Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Yesterday, The US Navy Secretary flew in and out of Trinco direct in his private (as in the US Government’s) Gulfstream! NO ONE PICKED IT UP
It is all over the Sri Lanka Navy website, with the Navy Commander ingratiating himself with him, with photos of the visit. What do we glean from it?
Think about it, he can go under the radar metaphorically that is, on Island hopping visits! They would NOT reciprocate would they for our equivalent? Say no more as to whose sphere of influence we are now under.
I have already said that our defense ties with the US are getting close, and the next step is to lease one of the three Natural Harbors in Trinco to the US Navy and its Fleet including Aircraft Carrier Fleet of the Indian Ocean and Pacific Command, for about US$500M per annum. It is both in the strategic interest of the US, and India that that is in the US sphere of influence, and will keep them happy.
As a Counterweight in any case we seem to be ready to lease Hambantota to the Chinese and in the not too distant future, I would expect to see a Chinese Aircraft Carrier in Hambantota, whilst at the same time a large US Aircraft Carrier is at Trincomalee.
Finally Sri Lanka is exercising its locational advantage and resources to leverage them for the benefit of the Country.
Where is the news media on this? Asleep on the job no doubt!
http://navy.lk/eventnews/2016/08/22/201608221815/ Full of pictures also!
The US Ambassador was nowhere to be seen, and I wonder if RAW intelligence knew about it. Presumable Atul Keshap to put them off the scent stayed on in Colombo to entertain an Assistant Secretary of State Todd, who is in town, one of Biswal’s sidekicks!
All this leads to intrigue, on the US Government’s intentions towards Sri Lanka. I am sure the PM’s office is kept abreast of this by the CIA operatives in the Island, if not already inside TT, but too bad the local Intelligence Services are not in the loop!
Gosh all these spies and double agents must be causing all sorts of problems in knowing who is what! Russians with a huge Embassy, that unless its filled with spies, is a total white elephant and the Chinese on the same street up the road, with the UK High Commission in between the two, and the US ready to expand their Embassy in front of TT, and the Indian by far the most numerous being across the pond is creating a right royal raw material for an intriguing future of proxy wars.
It is quite clear that UNP Minister Daya Gamage expressing sour grapes over NO CHAMBER defending HIM when Sevenagala Sugar which he was running was taken over by the Rajapakse Govt. by "passing the foreign investment takeover act", that took over NOT just his but other enterprises including Pelwatte Sugar, was a CRY BABY type scenario.
A man of his stature representing his government at the event, must NOT use it as a BULLY PULPIT for his personal grouses. We know he is not happy in this Govt. as he believes he has had step motherly treatment, as so so Minister, a joker in fact!
He MUST ask himself why the PM has treated him like that? If I were to hazard a guess, it is because he is a winger! A whiner! He thinks he is entitled because when the party was down to its jockstrap he saved the decency by bankrolling the party and paid the electricity and phone bills and whatever of Sirikotha. Does he realize that Ranil MORE THAN RETURNED THE FAVOR by giving his wife Anoma a place on the National List in favor of Sri Ranga? This resulted in 5 years of pure hell from that other maniac, Killi Maharajah, who misused his media, to throw everything at the then Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The PM has suffered tremendously having saved Daya’s bacon, now Daya is shitting on the PM saying nasty things about him, or the people he has appointed, and is going around expressing his disgust. He thinks he is PM material, when he is not even cleaning boy material. Class has obviously not grown with wealth and he had a chance to show class at this event, but instead flashed wealth by whinging about losing Sevanagala, and possibly not even receiving compensation.
If truth be told, his acquiring Sevenagala, and what he did with it, by selling molasses and not sugar, as the former was more profitable, and he made tons from it, can also be brought up. I know one is a by-product, but you can change the mix to suit your profit.
My advice is to chill! Learn what your weak points are. Become more statesman like, don’t wear your arrogance like a “abaranaya” leave it at home, and show humility, by not telling the world about your life story wherever you go, as it is now a broken record, as there are so many people like you, who never go on and on about it. People who worked for you and dedicated to your ideals are leaving because after acquiring power, you don't know how to use it gracefully for the people, and perhaps even your loyalists.
What have you done to the pepper industry? what have you done for Ceylon Cinnamon, areas which can make Sri Lanka famous and your name will stand out? These two can make you more famous than any other position in Government that you covet, but you are blind to it, though the PM who gave you the challenge notices you are bluffing it! Don't be obsessed by yourself, but with your country that produced you and all your complaints will resolve themselves automatically. Didn't your wife tell you this already, and you did not heed her advice!
Learn from your wife, and ask her for advice, and I am sure she can turn you into a better man, and a SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE not a LORD of !
Monday, August 22, 2016
The usual Media vs the Incumbent Govt. controversy has erupted again, this time with the Sunday Times accusing the Development Strategies and International Trade Minster of using foreign lobbyists and adding spice to this with the Foreign Ministry stating that they did not anything about it and that they at least should have been informed prior to agreeing to this SERVICE.
Of course it is the job of the Sunday Times as a respected Newspaper to pull the Govt. up for indiscretions. However in making serious accusations of this nature, it is best to check and double check the facts in the stories, which is the proper journalistic practice of professionals.
The Minister Malik appears to have insinuated that the truth was NOT corroborated by his Ministry as they were NOT asked about it in the first place and if they the facts would have been laid bare.
Unfortunately whether this is true or not, if this kind of accusation was made by the Sunday Times during the MR Regime when they were doing the same in this sort of headline fashion, instead of a tiny note somewhere in the inside of the paper, the MR Govt. would have at best WHITE VANNED THE EDITOR or at worst had him BUMPED OFF the following morning. It would have been nice if the actual piece in the paper actually mentioned that fact to put it in perspective. Otherwise the READER, the usual illiterate Colombo 7 jhonny, would be too ignorant to realize that things were far worse during MR and that the sums involved were too outrageous to be reasonable. The figures quoted if true are eminently reasonable!
So lets get back to the actual NEWS ITEM for a moment. If cabinet approval WAS obtained, then the Sunday Times must apologize for misleading the public. Secondly, give the right of reply to Malik, to exactly what this transaction is all about, without disclosing state secrets. We can then put this to bed, and begin a period of accommodation, where it is the duty of the Editor of the Paper, to be reasonable in his reports and use the MR fear factor in giving the current devil his due, and be responsible in reporting as the problem seems to me from the ruling coalition today, that the papers are taking an absurdly anti Govt. line, when the readership can be actually falsely lead to believe MR was actually more saintly!
It is clear that there are people in high places for reasons other than altruism, or rationale. Its called personal glorification of the Scoundral!! One such joker is the Diyawardena Nilame of Kandy. A disgrace to Sri Lanka and the Human Race, and who continues to be held by people, in high esteem. In my opinion, those who think that must have their heads examined as he is administering over mass slaughter of his own Country men in the name of his belief, when the reality is otherwise, as pointed out. See link for some succinct prose as to what this animal is up to!
No one dares to have an air quality indicator in and around Kandy, as the results if made known, will result in an a mass exodus of people out of Kandy. Thankfully we are giving the prisoners of Kandy a better life by moving them out of Kandy, and so they will actually be able to live a longer life. However the patients at the Kandy Hospital will suffer a different fate, destined along with the doctors and nurses working there to die young from carcinogenic poisoning Courtesy of the same Diayawadana Nilame.
What options have we got? Personally the best thing we can do is to move the Temple of the Tooth out of the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, and build a new Dalada Maligawa in a place of worship and pilgrimage out of the clutches of this kind of Diyawadana, and into the hands of the Clergy.
Frankly we have only the above option, as the other being moving Kandy out of Kandy, by preventing any vehicular traffic in Kandy, unless all electric, does not seem to be acceptable, and will not result in a practical place of worship for true followers of Buddhism, not the false prophets of the present. We only have cultural Buddhism following traditions and practices, and Buddhist believers are frowned upon. A true believer DOES want people coming to the temple to photograph. They want to pray, meditate in the presence of the sacred Tooth Relic out of sight of tourists and pretenders to guard the religion.
The author simply talks about opening up a road, that will satisfy all the people of Kandy, but when you just have one person, who for his personal comfort puts millions to death, and NO ONE does anything about it, and so allows him to get away with murder in a literal sense, where do you go for redress?
I rest my case, and hope one or other of the options are undertaken without delay!
Saturday, August 20, 2016
As if it was bad enough to have the Defence Services College in the heart of Colombo occupying prime land worth at least Rs5Billion, we now have an instance of crass idiocy, where the same defence DUDES without an ounce of grey matter in their heads, are building a hostel for 550kids for forces personnel to attend the school a block away, occupying land worth Rs 1Billion at the least.
The papers say that it is costing Rs450M because the forces are using their personnel to build it as otherwise they would cost Rs600M, so it really is Rs600M that it is Costing the Country, on the assumption that the forces personnel could be MORE USEFULLY ENGAGED.
All in all at PRESENT VALUE we the Country is spending Rs1.6Billion as a minimum to give HOSTEL facilities to 550 kids! TELL ME IT IS NOT WASTEFUL SPENDING! Where is our great and mighty media, SILENT on this public waste of money. Give me the money and I can build 10 big schools!
Until we remove cretins from decision making our Country will be wasting money on such useless exercises. Boarding schools are bad for kids at best.
For a start I was one who was dead against the waste of money in the heart of Malay Street to build the Defence Services College there. After all the kids are BUSSED FROM 30KM away to come there in 40 buses taking 2 hours at peak times, clogging up the Colombo Streets to come from places like the Panagoda Army camp.
Unless we should out loud these traitors of Sri Lanka who make these decisions will continue to make these same mistakes, as they SEE NOTHING WRONG IN THESE DECISIONS.
I say move the Army HQ to Polonnaruwa, move the Airforce to Trinco, and maybe the Navy there too, and free up the safe areas of Colombo for Commerce. The long term objective will be to move ALL SCHOOLS out of COLOMBO as they add to the Clogging of the roads, and the 3,000 school vans and buses litter the Colombo parking lots all day to take the kids home, and 3000 drivers sit on their arses all day, wasting their time. How long can this Country tolerate this nonsense?
Trust me these kids living in the heart of Colombo will die from cancer due to the foul air they breathe having to live there every day. Do you want that in your conscience?
Please use some common sense and don't behave like donkeys. It is NOT your money, it is the people of Sri Lanka who are paying for this, and some are very poor and you are taking it from the sugar they eat. Don't you have a conscience?
Friday, August 19, 2016
Let this be a reminder to the old, and lesson to the young, that no matter how good you are and the reputation of your Country in one area, those same Countrymen can cancel all the kudos in a moment of complacency. The Ryan Lochte saga is now making waves around the world, as up until now he was a respected swimmer well known in that field from the US Gold Medal contingent.
Now this sorry excuse for an American cannot be defended by even the worst underworld figure in the US, as his actions are NOT defensible, and Brazil which has its own share of problems being able to put it all behind them and give us a wonderful games, does NOT deserve false allegations of robbery concocted by some dastardly Americans.
I trust the US authorities will punish these swimmers in some form, as their action has resulted in the reputation of the US, which at best in South America is of unpalatable Gringos, has been confirmed as completely crooked third class specimens consorting as Sportsman, and never to be trusted to tell the truth.
This makes the whole Russian Doping scandal look like a walk in the park, as all the Russian athletes have suffered terribly due to their ban in these games, and any right minded person would say, that the US Golds don’t amount to a hill of beans in comparison to the actions of these men. Worse, Lochte escaped the net back to the US and continued his tirade of lies when his own compatriots were hauled for questioning in Brazil, and the truth finally emerged.
The fact that they were released to leave the US immediately tells more about the abuse of the use of power by the US to request the Brazilians to hush this up without them doing jail time, as per Brazilian law. This makes it even more disconcerting to the Brazilian public, further re-enforcing the American stereotype amongst the average South American.
The US criminals, do not believe they have committed a crime, would rather falsify a crime of theirs, to a crime committed upon themselves. How can an American ever be trusted to tell the truth? The repercussions of this hugely BAD publicity will reverberate across the world in the next few days, before the news becomes yesterday’s news, but US reputation has suffered a permanent blot!!!!
Malaysia was asked to extradite the Boss of Maxis, which along with the Sri Lankan Government now own SLT. Maxis bought the NTT stake in SLT, and all appeared to have gone without a hitch!
Was that because at the time of the purchase, the authorities fast tracked the deal? These are questions for which I don’t have any answers, but if a pattern is to emerge, the Indian authorities have found fault with their deals with Maxis!
See link above to a recent story, where the Malaysians refuse to arrest their citizens and hand them over to the Indians for an investigation into a past Indian Telecom Minister’s alleged wrongdoing.
ALL OUR TELECOMS even SLT is foreign owned and whilst they have been able to expand their coverage service, user-base and profits by leaps and bounds, all profits accrue to the foreign investors in our telecom investments and industry.
While I personally don’t begrudge that, because had we NOT had this investment, we will not have competing Telecom operators in the Island and have a reasonable tariff which the Government is also taxing very heavily to fill their own revenue shortfall, and in that effectively use it as a regressive tax on the people of Sri Lanka.
Airtel is in play and will shortly be purchased by SLT’s Mobitel, which effectively means Maxis will be the new owners. I believe Etisalat is also in play and it is Dialog who is apparently interested in them, and Hutch will either close down or its operations folded into one of the remaining operators.
So what do we have in store? ONLY DIALOG AND SLT/MOBITEL
BOTH MALAYSIAN! What is AXIATA IS TAKEN OVER BY MAXIS? ALL OUR TELECOMS WILL BE OWNED BY ONE OUTFIT.
Ananda Krishnen whose dad left Jaffna on a train to Colombo, and then out to Malaysia will own all our Telecommunications! How about that?
Obviously the Sri Lankan Government will wake up ONLY when the deed is done, and there is nothing they can do to stop it. Just think about it!
Think about it, there is NO SHERMAN ANTI TRUST ACT IN SRI LANKA.
It is high time Sri Lanka enacts legislation to stop Monopolies from being created in the future!
Thursday, August 18, 2016
“This is I believe one of the MOST IMPORTANT pieces of legislation that has been passed in a VERY LONG TIME to PROTECT US CIVILIANS from FUTURE INCIDENCES OF GOVERNMENT EXCESSES LIKE WHITE VANS”
The importance I have attached to this piece of legislation cannot be emphasized more, and so I have not only italicized my comment above, in bold letters and enlarged as well!
I will not go into the history of the need for this Bill turned into an Act, except to keep the scholar and reader aware of the background by reading the link here:
Of course the author Dharisha Bastians emphasizes the past, which resulted in the need for this Act, however I emphasize the need of this Act as a deterrent for the future, so that
“NO LEADER ENGAGES IN EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS EVER IN FUTURE”
Sri Lanka had disappearances of over 1000,000 loved ones since 1971, FORTY FIVE YEARS DAMMIT! We do NOT want any more. Our psyche, conscience and our very being cannot handle ONE MORE DISAPPEARANCE.
Don’t forget that the majority of disappearances are of young Sinhala Youth, a whole generation that was lost, and another generation that is still suffering due to their loss.
Security forces under Sirimavo Bandaranayake and Ranasinghe Premadasa accounted for the bulk of these killings with the killers still in the land of the living. The killers got their instructions to kill from the top, and they obeyed orders by rounding up LIKELY suspects and killing them and possibly burning, burying and destroying evidence without trace. LATER Mahinda Rajapakse's Forces ALSO engaged in the same, under orders from above. ALL IN THE NAME OF PROTECTING THE PUBLIC.
The Tamil disappearances whilst still just as personally traumatic are relatively few in comparison, about 11,000, though most of the kerfuffle at the UNHRC is about ONLY them as the pressure is from the Global Tamil Lobby, where there is very little pressure exerted from the parents and family of the others who are suffering to this day with no one representing their interests.
There is very little point ( I know a parent or relative of a missing person in 1971 will dispute this point) in investigating their disappearance, as there is very little information now available of what happened to them, by name, rank and serial number, and may cause MORE confusion than solving.
I only hope that the MOST important point to come out of this is that anyone who disappears from now on WILL BE INVESTIGATED TO THE FULLEST by the OMP, and the culprit found, and the information passed to the AGs department for prosecution of the culprits, WITHOUT DELAY. Only then can we rest easy!
It is becoming increasingly clear that the checks and balances that have been put in place to ensure that NO ONE is able to override the Good Governance procedures are just NOT working! That is extremely sad and regrettable and MUST be reversed come hell or high water! If we are to trust in the system that was established by democratic will of the people.
Otherwise what on earth is the point of democracy, if the very people who we elect do the exact opposite of what was promised on the ballot by way of manifesto!
Read both links below and it will be obvious that moves are afoot to protect the crooks and thieves from those who are trying to catch them, and all this by Presidential order no more no less.
The links are to reports from Colombo Telegraph and the Daily Mirror, which refer to the back office workings to prevent the Police Commission from appointing DIG Latheef as the commandant of the STF which he joined as its first class in 1984. Frankly in today’s context he is without doubt the best man for the job, and MUST be given this position to clean up the STF, so that it will once again be trusted and respected.
Surely if you are in the STF you would want someone like him to restore the reputation it once had, so that your own reputation as an office of the STF can give you a certain status!
It was alluded to that even the Cabinet Minister overseeing the Police Force is also attempting to put pressure to prevent this appointment. IF THAT IS IN FACT TRUE, then this joker is not qualified to be a Cabinet Minister, let alone be in charge of the Police.
We MUST be able to rely, and trust our security forces, and NOW with no war on, and the Tri forces, restricted to the barracks it is the STF that is in the forefront of the difficult tasks of catching underworld drug lords, and the worst type of gangs and criminals that the normal Police find difficult to deal with.
Friday, August 12, 2016
The US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs is in town. He has been lecturing to our Entrepreneurs to partner with the US to grow the IT businesses which he has identified as world class and ready to get to the next level.
Sadly we have a very capable business leadership, but the Govt. has failed in supplying them with the raw material, which is the Human Resource with sufficient training in the basics for them to fulfill this need.
FDI which is the “sine qua non” of the Govt.’s plan for the Sustainable Economic Growth that is needed to unleash the true potential will NOT come if the Govt. does NOT clean its act. First they must prosecute their own people who are engaged in Bribery and Corruption, before looking at past sins of the same, under the Rajapakses. It is the only way to put a stop to rampant corruption amongst their own people. The PM has the strength so to do, and the President is also frustrated that no one has actually been convicted of these daily occurring crimes against the state.
The American Ambassador Atul Keshap also speaking on the “National Trade Portal and Single Window Best Practices Forum” also tried to instill the importance of this practice, see link below for greater understanding”
It is simply now on the Government’s plate to effect the changes needed, and prepare the foundations for the entrepreneurs to take the challenge. The govt. for its part is NOT fulfilling its responsibilities so little wonder that we are not seeing the expected level of Investment.
It has been said time and time again that the environment for investment must change, with unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles being removed. They are only removed in theory, but in practice it is very different. Just ask the existing companies doing business in Sri Lanka today, and you will realize that they are operating under very trying circumstances and above all uncertainty with regard to Govt. policy, that appears to change on a daily basis with NO one knowing fact from fiction, as most Govt. officials are living in a fictional environment.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THESE SEIZURES ARE FOLLOWED UP TO THE BITTER END – BECAUSE A BIGGER FRAUD IS ABOUT TO BE PERPETRATED ON THE PUBLIC BY THOSE BOUND TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC INTEREST
This morning’s paper was full of the Customs detection of a Container that contained parts of vehicles as well as a nearly new Prado worth Rs30M that had been imported as used spare parts. See link:
This was imported by a regular importer of used spares in Kurunegala. It is obvious then that it is common practice to falsify the product descriptions and import cars and vans illegally, and sold through the system to unsuspecting buyers.
Firstly I would like to know when this Prado will be auctioned and HOW MUCH the customs will receive for it? I suspect a customs officer will put in a bid for Rs2M and get it as the only bid. WHAT IS THE BET?
THAT IS WHAT IS WRONG. So the STATE HAS BEEN DIDDLED OUT OF RS28M by the CUSTOMS OFFICERS THEMSELVES.
Who may I ask is the bigger rogue? Customs officers or the importer! Where is this great media of ours when it comes to follow up of what happens to this Prado? Is the Media also bought up by these unscrupulous Government Servants on the take?
In this whole fiddle who are the suckers? They are the unsuspecting hardworking tax paying poor family man in the villages who has to work all hours to put food on the table, while those pretending to hold responsible jobs and being servants of the people are screwing the same people they are bound to protect.
Unless we change this culture of theft by our Government Servants, before anyone else, we can never clean the system. Those who should be showing the example for all of us to follow are those who are the first accused. The Fourth Estate, namely the media are duty bound to protect the Public with their scoops. Where are they in these follow ups?
How can we develop Agriculture when the Private Sector Plantation Companies are in a State of Limbo?
As if the “Golden Share” that the Govt. holds is not enough, to tie the Companies up in bureaucratic red tape, where they have to get Govt. permission, that is LONG in forthcoming to put a nail in a wall! How on earth can we actually develop our plantation sector to modernize to survive, when they ONLY have 25 more years on their leases to run.
It must be remembered that the lands were ALL TAKEN OVER BY THE GOVT. an act that has now been proven to have been disastrous for the economy, as it has both resulted in fragmentation of land and resulted in high costs to Govt. of losses, but for those that were privatized on LONG LEASES, the companies were straddles with Golden Share rules of the Govt. that resulted in unfair and unproductive labor terms, that further eroded competitiveness, and kept labor more indentured than ever, due to the strictures laid out for their maintenance.
Upon privatization, various modes of management were used to deprive the hapless shareholders, especially the minority shareholders of the estate companies, by setting up Management Companies that bought over 51% of the Plantation Companies, and levied an unconscionable management charge, that resulted in a losses, that prevented investment in infrastructure for he future, and effective was nothing more than a recipe for squeezing them dry.
The stakeholders have been forgotten. The most vulnerable stakeholders are the workers in the estates who have been led by their Union Leaders on a path of self destruction, where productivity is not rewarded, and in fact discouraged, leading Sri Lankan workers in estates to be the most unproductive. The problem is it is difficult to compare with the new markets such as Vietnam, where the tea productivity is so much that, their profit per kg is higher even if their price is half that of Sri Lanka tea, and due to productivity of their mechanically harvested flat estates, their production volumes are rising with no discernible increase in employee numbers.
There are other factors, the education level, deterring youth from going into this vocation. The other is NOT eliminating unproductive fields for other uses, due to the Golden Share strictures. A future entry will make suggestions for improvement.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
I just saw this note and was horrified. The President in a statement made on August 10th said that he was NOT willing to sell a profit making enterprise! What does he mean. If a Company has a turnover of Rs1 Billion and makes Rs10M profit, and employs 500 people, but if privatized can grow quickly to a Rs10B turnover and employ 1,000 people, (not necessary that the 500 now would remain in employment if they just sign up and don’t come to work) and show a profit of Rs1B, he would NOT ALLOW IT.
THEN HE IS CLEARLY A TRAITOR. unless of course this Sri Lanka Mirror post is false
However as a Grama Niladari mindset, one would NOT expect him to know what makes an economy grow, and instead prioritize the ridding of nepotism and corruption to make this economy grow, and NOT get involved with what Govt. owned enterprise should or should not be sold.
If clear arguments can be made by NON-Govt. advisers on sale or not, committees better as individual influence can be bought!
Just like the President has it in for Ceylon Tobacco, while he is NOT doing anything about the beedi industry, and its harmful effects on the people, and its favorable taxation status as compared with cigarettes, we have a totally biased President who does NOT really have the interests of the Country at heart. He is obviously making a claim to do so, but I have conclusively proved that canard wrong.
We so want to trust our leaders, and when they act like simpletons, even the begger on the street sounds more convincing.
Contrast this statement with that of Malik Samarawickrema and you get confused as to the level of schizophrenia in the Government.
Here Malik is clear that the Govt. will privatize, may not sell all shares but some!
The farce that is our Parliament where the Prime Minister gave the reason for the Supreme Court saying that the VAT bill as presented was not VALID and I quote from the attached article.
“According to provision 152 of the Constitution and the 133 of the standing orders, a minister has to get Cabinet approval before the Bill is moved and has to express that he has obtained approval, the Prime Minister said.”
This clearly means that the PM has used common procedures to present BILLS in parliament, but all previous bills where Cabinet Approval has NOT been obtained, become INVALID/ UNLAWFUL/REVERSED – what is going on?
We have 225 jokers who call themselves Parliamentarians, and CLEARLY they don’t know what they are doing. Should we just ask them all to resign “en masse” and put some people with common sense, like poor housewives who have to manage their family finances? I am at a loss to find the answers to these intriguing questions.
What I do know is that while all these shenanigans are going on, Sri Lanka is currently going through a phase where the Government is simply NOT ABLE TO DO ANYTHING and no one is able to take ANY DECISIONS, and so everything is at a standstill.
We the people need to know what the Govt. is to do about it. I know the Govt. said it will represent the Vat Bill, ensuring the procedures that should be adopted of getting unanimous Cabinet Assent will be take place. That is NOT good enough.
NO HEADS HAVE ROLLED. NO ONE HAS BEEN CHASTISED IN PUBLIC FOR EMBARRASING THE GOVT. Is that because it is the fault of the PM for not following procedures, which he clearly as a stickler for parliamentary procedure should know? Or is he ACTUALLY BECOMING SENILE, and should we question his judgment to govern? These are serious issues that NO ONE IN PARLIAMENT has the balls to question! Why? They don’t want to lose their gravy train.
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
On the surface reading only the news available, and NOT privy to any information within the Ministry of Finance, under whom this unit operates, and not part of the Customs nor the Police Force, this independent unit is finding contraband.
Wasn’t it them who were able to find the huge cache of drugs, hundreds of kilograms, and is that only the tip of the ICE BURG with a lot more to discover?
The Finance Minister must be commended for these discoveries, with Narcotics being the nastiest item that causes huge social and personal addiction to many and we must do all we can to completely prevent them coming into to Sri Lanka for transit or not.
This unit’s latest find has been illicit booze smuggled into the Country, and the estimate is that the Exchequer alone loses Rs6B in taxes alone. It is therefore most important to catch the culprits who have had a free run during the MR Govt. and who are now being caught. I just hope those who are apprehending them, don’t themselves become the ring leaders due to the huge sums of money that will be offered to OFFEND!
What happens to the drugs that are found? How do they end up? Is anyone accountable for how it is destroyed, and is the evidence held until the trials are completed, and if that takes years, is it actually practical to hold on the evidence for so long, and not expect this highly valuable contraband to disappear! These are all questions that need to be answered.
Wing Commander Ravi Jayasinghe is the head of this unit, and presumably he is able to get to the source of the smuggling of both drugs and alcohol, and is doing what he has been tasked with.
Due to the nature of the products they find, and the tips they get, it is indeed dangerous business as most of the time, it is public servants who are privy, and part of the smuggling rings, giving the legitimacy, and earning the kickbacks that keep them in clover. After all this is done for the Country, to keep it safe from drugs, and in the case of alcohol, to make sure all foreign liquor reaching Sri Lanka comes through legitimate sources, and incurs and pays the relevant taxes.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
There was this detailed article about Sri Lanka being a haven for child sex tourists. We have known about it for a long time and Hikkaduwa area was known for this for a very long time. Yes we have laws, but have we put sufficient resources to arrest it, and make the people of the area where this occurs, of how grave a crime it really is, as it affects the psyche of the innocent children for their whole lives and can cause problems to society in future, making it a win win situation if prevented.
Read link for detail of the Child Sex Abuse issue in Sri Lanka
There is no point civil society merely harping on this, if the local police is not given the resources to tackle this problem, and the publicity of any arrests must spread so people who believe Sri Lanka is a haven will have second thoughts in coming here, if they are made aware that enforcement of our Laws is strict.
It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that unless something is done immediately and it is already about 25 years too late, the reputation of the whole Country suffers, and in the new age of Tourism where ethics, human trafficking and environmental degradation are hot topics, tourists choose to come to Countries that are clean in every sense of the word.
Sri Lanka must market itself as a destination that is CLEAN no matter which way you look at it. It can be done with a little help from our community, once they realize the win win potential of the slogan.
Not only do we take child sex seriously and put offenders behind bars with no respite, we must also clean our beaches of pollutants, we must also change the behavior of our people to respect the environment and pollute less. Then using this word Carbon Footprint which a very effective word in the Tourism jargon, we must do every thing to reduce this footprint as much as possible, by going green and recycling, and wasting as little as possible. Reusing every thing we can possibly.
Changing from plastic to reusable water bottles is another, and that will gain publicity immediately it is implemented.
Going back to the main topic of Child exploitation both for sex and for other work, the State MUST enforce strict guidelines, to lock people up for offences, and supply the necessary resources to catch and convict without Compromise.
Monday, August 1, 2016
Taking an extract from the link below,
“. The country is currently in $58.3 billion debt to foreign financiers, and is currently going towards paying back its loans. This means that out of every hundred dollars the government brings in only $4.60 is going towards essentials like education and public services.”
The above link from the reputed business magazine FORBES shows the Chinese Entrapment Sri Lanka is in, and no wonder we as a Country are caught between a rock and hard place unable to extricate ourselves from this mess.
I don’t mind if it was that simple. Problem being that we don’t have competent people who can run this Country effectively if all debt was forgiven. They would get into the same debt trap, and promise the SUN MOON AND STARS to the people and they will vote them back into power having NOT learned a thing from 70 years of broken promises.
So how do we get back to normal? Simple – Educating the people to think will be the first step. Teaching right and wrong will be the second, and the 5 S system adopted by Japan is the third.
That done, we can go to the structural weakness in our society, which is the political culture. The simplest solution to that is to ONLY HAVE ONE TERM for anyone in public office. This last leg of my plan, will ensure that ALL corruption, nepotism will stop, and only professionally qualified or people with one or other of careers will go into politics for one term to serve their Country, with none going for life as a career as it is now.
This automatic change will ensure that the public service will automatically strengthen to a level that is trusted, and the numbers will dramatically fall, by half, allowing the existing service to be well paid and release people to take over the employment opportunities that cannot find sufficient workers to fill them. This will result in record economic growth, and well on the way to peace and prosperity.
THEY CALL THEMSELVES JOURNALISTS THOUGH
If you honestly think Sri Lanka is a Country which has journalists in 2016 think again. There are NO journalists, one could say with all honesty, could even call themselves journalists in this Country today.
The people who write today, either use hearsay, are paid to write, or propound their prejudices in their writing. Each one has an angle and the reader does not know if it is their angle or an angle they have been paid to promote! It does not matter!
Tell me of an objective journalist, who says it as it is, and checks and corroborates the facts not once but at least twice using different unrelated sources, and reports!
SO it is this lot who are going into SELF CONGRATULATORY MODE tomorrow night at a glittering evening at the Mount Lavinia Hotel to hand over awards for this and that, and you the reader be aware that it is NOT worth the price of the award that they receive.
This is in contrast to the good old days of yore, where journalists were NOT influenced, or if they were they would actually point that out, rather than pretend to be someone they are NOT. Honesty is not something that comes easily to journalists who are taking it easy in finding a story, and don’t go to the lengths that Woodward and Bernstein did when they outed NIXON for his sins that ultimately led to his resignation in ignominy. They spew out balderdash and let it flow.
So where did we go wrong? The 4th Estate which is Media, fell the same way as the Legislature of Sri Lanka, and for that matter the Judiciary, and Executive of the Rajapakse Presidency, and has NOT RECOVERED YET. Frankly, I don’t see it in recovery mode even now, with no one joining the profession for the true profession that it is. The only point I would like to make in favor of the profession, is that the proprietors, have NOT valued independence and objectivity in Journalism and were NOT prepared to pay the price to have good journalists in their stables. In that context our newspapers have suffered, and owners should be blamed.
Due to the poor education of the readership, which is unable to distinguish fact from fiction, the poor quality of journalism is not something anyone seems to care about, and certainly the politicians are grateful for, otherwise their bold transgression, especially the daylight robbery they undertake would not escape the notice of journalists and the Fourth Estate’s duty being to keep the other three from transgressing is NOT TAKING PLACE – woe betide Sri Lanka.