Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The BOYCOT was lifted less than a day after I requested it!

My previous blog entry was categorical in demanding that the stupid behavior of the puerile Tri Forces be corrected by immediately lifting the boycott, http://pattapalboru.blogspot.com/2016/05/it-is-clear-that-navy-made-mistake.html and hey presto, in less than 24hours of this recommendation, it was enacted! Now should I demand the resignation of all the Commanders?

This blog is read and acted upon as one that is truly unbiased, and people oriented, with no hidden agenda. I sacrifice to write this blog, and I don’t benefit from it, so it has to be good! RIGHT! Now it is time the journalists use this as a basis for their reports of right and wrong, not another’s agenda!

This is a reminder to the reader that this is the ONLY active blog at present that is simply recommending how this Country should be governed for the benefit of the people with NO personal agenda on my part, except to show with glaring examples, the misbehavior of our leaders, from which ever party they come from, who only harm the people of this Country.

In that sense this is a purely pro person blog on behalf of every hard working resident of Sri Lanka irrespective of their religion, ethnic origin, or language they speak. A truly National representation for the people.

It is only when the people are harmed, usually by people using their position, usually political, to fleece the people they are supposed to protect, do I get mad! This fleecing goes on day in day out, and we must reduce it before we eliminate it, and as many of the people I speak on behalf of are also quite ignorant about the fact that robbery is taking place right under their noses ostensibly for their benefit! A completely bizarre rationale, I attempt to point out to the robbed, that they are being robbed by their new best friend, the person they just voted in!

When the very people we elect are engaged in daylight robbery, and sadly those who are least crooked get branded as crooks, there is something seriously wrong with the system! The people in Parliament are unscrupulous rogues, and they are quick to point the finger at alleged rogues, whose take say Five bucks to themselves, pales in comparison, to the five billion bucks those rogues who make allegations against the five buck thief. This makes a mockery of justice, and people’s trust and therefore the people’s demands for justice!

People demand justice from persons who have DONE NO WRONG, whilst they trust those who are the biggest crooks. They lead them right down the garden path. The system is just simply stacked against the people, and unless the people at least understand that first, there is no method of making redress.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

It is clear that the Navy made a mistake - justifiably or not depends on which side you are on!

There is no question that in hindsight, looking further at the available evidence, that the Navy which handed the premises of the school sometime ago, from being in the HSZ earlier, and now part of the normal school under the Eastern Provincial Council, the proper protocol was NOT followed by the cocky Navals who only follow orders and in situations like this in Civilian decision making are not sufficiently armed with the necessary judgement. After all forces personnel are told to obey orders NOT THING FOR THEMSELVES which is what the Navy did this time round.


The link above is clear. When there is an event in a school, usually the Provincial Council is consulted first and as an act of courtesy the Minister of Education and maybe the Chief Minister is invited. In this case where the Computer Lab was vested, perhaps inviting the Chief Minister was in order.

So I can understand why the Chief Minister was peeved, and though I don't beleive he should have behaved like a thug, the Navy MUST admit their error in not inviting the proper people. Lets face it both the Chief Minister and the Education Minister gate crashed. They should really have protested and prevented the event from taking place, as it was their event and NOT the Navy's even though the Navy provided the equipment and built the lab. That is merely as a favor to the Provincial Council School and so the Navy must be invited to be thanked NOT the other way round as it took place.


It is clear from the very balanced article above also that the NAVY was wrong, and so it is clear that the decision that the Navy took to boycott Provincial Events the Chief Minister attends is ALSO clearly wrong.

I am NOT trying to take sides, and get into an emotional blind act of the forces being the Saviours of our Nation talk to safeguard them from ANY allegation they may face. We must be adult in our behaviour and NOT childish as the Forces Commanders have been.

My respect for the Forces has dropped dramatically due to this puerile kneejerk action, without a full reasoned argument at the error that the Navy made in NOT inviting the CM. The Governor had NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, and he should neither invite the CM to the event or to the podium as he is an invitee ONLY not an organizer!

Can't rational people understand this. Navy seems to be sucking up to foreigners like the US Ambassador in preference to their local worthies.

I hope the President and PM have the courage to show where the Forces were wrong in their reaction!

The Trouble is that the Commander in Chief in this case is NOT able to assert his authority, because he is worried what the uneducated gallery who don't understand any of the matters here, think!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

What is this passing the buck on Palpita? Why is there no one taking responsibility for what is going on?

Dharisha Bastian’s article was quite clear that something was quite rotten in that a man, Anusha Palpita with a MR induced allegations of all sorts of misdeeds and with a severe indictment, being appointed as a Secretary, with no one at the Public Services Commission confirming this!

Then we have the relevant Minister disclaiming any knowledge of this appointment, see link below

and the Prime Minister calling for a report as to why this has happened, see link above.

In short passing the buck resulting in a farce, and our faith in the administration at an all time low due to such chaos. Who is in charge? Why has the PM not appointed a person with the backbone and balls to run his office? Surely it is time he realizes what his limitations and capabilities are and should delegate this to people who can do the job effectively, efficiently, speedily, and be completely transparent. Surely we have a few GOOD MEN left in Sri Lanka who are up to the task.

How much more imploring have we got to do, to get the PM to implement his great ideas and vision, because that is where it has all stopped. ALL THE FOREIGN MISSIONS are reporting back to base, that Sri Lanka does not have the capability to organize a piss up in a brewery, and so don’t send funds, as they will not be spent wisely, but wasted. Don’t we get it yet, that everyone knows how bad it is except TEMPLE TREES, where the worker bees cannot get it together to tell the BOSS that things are just falling apart for the lack of a strong man to run the place.

This is a critical need of the hour, no more time to dilly dally. Look at the way the flood relief is being administered, the President has appointed his PRIVATE SEC to chair the team handling this, when in fact this should have been under the PM and administered through TT. The whole reason the President had to get his overworked Private Secretary onto this, was because the PM was not up to the task of assigning the responsibility to manage this relief and rebuilding effort. The whole Govt. structure is waiting for proper instructions from above to implement the policy with regard to how the aid is distributed. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

500 people determine how this Country is Governed for their Benefit only!

Let us put aside that the fact that just 1,000 families control over 50% of the wealth that exists worldwide. Let us only look at Sri Lanka’s predicament.

There are about 500 individuals who control Sri Lanka, make most of the money and control all avenues of our lives. They are roughly the same people who were doing so during the Mahinda Rajapakse government, as those now in the Maithripala Sirisena government. Frankly, they are the smartest people in terms of making sure ONLY what they want happens in Sri Lanka.

Those who currently govern merely are lackeys of theirs, being given some crumbs to feel important JUST TO DO THEIR BIDDING. It is debatable who among them are acting as proxies for the MR daylight robbery of the Country, and how that wealth is divided, but there is NO question that MR and his extended family ensured they also joined this 500 during their term of office, by raping the Country along with the rest of them and sharing the spoils.

It is only due to the fact that the 225 people in Parliament calling themselves MPs are either doing the bidding directly of these 500 or are indirectly doing EXACTLY what they want, except some of the 225 MPs just don’t know so.

The real issue is that the people of Sri Lanka continue to permit this daylight robbery of the Nation, due to their choices of people they elect to govern us, and don’t realize that they are mere puppets in a game, where they pay the taxes, and in short are the slaves of the 500 and lackeys of the political hierarchy, and both have fooled them to believe they are anything but serfs and pawns in an elaborate game of chess called HOAX!

In the inequality stakes of Sri Lanka, they make sure that we remain one of the most unequal countries on earth, but use an elaborate charade to show the world otherwise. I know there are a few honest people dotted around this Country, who realize this issue, but are hamstrung, as all the establishment is either willingly or unknowingly supporting this state of play, because they believe it is the only way for them to survive to meet their daily obligations. They don’t want to upset the apple cart of their easy life, and allow them to be used from above, to maintain the status quo.

It is this stranglehold on the various arms of power in Sri Lanka, that the 500 have cleverly built, that serves them without the arms knowing who the master is that they serve. They believe it is the politician, but in reality the politician is merely the conduit through whom they exercise this enormous power. It is through the ignorance of the masses that this will survive always.
THE IMF and World Bank and other lending agencies from China etc. know this fact too, but if they want to do business here, they also play ball, and look the other way at the daylight robbery.

Every BIG PROJECT whether it is the prior Regime or the current one, is making sure that many of the 500 are the main beneficiaries. It is the cream on top that they ensure they have for themselves, and the people end up paying for the whole project, be it of any benefit for the economy or not. Some are utter useless projects that just make the people the debtors for the whole project as it does not yield a public return. Others return something, but effectively the people pay twice for the return.

If you take a motor car for example, an MP gets a benefit of about Rs40M due to the tax free permit. So he can buy his vehicle and ride around in it for Rs40M less than Mr ZEEE. However, if Mr ZEEE does not use a permit and buys a car on the open market for Rs60M, including theRs40M tax, you can be assured his whole cost of Rs60M is from money he creamed off a project, that the people of Sri Lanka are paying the interest on for the next 50 years! The fact that the Country received a tax of Rs40M is merely a transfer of some funds from what he took from the people being given back to the people. None of it earned!

Only because there are about 10 honest people in Sri Lanka who earn, pay their taxes and buy the car from taxed income, and are able to do so as they are sufficiently wealthy, due to building a business over time, can we be proud of out of the other 500 who control the economy. How small the truly honest are!

I grant that in business, it is the first Rs100M that is difficult to earn, and that is done through a questionable Govt. contract, then it is plain sailing as even to qualify for new multibillion rupee contracts you have to be big enough to give Bank Guarantees, that ensure that only the rich share the spoils and the others don’t even have a chance at making a play.

It is NO secret that only the people with assets can borrow billions from banks, because they have the collateral, and so in a Country that has the lowest taxation regime in the world, it is a license pure and simple for the wealthy to become even more wealthy, something fewer people can do in high tax countries such as the USA. Sri Lankan taxation system has so far been unable to asses the true profits from businesses, that are very clever at hiding the real gains, and added to that with NO INHERITANCE TAXES are able never to have their wealth taxed, permitting them unbridled ability to increase their wealth.

The transfer of much of this wealth off shore has further impoverished the public who are still paying interest on money already in foreign bank accounts.
The reader would say that it is just the way the system works, and there is nothing that can be done about it, but I beg to disagree.

Sri Lanka unlike Scandinavia does NOT have a culture of people being honest in declaring their income and wealth, so neither gets taxed at any level. They hide every bit of their earnings. Like the recent case when the Govt. threatened to bring CGT, or capital gains tax, it was promptly withdrawn due to pressure from the richest people who can easily pay it, but they would have had to part with a little bit of their gains, and so they did not like it.

We have NO PHILANTHROPY amongst the wealthy and only a few families who have given their wealth away to social causes. In the USA it is very different. Just look at Bill Gates, he has given away 98% of his wealth and only needs 2% for his future generations to live comfortably.

We have people who may believe that it is essential to take it with them when they depart this world. The funny thing is that acquiring wealth in Sri Lanka seems to be the important thing, NOT spending it. At least if they spend it will go to parts of the economy. Buying Rs100M apartments is NOT spending. It is acquiring, but the person buying would argue he is spending! That is how warped this greed of wealth acquisition is.

I went through this whole scenario above to show how deeply entrenched this system is against development, fair play and equity in the economy to spread to all walks of life so all the people are beneficiaries of development and wealth creation of our economy. This can only be done with GOOD GOVERNANCE, not the type expounded by the Govt. which has the same practices as the past, but by a change in the whole system of government that I have advocated at length in this blog for years, if you have cared to read it, and the thousands of pages contained therein over 7 years.

After a lifetime of study, I am convinced that the only way to break this cycle and choose what is best for the people, when elected representatives make decisions on behalf of the public is to restrict the term of ANY ELECTED PUBLIC OFFICE TO FIVE YEARS. SO NO MAN OR WOMAN CAN HOLD PUBLIC OFFICE FOR MORE THAN FIVE YEARS. The Parliament will always have only new members at each election, and NOT from some previously elected position in a lower body such as Provincial or Pradeshiya.

We will then ONLY have elected people who will come forward to serve their Country and NOT take from it as has been the case for the past 70 years. NO COMPROMISE here. It is the simplest method of righting the wrong of the past, and a simple step to take that will turn the tide, back to the PEOPLE! 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Triforces have fallen into a racist trap – and they don’t even realize it!

My contention that Sri Lankan psyche is simply reactive, and not contemplative was shown in brutal force just a few days ago. Those of whom are intelligent enough to follow my logical line will agree. ONLY THOSE WITH AN OPEN MIND READ ON:

This is about the Eastern Chief Minister’s Outburst at a Compere who just happened to be a Naval Officer, at the event that he had attended in a school in Sampur. The details of the event have been noted in a previous blog entry today, and I will not elaborate any more on that except to find fault with the Chief Minister’s Educational level, as he has indulged in a classically uneducated reactive outburst due to hurt feelings which he simply could NOT control! WILL ANYONE DENY THAT?

So why the hell does the Triforces indulge in the same puerile behavior by banning him from any of their functions, and preventing him from entering their camps. Don't behave like a hurt BABY! This man will suffer a worse fate without you actually making him a hero here. If you make him a hero out of your ignorance it is still treachery, as you cannot plead ignorance here,


Remember anyone compeering there would have been rebuked by this uneducated man, it so happens that he was a Naval Officer, that’s all. Why is Social Media aghast as the slap on a “RANAVIRU?” That is simply a racist hit at the ethnicity of the man making the outburst, and whilst there has been no overt words spoken, the Muslim community are fuming at that in silence, as by association, they believe it is directly a hit on them, in short the idiots in the Triforces, being baited hook line and sinker to the RACE CARD. Caught in a classic trap, even fermented by ISIS.

Frankly the Secretary of Defence, Mr Hettiarachchi is a gentlemen of good breeding, as he has calmly referred the matter to the President, due to unacceptable pressure on him, also evidenced by the Rajapakse faction on Social Media, that has mercilessly crucified him for not taking action against the CM immediately. When the President returns from Japan, let us hope this issue would have died down.

Remember we are trying to be civilized in a society that is basically full of uncivilized people. Let us not go overboard and make insinuations that are NOT true. It just so happened that he was a Muslim politician, and don’t tell me we don’t have uncivilized Sinhala politicians who would act in a similar manner too, faced with the same humiliation that they see due to their chip of upbringing.

So my appeal is to the Tri Forces of whom I have high regard, NOT TO ACT REACTIVELY in the same manner of the Chief Minister. Otherwise you are just as bad as him. Two wrongs don’t make a right. It is only him who will face the music for his arrogance, your interference has brought it into a RACIST OVERTONE that is most unfortunate, and especially in the Eastern Province where the delicate racial balance has to be kept, and the true test of ONE NATION is most crucial if we are to develop our true potential.

I am afraid I have to conclude that the top brass have lost their balls as they are playing a reactive game and in war that is a reason for defeat. If they have learned anything about Military strategy, a tactician will say they have lost the plot. While I know our Top Brass to be better, I don’t know who took the decision, whether it was Military or Civilian, BUT THAT DECISION IS WRONG.

Why it is wrong will soon play out in the coming days, and instead of letting sleeping dogs lie, they have awakened a RACIST dinosaur on both extremes who love such an event to further their cause, and if  this REACTIVE behavior on the part of the Military is cause for this explosion, they are not keeping the peace they are lighting a match that is causing a war!

A lesson in all this is to know your own place, and when you act as a Military with your might and power, and when you behave in a civilian role, with grace and favor, and humility. The officer in question at the event reacted like a true gentleman and behaved gracefully, whilst his superiors are now behaving like insane animals on the loose, pitching for a fight.

Guess who is loving all this on the sidelines, the MR camp. They have been waiting for an event like this as their wings have been clipped and the Military has given him the ammunition, to fight their RACIST cause to the utmost.

Of course we have a paralyzed Govt. with no one having a back bone to face this RACIST propaganda, and I just ask you to go on FB and see the anti NAZEER words being used, which are not personal to him at ALL but to the whole Muslim community as a whole, that is showing immense patience whilst this is taking place, but seething under about this gross exaggeration of this incident.

They are plotting their counter attack, and the foolish Sinhala Racist nuts will not know what hit them, as it will be ever so subtle, affecting their stomach and they will not know what hit them, perhaps never, as it is ECONOMIC power that will be unleashed that is more powerful than any ban on an already disgraced man from any camp or military function!

What a sad plight our Country has fallen into due to ignorance played out on Social Media. If there was NO video of the event it would not even have been an issue. So remember Social Media is both constructive and deadly!

The POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA – The downing of a Chief Minister!

Let this me a wakeup call to the high handed brigands, who really are nothing more than our Servants we have elected to look after our interests, who suddenly think that due to their title they are somehow owed a living from lower ranks!

The case of the Eastern Province Chief Minister, is going VIRAL on social media, with everyone and their mother’s son! Including me giving my two cents on this issue. Let us look at the positive outcome of this. Is it a call to arms from our people who now demand a certain level of decorum, that is currently lost in our society, that people above think that just due to their position they are somehow beyond reproach in treating their subordinates.

Ironically, this applies especially to politicians who somehow seem to forget their lowly status as a SERVANT who has undertaken the task of looking after our welfare, and for that we give them certain allowances, which they now seem to begrudge, not content with stealing from the public purse, but demanding this theft as some sort of God given right.

Now our politicians have to withstand wrath of the public and especially the laughter of our youth who will NO LONGER spare them or give them even a little leeway.

Take the example of Harin Fernando, a cabinet minister who is to apologize in Parliament today, for unparliamentary language!

Lets all think collectively how we can use social media to improve the performance of our Civil Servants and Elected Representatives to remember who they work for and put them squarely in their place, as otherwise they will be named and shamed, and will forever hurt their chances in future. We must also use this means to reduce the incidence of people acting with impunity in the abuse of their position, because they know that no one will wrap their knuckles. 

Now it is the public who will DIRECTLY blast them with a vengeance they never thought possible, and in this instance may even result in the Chief Minister losing his position, as he will be forced to resign due to pressure from within his own circle who will bring out the daggers when a man is down, in true SL tradition, and you will realize that you are no longer protected by a very fluid base of loyalists who will desert you at the sniff of your position being in danger and your longevity in that position, in question.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sir, Mr PM – “Megapolis just can’t be livable just because you say so”

With absolutely no concept of how to EVEN define THE LONG TERM OBJECTIVES, of Megapolis, which is still only in the head of the PM, how can it be livable as reported yesterday, see link below:

For the largest city in the Indian Ocean growing to about 10Million and eventually encompassing the whole of the Western Province, there is NO PLAN.

One has to take Government OUT OF THE MEGAPOLIS for it to work effectively. We cannot have Govt. servants littering the Megapolis, their ideas are way 19th Century and the faster they are sent off to Siberia the faster the Megapolis will take root in people’s minds and only then in people’s actions!

Let me be frank on what is needed for a truly diverse, naturally regenerative, sustainable, Megalopolis!

A well defined Transportation plan, that is quick, efficient and a public rapid transit for it to operate effectively. There is simply none. Where is the 15 year master plan?

Living areas, defined as multi-family dwelling spaces with shops and schools, easily connected to work places, around the ring road, is still on the drawing boards. ONLY some areas to be defined for high rise living, one section for high cost, along the sea front and low cost housing further inland that are smaller units, but nevertheless livable spaces in the way that Singapore has successfully built infrastructure around them, including schools, parks and playgrounds for recreation.

Work areas like High Tec Cities, with shops and cafes and also parkland easily accessible by public transport and by separate motorbike and footcycle pathways such as the new Apple HQ in the Silicon Valley. The MOTOR CAR is not a necessity in the new workplace, but quick safe, public transport to residential areas around the Megapolis is a must. I bet you transport is still being directed to be “Motor Car centric”, when advanced countries are ditching the use of the Motor Car, which will only be used on a hire basis for transport out of the Megapolis for weekends away and holidays.

Schools are simply ONLY located in Living areas, restricted to the residents, and NOT for commuting students, which is the unique phenomenon of Sri Lanka that has to be done away with, as being extremely wasteful, and non-productive. 

None of the above points have been considered – I ASSURE YOU!

Those tasked with implementation do not have the vision for a place in 50 years, as they are bogged down in today's baggage. A 5 year old will be able to come with a better vision of what livable really means.

It’s all the fault of our Education system – they have not been taught to behave!

The Eastern Province Chief Minister’s outburst at the compere for not recognizing him and bringing him up to the podium, is simply a sign of the lack of education of our politicians for their job. This is akin to a street cleaner being given a position, and when he is not recognized for his position, the only thing that makes him stand out from the crowd, he goes berserk, PURE AND SIMPLE!

When a human being does not have a chip on their shoulder, they can stand on their own feet, and don’t need anyone to do it for them. This can only be taught at a young age, say about 3 or 4, and no matter what degree you have, the chip you grow up with and NOT GROWN OUT OF due to this lack of proper early education, you get this kind of riff raff littering our top jobs.

It was therefore laughable when this joker of a Chief Minister, blames the Governor for not having introduced him to the compere, who probably did not recognize him. In an analogy, if Dudley Senanayake was in the audience, and he was not recognized, he would have quietly remained there, COMPLETELY UNAFFECTED and not made a play to get on stage at ANY COST!

I know this issue has taken FB by storm, for the WRONG reasons, because it is using the fact that he scolded a Naval Officer. It does not matter who he scolded, he should not have scolded, and the fact that he was a Naval Officer would MAKE NO DIFFERENCE!

Step back and think of the background, breeding, education and class of the person in question, he has nothing of this, he is just a CRASS joker, who for some mistake of birth happened to be given this position for the wrong reasons!

Worse when he maintains he has to delicately balance the various conflicting parties made up of religions and races and languages and political parties. What a load of cobblers. They are all Sri Lankans and it SHOULD NOT MATTER what if any of these they come from. ALL MUST BE TREATED with equal respect IN SRI LANKA, and let even FB be put on notice that many of the contributors from Sri Lanka, don’t hold a truly inclusive opinion of the people who live in Sri Lanka, and are entitled to the privileges of being resident here.

So readers, put aside petty differences in the best interest of the Country, and put yourself at the back of the queue and this Country will prosper.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Flooding in the Kelani River Basin in simply unacceptable!

It is not surprising that NOT ONE person in authority uttered the above words in any press or media or FB posting! Why? They are simply not up to the task.

When basic flood precautions are not carried out as a matter of normal practice, is it surprising such an unwarranted tragedy like this took place. From the mouth of the River, where it meets the sea, all obstructions to the smooth water flow MUST be removed, so that any sudden pressure from upstream can be met without water backing up, that is basic maintenance of a river valley.

If one Considers the Megapolis Plan, it is SUNK before it STARTS unless adequate measures are in place to PREVENT A FUTURE REPEAT.

I can understand that low lying areas such as Ratnapura have had a history of Chronic flooding, but that was not as severe as the Kelani River basin, where AN IMMEDIATE drastic flood control measures MUST be adopted WITHIN MONTHS no matter how politically unacceptable it is.

When Jokers like Coca Cola have their factory by the Riverside, where is excess water to go? And Other Jokers like Laugas, build a storage site within meters of the River Bank by filling up a huge area, then the water has NO WHERE to go but back up into the fields above, and houses built by their sides! I don’t know how laufgas got planning permission to build their terminal there, but it must have been due to political and pecuniary influence, and this MUST be investigated and the terminal torn down, and replaced in a different location, if innocent householders further up from them are not to go under in future. Do they realize that they DIRECTLY CONTRIBUTED TO THE PROBLEM OF THE PEOPLE?

Tell the public, about 50,000 that they have to move out within say 5 years to let this land go back to agriculture. They have spent millions buying land where they should not have, and built their homes. There are NO TWO OPTIONS HERE. Politicians don’t want to face reality so have not had the guts to broach this subject. Politicians have made enough money giving permission to fill and build, for businesses and homes, now they have to face their music!

Like mentioned in the prior posts in the last two or three days, a dual plan of flood protection and relocation MUST take place as the flood situation will get worse, further added to by the building of the remaining section of the Outer Circular Expressway. I am particularly concerned that NO committee has been set up, in a Country where one is established for the slightest issue, and is that because no one has appreciated the gravity of this problem that will repeat!

Groundwater ponds, about 1,000 at least must be set up along the way, to improve the water table at the same time, so this will act as a drought relief measure as well, as Gampaha District now pumps up 40% of the water needed from the Ground and so is depleting this in the process. There are many paddy field areas that remain uncultivated due to practical considerations that can also be used for this.

Why has NO POLITICIAN mentioned any of the above, basic commonsense measures? Is this due to the limited brain cell capacity they possess or true to form, do not want to make statements that affect their popularity even though it is true? Are they NOT leaders? Perhaps they are merely users of People!

I am told that businesses have lost billions due to the floods, and they have Insurance Policies to protect them. However home owners and householders DON’T. There is NO protection mechanism for them. Just imagine if your whole house had gone under. How do you get back your life?

Even my home has gone completely under water once when the tank overflowed and the excess water was discharged into the river, and the house went under, mainly because a big miller of paddy had filled up the normal flow with his charcoal from burning paddy husks for his power plant. So ordinary people suffer due to the greed of others, especially the rich and powerful in Sri Lanka who don’t have a care in the world for the poor, and indulge in a media circus when they are shown distributing rations and food to the same people their activities have put in trouble! How IRONIC IS THAT?

The President is in a UNIQUE position to assert his authority here, as the Minister for the Environment. He has a golden opportunity here to take the mantle and say that this flood WAS CAUSED by the lack of ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS and he will take immediate steps to REVERSE environmental degradation and take a full page ad in the papers with a 50 point plan to give a list of what he is going to implement immediately to convince the people of the seriousness of the problem and the importance that the State has placed on it, and with the Leadership of the President, the people can be assured that ALL steps irrespective of political considerations will be taken to protect the Citizenry from future disasters, and implore the public that both they and big businesses will have to bear some of the brunt of the decisions collectively if we are to prevent tragedies like this occurring frequently in future.

Foreign assistance will only come to us if we have a positive plan of action, not the current series of politically motivated statements that amount to a hill of beans that our elected representatives have hitherto spouted like parrots.  

Disaster preparedness – What any Government Should have known!

The weather forecasts were available for all to see. The international TV satellites images were available on the net, and the SL weathermen had NO excuse, (Dept. Of Meteorology) saying that they do not have sufficient uptodate equipment to make accurate predictions, as they could AT LEAST have used freely available data. Just give them a half day seminar on accessing info on the net with all the weather satellites at their disposal, and Govt.s willing to share their data. The problem is that the jokers employed do not know these basics, and are challenged in basic English to even want to listen to foreign TV reports. It is possible, that they are hired NOT for their qualifications, but for their ability to pay the asking price for the job in a state institution, brokered by the price for a particular job!

How can two or three days of rain cause so much flooding? God forbid, that when the heavy monsoonal showers arrive, the result will be untold damage, and destruction, and let’s get ready for it now. Better be safe than sorry.

Through time, mass migration into the Western Province, cutting down of Rubber Estates there, to build housing developments that add run-off, schools, factories and shops, have left water with no way of increasing the Groundwater aquifers, and instead and FIND ITS WAY DIRECT TO THE KELANI RIVER BASIN. Plan a series of water holding reservoirs to fill groundwater supplies that are currently being depleted badly, due to this top soil run off, to reduce this pressure.

No wonder then that each year the problem will get worse. This has been further exacerbated by destruction caused by sand mining along the river from upstream, along with forest cutting, that have reduced the height of the riverbanks, so the overflow that naturally occurs with rain, will cause flooding downstream, to spread to land hitherto unaffected. This is a natural phenomenon that has NOT been addressed and rectified, due to short term fixes to political gain, and NOW the politicians are busy filling up FB with their show of solidarity, hiding that they themselves have more to answer for this tragedy!

There are certain areas that flood regularly, like clockwork. The Govt. MUST take steps to move people out of these areas by FORCE if necessary. Should we as a society have compassion for them, if the Govt. has offered alternatives that they have refused to accept?

Then EVERY home within a distance of 2 KM should be given a flood certification, For example they could be given between 1 to 10 with 10 being the most at risk of flooding. They are then on notice, and in time MUST make alternative arrangements in case of need. The number given is very easily calculated depending, on both distance and elevation from the Kelani River itself. This will affect about 150,000 homes and businesses, and they could be asked to vacate immediately depending on the flood stage predicted. Its tough if this affects the value of their home, as it should, in a responsible Country.

This certification is the only alternative to asking all people to vacate their homes permanently, and is the fairest way to warn people and not be too complacent. If a Stage 8 alert is issued, those with 8, 9 and 10 will have to vacate their homes temporarily or face the consequences of their own foolishness. It is possible that the present flood situation only went up to Stage 5, that is 5 through to 10 be on notice of imminent flooding. The monsoon yet to come could go down further to stage 4 and 3 if necessary!

This kind of certification will warn people some 100,000 homes and businesses who don’t think they are in this zone are also in the flood plain! They will then not be able to say they did not know that their home was in danger. This goes to the gravity of the threat of flood, that the Govt. either does not know how to communicate, or do not wish to warn people out of electoral unpopularity. I say it is worth the risk, to put people on notice, as it will also force the Govt. to take steps to reverse this process, with sufficient people knowing that unless they take those steps they will be next in line to GO UNDER!

Of course it goes without saying that Flood Insurance would be affected depending on what number you have on your certificate. Only you will eventually have to face the consequence if you bribe to get a more favorable certification, as you will be found out if you are to make a claim!

Forewarned is forearmed and people MUST learn to make the lifestyle choices, on this basis, or suffer the consequences of complacency. Frankly, this is the ONLY way to get a handle on the potential flooding situation, and not risk and surprises of being NOT READY for it!

To repeat it is only best that people know their danger level, rather be completely in the dark, wondering or be in shock when it does engulf them. I will welcome a better proposal to mine, but I can assure you that none of our pundits in power have even remotely suggested this as a long term solution to a growing problem that with global warming and unpredictable weather scenarios will not get any better in the foreseeable future.

Having said all this, a long term strategy to minimize this risk, and reduce flooding must be taken concurrently, that is done in parallel by legislation, and other practices, with a strong persuasive push from our leaders of its necessity!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

NO NEEDS ASSESSMENT from flood and landslides! – Grama Niladaris still living in 1916 with quill pens!

Not one of the GNs in this Flood and Earthslip disaster had a list of their people with PHONE numbers. That is of all people, with a blank where there was NO number at the time of enumeration. NO wonder then that those who don’t even know to use a laptop are the Govt’s main representatives at the local level, who should provide this data to authorities immediately a disaster occurs, to account for all the people and then make a needs assessment for assistance without delay.

There is STILL NO assessment of the true consequence of the flood, something which should have been at the table of the President 5 days ago. Needless to say that not one MP in parliament had the grey matter to ask this question of the relevant ministry in Parliament! This then has resulted in a waste of 100,000 lunch packets yesterday, Vesak that even the animal population could not partake in!

When the MPs were busy fooling the people, they are professional people foolers! With photos on FB showing them delivering food to the not so needy, as the needy are far too difficult to access! They should have been TRULY ASSESSING NEED that is their job, not playing Santa Claus.

NEEDS ASSESSMENT IS VITAL BEFORE CHARITY IS HANDED over, as we know from prior disasters like the Tsunami, where those in real need were left out and those in NO NEED were handsomely rewarded! When will they ever learn. Again it is simply the system that is wrong, as it is administered by people who don’t have any knowledge in organization, and do not know how to handle any situation. A simple procedure outlines above would make sure that within hours, those in need were fully cared for, and we would not be in a chaotic situation, where every one who can get publicity was giving themselves publicity at the expense of the suffering of thousands.

How utterly disgusting is that? GN should be ready for a disaster with the data, for others to act on them, even if he does not have a mobile phone to call with!

Let’s begin tomorrow, ask all GNs to prepare a list by hand, and they can use the electoral register to begin with and include all in households that are NOT already on the list and get a number for each every one, leaving blank those who don’t have a number. Those currently overseas could be so noted. This list can be computerized within a month, and can be used through a central depository if a disaster strikes and we need to take stock of the affected. Govt. servants with job titles and dept. or ministry or forces they are with can be so noted too.

The divisional secretary can be entrusted with the responsibility of this job being done properly and timely, and computerizing the relevant data with the over staffing that currently in place with graduates without tasks to undertake! 

FLOODING – Its mainly the fault of the system!

It is only going to get worse unless the systems change NOW

The system must be changed. This is only the tip of the ICEBURG, as later on this year when the rains really come, (the last week’s rain were minimal) it will get worse. Even this week, many people who did not believe they were under threat, in fact had their homes go underwater, resulting in quite a shock to those hitherto smug residents believing them to be completely immune from attack!

The Prime Minister in his visit to Biyagama flood victims was quite categoric with his insinuations as to who was to blame for the cataclysm! In 1977,(40 years ago) when Biyagama was no more than marshland and paddy fields, as Organizer for the area, planned a new BOI Economic Zone there. He had identified that Kelani River Valley in that area as particularly flood prone. Plans had been made to reduce this threat, none of which have yet been implemented, and steps have been taken to actually aggravate the problem even more!

This week’s flooding was an accident waiting to happen. People together with political patronage, broke all regular rules and procedures, and obstructed natural flood defenses, by destructive sand mining projects that have reduced the height of the  river banks significantly, unauthorized buildings, hotels and halls on river banks, and filling up paddy lands to build structures, that undermined the free flow of water, restricting their natural flow further squeezing excess water further out inland. This has left a gradually increasing area, that is flood prone that is only going to extend this area further with more development, and human habitation, inland.

As quite normal in other Countries, a series of berms or levies, raising river banks in certain risk areas, along with the above restrictions would have easily prevented this unnecessary flood and waste of property and loss of life. Why has this not been done here? It will have to be considered and implemented immediately.

The Monsoon rains are yet to come next week. Further floods are likely that will be much worse. NO contingency plans are being made as I write to reduce this economic loss. Further a long term plan must be put in place that is actually implemented, and not be stopped by another set of rulers! This will include a series of levies, tearing down unauthorized structures, creating a flood plain ONLY for agricultural use, with a long term plan of rehousing the people displaced in condominium projects on higher ground as there is insufficient property for each to have a house on terra firma.

This problem will only get worse each year and this is THE ONLY solution. In fact houses unaffected this year will be affected next unless the above is adopted.     

Friday, May 20, 2016

Foresight & Innovation Summit – just a HOME & HOME affair!

Whilst not trying to be overly critical of a concept that is timely, isn’t it IRONIC that the Tamasha on 24th and 25th of May is being held at the Diyawanna Edge, aka Waters Edge, all of which has been created out of dredging and filling up, Colombo’s swamp, which was the flood plain that prevented places like Lake Drive from flooding, and a lack of FORESIGHT!

If there was FORESIGHT, then all of Battaramulla would have been in a massive green belt around Colombo, that could have ben called Marshlands National Park, that would have been a huge tourist attraction, for bird life on the Outskirts of Colombo.

In the same vein, with FORESIGHT, the Capital would now be in Polonnaruwa relieving the unnecessary stress on Colombo, which would have developed into a model, Commercial Capital of Sri Lanka, with designated areas of Condominium development, separate areas for low income housing, another for single family dwellings, all connected by an excellent public transportation system. It is not too late if we can put greed aside. If this had been done, soon after 1977 opening of the Economy, a chance that will not return, Colombo would probably be the most live-able city on Earth, and we would not have lost our Best to overseas Countries, retaining them to develop Sri Lanka.

Now Condominium complexes can go up anywhere, blighting once beautiful neighborhoods, all in the name of someone’s greed, to make more millions! In short, this is an example of the price we have already paid for the lack of FORESIGHT, to say nothing, of traffic congestion, and Urban Decay in the most salubrious of neighborhoods that are now taking place, making even Horton Place one of the most undesirable streets to live on despite its ridiculous land costs.

I would like to point out the particular fascination that Columbians, (Who in this audience does not live within 25km of this location?) have with Seminars, Summits, Workshops, and Teach-ins on Work Time! All paid out of funds that don’t come out of any of the participants post tax income, so none of you today have a real stake in this Summit. In short you are enjoying a junket at someone else’s expense.

I believe that there are those who wish to contribute positively to this debate who should be included, with perhaps half the participants here present being mere deadweights. (would be better off dead!) They are willing to pay 50% of the cost of the fee, as they are NOT wealthy. They will however have to forego their main meal for a month, in order to participate, believing in their value.

THE UNDP bless their souls, has NO chance of finding them at present, as they do not venture outside their IVORY TOWER on Baudhaloka Mawatha, the Beverly Hills of Colombo. The UN civil servants on the job will not even work at the UN if they were not pensionable and did not get the perks of the job, and so have NO personal motivation, that is greater than the task they have organized to help them in their rise up the INGO ladder if nothing else.

With such a prognostication, it is hardly surprising that NO ONE wants the Summit to be anything but a networking event, and make more contacts for personal rather than professional reasons of achieving lofty goal of “FORESIGHT & INNOVATION”.

This leads me to the cynical conclusion that this event is a mere Home and Home show of likeminded intellectuals who form a comfort zone in their theoretical mirages of life, and business men looking to profit from participation, without the intention of coming up with a workable solution to the Country’s pressing problems.

Ironically only the Prime Minister has this true vision, devoid of personal agendas, that wish to see Sri Lanka achieve its true potential, but cannot harness, sufficient likeminded and capable people to carry out this vision.

I have the freedom to express myself here, as I don’t expect anything (credit or monetary gain) from anyone in return, and have NO personal goals left to fulfill, as I will be dead before these lofty goals ever come to fruition. I am only committed during the rest of my days, to do what is necessary to ensure that in 50 years, the inhabitants of this Island, under whatever name they choose to call it then, will have a livable environment, something I am afraid is NOT going to happen if current policies continue.

I believe the priority then MUST be to do whatever is possible NOW so that by then, there is NO debate that these three most important of aspects to a good quality of life are an inalienable right of its inhabitants, namely the right to breathe the cleanest air possible, eat the purest food in that the human digestive system will be unharmed, and be able to drink clean water devoid of impurities that cause illness. It goes without saying that to ensure this, environmental pollution has to be reduced drastically if not eliminated, with recyclability of everything being paramount. Everything we posses becomes meaningless, if we cannot achieve these basic needs of human existence.

To that goal, I wish that this summit directs its focus. Everything else is matter of fact and subsidiary to the three basic needs outlined above. Then Sri Lanka can hold its head higher than any nation in sustainability of LIFE.  

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Foresight and Innovation Summit – Time for some real Foresight!

The aforementioned summit to be held next week, with the Patronage of Mr Foresight himself, the Prime Minister, is timely, if NOT way overdue. Credit goes to the UNDP for having the FORESIGHT to realize this and sponsoring it.

I do believe that you have ignored a crucial if not the most important segment whose contribution is most vital to the development of a truly inclusive project.

More on that later!

The buzz words are out again, “Sustainable Development Goals” SDG’s for short, (words that keep people in high-paying UN jobs no doubt!), proposals for a new Constitution that will be inclusive! Inclusive of what? Yes. Of all marginalized people.

Step back for a moment. This is simply a tug of war, as no one participating here have any foresight at all. They are merely being paid to do a job, NOT to have any foresight. On the one hand, we have a Govt. whose policies create marginalized communities out of political necessity, which on the other hand are talking about SDGs that are inclusive, to remove people from that trap.

IN Sri Lanka we have now come up with a new Megapolis plan with no real FORESIGHT because both Magapolis and non-Magapolis regions can both grow organically only if there are basic principles that should govern each segment that makes this distinction. For example have anyone had the foresight to remove the Capitol out of the Megapolis and with it about 500,000 Govt. servants who are a chronic burden to the Megapolis concept? NO NO NO. They are talking about moving more to Battaramulla!

Then we have a good idea, which is then discussed by people here who ALL come in State or NGO or company cars, with petrol provided, and many even have drivers, who are sitting outside wasting their time in the parking lot, with household income exceeding Rs25K a month!, who should also be inside here!
Don’t forget if this seminar was conducted in London, even the Prime Minister is likely to use Public Transport, reducing the carbon footprint of the event considerably.

When one has a seminar in Sri Lanka, conducted in English, one immediately disenfranchises the people this vision is for. Their hopes and dreams are NOT considered. Frankly my contention is that people attending the seminar talk “gobbledygook” see link

That only intellectuals and academics understand, a very philosophical dream.

Is anyone present here living on a household income of Rs25,000 a month or less? NO. Whilst 80% of the population do so, no matter what statistics you draw from, 20% of the seats here MUST be reserved for them, at least on the 80:20 rule! Why has this NOT been done? Yes they may need translation facilities so they can participate meaningfully. If the UN can do it why cant the UNDP?

A more important emptiness mentioned earlier. The GOSL (Sl Govt.) has yet to identify the true intellectuals who are Sinhala and Tamil speakers, many of them understand English who are NOT academics, but live quiet lives in far flung places of the Country, taking care of their families, but who have not been picked out for their vast knowledge, experience and intelligence. These people can contribute more to this debate than anyone here present, and I implore the Govt. to find them, as they can contribute much to this and even to the Constitution making, more than anyone who inhabits Parliament today.

I would add that Youth MUST form an integral part of the debate, and not the Foreign University educated youth here, but the underemployed youth with intelligence, who due to their FORESIGHT have fallen through the cracks of our by ROTE education, and languish in some Village.

Sri Lanka has budding Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zukerburgs, and Elon Musks waiting to be picked up from corners of this Country. We just don’t have a system of talent spotting to find them and bring them to the table. Unless we have a system that gives these people a chance, we don’t have a future, as those in the forefront are only those who have excelled in a faulty education system.

I am writing this by pen, 200+km from Colombo, without electricity, having to send this to Colombo to be typed and uploaded for the Cocktail Circuit jokers here at the Seminar who know their Single Malts, but still prefer to put Soda to ruin its true flavor.

I do not want the Power from the Grid that is stressed at present, with a plan to build more power stations, the OH SO LAST CENTURY approach to power. Give me Elon Musk’s high capacity rechargeable Batteries, in 5 years, so I will NOT depend on the hugely expensive state infrastructure for Electricity (that we will be paying interest and capital for the next 50 years) but generate my own renewable from wind and solar, just like another MILLION households should do in 5 years for a truly renewable energy scenario, sans unsightly power lines, which themselves are a threat and an EYESORE.

This is a challenge to the Organizers to seriously reconsider their objectives and the participants in this discussion, so that a blueprint of action and innovation will result in Govt. policy changes that have a real FORESIGHT, not just a BORUSHOWSIGHT!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

SL asked to join the global tax transparency initiative – RECOGNITION!

Is it due to the new Government’s emphasis on cleaning up the stables, making itself known to the world, that there is a collective wish on the part of the people reflected in the mandate given to the Government that is also reflected in this renewed call to join this elite club?

It is important that this is seen as the start of a long road in ensuring equity in tax yield where those who can pay a fair share, in a Country that has one of the most regressive taxation environments in the world.

Hardly any of the top 1,000 wealthy people in Sri Lanka pay more than a minimum tax of less than Rs500,000 per annum, when in fact their incomes require them to pay at least 10 times that,  on direct  taxation rates, (15%) which are one of the lowest in the world.

Essential Food in Sri Lanka is taxed very heavily, namely sugar and flour as the Govt. revenue for the most part is collected on imports, including food items, and from taxes on liquor and tobacco, all consumed by the lower middle classes as a percentage of disposable income.

The main plan of this global transparency initiative is to equitably tax income and gains, and until people who are high earners are brought into the direct taxation net, such as doctors, lawyers, tuition factory owners/teachers, Parliamentarians who sell their car permits for Rs40M and don’t pay tax on this gain, Car Dealers, and Hardware Merchants, there is no equity in tax.

It is the DUTY of this Govt. to unashamedly pursue the obvious channels of raising taxes, rather than the tried and tested method of going after those who actually pay taxes and try and find out if they can squeeze more out of them, by unfavorable tax assessments devoid of any reasonableness in calculation.

Let us hope this initiative yields the desired results in collecting taxes that have long been left uncollected and therefore being of unreasonable benefit to the earner at the expense of the state. 

Let us not forget that the state is made up of the people of the Country, and it is the duty of the state to ensure that there is fairness in taxation, something severly lacking in Sri Lanka, that when compared with Countries the world over is more like a massive tax haven for the rich who ride around flaunting their wealth. Less than 1% of the people in Rs10M vehicles have a tax file, while 95% of direct tax payers don’t have that value of vehicle! 

They don’t have surplus funds easily earned to spend that way!