Yahapalanaya in overdrive – II
Posted on May 26th, 2017

Editorial The Island

The yahapalana regime apparently has no sense of shame. No sooner had the Public Finance Committee (PFC) suspended a government move to spend Rs. 329 million on super luxury vehicles for ministers another supplementary estimate was presented to Parliament seeking funds to buy vehicles for some more politicians. This time around the beneficiaries are the members of the Constituent Assembly steering committee. (Are they going to steer new vehicles instead of the constitution making process?)

The PFC has called for information about the conditions of the vehicles currently being used by ministers who have asked for new ones. It seems to have responded to public criticism of the government’s profligacy.

The township of Salawa was still burning due to last year’s devastating blast of the army’s central armoury when the yahapalana government unflinchingly presented a supplementary estimate to the tune of over one billion rupees for vehicles for ministers. The fact that thousands of people who had lost their houses and shops were crying out for help to rebuild their lives did not cause any concern to the government. The supplementary estimate, currently suspended by the PFC, came in the aftermath of the Meethtoamulla garbage dump collapse, which left more than 30 people dead. The callous disregard of the government leaders for the unbearable suffering of disaster victims is shocking to say the least. As we argued in a previous comment, not even Nero was so inconsiderate. He only fiddled while Rome was burning according to historians and did not order chariots to be paid for with public funds.

One hopes that the aforesaid suspension of the supplementary estimate is not a government ruse to deflect mounting public criticism. One should not be so optimistic as to believe that funds won’t be allocated for buying ministers their dream vehicles. If experience is anything to go by, then the yahapalana grandees will have the last laugh.

If only the PFC had withheld the supplementary estimates seeking funds for vehicles on previous occasions as well! One of the huge cars to be bought for a defeated-candidate-turned minister is to cost the taxpaying public as much as Rs. 70 million. With the money spent on that vehicle alone the housing problem of many disaster victims could have been solved.

No more vehicles should be imported for ministers. The public must not be made to pay for cars that tickle politicians’ fancy. If the government thinks some of the greedy ministers within its ranks may defect unless their nests are sufficiently feathered, that is its problem. Wasting public funds to keep them happy is antithetical to good governance.

Ministers of the Rajapaksa Cabinet were known for their expensive tastes though they are today pontificating on the virtues of frugality. It may be recalled that one of the main planks of the yahapalana platform was that the members of the Rajapaksa regime were living off the fat of the land with fleets of super luxury vehicles at their disposal while the masses were starving. They used a pithy slogan to turn public opinion against the Rajapaksa administration—unta lamborghini; janathavata badagini—lamborghini for the rulers and pangs of hunger for people. Immediately after the 2015 change of government the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government saw to it that the vehicles used by the members of the Rajapaksa regime were returned immediately. Noncompliance led to prosecutions. Why can’t the yahapalana politicians who came to power, banging the drum for frugal fiscal management use those high-priced sedans and SUVs which are good enough for the use of even the First World political leaders?

There has been a severe erosion of public faith in the national legislature which has come to be synonymous with waste, dereliction of duty, absenteeism and indiscipline over the years. The uphill task before the yahapalana government is to reverse the trend. Wasting public funds according to the whims and fancies of ministers is certainly not the way to set about it. Having failed to make good on most of its promises, the government should at least cut down on its wasteful expenditure. That is the least it can do to prevent public resentment from spilling over onto streets.

8 Responses to “Yahapalanaya in overdrive – II”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    Another supplementary estimate to buy vehicles for ministers, officials

    Island.lk
    May 25, 2017, 10:23 pm

    By Saman Indrajith

    MEP leader Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday said that the government had submitted a huge supplementary estimate to purchase vehicles for the members and officers of the steering committee of the Constituent Assembly.

    Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake and joint Opposition MP Bandula Gunawardena, too, opposed the supplementary estimate.

    “How can the government do so when the Public Finance Committee has halted purchasing vehicles for ministers?” MP Bandula Gunawardena questioned.

    “What’s the rationale behind this government move to purchase vehicles for MPs and others from time to time in this manner?” JVP Leader Dissanayake asked.

    Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said there was a sinister move by the Opposition to have people believe that vehicles were purchased for the personal use of the ministers. He said vehicles were bought for the ministries. “The ministers return those vehicles to the ministries concerned when they are removed from their posts.”

    Dinesh Gunawardena: Minister Kiriella has not answered the question raised by MP Bandula Gunawardena. The Public Finance Committee has suspended purchasing of vehicles for ministers. But, there is another supplementary estimate for purchase vehicles for members of the Steering Committee and officials. The question was based on that. The Steering Committee member Jayampathi Wickremaratne is present here. He can explain how and why these vehicles are purchased.

    JVP Leader Dissanayake: People in this country have a problem with Ministers importing luxury vehicles for themselves. They will sort it out with those politicians at the coming elections. The Steering Committee has been set up to help formulate a new Constitution. How can you buy new vehicles for them? You make positions, designations and posts and then appoint your cronies and give them vehicles. What is the meaning of this? How can you justify wasting public funds in this manner?

    Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala instructed the Leader of the House to give a detailed response on a future date.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    When Gnanasara Thero and the BBS defends LEGITIMATE Sinhala Buddhis interests and National Archeological Treasures …. they are LABELLED as JAATHIWAADAYO and RACISTS!

    But when wahhabi Muslims and Eelamist Tamils seize Government Lands, desecrate Buddhist Monuments, THREATEN the government, BAN the President from visiting the North, and DENY Sinhala people EQUAL ACCESS to Land in the North and East, they are VICTIMS and FREEDOM FIGHTERS deserving PROTECTION!

    And our JAUNDICED National Government, the Yamapalanaya, HITS ONLY the Sinhala PATRIOTS!

    Is this a Muslim majority or a Tamil majority nation? Am I simply LABORING UNDER A FALSE ILLUSION that Sri Lanka is PRIMARILY a Sinhala Buddhist nation?

    It is HIGH TIME we OUSTED this PARA-GATHI DESHA-DROHI Yamapalanaya and RESTORED a PATRIOTIC government to OUR Motherland!

    ………………………………..
    Arrest Muslim racists before arresting Gnanasara Thero

    DailyMirror.lk
    2017-05-25 23:10:50

    Sinhala Ravaya General Secretary Magalkande Sudaththa Thera said today stern action should be taken to arrest Muslim minsters who supported Muslim extremism before Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Gnanasara Thera was arrested.

    Sudaththa Thera told a news conference that Muslim political factions were trying to label Gnanasara Thera as another Prabhakaran who was igniting racism and causing harm to the Muslim community.

    “According to them Gnanasara Thera is the worst criminal in the country and the one who is destroying the archaeological sites in the country, the one who has destroyed forest reservations and the one who bring drugs into the country,” the Thera said.

    He said Gnanasara Thera raised his voice against the destruction of the Sinhala Buddhist archaeological sites and the clearing of forest reserves in the country.

    “He has done nothing bad to the country,” the Thera said.

    Sudaththa Thera said several attempts had been made by several extremists groups to assassinate Gnanasara Thera and contracts had been offered to these groups.

    “Today, a warrant had been issued to arrest Gnanasara Thera. However, there is no one in charge of issuing the warrant. No police department had been informed to arrest him, the minister who is in charge of the police department or the Justice and Buddha Sasana Minister does not know about the arrest. Therefore, it’s reasonable to believe that there is an attempt to abduct Gnanasara Thera and assassinate him,” Sudantta Thera said.

    He said the BBS was not responsible for the attacks on Muslim religious centers and that there should be credible inquiries regarding these attacks.

    “We also condemn these attacks. Investigations should be made to arrest Muslims who attacked their mosques,” he said.

    The Thera said, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran should be arrested first followed by Northern Provincial Councillor M.K. Sivajilingam.

    He said Mr. Sivajilingam has allegedly said that even President Maithripala Sirisena could be arrested if he comes to Jaffna and make statements which ignite racism.

    “Then State Minister of Child Affairs, Vijayakala Maheswaran should be arrested. Later, Trade and Investment Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, National Unity Front Leader Azath Sally should also be arrested for issuing statements igniting racism, Gnanasara Thera could be the last one to be arrested,” the Thera said. “Now the Muslim extremists claim that they are having a problem of having archaeological sites in their living areas such as in Eastern Province. However, the Archaeological Department Director had been removed to ease their work,” the Thera said. (Chaturanga Pradeep)

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Another TRAGEDY. Massive floods have killed more than 100 in SL. Every month there is a NATIONAL TRAGEDY!

    According to some people its because WRONG TIMES used for new year. GOSL used TAMIL MADU new year times to satisfy Tamils in SL. These times are BAD for SL.

    Now paying for it.

    From NEW YEAR every month will have a tragedy.

    Cabinet reshuffle greeted by disasters.

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Katussa (Lorenzo),

    What, you now believe in horoscopes and assorted soothsayers also?

    That partly explains your meaningless ranting!

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    USA,

    READ what I wrote (if you CAN). Did you miss the start “according to some people”? You see things PARTLY.

    Anyway NO ONE can disagree that YAMAPALANAYA is CURSED in every way. Make no mistake YAMAPALANAYA is MOSTLY UNP ministers.

  6. Ananda-USA Says:

    President Sirisena has allocated the GRAND sum of Rs. 150 million for flood relief.

    This is a paltry amount considering that 113 people have died so far and over 1 million people have been made homeless in the most highly populated part of Sri Lanka. Vast numbers have been affected directly by rising floodwaters and indirectly by flood-induced landslides.

    Also, nearly 100 people of the Meethotamulla garbage dump disaster have still not received any significant relief and are still homeless. I hasten to add that each bereaved family was given Rs. 100,000 (653 USD) as full, and no doubt fair, compensation.

    Meanwhile, Rs 386 billion more has been requested by the Yamapalanaya/UNP government to buy STILL MORE SUPER LUXURY VEHICLRS to MOTIVATE the members of the Constituent Assembly as they sit to deliberate over the New Constitution.

    Why do I SMELL YET ANOTHER BRIBE to the 225 fat cats sitting in Parliament to help DISINTEGRATE our Motherland.

    The “VAST” sum of Rs 150 million that Aiyooooo Sirisenaaaa allocated for FLOOD RELIEF for the ENTIRE NATION is just the amount of money he spent to buy 2 super luxury vehicles for himself!

    Compare that Rs 150 million to the nearly 1 TRILLION rupees, nearly 6,667 times larger than the 150 million allocated to buy vehicles for the Yamapalanaya goons since the national disaster that transpired on that DAY OF INFAMY: Jan 8, 2025.

    Is there ANYBODY HERE who does not RUE THE DAY the Yamapalanaya seized power with the help of Sri Lanka’s internal and external enemies? ANYBODY??

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    Sri Lanka floods death toll is 146 and missing 112 and climbing.

    People are not getting food; government assostance missing in action in many areas.

    Derana TV is collecting relief supplies and has contact information for expatriate contributions.

    Let all of us help the telief effort as much as possible. I will post more info on how expatriates can contribute.

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    Sri Lanka Flood Relief Contacts for Expatriates (first two)

    1. Sampath Bank, Bambalapitiya Bank
    SWIFT code: BSAMLKLX
    (provided by Derana tv youtube video)

    2. http://www.kapruka.com. com/contactus/donate

    I have used Kapruka.com for relief donations before and they are very reliable.

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