Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Columbian false sense of security is just a temporary illusion

The new development at the racecourse to take an example looks very flashy on the surface but looks can be deceptive. I am not questioning that the eye sore that once was is finally being redeveloped into a complex of up-market shops and an international Rugby Ground with the old racecourse grandstand now part of the Stadium Stand with more being constructed on a similar theme.

No doubt the moneyed Columbians will be enjoying more shopping, and unless we can attract more Indian Tourists we will not be able to make them financially viable with the high rents being commanded. Further the Army being used to develop the property, questions the real cost of such developments and who the beneficiaries of the business plan are?

The intermingled jumble of the UDA, and Ministry of Defense with NO transparency between the two as the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense is also in charge of the UDA which is under his direct orbit. Further the CMC’s  (Colombo Municipal Council) role in this is not clear, as rates are payable to the CMC for the shops and the Rugby Stadium, both for tickets and general rates. Will any of this be done on an arm’s length basis, as would be the case if it were managed by a private concern? NO answers are even asked by any  Columbian I spoke to as they are ignorant and don’t care. (2nd page of Daily Mirror of October 25th said that the Govt.institutes owe the CMC over Rs1B)

The tragedy is that many of these people live on deposit interest with no idea of how real people in the real world live, and commend the Government for everything as their lives are made easy by the developments that take place. Little do they realize that the day the Govt. decides to take over all the deposit taking institutions by an edict of the President, all their money will also be history! Along with their lifestyle!

They would say that the Govt. will not dare do such a thing. However I say in light of the lack of checks and balances of the Constitutional Amendments that the Govt has done away with, anything goes. That is what a dictatorship means. They may like autocracy, but when it comes to their homes, that are taken over using some excuse, then there will be no one left to defend their tightly held material possessions.

It is therefore important to defend the Rule of Law and ensure that we fight for the Independence of the Judiciary from the Legislature and Executive.

(a Columbian is an upper Middle Class, smug resident of Colombo who is far removed from the reality that is Sri Lanka!)

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