World’s richest IDPs – only in Sri Lanka!!!! -INVESTIGATE SOURCE/S OF THE LOOT NOW!!!
Posted on June 15th, 2009

Ramanie de Zoysa

For all the reams of paper that has been used to evoke pathos by all and sundry on behalf of the “ƒ”¹…”suffering’ Sri Lankan IDPs in the North absolutely no mention has been or is made of the immense wealth these very “ƒ”¹…”IDPs’ are reported to have deposited into Banks especially set up in the North in the IDP camps. These Tamil IDPs that have been likened to those of Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia etc by the Tamil Diaspora and their international lackeys have reportedly banked Rs 390m in a matter of two days after the banks were opened! To top this, further cash and gold have been deposited into bank accounts and safety deposit boxes at the newly opened banking facilities since then- and reportedly some are still drying monetary notes that got submerged in the lagoon waters. To my mind, this must be the subject of an immediate Presidential Inquiry.

 As I watched the exodus of these people emerging from waters of Nanthai Kadaal lagoon on television, chin on my palm, and heart in my mouth feeling great sorrow for the suffering of the men, women, children and the aged I must say that my interest was piqued just passingly at the exceptionally large gold jewellery some women were wearing. In fact that pleased me at the time because in a village, a village woman wearing gold jewellery simply means that she has not had to pawn them off to feed her starving children. I saw the suitcases, pottanis and carry bags being hauled by men and women and I assumed that those must contain their weather beaten clothes or may be even a treasured television set which is what I saw poor seaside Sinhala villagers carry to safety after the tsunami struck. I was floored to learn that the pottanis, bags and suitcases possibly carried money and gold and my estimates were out possibly by a cool billion rupees or so!  

 For thirty solid years these people have not been employed. No known businesses have been run from these areas. They have not added one cent to the GDP of the country. Then, where does this wealth come from?

 Are the IDPs carrying LTTE wealth? Are they indeed LTTE fighters who are posing off as “ƒ”¹…”innocent civilians’? Age, gender or physical ability has never been a basis for discounting the possibility that someone is an LTTE cadre as has been proven over thirty years over and over again.

 If this is the case then their wealth is the result of major scale racketeering, drug trafficking, money laundering, and kappan taking. The Sri Lankan Government has a duty to freeze these assets immediately and follow the money trail which will also shed light into who indeed the IDPs are.

 While this wealth is treated with such reckless disinterest by the relevant authorities the money may just be the start-up kit for the next generation LTTE. While there is hardly a doubt that that this could be LTTE wealth; these IDPs may have come into ownership of the loot through one or more of several ways. The LTTE leaders in their final days may have entrusted these villagers with the funds asking them to guard it and pass on to the next line of fighters when they are ready. Secondly it could be that these people are the next generation LTTE cadres themselves who will bide their time masquerading as civilians and re-group using these deposits and further overseas remittances. Thirdly, the people may have stolen the LTTE loot and carried it with them to the safety of Sri Lankan Government protection. None of these scenarios allow the illegal loot of the LTTE to be handled freely by these people. The wealth should immediately be frozen and a team of experts in investigating money laundering, criminal and terrorist financing should be employed to investigate the sources. Any wealth that is claimed by the holders legitimately could then be returned to the owners and they could be re-settled immediately. 

 Banking secrecy? – How far does it go?

 What also amazes me is the absolute secrecy afforded by the Sri Lankan authorities and the local and international media to the existence of this wealth. As far as I am aware only the Sinhala newspaper Lankadeepa and Sunday Observer made any mention of this issue, albeit in the absolute minimalist fashion. I recall the amount of media exposure given to two Southern Sinhala scammers, Sakvithi and “ƒ”¹…”Danduam mudalali’ only several months ago. I also remember the self- righteous venom with which the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Mr Ajith Nivard Cabraal reacted when victims of these scammers sought leniency and assistance at the time of their misfortune. Cabraal ruled out ANY relief to the investors apparently because “ƒ”¹…”they have been dishonest and greedy for large returns’ and invested their hard earned money in the black economy. Where is that self-righteousness, high moral standards and ruthless scrutiny, Mr Cabraal?

 For a start, this unexplained wealth must be fully exposed to the likes of Mr Ban ki Moon UNSG and all major media outlets. LTTE-lovers such as BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera etc may never pick up on this news item but there are other unbiased media outlets in the International arena that will surely pick up the story.

 Personally I am amazed at the zero intelligence shown in this regard by Governor Cabraal, who reportedly personally visited the IDP camps in Vavuniya to oversee the banking facilities provided to IDPs. After announcing to local papers that the displaced people have deposited a total of Rs 390 million in the two mobile branches of the Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank, just two days after they opened, Cabraal reportedly made the following loose comment:

 “”There must be much more now. They brought all kinds of valuables, including cash, gold, jewellery wrapped in cloth bundles and small bags as they fled,” he said, adding that ATMs have also been installed at these mobile banking units. The branches have also been authorised to receive foreign remittances and transfer money out. “Some money has also come in from abroad for inmates at the camp,” Mr Cabraal said.”

 Did it ever cross the brain cells of this Chartered Accountant turned Banker that in any other village in the rest of the country the villagers would struggle to put together Rs390 let alone Rs390 million?

 Is he aware of anti-money laundering and Anti-Criminal & Terrorism Financing laws of developed countries that would pounce upon a single deposit of cash of even a couple of thousand dollars by an individual and query the source of those funds? Banking secrecy laws are often superseded by the provisions contained in these anti-money laundering, anti-criminal & terror financing laws.

 Why are the Sri Lankan Banks that come under Mr Cabraal’s purview allow unexplained cash and gold deposits amounting to several times the budget deficit of the entire country without a simple question and also provide ATM facilities that will allow the IDPs to withdraw, transfer or otherwise dispose of millions or possibly billions of Rupees.  Funnily enough Cabraal says that some money has also come from overseas for the IDPs. I hope this overseas source/s has/have been thoroughly investigated.

 This is the type of incompetence of the highest order that allowed the LTTE to achieve the impressive heights it achieved and amass extraordinary wealth and terror capacity over the past thirty years which had to be dismantled in the extremely painful way at great personal cost by our valiant sons and daughters of the Armed Forces. Let no further bureaucratic moron continue to act in the same stupid manner squandering arguably the most remarkable human achievement in the history of mankind, certainly in the history of Sri Lanka.  

 Dear President Rajapakse and Defence Secretary Rajapakse, I appeal to both of you to look into this matter!

One Response to “World’s richest IDPs – only in Sri Lanka!!!! -INVESTIGATE SOURCE/S OF THE LOOT NOW!!!”

  1. Gish Says:

    I thought this sounded like a fantastic sum of money,
    however if you look at the numbers, you’ll find that the above stance is misleading.

    If you take approximately 250,000 people in the camps and say 4 to a family that’s 62,500 families.
    Divide Rs 390,000,000 by 62,500 = Rs 6,240 per family. It’s Rs 1,560 per person if you divide the sum by all person in the camps.

    There’s no conspiracy.

    There’s enough apathy towards these people without articles like this adding to the problem.

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