Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The President is for once is on the losing side – the daily dose of disasters

I don’t know if his luck and good fortune has finally run out, but Mahinda Rajapakse seems to be on a losing streak with one disaster after another and with all of them he appears to be implicated. Worse still he is completely ignoring the growing pressure which has now been exerted on his Ministers, but he believes by ignoring them that the mud will not stick to him, nor the fingers will point at him for all the failings.

The bottom line is that the A level results were issued prematurely due to his intervention and demand. This has caused untold hardship and heartache to about a Million people of this country who are directly affected, either as students who sat their A levels or their parents, and care givers.

As if that was not enough a Presidential pal has dealt a body blow to the tourist industry by killing a foreign tourist, something unheard of in Sri Lanka all during the course of the conflict. As if that was not enough, the dead man’s companion was raped and injured after the killing, adding more insults to our tourism hub.

As if that was not enough the National Freedom Front and the Jathika Hela Urumaya parties in his grand coalition are now uttering words that are very scathing about some of the President’s policies and are trying to toe an independent line as far as resolving the ethnic conflict is concerned. So any hope of an early resolution to the problems is premature and looks like it will persist.

Then there is the general displeasure with the LLRC report with allegations it has not done enough work in addressing the grievances and point to culprits and holding people accountable for some heinous crimes. The international pressure for the President to act on their recommendations is also a major embarrassment and he follows this by not saying anything about it.

As if that was not enough, there are direct accusations from his party about other MPs also in his party, where one has been accused of taking huge bribes for facilitating the licenses for new gas stations from the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.

All this soon after the ill timed Appropriation of properties bill, which consigned Sri Lanka into a ‘what might have been state’. The passing of the buck most stop and some let up in the stream of damning news attached to the President is required.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Oh what a Farce in covering up one of the Deadliest blows to Tourism!!!

The murder of a British Citizen, who was knifed and possibly shot as well, and the brutal rape and assault of his Russian girlfriend at the hands of goons led by the Chairman of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha has not attracted the needed response from those in authority, namely the Rajapakse brothers.

After all it is Basil who is a Tourism Minister and he has been tight lipped for want of a better word to describe why his lips are not just sealed but stapled!! Then there is his brother the President who has yet to acknowledge his disgust at the behavior of a chum. How about Chamal who is pictured with a photo of the suspect PS Chairman?

How about brother Ghotabaya who is the Secretary of Defense who has to explain how a T56 got to be used in this shooting? He has obviously permitted the PS Chairman, one who is totally unfit, to carry a weapon so dangerous. No wonder the LLRC in its recent report recommended that all the unauthorized weapons must be rounded up if we are to have any sense of security as realistically it is only government goons who would dare carry weapons. After all others will be prosecuted with the full force of the law if a weapon was found in their presence, or more likely killed in a reported shootout!!

The silence from the above family and I also hear that Shashindra, Chamal’s son who is the Chief Minister of the UVA province is also known to him having seen a friendly photo with him. Namal also I believe was photographed with him. So it seems that most of the first family is implicated by guilt by association of a crook.

In Sri Lanka sadly all that is wrong can be pointed directly or indirectly at the first family and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The fact that no one can criticize them is the reason they are getting away with murder, NO PUN INTENDED!

Let us get back to how we can get some sense back into the Tourist Business. The people in the Tourist trade are aghast at what happened and all the talk amongst them is about the way to repair this damage. The fact that there is no acceptance of guilt or responsibility by anyone in authority is itself a cause for concern. So come on guys do some damage control immediately first by consultation with all stake holders before making a statement to the Media you will regret as you may not think through all the implications. It has already hit the newswires worldwide and those who are the country’s foes are hard at work making hay while the President is in bed!! This is a cry from the Industry so hear it and act before it is too late. A patriot speaks against traitors.


Monday, December 26, 2011

A tourist is killed on Christmas Eve and there is no response from the Govt. The LTTE never killed a tourist, but a friend of the President has.

The manner in which the Government responds to the murder of a tourist is an indication of how serious the Govt. is about developing the Industry. It is obvious that in Sri Lanka actions do not follow the words. There is no follow up to this serious incident and we have not had any comment from either Chairman of the Tourism Promotion Authority nor from the Minister of Tourism, Basil Rajapakse.

To add to the incident, where accidents can happen, it was compounded by the use of a T56 weapon and the Chairman of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha is accused of harming them with a sharp weapon and the use of the firearm.  The President’s home is in this area and the accused Sampath Vidanapathirana is a friend of Chamal and Shashindra Rajapakse as well as the President. They have named 11 suspects, but the fact they have not been able to apprehend these known people is in itself a problem, as they are possibly using their influence with the President to do a deal, to exonerate them and implicate some other innocent party with the connivance of the police or get the police to issue a report implicating the dead man with the blame. “dead men don’t talk’

The eyewitness of the incident, the girl friend of the dead man is undergoing treatment for serious injuries and she MUST be offered independent police protection. There is no telling what these thug PS Chairman can do to cover up the incident. This does not bode well for law and order and worse for the reputation of the tourist industry, which the Govt. is hoping will grow exponentially.

When justice is not seen to be done, it is a huge issue about the actions of the Government of Sri Lanka. They appear to be bent on destroying the future of this country either by design, by installing thugs to positions of authority, to reinforce a dictatorship, or by inaction which indicates a poor understanding of what’s needed, when an incident such as this occurs and the perception of business as usual then becomes a deterrent to the growth of the Industry. This slur on the industry by its very proponents is an indication of their incompetence and inability to govern.

This is an opportunity for the Opposition in Sri Lanka to make political capital of the facts as stated above, and then force the Government into a corner to come out with a statement or some form of immediate action against those implicated. We cannot permit this sort of behavior to go on, without any action on the part of those in the industry who are concerned that all the hard work by the industry is being compromised by the actions and inaction of the State.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

So what does it mean when you say black and white? – Ranil and Mahinda are at opposite spectrums - you make the choice!

People sometimes wonder how RW has remained the party leader for so long. It is because no one has emerged within the party to come close to challenging him in terms of a person who can be contrasted against the President. Just think about it. If either KJ or Sajith were the party leaders, people will compare the superiority of the President against both of them. As the qualities are comparable and not distinguishable, so it is a matter of criteria without contrast. Similar mould!

When it comes to RW it is a wholly different kettle of fish. He is so different it is not funny. Unfortunately the party and the press has not endeared themselves to this fact and done the comparison so people can make an opinion based on the facts. Let me try just to explain.
1       RW is a knowledgeable intellectual on a range of subjects who reads avidly. MR in contrast is more interested in meeting with people and gossiping.
2       RW knows and practices Buddhism in a way that MR cannot match, but he does not make a media show about it. MR on the other hand knows nothing but gets the media to portray him as a great Sinhala Buddhist. It is only a vacuum title with no roots.
3       RW has not changed his behavior for the media since he got into politics for the sake of a show. Be it behavior of kissing babies or calling people by their first name. He believes kissing babies and telling them he is giving them a huge debt to repay when they grow up is a very dishonorable thing. Instead he knows the name but pretends not to know!
4       RW will not change his attire to garner popularity or votes unlike his nemesis, he just wears what he feels comfortable. He will even wear a blue shirt, to show he is not concerned about criticism by supporters of that attire.
5       No one can point a finger at RW as someone who is either a crook or lived off the benefits of office. I shudder at the thought of what mud is attached to MR who has lived off politics all his life.
6       RW has no family favorites for high office that he hopes to leave for the future, unlike MR who is completely spoilt for choice with every family member being given a position, unlike any country on the face of the earth.
7       RW is not a people person gathering disparate opinions to make decisions by consensus, unlike MR. People see that as a weakness in RW character.
8       RW has lived in his house all along, except in Temple Trees, whilst MR has been in state accommodation. Even Carlton is someone else’s and he pretends it is his. No one therefore has been told the truth. Lies become truth
9       MR likes his name on all monuments. RW will fight to make sure his name does not appear on anything even many of the institutions he has founded.
10  MR has a file on all his closest advisors and Ministers, so that the dirt can be exposed when or if they desert him. RW on the other hand has it in his head, not wishing to expose those who let him down. Good examples are the people who left the party against whom he has not uttered one word.
11  MR resorts to the underworld to threaten or bump off anyone who has crossed him. RW on the other hand believes in Karma and expects the punishment and retribution to be meted in other ways.
12  RW sees through sycophants, and MR laps them up, see Sajin and Mervyn if any proof is required.
13  RW would rather reduce debt and balance the budget and is conservative in his policies. MR on the hand will give anything if it means receiving credit and will sell the country to make good on the promises, whether or not there is money in the treasury.
14  RW is an international statesman and MR is an international Pariah except in states such as China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Burma.
15  Despite accusations to the contrary, RW had a vision for Sri Lanka that was far more comprehensive and visionary than the Mahinda Chinthana was or Idiri Dakma could ever be. However he lost the Presidential in 2005.
16  RW managed to split Karuna and Pillayan from Prabarkaran, but never made a deal with Prabarkaran for money as MR did. The CFA however was a grave mistake, thanks to the Norwegians who were duped also.
17  Mahinda loves the media spotlight, and RW hates the media spotlight, something that is essential today in order to gain votes in a democracy.
18  RW is from mainly Kandyan stock, proud that one of his ancestors fought and was killed by the British in some 19th Century war, whilst MR is looking for every connection he can muster to make a case that he is descended from Dutugemunu and to fool everyone when he is only from the junior branch of the Rajapakse family, where MP Nirupama is from the senior one!
19  MR greets everyone like his long lost friend in a jovial and warm way, whilst RW passes by his closest friend without even an acknowledgement or nod, as if he had not seen him, though he has but does not deem it necessary.
20  RW is of the Sri Lanka University system, and went to Law College. He had the chance to go overseas, but chose to study in the state university system. MR did not got to University and instead did his law exams when he became an MP in 1970 at age 24 and became a lawyer at around age 30.
21  Percy Mahendra changed his name to Mahinda for expediency, whereas Ranil did not think he needed to change his name to get ahead in politics.

I recommend the reader to take account of the two contrasting styles and determine who you would prefer to be your leader, if either,and perhaps change your opinion.

Friday, December 23, 2011

So you thought you knew whose side the President is helping!! In the UNP struggle

At the traditional end of Budget Speaker’s dinner held at the Speaker’s official residence on Wednesday, 21st December 2011, Rosy Senanayake MP went to the President and said she wanted to meet him with regard to obtaining a release for those (16) who had been taken into custody for suspicion in inciting the mob to attack the UNP HQ Siri Kotha.

Hey Presto after the President’s intervention they were all released on a small bail on spurious legal grounds. Now who is the President in bed with? So if you want any more proof, how about the fact that Hema Premadasa was seen going around in her luxury SUV delivering rice packets to the demonstrators? When she got wind that the police were about to arrest her on suspicion of inciting the rioters, she promptly got on the phone to the President to ask him to intervene to stop her being arrested. Now she calls him each time she hears the next door neighbor sneeze for fear that someone is out to get her!

Despite Tissa Attanayake the General Secretary of the UNP calling the police well in time to provide security to Siri Kotha, they did not do so. (It would be normal to provide extra security to protect over 40MPs of the country who were gathered in one place) The govt. could have saved RW, Siri Kotha and Working Committee if they wanted to, but for their own reasons wanted the place destroyed, by the UNP’s own supporters so they can use it for political capital.

I do not need to break the anti RW element’s canard that govt. is helping RW as it is the Sajith side that is being helped handsomely by the govt. so that the unity of the party is further destroyed. It is obvious that the Sajith camp should be banished and the people clearly advised of their treachery. The legal problem with that is when and if the Sajith supporters are expelled, they will have this incident entangled in court. The govt. who wields the power, will force the court to prevent them from being expelled, further embroiling the UNP in internal strife, again for the benefit of the state. Party Unity is feared by MR. The ‘phoenix’ will rise!!! So everything must be done to suppress it.

This points to one obvious fact. There are so called UNP supporters, handsomely paid by the govt. to cause dissension in the UNP. Is it Maithri Guneratne? Or even Sajith Premadasa? Or maybe Shiral Lakthilaka or god forbid even Rosy Senanayake! It HAS TO BE one or more of these individuals who are working for the government from the so called UNP rebels side. Isn’t it amazing that in all this, it is RW who is implicated as he does not speak to the press to present his case? He does not have any faith in the press to tell the truth so he just says nothing not doing his cause any justice in this media influenced world where the readership can be fooled so easily into believing what is written!