NATO summit in Colombo
Posted on December 10th, 2016

Editorial Courtesy The Island

December 9, 2016, 7:24 pm

A NATO (No Action Talk Only) summit on corruption was held in Colombo yesterday. Fiery speeches and solemn pledges were made by politicians, who vowed to rid the country of bribery and corruption. Been there, done that! The road to hell is said to be paved with good intentions!

Leaders of the incumbent government have talked the talk for long enough and now it is time for them to walk the walk, but they are talking the talk once again. Many a pair of shoes is said to be worn out between saying and doing. The yahapalana regime, which undertook to cleanse politics, kicked off with a grand bank robbery as it were; some lackeys of the ruling politicians made off with treasury bonds to the tune of several billions of rupees. The culprits have not only gone scot free but also are seen in the exalted company of some government leaders who promised to battle corruption with might and main yesterday.

Amateurs wear full-face helmets and carry guns when they stage wild west style bank heists; politically connected professional robbers don three-piece suits and flash thousand watt smiles while removing their booty through the front door of the bank of banks with no questions asked, so to speak.

Several mega rackets have already caused irreparable damage to the image of the yahapalana regime during the last two years. The JVP told Parliament on Thursday that the Paddy Marketing Board had sold its buffer paddy stocks to a single miller and the country was likely to face a scarcity of rice during the festive season.

A multi-billion-rupee coal racket, which, the apex court said, had shocked its conscience, has not been probed properly and the racketeers have got away with it. Hundreds of undervalued luxury vehicles, taken into custody by the Customs, have been released on orders from some government grandees and the state coffers have lost billions of rupees as a result. But, nobody has been brought to justice. It is only wishful thinking that the crooks loyal to the present dispensation will ever be hauled up before courts for their sordid operations. They are too big to be caught!

The government proposed in Parliament a few moons ago that a cap would be slapped on campaign expenditure as funds politicians received went unaccounted for. That proposal struck a responsive chord with all right-thinking people. Will President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe set an example to others by revealing how much they spent on their election campaigns last year and where the funds came from? Charity begins at home. If they do so, others including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be compelled to follow suit.

If the government leaders think they can dupe the discerning public into believing that they are paragons of virtue by holding anti-graft summits, they are mistaken. It may be recalled that David Cameron, reeling from a Panama Papers revelation, while he was the British Prime Minister, held an anti-corruption summit in London to shore up his crumbling image, but in vain.

It is now time for action against corruption. The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) should put an end to expensive anti-corruption circuses and investigate the allegations against powerful politicians and their henchmen. The Opposition says complaints against government politicians are not investigated by the CIABOC. Will it tell the public whether any government politicians have refused to answer its summons?

Public awareness of bribery and corruption is already at a very satisfactory level and the CIABOC and the Law and Order Ministry should not spend public funds to hold summits etc. at star class hotels while people are starving and children are dying without treatment.

3 Responses to “NATO summit in Colombo”

  1. plumblossom Says:

    It is best to counter the wide ranging privatization of state assets programme of the UNP which envisages privatising even healthcare, water, electricity etc., to ensure that the rice farmer is empowered and not destroyed as this yahapalanaya government is doing and to ensure that 2600 years of rice farming is not destroyed, to ensure that other crop growers get a fair deal for their produce, to encourage local industries and companies by taxing imports, to create and empower and rehabilitate local industries like the Valachchanai paper plant, Puttlam, and KKS cement factories, Kanthale and Pelawatta sugar factories, to build new tyre producing factories, to build new fish tin canning factories, to build new fruit juice, jam producing factories, to create a more efficient food storage and transport to market system including proper storage and refrigeration of vegetables, fruits etc., to encourage local companies by taxing imports, to encourage school leavers to take up vocational training programmes and to create a vocational training to youth employment creation programme where youth are helped to start up their own SMEs, to change our diet from a wheat based diet to a rice based diet, to encourage farmers to produce our own milk by encouraging the dairy industry and to build factories to produce our own powdered milk etc.

  2. plumblossom Says:

    Dr.Garvin Karunaratne Sir,

    Your articles are very inspiring and totally accurate. I agree that we need to produce our own food and create a more efficient system to convey perishable food items from farm to market. I also agree that with so much vegetables and fruit, we need some plants to produce our own fruit juice and jams. We need the Palewatte and Kanthale sugar factories to produce our own sugar. We need to reinstate the KKS, Puttlam cement factories and the Valachchanei paper factory.

    We need to reinstate a tyre producing factory. We also need a number of fish tin canning factories. We need to convert from a wheat based diet to a rice and kurakkan based diet. We need to encourage our own industries and entrepreneurs by taxing imports. We need to reinstate the handloom industry.

    We need more vocational training colleges and most importantly a comprehensive vocationally trained youth to employment programme where the youth are helped start their own SMEs and helped until they succeed.

    We need to vastly improve our dairy industry by importing milk cows and ensuring that we produce all the required milk we need. We need to build our own milk power producing factories. We also need to expand massively Sathosa and the cooperative system islandwide.

    We also need a number of organic/ inorganic fertilizer producing factories.

    If we do all this by taxing imports and encouraging local farmers, vocationally trained youth to employment programme by encouraging youth to start SMEs, local industries we will be able to reduce spending our foreign exchange, create massive employment opportunities, reduce massively cost of food and develop our country further.

  3. plumblossom Says:

    This UNP is trying to privatise state enterprises suggesting that they are loss making. I would like to point out to this treacherous UNP Government that they have no right to privatise any state enterprises since they belong to the people of Sri Lanka in general and is not their private property to privatise as they wish. If state enterprises are loss making, appoint a good management team to manage the state enterprise properly.

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