Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Debate in Parliament – 8th May 2012 – on the COPE report

The UNP demanded and got a debate in Parliament on the implementation of the recommendations of the COPE committee of parliamentarians on their investigation of the public enterprises that come under the purview of the COPE.

The Government members on the COPE committee failed to even turn up for the debate, and what was worse those government members slated to speak did not turn up to Parliament either. They treat this Governance attempt with contempt displaying both their ignorance and arrogance of the importance of the debate to help in good governance. This gave the opposition more of an opportunity to talk as the time of the Govt. members were given to the Opposition, where Mr Wijedasa Rajapakse and Mr Eran Wickremaratne conducted themselves with merit, but which was not well reported in the media whose staff at the Parliament do not understand COPE from COPY.

To be fair to Senior Minister DEW Gunesekera with a history of being a leftist, socialist or whatnot, he has lambasted his own government for the failures in instituting immediate reforms to a litany of corrupt and inefficient practices of these companies which are costing the country untold billions. However he is a lone voice on the government benches fighting a losing battle. Remember when Mr Wijedasa Rajapakse chaired the Committee a few years back he resigned and joined the opposition in disgust of the Govt. lack of interest in the COPE findings, and need to be more constructive in the way the Nation spends its scarce resources.

It is the waste that the JVP claims that can pay the Rs40/kg for the farmers for their paddy. A nonsensical argument, but nevertheless believable in light of Govt. inspired waste. This govt. does nothing in theory or practice to reduce waste in spending. It is the govt. that has presided over the record of waste, that in cumulative history of Sri Lanka to this date has not happened. For example the Cumutlative public debt when this administration took over was less than the public debt that has increased JUST during this administration.

It is easy to borrow and waste, but difficult to pay back. It is a future government that will have to make unpopular decisions to pay back the waste of this Govt. This argument however is lost amongst the people, as few people know how to manage their own finances, and resort to extortion and all other means available to them to fill the void, just as this government also appears to do.

The debate therefore achieved very little, as the Govt. side are not interested in debating the facts, but bent on pointing out failures of the opposition today in their infighting and in the past during their previous administration, none of which are part of the current debate. This kind of incompetence of the state machinery to face the elected representatives on the other side whose duty it is to question the lack of governance, make parliament irrelevant and all our democratic rights non-existent.

We must demand better attendance at Parliament. The government MPs are busy lining their pockets with shady deals, to waste time coming to parliament. How can this be achieved, without sounding too harsh. Let the public know the facts.

The subject of the debate is relevant, and steps must be taken to address this subject. However we have an administration that allocates time, just for the sake of exterior veneer, and has no intention of taking any corrective action, as all within the government are culpable of the crimes that are laid forth in the COPE report.

How can we get people of Sri Lanka to understand that their lives are manipulated by a state apparatus designed only to FOOL and to cream off the assets of this country for personal gain? This difficult objective is down to you and me by way of communication medium to attempt to educate the public to the TRUTH.

It is the duty of the Media to properly explain what it is that the COPE committee is attempting to do and why its recommendations are important and must be implemented if waste and corruption is to be reduced or prevented. If the people can understand the meaning of this, they will be better able to make up their minds about the performance and trust they have in the govt.

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