Are there two sets of laws?
of persons who had invested money at the now failed
Golden Key Credit Card Company of Deshamanya Lalith
Kotelawala was published in The Sunday Leader of March 8
and 15. The list included the names of quite a lot of
people including religious dignitaries.
surprisingly, we did not find the name of a single
politician of this country in the two lists. Does it go
to say that the politicians of our country are
honourable gentlemen and are not 'swindlers.'
not say that The Sunday Leader has done anything wrong
by publishing the names of those who have invested money
with the Golden Key Credit Card Company for a high rate
of interest. But my complaint is that The Sunday Leader
has been partial in leaving out the names of politicians
when publishing this list.
newspapers have reported that the Tax Department is
getting ready to rope in the people who have invested
such huge amounts of money with Golden Key. Perhaps
these people will be penalised by the Tax Department for
having made false declarations and defaulted the paying
of tax on these monies.
know the politicians amass wealth by crooked means.
They will perhaps be very angry to see this letter in
print. But that is how it is. The case of a former
deputy defence minister who had Rs.44 million worth of
certificates of deposit in his bank vault and a minister
in the present government who had over Rs.250 million
and was unable to explain as to how he came by this
money are cases in point.
court order to return the deposit certificates back to
the former deputy defence minister was not because he
was found innocent of the offence, but because the CID
had not filed an indictment against him even after a
very long time. May be the delay in filing indictment
by the CID was stage-managed by the powers that be, and
we can imagine what will happen to the case against the
present minister from the Kalutara District.
reliably informed that some big depositors in the Golden
Key Credit Card company were paid back just before the
collapse. Their names do not appear in the lists
is the state of affairs in this country, where people in
high places talk big and pretend to be above reproach,
but are corrupt to the core.
also told that the list published by The Sunday Leader
was the list provided to court at the request of court.
From this we can see how reliable the information
provided to court is.
seems to be one set of laws for the common man and
another set of laws for the high and the mighty. The
people of this country need to take note of these things
when casting their vote at any future election, whether
provincial council elections, general elections,
presidential elections, or even a referendum.
government is selling the war and its victories over the
LTTE to win elections. Many letters have appeared in
the press that voters should refrain from voting for
murderers, rapists and other corrupt persons at
people would do well to remember the corrupt practices
of politicians when casting their votes at the
forthcoming Western Provincial Council election and all
other future elections.
Irrespective of party politics all politicians who
invested money in the failed Golden Key Credit Card
Company must be made public immediately.
minister from the Kalutara District against whom action
is currently being pursued to get him to explain how be
came by Rs.250 million, was only a minor employee before
becoming a minister. While I do not want to cast
aspersions on any person, I leave it to the public to
decide for themselves whether a normal person could have
earned such money by legal means in these tough times.
Little 'stars' seeing stars
matter is directed primarily to the Minister of Cultural
Affairs and secondly to parents of all those little
children who are contestants in a 'Star' show. Apart
from teenagers and adults between the ages of 16 and 25
who take part in the singing and dancing acts, a section
for children aged eight years downwards and 12 years
downwards takes pride of place.
moot point here is the mental stress placed on these
children in their formative years. A child enters
school education at the age of five years having gone
through Montessori or play school training with the
accent on mounding these little minds. Certainly they
learn to sing, dance recite poetry and engage in
handwork which brings out their talents and
the advent of TV the actualities of communicating with
the public has taken a seriously wrong turn! In order
to gain public acclaim and increase their advertising
income some TV stations have gone the whole hog, not
giving consideration to the physical and mental stress
little children undergo in competing in these 'star'
shows. As a parent I wish to address the following
anomalies to parents and the relevant authorities:
usual for a large number to apply as contestants - as
much as 30 or 40 thousand. So from day one these
contestants undergo auditions for months on end, until
the 'round robin' system reaches the final group of 12
or 15 contestants (who would have to appear at say two
here onwards contestants, whether dancing or singing
will appear on stage each week where one will be
eliminated until the three semi finalists are selected.
three semi-finalists will battle it out again until a
winner emerges for that season.
not so stressful for teenagers basically, as today many
of them dote on modern clothes, modern songs and modern
dances. But here, I am referring to little children who
still have not faced the realities of life, being
exposed to nights without sleep, day after day of
practices and being transported around stages all over
sane person, including a psychiatrist will testify to
the damage caused to the lives of these little ones. Of
course, it is of great pride to see the talent of these
kids being publicised - but is it worth the damage being
this as the trend now is to follow the seniors with chat
shows and stage shows in various parts of the country
and parading these kids while the advertisers and the
mobile phone service providers make their money.
many parents are hell bent on getting their children a
good education and spend much money and time on
'tuition' in various subjects. These parents spend
hours each day hanging around tuition classes or schools
displaying a 'protectionist' attitude.
like manner cannot the parents of child stars see the
utter destruction to which the minds of their children
are being exposed to -hideous face make-up, hot lights
and spending hours memorising and practising a song or
dance for every weekend they appear on stage?
takes a lot of mental energy to remember every line and
beat of every song or every move as a dancer. The final
result is that these kids undergo immense mental stress
which in later years, will be a telling factor on their
studies and behaviour.
Recently another 'dance' fad has hit the scene. The
irony of it all is that all the male contestants do just
one style of dance in hip-hop or Jackson style, while
the females imitate 'Bollywood' style dancing with
nothing to show in variety. To add to the woes, the
judges, all except one, are actors in TV dramas and do
not have an iota of knowledge of traditional dancing.
many have not noticed, I ask you to note the following -
while the male contestants are attired in suitable
outfits, the female contestants may well qualify for
nudity! This is certainly not in keeping with Asian
call on the minister and all parents to step in and not
let children be made 'scapegoats' for the greed of TV
stations. When smoking and drinking scenes in movies
and dramas shown on TV are blacked out as per
regulations made by the relevant authorities, why not
have better standards with regard to 'culture' in TV
The Golden Key 'swindlers'
Congratulations on your expos‚ of details pertaining to
the Golden Key scandal˙including the complete list of
depositors which you had published notwithstanding the
protests of some depositors that their names be
excluded, some even for religious reasons.
of us were grieved that you had referred to this list as
a 'Swindlers List.' Some of these depositors are not
rich persons by any stretch of the imagination but are
very ordinary people who had invested small sums and who
depended on the earnings of their deposits for their
rice, coconuts and daily 'bread.' Of course there are,
without doubt, swindlers among them.
that as it may, several good people have lost the
earning capacity of their meagre savings and have been
driven to the streets, so to say. Action on several
fronts, including the courts, is now being taken to see
that depositors are paid back. It has been extensively
reported that the creation of a 'trust' in which all
assets of GK will be vested and which will pay the
depositors in the most equitable manner is˙under
consideration by the courts.
However I was surprised to read on several occasions
that GK lawyers had stated in court that some depositors
had been paid their˙deposits ranging from a few thousand
rupees to one or two million. As this matter is under
the purview of the courts, in my opinion, such payments
would amount to contempt of court and is a very serious
matter has not been clearly reported in the papers and
it would be most appropriate if you would find out the
facts in this regard and in your true investigative
style publish the names and the amounts refunded to
depositors, if such refunds had been made.
aware that many people will be most grateful if you will
take action in this regard.
Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Sultan of Oman made a
generous donation of US $ 104,312 (equivalent of SLR125
million) to Help Age, Sri Lanka to meet the cost of
cataract surgeries of the destitute elders in Sri Lanka.
made the donation specifically to perpetuate the memory
of the late Felix de Silva, former Inspector General of
Police and Customs for his significant contribution to
the Royal Oman Police, and the Sultanate of Oman. This
donation manifestly demonstrates the high esteem in
which Felix de Silva was held and to the admirable
gratitude of his Majesty.
Sri Lankans may not be aware of the outstanding
contribution made by this illustrious son of Sri Lanka
and his versatile personality. Having served under him
in the Royal Oman Police for nearly a decade, I feel
obliged to set out his contribution, to the high esteem
in which he was held by his Majesty, the Royal Oman
Police and the people of Oman.
Delip de Silva did Sri Lanka proud in the Sultanate of
Oman when he was appointed as the Inspector General of
Police and Customs and later as Advisor to His Majesty
on Police Affairs. He was bestowed the highest and
prestigious awards of the state for his contribution to
the Royal Oman Police. He guided the destinies of the
Royal Oman Police for over two and half decades, and was
highly respected and admired by its people.
multi-faceted personality, an indomitable police
officer, an administrator of the highest calibre,
philanthropist, sportsman, and above all a human being
with rare qualities, it is not easy to cover all the
salient aspects of his personality, remarkable personal
qualities, and outstanding achievements. Further to
evaluate the significant contribution he made in the
transformation of a rather medieval police force to be a
highly modernised and efficient force, and the best in
the region is no easy task.
education he received at St. Aloysius' College under the
Jesuit Priests had a great impact on him. Discipline
and devotion to duty which were synonymous with the
Jesuits, later became his guiding principles and in no
small measure contributed to his remarkable success.
Felix was proud of his alma mater and he loved his
leaving school he took to planting. Adventurous and
daring by nature, the life of a planter did not appeal
to him much. He joined the Tanganyika Police Force in
search of a more exciting and challenging career and
soon excelled in his duties displaying a remarkable
aptitude for police duties. He was rewarded with
accelerated promotions. In the '60s he joined the Oman
police force which was in its fledgling state.
Distinguishing himself with rare dynamism, dedication
and efficiency much to the envy of other serving British
officers, he was elevated in rank in quick succession.
early '70s he assumed duties as the Inspector General of
Police and Customs. At this time Oman was witnessing an
unprecedented growth and development under his Majesty
Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. To meet the ever increasing
demands of the time, he systematically planned for the
expansion and simultaneous modernisation of the police
de Silva successfully organised the various branches of
the force providing for specialisation in their
respective fields of activity setting up a Marine and
Mounted Division and an Air Wing, to effectively serve
the needs of the fast growing modern society.
he relinquished duties in early 1983, the Royal Oman
Police in the international police world was recognised
as an efficient, sophisticated, highly equipped force
with the most up-to-date techniques, systems and
procedures and an abundance of expertise. It was the
best in the Gulf States. In fact, other members of the
Gulf Corporation Council regularly sought the assistance
of the Oman Police to train its personnel.
his significant and remarkable contribution to the Royal
Oman Police and National Security, he was decorated and
bestowed the most envious and prestigious awards by His
Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said and he was conferred a
retirement he was appointed Advisor to His Majesty on
Police Affairs and was required to undertake some
sensitive diplomatic assignments as His Majesty had
implicit faith in Felix.
devout Buddhist, he practiced his religion
unobstrusively, observing the four Sathara Brahma -
loving kindness, compassion, altruistic joy and
equanimity to the maximum. Humanism and generosity knew
no bounds. He gave generously to the temples, churches
and other places of religious worship in his birthplace
Galle, and his poor relations and friends in need.
de Silva passed away in the USA on October 23, 2001, and
his ashes were interred at the Radella Cemetery in Galle.
He was 74 years at the time of his death. Sri Lanka
lost a great man and Oman a friend who loved the
Sultanate and its people.
a rare personality and epitomised the legendary person
who would walk with alacrity and equal harmony with
beggars and kings. His Majesty has persistently
reiterated the gratitude of his people for the
outstanding contribution made by Felix de Silva and
naturally his magnanimous and generous donation to Help
Age, Sri Lanka.