Friday, September 30, 2011

The Elections for the Colombo Municipal Council is hugely important

There are four very poor candidates contesting for the Mayoralty of Colombo. I cannot think I could really respect any of them as the Mayor of Colombo, or that they would do what they are saying they would. In my opinion, the worst of the bad bunch is Milinda Moragoda, the best is Shafiq Rajabdeen. While I think the amount spent by Milida is obscene, as he has government backing and the full force of the Government Machinery, I believe the UNP will be able to squeak in (unless there is rigging) bearing in mind the biggest canard of lies that the UPFA machinery is putting forth, namely that no one will be moved.

If one just takes the most important matter for those living in Colombo! namely whether they will be evicted or rehoused as the majority of those who live in Colombo do not have legal title to the property they happen to live in. If I do not have legal title to property I live in Colombo, (which personally I do not either as a I am a renter) I would be genuinely concerned with the false undertakings that no one will be evicted based on the track record of the administration which has in fact removed people with legal title and not provided them with alternative suitable accommodation despite the promises they have received.

Due to the vast number of people who live in substandard accommodation(half of which do not have indoor toilets)  in Colombo it is going to be extremely difficult for any government with the best will in the world to
adequately house them. It is rather horrifying that this government has plans to build high rise slums, where a huge amount of money has been allocated, just to get some votes, but which in reality will be a colossal waste of government money that is borrowed at high rates of interest which our future generations will be paying for long after they have been torn down, due to being impractical. It is a government that only acts for large contracts that involve mass corruption, and not for the real interests of its citizenry. It is better not to build these slums at all for the sake of the living!!

There must be some kind of discussion, something a government with a two thirds majority does not want to do, to find solutions to these common problems of our citizens. While one has to deal with one "Watte" at a time, one has to first identify the main concerns of the people living there before deciding for them, answers that are actually not implementable. The level of drug dealing with the grace of some of the Colombo district MP in the government is absolutely unforgivable, and until something is done about it no con put out by them will work.

Need I belabor the running joke making the rounds these days. The only MP who can promise a job for the young is Duminda Silva, as he will give everyone some packets of drugs to sell, and say he has given a job. He has police protection, so there is no enforcement of the law. It is the height of absurdity of the government to put forward a lame candidate who cannot even enunciate what it is he wants to do when confronted by critics and just parrots that he will work in tandem with the government to solve the city's problems, that make you wonder how any sane person can back such a person. Nevermind those who back him are insane!!

It is a shame I do not have the backing of any party or access to a shit load of money to get elected, I know exactly how to double the revenue of the city of Colombo at the stroke of a pen without changing any of the laws, just enforcing them is enough. How can a Commercial hub that accounts for 20% of the GNP of the Country not be able to finance its own development? It is purely the fault of the thugs in power that favor their friends that prevents this from happening. Give it to a clean person and he would do a stellar job at transforming Colombo. 

There is no question that full rates need to be levied on all Government property. Why does the residence of the Chief of the Navy not pay any rates. when for that location and space based on sq ft. the Navy must pay 50,000 a year in rates. With their budget this is small change and as they do not it is Colombo and the citizens who live in Colombo that suffer. Tell me if Milinda who is only a lackey of Ghotabaya Rakapakse, will ask GR to pay rates on the house he occupies in Stanmore Crescent! In any case it is not him who pays the rates, but even that will not be done.

I need not go through the list of anomalies, but just to say that Colombo can be developed, but not under this administration. I can run this city easily if given the majority in the Council to back me up, but then again I am not running for mayor.

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