Thursday, December 31, 2015
We are about to engage in Constitution writing that will last 50 years as the last Constitution lasted 40 years! We don’t want to merely correct the mistakes of the past, we must be writing a completely new Constitution in keeping with the times and one which will last at least 50 more years. In that sense the stakeholders are THOSE WHO WILL BE ALIVE THEN. That means those born after 1990, who will be 75 in 50 years! However no one has bothered to even include them, or ask them for their opinions on life that will affect them more than anyone of those tasked with writing this constitution for posterity.
I would challenge them and say, that they will not have to live out their lives under the new Constitution, and therefore not being stakeholders, takes a lot of responsibility out of them to prepare one that will affect their lives, and one they will have to live by.
When Thomas Jefferson wrote the American Constitution, he obviously had a vision of separation of Church from State and the right to bear Arms. This the Second Amendment, was adopted on December 15th 1791, and is a hotly disputed topic today especially as Gun Violence kills more people than die in Motor Vehicle Accidents today, or over 45,000 people a year in the US! That is over 125 people die each day in the US from gunshot injuries, be they self inflicted or accidents or murders most foul! That is just too many.
We have legal redress on that, as it is illegal to carry a fire arm, without a license and the rules about who is entitled to a license is based on some legal right.
In the same vein, the boring parts of the Constitution are those that deal with appointment and firing judges, MPs President etc. and due to poor drafting there have been different interpretations of some sections in the past. If we cannot get this right this time then there is something wrong with our draughtsman. This kind of detail can be limited to an appendix that deals with the MUNDANE and the Constitution proper can deal with the issues, I have addressed hereto.
The problem with our legislators is that they cannot understand, and they get lawyers to interpret, and they to get their fees interpret anyway they like, and when it goes for a ruling to the Supreme Court, politicization takes place making a complete mockery of the whole process! All the more reason to restrict interference, and keep separation of Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary, and also keep Religion completely out of having any influence in Constitutional matters. Separation of religion will allow all to be treated equally
So what is the work for the Committee other than spoil the fun?
In keeping with the times, and as mentioned before, people’s opinions must be obtained before important legislation is put to the test in parliament. This can easily be done in a nation that will have 70% penetration of smart phones by 2020. The opinion of 75% of under 40s (those who are most likely to use smart phones) can be obtained within 24 hours with this technology and duplicate voting and such like can be prevented too, using the same technology.
Today, none in the Country feels they have any power in decision making that affect them most. People who they believe have NO concern for them, make decisions on their behalf which they may not agree with.
Not only the need for public opinion, but also to educate the public there must be two way communication on matters of personal interest so the public understand what it is that is being proposed, and the effects of the new rules on their lives and daily lives.
New technology MUST be to make the lives of the Citizenry easier, and they should be from the comfort of their homes, be able to make decisions that will alter the course of their lives. Education, Environment, Health, Transport, Employment and Civil Security are important matters that affect the people in general. It is the responsibility of the Govt. to consider each of these, and have comfort and safety of the citizen at heart all the time.
Just think about it. If you are consulted on matters that affect you, even though in some respects you may have little influence on the final decision making, the respect for majority decision making will nevertheless give you a sense of satisfaction that you were consulted even though you were not in agreement with the final outcome as we are unable to satisfy each and every person all the time.
Today there is NO participatory democracy in any way or form. We are always lied to when we make our decisions based on incorrect information or misinformation and elect our people’s representatives. Anything would beat that.
It is best to remember we are making decisions now that will last 50 years and must be relevant in 2065 also. None of us can realistically envisage what it will be like then, and most of us will be dead before that, so if we are to make decisions that will last that long, is it not important to include those who will b e alive then in the decision making? I DON’T SEE ANYONE UNDER 25 CURRENTLY INVOLVED WITH OUR CONSTITUTION MAKING!!!!!!!
Lets face it, under the new Constitution I have proposed, Sirisena cannot seek new office, especially to try to become PM. Why would this fossil be given more time, when he has played his part in ruining his District to remain one of the POOREST districts in the nation when it can be one of the richest, bearing in mind the resources there.
The President will be elected by Parliament and will be purely in an honorary role to do some of the useless things that PM should NOT waste their time doing, like opening bridges and buildings!
Now the PM will be the Executive, but will be able to pick his Cabinet from anyone outside of Parliament. If he so chooses, he can appoint someone whom he likes from within but mostly they will be selected as in the US now, from Professionals familiar with their subject.
For example everyone including each and every worker in the Wildlife Department knows that Gamini Jayawickrema Perera (the Cabinet Minister in Charge of Wildlife Conservation) has no clue of the front and back of the elephant though he is from the elephant party. If his utterings about his subject are anything to go by it is simply embarrassing. We must therefore in future only appoint people who know their subject to positions of such, and it is up to Parliament to whom he remains answerable to any decision that is questionable or turns out to be wrong.
So there will be a new COLLECTIVE EXECUTIVE of the PM and Cabinet, and the Legislature will be the Parliament. The judiciary will be completely independent of both, and an upper house of NON elected appointees 4 from each District will be formed to opine on Parliamentary Pronouncements as an overseeing body, who could refer any laws passed for review and amendment prior to final enactment, and who will remain independent of parliament. These 100 members will be appointed to a two and a half year term, and the mid-term change can sometimes result in a review of contentious legislation.
They will only be paid upon attendance and will not have offices in the Administrative Capital as they will be residents in their respective Districts. This will give a truly representative second chamber drawn from the hinterlands, who will be able to balance any of the judgments made earlier.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
We think that all is hunky-dory if we have independent commissions and give civil society their share of decision making as many of the members of Civil Society are in these commissions, and so the Country will be safe. NOT SO.
The destruction of the Civilization as we know it is in the hands of some of these people, who are professional scroungers. They in short are prostitutes for position, or pay, and are the members of RAW, MI6 and CIA and some in both Chinese Intelligence, and Pakistani Intelligence, though the latter two are manned first by Chinese who have been sent to SL after learning Sinhala, and Muslims who have been indoctrinated by Wahabbism in the case of the PAKS.
These jokers are NOT working in the interests of SRI LANKA. People traditionally appointed to these positions have some track record, but fearful of being put out to pasture have wangled a position using their old boy network and influence, for personal aggrandizement and NOT for the betterment of Sri Lanka. If one looks at the complete takeover of Temple Trees by all the secret service organizations mentioned above, there could be a turf war on the TT grounds that would make a Samurai warrior blush!
So it is hoped that the newly elected one term MPs, will be able to put a better spin on this network and appoint their favorites, as a favorite of one who is truly a servant of the Country, will be another with similar ilk, who just does not have the oratorical skills to get elected, but who would nevertheless COMPLEMENT the MPs in Parliament and be representative of intellectual capacity for the position.
Today’s CIVIL society is nothing short of prostitutes who just write reports for their handlers and patrons, not telling the truth, but whatever that will bring them money for their programs, as without them they will never be CIVIL or be even part of SOCIETY hobnobbing at worthless cocktail parties.
Once the District centered development takes place there will be competition amongst districts to perform, and that competition will result in winners permitted to represent the Country in these Constitutional Councils, ensuring a more balanced representation of Sri Lankans from all parts of the Country and NOT merely those who live in and about Colombo, from whom all these current animals are chosen from.
IT IS VV IMPORTANT that the checks and balances of Govt. are given to individuals so selected, as that is part of the Governance that is required to get away from the current passing of the scraps amongst the same set of people.
It is NOT necessary in a new ERA to think of Electorates and number of MPs in parliament. The concept is so last century. We must be talking about instant people’s voting on all issues via the internet and PC or laptops or actually Smart Phones. Actually in 10 years more people can vote on an issue on their smart phone than the number of people going to vote today. So there will be instant public opinion on any topic.
Actually there is no need for political parties or people to belong to one. The Political Party concept is so last century that it is a National Govt. comprising of about 80% of those who voted for the MP’s in it, and a strong and vibrant opposition opposing on ISSUES and NOT just because they happen to be of a different party.
In a parliament of one term MPs, it is the ISSUE Stupid that we MUST concentrate on, and NOT what the silly party line is. It is putting the Country forward as we see fit, and we DO NOT wish a penny for ourselves as we are only Servants of the people (MPs that is)
So it does not matter if it is hybrid, PR or first past the post. They in the end will result in the same line up. For sense of responsibility, it would be appropriate to have a Constituency representative so the electors have someone to go for an issue they have that requires to be resolved at National level. NOT to get a stupid job, as is the case now.
If anyone thinks this is a fiction, think again. The young people of Sri Lanka under 35 have already bought into this concept, and now it is time the oldies and decrepit fossils in Parliament realize that they should retire to their prisons, and give those who really care for the Country to have their turn.
It is simply tragic that we have to rely on these 225 members to form a Constituent Assembly, as they have NO CLUE what they should do, and the destiny of their Country as well as the future of the potentially most fortunate country on earth, lies in their hands.
I trust the PM can put some sense in them and get them to understand that what they are about is more than they will ever be called upon to do, that is decide the fate of their children and grandchildren. They have a limited mental capacity to understand the gravity. So it is simply to the almighty that we have to appeal to put some sense into their heads that since birth have not seen any, that they will do what is right by their country and history will definitely remember each one by name as those who laid the foundation of the new SL
We all agree that those currently in Parliament have ONLY their interests at heart and NOT that of the Country. So what do we do to change that? We only permit one term for parliamentarians, and one term for those elected in the District. They will therefore ONLY serve their Country for a maximum of 10 years and the candidates will be drawn from professions, and NOT those who have hardly been to school and can read or write as is the case now.
Having all elections once every 5 years enables the depoliticization of the Country from one that is too political and therefore unable to work in the best interests of the Country, to a democracy where decisions can be made once in 5 years. There will be a huge cost saving, and people can be engaged in their professions and not have to spend time trying to woo the vote, with false promises.
Giving people one term in parliament is more than enough. We need professionals and people in productive vocations to give 5 years of their lives to help their country, for service and not expectation. This not only shares the pie of power amongst many, but gives a chance to those extremely able people who do not feel they can waste their lives in politics to actually come to parliament to serve the Country imparting some of their ideas for its betterment.
Aren’t we all in agreement that we don’t have even one person with an honest bone in their body in Parliament? Therefore there is nothing to lose, as anyone can be better. We reserve 25% of places to under 30 and 25% to female, allowing a good mix, but the maximum age of a person who becomes the executive Prime Minister, is 45, not a day more on election day. By 50 therefore the PM would be out of office! Back doing his medicine or lawyering or farming like the rest of us.
No one can use the need for experience and maturity to run a govt. as we don’t have any regard to the current crop who with so much experience have only been able to line their pockets and not that of the Country.
We have to think outside the box in future, to take a chance on the greater likelihood of success and NOT on lower likelihood if we follow current practice. I have researched this topic well and for a long time and I am convinced this is the way to go. If Canada can elect a PM with no experience and under 43, who appoints 50% female to the Cabinet, who can question his intentions? He may not succeed but at least they have taken the risk of electing someone with promise for the future. So far his star is on course, so why not us doing the same in Sri Lanka?
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
If we did not allow the Sirisena family to destroy the bounty of Polonnaruwa, if the District was able to run itself, they would have a GDP per head of US$5,000 today, and contribute to the National Budget NOT TAKE MONEY FROM IT!
However promising the new (1 year old) President is, he is tainted with a family that was involved in the most serious destruction of a District. Members of the family ran the place like their fiefdom, and were no better than the Robber Barons of the Wild West. So it was so ironical that the President was castigating the behavior of the Enrique concert, when the Polonnaruwa District has some of the worst levels of INCEST and child sexual abuse in Sri Lanka, which when compared with what the Pres was referring to pales in comparison to our worst “asheelarachara” customs! Enough said except to expose a HYPOCRITE!
Provinces DO NOT SERVE any purpose in our society. They are an excuse for poor governance, and over politicization. I would divide the Country into 4 administrative regions, with the Northern, and Western Provinces as they are now as two and the rest of the Country broken into just two. The main revenue raising must be done at District Levels. It is NOT a question of Central Govt. allocating funds to the Local Govt. but the District will collect revenues on behalf of them, and remit part of it to the National Govt. to carry out its own affairs. For example only at District level do we know the people who must be earning over 2.5M a year, and who should be on the Tax roll and are not! Now the tax inspectors are just bribed and a Car Dealer who has a minimum income of over Rs20M a year escapes by not even having a tax file, and so feels he should not even keep any records of purchase and sales of cars, increasing the value of his stock by over Rs30M a year! And still no record.
When districts govern themselves there will not be Govt. servants living in Polonnaruwa being sent to Badulla to work! This will make the Govt. service more accountable and less inefficient. Decentralized Revenue raising and expenditure will mean accountability at the local levels, and a clear sense of belonging and control over one’s destiny, currently not possible.
There will then only be elections for National Govt. and District Govt. and nothing else. Each village will be run on GN division (11,000 in the Country), with the GN as the administrative head, with a village elected Council that will have some powers of decision making in that village only and a budget to spend on village specific projects from the District.
Throw away any drafts of past Constitutions, or any that we may wish to emulate. None of them suit Sri Lanka, as we are a Nation of Lotus Eaters, and must be of relevance to that ONLY.
Firstly, Primacy of the Rights of Man – defining especially those who are considered Minority, Elderly, Disabled, Children, Women, (Eunuchs and Transexuals, Bisexuals, Lesbians and Homosexuals having reasonable safeguards from discrimination)
Secondly, The rights of the animals who live on this island, both in the wild, (including Butterflies, Dragonflies, Bees and Wasps) and those in captivity, and being used for mans satiation. (including captive birds, dogs and cats, chickens and fighting cocks, cattle and pigs, donkeys, horses and ponies and even Cobras used by snake charmers – you get the point!)
Thirdly, The rights of food producing trees and plants, and those used for forests and hardwood, mainly of the balance between the Native and Foreign Species. The preservation of native varieties, for propagation and consumption in the future (in paddy seed alone there are documented over 1000 native varieties)
Constitutionally guaranteed forest cover to be a minimum of 50% of the total land mass excluding INLAND waterways. It should define re-growth and partial return of forest to abandoned tea lands, which will see about 50% of existing tea land reverting to forest within the next 50 years as manual labor becomes not practical and robotic machines cannot be substituted.
The management of the 200 mile economic zone around the Island, will affect the future, & MUST be included in constitutional guarantees from exploitation, and irreversible pollution, and permanent damage to the environment. The human traffic management of the bridge across the Palk Strait, accounted for.
The path to Organic Island status over this period, that will have to be matched with holistic nutrition management and health and wellness programs, enshrined in rights of the people. Agricultural practices for such preservation will be included. In a global world, where the Sea can be polluted by others, pressure on living draw people from all over the world to Sri Lanka, the management of the carrying capacity of non Citizens be they, tourists, businessmen retirees settled, or permanent residents must be defined and adopted.
As usual Sri Lanka is lost in translation! There is no one (with the possible exception of the PM) who really understands anything of what should be, they only know what is, and from that perspective determines what should be.
As for the PM he has a problem in clearly enunciating to the uninitiated, what he really means, so that they are able to understand. They go away misunderstanding what it is he has asked for! TOO FRIGHTENED TO SAY "SIR, I don't understand" for fear of being ridiculed by a man who does not suffer fools gladly, as his perspective is on a different plane!
That is WRONG. If we are about to introduce a new Constitution, which many in the know (citing the US Constitution with hundreds of amendments) say we only need amendments, and those who cite the UK, (where apart from the Magna-Carta, there is no WRITTEN Constitution, and only precedent in law as interpreted by the House of Lords that bind rulings in Law.) say why can’t precedent and interpretation take over instead!
For one thing our Constitution is seriously flawed. As it is NOT clear in many aspects, and further is not sufficiently Secular in form to protect all its Citizens from being subject to infringement of their rights. As for precedent, we know with the likes of Sarath de Silva what lousy judgments we have had which he himself admits later to have been wrong, with hindsight!
So to cut a long story short, the people who have been appointed are only the usual suspects, who think they are competent, but who are in fact incompetent to the core. Why is that? They have been part of an education system, that has taught respect, precedent, and by rote over creativity, relevance and need of the hour. IT is the latter that we need in a new Constitution and none of the above have what it takes to interpret by public discourse how to actually come up with a Constitution, like nothing so far even dreamed of, that will ensure Sri Lanka is the top dog in the world in 2065.
All the jokers who are in this panel (or committee) of 24 would be dead by then, and so they have NO interest in what the Country will be like then. That said, they are bound to be acting in enlightened self interest trying to get one up on their colleagues that they are more clever than the others, and therefore unable to see the wood from the trees. In short traitors to the cause.
So who do I recommend? In short I simply recommend a nationwide test of those born after January 1st 1990, and select the best and brightest to define first what kind of country they would like to retire in 2065 (yes retirement age then will be at least 75), and hey presto we can work backwards in designing a Constitution relevant for the 50 year growth plan to achieve this objective. In 2065 we can go for another Constitution relevant to that era.
START AFRESH PLEASE
Thursday, December 17, 2015
The US$1.5B BONDS that were recently sold at 6.75% are now trading at 7.8%, resulting in its borrowers taking a LOSS of 15% at least, within a few months! Due to the lower rating for SL in the world, and increasing interest rates world wide. This means that we have to reschedule debt to the tune of US$5B due to the profligacy of the Rajapakse Administration that DID NOT understand the detrimental effects of their waste! This will be at 9% resulting in the need for considerable belt tightening, and no hope of paying off debt and inability to grow due to the growth trap that cannot be solved by devaluation!
It is a myth to believe the answer to the inevitable problem we will face in 2016 is to devalue the rupee, and hope there is an export lead boom. For one thing Sri Lanka’s current export mix is NOT determined by lower price, and hence is price inelastic.
The world market prices of tea and rubber have fallen and so we are affected as demand has NOT picked up as a result! So how can a devaluation affect that industry, favorably? It will NOT increase employment or the volume of exports. The same logic will be for Rubber. As for the apparel sector which is now of high quality, a devaluation will not make a big change, as the products are priced in dollars, and the exporters are unlikely to reduce the dollar value.
Take tourism, that too is not determined by exchange rate alone, and whilst there is some price comparison by budget tourists, as the internet hotels are all priced in dollars, that too will not change, and so there will be NO increase in that business from a devaluation. Of course the dollar value of remittances will remain the same or will not change upon a depreciation, so all that a devaluation will do to the economy, is to increase the input costs of all, and we are a heavily import dependant economy, all our costs will go up, resulting in higher inflation, and lower purchasing power all round, effectively being a recession!
The above link for rural investment is the ONLY hope for a more competitive export structure of new markets of new products where we are directly competing with others. This is outside the tradition markets, and MUST either be value added exports of processed food stuff, be it virgin coconut oil, coconut water, or packed and bottle original kithul treacle.
I was very perturbed when I in a Sinhala newspaper that the Secretary of the Government veterinarians association stated that they had NOT seen any improvement in Milk Production either by technology or improving quality in the past 10 years despite the apparent emphasis on making this Country self sufficient in Milk Production or at least 50% sufficient!
They maintain that even in state farms, cows who should not be kept are kept, even though they produce uneconomical quantities of milk. We know the scandal whereby Basil Rajapakse imported pregnant cows from Australia at huge cost to the state, and not an iota of the promised benefits has accrued to the state from this wasted expense.
I am game to give the Vets, who have been educated at great expense of the state, and given facilities and vehicles to do their work, to actually devise the plan for increased milk production and also take responsibility and ownership, and further get a bonus on performance when they are able to raise the milk output nationally to given measured amounts.
I know, as I deal directly with Government Vets and know their frustrations, as I am constantly badgering them into explaining why it is they have not been able to get the Milk Producing farmers to produce the volumes, when they have been specifically tasked to improve the quality of our livestock and all the inputs that produce the milk.
We MUST think outside the box. We must ONLY have high yielding animals, and dispose of low yielders to merely graze in farmyards, if we are to avoid culling females on a matter of religious principles. We only tolerate good quality animals when fed with high protein diets or good grasses, and give them the necessary nutrients for milk production.
We must do away with age old techniques as now there are cheap portable, milking machines that can even be shared with neighboring farmers. We must use different methods. After all a recent study showed, that milking cows at night will produce milk with sleep inducing hormones, so that this milk can be marketed differently and at a premium!
The first week of January will see a frenzied rush of people visiting Sri Lanka from Tony Blair, to George Soros, to Joseph Stieglitz and a contingent of 100 Economists and Businessmen, and to cap it all the Norwegian Foreign Minister is also expected on the 7th to see if it is worth doling out a few Billion Rupees on projects they believe have value!
So what is the problem? For starters, I told the Norwegians not to send their foreign minister, as he will be overshadowed by all the others I mentioned, that he will NOT get the press he wants, and the Embassy will look like jokers, when no one will take note of their man. I hope they take my advice and choose a time when he will get front and center in the news!
Next problem is that in typical Sri Lankan style, no one is properly organizing this event. Have the hotel rooms been booked in such a period of tight room availability? What is the meeting schedule of these people?
I would urge the PM to heed my advice that he does not have a person in command at Temple Trees who knows what is going on and be able to delegate the much needed tasks to relevant people, so that the visit gets the much needed kudos, assistance and overall recognition for the Governments ambitious growth targets, and advice and support on how it is to be realized.
There is NO reason to be frightened of the perennial reds under the bed lobby of the Opposition who are at all turns using the Uncle Sam is running and ruining the Country saga, that we have all heard ad nauseam by those who don’t want Sri Lanka to emerge from a mountain of debt that their patrons bestowed upon us.
It is therefore important that the Govt. keep the public abreast of the action and ensure that there is enough pre conference hype and a well planned itinerary to give an impression of an organized set up in Sri Lanka, who are both appreciative of their visit and capable of implementing any recommendations, due to a strong government mechanism, despite the political mudslinging that is normal in a democracy. Don’t delay, time is of the essence and please make sure the hotel rooms are booked. You don’t want Blair kipping down on the sofa at Temple Trees do you?
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Youth aspirations and intentions now are very different to what they were in the past, but yet our education system has not come up with the changes needed to be relevant to 2015 and beyond, still stuck in 1945. We now have to think of Sri Lanka in 2065 and to that end, must make the relevant structural changes to education to reflect this aspirational change.
While the increasing Globalization sees many commonalities amongst youth, their fulfillment depends on the individual and unique traits in the Country they happen to live in and the opportunities afforded there. To that extent the Education system must be tailored to the unique circumstance of the country.
Today’s youth will move out of the home early in life to some far off place. Their Educational program must reflect this and enable them to do this with ease. Many will work for themselves within a few years of gaining experience in some field through employment in an organization, be it in the public or private sector.
It is this future in mind that we need to be aware of when designing new educational opportunities and teaching programs. It goes without saying that the most important thing that we can give our youth is a working knowledge of English which will increase their exposure to the world over that they now have.
We can be as rich as a small nation like Norway that has its own language, and while the citizens are proud of their language to communicate with their fellow citizens they are all very fluent in English to communicate with the rest of the world and widen their horizons both for employment and travel. Why can’t we also do so? If we had made this sea change we would be far ahead of Norway and not have to lag behind.
Unfortunately we don’t have educators or administrators with a vision to see this obvious gap. They are still merely paying lip service, and how long must our lips be to service them?
Time for a new system, that teaches everyone a minimum level till they are 16. It MUST be interactive, interesting, imaginative, creative and most of all congruent with the new aspirations of young people as outlined in the link above.
The link refers to youth whose ideas have been surveyed and found out their hopes and behavior patterns, and we can tailor make ourNATIONAL EDUCATION PLAN with reference to the aspirational lifestyle of our youth.
Put simply don’t teach religion at school, make the children want to learn religion of their own accord and seek to learn from Temples instead. They will learn more this way instead of hating the subject! This is only an example and I did not pick on religion for any other purpose other than make a point.
It is time this Government realizes who and what the problem in Sri Lanka really is.
I am frankly embarrassed that we have Ministers who are even making such statements in public without shame. Do we need them to make suggestions?
It is the people of Sri Lanka who have appointed a Govt. that is not worthy of running this Country. We know what our problems are and how we can rise. It is all very simple if a small village called Sri Lanka cannot run itself to the greatest, then something is really wrong with the people.
We are smaller than the population of an overcrowded city like Chennai that is suffering from one of their worst natural disasters in living memory and seem to manage to swim out of it. If we had such the whole country will be in a state of flux.
All we need is good leadership, good education of our people to understand who is a good leader, as until then they will elect jokers as it is NOT in their capacity to elect good people until the education system rises to the occasion.
Our political system and media has just boiled down to one set of crooks accusing the other set of being crooks, see below and is now a joke.
In short until the jokers disappear no good economist ca officer advice that we don’t already know needs to be auctioned. Sri Lanka has the best brains in the Universe but those who can use their brains have forsaken us and those who cannot use their brains wisely remain. So in order to use our brains wisely, if we have the proper foundations, of social justice in place we can rise to the occasion, and not have any Economist spouting their opinion on a subject they don’t know anything about.
Friday, December 11, 2015
OMG – Do we need any more proof why Wijedasa should be sacked and prosecuted for lying under oath to the PUBLIC?
I was simply appalled when Sarath Fonseka came out with the evidence that Wijedasa Rajapakse has been lying all along!
Why is it that our Ministers of Justice turn out to be not what they seem and take the people for an almighty ride by their holier than thou persona, which now reeks of violation of the people’s trust, and when the Justice Minister is a rogue, how can we EVER HOE that the others are at least a little better!
Time for this Joker who now calls into question if his double doctorates are anything BUT! To be chased out of Parliament like a dog, or to be kind to him, replaced by a dog who could do his job a little better.
Why aren’t the newspapers showing this set of pictures? Have they been bought over, or is it because he has threatened to sue for trillions so they have desisted from showing the public what is fact.
If he is a friend of Senadipathi, all he should have done was to recuse himself from the case and NOT make any comments where Avant Garde was involved! At least he could have squeezed a little bit of respect for coming clean! Now he is dirtier than a dirt bag. He is a traitor to the Country and should probably go to the gallows for Treason, as there is no other punishment that we can give people who claim to be honorable and turn out to be scum of the earth.
This is all the more reason why we should get rid of all the MPs in Parliament and install people there who have never been to Parliament. They are undoubtedly likely to do a far better job of running this Country. How can we entrust the new Constitution and New Laws to Crooks? They will make sure that they are so badly drafted that it will be a crooks heyday and not a just Constitution. It is time the Prime Minister understands that he has been had by these holier than thou traitors and have them all flogged in public before putting them in prison for a number of illegal crimes.
International Anti Corruption Day – December 9th 2015
The leaders of our country for the first time gave this day the prominence it is due on the 9th in a ceremony at the Independence Square.
Of course the Bribery Commissioner was in her element at the event, and sent out sms alerts to all of us from DG -Bribery whether paid for by them or forced upon the Telecom operators I do not know at present but it was in English!
For the record it said “Bribery Commission msg on Int’l Anti-Corruption Day. I declare: I shall not pay a bribe, I shall not take a bribe & I shall report/give info on corrupt practices”
Who would have thought this was possible in Sri Lanka one year ago?
The link to the UN Convention Against Corruption Document which was approved or ratified is:
In recognition of this day, there was an excellent article on the FT of December 9th by Nihal Sri Ameresekera which pointed to the fact that Sri Lanka was the world’s SECOND signatory to have ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in March 2004 by Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister, making it all the more significant in our history. As of now 177 states have become parties to UNCAC, so being the second is NOT BAD!
SO now it is merely down to implementation, and whatever people say, and there is a lot of derogatory words against YAHAPALANAYA, in the end it is the people of Sri Lanka that MUST take this into their hearts and realize that ONLY by eliminating corruption, can we have an assured future for our children and generations to come to live in peace and prosperity.
There are NO ifs and buts here, and it is time that we educated the uninitiated and the people who think they are educated, that this simple concept if followed can do wonders for a just and prosperous future for this Country where there are NO parallels in the wealth that God has bestowed upon us.
It is therefore high time that we start with the most corrupt and hold them accountable. It would be a nice geniture to start by arresting all 225 parliamentarians in one go, and ask them to prove that they have NOT been corrupt, not the converse!
SO HOW ABOUT THAT FOR A START?
Thursday, December 10, 2015
The atrocious behavior of self interest above the national interest was clearly evident in the various statements issued by respective groups on the recent budget. It was clear that they were quite deaf to the purpose of the budget, and when entitlements were removed, were shouting for them to be replaced and even improved upon.
It is this simple reason of pampering to the masses and pressure groups, that prevents a HOLISTIC approach to the preparation of the budget, and the sea change in attitudes needed for a cultural shift, is hard for those without an ounce of dignity to concur with.
Let us start with the Parliamentarians first, as they are the public servants who should put Country before self and did the opposite when it came to their Car Permits being taken away! Then Doctors and Public Servants made the same selfish case and took steps to strike.
It was a bright light when the public expressed their disgust at the Doctors strike and now they have LOST a permanent goodwill of the people, and are now known to be “scavengers of people’s misery”. This has suddenly put the GMOA, one of the most powerful, and least concerned about the Hippocratic Oath, on the defensive and people will now no longer support them, and will make it easier for the Govt. to tax, charge or in some other way obtain the cost of their education returned in future, when education policy is realigned to represent the interests of the Country.
It is incumbent upon the media to point out anomalous situations in the public interest such as these and garner public support to shame and take steps to remove the Holy Grail of benefits that penalize the Country, for the benefit of a few. It is vital that the next step is going to be how we treat tax payers.
Sri Lanka has a culture, where those who are not taxpayers, seem to be very smug about it, and like to even boast about it. Now it should be the other way, to find that people should put tax payers on a pedestal to make people proud of being a tax payer. This must be a badge of honor, and so we must all strive to be tax payers as the threshold has now increased to Rs2.5M before which tax is payable.
If the Lawyers, Doctors, Hardware Merchants, Tuition Masters, and Traders start paying tax we can increase the miserable tax yield from direct taxes by at least double, and lessen the pressure of indirect taxes on the less well off for essentials that are taxed far too heavily.
There was an excellent analysis of leadership styles in an article in yesterdays FT see link attached which is worth a read.
Simply put it talks about a Commander Style where Ghotabaya Rajapakse is used as the example, the Coach Style where Sarath Fonseka is used as the example and Counselor Style where Eran Wickremaratne is used as the example and of course the Conductor Style where Ranil Wickremasinghe is used as the example.
I will not go into the detail, but to say that if we analyze ourselves sometimes we may say we fall into different styles all at the same time! That maybe so, but we have a dominant style we should try and identify and understand our strengths and weaknesses therein.
It is therefore MOST important that we understand the style that Ranil Wickremasinghe is in, as it critical to the future of Sri Lanka, and make him understand that there are areas he must improve upon, in order to make Government more efficient and his cohorts more accountable to the needs of the nation.
An even more accurate assessment of the state of play was noted in the same paper at the bottom in an article by Ravi Perera called ‘Who pays the Ferryman’
It must be a wakeup call to the people and especially those in power, to live by way of example if we are to grow! The most important quote I believe I took from this was that “looking at the 70 years of our post independence evolution, the glaring feature hitting you straight in the eye is its utter MEDIOCRITY”
If our leaders understand that they are nothing but mediocre, and none would even qualify as a petrol pump attendant in any other country, we can explain why we are in this mess. The sooner our electors also realize the caliber of the people they have sent to Parliament the better chance we will have of change.
In Sujata Gamage’s article on a skills development policy,
we must send all our MPs to the NYSC to have basic training before we let loose our youth there, as it will show in stark contrast, why we have not been able to rise over the mediocre tag, and actually explain to our MPs that none of them qualify to lead this Country and it is time we give over the country to the Youth who are likely at least to do a better job.
The Rajapakse administration used divisive politics and MR is now still using the same to hold onto and grow his following, to put fear into people that another race is going to take over and rule us unless we put a stop to it by voting for him! It is shameful to raise the LTTE threat yet again, as it just puts minorities at risk of alienation, and now with the ISIL problems gathering steam, can unknowingly raise a sleeping giant, to take Sri Lanka back into a terror linked state.
It is therefore extremely important to handle such possibilities with kid gloves so that we don’t raise the ire of those who are currently passive and pacifist.
The elections in France just show what can happen with terror threat. It can completely change a peaceful country around, so that shortly, ALL FRENCH MUSLIMS will have to choose between face and Bhurka! That is NOT good for peace.
Now even the US political scene has become very anti Muslim, where a fanatic in the form of Donald Trump is cashing in on the NEWS to gain popularity, by making incendiary remarks that make a minority group very agitated that again unknowingly could radicalize them further creating home grown terror networks that can put the naturally insecure Americans ill at ease, affecting the quality of life of all in the USA adversely.
So it is clear that Trump is taking advantage of a situation for self interest whilst actually putting the Security of the UNITED STATES under threat due to his actions. That is bad for the USA which is in turn bad for the world and therefore bad for Sri Lanka too!
So it is I who said that Trump therefore is bad for Sri Lanka despite thin string that links the two!
In conclusion, I would like to point out to the reader what a fragile world we live in, and the ease with which interested parties, even the ISIL can instill fear in people, and get an advantage in widening their sphere of influence by the stupidity of some of the leaders, who fail to understand when they are provoked into taking just the action making a statement that the terror groups WANT!
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
The Revenue Projections and Capital Expenditure projections are NOW seen to be both figments of a good imagination of either the Finance Minister or Treasury Officials is now not a State Secret. IS ACCEPTED FACT.
So what gives? In the scheme of things it is clear as daylight that these mirages and statements are merely political and don’t have any credibility in reality. It is done to fool the people that money will be spent.
For example the Education Budget has more than doubled to Rs 200B, mainly due to capital expenditure and some ambitious plans. The problem is that even in 2015, the Education Ministry failed to spend the money allocated to it this year. If they are incapable of spending the money given to them now, how on earth will they be able to double this spend next year?
They cannot, and just like that the Revenue projections of 39% increase in Govt. revenue in one year from the previous, is theoretically impossible! Therefore it is just a figure as the balancing figure, one the proposed Deficit is calculated!
I hope therefore that whilst it is politically popular to say that the Govt. is on target to spend so much more on education, it does not matter to the Govt. that they will not be able to spend even the amount allocated to this year, let alone a higher amount nest year.
So while the pundits talk about the deficit ballooning to stratospheric levels, it is all another smoke and mirrors job to fool the public, that the budget has increased expenditure in say, Health and Education, critical areas for much needed heavy capital expenditure. The reality then is that the Revenue shortfall of 400B will matched by a capital expenditure shortfall of the same, with the ability then to keep the magic numbers for the deficit unchanged.
It is time the IMF to whom Sri Lanka will inevitably go, cap in hand for a bailout, and emergency line of credit, realize this game that is played. Of course the consequences of this Govt. play acting is that there is NOT sufficient capital investment to ensure growth in the future, and at least at the required levels to reach the goals of GNP per capita that the Govt. has set itself.
We have to rethink the budgeting process from zero, and re educate our Public Officials in the art of spending public money wisely, and prioritizing the individual Ministry allocations, for the public good, and not merely for their ease of life of leisure that seems to be how public money is disbursed.
A clear statement was made in today’s ADA newspaper (page2) by the Secretary of the United Samurdi Officers Association, Mr Lalith D Priyantha, that if the current rules of entitlement for Samurdi are observed, NO ONE will be entitled to Samurdi. (The state welfare payment for poor households)
THEREFORE THE TIME IS RIPE TO REVIEW THE CRITERIA.
IS NO SECRET that many people who receive Samurdi are NOT poor, and are not in need, but due to ‘political’ reasons or incorrect interpretations on eligibility receive this state payment monthly, where as there are many very poor people who do not receive this, in some cases due to political retribution.
Just like in the tax situation, where there are MANY Doctors and Lawyers who SHOULD be paying Income Taxes but are not, as they have avoided it by either being paid in cash, or not filing returns as they should, the converse is true here too. ManySamurdi recipients DO NOT inform the authorities of a change in status, where a family member remits funds monthly from overseas employment, enabling the household to purchase three wheelers, motor bikes and construct solid and attractive homes, but still receive the monthly payment.
Samurdi Officers being state employees, do not wish to ruffle feathers or rock the boat, and are therefore NOT inclined to cut any benefit of a person who they even see whizz past in a new car! Yet collect money which could otherwise take a destitute person out of sheer starvation.
IT IS incumbent upon the Govt. to take steps immediately to review ALL who receive welfare. Legislate new rules and maximum earnings limits and determine under the new conditions of poverty and household income, who really are entitled to this benefit. There is a well entrenched state apparatus in place. There is NO new staffing that is required, just pass these requirements to the thousands of Samurdi officers who are now in the system, to administer Samurdi to people who are not entitled to anything.
What a waste of State Resources both on the staff, that already costs billions, and on making payments to those who are using the system, and abusing it, and getting away with it as the Officials are not willing to even re –evaluate entitlements based on even the existing criteria.
When it comes to review it is imperative to review all State Payments, to ensure if people who are receive payments are in fact alive, and living in Sri Lanka! Some recipients don’t even live in Sri Lanka, but are overseas! Time to change!