DAILY MIRROR EDITORIAL : The cancer of corruption
Posted on October 5th, 2014
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At a time when the cancer of bribery and corruption has reached the worst proportions, the JVP on Wednesday made disclosures that were shocking.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s Voice Against Corruption unit gave documents with figures and details to the Commission appointed to probe allegations of bribery and corruption.

The grave and the deadliest dimension of these charges are that they have taken place in the health service where for millions of people it is a matter of life or death. The unit’s convener and Provincial Council member Wasantha Samarasinghe in the complaint said Japan had donated Rs.770 million to buy C.T. scanners and dialysis equipment, mainly for the North-Central Province where thousands of farmers and their families have been severely affected by a kidney disease of unknown origin. He said only Rs.300 million had been used to buy six C.T. scanners and 50 dialysis machines. Mr. Samarasinghe charged that the balance, a massive Rs. 470 million had apparently gone into the pockets of officials or politicians.

The activist provincial councillor also alleged that a fraud amounting to about Rs.500 million had occurred in the purchase of C.T. scanning and dialysis machines in the Central Province. Mr. Samarasinghe charged that a high ranking official was involved in this racket. Adding to the mystery, this official was a director of the company through which the equipment was bought. Even more mysterious was that the company’s address was of a building belonging to a former provincial health minister.

The JVP’s Voice Against Corruption unit warned that if the Commission did not take action on these charges and bring the culprits to justice immediately, the JVP would urge the people who are against bribery and corruption to surround the offices of
the Commission.

Corruption in any sector is a crime and a plunder of the people’s money. Tragically, the worst corruption seems to be taking place in the most vital area – the health sector. For several decades now, transnational pharmaceutical companies known as the multimillion dollar pharma mafias have been allowed to operate freely in Sri Lanka. As disclosed in an article in the Daily Mirror on Wednesday, the pharma mafia is blocking the National Medicinal Drugs Policy (NMDP) based on Professor Senaka Bibile’s essential medicines concept. Through this concept, quality drugs could be made available to the people at affordable prices. But the pharma mafia is alleged to be involved in heavy bribing of Health Ministry officials and even some medical specialists to prevent the implementation of the NMDP.

Wednesday’s disclosures of health sector corruption amounting to a huge Rs.970 million underlines the urgent need for the Government to act swiftly and effectively in restoring a health service where the well-being of the patients is given top priority. Otherwise it might be a case of the Government allowing ghosts from the graveyard to run or ruin the health sector.

 

16 Responses to “DAILY MIRROR EDITORIAL : The cancer of corruption”

  1. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Fewer safeguards means an increased corruption risk in the government
    Forms of corruption in Sri Lanka vary from top politicians to grass root minor government officials, and that includes bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. While corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking, it is not restricted to these activities.
    Politicians of both sides of the parliament in Sri Lanka were very reluctant to introduce new legislation to arrest these major social drawbacks.
    However, in contrast, for example, In the developed world this problem is handled purely through legislations. For example in the United states the followingf legislations have been introduced over the years to prevent this social menance;
    [1] the mail and wire fraud statutes (enacted 1872
    honest services fraud provision,[2] the Hobbs Act (enacted 1934),[3]
    the Travel Act (enacted 1961),[4]
    Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) (enacted 1970).[1][5]
    federal officials are subject to the federal bribery, graft, and conflict-of-interest crimes contained in Title 18, Chapter 11 of the United States Code, 18 U.S.C. §§ 201–227,
    Most notably, § 201(b) prohibits the receipt of bribes,
    § 201(c) prohibits the receipt of unlawful gratuities, by federal public officials
    conspiracy to defraud the United States (enacted 1867)[6]
    the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) (enacted 1977).[7]
    Common problems associated in Sri Lanka are
    o Bribery
    o Trading in influence
    o Patronage
    o Nepotism and cronyism
    o Electoral fraud
    o Embezzlement
    o Kickbacks
    o Unholy alliance
    o Involvement in organized crime
    The solution should be only through the legislations via introduction of independent public audit of local and government authorities, and a strong national code of conduct including a very strict tender procedures etc. The present bribery and corruption commission is no use. The legal system should be capable of handling and prosecuting these criminals.

  2. SA Kumar Says:

    The cancer of corruption .
    Today only places in mother Lanka where law & order carry out by Polices NP (Saiva TE) & EP (Muslim TE) thank to Hon MR.
    (but you may thing I am lieing because our TN jockers are telling all over the world Armies are in these provincial – yes agreed with them but these poor honest Sinhala Bhuddist Armies not involve with any day to day policing civilian activity except political regrouping)

    why Hon Piggus (Saathus) doing police job in Sinhala Lanka( other provins) ?

  3. Nanda Says:

    “a massive Rs. 470 million had apparently gone into the pockets of officials or politicians.”

    Is it paid to bogus professors to do bogus research into the origin of “kidney disease of unknown origin” ?

  4. Christie Says:

    All hese started with the 1956 revulsion lead by SWRD who was financed by the local Indians and India.

  5. Amarasiri Says:

    Daily Mirror and jVP

    “The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s Voice Against Corruption unit gave documents with figures and details to the Commission appointed to probe allegations of bribery and corruption.”

    Yes, Expose, Expose and Expose.

    If Jayalalitha can be sent to jail, why cannot these these, rascals and criminals.

    Somebody, perhaps, jVP to the write the Sri Lankaan Version of the Common Sense Pamphlet, written by Thomas Paine during the American Revolution in 1776.

    Say, Because I have Common Sense, I will not vote for Mr. Rajapaksa and their criminal cronies for a continuation of a Family Dynasty, and say that Sri Lanka is a Republic.

    Rajapaksa had the opportunity. The power corrupted them. The People are sick of them. They even used Buddhism towards their ends. Even Sinhala Buddhists are fed up them, and they are showing their true colors.

    An Anonymous Author like Thomas Paine is needed with a Common Sense Pamphlet to expose the King, King George, the Rajapaksa Clan. Read, the Common Sense Pamphlet , by Thomas Paine, that inspired the American Revolution along with the other events. Common Sense (pamphlet)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)

  6. AnuD Says:

    Else where I read, Some GRADE FOUR TEXT BOOKs of the SOME INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS IN LANKA talk about MUM’s new BOY FRIEND.

    What is happening to Sri lanka.

    Is there a board in the department of education to approve these books ?

  7. Leela Says:

    Now that the JVP says they have found a good lead on government corruption, they should disseminate all the details to the general public through all available means and push for a fast track inquiry and file a court court case and follow it through. Problem is, JVP always find new topics and forget the old ones.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Corruption is NOT a political issue because UNP, SLFP, JVP, TNA, SLMC, etc., etc. all do it.

    Corruption is a NATIONAL issue. It has to be fixed without party politics.

    IF JVP is serious about corruption, it should contest the next presidential election. Put forward a CLEAN candidate. Lets see how many votes he gets.

  9. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Here in the US the ONLY reason to become a Politician is to enjoy the perks that come with it. They were not meant to be that way. Our elected leaders were supposed to represent the voice of those who voted for them. But instead the amount of self interest and corruption makes that job impossible.

    What any yearning young man or woman wanting to enter this field now thinks of the prestige, power and money that come with such positions. the elite of America are by and large around political centers such as Washington D.C. to the 50 state capitals. One can see the amount they have gained when they leave office. they leave with immense amount of security that comes with the job, the connections available to them and their families, the life time pensions and special perks given to them.

    If one looks at such goals then keeping promises to the “gullible” voter is one of the last things on one’s mind as they hob nob at Martha’s Vineyard and join the ivy league exclusive club of leaders of commerce and power on this nation. Who can possibly turn down such lucrative opportunities when all one has to do is look beautiful, promise heaven and earth and then get into that lofty position. I do not see much difference between Washington D.C. and Colombo on this aspect.

  10. Ananda-USA Says:

    Christie,

    You disparagingly commented “All these (sic problems) started with the 1956 revulsion lead by SWRD who was financed by the local Indians and India”!

    If you believe that and characterize the Peoples Revolution led by SWRD in 1956 as a “revulsion”, then you are dreaming and is completely out of touch with the real impacts of political developments on Sri Lankan society.

    For your information, it is broadly acknowledged that practically everything good in Sri Lankan society that we point to with pride today arose from that revolution spearheaded by SWRD and continued under successive SLFP governments despite their later economic missteps.

    Universal compulsory education responsible for the better than a 95% literacy rate today, the extension of the road network and bus and train transportation to the furthest corners of the island and not just Colombo, policies that led to rural electrification, equitable labor laws, universal basic healthcare and an infant mortality comparable to developed nations, throwing open legislative and administrative positions in government to ordinary people and not just the English speaking Colombo elite, equitable treatment of women in government andin the workplace …. I can go on and on ad infinitum, ad nauseam… all sprang from that epochal social revolution.

    Sri Lanka, can dare to hope of lifting itself above the current middle income status well ahead of other South Asian nations still mired in social inequity, and join the ranks of the developed nations of the world today, only because of the social transformation seeded by SWRD’s revolution.

    Disce’ aut discede’ …. Christie!

  11. Nanda Says:

    Disce’ aut discede’ …. MR . I must join my ex-friend Bar keeper to sing the song again.

    SLFP general secretary, health minister Maithripala Sirisena opened the floating commercial complex at Bastian Mawatha in Colombo Pettah at 5.00 pm yesterday, and it was senior DIG of Colombo Anura Senanayake who had bought the restaurant at the complex for Rs. 15 million.

    Named Nista Café, he has bought it to the name of one Ranjith. Earlier, Anura Senanayake bought Bake House near Lipton Circus in Colomobo to the name of this same person.

    For the opening of the restaurant, an all night Pirith Chanting took place on August 19, followed by an alms giving on the following morning, all of which were organized by the Colombo Fort headquarters inspector. The inspector had also made the invitation to the Buddhist monks for the occasion, and had even collected the meals and other offerings at the expense of Pettah traders. Senior DIG Senanayake and his proxy holder Ranjith attended the Pirith Chanting.

    At the Colombo chief magistrate’s court today, the case filed by Bar Association president Upul Jayasuriya over non-provision of police protection for him was taken up. Gunaratne Wanninayake, a lawyer for Mr. Jayasuriya responded in open court to submissions by the senior DIG and said, “This morning, I came to court after drinking a Rs. 25 tea at your Bake House’, which left Anura Senanayake speechless.

    Exposing the charater of the senior DIG further, lawyer Wanninayake said it was Anura Senanayake who was providing police protection to the Colombo underworld. For that, he is getting more than Rs. 10 million a month.

  12. Christie Says:

    Hi Ananda USA; I am not a Royalist but a product of the Free Education system engineered by pre-SLFP era. What MR and the present government is doing is going back to those policies to empower the Sinhalese. SWRD fooled Sinhalese. Imagine if Sinhalese kids were educated in English there will be more people contributing to this site.

  13. aloy Says:

    Christie
    “SWRD fooled Sinhalese”
    Absolutely not.
    He lived only a couple of years as PM, but what he did during that time has a profound effect on the common man in our country. And I am one of those who directly benefited. So are many doctors, engineers scientists manning hospitals, government and private institutions in our country. After his death successive government could not follow his policies due to economic difficulties that were common to other countries as well at that time. Our politicians limited the intake of students to the universities from the north. Instead they should have built more universities in the north to accommodate them and provide same facilities to south as well. Perhaps they did not have enough resources to do that. Some mistakes have been made. But that does not mean that Tamils were totally neglected. They have been able to maintain their lead in commerce in Sinhala areas. They however will never be able to have a separate country in SL. It is time they join with others and help to eliminate corruption so that our country can be taken towards prosperity.

  14. SA Kumar Says:

    if Sinhalese kids were educated in English there will be more people contributing to this site.
    – agreed to disagree ,only 10% would have been benefited but balance 90% not even educated to 5th grade.

    SWRD idea Maha vidayalayam (secondary school) for all. We 90% balance educated to at least O/Level in own mother tang .

    NB/ We Tamil do not like him because his Sinhala only ACT but that is different mater.

  15. Ananda-USA Says:

    Christie,

    A “Free Education System” did not exist in the pre-SLFP era. Only a closed “colonial” education system serving only the rich elite in the country, created by the elite, for the elite and comprised of the elite existed then. Had that system continued, today Sri Lankans would be divided into two camps and educated elite minority and a uneducated majority of indentured serfs. Once again … you are dreaming … of things that never existed in Sri Lanka.

    Also, “Disce’ aut Discede'” meaning “Learn or Depart” in Latin is indeed the motto of Royal College, but the quotation transcends affiliation with that excellent school. Again you have missed the point: I was not implying that you are a Royalist, but just that you should Learn the history of Sri Lanka before you comment upon it, or Depart the discussion of historical events of Sri Lanka. The accusation that SWRD was financed by, and therefore serving, local Indians and India is not supported by the historical facts of Sri Lanka.

  16. Marco Says:

    C W W Kannangra as Education Minister introduced free education in 1931 with the establishment of Maha Vidyalaya.
    If my memory serves me right SLFP was formed in 1951 by SWRD.

    I will ignore the usual mantra “Indian Colonial parasites” to be frank its getting rather monotonous except to say one ought to check the DNA of Sri Lankans both Sinhalese and Tamils.

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