Sirisena’s meetings seen as exploratory, MR & Co continue to observe whilst Central Bank Governor comes under fire.
The political minefield in Sri Lanka is a spent force by all accounts. President Sirisena and his Prime Minister who have fared rather well only in terms of still being together, have managed to completely lose the plot of economic development and fiscal management.
If one were to examine the judiciary’s refusal to release Arjun Aloysius and his CEO Kasun Palisena (in case you have forgotten, from Perpetual Treasuries) the realization of the damage to our economy and inter-alia public property (the EPF/ETF) hones in sharply.
However such pressing matters like the economy and the nose diving exchange rate aside, the politicians were busy plotting, planning and strategizing their survival presumably. Not because the wish to come in and change the lot of the people around for the better.
Conflicting statements abounded. Dr Harsha De Silva the yahapalanaya governments voice box on the economy, waxed eloquent about the number of jobs that had been created, 600,000 according to his statistics. When a startled journalist pushed him where he got those figures from the learned Doctor appeared to be in his own tailspin.
The other maestro of investments and government opportunities for foreign investors and Sri Lankan ones hiding under the anonymity of off-shore and nominee companies, Malik Samarawikrama said something quite the contrary.
The Prime Minister’s buddy of several years but not his official partner, Malik extolled the virtues of our economy. It was doing so well that he was considering bringing on hired help – from Nepal and Myanmar.
These statements were made not by members across the political divide but from two members from the same party. Confusion is one thing but lies, lies and damned lies is quite something else.
However the people have realized by now that there is no honour – mot even amongst thieves. Honour and common sense has deserted the members of this government in droves.
The fact remains that corruption has not abated in the slightest but we note that the judiciary appears to be making progress towards being truly independent and thereafter bereft of political interference. But do remember that we are a country that overlooked Mark Fernando in favour of Sarath Silva for Chief Justice.
The annual floods to afflict parts of our country arrived on cue although His Excellency Sirisena, PM Ranil, Eran Wickramaratne, Harsha De Silva and Rishad Badurdeen were all out of the country. Not that they could have done anything physically themselves but it would have been terribly nice if them had they caused at least a statement to be put out but alas none emerged.
This government has done nothing more than what previous governments have done in terms of river management. Yet, in spite of the serious damage to public and private property and the consequences for those afflicted, the government have not taken any steps to get to grips with the river management issue.
A quick look at google earth will reveal that large tracts of our major rivers are afflicted by debris and poor or nor management. Banks have eroded, rivers have narrowed in various parts and the accumulation of garbage is quite worrisome if not being weary.
For all the Prime Minister talk of the economy the hard facts he has not managed to cast aside even if his nominee is at the helm of affairs at the Central Bank, the country is breaking up at the seams or so it appears. The debt incurred by this government is significantly higher than what the Rajapaksas borrowed but this fact is hidden by everyone and blamed on the debt taken on by the Rajapaksa government.
Ranil & Co are not singular simpletons. They knew the score before they took on the mantle of governing this country. So much of their time and energy has gone into dealing with the bond scandal. If nothing Arjun Aloysius and Arjuna Mahendran ought to be publicly flogged for causing so much of wastage in terms of the time expended to deal with this problem.
It is about time the UNP brigade especially amongst the so-referred ‘Elite’ of Colombo acknowledged that the bond scam is indeed a scam and that as Cilla Black would have put it, “a whole lorra money” was lost. It has also caused a significant loss of confidence amongst the investment-seeking financiers outside the country. Not a single investor worth his salt will want to invest in Sri Lanka when the country is bereft of stable policies and where the nations’ politicians simply seem unable to keep their hand out of the till.
Details soon to emerge include information that accounts purporting to be within the control and management of Sri Lanka Cricket, in overseas territories have been placed in funds to the tune of at least Rs 150,000,000. In short accounts with names like Sri Lanka Cricket US appear to have been created to carry out straightforward fraud – leaving no need to bring in both the Thomson and Thompson team, Hercule Poiroit or even Sherlock Holmes. The level of the fraud was as Mr. Holmes may well have put it to his assistant, “Elementary, my dear Mr. Watson”.
Wasantha Samarasinghe from the JVP and the Voice against Corruption, has stumbled upon a bank account detail of an account in Hong Kong and exposed details to the public at a well-attended press conference. The value of the ‘find’ in today’s money amounts to approximately Rs 3,740 million.
Put it another way: At Rs 1,280,000 per 575 sq. foot home, the government would have been able to pay for 2,921 homes without raising a finger or raising any foreign loans to pay for it.
This week also saw the Rajapaksa family rather busy all on the same day. Brothers Basil and Gothabya and nephew Namal appeared in courts to answer charges of in essence misuse of powers. It was difficult to keep an independent mind at bay with the evidence of the people there had to say.
The question now being posed is if the Special Courts are able to fast track other matters, like the Gamini Senarath case then why is the bond scam matter not being tried at one of these special trial at bar courts?
Leaving all the cares in the world aside, Kanishka Senanayake was appointed to the board of Sri Lanka Telecom. Quite what he knows about the business of telecommunication is anyone’s guess, He does have a rather famous Mum who just happens to be a critic of excess.