Thursday, October 27, 2011

Here we go again. There is no end to threats and intimidation

It is sad to see Sri Lanka turn into a banana republic with only bananas allowed to survive. If one is to believe a BBC Sinhala service report that then threats have infiltrated the corporate world too, where a well known and respected corporate personality had made a death threat via one of her closest friends to convey to her father that he was under this threat. Apparently this was due to a report on the media network owned by him linking the drop in the drug supply, which by implication reduced the money of the dealers, to the drop in the stock market where ostensibly this black money is laundered and certain names of pump and dump investors whose main role would be to make some money at the expense of the uninitiated are also implicated.

In my opinion if the news slandered any individual, then appropriate legal action should be taken if this slander cannot be corroborated. After all there is recourse to the law here and that should be sufficient.

However in the case of the underworld we do not deal with rational people. Contract killings is second nature to them. Now if the underworld is linked to major stock market trades, then it is a whole new ball game which could reflect badly on the future of the Sri Lanka’s booming Colombo Stock Exchange which could turn into a farce. Foreign investment at the best of times was not forthcoming since the end of the war, a mystery to all the local investors. This of course was because those overseas investors who held our stock thought they were overvalued in terms of the stocks of other countries and decided to sell their holding in Sri Lanka and repatriate them and purchase stocks they considered to be cheaper.

This I believe is the reason for them not to come into the market in droves, as they could not see consistent growth in profits that justified the huge earnings multiples of shares in the Colombo Stock Exchange.

With this background any further rumors or possibilities will spell the death knell of the market in the short term, and will also affect the business confidence in Sri Lanka which the government has tried very hard to build. The government should therefore take all the steps necessary to clean up the underworld, which I believe there has been some attempt at but it seems only those against the government in the underworld have had a short life. Those with the government in the underworld appear to be thriving and any disassociation of the government with them is not believed. Let us trust that there is a full and thorough and impartial investigation to correct the wrongs and bring the culprits to book leaving no stone unturned.

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