The Sunday Leader

Time To Start Naming Names

by Emil van der Poorten

In the so-called democracies where one doesn’t simply bump-off one’s adversaries or ‘disappear’ them in vehicles of varying hues, it is fashionable to refer to politics as a ‘blood sport’.

However, one of the quirks of Sri Lankan journalism appears to be a predilection to studiously avoid naming names. I suppose this can be justified as yet another manifestation of ‘2500 Years of Sinhala Buddhist Civilization’. Can’t think of any other explanation for this abject fear of treading on the toes of those who, despite ‘regime change’ and the alleged ‘return of the rule of law’, continue unscathed in their pursuit of personal aggrandizement at public expense. Can you?

The man piloting one of the newer top-of-the-line Mercedes Benz’s who must have an unrivalled knowledge of the powdered/preserved milk trade as it issues from New Zealand is one of these. His virtually unrivalled history of kow-kowing to the Rajapaksa regime inclusive of his role in the conduct of the post-mortems into the execution-style slayings of the Action Contre Le Faim employees at Mutur as documented by Prof. Rajan Hoole have been too well documented by that independent and fearless historian of ‘the conflict’ to require repetition here.

The fact that he headed up, with great acceptance by his Minister, a Health Ministry distinguished by the level of corruption prevailing in it at the time is simply a matter of record.

A change in authority to the man who is now our President, Maithripala Sirisena (during the Rajapaksa Regime’s rule), saw our worthy depart for shores across the Palk Strait to serve in a hard-currency-paying international agency which chose not to renew his contract for reasons not in the public domain.

The vehicle in which rugger-player Wasim Thajudeen’s body was found

Since the Rajapaksa Regime continued in power in dear old Lanka, job opportunities were not lacking for those with easy entrée into their foetid halls of infamy. Back he comes, to a stupendous salary with an international dairy giant with a less than savoury reputation, inclusive of some rather strange dealings in the supply of less-than-pristine milk product to Sri Lanka in the not-so-distant past.

You don’t get paid those kinds of emoluments for simply being able to distinguish between the reproductive organs of a stud bull and the udder of a cow.  The reasons lay elsewhere:  In the places usual in such circumstances – primarily ready access to the powerful.

All well and good one could say and that with the change to ‘good governance’ at the beginning of 2015 such flotsam and jetsam would find themselves back on the job market.

Not so.

Here he comes again to head up the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital, appointed by a Minister whose every utterance seems to divest him of yet more of the very limited grey matter originally bestowed upon him by his maker of which, by some miracle, a smidgen still resides in his cranium.

Here, despite it being a diversion from the main narrative in this case is one: He makes a loud policy proclamation that the fee structure of private hospitals in Sri Lanka will be subjected to close scrutiny once he returns from medical treatment in SINGAPORE!  His primary responsibility, in the event that it slips by unnoticed, is to the public health sector in Sri Lanka which, if truth be told, is in worse than shambles. Oh, well, perhaps, as the head of Sri Lanka’s Public Health Service he was upset at the fact that he felt compelled to seek private health care in Singapore because he felt that the local equivalent’s charges were exorbitant. Can’t think of any other reason. In any event, it must be nice to have such choices which are certainly not available to us lesser Sri Lankans!

Having had ‘up close and personal’ contact with the ‘gentleman’ heading up Sri Jayewardenepura in the matter of what amounted to serious medical incompetence if not malpractice bordering on the criminal and, despite personal telephone calls to me, his hospital has, to all intents and purposes, ‘deep-sixed’ the matter despite nearly half a year having elapsed.  It must be admitted however, that this kind of conduct has to be considered as up-grading in the matter of treating the general public as some variety of faecal matter and MUST be rewarded. I’d also suggest you check the web for this individual’s credentials in the matter of the treatment (preceded by dire threat) under the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, of the four doctors who were stranded at Nanthikadal with the refugees and Tamil Tigers during the final days of the war.

Then you have the diminutive genius who probably earned his spurs by blocking off the general public’s access to news reported internationally on the Sri Lankan scene by simply joining his mentor’s public receiving/broadcasting facilities, ensuring unanimity in the matter of preventing our LEGAL RIGHT TO INFORMATION ABOUT OUR OWN COUNTRY.

One would, at least have expected a whimper of opprobrium with the ensconcing of the Maithri/Ranil circus.

Not so.

The man becomes visible again when the organization he heads more than drags its feet in the matter of providing the law-enforcement agencies with documentation of the electronic communications associated with the brutal torture and execution of rugger-player Wasim Thajudeen whose fatal sin/crime appears to have been too close association with a part of the female circle around what was, until recently, Sri Lanka’s Royal Family.

The word ‘sleaze’ hardly begins to describe the conduct of this kind of individual.

The real question though is ‘what the hell, even minimally, is the MR2 (Maithripala/Ranil) entourage doing about this totally unacceptable state of affairs’. Can’t they at least take action against the Rajapaksa minnows if they consider the primary culprits too big for their puny nets? Or is there a more obvious reason, far closer to home, for what is going/not going on?


(More about the minnows will follow in the weeks to come because even if they aren’t the real problem they are symptomatic of it)

1 Comment for “Time To Start Naming Names”

  1. shami

    Rajapaksa filth being protected a huge mistake by President and PM that will rebound?

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