Saturday, October 24, 2015

Why do we need some overseas NGO to point out our failings? POLICE

Human Rights Watch (HRW) in the guise of Brad Adams who would previously NOT be allowed in to Sri Lanka, has even met the Defence Secretary, at the Ministry of Defence and issued this report of Police Brutality.

I have been advocating changes to the behavior of the Police that has been even part of British Rule, as even the Colonial Rulers encouraged beatings as the way to get confessions. The problem is that even innocent people get caught up in the trap, when the police are not thorough enough in the investigative work to be at least 95% certain of guilt before resorting to these HR violations.

I am angry that even this publicity is given ONLY because a foreign NGO came up with the report and NOT when the local rights advocates make the same allegation they are shut up!!! There is sufficient recorded incidences of abuse every day, to consider this matter seriously and do something concrete to correct this culture of abuse without impunity.

The recent Seya Case has highlighted the amount of abuse heaped on three of the accused, before the fourth accused was finally apprehended.

When the innocent are subject to Police beatings first and then even beaten up in remand prison by inmates, especially in child abuse cases, how unfair is it when innocent people are so treated?

This very puerile attitude where politicians believe there are domestic mechanisms to solve our problems, I VEHEMENTLY deny there are satisfactory domestic mechanisms in our so called civilized society! It is only those who say leave it to our own to take care of us, who need to be apprehended and unfairly accused and forced to confess by torture. Only then will they understand the true extent of police beatings, endemic everywhere in Sri Lanka and NOT restricted to any particular ethnic or religious community.

It is time our lawmakers address this very real problem and make concrete suggestions now that there is a Police Commission which should as part of its overall ambit immediately look at this nasty practice and take steps to wipe this out of the system immediately.    

Thanks to Brad Adams this has been highlighted. Foreign NGOs and UN organizations will interfere until we solve our own problems ourselves!

Friday, October 23, 2015

What is with this Weerawansa? Does not even have a valid diplomatic passport!

We were first informed earlier today, that the CID had detained Wimal Weerawansa MP at Katunayake Airport, as he had an invalid passport. Usually MPs have diplomatic passports, and use that when they go overseas, so I presume he too had one. If he was going to Europe he would have got a Shengen Visa, and it is unlikely that the Country that issued him with that, would NOT have checked the validity of the passport, unless he is using a VISA

The various news articles seem to be reporting contradictory statements. One story was that the passport he had brought had been cancelled, as he had reported it lost, and a new one had been issued instead.

Then another story says, that he returned with the newly issued passport and the Prime Minister had intervened and gave authorization for him to proceed overseas.

Then the third news item was that he had been arrested for an issue with his passport and will face a hearing at the Negombo Magistrates Court in relation to it. Don’t MPs have some privileges that mere mortals like us don’t? 

There MUST be a valid reason, that even after the Prime Minster intervened on his behalf to let him leave that there were more reasons to detain him! This goes to the character of the person who so many Colombians were foolish enough to give him a preference vote. Goes to show the type of imbecile who will vote for such jailbirds still inhabit even the GREAT MAGAPOLIS – so what hope for our Megapolis?

I know the average man on the street was asking why it is that Weerawansa’s wife has not been incarcerated for having multiple passports, especially as it is now proved that they have been issued with different birth dates and therefore referring to two different people. She not being an MP has fewer rights than even her husband.

So what gives? These are powerful people of the Rajapakse administration who we were willing to entrust the future of our country to and they now turn out to be no more than common criminals with criminality written all over their persona in everything they do and say.

It is very important that, the Media investigate the matter fully, and inform the doubting public on these conflicting accounts of truth and fiction!!!

Finally we are told he has been bailed out by the Negombo Magistrate, but not if his passport has been impounded and is not permitted to travel! So is that for the next installment of news? Is Werawansa paying to get all this news, and so get all the limelight! As he appears to believe that this notoriety is good for his political career and we Lankans are seduced into this zone of thinking.

Not another Neanderthal Cabinet Minister please!

The Country is being taken for an almighty ride. We the voters are the suckers, when every norm of civilized behavior is being flouted, and once you get away with numbers, then what is the difference in another?

Why does a senile old man who should be spending his time in retirement be brought in as a Cabinet Minister? He may have been good once, but do an IQ test now and ask him to give the Youth a chance.

I would really NOT have minded, if a 25 year old brilliant Sri Lankan, unknown was made the Cabinet Minister for special projects, and not an old geyser. It will then empower the Youth who have been completely ignored, some voice of hope.

WE DO NOT HAVE ANY VISIONARY YOUTH LEADERS WITH BRAINS – It is time we identified an apolitical person and brought him/her into center stage to give some direction for the future.

I am sure if Sarath Amunugama was of leadership quality, he would heed my advice and resign his seat in Parliament on condition, a 25 year old promising Sri Lankan visionary with leadership qualities, currently with NO political allegiances be appointed as an MP and elevated to Cabinet Position with a brief of a special project to write the 2055 blue print for Sri Lanka. I can help him on that as I have already commenced writing that visionary document of what I would like Sri Lanka to become by that stage, and for that we need to set the stage now in 2015, as we have ONLY 40 more years to go to that date.

The imbeciles and Neanderthals who govern this country do not have a vision, and it is at that issue that we fail so poorly. VISION is what we need. Visionaries are those we need to provide this vision, and tell me if there is anyone who fits that bill, with sufficient talent to lay the foundation for a Country and Economy to achieve that vision.

Special Projects is like a Minister without portfolio, just the type of person who can provide his own version of the portfolio, but we fill it with someone who is no longer able to provide that, just like the PM appointed Mr Paskeralingam in his 80s as a significant adviser to the Prime Minister. It is NOT how it was done in the past that we need to know. It is how we MUST perform in the future. To that extent let us hope our leaders, make a U turn to a new beginning please! 

Its time to grow up and be held accountable, so we can get on with life.

Now that the Udalagama and Paranagama Commissions originally set up by the Rajapakse Administration, have had their reports tabled in Parliament, along with the UNHRC Resolutions, we can finally begin to accept that both the LTTE and the Armed Forces had parts to play in atrocities, without detracting from the fact that the Forces decisively defeated the LTTE to secure the Country from Terrorism.

IT IS IMPORTANT that we do not permit the forces of divisiveness to try and divide the Country again, using invalid logic that the Government is attempting to indict the Armed Forces who saved this Country, for war crimes, and that they are defending the forces against LTTE sympathetic Government.

It is time we grow up and accept that in times of war atrocities are committed, which pale in context with the LTTE crimes, to whom no one is now held accountable, as the perpetrators are dead, and the ones in the living were merely passengers and not the ones who gave the orders that lead to the massacres and other forms of loss of life.

It is always important to know that the LTTE which was merely a terrorist organization much like ISIS, bent on killing, cannot be compared with a National Security Force, and therefore the latter must be held accountable to a different standard, in fact a higher standard in such crimes.

In this way, the world will come to realize Sri Lanka has finally come of age, accepted its frailties, and moved forward, setting up laws and conditions so that past violations can no longer be carried out by a legitimate state in future. The Mahinda Opposition members cannot still get away from their use of race as a political tool to fool the masses, and we as a nation must collectively gang up against such traitors, (ALL THE MPS including MR, WHO SUPPORT MR WITH THIS CANARD)

Where are the Statesmen who can meet the likes of HRW in the eye and explain to them where they get off, and where to draw the line, removing the validity of any allegations they may have, completely, as being unfounded, now that the truth is laid bare, and they are merely mired in deep pit of innuendo! See link

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A trained teacher is now the Prime Minister of Canada – Time we elevate our teachers to be worthy of running our Country

We in Sri Lanka so badly in need of new perspectives in attempting to change the caliber of law maker from THUG TO PROFESSIONAL could learn a thing or two from Countries we would like to emulate.

Justin Trudeau (son of former PM Pierre Trudeau 1919-2000) won an overwhelming and unexpected majority for the Liberals in Canada, at yesterday’s Canadian General Election.

At 43 this French and Maths Teacher of Secondary Schools, must be a role model which we HAVE to emulate in Sri Lanka where we elevate the status of Teachers right up to the top rung of society.

If we are mad enough to entrust our children’s education to teachers for 15 years from 3 to 18 the most formative years of one’s life, we must make sure they are of the HIGHEST CALIBRE POSSIBLE

Not only must we pay them well, we must get the best, attract the best retain the best and promote the best to lead the way in Education of the Country’s future.

The link above in a nutshell explains what a mess our education has become due to politicization and lack of recognition of their contribution to society, but most of all, their singular inability to attract the best, as the politicians have reduced their profession to that of worthless garbage, treated with disdain, and against whom Political Victimization takes place on a daily basis.

You can be sure with young Trudeau at the helm, Canadian Education will be given a further boost, and resources will be spent to improve their education system further.

I trust we will congratulate him on his appointment, and send the Education Minister to attend his inauguration with a special message to supply us with Teacher Trainers to rebuild the quality of our teachers and set up a system of depoliticizing the teaching profession so that we can hire the best into teaching. 

Stop appointing unsuitable graduates to teaching and ensuring there is a professional way of assessing the quality of the teachers to reward the truly greats, to encourage them to mentor others, and be an example to the profession. 

I am so adamant that while it is important to remunerate better it should only go to the best 50,000 teachers and so others who are NO PATCH on them will at least try to emulate them, and still others try to enter the profession, where as in the past, they have decided to forego that chance.     

AVANT GARDE – The whole saga has been misunderstood from the start!

It is quite apparent from the beginning that NO ONE in Government really understood this transaction and business, and therefore have made decisions against the best interests of the Country in terms of loss of Foreign Exchange.

In this saga, it was simply up to Avant Garde in the guise of its Chairman, who spent Rs50M to take out double page spreads in the Middle Section of Weekly Newspapers to portray him as a modern day Robin Hood, and the gullible populace swallowed it hook line and sinker. The BRAIN DEAD POLITICIANS who run this Country, on the other hand made spiteful decisions (typical of a Sinhala mentality) to try and bring this business down, and possibly try to take pieces for themselves, but as this business was misunderstood, could not replicate it either.

It is a very simple business that any idiot can do, but it just needs a little bit of planning and execution with precision to impress on its customers that it has state patronage, and is free from leering eyes. This Ghotabhaya Rajapakse gave.

This is a job that Rakna Lanka a fully state owned Company could easily have done, however as that is subject to interference from ignorant Ministers, it was felt that it was too risky for its long term success and so Rakna Lanka just supplied some of the personnel and arms and were in turn reimbursed a fraction of what Avant Garde charged its customers, the Security Operations who gave protection from Pirates to the International Shipping Lines. 

The success of these Security Companies is evidenced by the fact that there have been NO pirate attacks in the past 4 years. However the Shipping Companies are charged an arm and a leg for this protection, and dare not reduce this for fear of a recurrence, and the fear that these self same companies have put the Shipping Companies on. In short it is a greatest protection racket in world history, paid for BY YOU AND ME through the product costs that eventually reflect this charge that the shippers have passed on to freight rates.

YESS THE GREATEST PROTECTION RACKET IN HISTORY OF THE WORLD – So far has cost Shipping lines in excess of US$4Billion. Avant Garde has benefitted to the tune of about US$ 300M before paying Rackna Lanka a measly US$10M for a bulk of the services. TO put in context, when a Rackna Lanka Sea Marshal on hazardous duty earns US$ 700 a month, his services are charged at US$ 20,000 a month to the Shipper, and Avant Garde are paid US$ 7,000 a month of which US$6,000 is paid direct into an offshore account of the Chairman of Avant Garde and the Balance US$1,000 is shown in the books of AG which show the funds coming in, that is the FOREX!!!

I hope it is clear to the reader how this scam works. There is SO MUCH MONEY. So what the potential competitor does is tell the Security Company instead of charging US$7,000 they will do for US$5,000 or less and take business away from AG and AG used Ghotabaya to prevent competition by giving it a monopoly status in Sri Lanka.

IF NOT FOR IDIOTS WHO RUN THIS GOVERNMENT, Rakna Could have charged the full US$7,000 per sea marshall and brought ALL THIS FOREX into Sri Lanka, and the Govt. could have used this money to improve the quality of life of its people.

SO WHO ARE THE TRAITORS? They are not just the Chairman of AG who wants to make money as the motivation for his risk and effort, it is the BRAIN DEAD Elected officials that the people have put in Parliament, who are so moronic that they think they can make some money from a business they have helped to KILL.

They have killed the GOOSE THAT LAID THE GOLDEN EGG, and deprived the State of about US$500M a year in income.

All the Security Companies also are OFFSHORE as they are also avoiding paying taxes, and the former soldiers and seamen who are operating them don’t pay taxes in the Countries they are citizens of. So keeping money offshore is part of the game and paying people off for silence is also part of the game.

No wonder then that the traitors of previous Governments and traitors of the present Government have been paid off so handsomely for their silence. No wonder too that there are dummies trying to muscle in on this and edge out AG.

It is against this backdrop that the reader should understand what is going on, and what has happened in the last year, in as much as spite and envy and greed have all come together to kill a promising venture. Sri Lanka being uniquely positioned in the Indian Ocean could have neatly run this business, and now the Navy who is still seething from rivalry, that former Navy Commanders are in the payroll (earning multiples what they earned as Navy Commanders) of AG that the current top brass want to destroy and have so taken the ship that was providing the auxillliary service in the Red Sea (with full knowledge of the DEFENCE ESTABLISHMENT) into custody, thereby destroying any further chance of this business reestablishing itself.


Typical of News – leaves it up to the imagination!

Just recently, the Daily Mirror reported that marriages had declined over the past four years every year. So in 2011 when there were 200,214 marriages, by 2014 it had dropped to 175,728.

No explanations were given, no hints at possibilities just stating a fact. This was attributed to the Census Department, so the explanation was presumably for them to make, which they had failed to give in the article, see link.

Of course it is for us to speculate. Would it have something to do with a birth rate decline and total births declining 20 years earlier, once the baby boom generation had produced kids? I don’t know. However it would have been useful to give some rational explanations as to why it would have happened.

It is very IMPORTANT that we take these statistics and make important planning and policy decisions, before we face an unforeseen problem. It is always best to foresee an outcome, when we have date from which we can extrapolate.

The 12% decline in marriages is statistically significant, especially as it has been on a steadily declining trend, and explanations will help us in determining if people are either getting married late, or there is a shortage of marriageable age males!

On the other hand environmental factors that may have affected fertility then is finally resulting in this, and could be a sign of declining population earlier than we envisaged. With declining fertility rates, we must look at other patterns, of whether it is due to education, where people decide wantonly to have fewer kinds or if it is environmental, where pollution and other factors, affect male and female reproductive capacity.

Only once we have some answers to these questions can we begin to take practical steps to correct an imbalance, if that is what is required, or explain away factors such as the forced separation of married women of reproductive age for long periods from their homes by foreign employment, affecting the family size.

Sri Lanka has been pretty adept at keeping various census data through the years, but has been impossibly inept in interpreting the data available to assist the Government in making correct forecasts for policy planning purposes.   

Monday, October 19, 2015

The reason the Treasury HAS NOT implemented the obvious recommendation on increasing the TAX YIELD

It is a no brainer, as to how to bring into the tax net, all the thousands of people who currently pay not tax. It is simply done by computerization and giving everyone a unique number or even using their NI number when entering any data.

So when a vehicle is registered, property purchased, and any item purchased for more than Rs100,000, this number is used, and the treasury will have a record of money spent by person each month, and can find the top 10,000 people who spend the most in 2015. They can then be checked against the income tax records and questioned if the numbers don’t tally.

This SIMPLE METHOD will yield an instant RS259Billion to the Treasury, something that is NOT CURRENTLY COLLECTED.   


It is the MPs who will be caught first, and secondly the Government Servants including excise officers and Customs Officers who will be caught red handed and likely to lose their jobs. Because of this the wealthy businessmen who cheat on their taxes get away with it knowing the rogues in Parliament and Government Service have NO urgency in implementing the easiest method of raising Government Revenue.

Why has the IMF stayed silent on this suggestion? The mind boggles! Have they also been paid off to keep their mouth’s shut?

It is time this fraud is exposed as one of the most longstanding scandals of cheating of the people of Sri Lanka by their Law Makers and their Servants (Govt. Servants)

This is a rich country where hardly any rich person pays taxes, and I am suggesting a simple way of collecting this tax and no one seems to care!

Due to this tax evasion, we spend more on cars and building houses, a way illegal money is laundered, and so this unproductive use of resources, denies the economy of productive investment in business and commerce, that will raise employment wage rates and living standards. This really is the scandal of our times, NOT REPORTED on by anyone in Sri Lanka. Journalists time to justify your job description, and investigate the whys and why nots of this atrocious fraud. 

The Government’s windfall from Alcohol Taxes now exceeds Rs200Billion

It is not a state secret that The Sri Lankan Government earns more from Alcohol and Tobacco Taxes individually than they collect from Income Taxes from Individuals. As the sin taxes are regressive it is the less well-off who pay a higher portions of their expenditure in taxes, further skewing the income divide, benefitting the better of who pay hardly any tax, and the most they pay is on their expensive Motor Vehicles ONLY.

There is one significant fact that has gone unnoticed, and that is that MOONSHINE or Kasippu, production has been curbed dramatically, and as the Police were the main beneficiaries as they were bribed by the Mudalalis, it was easier to enforce from above, as they knew the producers and were rewarded for catching them.

With the significant reduction in Moonshine, the consumer DID NOT reduce his consumption of alcohol, and instead turned to the legitimate stuff. This provided a huge boost to the alcohol manufacturers by increasing their sales by more than 25%. No doubt with the reduction of the production by Rajapakse Govt. ministers who were importing Ethanol illegally duty free, a further boost was given to the main producers, and the Treasury also benefitted.

It is estimated that alcohol taxes as a result of the above actions will rise by 50% in 2015 over 2014, putting in stark contrast the help this will give to the Govt. in its drive to raise revenue to bridge the huge budget deficit.

Isn’t it ironic that a significant part of the increased salaries to Government Servants is returning by way of alcohol taxes back to the Treasury, by boozing state employees who are now going up market in their alcohol consumption habits giving a further boost?

The windfall of all this to the 5 main alcohol producers is mind boggling. These companies collectively hand over Rs10B a month to the Treasury,  the tax that is the easiest to collect!! The Excise have their own staff at the production facilities to check the quantities being produced, and now the tax is payable on production, and not on sale, and the liability is completely that of the producer to account for the taxes.

A further benefit is of the increase in tourism that has also resulted in a huge increase in beer taxes, that is alcohol of lower percentages. The irony is NOT LOST on a government bent on reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption growing increasingly dependent on these same taxes for survival! 

Modern day slavery in Sri Lanka’s Estate Companies

Sri Lanka’s Tea and Rubber Estate companies are in crisis. They have a huge labor shortage. That is because unlike in the past, the present Youth, the children of Estate labor, who live on estates in increasingly better living conditions, and who are getting an improved level of Education, are less likely to want to pluck Tea or tap Rubber.

They would rather be software engineers, go to universities or at worst go overseas and work as Housemaids for working conditions they believe outstrip their present possibilities in the Estates!

So the Estate Superintendents who are pressurized by their bosses to get labor to perform basic tasks have no option but to resort to threats to meet their targets! You just go to any muster at 5.30am in an Estate and I will bet that of the total potential labor force available, there is less than 25% turnout, as they have better alternatives.

What is worse even productivity of those who now come to work is far less than their forebears, as if now they pluck 20KG of tea, their mothers could easily pluck 60KG in their prime, contributing to the debilitating drop in labor productivity.

Add to this, the lower level of transplanting by the Estates, partly due to the lack labor even to transplant, or even heavily prune tea bushes, adds to the lower leaf count, so one cannot merely blame it on the workers only.

Talking about threats by the Estates, they   refuse to do the paperwork for the youth to get their ID cards, as once an ID card is in one’s possession, it is like a passport out of the Estate, as they can just about go anywhere in Sri Lanka and look for a job that have pay and conditions better than what they have at home.

This problem is getting worse, and there is one solution that is being talked about, but which I believe is ALSO impractical. Closing unproductive plantations and moving the labor to more productive ones to perform the manual work. THIS IS ONLY possible if the workers opt to be transferred out of their generations homes to new permanent homes, something our near immoveable workforce refuse to do at any cost.

This is a social problem that is still under wraps, not reported on by the media in Sri Lanka that is NOT investigative and I would go as far as claim to be deaf blind and dumb. So guys this is a topic worthy of investigative journalism, the objective being to come up with a practical solution to a pressing problem of estate employment

Come on Sri Lankan Youth – fight for justice especially for your future

It is pathetic to see our Youth being used by the IUSF in their very puerile and totally impractical demonstrations, because they are simply unable to understand what it is they want in life, and do what is necessary to achieve their desires. Instead they are lead like lambs to slaughter, unable to think for themselves and evaluate.

With social media it has never been easier, but they just seem to have missed the plot. Young people the world over are fighting for their lives, and their countries. The Arab revolution has been youth generated. Now we see Palestinian Youth taking their lives into their own hands and fighting for injustice in their own personal way, risking certain death, by merely carrying a knife to stab an Israeli, any Israeli to atone for 50 years of suppression. Once this becomes self-fulfilling there will be nothing Israel can do. Eventually it will be them who achieve what no one has been able to do so far. Giving up their lives is the only way to ensure a future free of suppression.

Some male youth on social media were intelligent enough to realize that there was something radically wrong with the Rajapakse Administration, acting like greedy thieves, and so kicked them out of office, using the ballot box, but the numbers do not provide comfort as the overwhelming majority of female youth voted for Rajapakse, being completely and utterly fooled by their rhetoric and brainwashing, which they could not see through.

So what gives? Simply put, the Education system of Sri Lanka. It has taken out any imagination any young person may have in Sri Lanka. This works to the advantage of Governments as they can easily tame youth, and not worry about any radical change for the better. There is therefore NO incentive for controlling Governments to empower our youth to wean themselves from dependency.

Frankly this bottle feeding of youth is going to create a docile manipulable young person, being easily fooled into submission. If they continue to be in this trance they will never be able to fight for justice, SOCIAL JUSTICE for themselves and their future, to share in the spoils of Sri Lanka which now seem to allude them big time, purely due to their ignorance of their rights, and how to achieve them.

If I were to rate Sri Lankan Youth I would not hesitate to put them in the bottom of the international league table, as far as social responsibility is concerned. They still continue to desecrate the environment, something most youth in other countries have already ceased to do. So it is time to make them aware of their responsibilities on this earth, but most especially towards their country if they have any expectation to continue to live there in future. Apathy is now past, Expectation is the future. 

The Deficit can easily be plugged if the few suggestions made here are acted on

Just the entries in the blog here just for October 2015 give more than enough suggestions to the Finance Minister on how to bridge his gap between revenue and expenditure. Unfortunately, we are cursed by leaders who have no grey matter to act on these simple suggestions, and instead make a pigs breakfast of a whole host of measures that are ONLY GOING TO CONFUSE and take the optimism out of the economy, and WILL BE SELF DEFEATING.

To recap, 
Slapping a one off Tax on all vehicles registered in the last 5 years by Rs15,000

Increasing the Road Tax or annual license fee for vehicles by 200% from January 2016 when the next license comes up for renewal.

Increasing the price of Petrol and Diesel by at least Rs30 a liter.

Ensuring each person is asked to use their ID or their company ID for all transactions that are then fed into a computer for purchases of any item over Rs100,000.

Ensure there is NO EXEMPT items for VAT purposes, and only allow zero rating instead, so all transactions will come under the net and NOT EXEMPT as is the case today with many supposedly state transactions.

Reduce the interest rate on many overseas borrowings as promised

Sell off all surplus motor vehicles in Govt. department by auction, and all surplus junk even for scrap, as most Government institutions are flooded with decaying property.

Cease granting Duty concessions to ANYONE not even elected officials or Govt. servants. Increase the remuneration of the top two grades of Govt. servants to get and retain top quality administrators in govt. service.

Do a 5 year forward purchase agreement on fuel imports at the US$45 a barrel equivalent for crude, that will save 50% of the fuel bill at a stroke, with the reduction in usage as well due to the price hike.

Bring the VAT net into businesses with annual Turnover of Rs100M and over.

DO NOT INTRODUCE A TURNOVER TAX as that is a disincentive for business. Do not increase the Personal Tax rates, just get the people into the tax net.
Do not increase Corporate taxes as that too will be a disincentive to business.
Do not increase VAT as that is to regressive on middle classes.
Do not increase vehicle taxes as they are high as it is.
Do not increase the already high electricity rates to any sector.
Stop the Fertilizer subsidy as it is rife with corruption and bad fertilizer

The analysis above will increase revenues and reduce costs so a benefit to the State of at least Rs500Billion will accrue and this is better advice 2000 boffins can give.    

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Journalists in Sri Lanka are "Prostitutes"

The people are the pimps and the Govt. is the customer. 

It is a sad state of affairs indeed, when Journalists print what is being told them without a question being asked about whether it can indeed be true, or if they have been had!

Take the example I referred to earlier, (yesterday) that a 400% increase to the Education Budget was reported. When one spends 45Billion a year, how can one increase it to 180Billion in the next year? JUST not possible right! Not to a journalist it ain’t.

The latest is the Bribe of Rs125M paid to three customs officers from the Govt. own money borrowed by the Bribery Commission to do the STING. Has no one watched the movie STING?

What is the catch? Are they trying to frame an innocent officer in Custom? Because the rest are corrupt? Can entrapment hold its own in court? We need explanations for these.

Surely if an importer of parts for the Sri Lanka Transport Board, was asked to pay a bribe of this nature, then he is obviously trying to reduce the duty from between 500M to 1Billion rupees. What kind of idiot is that? If he is so big, he must have been importing for years, and know the duty structure inside out. Why does he even have to meet Customs officers on this matter? It should be automatic, what his duty should be and that is recorded on the documents under the code for the items imported. There should be NO surprises here.

Will this be followed up in the future? Or conveniently forgotten once the Customs officers are let off, with a bribe! We will NOT know the end of this story, as all it seems to the outside is that the Bribery Commission got a much needed publicity boost in the media, to show they have done something, so the Government can keep the restless people at bay, when they accuse of NO ACTION AGAINST CORRUPTION.

Now today, it is reported that Dubai has refused to freeze the billions in SL account holders’ funds. What is the catch there?  That is not explained. Is it really illegal money or legitimate money? After all the US Govt. is the adviser of the SL Govt. on the where the money came from or where it went to, as they have all records of the world transactions exceeding US$10,000

Time for explanation, not reporting misleading information to absolve the Government from its duty to its citizens in cleaning up the Horse Trailer of shit. 

Time for some self examination on Journalist's Ethics. If it misleads the reader, then it is not just bad journalism, it is treachery no more no less! What is the sentence for that?  

It is obvious our Educators don’t know what Education really is

It is time to draw a line on the sand and inform our leaders that they don’t know what they are talking about, and worse, they are deliberately misleading the public. The 6% of GDP on Education figure is banded about like the panacea for all ills, and the people are swallowing it hook line and sinker!

There is NO way Sri Lanka with all its other priorities will ever get to the 6% in the next 50 years NOR do we want to. Education is NOT a figure. It is simply about quality.  If you even spend 10% that will NOT ensure an educated nation!

So let us throw out this misleading figure, and instead prioritize and get on with the work at hand, as there is no practical way to absorb more than a 25% increase year on year, and let us at least be sensible, in how we do that.

Read this excellent article in yesterday’s Daily Mirror which I would plead to be translated into Sinhala and published in the Lankadeepa for the Sinhala speaking majority to understand what it is about

I was grinning to myself when the heading was about bringing about Asia’s best education system, when the three best Countries on the planet for Education are South Korea, Singapore and Japan, and Asia’s best will automatically be the World’s best. WHY NOT?

We have the world best brains, and we do a great job of removing that brain in 15 years of Montessori, Primary and Secondary schooling. If only any of the readers are able to judge the output of the school system for themselves they will simply be shocked. I believe the State University system removes whatever that remains, leading to the most uneducated Graduates on the planet.

Why would educated people (state university graduates) linger on for years in search of or waiting for a job, in an economy that that has 250,000 vacancies?

Our leaders are in denial, primarily because they themselves are uneducated. So how could you entrust them with the task of making decisions on the Education of the people of Sri Lanka?

Let us start with elevating the position of teachers, improving their Incomes, for quality people ONLY and train them appropriately to get our students to the level needed.

What happened to the promises of change? Status quo with different faces!

Thanks to the attitude of the people, we as a nation allow both the Government and the Opposition to act with the same rhetoric we have seen in the past with different faces giving the same message. When there should be a mass uprising to protest at the contempt of the new leaders for the people who put them there, like the instantaneous protests we now see in the leaderless 3rd Palestinian Intifada, against Israeli occupation we see in all of Palestine, in the East of what is now occupied Israel, Gaza, West Bank and Jerusalem.

It is this apathy that allows the Sirisena Govt. to get away with doing all the wrong things, especially breaking almost every promise that was made. It is simply incredible how someone who is President only because the UNP amassed its resources to overthrow the Rajapakse Regime, now tries to emulate his erstwhile predecessor in many of the mistakes he made, and knowing the political landscape with years of experience with that arrogance, has learned a thing or two about this behavior, and wants to justify his similar actions.

The honeymoon period is now over, and there has been no progress in any of the promised legislation, and new Government seems bent on merely putting their favorites in positions of power, so that they either control them, or influence their behavior and pay off those who helped them. This kind of politics is practiced the world over, but Sri Lanka has been even more adept at helping friends and family over the professionals who should be put in positions of authority to run the appropriate agencies efficiently and NOT engage in corruption like the previous regime.

It is time that the lazy civil society of NGO wallahs take time to educate the rural people on the infringement of their rights, rather than reserve it to the English press for the benefit of continued supporters from overseas.

The NGOs all based in Air-conditioned Offices in Colombo appear to be shy to go to the hinterland. It is time the HQs of these NGOs move to the rural areas, as we don’t have to worry about Freedom of Expression and Expressing Independent opinion. It is only in far out rural areas with rural people that the NGOs can really make a difference that will force the Government to change course and listen to true Civil Society and not the bogus Colombo based Civil Society which is ONLY CIVIL and have NO SOCIETY backing for their point of view. The Government is happy with the current status of Civil Society knowing how they operate, and I therefore challenge the immediate move out of the Western Province to agitate in the provinces.             

Why are we waiting until the traffic literally cannot move! Time to take steps now

The recent introduction and removal of a new traffic arrangement for vehicles coming into Colombo during rush hours was done to check if it would improve the situation and when found on balance to be negative was promptly removed.

These are all haphazard steps not properly part of a well thought out of strategy to alleviate the situation, as the Police DO NOT have the proper training in how to handle this sort of situation as they are incapable of knowing who they should seek advice from in such situations to get a more scientific basis for their actions to alleviate the suffering of the motorists on the road.

It is no secret that most of the populous cities have severe traffic problems, and the real answer is to get more people out of private vehicles and onto faster modes of public transport. Where did I read the other day a quote which said, “A developing Country thinks they have made it when the middle class can buy a small car, but a developed Country has made it only when the rich go by public transport” This Sinhala Blog post is worth a read to get a perspective.

It is worth heeding the warning of Professor Kumarage see link and taking action now before it is too late as it will affect EVERY area of development extremely negatively.

Now that there is a policy to develop a Magapolis, the WP or Western Province which will comprise the Megapolis should have a different plan where transport takes pride of place, if this area is to grow into the engine of the Country. After all this area will account for at least 50% of the GDP of the Country.

The incompetence and lack of urgency amongst politicians is at the root of the problem. We have elected people who are incapable of making crucial decisions on our behalf. Do we have to agitate for basic rights for everything in Sri Lanka because we are cursed by the bottom fishers who are at the top of the food chain in Sri Lanka, namely uneducated Politicians who do not have the interests of the Country at heart? Only if one tenth of the time and effort of building highways was spent on public transport solutions, we would already have been much better placed to solve some of our exceedingly urgent social problems. The most productive of our society spend far too much time commuting to work, it is costing the Economy billions!  

Sri Lanka Youth – you have never had so many opportunities!

You are still drinking your mother’s milk

I have had a good life with many opportunities grow up in different environments and live and work in many countries, and are able to evaluate them in my older years and give of my experiences and knowledge to our youth, so that they may not have to go through the same hurdles, but hopefully go beyond grabbing the opportunities now available to improve the quality of their lives from here on.

We never had the variety of opportunities now available to youth as they live in an age where their parents have been able to provide a lot more for them, than we were fortunate enough to have, though in our time we were the fortunate ones bearing in mind the technology of the time.

In this age of cheap broadband, smartphones, Facebook and twitter, the opportunities for interaction are far greater and one is privy to the latest information, in ways we could only dream about in our youth. Why is it then that you are NOT taking full advantage of all these great benefits to make your lives so much easier.

I may not be incorrect in saying that today’s youth are uneducated, unable to find happiness, are truly worried about their future, and due to the two children households have bonds with their parents of dependency that we did not have. Whilst they like to believe their independence from parents, going to tuition classes in busses, with new associations and love interests, they are still literally drinking mother’s milk, incapable of doing anything at home to help their parents, and make themselves useful at home. This makes them completely ill prepared for life on their own, and in my experience youth marriages are fraught with problems, not just economic as they don’t know how to manage on a salary, but basically they don’t even know how to wash clothes, or how to cook food, when they don’t even have to get firewood for the hearth which their parents had to find.

In this era of Food City shopping even for the Middle classes, the convenience of life with gas Cylinders, and Fridges don’t seem to have given the independence of living, independently.

Eating out is the norm, now, whilst it was very rare in our youth, but despite these conveniences, young people spend longer at home, and once married are less inclined to live independently of their parents. Of course I am talking about Sri Lanka here, as there may be other influences at work overseas that are different.
So why is it with so many more opportunities of income, our youth are simply frozen in fright as to find their way on their own in this world. I get mothers come to be with their 30 year old sons, who have never left home, pleading with me to find them some employment. Have they not been weaned out of their home environment, and made to be independent and not rely on their parents to find them a job?

I cannot figure this out, as media advertise vacancies, like never before. In our day, no vacancies were advertised! There are so many avenues of education to whatever field that that one wants to pursue. Why is it that most of our youth especially the Sinhala speaking ones,  NOT know what is available out there for them.

It is tragic with so many vacancies they are intent on getting jobs that are NOT available. When I direct them in what is available, they somehow think I can do some magic in to find the job they are looking for.

Employers are crying out at the quality of people who come to be interviewed, who just are unable to even carry on an intelligent conversation at an interview which fails them in the first minute. They cannot write a CV or realize the importance of an error free, CV as that is the first point of contact with the potential employer before being called for an interview.

How is it that people just send CVs to companies without even a covering letter requesting an interview to convince the Company that he or she could be an invaluable employee for that company?

When I give my basic hours training about all the opportunities available the potential applicant is open mouthed, with incredulity on what is said, as if they are either tongue tied, or heard the facts of life for the first time. How can these people ever find work? Unless of course the employers are willing to take these Montessori kids and take them through the realities of life, hoping they can quickly assimilate and embrace the new environment without delay.

The Govt, and University system is still in a state of limbo, only talking about the problem rather than offering a practical solution. There is NO TIME to faff around this problem, and we need to quickly get our youth who have left school prepared for the world out there. When I see people in their 30s still trying to find their calling due to the lack of this basic induction of the realities of life, I wonder how we as a society, has been able to let our Education system slide to such a new low, making them completely ill prepared for the wonderful world of opportunity that they have missed.  

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Let us force our Government Servants to retrain if they want to keep their jobs

Sri Lanka is a full employment Country, where there are NO takers for the 250,000 vacancies. That is either because the pay is too low, or that it is in the wrong place, and people are unwilling to move to take them. In the same vein all these can filled by people in India if we open those to them, as they are willing to work for less, as their living conditions are worse, and broadly they are willing to work that much harder. In short due to the basic needs already available, and only 2% having to pay rent, or a mortgage, (housing being the single highest household monthly expense) they are willing to sit it out until it worth their while to work.

Similarly we know that of the 1.6M Government Servants about 500,000 can be easily discharged, without affecting their service, and in fact could improve service, as many people in Govt. service, lengthen any task to justify their existence and accordingly inconvenience the public to whom they are bound to serve. Remember they are Government SERVANTS not Govt. rulers of the people.

I have identified many areas where jobs must be created to save the Country, and its people from themselves, If we can train people to do those jobs, the whole Country will be the better, and for starters and for debate, I will mention a few, and I am sure the readers could add 100 times to this, with very good suggestions for improvement.

The Government MUST take cognizance of this fact and act on these suggestions. We have 400,000 in the forces costing over Rs350B dong basically nothing, occupying other people’s lands making a nuisance of themselves, adding to the misery of the citizens in the guise of protecting the people! In this day and age of unmanned remote controlled drones, there is no need for occupying armies in camps, and wars are won or lost on technology.

I bet you our defence forces HAVE NO CLUE how to counter a drone sent with pin point accuracy on its target, and the drone could be operated OFFSHORE! So what is the point of a bloody useless army of pompous generals playing the wrong WAR GAMES OUT OF IGNORANCE of the real threat!

So for starters they can protect the 250,000 archeological sites in Sri Lanka that are currently open to the elements and treasure hunting, and very soon there will be nothing left to protect. Just yesterday, there was a case of an ancient Dagoba site being completely flattened to make way for paddy fields. I recently went to a huge ancient Dagoba in Neelagiri, in the middle of the jungles where some religious artifacts have been found and the now famous Neelagiri relics are on display.
Similarly, we require Counsellors to show our youth the way forward, in terms of job search and etiquette, and possible 25,000 there. Then we need school psychologists, for students and teachers, as the mental health problems in our society is the time bomb that has not even been addressed due to the mentally deviant MPs who appear to flood our parliament. There are a minimum of 50,000 vacancies there. Then we need teacher trainers to teach our teachers how to teach and that is about 25,000 there. We will need about 100,000 nurses to be trained, in an aging population, and as 50,000 are likely to find employment overseas, we will have the residue to administer to the sick and elderly.

We can use mature Govt. servants to man community centers that are created from the expected 5000 or so schools that are expected to close in mainly the rural and non-Western Province areas, so the aging populations living in villages will NOT be neglected, and can have a fruitful productive life in their own homes, something that is seriously lacking at present.

People can be retrained to take up existing skilled vacancies in the private sector that provide both fulfillment and job satisfaction.

These proposal and practices if implemented, will both make the Govt. service more efficient, whilst keeping people in employment and most of all do work that is productive and for the benefit of the overall quality of life of the people who live in Sri Lanka, something that is the ultimate goal of a civilized country.

I want our citizens to just think of the utter waste in our society, and what we could do to reduce this human waste of people marking time, taking a pay check for doing nothing. It disheartens people like us who work all hours that God gives, to make this Country a better place and who tries to find some time to blog his thoughts on what to do to improve the livelihood of the people who live in this most precious and beautiful Country.

We can rejuvenate villagers once the community centers are active. It will have livelihood development schemes that help the community, and find productive avenues for the people to use their time and talents, currently completely wasted.

The single biggest road block as I see it is the elected representatives who rule over us and make decisions. They are society’s lowest common denominator, meaning anyone else can do better. We must try and elect people with a vision, who have ideas ahead of their time, like the Prime Minister, but who is completely frustrated by the goons he has who work under him who are dunces of the first order.

“A THIRD” of all Secondary School Teachers have severe Psychological Problems

It is high time we immediately prioritize how we are going to spend the 400% increase in our Education Budget allocation for 2016 before Politicians decide to pocket it for personal gain. I quote from the link below. 

The allocation for the Ministry of Education will see a four-fold increase from the previous year, going up to more than Rs. 185.9 billion from the Rs. 47.6 billion allocated in the 2015 Budget.

Firstly let me say that the Journalists of Sri Lanka need to have their heads examined by reporting that the Budget for Education next year is up by 400%. There is NO WAY this country can even begin to spend four times what was spent last year, unless the education minister decided to pocket it! Education at most cannot absorb any more than a 25% increase, without excess money going to waste on unneeded or ill thought out projects.

So they would have been better advised to ask for an explanation from the Govt. before making such a misleading statement, which the Education Minister will use for personal aggrandizement.


How should we prioritize to spend this extra money?

The detail is too long for this blog entry and I will highlight it somewhere else. HOWEVER RIGHT UP TOP MUST BE – Steps taken to evaluate the psychological competence of our 250,000 teachers for the job they have been entrusted with. This along with improving the quality of the existing teachers must be right up there as the most important, and can be done in the guise of improving the quality, so that the ire of the powerful Teacher Unions will not be raised!

I know the Teachers UNIONS which represent the teachers will be up in arms about this, but they are only thinking of its membership, some of whom are patently unfit to teach, so we must convince the Country at large that this is done for the benefit of the Students – WHO REPRESENT the future of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s students leave school on the whole completely uneducated, and no one has told them that!

Just having three A at A levels is not being educated, as most of those with 3 A’s are unable to find productive work even 5 years after getting those fancy grades, whilst it is hard pressed to find any who dropped out of school before O levels, still unemployed even three years after dropping out. Most find work immediately on dropping out, in this economy of 250,000 vacancies.

I transgress from the subject of this BLOG – Mentally Retarded Teachers!

Ask any student in the 6th form, just about to leave school to name all the teachers they think have some psychological problem, and my bet is that about a third would be classified as such on some point in the continuum. Why I say, just before leaving is that other students ARE FRIGHTENED TO RAT ON THE TEACHER for fear of retribution, failed mark, preventing from sitting the exams, beatings and sadistic punishments!

The system of recruitment of teachers to schools is wrong! Just having a degree does NOT prepare one to be a teacher, least of all to even know if you have the competency to teach. Very few are taken from Teacher Training Colleges, who have a modicum of teaching knowledge. Ask the question? How many graduates from Teacher Training Colleges got teaching appointments in 2014? My guess 4000.

Sri Lanka DOES NOT HAVE THE CALIBRE OF PSYCHOLOGISTS TO EVALUATE the mental competence of teachers. So foreign experts MUST be brought down to train 100 of the best for this task. An intensive 6 month course can provide the basics. Those getting the certificates must be given an initial monthly raise of Rs20,000, with a promise of further raises depending on competence.

It goes without saying that these initial recruits must undergo thorough psychological evaluation first.

The program MUST weed out the most dangerous and notorious culprits first. Each school has about 5. The problem with security of tenure has to resolved, by transferring them to a job that has NO interaction with the vulnerable school age kids of our society.

It must be remembered that some people suffer from temporary problems, like a troubled child at home, where they take out their frustrations in the classrooms on unsuspecting innocent children. They need counselling, and need to be aware that they are doing something wrong and why. 

IT IS TIME TO MAKE A START NOW if one is to save the lives of children from gross Human Rights Violations!