Monday, June 27, 2011

The betrayal of our youth - the Chinese high interest loans

The government appears to be able to get unlimited lines of credit for almost all its mega projects from China. Added to that they are willing to sell out to China for huge projects such as the just announced Port City development of 500acres. It is done as part of the grandiose schemes that are expected to catapult a rather goal less nation to the ranks of developed countries.

In my opinion we should develop our way and not any other way. The Governor of the Central Bank who is playing no small part in the 2018 Commonwealth Games bid, feels that we are at a stage of development that Malaysia was 7 years before they were hosts to the Commonwealth Games and using that logic believe the expense is justifiable now in order to achieve those goals. I believe that the goals thus set is going to create a state in 2018 that is very different from now, where more people will question the quality of life then compared to what it is now, and hence prove what a failure the pursuit of this goal would become.

The legacy that is left for future generations is the enslavement of the people to pay off high interest loans that have been used and misused by the cronies to whom all these large projects get palmed off, and therefore become hugely expensive developments that do not yield an economic rate of return, however one measures this. It is so sad that no one appears to care about the future and the noose we have to carry and what our children and grandchildren will have to bear due to the profligacy of this generation. All the right noises are made in the media for this HEIST while the public wealth is being stolen from right under their noses. We will be left to wander around these future white elephants, and bemoan the arrogance of the current leadership in leading this country down to the lake like Pied Piper!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Nero fiddles while Rome burns

The enslaved majority live in blissful ignorance, as their rulers plunder all under them and then borrow money at high interest rates to fund mega projects so that they and their henchmen can cream a huge chunk of  the projects for themselves.

This means that once they have taken their loot and left the country the people living in the country will have to repay the loans and suffer the austerity. The tragedy therefore is that no one seems to want or have the courage to stop this mass scale daylight robbery, because they are scared of what may happen to them.

So lets hope that some have the courage to stand up and educate the masses on the level of corruption of their leaders who seem to make a habit if lying to their people.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Its two years and a few months after the end of hostilities and how is it we are still in this defensive mode?

At the point of sounding deadly boring, I just cannot understand that in a country where there has been peace for 25months without even one terrorist related casualty, we are still behaving as if we are at war with the world, not just within ourselves.

This minority complex which the Government has adopted is a sickening indictment on the current leadership, which just craves adulation, but buys it at a high price, mixed with a touch of hoodwinking as it has the mass media, especially the TV channels that are beamed to the majority of the country completely at their disposal to only portray their point of view.

The emergency is still in force. People are still abducted by white vans in broad daylight. Demonstrations are put down by live bullets and the resulting deaths are stage managed by the army to prevent even a decent burial with regular and traditional funeral rites. The militarization of the country is apparent. The military now even does road repairs, carry out leadership training courses for university entrants and have been put into government ministries. Whats more the security of various establishments are handed over to a government owned security firm that employs ex-soldiers much in the nature of the private army of senior politicians. The establishments that are guarded cannot put the contracts out to tender, so they charge much higher than market rates so that they can pay their staff well and hold their loyalty to the patron and be available for private thuggery of the patron when he so wishes.

The people in the country are totally fooled as all foreign finger pointing in this regard is rebutted as a conspiracy by the LTTE rump or apologists, assisted by the opposition parties to destabilize the government. This is a continuing process so that all the internal struggles are conveniently forgotten.

Parliamentary democracy is a farce as the Government with its two thirds majority, mainly arrived by bribing MPs heavily to change sides, is completely secure in their power. Even bills are not considered for debate and just surreptitious presentation and passing without anyone really discovering what has happened until it is too late and the legislation has become law.

While accepting that the weak opposition is a threat to democracy the voter does not care and has forgotten the art of tactical voting to keep the existing regime in check and reduce the possibility of gross abuse of power.

The fact that the agitation of the people is almost non-existent creates a false sense of stability, as our people have suffered a lot of human rights abuse and seem to take it as part of life with little complaint. This is not race related mind you, it exists as much all round the country. It is the sheer arrogance of power that we have to contend with, with no accountability for anyone's actions.

Do I have to conclude that people in this country are bone lazy? don't care or truly content?

The disgraceful treatment of Tamils searching for their loved ones

Just think if you don't know what happened to a loved one, wouldn't you go to extraordinary lengths to find them? Well that is what these thousands of mainly Tamil people are doing. Some are too frightened and do not have the funds to hang around those appointed places, as the numbers allowed to come per day are also regulated.

I am ashamed to say that I am a citizen of this country when my countrymen are treated like dogs by a foreigner called the Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka. Why do we tolerate such arrogant unpatriotic aliens? We must get out of the enslavement we still feel about these foreigners.

We are a humane and righteous country, where our leaders have lately turned barbaric. We can return to an era of decency as we are not in a state of war anymore though the way we are kept in serfdom is to portray that we are. Well it is not that we are it is that it is being created like that for self preservation. If the rights of individuals and the emergency is removed, then there will be no LTTE rump to fight we can grow without fear of favor. This stability is not what will keep the current regime in power, it is instability that they thrive on, maybe even unknowingly, but the statement is irrefutable.

Coming back to the innocent and sometimes guilty people who are searching for missing relatives, the only thing that a civilized country can do is to take steps to find out what happened and do the necessary to find out if they are still held in custody or not. For me a two second cross check of names with photos on a computer will give the answer if we have updated the database. So why continue their misery, it is the most sinful thing one human being can do to another.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The rape of Sinharaja Forest

There were photos of vast swathes of forest land that had been destroyed on the periphery of the Sinharaja. This is the last great rainforest reserve we have and has to be protected without and ifs and buts.

There is no point making lip service as it is the political henchman of people in power who are up to this nonsense for personal gain without any concern for the future generations. The issue is that the laws are in place but it is not being enforced because the enforcer is afraid of going against the powers who will make sure he is denied promotion and be transferred out to the Gulag type postings.

It important we take a stand against this, shame the perpetrators in the press and get the people of the country to agitate in public. It is sad that similar acts are taking place all over including the Hakgala forest reserve and no one seems to be able to do anything about it, due to political patrimony.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Great Railway land scam - 16,000 acres and counting

The Railway department is one of the largest landowners in Sri Lanka. While it includes the right of way of 10 feet of either side of the railway tracks, the department owns an enormous amount of land, which has not been put to productive use and in fact has now been encroached upon.

In the 1970s the British Railways Board siphoned off all the British Railway land into a property owning and development company and made sure full value of the Railway owned land was obtained. The building of huge Office Blocks in a public private partnership above the large London Railway Stations was a huge benefit, as this assisted in developing land for residential and business purposes and also maximized the value accruing from these assets.

In similar vein I propose the SLGR now do the same, so that a professional property manager will be able to run this land bank, and not leave it to Railway professionals who know nothing about managing land. Just imagine if the railways went into a partnership to develop the Fort Railway Station into a huge office block or even a multistory car park that is sorely needed in Fort. This can be easily done with minimal interference with daily Rail commutes.

While there could be an Act of Parliament to set up this Company and transfer the ownership of the Land including those of the Railway Stations to this company, there should be certain basic rules relating any disposal of land, with leasing being the procedure of choice.

The problem is the unauthorized sqautting that has taken place on Railway land by people some of whom have Political patrimony and the task of the proposed new body would be made more difficult.

There are many railway workers who occupy railway housing and many ex- railway workers who outhave refused to move out of railway houses and no one has done anything about it due to the lack of proper management of such property.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Channel 4 Video and its aftermath

I blogged at length on June 10th suggesting that the Government should take preemptive action prior to the video being aired and try and limit its fallout and made some suggestions, which if taken I am sure would have reduced the current collateral damage which is harmful to Sri Lanka's image abroad, which this stupid and insular looking Govt. does not appear to care a rats ass about.

It has now aired and true to form the Govt. continues to deny  its authenticity, which does not do any good as it is impossible to defend the indefensible. One isolated person was found to question its authenticity, but his credentials also seem suspect in that he is also not independent. However if any of the home, bravado mobile phone based moving images were anything to go about, the authenticity is not in doubt.

That is not to say we are not patriotic and glad the LTTE were annihilated. After all who could take issue with wiping out the most ruthless terrorist outfit the world has ever seen. What is sad is the Govt. is making a great effort at harming the image of Sri Lanka and are pretending that they are doing the reverse. This in essence is the problem, and we in Sri Lanka are made to suffer due to the ego of a very few people at the top who think that whatever they say or do is acceptable to all those who hear it.

I said earlier that the Channel 4 video which had been sent to the Govt. in advance of the airing for comment, should have been countered as LTTE propaganda, or heavily influenced by people whose agenda is suspect, without saying the video is not authentic. We all know we have suffered 40 years of gory and dreadful atrocities so the video is nothing new and not surprising in comparison to this behavior. The action of a few rogue elements of the army in times of heated do or die warfare can be explained as nothing worse than the acts of atrocities committed by the LTTE. The fact that they are categorically stated as being fake is what grates the mind.

There was a good chance prior to the video being aired of getting a balanced airing showing LTTE atrocities along with Govt. atrocities. If this was shown then the repercussions would have been minimal.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

The scandal of the sale of land at Galle Face, Colombo

Galle Face is considered some of the most sought after land in Sri Lanka. A huge chunk of it has been sold (20acres) to three sets of people for Hotel development projects. Vast sums are involved and approximately US$150M has been paid and no one knows what the under the table amounts were to the fixers and govt. leaders for this sale. Once the facts come to light in a few years it will be too late as the rogues would have gone on to greener pastures with their loot selling this country short.

The fact that the opposition is only now harping on this when they should have made a stink a long time ago, and also the fact that they are not even aware that there are three transactions and that Shangri La are most unhappy because the final transaction has taken away the Beira view of the Shangri La is not even alluded to.

The fact that the land was sold for Rs4M acre when land is currently going for more is moot because large blocks do not always command the higher prices. The attack should have been on the sale of the land free hold or 99 year lease amount to almost the same thing. A govt which has pledged not to sell state assets is doing the very thing they promised not to in the interest of strategic investments which are given special status to be used in their propaganda.

What troubles me more is the well known amounts of bribes these companies have paid to the leaders to obtain this land which if they had not been paid would have meant that the land would not have been sold. This is the principle of bad governance that needs to be investigated more than anything else as the shortchange then is the people who have not received the full value as the bribe is part of the full value.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I am a fly on the wall of an intense discussion taking place amongst prominent opposition figures as to how to force the President to make a stance on the C4 Video

After I posted my blog entry this morning, a smart patriot sensing the danger of inaction by the Rajapakse govt. settled in cozy smugness decided to call opposition figures and tell them that this is a great opportunity to put the President who makes a career out of hoodwinking the masses in his place using in effect the gist of my argument.

There are no patriots defending this country when it is under attack by foreign sources. The govt. is certainly anti-patriotic, it is to the opposition that this task has to be taken on board. The opposition in discussions is still very unsure of how to go about saving the country as their paramount fear is again being branded as traitors when they are attempting to be anything but.

Much of the discussion is now being centered on the Govt. spin doctors reactions once they realize the opposition has the upper hand. The Govt. they worry will come out with the poker hand to say to the local audience, as they still cannot care a tuppence for the international media and standing, that the opposition is trying to say the soldiers committed HR violations and that the Govt will protect their image to the death from this mob of "Batahira Balavegaya"

The opposition leaders then decide taking no action to save the nation from the mess the Govt. has put the country in is the safest option.


Just come out with the truth and be dammned without hiding behind lies

I know for a fact the bravado of our troops who as usual without thinking came and showed their friends and neighbors digital film shot with their mobile phones, pictures of atrocities they committed, thinking it was the fit and proper way to treat a hated enemy who had killed many of their friends and colleagues in battle or in cold blood. The international ramifications of this action seemed to escape their rather basic minds full of revengeful intentions.

These images once transmitted from person to person, meant that some body collected a selection of the worst ones and presented it to a body or bodies until it finally went into the hands of the UNHRC in Geneva. It is this film shown in Geneva that is now going to be shown on National TV in the UK in prime time. The effective cost of this if one were to advertise soap powder would exceed 100M Sterling Pounds. Just imagine the value of the adverse publicity this will bring to the Nation.

We are now forced to pay the price of these indiscretions with the Government of Sri Lanka denying this ever happened and that all the images were doctored or were lies. Sri Lanka has suffered for over two years at the hands of the Govt. inability to adequately explain their actions. It now seems this will go on for a lot longer with the blame being put fairly and squarely on the Opposition Parties and the International Network hell bent on Regime Change.

What arrant claptrap, but the gallery believes these lies hook line and sinker!! The govt has done a super job of misinformation and the opposition a shoddy job of explaining the truth for fear of being targeted anti-patriotic. The citizenry then suffers a PR nightmare due to this stance.

Call all the parties including those representing the Tamils for an immediate forum and try to come out with a common approach to defuse the expected furor that will be created from the airing of this video.

Mahinda wake up and react to the worldwide release of C4 Atrocities showing on Tuesday

What is the so called patriotic Government of Sri Lanka doing about the damaging C4 video about to be broadcast in the UK on Tuesday the 14th of June 2011 a day before Poson Poya day?

It is a very bad for us proud Sri Lankan to have mud thrown at us in this way, which will affect our standing in the International Arena. The buck stops with you Mr President to counter this intelligently and not foolishly as you have done to date to the detriment of our country. You have to confront this head on. If you can prove this is a fabrication then immediately come out with the evidence and sue the pants off Channel 4 in the UK courts for maligning the Country or their Armed Forces. If you do nothing our forces will look like the worst, undisciplined ruthless psychos on the face of the earth.

To add a balance the least Channel 4 has to do is to show the Video footage of LTTE torture and murder which was as bad or worse. Doesn't the Govt have this footage after making these statements for years about the cruelty of their torture. I would sincerely like to know if we have damning footage of murder and rape and pillage by the LTTE akin to that to be shown on C4.

Remember you were warned as this was already shown in Geneva and none of the Govt delegation which saw this has yet commented publicly on this which sadly gives it tacit approval. Please for the sake of our beloved Motherland don't sell us down the river now that you have squeezed every spare penny from Sri Lanka and you can live anywhere in comfort when the shit finally hits the fan and we who  are left have to defend your miserable incompetence at not being able to do your job you were elected to do. I am ashamed for you while you go about smiling and bullshitting your way hoping no mud will stick to your pure white exterior.

We cannot have this country turned into the laughing stock of the world because of your incompetence. This maybe a Diaspora moment of success if you do nothing. So come out with the film to prove that the footage is either doctored or that the LTTE was in fact far worse than that on this Video. Remember if this is not doctored it is our troops using mobile phones getting a great kick at cruel behavior and will forever lose the moniker of a disciplined and well trained force that defeated the LTTE.

Yes I am so mad at the LTTE for their atrocities that I can do this due to the rage of losing people I know to their callous bombs. However I would have expected our forces to be more respectful. I have no power to force you to do your job, but if you cannot please resign and let someone else deflect the blame and try to regain the lost PR.

If for the sake of the country you take personal blame and absolve the rest of us including the valiant troops, then I will respect you for it. You are attempting to hide this story from the masses and slither out of the problem, don't for our sake if you truly cared for Mother Lanka.

If you do nothing you are nothing but a FRAUD and you have done a great disservice to a country commemorating SAMBUDDHATVA JAYATHI

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Who authorized the sale of 1,600,000 shares of CFIN by SLIC to a buyer at Rs800/-

This is the scandalous question no one dare ask. Ironically to make such a blatant transaction without an investigation and report is just as reprehensible. The transaction was of such a significant nature that approval has to be from the top, that is the Chairman. The SLIC (Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation) is a wholly government owned entity and therefore any irregularity must be reported and investigated by the state itself. The very fact that it was not means that there is state patronage for a fraud of such proportions.

I don't know who the Chairman of SLIC was when the transactions were entered into, but clearly the buck stops there and there is no way a sane individual would enter into such a transaction. If Mr Harry Jayawardene was still at the helm of SLIC he would not have sold those shares for any less than Rs1500 each, the price it is currently trading at. It rose to Rs1800 a few weeks ago, but for such a large block Rs1500 to me seems a reasonable price.

The shares in smaller blocks that were trading at around Rs900 when this transaction was announced, shot up to Rs1200 as soon as it was announced. If we are talking kickbacks as that would be the only way one would have been persuaded to part with the shares at that price, my guess of he value of the kickback to the buyer is Rs100 each. that means the bribe paid amounts to Rs160M not small change. It seems that Sri Lankans will sacrifice their mother for that kind of money.

It is highly likely that these shares will sold on again within a short while to the EPF at about Rs1700 each giving the buyer a net profit of around Rs1.5Billion in a matter of a few months.If EPF is persuaded to purchase these shares at this price, then the persuader will also receive a minimum Rs160M bribe, but I suspect it could be as high as Rs320M. We are talking serious money here. No one can make serious money today without the back of the powers.

My simple point is that EPF should have bought these severely undervalued shares at Rs800 and end it at that, as it is from one govt. owned institution to another govt. managed one. At least all the capital gains accrue to the govt. Here the EPF will pay 1700 and the shares will rise above that for a short time so that they can justify making this purchase, however once the market tanks these shares will come down to Rs800. In the latter suggestion the EPF will not have a huge loss, and instead be known to have broken even. Now the EPF stakeholders the people of the country stand to lose Rs1.5B, a clever way of transferring money from the state to a few govt. favored individuals, if it is not members of the first family, who do not let a good thing come by.

The scandal of the Sri Lanka stock brokerage industry - example

The SEC is a joke run by jokers for jokers.

Today by 1pm this market has had traded Rs1.5B of shares in a tin-pot company called Pan Asia Power amounting to about 180M shares which amounts to about 40% of the share value of the Rs4B company at the current share price.

This is a penny stock and we are in a penny stock blow out. Why does the SEC and CSE not worry about it. It is simply called greed. They earn money from the share trading and they could not care a toss what shares are traded. Best of all for them, they have even included these shares in the band where the share cannot rise or fall more than 10% in the day. This after the shares went up 80% on one day fueled by a speculative buyer buying a huge chunk of about 15% of the company at Rs6 per share. This was on the day the share rose to Rs8. The brokers collectively will earn at least 1.3% (buying and selling broker) amounting to Rs20M. No useful purpose will be served to the industry in this game.

That is a lot of jam for one share in an insignificant new company that is not making any money and is a proposed mini hydro project.

If one cannot call it speculation what is it? All in favor of brokers and I bet few punters would have made any money.

The arrest of the son of a senior member of Parliament

Contrary to the reports in the press the truth is never as evident to even the observer. This is a very interesting story.

Friends somewhat slightly inebriated were driving late one night near Kollupitya junction and the car in front did not see a construction related obstruction and had ploughed this vehicle straight into the construction site. He was not injured. His elder brother who was following in the car behind was so furious with his younger brother for being such a jerk, he stopped his vehicle behind and then went up to the driver position and yanked his brother out of the car and started beating him up for this foul up.

The police who had witnessed all this did not know this was brotherly love and assumed some more serious gang warfare or whatever and started interfering to break apart the two and arrest them. The parliamentarian's son then got into the fray saying he was so and so's son and that not to interfere in a personal matter. He got a few words from the police in raw filth to which he took offence and would have either shouted or tried to fight with the policeman to protect his friend.

In the ensuing fracas reinforcements were called in and this boy along with others were arrested for preventing a policeman from carrying out his lawful activities. He was alter bailed to appear in court on an appointed date, with a reputed lawyer with government connections, Kalinga Indatissa defending him. As we can see from this it is complete much ado about nothing, and the real law breaker is whether anyone was guilty of drunk driving, and did they actually cause any property damage for which civil action should be taken against the offender with the police called in to give evidence. Instead the courts time will be wasted on a completely different tangent, namely whether the parliamentarian's son disturbed the police from performing its rightful duty!!

Lets see how this case finally plays out it court. Anyway once this comes for hearing the newspapers will have completely forgotten about it and we will be none the wiser. This is how these news events happen and then get lost with the reader getting a very different opinion of the facts.

Further I heard that the Parliamentarian was so upset that his baby boy the apple of his eye had got into trouble with the law that he nearly fainted and maybe his pressure either rose or dropped or both and had to spend the night in hospital for observation. I would also faint if it was my baby so that's OK, its just that he does not want he world to know, in case the world thinks ill of him, so much for keeping a brand spanking good image going.

Softlogic Holdings IPO - Sri Lanka closes 4.30pm June 9th 2011

These shares are offered at Rs29 each and according to the Registrars the IPO is already oversubscribed and therefore will close as permitted by 4.30pm today the 9th June 2011.

All the stockbrokers have endorsed this IPO and have recommended it as a buy. Being a Financial Adviser myself with intimate knowledge of the workings of the Sri Lankan Stock Market having worked in this very closely for a number of years, my advice is as follows:

Due to the oversubscription you can apply for some shares and sell your allocation on the first day of trading if you can even make a Rs5 profit. From then on it is downhill all the way and very soon the shares will drop below its subscription price. The reason it will not drop below that on day one is that the Brokers will keep the share price high so that they can gain some trading volume by buying and selling these shares on behalf of clients a few times to churn enough money for themselves at the expense of their clients. The average client is not likely to make more than a few thousand by applying for about Rs100,000 of shares so the risk in doing so is not worth the reward.

Have some common sense. How can a company open an IPO at 20times trailing earnings even though forward earnings for 2012 will price it at about 13 and forward to 2013 at 8 because both those are pie in the sky figures for an uncertain economy like Sri Lanka where real growth has stalled and the risk is greater.

In my humble opinion if you are a long term investor I would buy this share when it drops to Rs 20 before 2011 is out.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The daily fear of a woman commuter using public transport to get to work and back

Some days are ok others are mildly embarrassing and about once a week, that is the average it is downright humiliating. What you might ask all this is about?

It is sexual harassment  by men in buses. Need I be explicit to titillate the reader? I'd rather not, but if any of you readers have any examples please share them with me. This harassment takes all forms, and forgive me if sometimes I imagine it because when you are squeezed in a bus by humanity you sometimes have strange attacks that may be innocent and unintentional.

Is it that men in Sri Lanka are sexually frustrated or are they sexual perverts. In fact school students are particularly repulsive as they are in clicks and like pack animals want to make a statement, so they dare each other to touch, feel and squeeze and sometime pinch very hard. All this mind you in school uniforms.

Don't go into any detail but if you have been in these situation please give an indication of the frequency and what you believe we should do about it and how we should go about reducing the incidence and increase public awareness first that there is a severe problem that has been swept under the carpet in Sri Lanka!! the land like no other! Sure it is

The senseless beating of a young FTZ girl in Katunayaka

In the words of the girl who was beaten senseless and then hospitalized, this is according to her statement. The reader must make up his or her mind as to its credibility.

She was at her factory. They had come out on the break. They were in the compound in their factory but inside its gates. then they heard a commotion of police coming their way and curiosity took the better of them. When they opened the gates and came out, they were hit with stones on the road by the police.  They then threw them back at being attacked. The police then came and beat them up with iron rods and came into the factory and when they ran back in chased them pulled them out and beat them.

They were then while badly bruised, locked up in a room and they heard the screams of some men being beaten up just outside their room. They were then turned over to women police constables who continued to beat them. There were many who were badly bruised in pain and badly hurt. A pregnant women was also beaten up and once this was pointed out the person making this accusation against the accuser was also beaten up.

Eventually they were all thrown into a bus, like animals, not assisted into the bus and dumped in a hospital where she was for 3 days before being released home.

The police acted like animals, and she just could not believe that a human being could behave that way especially to women and girls. They also reiterated that they were not members of the JVP and had nothing to do with politics.

The scandal of match fixing in Sri Lanka

It has not yet been reported in the local or international news except for a Lanka News Web site which has been quoted by a few Indian Internet Web Sites.

Therefore taken at face value with no reason to doubt it as it was also on Twitter over a day ago, Hashan Tillekeratne a politician with the opposition UNP has gone to the President on June 3rd 2011 and given him names of those who he accuses of match fixing. According to the same news site the President will provide him with security as he had reported it to the President personally. The meeting had been arranged by an intermediary Udduwe Dhammaloka Thero a Buddhist priest in the public limelight.

Those accused as far as it was reported were, Duleep Mendis, Sanath Jayasuriya, Aravinda de Silva, Thilanga Sumithipala a one time Cricket Board Chairman who though a bookie was vying for the position of the ICC chairman.

These are merely allegations and the reader is asked to make up his or her own mind of the likelihood that this may be correct. If correct, the money involved can amount to gazillions!!!!!