Ever since 8th March 2015 when the NewsFirst team from the Maharaja media stable reported on the ‘Bondgate’ matter on national television, there has been a growing public interest in the issue. Initially the public were shocked but possibly disbelieved the claims – after all the claim was being made against the so-called ‘national unity’ government who came in promising good governance, to address if not arrest corruption, nepotism, political patronage and other such pressing matters.
The events in parliament this week which saw fisticuffs, hospitalisation of a member et al was a telling indictment on the behaviour if not the calibre of the membership of Sri Lanka’s parliament.
Some weeks ago we saw the much hyped best Finance Minister in this region, Ravi Karunanayake resign his Ministerial portfolio. He was then promptly spotted by various journalists going about his business form an office based at Temple Trees the official residence of the Prime Minister – the leader of Ravi Karunanayake’s party of choice
It seems that old habits die hard. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe acted similarly after President Sirisena refused to give Mahendran a contract of his own (six years) and literally forced the PM to choose someone better.
Mahendran was paraded about publicly by the PM even on state tours giving the hapless media and the general public the impression that he was some form of adviser or consultant or both. Who knows? It was left to a member of the Finance Ministry to refute all claims that Mahendran was an adviser to that Ministry.
We have said in the past that if a member of parliament is not good enough to be a Minister it would follow naturally that the member was unfit to sit as a member of parliament. The parliament must bring in new regulation to strengthen the hands of the republic of Sri Lanka – and urgently enact legislation that precludes failed members from sitting in that august assembly. It is clear in the extreme that even more than any other legislation this legislation is the need of the moment.
The behaviour of parliamentarians this last week led by the man with over 40 years of parliamentary experience was disgraceful. He led the confusion which was without a shadow of doubt premeditated and well planned. He initiated the pandemonium by shouting ‘Kowda Hora’ (who is the rogue). His lackeys screamed gleefully ‘Mahinda Hora’ (Mahinda is the rogue). This debate was called not to abuse anyone but to ostensibly debate the Bondgate report – by first tabling the document in the house.
That the chaos was led by Wickremesinghe is testimony the lawlessness practised by our legislators – secure in the knowledge that the Ministry of Law and Order will ring- fence their transgressions. After all the people long ago found out that there is one law for the masses and yet another for the asses.
Several loopholes in the law are being exploited that has apparently permitted Arjuna Mahendran the virtually disgraced former Governor of the Central Bank to get off the hook with the exception of his son-in-law who will have to fend for himself and deal with the fallout.
Mahendran has been allowed to flee. Ranil Wickremesinghe his principal protector must answer for his actions because he was without doubt the greatest protector. By Mahendran staying away he is in effect protecting Ranil Wickremesinghe’s political career. That career nearly went off the rails during the Batalanda Commission – and he had DIG Douggie Peiris to save his bacon then. Notwithstanding the fact that the unfortunate Douggie Pieris’s life lies in a heap of ruination, reduced to poverty and the largesse of friends for his very sustenance now that he is bereft of his pension. Life has a way of coming around in full circles. Peiris for one must be waiting for that day.
It is absolutely beyond comprehension that the very same gang of good governance promoters are today largely responsible for the spiralling lack of that governance.
The Attorney General’s department described this Bondgate as the greatest fraud ever inflicted on the people of this country. That point appears to be moot for the Prime Minister and his merry boys. Instead of addressing the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry, they have gone a few backward steps and have called for an investigation into the bonds issued between 2008 – 2014. Obviously oblivious to the fact that the Auditor General of this nation has already done so and has published his report for all to see on his website.
The people of Sri Lanka had high hopes in January 2015. Those hopes have not been shattered or demolished. They have been exploded. It will not be long before the people of Sri Lanka will explode their own version. The only bone of contention is whether enough of Sri Lanka’s assets will be in tact when the people vote this motley bunch out – forever.