslim vote to the UNP cause is unpardonable as it was done for merely selfish reasons of destitute politicians, and against the best interests of the UNP.
Included in this bunch of destitute sadly are the crop of MPs from the Colombo District such as Ravi K, Sujeewa Senasinghe, Rosy Senanayake and the others who would most likely suffer at the current polls, such as Mujibur Rahman and Fairoze. It must however be remembered that it was most likely that she could have ADDED 3 more members to the WPC from the Colombo District if she was allowed to contest.
While it is true that the Mayor has to play ball with the Defense Secretary to get UDA funding and approval for some of the ostentatious projects for Colombo. He has therefore had to compromise his principals of UNP for the sake of the residents of Colombo who is his primary responsibility to matter what his political allegiances are.
Further unlike the squeaky clean record of Mrs Muzzamil, the Mayor’s penchant for hitting the casinos and therefore the need to get funds to sustain that bad habit has meant that deal making has been a necessary evil that the Opp Leader has not approved of. The latter fact is NOT one that should disqualify Mrs Muzzamil as she was ready to atone for her husband’s way ward ways (WWWs) and get a good chunk of the Muslim vote in Colombo.
Let us NOT forget that the Muslim vote counts a lot for the UNP and without an attractive candidate who could have topped the UNP Colombo district the left overs will have to share the balance of the spoils, and risk the anger of the voter for not allowing a better candidate to be selected.
Of course time will prove the predictions I made, but it is not too late for the guilty to make a mea culpa and admit the error of their ways and try to woo Mrs Muzzamil in some other fashion to remain in the fold, which if it was only up to her, she would say why bother! Maybe she should be made the organizer of Central Colombo and be assured of the ticket at the General Election!
If the Muzzamils are taken out of the UNP platform for ever it is again that the UNP is the loser, not the Govt. so heed the words of caution.
Friday, February 7, 2014
While it is apparent that the UNP means well, to encompass all those who are working against the regime and its suspect policies, the way they go about organizing this is in fact to the detriment of the party itself. In theory this is in the best interests of the Country (good and noble) to harness all forces in opposition to get together. In practice every Tom Dick and Harry who is opposed to the regime will get equal prominence.
Further like what the Sarath Fonseka Democratic Party did, they at the last minute escaped out of a combined rally by holding their own, because they mistakenly thought they had the numbers to show a force of their own to the public!!
As clearly seen at the Hyde Park Rally on the 28th of January, to essentially use the abolition of the executive presidency, fight against the casinos, and the drug and illegal ethanol import culture, sponsored by the Govt Politicians, the UNP supplied 95% of the bodies, SF was a no show taking his stragglers elsewhere, and the people did not appreciate the size of the UNP presence as the color Green was absent from most of the rally. The place was bedecked with multi colored flags and the stage was reminiscent of the JVP red squak box, where one could be forgiven for thinking it was a JVP platform that people were talking from!!!!
The NOBLE aspirations of inclusiveness are lost on the public and electorate.
The time has come to use the Elephant and the Green to unite the people against this Govt. behind this banner. I believe the opposition to the Govt. in the govt. circles are more likely to ally under the Green than an incoherent multi color.
The Leadership and the wanna be leaders of the UNP don’t understand what the public are looking for from the UNP. UNP needs to remake itself with youth, so they don’t have to carry the baggage of the greed of the old guard who will have to be put out to pasture, as they are a liability to the cause!!
It is time for the UNP to remake itself from those who put the party and country interest before theirs, and in this respect the hardened old campaigners have to be set aside and limited to a consultancy mode, using their considerable experience but have lost electability and credibility across the board. New blood, with vision, charisma, vibrancy, devoid of pettiness is the need of the hour.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
For one so steeped in Politics, and who works very hard to maintain his popularity, he is surely acting like a spoiled child who lost out on some cookies! The letter to the Leader of the Opposition, accusing him of using overriding powers is a little rich considering the opportunistic politics that RK follows and also bearing in mind that he is a sore loser.
He resigned at the 11th hr, only because he did not like the ruling. If he agreed with them he would not. So his principles come secondary to what he wants. He did not get the candidates he wanted, in the nomination, so he sulked. If one looks at the real reason for his bitterness, one would know it is NOT principles but self interest.
He is trying to find justification, by including all Electoral Organizers in his case as being upset. In the best interests of the party, the Leader must give nominations to those who he believes have the best chance of defeating the incumbents, not out of loyalty to longstanding supporters who could NOT get a band of voters if they tried. The letter is mischievous in that it shows his true colors. He says that as his choices were not followed the fact that UNP would have won the Colombo District under the old rule, is now lost. The reality is that due to overriding RK’s choices, the gap of loss for the UNP is likely to be a little less. Huge loss nevertheless!
This cuts to the chase on his logic. He is just simply unpardonably duplicitous. This person’s given nomination, will potentially eat into his vote bank, and at a general election get more preferences than RK. That is why he does not want the nomination to be given to a winner! Simple as that. He wants to be top dog in tub!
In the insular politics of Sri Lanka, those in higher positions DO NOT WANT threats to their power base. It is NORMAL for Organizers to NOT WANT any candidates who could be better! than them in preferences. Now as we all know that is NOT good for the party, as the party is not concerned about the votes of the Organizers or existing MPs, just only about the total votes given to the elephant that determines how many get elected, and then hopefully be able to beat the incumbency!
IT IS TIME FOR RK to put Party before self, and country first, and shut up about his ego being bruised in the best interests of the party and Country!
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
It is ironic that the President’s Independence day message was just another of the same old rhetoric that is constantly being written by wishful thinking speech writers, who must for this day, change it to reflect reality and NOT make believe.
It was insulting to say that we have put the sordid past behind us, and we look towards the future. It is so because we are constantly reminded of the past. In a country where we chose what events we decide to commemorate only on account of the Govt. in power, politicizes everything. It is of battles won and massacres!
Independence is a time to look forward as much as learn from the mistakes of the past. The negativism of memorials and remembrances of horrendous acts of the LTTE who after all were citizens of Sri Lanka and not like the case of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan foreigners, we are talking about one set of Sri Lankans committing dastardly acts against another set of the same countrymen just because their idea of utopia is different to the other for the same land!
If we are to really bury the sordid past and start afresh, then all grandiose commemorations must stop. It just brings back awful memories of man’s inhumanity to man, which we are reminded of but which we don’t treat as a lesson never to be repeated! Instead of muscle flexing, commemorations must be solemn events as lives were lost. Interfaith prayers for dead on both sides could replace gory images of the Govt. can playing the war victory card, long past expiry date.
If we are to help the casualties, we must attend to the welfare of the injured soldiers, and also the welfare of the parents of soldiers who sacrificed their lives, so that we may live free of terror. Parading the injured soldiers is not the way, as they have to come long distances and undergo hardship to be in a tiring parade, just for the benefit of the politicians who intend to make political statements from the misery of others, and remind the public of the Govt seeking the credit.
We are NOT a mature nation, until we can sort out our past in a way that we unify the nation and not threaten to divide us as is the case today. All indications both internally and externally is of a divided and polarized mindset. We can only change it from internal means and not through external pressure of forced solutions.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
It is time that foreign investors realize the Sri Lankan psyche and be wary before deciding to do business with anyone. The unreliability and even worse the sick mentality of many in the business world who have ambitions beyond their station is what makes doing business so tricky. Who can you trust?
I have reported earlier how the convicted felon, Manilal Fernando would go to any lengths to try and clear his name after the bribery scandal, where he was exposed as a liar, a thief and a braggard, and would still stoop not to respect international independent findings of his guilt. He continues to deny the undeniable! It was ironic that the FA is based in Switzerland, upon whose rules and ethics this worm of an individual was convicted. So for him to remain the Chairman of Holcim subsidiary (a parent of a Swiss company) in Sri Lanka was an embarrassment to the Organization and got rid of him from that position. He was made Chairman earlier as he assisted in legal terms to help the company establish itself in Sri Lanka and received this sinecure as a reward, that he abused, when he went he went above his station.
It was then that the true extent of his duplicity was exposed, and to hide his guilt, he is behind the leaks to expose alleged wrongdoings on the part of Holcim, which is hurting its image in Sri Lanka and there is some talk of them exiting.
All subsidiaries of International Companies owe a primary responsibility to the parent and only a subsidiary responsibility to the host country. They are ALL engaged in practices that sometimes run counter to the intentions of the host country. This may be in transfers of funds around the group, transfer pricing and purchasing in a way that is done for the group benefit and not the country. Any mature person knows that and the recent scandal where it was discovered that some very prestigious companies did NOT pay taxes in the UK despite billions of turnover reflected the reality of what I noted above.
Countries for national reasons of employment and investment are willing to overlook a few contraventions of promises made, as the down side cost of the company leaving, is worse than the upside of it remaining.
For a scumbag like Manilal to expose a few of these inconsistent transactions, which he was privy to while he was chairman is downright disingenuous. He should have exposed them when he was chairman, so then when he was fired he would have real case against the company. After being fired, it is SOUR GRAPES.
He had better watch out as the dirt is about to be thrown back at him, during his watch. He was fired because of these and NOT made public and now it is about to haunt him big time. A crook is a crook is a crook, no matter if you are a chairman of a prestigious company, a senior politician, a respected lawyer or a underworld thug. In essence there is very little that distinguishes these types from one another.
Being paid a multi million rupee salary and perks did not appear to be enough to stop him from defrauding the company he worked for! So what gives with these people. They live in their belief of their self importance to hide their impotence.
Giving away millions of rupees worth of free bags of cement to friends, political upstarts, temples and other organizations without proper accountability and discussion of CSR is in itself, breaking any rules of a company. He is now using those political connections, and friends he made at the expense of the Company’s bottom line, and not his, and who he is now calling on to do the dirty work for him, by leaking the allegations, and putting the company on the spotlight.
I cannot predict the end of it at this point, and am watching this space to see how Holcim tackles the threat. He has taken advantage of an inexperienced CEO, an incapable current Chairman who has failed to identify the gravity of this threat and a new recruit PR spokesman to handle the fallout out.
It would do well for Holcim to recruit a dynamic person to handle the issue, and expose the duplicity of the whole sordid allegations, and ensure that they ricochet on the real culprit to a degree, that will prevent villains from blackmailing companies. Otherwise there will be NO foreign investor worth his salt who would wish to invest in Sri Lanka.
You can be assured that Packer will be watching the story with a keen eye to understand Sri Lankan revenge tactics. He is also open to be fleeced by Sri Lankan business partners, and will have a rethink of his investment, when he realizes that NO ONE can be trusted here, as all is NOT what it seems in this fair ISLE!!!!
To Conclude, it must be remembered that Integrity is important in longer term survival of businesses and if they can be toppled by fraudsters, then it is the Govt. responsibility to clean up its act and stop corruption first, as all these tin pot wanna bees take a cue from the top saying – if it is good for them, then it is good for mee!
SRI LANKA GOVT - the cement importers are looking at ways to cash in on this, please don't allow them to make hay at the expense of a local producer, if you really care about your country.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
The article appearing in the Island of January 22nd, is of such low quality and laced with a level of hate towards foreigners that even the Editor, should have rejected it. However the fact that it was permitted reflects the bigoted state of our journalists, and journalism.
They fail completely in being patriotic and nationalistic, picking out the Galle Fort for ridicule, blaming foreigners for ruining it! Where has he been all this time. I remember the time when the Fort was a ruin, and a lost place more like a slum!
It is a reflection of the journalist's credentials that fails to mention, that until the Foreigners could spot a winner, the whole place would have gone unnoticed as WE fail to identify our own treasures. The mention that the removal of the 100% tax gave them the Fort is utter rubbish, as the locals who are now buying into the Fort have done so only after the foreigners gentrified it. If they had a vision they could have bought into fort at a fraction, when the property was going cheap. Mr Harischandra Guneratne you are a disgrace to your eminent profession. Even with the 100% the Fort would have been bought up by foreigners!
The foreigners in NO way prevented the locals from buying, as there were enough locals with a lot of money, but they could not see a future and did not have a vision, so they did not gamble their money. It is sour grapes that thanks to them they have raised the value of the place, and they can now benefit from selling to the locals at a profit and move elsewhere to do the same, as our still tunnel visioned people cannot see the level of beauty in our country and buy up the remaining land, and instead buy a Rs100M Benz.
To blame Dobbs who was able to see an opportunity, which other people have copied, and made money, is very silly and insular. Also to say that Ratnayake was the first of the Boutiques is wrong. I stayed at Saman Villas on opening and it was not boutique! Don’t go around fooling your readers on half truths.
If there are patriots they will buy up the other 150,000 beauty spots in Sri Lanka, as they have the money. Instead they are in the process of further destroying the 250,000 archeological sites, by digging for treasure. Until we clean up our own act, don’t blame foreigners who have profited from our foolishness and lack of common sense and vision, as eminently reflected in the ridiculous article.
Thank the foreigners for their faith in Sri Lanka to invest here, whilst our politicians are socking their money in foreign bank accounts, when they could be safeguarding our treasures from pillage from our own citizens, and buying up the available land.
It is time we learned how much potential we have in our country, that we can preserve, instead of selling anything just to make money, as greed will eventually destroy Sri Lanka. Just to highlight one example, the Yala Park is too overcrowded, and now there is talk of opening up all the Zones. What a travesty? We MUST limit entry to preserve its purity NOT open up more areas for traffic jams.
This race for 2.5M tourists IS GOING to kill the Goose that has laid the golden eggs. We can earn more if we know how to value the tourists and make ten times per tourist, in the way that Geoffrey Dobbs has, and many more foreigners at the expense of our blind tourist industry investors and professionals. If we still have not been able to take a cue from Dobbs, then we will never, as we have perceptions like that of the journalist to forever damn this country with a vision of a bat.
Patriot you are not a Traitor maybe!
It is NO secret that Sri Lankan women who form the majority of eligible voters, will yet again pull the rabbit out of the hat in electoral politics at the forthcoming Provincial Elections. Young women don’t like other young women to climb the ladder and will do what it takes to destroy and drag them down or at least pile the road with obstacles. It is called jealousy and so Hirunika Premachandra’s Achilles Heel are the young women voters.
She has become a media darling, showering her with so much coverage that NO amount of money can buy! It is a made for TV event, to the photogenic image of the product. It appeals to readers and viewers, and after all it is a package that is on the market for a preference!
Of course the UPFA will hope they will vote for the other candidates if they don’t want to vote for HP, however it is an opportunity for the UNP Youth, the young team of guys who are seeking election at the PC level for the first time to target them. After all they are votes that would otherwise not fall to the UNP anyway, and in this fashion parade for preferences, it is NOT policy or manifesto (there are NONE) that the voters will be confronted with just that of the Same O or a change or a wasted vote by being disgusted by the two main parties!
I suggest that for example, Anuradha, Dharshana, and Udara, pool their resources and work as a team in say Colombo Central and Kolonnawa the two hotspots from where the HP vote is likely to be most concentrated. This is not to say they forget the others, but they can just work together here as a youth team, with a new platform of youth to the fore, NOT dissing HP as that does not curry favor, but highlighting the good looks, with a photogenic, threesome that would appeal to the under 35 age group female especially from the UPFA ranks, and those who have NEVER voted in their lives, and are apathetic to vote anyway.
This strategy will not compromise the respective Organizers who would otherwise be very wary of interlopers into their turf, but as it is in the PARTY interest and not personal everything to increase the vote bank MUST be regarded as CRITICAL if the UNP can make any in roads into the current myth of the Govt.’s invincibility through lies and propaganda courtesy of the media that seems to pervade this political space of the day.
Hirunika’s preferences are likely to be in the 300K level, unless the UNP strategy as pointed out can make heavy inroads as the counter to her popularity as the media darling and obtain the contrarian vote of the UPFA female youth to persuade them that it is only them who can prevent a Frankenstein’s monster in the making!!