The Ugly Dragon
Posted on January 3rd, 2020

Orpheus Perera

Tips, Bribery and Commissions.


Tipping is something people do, to say thank you for a good service. Sometimes I give tips to waiters even if the service is not satisfactory. But advice the recipient(Normally waiters of hotels and restaurants.). I do so as a favour to the poor guys.

In countries such as Australia, United Kingdom and even Sri Lanka, giving tips is decided by the service recipient. But in the USA it is a way of life. Speciality in the hospitality Industry the staff is poorly paid and they depend lot on the tips. Standard rate of tipping in the USA is 15% of the billing amount. If you occupy a room in a hotel, if you don’t leave $2 on the bed, the house keeping staff will not, do a good job. They may not even change the bed sheets unless you have left the hotel. Tour Guides and drivers keep a bucket near the exit of the bus and ask the tourist to tip them generously. This is all Okay, poor people need to survive in a Capitalist society.


This is one of the ugliest faces of modern Sri Lanka. It is hard to find the origin of bribing. It may have been there since the dawn of the so called civilisation. Though there are no proofs people believe even 1000 years ago foreign invaders have bribes Sinhalese feudalistic to get their help to capture the country. There were some proofs that British did that to conquer the country without having to wage war against the locals.

The proof of bribery been given and taken in the USA from the time European settlers settled, is they have told the world that they practice this, by displaying them in all their Movies.

First case of Bribery by a Government minister was exposed only in 1960’s. The minister in question was a popular guy who, introduced a secured future for all the workers of the country, who are not employed by the government(Who received the old age pension). The minister had to resign from his post, from the legislature council and from the party.

We often hear of public servants at all levels taking bribes. But the reports or the gossips never mention of people trying to give bribes. I suggest that the people who offer bribes are the people who should be given harsher punishments than those who take bribes. If nobody gives bribes, the public servants will eventually will have to do their duty to general public who seek the service. I trust that during the next 5 years the public service will become more efficient and clean.


I could not trace back the origin of the commissions. All I could find was the definition of commission is what is paid to salesmen for making a sale. This is a contract of employment where the salesman’s salary is set at a low level and a commission, a percentage of the value of the sale he/she makes.

I have no doubt, that the origin of the big ugly dragons of commissions were not brain child of Sri Lankan politicians. In my opinion, these ugly dragons are created by Multinational Giants to beat the competitors, when forwarding tenders for big contracts. Irony is, now it is a well known fact, even Chinese companies(Public) offer commissions to win contracts. China who emerged to become a world power within the last 70 years under socialist system. I have no idea whether it was a part of Chairman Mao Zedong’s plan for the future.

Ugly Dragon

Commissions are actually another form of massive bribes. It is a common knowledge that this has been widely practices since 1977, with the open market system competition. It may have been there in smaller scales prior to this. Incidentally there was a humerus story(among the Mahavelly Engineers) connecting Then minister who is one of the most efficient ministers of Sri Lanka and an unnamed minister(Roads and Public Works?) of Pakistan. I would put this gossip to a side as a story made up by disgruntled Engineers, who wanted to give it as a reason to leave the country. But this commissions that are included in the cost of work or services has to be borne

by the unborn children of the country. It is a massive lost to government coffers and need to be stopped.

Well, same forces that lead the country to victory against the mighty Tigers should be able to save the country from this ugly Dragon – Commissions.

Orpheus Perera

One Response to “The Ugly Dragon”

  1. dingiri bandara Says:

    It is sad to say that most salaried in Sri Lanka cin not afford to live a decent life, buy a property, own a house or get their
    children in to a good school if they depend on their salaries alone. Although ot it not right, that is one of the reasons why there is so much corruption. Only those who are in fraudulent or illegal business and activities can afford to do so. The land prices are so high, today only a very few can afford.

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