The Sunday Leader

Launch Professional Investigations To Bring Crooks To Book

The Standard Sri Lankan practice has been that when new governments take office, ministers are appointed and they set upon voyages of discovery on wastage and corruption of their predecessors. However more so than not, soon the past is forgotten and the new incumbent sets upon the tracks of his predecessor to collect the loot.

President Maithripala Sirisena has vowed to bring in a new, effective and fair system of governance (Yaha palanayak). He cannot afford to let his ministers go on the beaten track to boost their ego and their purses. Besides government is interim that would last for only 100 days. Already 9 days have been spent.

When governments go out, charges of corruption against key personalities are rampant. Any government worth its salt will dig deep into the charges made for the allegations are that they are plundered public funds or that the rights of the people have been sold for the gain of these political parasites.

Within these 100 days, President Sirisena has to set up credible administrative machinery to probe some of the ‘black holes’ of corruption that has sucked in public funds which should have been diverted to help the abjectly poor of Sri Lanka.

If he has the time and resources within the limited 100 days to probe elusive racketeers who have made billion during the last corrupt decade, it is well and good. But without much effort he has the COPE report, whose author is none other than his Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe. He has probed Corporations of public enterprises thoroughly and presented a revealing report much to the discomfiture of the Rajapaksa government. He could use this report as a starting block for his investigations.

The time span of 100 days will preclude lengthy and thorough investigations of many black holes but much will be achieved if at least one or two institutions can be exposed to the full.

SriLankan, Petroleum Corporation and the Ceylon Electricity Board are the biggest black holes. Some unbelievable events have occurred where political appointees have ‘hedging’ with international banks along with other top rankers resulting in the loss of millions of dollars. Who authorized these officials with little or no expertise in international banking to indulge in reckless gambling causing immense loss to this country? Even after these losses, the officials seem to continue merrily in their corporation activities. Even before investigations are complete, an immediate probe should be carried out to probe conduct of such officials along with their previous background.

Bribery and corruption it is well known go hand-in-hand with the breakdown of law and order. The initial step in corrupt practices is to circumvent accepted norms and disciplinary standards, violate government regulations and then plunge into bribery and corruption. When financial and administrative regulations are flouted, it is open sesame for corruption. This should be an important starting point for investigation of billion-dollar frauds in infrastructure development.

A special investigation is called for in the reckless and criminal step of virtually gambling with the peoples Provident Fund in the Stock Market. The contributors to the EPF that ranges from the humble labourer grades to staff officials have no say in how their lifetime savings were invested in the stock market. Who gave these parasitic officials to gamble with the funds of the savings of poor workers?  A detailed account of the profit and loss of EPF funds in the stock market is called for.

President Sirisena can help himself very much and the country to rid bribery and corruption with the enactment and implementation of the Right to Information Act, which for obvious reasons did not find favour with the Rajapaksa regime. The public and journalists could provide him with information that would not be normally available.

For some unknown reason, the portfolio of the Minister of Sports has not yet been filled up. Arjuna Ranatunga, the Captain Cool of Sri Lanka cricket, has been appointed as Minister of Ports and Shipping. There is much to be investigated in sports activities of Sri Lanka, particularly cricket about which Arjuna Ranatunga has spoken much. A minister of sport should be appointed so that Arjuna could provide him with the necessary instructions.

As we said in our comments earlier, when new governments are elected allegations true or false are made against leaders but with time are truly forgotten. President Maithripala Sirisena has said his government would differ from previous practices. He then should commence investigations in a professional manner with qualified investigators to get to the bottom of the truth.

4 Comments for “Launch Professional Investigations To Bring Crooks To Book”

  1. Ma Per

    Arju na shd hv been sports minister – he hs already exposed misuse not onnly in cricket – even in football and athletics, miuse of tsunami funds received from international sports bodies etc. People like him, Ranjan Ramanayake etc. shd be included in such an executive committee to catch the crooks and penalise them. VERY FAST ACTION IS NEED TO PREVENT THESE SUCKERS ESCAPING FROM THE COUNTRY AND HIDING IN ME COUNTRIES. IF THEY HV ESCAPPED ALREADY, THEIR CITIZENSHIP IN SRI LANKA SHD BE CANCELLED.

  2. Cren

    This regime must get cracking right away, if they keep prolonging then their is suspicion of a deal with the past crooks and the current regime to delay and come out and say we have no evidence to prove. Then we have to look for a regime that will bring justice to us. There is some suspicious growing on the crooks trying to em-braise Mithri and call him ape janadipathy deserting MR after landing him in a total mess. Mathri must be careful as his downfall will be based on filtering these crooks against the genuine people of his party. As out of the 29 ministers who saw a presentation on the danger of holding elections by an analyst non had the boldness and courtesy to inform MR of the danger and have him take a look at the presentation. MR had made a wrong choice of his ministers hope not Mithri.

  3. Lanka

    So many ‘crooks’ in Sri Lanka! Are there any “straight people” even to do the investigations?

  4. tomsam

    First all pakses should have their passports impounded and placed behind bars.
    The investigations could thereafter.

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