Friday, August 31, 2012
It is now becoming obvious that moves are a foot for the regime to ensure that they stay in power forever. It is a Sri Lankan disease or dilemma that happens regularly. This time it is to suppress the level of education of the people. Education does not mean grades and number of qualifications. It is simply common sense. One that most of the people in Sri Lanka do not have, and the government does not wish them to have so that everything and anything shoved down one’s throat is fair game to the throat and they can stomach it to boot! It is only when one sees the sense in anything that it hits one as being unreal! Then the scam is revealed.
Yes the administration is unreal and many people with a list of qualifications are sucked in to it, just as much as the ones with none to speak of. It is because they are not educated. They see and read the news for what it is not what is behind it and whose angle it wishes to depict. They cannot see a con and accordingly can be classified as gullible.
This very lack of mastery, knowing the lack of objectivity of the messenger is the mark of someone who cannot be fooled. There is a way to go yet for people to understand what truly is happening. For example the rate at which public funds are borrowed and spent without any discretion is alarming.
It does not matter to the recipient of the largesse or the user of the road where the money comes from or what the cost of borrowing is. It is therefore the duty of the Government to spend the money wisely and productively. This latter aspect is what I believe most people dispute, even the apologists for the Government who maintain that it is part of the way things are done, and to speed the process, bribes and pay offs are the norm.
The fact that funds are borrowed from China at high interest does not matter either to the people or the Government. When roads break up due to shoddy workmanship and poor materials, with the contractors paying off the relevant officials to pass the documents of completion it does not seem to matter to the people who are none the wiser of the goings on, as it may be the problem of a future administration to solve!
It is time for the con to be revealed and the public to take a stand. Otherwise those who abuse the system will remain unpunished, as their con will only surface when they have gone, taking their booty with them to far off lands.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
The appointment of the New Chairman of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission)
The insult heaped upon the SEC by the President appointing the Chairman of Colombo Land, (he has not even resigned from his post) as the Chairman of the SEC, is bared open for all sensible people to understand that the Govt, does not care a TOSS about investors, integrity and independence of the Capital Market Regulator. That bodes ILL for the development of these markets and is a slap in the face for the SEC as well as the CSE and the future of a thriving Stock Market in Sri Lanka. The fact that the powers are insensitive to this is indicative of the contempt and arrogance in their attitude.
One has not only to be clean, but more over be seen to be clean, and in that context the latter statement does not hold in this instance when an alleged Mafioso of the Stock Market is closely associated with the new SEC Chairman. One has to question the judgment of the people who make these appointments on behalf of the Government as they clearly do not have the interests of the Country at heart.
There were allegations, yet unproved, that the said Mafiosi is a front for the main rulers of the country, and if so, it is all the more important that such an appointment is NOT made. It is not too late to change the appointment and appoint a truly independent person who is also seen to be Independent of the forces that are alleged to have manipulated the Sri Lanka Stock Market for personal gain.
Further, a person who is closely associated with the Travel Trade up till now as head of the Tourism Development Authority, which has proved to be a noose with failure written all around, is hardly the one to instill confidence in the independence and good governance within the Capital Markets. It is important to note that there are suitably qualified people in this Country who can take up this role, but who will not be subservient to the President. It was clear in Mr Tilak Karunaratne’s appointment that he was not going to be dictated to by anyone, and it was his downfall, when interfering High Net Worth Investors were permitted access to the decision makers to make unwarranted accusations. Their particular cases and investigations were taking a turn that looked to implicate them. It was at this juncture that the pressure on the SEC chief was too great for him to carry out his duties without political interference. He was right to resign, and we now hear he was pressured by the powers to resign. So yet again the blame lies in HE.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Sensible people – here is another example of the senseless use of the media for personal gain. I reported in yesterday blog entry about 6 leaders of the opposition in various Anuradhapura District’s Pradeshiya Sabhas having defected to the Government side. Yes they were Leaders of the Opposition, but they had defected over 2 years ago!!!
So for the media, and the Government not mention that they defected so long ago, and imply it was done yesterday was WRONG and reprehensible. This is yet another black mark against the media who OWE IT TO THE READERSHIP to explain the facts and not CONFUSE.
The fact that all responsible media in Sri Lanka behave in this crass and puerile fashion, not giving out facts and act as spokesman for the Govt. is regretful to say the least. It is important that the public are informed about the real facts and not be fooled by a continuing smoke and mirrors campaign of the Government to change the course of history by foul means.
For the record many of the leaders of the opposition of the various Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Anuradhapura District are seeking election to the Provincial Council and HAVE NOT gone on to the Government side. This is therefore most confusing for the local voters, which is likely to cause concern amongst many as the interpretation is grossly different to the facts.
Again this is an appeal to the reader to pass on the message that so much is being carried in the press of Sri Lanka that is patently not true and at the very least misleading. It is important to know the facts and correct the mis perception that appears to be deliberate.
Election time gets dirty and the dirty tricks department of the Government news services is working overtime to spread their disinformation campaign. It is important that steps are taken to immediately to counter the false propaganda before it spreads like wildfire and completely mislead those who read the newspapers who then pass it on to others making a lie a belief in a large number of people.
Be wary of what you read, see and hear in the Sri Lanka media, and look behind the story lines and the objectives, especially of a Government that desires to stay in power forever.
Lal Perera the self appointed spokesman for nobody seems to get Press Coverage thanks to a gutter press to which the Island paper has also fallen. Giving people who make up names and then represent them, and then use the bully pulpit to sling mud at others, when their own credentials bear looking into are not people worthy newspapers should give even a line of reporting. It time equal time is given to investigate the credentials of this Lal
The depths to which the Press in Sri Lanka has fallen is reflected in the Island report of DR JJ coming in support of his leader. Of course he has every right, as well as all senior politicians to support their leader. It is their duty when uncorroborated slander is heaped. It is not for the leader to defend himself as is requested by Mr Perera, who in any case is a turncoat, who now acts as a double agent for the Government, and attempts at every stage to destabilize the opposition, while pretending to be Snow White.
The reason the opposition appears to be taking all this flack, is because the gutter press in this case the Island continue to give prominence to innuendo and to people of ill repute to air their views. This subtle use of such people is a direct attempt by the Island to support the Government in attacking the opposition on nebulous grounds, when they should be attacking the Government on its track record. So public perception is corrupted.
I dread to think how the founder of the Island would think when his nephew RW is being attacked by his own Newspaper, stolen from his family under very spurious and unethical means to turn sides and sling mud.
At the very least the Island paper should be neutral and balanced and not act as another mouthpiece for a corrupt and incompetent government. It is a shame that its ownership permits it or rather encourages it!!
It is under these very trying times that the people of Sri Lanka have to face enormous odds and face a poll, with all the cards stacked in favor of the Government. It is the responsibility of the Press to preserve its independence its objectivity, and look behind some of the cast of characters who are trying to influence public opinion. If the ownership of the press is also dubious, then the depths to which they drop is reflective of the character of the ownership. It is then up to the people of the country to judge their reporting having regard to all the facts and come to their own conclusions.
In this made for TV politics of fooling the electorate, one of the modus operandi used by the Government is to make a show to the people, especially via the Government TV channels that dispels some of the common perceptions.
This was so yesterday when the first public rally presided over by the President in the Anuradhapura District, turned into a show of 6 opposition leaders of PS’s coming onto the Government side. Of course in order to go over, in fact destroy the faith the people who voted them in, they go onto the other side and have to justify to the people who voted them in why they did so. Instead of admitting the truth, in this instance too their complete lack of decency is bared open only for those with a modicum of reasoning to understand. They say it is due to internal party bickering!
It is in short for personal gain and nothing else that one gives up on principles and goes over to the Governing side. They have been offered a bunch of goodies too good to miss, and the Government flush with funds to win elections does not compromise on such expenses.
One must understand reality today. The Pradeshiya Sabha model is the means where the local vote is secured to the Government. They have permitted their representatives to engage in every illegal act in the book to make money, a list too numerous to mention, but found elsewhere in the blog, from trafficking in liquor licenses to being principals in the moonshine trade, just to mention the financial tip of the iceberg and everything else below it. They are just asked to deliver the vote when needed!
What saddens me is that local politicians, who these opposition leaders are have compromised their principles, by letting down their voters to change their ideology from justice to criminality. In effect they immediately become criminals in all meanings of the word, as otherwise there would be no reason at all to engage in such a selfish move. It takes courage to be in opposition and NO courage at all to be in local government under the present terms and conditions. So it is obvious what has been sacrificed.
All I ask is that the voter become wise to this obvious selling one self, in short prostituting themselves, and hence show disgust at the system by casting one’s preference to throw these con artistes out for a change.
Monday, August 20, 2012
It is rather surprising to see the level to which the media continues to play upon an allegation that Ranil Wickremasinghe assisted the other side and not the UNP candidate in a 1994 election, an allegation that has already been completely refuted by Chandrika Bandranaika herself.
In the first place when a politician for the first time resurrects something that is alleged to have happened in 1994, in his 2012 campaign, has to be taken lightly as time itself is reason enough to question - if there was a grain of truth in such. Remember in politics if one does not pounce on the transgressions of one’s foes within moments of occurrence the value fades, to say nothing of 18 year old allegations. It is sheer absurdity to continue.
I would first question the ethics of any journalist who carries the same after the initial stage announcement. If they repeat it they must point to the rationale behind its likelihood to come out after such a time span.
Therefore if he, Maithripala has nothing else to stick to Ranil Wickremasinghe, then one must assume that RW comes out like a bed of roses with no other faults, if past sins are brought out when none appear to be leveled over more recent failures. Why then make one self such a fool?
The bankrupt ideas of the Government to resort to base allegations should turn any self-respecting journalist to howl at such allegations as being dreams of hallucinating politicians and not of people who are at all serious about their own profession! This therefore is also bankrupt journalism.
It is very sad that as a country we tolerate such nonsense without reporting the logic of such statements made so many years after. In my reckoning NO journalist in Sri Lanka has had the courage to stand up to this despot who has ruined his own District by dynastic favors, with nothing to show for his long tenure at the top, nothing but personal glory and ruin of every economic activity of local people and with no regard to their well being.
I need not give space to wonder why RW has not commented, as it does not require a response. He has more important matters to concern him than this. It is an indication of the bankrupt nature of news, that this subject is not superseded by important matters of the day, in an election period where debates about policy should take precedence. Come on the fourth estate!
Thursday, August 9, 2012
It was in this weblog, that I cut to shreds the idea of imposing fees for news websites. I said it was the most outrageous thing that could be done to individual freedom in a country and one which drives away the ability of local people to excel in the ‘web news’ field. After all, no Website hosted overseas will be caught in this net. Of course the government will attempt to block those sites, but as we know any attempt at blocking one will circumvent the controls and become even more popular, than before the blocking, completely defeating the purpose in the first place.
It is of course with amusement that I read today that the latest cabinet decision was to halve these rates. In a few more wasteful cabinet discussions of a non event, it will be abolished altogether.
This desire to control everything is at the heart of the problem. In the end anyone or entity that tries to control everything will fall by the wayside, as there are numerous ways of circumventing these controls, and those who do so are the ones who benefit over those who fear to do so. It is therefore a license to those who wish to sidestep the controls, to so engage, and effectively go underground, as it is then not possible to be legitimate.
This kind of control that cannot be enforced due to the nature of the animal, is a waste of time and energy, and is seen as a further infringement of people’s rights. It is absurd to say that it is done because of outrageous statements made against individuals slinging mud at personalities that takes place. It must be remembered that no matter how tight the controls are the mudslinging cannot be stopped. Every attempt at stopping will just enhance the credibility of the ban. Disregard of lies will kill the misinformation.
The issue is about priorities and about trying to shift focus away from some of the real issues of the day. Making news about non news, to distract people from their daily travails is a cynical attempt at trying to fool people from what is happening every day in our society. We have a dictatorship that decides what they want daily, and then uses all the powers they have to get it. Nobody and nothing is sacrosanct and safe from them. It is this latter that every citizen must understand, as they attempt to control our lives. Unless and until people understand that we have given too much power to a handful, and they remove that power legitimately, we are in for a long haul of eroding freedoms and in the end the destruction of the nation state.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
It is only when an individual faces injustice, that he or she wants someone to complain to and do something about it. It is not until one is faced with that dilemma that one realizes that the system is stacked against you. The Court system is corrupt or it takes too long or costs too much. We do not have a legal aid system in Sri Lanka to protect the interests of individuals. When it comes to common issues that affect a segment of the population who have been affected, then there are NGO’s and public interest groups willing to bat for them.
Governments do not care on individual complaints as they do not believe it is universal enough to affect those who vote for them, and therefore make NO attempt to right a wrong, be it through the court system or otherwise.
Democracies are there to protect rights of minorities whilst giving the majority opinion the power. If minority rights are not protected and only majority decisions are implemented at the expense of the aggrieved minority, then it becomes an all or nothing system where minority rights are suppressed. It then goes to independent commissions created from all interested parties, especially minorities including opposition political parties to create a balance to ensure equity and justice.
In order for injustice daily meted out in local areas in Sri Lanka to be addressed there must be a body that people can complain to that is set up outside of the local area. The reason is that in most local areas, the local politicians and security forces control the people out of fear. There is nothing they can do about it. The tragedy in the local scenario is due to the lack of education most believe there is nothing they can do about it. They accept it as their FATE having to deal with the local bully, who controls, the drug trade, or moonshine, or protection racket. We then give rise to powerful politicians who have come up through these illegal activities outside the law. There is no body that goes to prosecute them as they are outside of the system.
It is time for a system of checks and balances, to prevent the occurrence and spread of injustice, where all incidents are reported to an independent body, that can keep confidentiality and prosecute where the law has clearly been broken. This is a signal to those engaged in unfair and illegal practices to be on notice to stop for fear of prosecution and imprisonment.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
The General Secretary of the SLFP, in an election rally in Polonnaruwa for the fight for control of the North Central Provincial Council, takes a 1994 allegation that the current party leader of the UNP had a hand in Chandrika’s Presidential Election win, by destroying chances of the UNP candidate Gamini Dissanayake, prior to him being assassinated.
This was done to discredit the leadership of Ranil Wickremasinghe, so that the integrity of the leader of the UNP is called into question, therefore the whole strategy of the party was not to be trusted. This clutching at historic straws so far back, is barely a rational method of proving inability to lead! After all the current govt. is engaged in wholesale fraud and intimidation, as well as local level corruption of all elected leaders, that what happened nearly two decades ago, should not even come into the discussion in a 2012 campaign, pointedly at the integrity of the present regime to rule anymore.
It is in the end up to the voter to believe whatever they choose to and one hopes they are able to make a reasonable judgment based on their personal experiences, rather than believing what some highly questionable politicians, who have raided the vault of every villager in Polonnnaruwa are able to say on a platform.
It is important that some of the actual issues relevant to the people of the areas that hold the elections are at the center stage. The government insists it is essential to hold elections every few years to test the pulse of the people. If we rational people believe there is any truth in this statement, then it is wrong to spend so much on the elections, when there are grave economic and social issues that take priority, and which are not given the resources needed to tackle them.
A government that plays poker with people’s lives for political survival at any cost should be taken to task. The voter must be made to understand that their leaders are actually making statements that this is only to test the pulse and not to democratically make choices as to how their local Provincial Councils are expected to be run.
I appeal to the voter to look carefully on what is not displayed, as the opposition does not have the funds for posters, and appeal to the voters to make up their minds on a rational weighing of alternatives.