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!