Monday, November 20, 2017

Why are cabinet ministers wasting their time hanging outside the Bond Commission? Have they got nothing better to do?

What are the ministers of Ranil Wickremasinghe’s party thinking to waste their time hanging around him to show support when he comes after giving evidence to the Bond Commission?

It was very creditable that PM Ranil Wickremasinghe went meekly to answer the questions put to him at the Bond Commission, as it never would have happened in an MR administration and perhaps the Commissioners would be incarcerated for the cheek of even asking.

However it was downright stupid for 20+ ministers of the UNP to show their support like a pack of dogs (rallata yanawa) behind a bitch, when they had better things to do.

Just imagine the public rightly or wrongly are in long petrol queues even though it may be a rumor, started by a mischief maker that there is a shortage, but nevertheless this has created a temporary shortage. In this scenario all our Elected Ministers are hanging around their boss for no reason at all.

The PM certainly does not want, did not ask, and is very embarrassed by all the attention anyway. SO why did you go? Just because one mentally deviant minister makes a suggestion to meet at the commission premises does not mean you have to go ahead. You just have to tell him, that PM ordered NOT to be present and his enthusiasm will stop in a second. It is because he is deviant that he could not think through what his boss is thinking.

He was judging the problem by his own limited thinking capacity, and thought the PM would like this attention, so he pushed everyone to go.

Just you wait for him to haul you over the coals for badgering the others to join you in a display of confidence when none was needed. It’s stupidity at its highest level. It is a sorry sight to further frustrate the public that the lawmakers are playing a game amongst themselves, when even rumors are sufficient to inconvenience the  public, they have lost so much faith in the system they are NOT willing to trust anyone, least of all the politicians.

Any story will now have traction, as no one will trust or believe anything that is issued officially, least of all assurance that all is well, means that all is NOT well. When we live in a schizophrenic country such as this where there is no reasoning, it is irrational behavior that is conquering all spaces.

NO wonder then that MR has such brand value even after the complete looting of the treasury by extremely ill judged investments and spending with no understanding of a return on investment, even if the return is political longevity! We have lost hope in the whole system. Bye Bye Sri Lanka’s future.

Friday, November 10, 2017

MPs JUST GOT A Rs 12.5Million Pay Raise as a result of the Budget

The information we just received from the Motor Traders Association, was that the cost of a new Toyota Land Cruiser, the preferred choice of vehicle imported by the Sri Lankan MPs duty free, had gone up by a staggering Rs12.5Million.

YES a twelve million five hundred thousand rupee increase in the excise duty.

As the MPs are entitled to a duty free permit at the highest level to import such vehicles, and then sell it on, this effectively means that the permit is now worth that much more!

IS IT FAIR I ASK? That these sort of games are played out in broad daylight, to fool the masses.

Surely when Minister Eran Wickremaratne, one of the more dedicated Ministers in Government, says that as MPs and Ministers are so badly paid, this permit should be treated as part of their compensation and so it is OK, we have a problem with his absurd thinking too, because he has joined the club and is no longer batting for the people who he has promised to serve and instead the club he has joined, just like all the other rogues.

We should get our priorities right. If we know that such a vehicle is now Rs50M new, and only MPs can get this duty free, then there is something wrong when only they are able to go about in these vehicles, showing their might and power, when they have resulted in the state earning Rs43Million LESS in duty by this means.

We must stop all duty reduced vehicles in Sri Lanka, so that the level playing field is created, so anyone can pay the full whack and buy vehicles if they so wish by paying the duty. It is the powerful Motor Manufacturers Association/Motor Traders Association, that is working hand in glove with the MPs and Ministers who stand to gain most from this duty free/duty reduced permits, as otherwise new vehicle sales would plummet.

It is therefore their pressure on their friends as they are all in the same cocktail parties eating and drinking who are protected, as there is a kind of back scratching going on with the MPs then being given a discount on the vehicles in addition to the duty concession, a kind of bribe or sweetener that passes the acid test as it cannot be proved. They could get free upgrades on the vehicle, free options, or the luxury package thrown in as part of the deal.

IT ALL SUCKS, and the poor citizen effectively ends up paying for this folly. If Eran does not think it is bad, then we have lost the plot in this country. LEAVE! 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Petrol shortage was simply a result of a Fraud being “found out”. The blame lies at the top, and heads must roll, if corruption is to be STEMMED!

How ridiculous is the excuse, that a Tanker that brought fuel was “found to be carrying substandard fuel, and therefore had to be rejected!” This state of affairs just does not happen by accident. It is a fraud that was perpetrated against the Country and this was found out by a local person testing the fuel quality.

Any person with half a brain will know that NO COMPANY ships substandard petrol UNKNOWINGLY! It is so easy to test fuel, that even I can buy a digital sophisticated machine for US$5,000 and have all the tests carried out in minutes. No one will ship substandard fuel UNLESS that was the standard that was ordered, or to put it simply, someone ordered substandard fuel, paying the normal rate, and pocketing the difference overseas, between the normal fuel price and the substandard one. This has been going on for a long time, and this time someone sneaked the information about the substandard, so the Minister had NO OPTION but to reject it.

It is a bit rich when he says in today’s FT that he has been under a lot of pressure to accept this substandard fuel, BY POLITICIANS AND BUSINESSMEN, when it is the very same people who ordered it, so they could make a buck on the price difference, and like they have done before fool the public with low grade fuel that is a constant of our Fuel Distribution system.

Only when we have a consumer affairs authority with some teeth and the machinery available to mobile test fuel around the Country, so that this practice is brought to the public notice and those responsible, prosecuted and jailed, will there be some confidence that the PUBLIC INTEREST is being safeguarded.

Until then we citizens in Sri Lanka are held to ransom by rogue politicians who are making a buck at our expense, IN THE END THE POOR CONSUMER PAYS FOR EVERY FRAUD THAT OCCURS IN SRI LANKA, and corruption is the order of the day of the leaders in Government and the Public Service whose sole purpose in life is to profit from theft from the people.

With hundreds of thousands of people inconvenienced, thousands waiting in queues, the Country is losing productivity and production, and it does not have any effect on the leaders, being driven in their LUXURY SUV’s powered by Diesel. They don’t have a clue how our poor people are suffering. Let’s face it, the MAIN responsibility of the Minister of Petroleum is to ensure that correct quality fuel is distributed to all stations of the Ceypetco Brand. 

He has not been able to ensure that, and so he MUST RESIGN WITHOUT DELAY, NOW

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Cardinal has NO business what kids do on Sundays, of for that matter ON ANY DAY OF THE YEAR, neither do any other religious leader for that matter.

Sri Lankan so called leaders, be they leaders of Business, Politics, Religion, or Education, love PONTIFICATING about how we should live. Well all this pontification has NOT done a drop of good since the beginning of time here in Sri Lanka, because their words don’t mean anything to the intended audience.

It is therefore best for all these people to shut up, stop getting on a pulpit, podium or platform, and instead do what they have been appointed, elected, or selected to do. Instead of doing their job they are trying to tell people how to do their jobs or lead their lives.

It is high time that all these jokers, get a life, and FIRST set an example from their lives, ( I know Cardinal goes in a simple car when he could be driving like the Mahanayakes in Benz cars or SUV’s) They should simply get their audience, to do better in their own lives, like live according to the objectives that each leader is supposed to emulate.

In case you are confused at this mixed message, each according to his own vocation. So the Cardinal must encourage his FLOCK to be more forgiving, more loving, be more community minded, live by example, and integrity, the best way to show others that the belief system is a positive one, which others may wish to emulate. This is NOT done by decree.

So to get back to basics, tuition classes evolved ONLY because the State Schools have reneged on their objective of teaching students, so that not only will they pass their exams, they will also graduate civic minded, well rounded citizens who can hold their own over all comers in society, and any field they wish to compete in.

It is time therefore that the BULLY PULPIT is used for that purpose, not to BAN this and that, but to encourage, coax, to assist, the growth and leadership potential of our nation to do better things. Good leader, beget good leaders, and bad leaders beget bad leaders, don’t forget that, and that is why we are in this mess as we have bad leaders in every sphere, be it as Chief of Police, as President or Prime Minister, as heads of ALL religious institutions, as top people in the Judiciary, Business, NGO, and other civic organizations, who are ALL more interested in what that position can give them till they conk off, rather than what they can do for the people they take responsibility to protect, burnish, encourage, and most of all empower to do good for a common cause.

Until that point, these arrogant so and so’s have to be put in their place, that they should not pontificate on matters outside of their realm, where people will only attend Sunday mass if they feel they can get some meaning from it, not be forced!      

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Local Government Candidates put forward by Political Parties are Pawns of Protection Rackets! Why is PAFFEREL, CHR AND OTHER NGO’s asking for Elections? They should be asking for the vetting of candidates instead.

Go through the backgrounds of all candidates seeking election under one of the 5 main parties in the forthcoming LG elections, and you will find 90% have been nominated, NOT for integrity, place in the community or of being a professional.

INSTEAD they are protection racketeers or pawns in the palm of racketeers. Why do I say so? Many MPs get elected depending on low life to fund their campaigns, once elected, they are permitted overtly or covertly to carry out their illegal activities, for a return on investment. They also provide the manpower to campaign

You ask any private bus owner, how much he pays to the protection rackets, and why he pays this without complaining. He will say that behind them are powerful politicians who are being funded by racketeers, who helped get him elected, and to a degree is held hostage to them, and then puts their nominees on the ticket, and who resist the inclusion of any people of stature, lest their rackets get exposed and compromised, when people of integrity make a stink about what is going on.

The most obvious case is that of Yalae Jeep Owners who are carry a Mammoth protection racket and their Godfather is Sajith Premadasa. They have forced him to put their nominees for LG elections. This deviant of the human race, unfortunately makes a greate pretence of being a friend of the wildlife, when he is the most harmful person for the survival of wildlife in Sri Lanka or Yala for that matter.

Getting back to point, the way this LG System was sold to the public was that it would permit, men and women of standing to be nominated, and will not have to spend money, due to the limited electors, and are more likely to seek election, and be elected on the ticket of principal parties. This will raise the stature of Pradeshiya Sabhas from a den of crooks it was under the Mahinda Rajapakse regime, where even murderers were tolerated, and allowed to continue their rackets.

The reality as explained, is that rogues and thieves, and their henchmen, have been given the ticket and not the professionals as ENVISAGED. The ONLY way to counter this is the method suggested, namely permit Independents to contest from their areas of abode so that there is a chance that a few will be elected to act as the voice of reason, within the den of thieves the Pradeshiya Sabhas will remain as.

My request is to postpone these elections indefinitely, as the administration is running smoothly without elected reps or change the rules to permit independents with sufficient deterrents to prevent the people who have not got the nomination from parties to be spiteful and dilute the vote. You will be surprised how altruistic people, leaders of the area will contest for THEIR community interest.

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.


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!


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!


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.

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?