Anatomy of Yahapalanaya
Posted on November 27th, 2015

Courtesy Island

Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has alleged that the country is in chaos due to the government’s failure in every sector. Prof. Peiris issued the following statement headlined ‘The Anatomy of Yahapalanaya’:

“One of the most senior Ministers of the Government in a public speech in his home constituency has declared that Yahapalanaya is in tatters and that even the debris cannot be found.

It is quite obvious that this is the reality on the ground.

The question, however, is whether, leaving Yahapalanaya aside, there is today any kind of Palanaya at all in the country.

Let alone good governance, there is at present a total breakdown of governance, to a degree which this nation has not seen at any time.

When has the Sri Lankan public ever been treated to a combination of the following development which would be an unprecedented comedy, but for its disastrous effect on the nation and its stability?

In vital institutions like the Insurance Corporation, Hyatt, Hilton and Litro Gas, there are two sets of appointments by two Ministers. One set of officials appointed by one Minister are refusing to give way to the other set of officials appointed by the other Minister. The tug of war continues and chaos prevails.

The comedy assumed such proportions that, in one institution (The National Dangerous Drugs Control Board) there were two chairmen – one upstairs, one downstairs, each insisting that the other is an impostor.

The Minister and the Deputy Minister cannot agree on appointments to Boards within the purview of the Ministry. Allegations and counter – allegations are hurled at each other in the public media. The Deputy Minister has publicly accused the Minister of violating basic norms of transparency in making appointments.

A Minister has publicly complained that he cannot perform his duties properly, because a cabinet colleague has planted his son to spy on the Minister and his work.

Nepotism has reached record levels in a matter of 10 months.

Ministers are gleefully appointing sons, daughters, brothers and family members without the slightest inhibition.

What is particularly striking is the brazen attitude displayed.

One Minister, in justifying the appointment of his brother to one of the largest corporations in the country, demanded to know what is wrong with this appointment. “I have confidence in my brother, so why can’t I appoint him?” he wanted to know.

Another Minister, who had appointed both his son and his daughter, said: “they both worked hard for me in my election campaign, so what is wrong with appointing them?”

These are the inspiring manifestations of Yahapalanaya.

The public was told that all these appointments to statutory bodies will not be left to the whims and fancies of each Minister, but will be examined and approved by a committee consisting of the President and the Prime Minister.

The country is entitled to know whether these family appointments, which have become the norm, were approved by the President and the PM.

Yahapalanaya regime came into office on the promise of a leen and clean administration.

Today, the total number of Cabinet Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Ministers exceeds the number under the previous government. And the number continues to grow. Outside this vast throng, other Members of Parliament are openly told that they can have a car, chauffeur and fuel if they agree to support the government.

The overriding (indeed only) motive is to divide the loaves among the fishes.

Delivery of results in the least important consideration.

Allocation of functions has no rational whatsoever. Anything goes, provided that as many people as possible can be made happy. An extreme example is the joining of Higher Education with Highways. The Finance Minister has no control over state Banks or even the Central Bank. This of course is quite unique.

Ministers have complained that they have no financial allocations and, in some cases, not even offices. One Minister, reportedly, was told (when he complained) that he would share an office with his wife (a Deputy Minister).

The situation regarding corruption establishes another record.

The current scenario is unbelievable. Ministers (supposedly governed by collective responsibility) are hurling allegations at each other publicly regarding the gravest of crimes and financial frauds.

One Minister accuses another of selling to the government outdated equipment. Another Minster accuses a Cabinet colleague of a Rs. 269 million fraud, using a personal Foundation. Ministers are in a free for all, accusing each other of being bribed by private companies. The Avant Garde issue has seen the government divide itself into two warring camps.

What is the need for an FCID at all, except to harass and intimidate political opponents? All that is necessary is to probe allegations by Ministers against Ministers.

There is complete atrophy in nerve centres of the Administration.

A good example is the Attorney-General’s Department.

A situation is arisen, in which it is impossible for the Attorney-General to discharge his duties with propriety. The institution of criminal proceedings, and discontinuing proceedings (by resorting to a nolle prosequin) are decisions to be made professionally, on an objective appraisal of the evidence. Today, the Attorney-General is receiving conflicting political directions, and is caught right in the middle between warring Ministers. Some Ministers are openly working with other offices in the A-G’s Department and using memoranda prepared by them, to challenge the A-G’s decision.

The tug-of-war is so bad that the Human Rights Commission has now publicity declared that it proposes to look into the situation in the Attorney-General’s Department.

FCID, CIABOC and a host of other similar initiatives have driven fear into the public service to such an extent that no one wants to make a decision or to accept responsibility.

There was the reported episode of a secretary to a Ministry insisting on following detailed tender procedures before ordering four chairs to be placed in front of the Ministers desk.

One can imagine what the situation is, with regard to acceptance of officials of responsibility for the implementation of major development projects – irrigation, highways, bridges, ports, hospitals etc. The name of the game is ducking responsibility all round – in case there is trouble later.

The country is certainly paying a heavy price for Yahapalanaya.

2 Responses to “Anatomy of Yahapalanaya”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Post mortem of Yapa(la)naya.

  2. Hiranthe Says:

    Dear Patriots,

    I came to know Shenali Waduge is very sick and was in and out of hospital since early November and currently resting to undergo an operation.

    This reply I received from her Sister when I wrote to Shenali as we did not hear any news or seen any articles from her.

    I wrote back and asked to offer any help but so far no reply received. Knowing Shenali does not want publicity, she may not disclose her location. If any patriot knows her whereabouts, please check on her as we have to protect this “lone worrier” of Mother Lanka.

    I also suspect any hand of Bad guys… such as a sophisticated poisoning as they did to Soma Hamuduruwo, Sobitha Hamuduruwo, Dr, Senaka Bibile etc…

    We have to act soon!! This could be a serious matter!!!

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