The revocation of the Exchange Control Act has resulted in the Money Laundering Act being highly devalued as no action can be taken against even the largest of significant laundering of money involving foreign exchange since the predicate offenses list for action based on the Money Laundering Act will no longer have the violation of the Exchange Control Act as an offense. This dire warning was issued by public interest activists concerned on a variety of matters as to the direction in which this country is headed. An industrialist noted that the country is headed south.
This government arrived via a band wagon of promises to reintroduce accountability, transparency, a level playing field and equal opportunities for all on top of the huge undertaking to resolve the ‘ethnic’ issue and look into reconciliation and the matter of the disappearance of persons from the former conflict areas.
Very unfortunately for this government instead of delivering very much on these lofty ideals and undertakings the Prime Minister lead a parliament where most of the members are tainted by some form of allegation of corruption, some have been caught with their hands in the till literally whilst et others admit to having received monies for campaign purposes – except the monies came a long time after the polls but suspiciously closer to the timing of the issuance of bonds by the Central Bank at advantageous interest rates to the one party.
The former Governor of the Central Bank has become for the moment a fugitive from justice by not turning up as required to provide a statement. Information has it that he is holed up in Singapore and we have our very own Prime Minister telling all of us that the former Governor is in the habit of moving home as is the practice of Singaporeans.
We have very little evidence of a high churn rate within Singapore’s very limited housing stock and a visit to the residence of the former governor elicited the information that the particular housing unit was empty. The security personnel are apparently aware of the latest address and are presumably awaiting an official question prior to disclosing that bit of evidence.
Even if they did disclose what earthly good will it result in? Extradition is possible usually only after a local case is filed and a conviction is obtained and the target does not appear before court to have the judgement delivered. Thereafter the usual practice is for the same evidence to be presented in Singapore and go through their court system before the Singaporeans decide whether or not they will force one of their own to be repatriated to a country where its human rights record has been consistently questioned over the past few years?
In the meantime this governments’ term will end in just over 20 months. The record is that this government has not delivered upon its several promises and to top it all they have committed the cardinal sin of helping themselves at the expense of the public. And they continue to do so regardless.
It is a damning indictment on our good governance team that after nearly ten years of Rajapaksa rule and the public looking for a change – even for the hell of it – that this good governance team have been unable to turn the people’s aspirations and the confidence the people displayed in this team, to something more tangible than the bond scam, the highways scam, the coal purchase scam, the scam to introduce LNG, its inability to control the widespread and countrywide strikes, the seeming erosion of the rule of law, the partisan use of the FCID and the CID and the Police to settle political battles and the use of the Attorney General department to ignore some prosecutions but highlight others.
It is clear whichever way we look at it that this government is fit to administer a legislative process in a country that is backward, that lacks sophistication that lacks any semblance of sanity and democracy and where the people do not care about corruption and partisan decisions that favor a few at the expense of the masses.
The people of the former conflict areas are still without housing whilst those in government and those out of government argue and bicker about which type of housing should be given out in the north. It is easier to understand if we told you that it is probably all to do with a deal or deals in the making.
There can be no excusing of the Opposition members either. For a robust democracy we need a robust and active opposition. Not an opposition that is focusing only on returning a man back to power. The Opposition must be the check and balance of democracy.
Instead in the same manner that the Prime Minister relied on the assurances given by Mahendran and Samarasiri, the opposition has relied on a vociferous media to highlight the failings of the good governance combine.
One thing is clear as is night and day. The people are fed up with this motley bunch of wannabe democrats. They may well choose another set simply out of frustration.
Therein lies the greatest danger.