Thursday, October 31, 2013
I am completely baffled at intelligent people’s assertion that it is OK to steal as long as the project is completed! Not even if it is beneficial to anyone.
I am at a loss for words, that people who I believe are intelligent take the view that the cost overruns of Norochcholai, Mattala, Hambantota Port, Katunayaka Expressway, Southern Highway, and the completely unnecessary proposed Sampur Power station using highly polluting coal, and now the Casino complex with very low taxes and free licenses are all OK as it is infrastructure for the benefit of the people of Sri Lanka.
The attitude is that everyone over invoices and if there was another government it would be worse, so it is just a huge cross the people of Sri Lanka have to bear and the weight we have to carry as Sri Lankans.
In summary if you want to be Sri Lankan and live in Sri Lanka, this is a price, where a bunch of people and their friends will share the equivalent of US$50B in cost overruns to spread amongst themselves, as the price of progress for this growth that will (however it is divided) take us to the US$10,000 per capita GNP by 2025!!
These guys have just set themselves up, and will not budge from that stand, and want to be in the bunch who share the spoils, not in the bigger bunch who have to pay for that, through sweat and toil be in Sri Lanka or overseas, by artificial low exchange rates so the wealthy can buy imported luxury items at below value!!
Put simply a person remitting money to SL will be paid say Rs1M for his riyals instead of Rs2M and the person buying the car will pay Rs20M instead of Rs40M!
Of course we have sufficient examples all over the world from Suhartos and Marcoses where leaders plundered the wealth of their countries in this way. IS it really right that this happens openly, and without any accountability as the Govt. has the power, of numbers and its backers are looking for ways to benefit from this largesse, rather than in all conscience stop this banditry against this Country.
The added problem is that the Govt. is permitted to borrow from the Chinese at exorbitant interest rates as a huge commission on the rates is paid to the fixers who share it amongst themselves, and in the case of infrastructure loans has been estimated at over US$3B of commissions that have just gone to a few people, and in the end the Country will have to pay it interest and capital on that over many years. Is there to outcry, no patriots left in Sri Lanka, and a poor populace blind!!