Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Let Sri Lanka not become a Batista regime of CUBA – Food for thought

There is an interesting article by Ranil Senanayake, himself also called FR, and the grandson of the Freedom Fighter, FR Senanayake, who would have been the first Prime Minister at Independence had he not died at a young age of 39. FR was the intellectual, who went to Downing College Cambrige a Barrister who was called to the Bar in Lincolns Inn.

It encapsulates what Sri Lanka could become if we are not careful, and allow the robber barons of today to rule this country without checks and balances. It is our duty to prevent this possibility as it is all predicated simply out of greed and NOT out of a sense of National Identity or Patriotism in the slightest.

I might also remind the reader that FR was the leader of the temperance movement in Sri Lanka, and had he lived, I am sure we would not have fallen into a Country in such an inebriated state!!

I quote from a passage he has written attributable to John F Kennedy whose 50th death anniversary was commemorated just last week who noted:

“I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime. I approved the proclamation, which Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption. I will even go further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins. In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear.”

It is opportune for us to read these words and carefully think how we must react and determine what it is that we want in Sri Lanka. Until we have good governance and the rule of law and with all the checks and balances of the Independent Judiciary etc. we MUST not attempt these mirages of gold that blind us as we drive towards it, and stop our car and wait for it to disappear.   

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Time to get used to the name Nisha Desai Biswal – US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Affairs.

She succeeds Robert O Blake who was previously in that position, and earlier was also the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka. Blake has just been appointed as the US Ambassador to Indonesia.

The Wikipedia notes that she is a Hindu, and of second generation Indian origin. No doubt within a few months she will be in Sri Lanka to meet with Govt. officials, and prior to the UNHRC meetings in Geneva in March 2014, will no doubt be pressuring the SL Govt. to show progress in the promises made at finding solutions as noted in the SL Govt.  appointed LLRC commission.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks on her appointment along with Nisha’s acceptance is also worthy of a read.

Prior to taking up the appointment she was at US Aid as Assistant Administrator for Asia, which probably oversees the disbursement of US Aid funds in Asia and monitors progress and evaluates effectiveness.

I am sure it will be fun for out Govt. to work with a clearly Indian looking American as opposed to the White American they pay deference to in front of and then backstab behind.

With Samantha Power in the UN and she in the South Asia desk, the women power takes over. I wonder if she will send Atul Keshap another Inidan American who she has appointed as her deputy for the work in our region.

Too bad, Atul also speaks conversational Hindi and not Sinhala! Anyway we in Sri Lanka are in for more of the same pressure this time from a team of Indian Americans much to the Chagrin of the SL Govt.

These two will work with the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka Ms Michelle Sison to transmit the US concerns with regards to its expectations within SL. I know we don’t like the Americans to dictate to us, but then again hey, Ghotabaya Rajapakse has taken the oath of allegiance to the US Constitution as an American citizen and he very much dictates to us, so what is the difference?     

Friday, November 22, 2013

This world record for the President will never make it to Guinness!

I sometimes wonder what kind of sycophants live in Sri Lanka! When today’s Daily News claims a world record of the first time a Head of Govt. (HOG) of a country that is the Chairman of CHOGM for the next two years presents a budget! They sound as if it is a GOOD record to hold, how insane?

Are we a nation of idiots? After all convention has it that it is the Minister of Finance of a Country that presents its Budget, and NEVER is the Minister of Finance who doubles up as the HOG. Except of course when it is from Sri Lanka where all conventions are broken and we appear even to be proud of breaking these conventions! After all we also have a world record in the number of Ministers in our Government and some even appear of to be proud of that fact asking Guinness to add a new category, so it could be put in that infamous book of World Records. 

Of course he is on his way to create unbeatable records such as the number of times he has presented Budgets consecutively that may never be broken hence!
Of course observers will say that budgets should be presented by people who are responsible for their preparation and most importantly are accountable to it, so that if they are unable to carry out the actions in the budget and its predictions fail, then usually they resign their posts and hand it over to more suitable people at the time. That will not happen here.

In our Country, we have assumed, as otherwise there would be others in this position, that the individual presenting the budget is the most suitable to do so, and has been for the past 8 years and will be for the next X numbers of years.

In my opinion, we must have a change of finance minister every three to four years, so that new ideas and thinking are added to the budget proposals. The budget presented yesterday is broadly neutral with nothing of significance except that all 14 Million phone users in Sri Lanka will pay 5% more for their use, that is an increase of 25% (a quarter more than the tax that we all now pay for telecom use) of the 20% they now pay is up to 25%. This will yield the Govt. an income in excess of Rs8B in 2014 and to my mind the one increase in cost that affects almost ALL adults in Sri Lanka. No Guinness world records for that, I am afraid. Sadly even this fact has NOT been correctly calculated and notified to the people of Sri Lanka by the Press after yesterdays budget. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I did not expect such a number of CHOGM evaluations by the usual suspects!

The British came and caused a stir. They were told by the local side to look into their own HR violations vis a vis the Iraq war, before pointing a finger at SL. MR invoked Lord Buddha not to outsmart others, but try to improve one’s own faults and failings first. Does he practice what he has preached?

The accused in Sri Lanka JUST WILL NOT ACCEPT accountability on the grounds that it is applied unfairly, and not equally to all. If the US did the accusing the Drone strikes will be the counter claim.  

This strategy of not permitting others outside of our shores to dictate what we should and should not do is OK in a democracy where there are checks and balances available to society to prevent a repeat and promote restraint. 

In Sri Lanka abuse of power with no checks is why there is an outcry that justice will not be served within our shores. That simply is what the argument is about. Not if the UK and USA have been any better when it comes to HR violations!! Throughout history they have been much worse, and trust me they know that too!! Don't think they do not realize that. What about Hiroshima? Carpet Bombing of Germany etc.

Here are a selection of some of them.

Whilst I agree for the most part they are highly critical of the performance of the Govt. and is not music to the ears of those who believe in a real paradise now present , it nevertheless catches a viewpoint of Sri Lankans who are appalled at how stupid we look in the eyes of the world, no matter what we think of that world. Only those who believe we must raise a wall round our Island and HAVE NO dealings with the outside world could criticize all of them below. 

We live in a Globalized world and must be cognizant of that fact that we MUST deal with people from all nations with different agendas.     

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CHOGM 2013 – My post (after the event) thoughts

Another CHOGM bites the dust, the guests have gone, and police have been given 3 days vacation for being on duty. I hope a few journalists will linger to enjoy our hospitality and report favorably on our true beauty and hospitality of the people.

The British PM and Prince of Wales caused the biggest media story, and overshadowed the importance of CHOGM and its declarations by a mile. I am sorry that the focus was hijacked by the international politics, and the resultant domestic politics in those countries. Ironically Abbot who does NOT want any immigrants, gave MR the thumbs up, agreed to give him some ships to catch the boat people and ignored the HR allegations completely, as his constituency of Tamils don’t vote Liberal and there are more Sri Lankans of Burgher and Sinhala origin in Australia than Tamil. He took a calculated political gamble as he was elected on a strong anti immigrant ticket and just began his term.

Sri Lanka is now the Chair of CHOGM for the next two years, and the papers here keep saying it is MR, which is typical of sycophantic illiterates. How people can equate SL with MR is beyond me. They are mutually exclusive!

Despite the rhetoric there were NO immediate benefits, as all investments had already been factored in irrespective of CHOGM. The hoped for media windfall turned into an international PR nightmare, with the Country portrayed in very poor light all over the world.

There is still time to salvage something out of it, but I am afraid our stakeholders are slow off the mark, and are unable to capitalize on the notoriety of Sri Lanka. There is always a chance of turning negative publicity into positive PR if handled smartly.

We have the budget to look forward to with more taxes and less spending, which will be blamed on CHOGM, and the inevitable fight for the CHOGM cars to be distributed amongst the Ministers. What happens to their existing luxury cars? Does the next rung get them?

As I predicted, the whole thing is over in a weekend, and with most people taking Friday off, they would have not even noticed it was ever in town, except for the photos in the papers and the news on local TV extolling the pride of the nation in hosting such a significant event. What say you about it? 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cameron and the Prince - 2 RAF Jets and 4 Black Bullet proof Range Rovers - in Colombo for 48 hours

The David Cameron and the Prince Charles Show – all in 48hours

The show is over and I am not one for sour grapes, as I was not invited to the opening ceremony which was shocking as far as the number of empty seats were concerned, about 400, but it was a made for TV tamasha, that would have excited our local audience who now expect a spectacular show. Except for excerpts, Overseas TV would not have shown its entirety anywhere, defeating the purpose. However do remember it would be shown in its entirety at least once a month on local TV. Already it has been telecast three times, and CHOGM only ended yesterday.

In the end the overseas media only concentrated on the David and Mahinda show with a few tidbits of Charles and Camilla. In that sense both Cameron and Rajapakse allowed it to lose its significance to a degree, that Kamlesh Sharma the ineffective Secretary General, was despairing hoping to focus on the theme.

I believe Cameron outfoxed Rajapakse, whilst Manmohan Singh and Harper were irrelevant as they did not come, and therefore harmless. Cameron did more damage, willfully or vengefully I don’t know, by his presence and feisty Eton College demeanor all too familiar with Old Etonians. The Government of Sri Lanka was caught flat footed, by a Prime Minister of Britain eager to show that they do not like the attitude that SL puts out about its Colonial master.

We should have gauged this attitude before he arrived, especially having a UK hand, a UK passport holding High Commissioner in London. He must share some of the blame in NOT informing the SL Govt. that they were in for a shock. The game was beautifully played by the Queen not coming, and Charles being extremely polite and diplomatic as the titular head of the Commonwealth. 

The duo played their part to perfection, and if I was MR I would be seething at this affront to my carefully choreographed stage play that was smashed out of the grounds. Charles and David arrived in separate RAF jets. One at 5pm from Kerala to his Westminster House birthday party, and on to President’s House for a Rajapakse family photo op with three sons for their albums!

The other at Midnight from Kolkata, after a Rs30 street food in India, who wished to go straight to bed in time to be ready for the opening session.   He refused the welcome given to all, refused to sign the VIP book at the airport and got into one of the 4 black bullet proof Range Rovers, flown in earlier (not trusting the Benz 400 S class hybrid for fear of it being booby trapped) and sped off to his hotel. William Hague was already in town, as advanced guard to execute the strategy and test the waters. This wrong footed the External Affairs Ministry, as they were unable to plan for contingencies. The President should have been warned that there was something amiss. The other Range Rovers were for Charles, and William Hague and the spare.

Cameron sat through the opening ceremony just for the photo op, not wanting to disappoint his host, and as soon as it was over dashed off to Jaffna to meet with the locals, and we saw the footage of that. He was in a black rolled up shirt and sneakers, and seemed to enjoy the opportunity as the first foreign HOG to go up there, and to have the footage beamed to the English speaking world.

Again outfoxing the regime as it was one of the few refugee camps in the Peninsula and gave a misrepresentation as to size of this particular problem.

Having given audience to the small Diaspora Tamil separatist elements in London before departure, he followed up on his promise to see the situation on the ground. The weeping mothers with photos of the disappeared MUST have been an embarrassment to MR and music to the ears of the Diaspora, focusing on a problem that will not go away unless the Govt. provides a true answer.

Sadly the thousands of other disappeared in the JVP pogroms, have NO outside lobby, and are conveniently forgotten in the land that has the second highest no of disappeared in the world.

To add insult to injury, the resulting Press Conference was only for the UK journalists, who were there in numbers, after all they had the heir to the throne and the PM both in the same city at the same time, and probably chose to come to enjoy the sun from the English winter, with the next stop being Abu Dhabi.

Ironically the brothers Shaikh issue did not make it to the news, as intelligence had informed them that SL Govt was prepared on that one and not on the lack of progress on the LLRC recommendations.

Cameron flew out on Saturday morning to Abu Dhabi after another meeting with MR, and Charles late that day after a round of engagements in Kandy, Nuwera Eliya and visit to the Chris Nonis family tea estate in Labookele, which will help him sell more tea with a Royal visitor as a guest to the plantation! Camilla had a schedule of her own, as well as the Banquet at Lakeside hosted by Charles and Camilla on Friday night for the leaders and spouses.   

Monday, November 18, 2013

Five Star hotel occupancy in Colombo during CHOGM at only 50%

I have had a few ding dong battles with some pontificating Neanderthals in Colombo, about the benefit of CHOGM for Sri Lanka. Technically a gathering of world leaders with the attendant media is a superb opportunity to showcase Sri Lanka to the world, and we simply fluffed it. In fact on reflection we should not have had it in the first place, as the arrogance and stupidity of the powers was sure to result in a very poor showing.

to find out how many rooms were occupied. We turned away tourists, business leaders, due to CHOGM. If the businessman wanted a business visa, he was denied one, unless he came for CHOGM and the related business conference. How bizarre is that when we had enough and more empty rooms!!

So when 2000, 5 star hotel rooms in Colombo remained empty, and just before the start much more than that, it is not something to be gleeful about and gloat, but something to be extremely frustrated about and unhappy. If that does not give a message of the reality what will. We are just too drunk with the spin laid out by the local press, and especially by a Government that cannot think. We appear to be incapable of the art of compromise, that which is a MUST for diplomacy, if we are to deal with Foreign Countries. Hence the price paid.

So we must truly have a post CHOGM discussion on where we went wrong. Were our hotel rates too high? Is that a lesson about the greed of our hoteliers? I don’t have an answer to that but that must be part of the agenda. Some joker in Government pointed out that the hotel rates in Perth, Australia at the last CHOGM were much higher! Yes it may have been, but it was not a huge deal and did not pretend to attract 4000 people or more and so only those who had to attend, did. Remember that even at state expense some countries made the decision that it was not worth attending in such large numbers that we had hoped. In Perth they did not bump up the rates for CHOGM either!

Is it due to our belief that like our President who hijacks a plane from the National Airline, and fills it with cronies, that everyone else will also do it? Let it be a lesson in humility and modesty, that we stop wasting our people’s money and begin a period of sensible spending. It is the people of this Country who either suffer the cost of extravagence or reap the benefit of frugality, not the user of the junket.   

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Channel 4 and the distortion of truth in Sri Lanka

I think it is time for intelligent Sri Lankans to step back and try and balance rhetoric with reality, however hard it maybe for one in Sri Lanka to do so, due to direct and indirect pressure to conform at the expense of being dubbed with Sri Lanka’s most used misnomer, namely traitor. I know who I am what I have sacrificed, and the price I have paid, so I have nothing to fear.

The poisoned chalice has finally been drunk from and who has done so? I am afraid it is President Mahinda Rajapakse, who has attempted, and failed (except in Sri Lanka) to persuade that he is without blood on his hands, not the country’s! the who cares attitude will not hold water much further.

In my opinion the Commonwealth has been forever tainted with irrelevance after this particular CHOGM and only posterity will prove my claim to be true. Just as my current stance I am taking in this post. My previous posts hoped for a different outcome, but the Govt. arrogance and pig headedness prevented that.

I was hoping to be proud of our Country hosting CHOGM, but I believe this Government let the Country down so badly as it will forever be remembered as a HR violators CHOGM and NONE of the important declarations of CHOGM were part of the public debate or discussion overshadowed by the HR allegations. Even the public forum in Hikkaduwa was hijacked by the Govt.

The Govt. so good in the art of PR and spin for local media, in Sri Lanka, failed miserably at that as regards foreign Media, and just have now become a laughing stock amongst them. Though the SL High Commissioner in the UK did his job well to defend this Govt. the SL belief that he won the debate with the CNN newscaster is further from the truth, as the excuses were more facetious than real and in such a situation does not warrant further questioning as the answers are apparent. An independent observer will vouch for that.

If I am to be specific on one point, when asked why protestors stopped the train that Channel 4 journalists were travelling in, saying people were exercising their freedom to protest could not be further from the truth as they were organized and paid for by a local politician to the bidding of his masters, as is the way things are run in Sri Lanka today. It sure made a mockery of his statement in a country where we know ALL demonstrations were banned during CHOGM, except if they were pro Government or in Jaffna!!

Those imbecilic Sri Lankans, who thought he was great, are those who are just intimidated by foreigners and not those who are able to stand up to them. In fact a whole program on Rupavahini was devoted to this effort by Dr Chris Nonis at winning the argument with the CNN correspondent. Only Sri Lankans will think he won the argument, no other independent analyst will do so, pointing to the completely brainwashed minds of our people. He just stonewalled!

I just cannot understand why we cannot call a spade a spade and instead call it a shovel! Are Sri Lankans so stupid?  Can’t we isolate Diaspora agendas from independent reporting? Why does everything anti Govt. from the West have to be from a “small Minority in the Diaspora”? We must sift fact from fiction.   

My opinion has always been that a few small allegations against Govt. individuals have been broadened into ones against the Country, and as the State is a signatory to HR conventions they must abide by them, when the LTTE a terrorist organization of murderers of their own people as well as their enemies are not bound by any, as whatever they do is illegal.

Due to our reluctance to accept that principle, the Country has suffered endless international pressure that will continue, and has affected the Country economically, but electorally has helped the Govt. in its campaign to blame everyone who opposes them as LTTE apologists. Time will prove me right.

It is clearly apparent to all foreign states, but not to SL, that SL is trying to mix two different issues to purposely cloud the focus. I am a proud Sri Lankan and do not want two or three people who do not have the guts to admit the truth, to put the whole country in the spotlight, and to ruin the whole CHOGM. It was NOT Cameron with his personal agenda that ruined it, it was our President with his arrogance, and lack of diplomacy, as he continues to run international conferences like he is appealing to the Gallery in Sri Lanka. I am sorry if locals don’t agree, but one day they will, when reason replaces blind faith. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Come on you brain dead Security Forces of Sri Lanka. Why sound loud sirens in your escort cars when the road is closed anyway? The VIP is pissed off!

A convoy of CHOGM vehicles just passed me by, with loud, incredibly, illegally loud high decibel sirens, not one, but 4. The roads are also closed all the way from the airport to their hotels in the Galle Face area.

If I was travelling in this convoy, having to listen to these sirens from the Airport to the Hotel, I would have got a splitting headache by the time I reached my hotel, and I will mention this to my Grand Children till the day I die, as my first experience of an Island called Sri Lanka. I could not care a toss about Human Rights allegations after this introduction to the Country.

As I write this I just got a SMS saying Prince Charles just landed. It is his 65th Birthday, and the poor chap will certainly have a hissy fit about the noise, and will remember it for the rest of his life too!! 

I hope for his sake and the people in his security detail they turn off any sirens and let him sail into Tintagel effortlessly in whatever limousine, provided for him. I was told he is bringing his own vehicle from the UK, that would be interesting if true to know why and all that.

The next point I wanted to make is that the roads have been removed of vehicles and people have been asked to turn their backs to the road, and face the wall if they happen to be walking. So they would get the hell out of the road.

What does that give the visitor to Sri Lanka as a first impression? Remember first impressions of a country stay with the person for life, and it is important and our duty to give our visitors the BEST first impression of our Country that we can!

I would then say, wide roads, no people, full of police and security vehicles where ever you turn, in short a ‘police state’!  Is this what we want them to know. I cannot comprehend the stupidity of the people tasked with handling the arrangements, of transporting our guests. In short we should NOT have closed any road. The roads anyway are not clogged as most people have skipped town, schools have been closed, universities too, and in short Colombo is pretty devoid of vehicles and people who just don’t want to burn fuel on a hot afternoon, waiting for the VIPs to pass!!! Let’s make some sense here chaps!    

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mauritius is also boycotting CHOGM due to HR allegations!

It is simply incredible that little Mauritius that will host CHOGM 2015 is boycotting Sri Lanka’s CHOGM 2013 on account of HR abuse allegations see link :

For a country that can look at how SL hosts this year, as it is the next venue to do so means that it has principles that preclude them from attending. It must be a blow to Sri Lanka’s credibility. If our leaders just pass that as another Tamil Diaspora action as Ethnic Tamils form 10% of Mauritians is a huge black mark on Sri Lanka even though it is a small Country and is prepared to make a stand like this!!

I am simply concerned that these last minute statements are sure to result in a CHOGM with the lowest number of HOGs (Heads of Government ) of any previously held CHOGM as a proportion of the numbers of Commonwealth Countries at the time.

With Obhrai the Canadian Representative already travelling in Jaffna and making very politically unfavorable comments from there after meeting TNA leaders is itself a very bad precedent no matter what spin the MR government wished to make on this.

How much more of this can we take even before the opening ceremony. Our President surely will have to put a brave face on the whole proceedings when the turnout is just so lackluster, and comparisons will be made in the future of the vast expense disproportionate to the turnout.

We in Sri Lanka are proud to be able to host international delegations, and due to the fault of our Government when people pass us by, it hurts our feelings, and when we see no one in Sri Lanka fighting for justice and trying to make the Government see sense in their cockeyed eyes as they cant see the wood from the trees hurts our pride.

Let’s hope we can salvage something from it, and make a PR success of it, with something for the media to praise us rather than bash us with, as the only way to salvage a little of our pride. The irony is that the Govt. behaves as if nothing bothers them and pooh poohs any suggestion of a failure by making ridiculous statements about its success in advance. Its not too late for mea- culpas! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mr James Packer it is nothing personal – Just those in high office misled you!

As a businessman, Mr Packer, I admire you, and your overall business plan to increase shareholder value to your stakeholders. That is your job, and I am sure you do it well. That is a hallmark of someone who has a vision and a clear means to achieve this mission. I wish you success in your ventures.

It is with this intention, that I am sure you were lured into Sri Lanka, by parties who believed they would be able to use you to enhance their wealth, not for any love of you, as you surely know. That is why you clearly said and in the Crown advertising you point out further, that all investments are contingent upon receiving Govt. approval before you risk a penny of your money.

I am sure you will sign watertight agreements with the SL authorities to ensure that if broken by Sri Lanka, you will have recourse to international tribunals to seek redress and fair compensation, as SL laws will NOT help you.

Unlike the business climate in most countries, Sri Lanka does not offer a true level of security from Risk at the political level, due to the schizophrenic nature of those who govern us, and the ease with which Laws are manufactured and broken to suit personal needs, gratification and greed.

With a smoke and mirrors Government that does not stick to any sense of justice, it is better for you to seek investment opportunities elsewhere. After all it is clear to you that currently all Casinos operate illegally, and therefore the license that has been promised to you by Ravi Wijeratne by transferring that from his existing Casino is also illegal. As you no doubt wish to operate under the law, and the challenge to the Inspector General of Police for your arrest yesterday, will no doubt mean that the environment is too unstable for you to operate in.

We are aware that you are addressing the Commonwealth Business Forum this week, and it would be better for you to concentrate on creating a good business climate for you to operate, to attract new investments, rather than the investment in Sri Lanka that you envisage.

It is right that you insist that the Law be changed to permit new laws to give you a legitimate license in this venture, which I am sure you would be prepared to pay a US$1B premium for exclusivity. If you then work within the law, your risk is that this Govt. will stand by their word and you be the judge. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I just find it hard to believe that 35Km of Principle Roads of Colombo will be closed for 1 hr 15 mins at mid day tomorrow, to facilitate a VIP convoy. Are they bonkers?

An announcement was made at 8pm on Sunday that a length of road including the expressway will be closed from 12.45 pm to 2pm tomorrow. What is all this about?
We were told that at most a 20min delay would occur, but with the closure of the Kelani Bridge both ways it is going to cause a traffic snarl, which is going to affect all traffic for the rest of the day! These traffic police appear to have just been born, if they are unable to facilitate a VIP getting into Colombo within half hour! Mr Traffic Boss, this will only delay him 10mins so please do what you do when the President is on the prowl, and as you have enough experience in that, just act accordingly using similar procedures. You cannot go wrong.

The CHOGM is a tin pot event not worthy of the closures you envisage. I would dearly like to know the VIP as he would demand that NO roads be closed if he knew, unless of course he is like one our insensitive zombies. In fact I can fire an email to his security to that fact and you can get a reply before he lands.

No doubt you intelligent selves will decide after the commotion you have just planned for tomorrow, that your lives will be in danger if you decide to extend it any more, as all the traffic in Colombo will just come to a standstill and you will not be able to move any vehicle to facilitate any VIP, and so I would desist from closing the road, and immediately rescind your earlier mindless suggestion.

If you wanted to Close Colombo for a week then you should have done it, without pretending people can go to work under these conditions. You have packed of the University kids, you have closed 35 Schools just to house some security personnel, and now you are inconveniencing the remainder of the people.

I would not be surprised if some bright spark began a Facebook campaign to fight for our rights over stupid law enforcement officers issuing insane edicts.

Before you think any further I would ask you to rescind the order out of common sense and we the public of Sri Lanka will appreciate that you have been able to see sense before you embark on the most nonsensical action of your long and illustrious or bungling career. You are a servant of the people entrusted with their care, not for you to make the rules as you go along in your mistaken belief that you will get some vicarious pleasure from your action.         

Sri Lanka still takes their orders from the US – whatever you think!

I have been pleading for SL to invest in necessary projects for a long time, that will have a high internal rate of return an have an immediate benefit to the economy. One only need read my blog over the past years to verify that fact. So it is in that vein that I wrote a blog entry last month on Oct 18th, see link:  

Why is it so difficult for a Govt. to spend where it is needed and not spend where it isn’t? Simple, when this country is run by traitors who are only concerned about their personal as opposed to their country’s interest.

We waste so much on CHOGM, does it occur to anyone that the cost of CHOGM could be paid for in two months if we were able to negotiate crude oil supplies from overseas. In the attached link of an article today, the President was reminded by the US Ambassador, yes the President says “yes maam sorry maam anything you say maam!”  to her without as much as a boo to her, but for the gallery makes out that he is NOT beholden to the US for anything.

If the Sri Lanka leaders had one ounce of sense, they could easily have negotiated a deal whereby we were permitted to import Iranian light sweet crude that is needed for our only refinery to run at capacity. It is easy to make the case that it is essential for the country, and we could even promise to look into US companies for a future refinery, all for good measure!    

We can save US$25M a month (in foreign exchange and cost) if we were able to import the crude necessary to run Sapugaskanda Oil refinery instead of leaving it empty with having to pay the workers and also import ALL our country’s oil in refined format! So in 2 months the whole cost of CHOGM, except for permanent projects that are not only for CHOGM, but for the overall benefit of Colombo, could be paid for!

Why does no one wish to consider it? Simply because the Govt. is NOT about saving money for Sri Lanka. I am sure the commissions and backhanders from the tenders to import refined petroleum from Singapore is more lucrative to the shameless politicians and bureaucrats than a contract to import Crude which is generally at known and internationally agreed rates. In either event the sanctions busting allegations are evident, and that is why I would seek concessions on a Govt to Govt level, to permit us this relatively small quantity in absolute terms, from Iran. Especially as the US is now in direct negotiations with Iran to iron out their differences, they will be more amenable trust me.  

Lets grow up not waste our time bashing Uncle Sam, a much bigger export market for our manufactured products than China that does not about to a hill of beans, and instead make their relationship work for us.