Deceived And Betrayed?
Posted on December 5th, 2015

by Dr A.C.Visvalingam President, CIMOGG Courtesy Island

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On 27 September 2015, the SUNDAY ISLAND published an article titled “THE FIRST 260 DAYS OF THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT” sent by the Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) regarding what were then seen as the pluses and the minuses of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government during its first 260 days in power. At that point of time, we were inclined to give greater emphasis to the pluses than to the minuses on the presumption that public approbation would encourage the government to aim for more pluses in the future. Very disappointingly, the reality has proved to be otherwise.

Those with whom we have exchanged views over the past 65 days on S-W’s record have expressed sentiments such as the following: “politicians cannot be expected to change their spots however sweetly they may talk”, “power has gone to this lot’s heads five times as fast as in the case of their predecessors”, “the election platform promise to abolish nepotism was a premeditated and callous lie”, “Sirisena may have been sincere at the beginning about not wanting a second period as Executive President, but it is becoming clearer by the day that he yearns to win the next Parliamentary elections under a suitably-worded new Constitution and become Prime Minister with virtually the same powers”, “in order to further his ambitions, Sirisena has decided to place the interests of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party ahead of Sri Lanka’s”, “the whole exercise leading up to the change of regime has been a monumental confidence trick” etc. As we are still in no man’s land about the 20th Amendment, the Right to Information Act, the Audit Act and other promised legislation, there was no basis on which we could have ventured to disagree with these negative assessments.

Many years ago, probably when he was Prime Minister for a short period during President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s time, Ranil Wickremesinghe is believed to have been keen to have a Colombo Port City. However, when President Mahinda Rajapaksa took steps to get Chinese help to get the project going many years later, Wickremesinghe gave a public warning that, when his government came back into power, the project would be voided. Rajapaksa ignored this threat. Unfortunately, binding contracts had been signed between the government of Sri Lanka and the contractor in respect of this project during Rajapaksa’s reign. These contracts cannot be cancelled without incurring astronomical losses. It is only the fact that the contractor has probably not fulfilled certain of his contractual obligations that has given the government some leverage to re-negotiate the contract. We do not know which of the contractual terms have been amended because the S-W government continues to keep the public in the dark.

Coming to the “education” budget, imagine a lazy character whose father gifts him a piece of land worth Rs 20 million and says: “Use it to earn enough to meet your financial needs in the future.” What does the son do? He gets his property revalued every year. Assuming that land prices go up by 7% a year, he is able to show that he gets an “income” of Rs1.4 Million a year. It clear that such an “income” is not the result of increased productivity. It appears that a revaluation of this nature has “increased” the allocation for education from 2.5% in the past to 6% in the 2016 Budget. This type of accounting gymnastics, without adequate disclosure, makes the public distrust government for allowing misleading budgetary information to be disseminated.

We were sickened to learn some days ago that the authorities have just realized that there is an Elections Commission but no legislation to permit it to function! No one has taken the initiative to get this lacuna filled from as far back as 2001, when the 17th Amendment (the forerunner of the 19th Amendment) was brought into the Constitution.

Whatever explanations the Attorney General may give about his Department’s performance in bringing influential criminals to justice, there is a widespread perception among ordinary citizens that secret pressure continues to be exerted on the Department to delay, if not prevent, energetic action being taken against powerful persons, past and present. This belief is strengthened by a confession made by the Minister of Justice that he prevented Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa from being arrested. Why only GR? In any case, is it permitted for a Minister to interfere in the functioning of the Police and the Attorney General’s Department?

A very early move by Sirisena was to appoint one of his brothers to a very highly-paid position in Sri Lanka Telecom in a naked exhibition of nepotism. It seems to have encouraged Minister Arjuna Ranatunga to do likewise.

It does not matter which party gets elected to power; one of its primary objectives would be either to change the ordinary laws or, worse still, the provisions of the Constitution itself so as to give Members of Parliament (MPs) more and more powers, privileges and perquisites at the expense of the people. Obviously, therefore, citizens would be failing in their civic duty if they leave everything to our MPs to decide. Indeed, the warning signals are out already. Wickremesinghe has said that the MPs now in Parliament would work out the details of the Constitution by consulting the public. Judging by what Presidents and Parliamentarians have done wholesale and piecemeal to our Constitution previously, we are very apprehensive..

Minister Ravi Karunanayake has given an amnesty to encourage those who he says have US$6-8 billion in Swiss banks to transfer such funds to Sri Lankan banks without facing any penalty or investigation regarding the source of these funds. We have warned that this kind of amnesty will only foster further corruption whilst costing the wrongdoers little or no loss. The serious repercussions of this exercise can be gauged from the fact that Karunanayake has stated that only USD 450 million has been brought in.

We have asked the government to investigate and tell the people of Sri Lanka what has happened to the huge stock of gold and foreign currencies accumulated by the LTTE, not to mention the bank accounts, ships, properties etc which were under the guardianship of “KP”. Are we being asked to believe that he was caught empty-handed and brought back on account of the generosity and selflessness of those then in authority? The S-W government, too, has given no hint as to what has happened to these vast secret assets. Being cynics, we may be forgiven for assuming that the new set of robbers has persuaded the old set of robbers to share the spoils. The last thing we remember in this connection is the farcical show that was put on in Temple Trees where about 500 out of the thousands who gave up their gold to the LTTE were allegedly given one sovereign each. Has the S-W government nothing to say about these matters?

Could anyone fault our citizens if they conclude that they have been deceived and betrayed?

5 Responses to “Deceived And Betrayed?”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    I don’t know why LW published this. Blaming MR and S-W took “LTTE GOLD”, Tamils are now demanding GOLD from the govt.!!! This is another EXTORTION RACKET. Don’t fall for it.

    There is NO record to say LTTE took gold from so and so and how much. All those are MADE UP CLAIMS. ALL LTTE gold assets are with the TAMIL DIASPORA.

    “The last thing we remember in this connection is the farcical show that was put on in Temple Trees where about 500 out of the thousands who gave up their gold to the LTTE were allegedly given one sovereign each.”

    I told you so in 2014. MR was TOO KIND to give UNGRATEFUL Tamils a GOLD sovereign each based on DUBIOUS CLAIMS.

    IF LTTE took their gold, go and get it from the LTTE. Why the hell come after the “genocidal” govt.

    After TAKING the gold coin given by MR, they voted against MR AS EXPECTED.

    MR also gave away gold coins in a Tamil rally in KILINOCHCI. Some poor Singhalese heard this and went to his next rally in Anuradhapura, etc. but were told only Tamils get gold coins!!

    Had MR instead of giving away 1,000 gold coins to Tamils, given grass to cows, they would have produced milk.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    FULLY AGREE WITH YOU LORENZO.

    R.K. IS THROWING A BAIT TO FIND OUT WHETHER THE RUMOURS THAT MR AND COMPANY HAS THIS KIND OF MONEY. IF THEY FALL FOR IT IF TRUE, MARU SIRAA WILL BRING IN A NEW LAW, SUPERCEDING RWS SAFTY MEASURES< AS AMNESTY. NO FOOL IS GOING TO BITE THIS BAIT.

  3. nilwala Says:

    AGREE WITH LORENZO….DO NOT BE DECEIVED!
    GO GET THE GOLD FROM THE LTTE!

    THE UNGRATEFUL IN ALL COMMUNITIES BROUGHT THE NATION DOWN….
    INGRATITUDE HAS BECOME THE HALLMARK OF THE LANKAN NATION

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    First time I heard of any gold coins being given by MR to anyone !!

    Some of the stolen gold from Tamils held by the LTTE was returned to their owners. That is all that happened. The last GoSL & the present Yahap both did that, as far as I know. Correct me if I am wrong here.

    Weaning the public of Lanka AWAY from MR with false stories, and handing over the country to foreign sources by stealth, seems to be the only goal for some folk !!

  5. NAK Says:

    We came to know who Ranil and Ravi long before Dr.Viswalingam. They supported this bunch of liers and thieves with hope of getting their agendas addressed but Ranil’s lot are born thieves and they care a damn about others.
    The gold distributed at ‘Temple trees’ were the gold recovered from Eelam bank that was pawned to them and given back to owners according to the banks records.

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