Baiz The Enfant Terrible Re-Emerges In Puttalam
- A Rogue Mayor In The Fray
By Vimukthi Yapa
Puttalam District enfant terrible K. Abdul Baiz has re-emerged to seek nominations through the UPFA to contest the impending local government elections. With a chequered history Baiz if readers recall, entered politics through the SLMC of Rauf Hakeem and was the Chairman of the Puttalam Urban Council when he was sacked from the post by the then Chief Minister of the North Western Province, S. B. Nawinna, in the year 2001.
Chairman Baiz was sacked for being associated with an assault on officials of the Auditor General’s Department and thereby preventing them carrying out an audit of the finances of the Puttalam Urban Council. Amongst those who were assaulted were ladies and one was a pregnant woman.
A comprehensive inquiry held into the assault found Chairman Baiz guilty together with two of his employees. A licensed shot gun issued to Baiz was used in the assault by one of his employees. The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament with Prof. Wiswa Warnapala in the chair ratified the removal of the then Chairman, Baiz.
At a later election Abdul Baiz entered parliament through the national list of the SLMC / UNP coalition but crossed over to the UPFA ranks and was awarded a deputy minister’s position. He was involved in another controversy when he brandished a gun and was caught on camera. At the last general election, contesting on the UPFA ticket, Baiz failed to enter parliament hugging the preferential list, at the bottom.
Baiz has re-emerged once again and is seeking nominations through the UPFA / SLMC to the Puttalam UC and even has grand designs of being the mayoral candidate. Two cutouts have already been erected to announce his impending candidature.
There are fresh allegations of another assault on a pharmacist. But this time it’s on a supporter of Minister Maithripala Sirisena. The current trend towards picking ‘horses for courses’ was not meant to include those who can wield a big stick, let alone a firearm. The promised march towards good governance during the second tenure of President Rajapaksa would never be tested more than taking a peek at the quality of his choices in the nominations list. Baiz , if he secures nomination would show the intentions of the UPFA. Worse, if the people of Puttalam go one step further and elect him.