Friday, October 20, 2017

No first class or AC seats available of the Badulla Main Line Railway!



CGR or SLR Director General, what are you doing about it? If anything!

Since Expo Rail has NOT been granted an extension of license YET by the WORTHIES who decide! Why? The Bribe is not enough is it? There are NO seats available on the Badulla Line, unless you are willing to buy them on the black-market which is thriving.

I am not pointing a finger at anyone in particular, but it is SO OPEN to corruption as the demand exceeds the supply, would it not surprise you that there is SOMETHING FISHY going on.

People want to go up on the upcountry trains, both local and foreign, but there are NO seats that are available to be booked in advance. It is obvious therefore that they have all been purchased, by legitimate users and others acting on behalf of the tour operators, or third parties, hawking tickets to the tour operators, or selling them to tourists on the open market at a HUGE MARK-UP denying the legitimate user a chance of enjoying the beauty of the train ride up-country.

WHO IS BEHIND THIS SCAM? SURELY NOT THE TICKET SELLERS OR IS IT THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT HIMSELF THROUGH SOME EDICT?

One regular user in the past whose family lives up country, told me, did you not know it is impossible now for us to go upcountry by train anymore, I can only take the bus, as there are NO tickets available at any bookable class, even third class!

SO WHAT IS THE RAILWAYS DOING ABOUT IT? ZILCH / NOTHING

They should either double the fare, so they can double their income, or put another train or two each day on the same line to go up country. Either is OK so that supply and demand can come into balance. It is the public and the visitor to Sri Lanka after all who is inconvenienced by this absurd state of affairs.

I know it will take time for the Railways to put a new train on this line, as we need to have a spare train in the first place, and the Minister of Transport does not even understand that simplicity, if he is not already part of the problem, and will take some time for them to realize this need. 

So in the interim, unilaterally double the fare and see where the cookie crumbles. See how the ticket sales situation is. Announce a temporary doubling of fares for the months to January 31st and review the daily booking situation. It is very simple to do.  


In any case most of the users are now being price gouged into paying double, so the user is paying the same. Now the extra money will go to the Railways and not the profiteer and ticket counter clerk who are sharing the booty, by him buying the tickets as soon as they are released to be sold, on behalf of the touts, or at least informing the touts so they get first right of refusal. Remember the TOUTS always profit from a SUPPLY AND DEMAND MISMATCH in every instant!

Don't forget Expo Rail were able to sell the tickets at three times the price and fill the carriages, and now those customers have no where to go! So what is the stalemate with them? Let us have some transparency as to the negotiations please, so we can determine if there is some foul play on either side of this debate. They have carriages that need to be tethered to the normal trains and they are NOW LYING IDLE losing the Country Foreign Aid while the officials are DITHERING!

CHAIRMAN OF SLTDA INTERVENE AND RESOLVE THAT ISSUE NOW

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

To commemorate World Mental Health Day today, Sri Lanka Public Service has the highest number of sane staff who have gone insane working there!

World Mental Health Day –  is today 10th October 2017 –  The Theme is Mental Health in the work force

Please read to the end to understand the most pressing action that is required under this theme. It is simply to allow public servants who want to do an honest job, to do it without the mental harassment  from colleagues, who were appointed as stooges of politicians, who don't allow these dedicated people to assist the public in carrying out their work efficiently. 

Mahinda Rajapaksa governments were the worst culprits who employed/stuffed 800,000 people most of whom are incompetent into the public sector and therefore have prevented good people from working, CREATING a mental health crisis which has NOT been attended to. Some ministers in this government are also adding to this crisis, instead of removing the excreta littering the state sector, so the hundreds of thousands of good people are allowed to actually do the job they are paid to do, and sworn to uphold!

It is no secret that this is why the public service is NOT just bloated, but is dysfunctional! A theme that occurs in all reports, and no one has yet made the connection that the word dysfunctional is akin to MAD!

I believe NOT enough prominence has been given today in the Media to publicize that today is World Mental Health Day. It is possible that there are too many days in the year that have an issue that is commemorated, and so people are a little jaded from having to remember MENTAL HEALTH!

However Mental Health in the Workplace is NOT sufficiently identified in Sri Lanka, and sadly EMPLOYERS are very jaundiced about this issue, not realizing that a healthy work force, including some form of management of Mental Health Issues, to identify and resolve, amongst the work force will definitely improve productivity of the labor force.

Private employers SHOULD understand how important this is for their business as HR is the most important aspect today, to ensure a successful business, and as part of that ensuring that your staff have overcome, by medication or psychological counseling, their personal demons, will produce massive results in terms of productivity improvements. Needless to say those who are contributing to other people's stress have to be eliminated too.

In the public sector in Sri Lanka however, this does not seem to be a big issue, as the level of efficiency of the people who work there, and the belittling of the productive staff into doing nothing means that the Public Sector in Sri Lanka are actually creating Mental Health issues amongst their workforce, merely due to the practices they indulge in to purposely be unproductive. 

This is not well understood by Sri Lanka’s politicians mostly because they suffer from severe mental health problems themselves, that they are unable to appreciate the extent to which the Government Servants/Public Sector are handicapped by their mental health problems, many created due to the work place constraints on productivity.

If the old adage is right, “ in the Sri Lanka public service, a sane man will go insane if he tries to buck the trend and do some honest work for the people!”


It is sad therefore when we commemorate Mental Health, and especially in the work force today, that the Public Sector is accused of being the worst offender in making people mad, and not doing anything to correct the situation. 

It is time the Media get out of their cocoon and look at this aspect very carefully, and recommend that it is the duty of the Government to improve the quality of the service of the Public Sector, if they want their labor force to be mentally healthy. 

THIS MAY BE THE TRICK to sell to the state sector staff, to get all Government Servants to accept change, which they have so far resisted with all their might, to say that unless new procedures are set up to acknowledge good work, give those who perform double promotions and pay raises, everyone will have to be laid off, as there is NO more money to pay the wages. Then there will suddenly be a culture of the most productive doing a good job and they will be able to empower themselves to get rid of the FREE LOADERS, automatically solving the MOST SERIOUS CRISIS facing Sri Lanka today.

Read this link it is worth it to know that this waste of public resources by public servants have existed throughout history and that is NO excuse to clean it up for the people of Sri Lanka today, so we can live in prosperity tomorrow.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/government-officials-abusing-travel-budgets-is-an-old-problem-ancient-in-fact/2017/10/09

Just to remind the reader, it is the bloated, and inefficient public service that is dragging the growth of the economy very badly today, and NOT any of the other problems that the newspapers and media seem to be plugging us with. Like the Bond Scam for example, which pales into insignificance in comparison.

For those lazy to get to the link here it is below:


At least seven  Cabinet-level officials, and a smattering of aides, appear to have abused their access to publicly funded travel. Collectively, these bureaucrats billed taxpayers for millions of dollars worth of private jets, military flights, spousal travel and other questionable expenses.
Yet so far just one of them, former health and human services secretary Tom Price, has been forced to step down.
The White House argues that while Price may have misbehaved, there is plenty of precedent for such extravagant government travel. And the administration is right. Government officials were abusing travel budgets long before President Trump came on the scene.
Like, a really long time before Trump — we’re talking ancient Rome here.
So maybe examining how Roman emperors dealt with the problem can offer insight into how to deal with it now.
During the Roman Empire, government representatives traveling on official business used a state-authorized transportation system, called “vehiculatio.” They received special travel passes (called “diplomata,” and issued by emperors or governors) that allowed them to requisition carts, horses, food, lodging and guides from provincial populations along their route.
Locals were usually compensated at set rates. But otherwise, “the rules varied from province to province, reinforced or modified over time as governors and emperors saw fit,” according to Hunter College classics professor W. Graham Claytor, an expert in Greco-Roman documents.
In practice, this led to a lot of abuse.
Public officials took personal trips disguised as work trips. They spent, and extracted from locals, much more than they really needed. They seemed indifferent to the hardships created by their profligacy and oblivious to more productive uses for the scarce taxpayer resources they were gobbling up.
Sound familiar?
Consider a petition from the villagers of Skaptopara in Thrace (today Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria), sent to Emperor Gordian III in 238 A.D.
The village, renowned for its hot springs, was located between two army camps and a famous market. Villagers complained that soldiers “leave their proper routes” to stay in their town, where the soldiers demanded hospitality and provisions “free of charge.” Governors and other officials also frequented the town, further burdening locals.
Villagers warned the emperor that the abuses might force them to pick up and leave — and take their tax dollars with them:
“If we are weighed down, we will flee our homes and the treasury will suffer the greatest loss; therefore, receiving pity through your divine foresight and remaining in our homes, we will be able to supply the sacred tribute and the other contributions.”
In one letter, Pliny the Younger (governor of Bithynia and Pontus in 110 A.D.) used flattery to justify a travel pass he had recently issued to his wife, even though she was traveling on a private matter.
It was for familial piety, Pliny explained; surely the beneficent Emperor Trajan would understand. Trajan replied that he did.
When emperors or governors did get mad about such abuses, sometimes they issued financial or other penalties. Often enough, though, the result was another edict reminding officials to please, please follow the rules — and stop making the government look bad!
Here’s one, from Marcus Petronius Mamertinus, provincial governor of Egypt, dated 133-137 A.D.:
“I have learned that many soldiers, traveling through the countryside without a diploma, unjustly demand boats, baggage animals, and men, sometimes taking things by force, sometimes receiving them from the local governors as a favor or service. As a result, private citizens suffer insults and abuse, and the army is accused of greed and injustice. Therefore I command once and for all that the local governors and their lieutenants furnish none of the things given for escort to anyone without a diploma, neither to those going by boat nor those traveling on foot. I shall forcibly punish anyone who, after this proclamation, is caught either taking or giving any of the things specified.”
You can find many similar edicts issued across centuries. Which shows that travel-related corruption and abuse were a recurring problem.
Why wouldn’t this problem go away? Because, as scholar Russell S. Gentry has argued, rulers preferred to cast bad behavior as isolated incidents rather than systemic flaws in an empire that treated provincials as unimportant and afforded government elites relatively little oversight.
Just as, say, Trump might prefer to cast a jet-setting former health secretary as a bad apple not “representative of the spirit of his administration,” Claytor observes.

It took centuries for Roman emperors to realize they needed to make real, system-wide changes if they hoped to curb the wanton abuse of taxpayer resources. How long will it take Trump?  

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Its time we abolished Poya Days as holidays from our Calendar. It serves no meaningful purpose.


I hope someone has the courage to think of the Country and bring forward the notion to abolish Poya Days as Public Holidays from our Calendar, without delay.

The reasons are too numerous and I will mention just a few and no doubt you can add to the list, and please take religion out of the argument as it has nothing to do with religion, as Sri Lanka is the only majority Buddhist Country to have this public holiday, and it has not increased Temple worship, it has not made people more pious and follow the Buddhist tenets and it has given the Maha Sangha an excuse to become extremely un Buddhist and build palaces and get into a race to outdo the rival temple, instead of preaching the essence of removing all desire from oneself.

So here are some of the reasons.

As country due to the Poya been given as a public holiday by now each man woman and child in Sri Lanka is worse of to the tube of Rs10K a month, as we are so far behind due to a break on productivity and competitiveness. I know people will tell me money is not everything, but they are those who have nothing better to do with their money. 90% of the people live from day to day, and it rings a bell in their ears, if they had more to spend on their  essentials!

Children have lost 6 months of school education due to the day being a school holiday throughout their growing years, and this not only affects competitiveness, it affects their ability to get ahead in life in their chosen field. This with the further delay of 6months due to the O level delays, mean we have a crucial absence from studies, when we need youth to enter the labor force earlier instead of later.

Alcohol sales peak the day before Poya and most people spend or waste the day in booze further worsening the quality of life of their families and use this odd day to have get togethers that end up in an alcohol haze. No doubt the Alcohol producing companies love Poya Days as even though the Wine stores are closed, the prior day’s sales more than make up for that!

The rest of the world works on this day, and to be competitive with other countries we must work to their schedules, and if we are on holiday, they will take their business elsewhere. I know it was set up when there was NO internet. In this internet age where everything is about instant fulfillment and people work day and night on a shift and not to a calendar time, it becomes even more anomalous that it is a holiday that requires workers to be paid more to work on this day. I also believe when this change is made the labor laws of Sri Lanka are changed at the same time to make sure employers will take on more staff, not less as is the case now due to the high cost of employment, with Poya being one of those costs!

The people like a day off, and also the fact that they get paid to stay at home, and those who work are paid double time. However this comes at a huge price to the economy, which the people don’t directly feel, because it is they who suffer and I come back to the original statement of losing Rs10K in income a month at this stage due to it.

Temples use this day to further fleece the benevolent of their hard earned money for some temple function that keeps the Temples busy, but at what cost, as the priests do not understand the strain on the economy to help upkeep increasingly extravagant temples on the island. If Poya was not a holiday there would not have been such an excess of waste of temples. Remember in 5 years over 1,000 temples a year will have to close due to the lack of priests and pray who will take over their upkeep, other than unsavory opportunistic characters hoping to cash out of people’s generosity. We must understand that the Buddhist clergy by and large is not regulated and there are more than a few instances of their using their position for personal gain.

Like this weekend many people take another day off, and especially the 1,4M government servants making it doubly costly to the Country, and private enterprise. So it becomes a 4 day weekend about 4 of the 12 Poyas. So effectively it is another 4 days! I suggest we restrict it to only Vesak and Poson as public holidays.

Hotels may prefer it because they get good business from 4 day weekenders going out of town.

To put it another way the Country has lost a whole year since the Poya days were established, and no one seems to have even pointed it out, as they fear reprisals from those who benefit from it. To add insult to injury the Clergy are demanding that there is NO tuition classes on Poya days, denying a student’s right to study a fundamental human right. It is not as if that student will attend the temple on that day surely! Are you kidding me? Just go to the temple on Poya days and you see mainly women who don’t go to work, and so if it was meant to give a holiday for working people to go to Temple, think again.

I know many women go to temple on Poya to take sil just to avoid seeing their husbands drunk from lunch time. They have the lunch made early and go to the temple to avoid this contact. This is purely an insult to the whole idea of Poya days.

It is time we all have a clarion call to make this change in everyone’s interest now!


It is clear that those in power simply don’t understand reality and live in fear of the monks who rule their lives, and not the people or what is right!

If you are a person who works, and takes the day on Poya Day to take sil, then forgive me for my suggestion, as I am sure there are no more than 1,000 in the Country and we can accommodate your need without you losing your pay, you can bet on that.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Madness is some kids enjoying holding a bride's train is reported to Child Protection BUT

5,000 children are bussed against their wish, long distances, during school hours to listen to some old geysers selling them short in an insurance scam called SURAKSHA. There is MORE child abuse in the latter, but it is under government auspices so no one complains.

What is this world coming to when young people who see the irony of this and their parents are protesting that their children were NOT used but did so willingly, while no one even asked the parents in this case when the children were bussed into a purely political event, and were in fact forced to submission.

Why cant we be straightforward? Of the 5,000 children about half are intelligent enough to see through the absolute waste of their precious time, sitting there in sufferance to old people waxing lyrical about nothing.

It is time we grew up and stopped fooling everyone when all the students want out of the education system is a chance at a good vocation that can help them live in Sri Lanka contributing to the development of the country and to their lives, and they don't see anything in the horizon that will help them in this regard, despite constant tweaking of syllabi to pretend the courses are MORE useful to their employment prospects. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Suraksha Students’ insurance a Gold Mine for SLIC, if they know how to use it properly that is!

 So why are they charging a premium from the Ministry of Education, when they can provide it free.

It is simply scandalous that the Govt. has through the Education Ministry agreed to pay a Rs3B annual premium for the above scheme, when they should be getting it free as a benefit for the students. So whose pocket is this Rs3B going to?


If I was running a private life insurance company, I will provide Rs 100,000 life cover for a student’s death while enrolled in the scheme, as actuarially it will cost nothing! To me the benefit of the data base of over 5Million students and their families is a gold mine as it covers half the households in this Country today, and I will have the perfect opportunity to upsell to each of these households as I will have automatic entry to them as I already provide a free service to them. This benefit alone will be worth Rs500M to me. The problem is that SLIC is not nimble or capable enough to take advantage of this potential benefit and therefore profit from the fabulous opportunity it presents.

A private insurer would most certainly find this a lucrative proposition and in order to get this contract I will offer a lot of goodies FREE. The problem is neither the Minister or anyone at SLIC is intelligent and astute enough to see this benefit for the insured, for the state as it costs nothing to them, and to the masses, to whom low cost insurance could be provided, without the hard-sell that unscrupulous private insurers currently indulge or engage in. It is a win win situation if one had the brains of an ant to evaluate it, with the public and the beneficiary student in mind, instead of their personal agendas that are driving such scams.

You can imagine then, how cockeyed this SURAKSHA current scheme is, because it is insuring the lives of the student, and not the parent. It is the parent’s life that requires insurance so the death benefit can go to the student instead, who needs it, as the whole idea is to have a safety net to the student, of insurance in case of an emergency and unexpected event. After all if that is not the prime motivation in getting insurance what is!


In conclusion, let us return to the basics of what we are after: the stated objectives of an insurance scheme for students is, such that they can pursue their school age studies uninterrupted, and coverage designed to insure for that goal. It is then obvious the death benefit is for the death of a parent as then a student can pursue studies when financially strapped. Added to this a disability coverage for parent and child is good but costly to administer and insure due to fraud. So the current scheme is nonsensical and shown just to fool the masses! I say back to drawing board and pass it to the private sector to provide the basics free and upsell if need be.

Can we please appeal to the buffoons who run this Country to concentrate on matters of state and not dabble in concepts they know nothing about. It is in these situations that the professionals look at the Govt. and its ministers like easy picking through whom they can make a buck and pad their personal fortunes, all at the expense of the hapless tax payer.

It is therefore universally accepted that when Government intervenes in anything that is not directly related to their remit, it is done for some ulterior motive, and this scheme is no different, and even more galling to stomach when the Education Minister is using this as a concept of his, from which to gain political advantage, when it actually shows the reverse and myopic vision at that, when he has so many more important crises to manage to sort out and possibly improve upon.

These donkeys preside upon one of the most inefficient and wasteful education systems that do not measure the true talent of a student to create, survive and excel in this world with his or her latent and undeveloped ability, but manufactures a brainless zombie, who by the time they leave school, with no capacity to survive in 2017 or thereafter, as they are NOT given the tools of survival. Instead, they are lead a dance by the curricula and those who teach it, forever consigning these hapless students to a life of non-achievement, except for a few who escape and manage to prove themselves outside the shores of this country, far away from those who tried to suppress their talent and skill. The truly talented somehow survive, it is the 90% of are left that I am referring to as there is always the exception to the rule.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Steve Jobs father was a Syrian Political Refugee – So why are we so afraid of the few Rohingyas in town?

By the way Steve Jobs Father still lives in Nevada, USA see link below:

Sri Lanka does not now nor has ever had a policy of accepting refugees since independence. In fact we returned 500,000 people back to India after independence because they were stateless, and we only grudgingly agreed to give the other estate Tamils citizenship.

WE MUST agree it was a very inhuman thing to do, to send people most of whom who were born in Sri Lanka to a land they knew nothing about, except that they spoke Tamil. These people built the basic economy we inherited, and the full treasury we had in 1948, when we were richer than Japan. We squandered the money, sent the people back and God has punished us for that sin ever since. To this day NOT one Sinhala person admits that it was a mistake, as they are still guided by some racist flame within them, they find difficult to remove.

If we were more munificent then we will not have to stomach the 500,000 Indians we will have in Sri Lanka next year to work in Construction and every other field, because we cannot find people within Sri Lanka willing to take those jobs.

We can for once sign on the United Nations Refugee Agency and agree to take at least 5,000 refugees of whatever religion a year as our contribution to the human race we live on Earth. We have 1 Million job vacancies after all, but the people who watch TV and listen to our brainless politicians as somehow people who know more think we have a large unemployment problem. Even the PM is believes this canard as it is politically acceptable, but is a stupid belief.

Everyone here in this island are refugees of one sort or another, MOST especially Vijaya and his band of merry men! They were effectively deported from East Bengal and landed on a boat, just like these Rohingyas.

It is time for common decency to emerge, and for us at least to show the world what true Buddhism really is. If we cannot do it now, we will never be able to do so.


No one wants these Rohingyas, Myanmar does not and neither does neighboring Bangladesh, from where the Myanmar people think they originally came from and so don’t want even to give them citizenship in Myanmar after living there for centuries. We can surely distinguish our Buddhism from there Buddhism, by welcoming the few that have arrived. 

I know most people fear that if we let in 5, 500,000 will want to come! Rubbish. At most a total of 5,000 people will want to come and we can take them in very easily. We have a high density of population, but then again we don’t manage our land resources well and so feel crowded. Don’t forget 3M people have left this country permanently, and we need labor. 

So for the first time in the history of Sri Lanka please give that child who was born in Sri Lanka to these refugees, Sri Lankan citizenship. He or she may be the next Steve Jobs, and even if she leaves the Country, one day when we need some help, because we are drowning due to global warming, she may come to help. Has anyone even heard the word compassion in Sri Lanka?

Something to reflect on for a change

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The joke that is Wijedasa and the joker that is Wijedasa


Quite apart from his faux pas (I don’t believe it), or deliberate challenge (I believe it) to the authority of the President to denounce in public his threat to take back Hambantota Port if ever he was in charge,  (as if it ever left Sri Lankan sovereignty) for the people of Sri Lanka, putting collective Cabinet Responsibility into the trash heap, I believe he has been a double agent right through his term in office, and for that sin alone he should be guillotined.

Simply put he is a traitor to his Government and has been so since its inauguration and the fact that both the President and the Prime Minister tolerated his prevarication and procrastination for so long is simply astounding, as he has NOT achieved anything in his tenure.

His endearing engagement with the President, evidenced by to bringing his son into the Ministry of Defence as a Media Secretary was part of this game to report back, all manner of corruption taking place, inform his masters like Gota of any shenanigan that can be used in the future against the very same donkeys in the Yahapalana Government, shows that his paws have reached all corners. Giving him the Buddhasasana Ministry also was a calculated gamble that spectacularly failed.

Is it due to his knowledge of many secrets usually jealously guarded by lawyers with more merit who treasure the Attorney Client Privilege, and which those very same clients now realize his blatent disregard of,  to project his personage, that he has not already been sacked?

The Government (the President and PM) is placing too much weight on his influence on imbecilic leaders of the Clergy who shout loudest and the Media print this shout, but who have NO weight in reality with the Clergy who matter most. He is all loud, like a Goose once it is chased for dear life, but which no one in the end will care about, once snuffed out.

The INDECISION of the PM and the President is PAINFUL to the public to watch, when this man is running rings round the Government and even the UNP MP’s who have been screaming for blood don’t seem to be able to have the power to effect this change and move on.

In the interests of Good Governance and to show the people, the ability of this administration to Govern effectively, this is simply an appeal to the President to fire this man without having to give any reason, and NOT worry about the beans he has threatened to spill, as his ouster is more important than any harm his UNTRUSTWORTHY mouth can spew. It will only be with a vengeance and blood lust and so will be without merit. (no pun intended in the Buddhist context)


What is important is that the people of this Country are governed by people who have the Public's best interests at heart, and if that is the ultimate criteria, Mr President you can do it without being concerned about the WHAT Ifs!