Post Tsunami appeal to the people: let's get rid of the failed politico-cheats who caused a greater harm to the country
N Kodituwakku London
One of the leading minister in the Chandrika Administration, Rohitha Bogollagama, has openly conceded the reasons for the collapse of Sri Lanka in the world scene since independence and has accepted that the damaged caused to the country by the self-centred politico-cheats is much more greater than the destructive Tsunami waves. According to his own words "the destruction caused by the politicians to the country since independence is greater than the Tsunami tragedy which engulfed the whole country".
In the meanwhile, the President Chandrika, addressing a ceremony to mark the launching of the rebuilding of Sri Lanka with a housing scheme at Siribopura in Hambantota, has said that "The political parties that rule the country for the last 50 years are responsible for the 'terrible Tsunami disaster'. Emphasizing that a country rich in natural resources like Sri Lanka could be found nowhere in the world, despite the failures in the administration by both UNP and SLFP, she has said that the tsunami disaster might be a punishment imposed on us by nature for the unpardonable blunders committed by the both leading political parties [UNP and SLFP] that led the country since independence, engaging in all sorts of corrupt activities.
In fact recently the Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle in a statement made in the Parliament said that the judiciary and the police are totally corrupt and by arresting the suspects of High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya's murder will not clean the police of their dark patch. He went to say further that someone should talk about the state the judiciary and the police are fallen into today and the era where a bribe of Rs.50/- could change laws should be terminated said the minister. However, his statement is far from the truth. In reality the politicians are the most corrupt ones who really set examples to others to follow.
Spontaneous statements of this nature made by the failed politicos rightly justify the actions taken by the international community against the govt of Sri Lanka after Tsunami tragedy. And that is more than enough to open the eyes of every Lankan who is concerned with the sorry plight of the country. After having carefully appraised the high level corruption in the country and not pleased with the integrity of the Lankan government, now the United Nations, has taken measures to appoint a mechanism to ensure that there will be no embezzlement or abuse of Tsunami aids awarded to Sri Lanka by political leaders.
International community do not accept govt's integrity
According reports, the world body has appointed a renowned US audit
firm, the Pricewater house Coopers to audit the huge sum of aid deliveries.
This is in addition to the UN beefing up it own auditing services
to ensure that all donations meant for tsunami victims were properly
There is a wealth of credible information and proof available to the people about the mismanagement of the country by the self-centred politico cheats. What is set out below is one such authoritative study undertaken by the Prof W D Laksman, the Vice-chancellor of the University of Colombo , about the Sri Lanka economy during the half-century since independence. He was the incumbent of a line of distinguished Vice-chancellors of this University, which started with Sir Ivor Jennings and included persons of eminence like Sir Nicholas Attygalle and his revelation about plight of the country would be beyond imagination of many.
According to Prof W D Laksman - In 1948 Sri Lanka had the highest per capita national income in Asia. And fifty years later it had one of the lowest per capita incomes in Asia with only countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, which had undergone much civil turmoil and some others having lower per capita incomes. In the same period countries, which had lagged behind Sri Lanka in 1948 have gone on to become "tiger economies" and to reach the threshold of being considered "developed" countries. Sri Lanka has not only gone into reverse during the period but there is still no light at the end of the tunnel.
Prof W D Laksman sets out further - The first and the foremost reasons is the rampant corruption. Sri Lanka always had a problem with bribery and corruption but in the early years of independence this was largely confined to minor officials and it was a culture, which was not accepted. Gradually the cancer of corruption moved upwards until it encompassed not only the top bureaucrats but also their political superiors. Today it has become accepted as a way of life, even a quasi-legal one. The political rivalry between the two main political groupings who seem to agree increasingly with economic fundamentals actually revolves around the question who has access to the lucrative sources of corruption.
Facts speak for themselves - Independence to 1977
We all know that after the British granted independence Sri Lanka became a model of Westminster government and only those people with the noble qualities entered into mainstream politics. It is a fact that this tradition did not live long and was last seen in the UNP [United National Party] regime headed by Dudly Senanayake, the Prime Minister of the [1965-1970] government. In the case of Sri Lanka Freedom Party [SLFP] last bits and peaces of good governance was seen in the initial years of the government [1970-1971] and from 1972, with the rejection of the Constitution introduced by the British  with built-in entrenched provisions [Article 29] to protect the interests of the people, that era of good governance came to an end.
It is observed that the commitment and integrity found in Sri Lankan politics today is totally incompatible with the integrity found in the age of independence influenced by the British rule. For example in that age only those who prepared to use up their wealth and energy resort to politics and they never entered to politics with a predetermined objective of making fortunes. Then the politics was considered a noble career for dignified people of high esteem. There was no salary, no pension no duty free luxuries or other lucrative perks offered for the politicians. For instance when Dudly Senanayake, the prime minister of UNP government [1965-1970] was died  he had used up all his wealth for politics and there remained only few hundred of rupees in his bank account. This is a sheer example of how the then politicians devoted their life for the country and for the people.
Further deterioration of the integrity - 1977-1994 period
The tradition of good governance observed since independence was
totally abandoned by JR Jayawardena [UNP], a true Machiavellian who
came into power in 1977. He was the architect of the Constitution
 with an executive presidency with extensive powers. The independence
of the Judiciary was removed. The executive President retained the
power of appointment of judges to the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal
and the High Court. Jayawardena Constitution denied the Supreme Court
jurisdiction to inquire into the constitutionality of the laws that
are enacted by the parliament. It also provided him absolute immunity
from any criminal or civil proceedings against any wrongful acts committed
by him [the president] in private or official capacity, sweeping powers
found nowhere else in the world.
Further, for the first time in Sri Lanka, Jayawardane regime introduced
a string of benefits to the members of the legislature. The package
of perks included duty free permits to import any luxury vehicle free
of duty, a very high monthly pay not compatible with salaries offered
to other public servants, a pension which is equivalent to the salary
drawn as a member of parliament, liquor permits to set up liquor shops
[very lucrative trade in Sri Lanka], salaries to the supportive staff
[in most cases wives and children of the elected members], 5 million
rupee annual budget to spent for the development of the electorate
[with a curtailment of Auditor General's power to audit the funds].
His administration openly condoned corruption. Accumulation of wealth by whatever means was the order of the day. His despicable method of administration created a privileged social class who funded the party elections. And then with the full blessing of whatever the party rules the country the powerful anti-social elements indulged in all sorts of wrongdoing. At the end this social group became extremely powerful as the political climate pave them way to accumulate wealth in billions by wrongful means. Politicians and those who indulge in all sorts of nefarious activities were so interrelated that they were like two sides of the same coin. In most cases the members of the legislature who obtained duty free permits to import luxury vehicles under the pretext of their use sold the permits to their fraudster accomplices who defrauded the government revenue.
This corrupt system of administration inevitably created an enormous difference in the income distribution in the country, as the government was denied its rightful revenue needed for the sustenance of social welfare, by the fraudster-politician-mafia. Yet, Jayawardena was unconcerned about the danger the country faced with and Jayawardena was a shrewd politician who simply followed Machiaweli 's philosophy of government. He was not afraid to defy law and protect the interest of the wrongdoers. In many cases he directly intervened and nullified the orders made against the government revenue fraudsters by the revenue authorities. He pardoned the accomplices who were found guilty for serious crimes and sentenced to prison custody by Courts.
When his term of office came to an end, Jayawardena realized the
anger of people who rejected the despicable acts of him and the policies
he followed. Therefore, in 1983, he postponed the sovereign right
of the people to elect a government of their choice for another 5
years. The consequences of this action were extremely costly. The
uprising by youths, both in the North and South, who condemn the sham
administration, was inevitable. They refused to condone the government
corruption and rose against the government. But Jayawardena's strong
arm was used to crush the social unrest. Security forces and police
were given sweeping powers to defeat the social unrest. By an act
of Parliament Jayawardena provided an absolute immunity for the flagrant
violation of human rights to all servicemen committed offences against
humanity. Sweeping powers were given to security forces to destroy
the dead bodies of the youth, both in the north and south, who fought
against all sorts of wrongdoing by the corrupt administrations. And
the dead bodies destroyed with no right to a post-mortem. By these
oppressive actions by the UNP administration, the members of the security
forces and the police were encouraged to violate the human rights
of the people with a scant respect to the all accepted norms of human
rights. Tens of thousands of involuntary disappearances of youths
were reported all over the country and sometime dead bodies of the
youths tortured and killed were exhibited in the public places to
terrorise the people.
Some say that Ranil is a man with a clandestine character. How fair is this comment? People know that his administration was responsible for eliminating tens of thousands of educated youth, graduates, doctors, engineers, lawyers and other professionals who fought against the corrupt administration. That he use the state terrorism ruthlessly to suppress the opposition that fought against government wrongdoing.
Why Ranil was made to surrendered before Tamil youth
1994 to 2001 - Regime under Kumaranatunge
Under Kumaratunge, except discontinuation of killings of youths no
change was seen in the corrupt method of administration, which was
continued to dominate by the fraudster-politician-mafia. Apparently,
the President had no interest in restoring the corrupt free administration.
President Chandrika has never denied any of these accusations. On the other hand whatever the wrongdoing she has committed, she cannot be charged before any court of law as she is absolutely protected by the immunity guaranteed by the constitution.
Wickramasinghe administration 2002 - 2004
Scandalous tax amnesty law
It is very pertinent to note the character and integrity of the Minister of Finance Choksy, who produced the said amnesty bill before the parliament. It has been revealed in the parliament that he is the lawyer who appear in the Court of Appeal to protect the interests of number of fraudsters who had defrauded the government revenue. The Finance Minister had conceded the allegations levelled against him that he defends two revenue fraudsters in the Court of Appeal who had defrauded government revenue of a sum of Rs. 1807 Million rupees. This is the best evidence that one could produce to demonstrate the true clandestine character of the lawmakers of Sri Lanka; that the lawmakers and the revenue fraudsters are two sides of the same coin, and the lawmakers are accomplices of the major revenue frauds.
It is very unlikely that nowhere else in the world except Sri Lanka that these kinds of despicable events occur. The Finance Minister whose bounden duty is to protect the revenue of the state and to prevent revenue frauds presents a bill before the Parliament to indemnify revenue fraudsters whom he defends before the court of law. Some times you may still be unaware of these happenings and may be amazed to hear these events but the fact is such events occurred in the political arena of Sri Lanka.
Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew on Lankan politics
Lee Kuan Yew begins his recount of Sri Lanka with his first visit to Sri Lanka in 1956. Staying at the Galle Face Hotel, he had been impressed by our public buildings, many with stone facing. He emphasises that due to Mountbatten basing his Southeast Asia command in Kandy, Ceylon as we then called it had more resources and better infrastructure than Singapore.
According to Lee, the start of the unravelling of Sri Lanka was in 1956 with Sinhala being made the national language and other moves to make Ceylon a more nativist society. He recounts that the leaders of that day did not seem troubled that Jaffna Tamils and other minorities would be at a disadvantage now that Sinhala was the national language, or by the unease of the Hindu Tamils, the Muslim Moors and the Christian Burghers regarding the elevated status of Buddhism as the national religion.
Lee recalls the claim by Felix Dias Bandaranaike who he names as Mrs. Bandaranaike's eminence grise on international affairs, that good fortune of geography and history had blessed Ceylon with peace and security so that only 2.5 per cent of Ceylon's budget was spent on defence; and then questions the irony of this claim when in the late 1980s more than half of the budget went into arms and the Defence Forces to crush the Jaffna Tamil rebellion.
According to Lee, when Ceylon gained independence in 1948, it was the classic model of gradual evolution to independence. Ceylon was Britain's model Commonwealth country. He says, after the war, Ceylon was a good middle size country with fewer than 10 million people. It had a relatively good standard of education with two universities of high quality in Colombo and Kandy teaching in English, a civil service largely of locals, and experience in representative government starting with city council elections in the 1930s.
In Lee's words "Alas, it did not work out. During my visits over the years I watched a promising country go to waste". Lee ends his note on Sri Lanka by saying "It is sad that the country whose ancient name Serendib has given the English language the word "serendipity" is now the epitome of conflict, pain, sorrow and hopelessness".
Dear countrymen, what more you want to discover the colossal damage caused to the country by politico-cheats since independence. Now let's see what the world body on monitoring corruption has got to say about Sri Lankan political set up. According to the TI 2004 Corruption Perception Index [CPI] Sri Lanka is place at 67 and Sri Lanka's CPI score is mere 3.5 and amongst the highly corrupted administrations in the world.
According to Transparency International "Large-scale corruption in the public sector is a daunting obstacle to sustainable development, and results in a major loss of public funds needed for education, healthcare and poverty alleviation, both in developed and developing countries. If we hope to reach the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015, governments need to seriously tackle corruption in public contracting". TI estimates that the amount lost due to bribery in government procurement is at least US$ 400 billion per year worldwide. Truly corruption robs countries of their potential and public funds vanishing into the pockets of the fraudster politico-cheats, middlemen and local officials in billions.
What does the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the World Bank say about the Lankan economy?
Two official reports recently published provide a menacing glimpse into the country's deepening social inequality and the continuing deterioration of living standards for the majority of the population. The first, a study titled Consumer Finance and Socio-Economic Survey for 2003/ 2004, which was released on December 9 by the director of the Central Bank's statistics department, Anila Dais Bandaranaike. The second-the World Bank's Sri Lanka Development Policy Review-was issued last week.
The Central Bank survey, the first of its kind in six years, revealed a staggering gulf between rich and poor. In 2003/2004, the poorest 20 percent of the population received just 3.8 of the national income as compared to 55 percent for the richest 20 percent.
The social chasm is also widening. The share of national income of
the poorest 10 percent of the population has fallen from 1.27 percent
in 1996/97 to just 1.1 percent in 2003/2004. For the richest 10 percent,
their share has risen from 37.28 to 39.4 percent over the same period.
After the Tsunami disaster the G8 countries have now decided to suspend all debt repayments by affected countries. And the country is getting billions of dollars of aid to rebuild the nation. What is lacking is only leadership with integrity and a vision. There are thousands of learned professionals who were sick with the fraudster administration hence left the country. Most of these highly skilled people are yearning for an opportunity to return to the country and help to rebuild the country provided honest administration is put in place. No doubt there return would be a great asset to the country. What is lacking now is action plan to bring about a honest administration assuring transparency harmony and justice to all communities regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. May be the Tsunami, as the President Chandrika correctly conceded is the result of the provocation of the nature by the frausster-politico-cheats.
Only way out to the issues that the country faced with is to eliminate the fraudster politico-cheats. That will naturally create good environment to build the trust in the people of all communities. Tsunami tragedy is the most opportune time for nation building process. Let's forget about the petty differences and be united. Let's educate the international community and seek the support of the international community to get rid of the failed politico-cheats on whom they have placed no confidence. World community should concede that in an environment where they cannot trust the Lankan politicians there is no way they could expect people of Sri Lanka to have any trust or faith in the failed politico-cheats.
Let's treat the Tsunami tragedy a blessing in disguise and transform the tragedy to commit ourselves to rebuild the nation.
Let's demand both Chandrika and Ranil together with their rouge pseudo
politico bunch to banish from mother Lanka. That is the most fitting
thing they could do at this hour. Since they have conceded their failure
and admitted the responsibility for the provocation of the nature
they have no morale right to seek any mandate from the people to rule
the country any more. Because of their endless disgusting actions
mother Lanka has lot lives of hundreds of thousand of people hence
the people have every right to demand banishment of the psedo politico
cheats from motherland and let the people to elect someone with a
vision and integrity to lead the country.
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