Guinness Records for the crooked
Posted on December 15th, 2017

Christmas is fast approaching and it’s time again for an Arjuna celebration?

What celebration are you talking about?

What else, but the Guinness Record – won by the tallest Christmas tree in the world, built at Galle Face for last Christmas? Do you think he could be planning for another Guinness Record this Christmas?

Why not? Just thought he could be planning the longest Christmas Fuel Pipe, to carry all the Mangala Beer this Christmas? This time the job will be done by the Petroleum Corporation, directed by his ever profiting brother, even if it leads to a fuel shortage.

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But don’t you think there are many other Guinness Records that Sri Lanka could win now, without building any new pipeline?

Like what?

Come on. Why not the Treasury Bond record? Surely Sri Lanka is certain of winning the prize for the world’s biggest Treasury Bond Scam; more special because it was achieved under a government that was elected to wipe out corruption. This will be a completely new area for Guinness Records – Central Banks, Reserve Banks and Federal Reserves all over the world will be competing from now on.

But Arjuna can’t claim that prize.

You’re right; it will go to his boss. He surely deserves it. Guinness may also have to consider recognizing the world’s biggest “Conflict of Interest” record, the father-in-law and son-in-law: Arjuna–Arjun–deal worth billions of people’s savings. The EPF and ETF will be the losers.

Do you think Guinness will consider such crooked dealings for its records?

Why not? They are concerned with huge or massive records … and that is the stuff of Sri Lanka’s crooked systems of today. Guinness may have a whole new area of the Panama and Paradise Papers.

Looks like Sri Lanka is moving to be a new crooked destination in world business that can beat whatever position we have as a tourist destination.

Just thought of another record – The world’s largest rent paid for an unoccupied Ministry of Agriculture. The winner is undoubtedly Minister Duminda Dissanayake, who is also the secretary of the SLFP. Is there any country in the world where so many millions have been paid as rent for an unoccupied office building, and money paid for furniture and modern maintenance when empty, and Parliament having to pass a supplementary estimate for the huge costs involved? Guinness may have to include this in the rank of Corruption Supreme.

Looks like Sri Lanka is building a new image from the Pear of the Indian Ocean to the Lemon of South Asia.

There are many more prize winners too, moving up on the corruption scale. Look at Promise and Performance.

This government was elected on a promise to the people that the corrupt leaders of the past regime would be brought before the law with speed, and justice delivered. What has happened?

The biggies of corruption are parading as free birds, poking fun at those who said they would be brought to justice. No cases are filed against the really big names. If there are moves to arrest them, there are huge protests, often led by a hypocritical yellow clergy. The inaction against corruption is such that there is a new rise of the sanctimonious in public life.

You mean it may not be long before those who were said to be corrupt will seek a Guinness Record for having avoided arrest, indictment and the law, from those who pledged to build a clean society?

Of course, they are now lining up for records on escape from justice – the crooked of the past given new lives by the crooked of the present. There are some who call this Yahapalanaya or Good Governance.

We are also moving to another area of possible Guinness Records – The Non-Declaration of Assets Awards. This is a unique situation. Persons who are known to have owned millions of rupees, (and even dollars and pounds) of wealth, many vehicles and even owned companies with massive profit, are fined the puniest amounts – just Rs. 1000 or 2000 for not declaring their assets. They are made the High Priests of Non-Declaration, in what is seen as a world-shattering mockery of justice. So, why not a Guinness record for the non-declaration of the biggest assets, with the lowest fine?

This is certainly a time of celebration for the corrupt in Sri Lanka. We are moving to a period of festivity, not with the Spirit of Christmas, but with the opportunity of Guinness Records for the crooked.

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