Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sri Lankan Business Heads – It is your ‘Heads’ that need to be examined

The recent ‘momentum business forum’, where there were simultaneous simulcast of proceedings in 4 locations, which if they, the invitees did not know, was just a Political Meeting of the President in support of his candidature.

At this event, in one of the panel discussions, the likes of Dian Gomes of MAS, Hiran Cooray of Jetwing, Ranjit Page of Cargills and CT and Kishu  Gomes of Chevron, were extolling the virtues of this Administration that has overseen, a time free of incidents of Terrorism, and unparalleled  growth.

If they were true business leaders, they would know that for an economy to prosper, not just themselves, there has to be both the rule of law, and transparency in the ability to prosper in a relatively level playing field, neither of which is in existence in Sri Lanka today, and is the reason for the traction that the Common Candidate is gaining ground, and imminent downfall of the hosts, within days of this forum.

In that context it shows how woefully out of touch with reality, these supposedly esteemed businessman have been with the pulse of the nation, and to curry favor with one candidate over the opponent at this time, means they have chosen the side, that benefitted them personally as far as their personal wealth was concerned, no matter what may have transpired in the meantime to the majority of citizens of this country who have been led an unrealistic dream, that is soon unravelling right in front of their faces.

These business leaders, if they had any sense, should have at least stayed away from publicly endorsing this regime, as inherently they were merely propping up a morally unjustifiable cabal. If they had the vision, and strength of character to stand up to this Peter Pan syndrome they engaged in, they would find succor with their fellow citizens to bat with the new boys.

Now they sound like, sick sycophants, with nowhere to hide, who have lost all credibility, and who certainly cannot ask for any special treatment from a new administration, until they have paid their dues and done their mea culpas for long enough, to regain some backbone. I am not singling the above out specifically, but they represent the cross section of the 5000 or so people in Sri Lanka that have plundered the coffers of the state, either knowingly or unknowingly to further their nests at the expense of the nation and thereby contributed to the Rajapaksa longevity, which could have been checked if not for their culpability in propping up an inherently rotten bunch of opportunists.   


Anonymous said...

These are pragmatic people. They know that the unavoidable political turmoil that would follow if this political soup comes into power is not good for any economy, let alone a 3rd world economy.

They know from first hand experience that the economy and national security are in the correct path. Why should they gamble the future of the country?

Jack Point said...

I did not attend the meeting nor did I see the discussions/presentations.

However, put yourself in their shoes.

If you were called to attend, would it be really possible to decline the invitation or not show up?

Having shown up would it be possible to say anything critical?

Just playing the Devils advocate here.

Anonymous said...

Clearly the panel have benefitted from GOSL policies and so supported the present Govt.

In a political contest if they have chosen this side, then they must face the consequence of a regime change, and a new regime they clearly proscribed, by their active support for MR.

They obviously were of the opinion that he was invincible, and expected future largesse. Now they and their shareholders have to face the consequences of their bad decision.

It is in their shareholders interest that they stay above the fray, and they did not, so their sharhoelders go down with them, so it is clearly a display of incompetence what ever the commenters above think.

Anonymous said...

In reality none of these jokers would get a job in a foreign land despite what we think of them in Sri Lanka.

So what they do and say does not matter a tuppance, they are just a bunch of jokers, who just happen to run some corporations in Sri Lanka who have got there by their opportunism.

Frankly until we get to transparency in all our activities we cannot raise our standards to another level, which sadly is a potential we have within our workforce who because of the jokers above are stunted and stifled to seek greener pasteurs in other lands where they flourish, as none of the above would.

Ratmale,Minneriya,Sri Lanka said...

Clearly the supposed stability of the Govt. is now proven to be based on false propaganda. So even the business community has bought into a hollow ruse.

It is NOT stability that in the end is essential for business as they had that during Hitlers Nazi Germany too!

It is acess to justice, and the rule of law and order that one gets with Good Governance that is the engine for growth, and our business community don't appear to have the education to realize that simple point.

Anonymous said...

Unlike civil society funded bloggers these people have a dream of Sri Lanka becoming an advanced economy. They don't take sides naively, they will support whoever that can take forward the country.

Anonymous said...

Some of the comments are classic. The business community completely ignored the brazen manipulation of the EPF by the stock market mafia, which effectively stole billions from it and effectively supported it as many benefitted from this insider trading.

In another country these people would have been locked up. So Ratmale you are right when you say until there is a rule of law where crooks can be prosecuted all this supposed prosperity, and talk about these jonnies who can advance this economy is just a figment of their imagination.

Let us hope a new Govt. can impose these checks and balances so that real investment can take place that actually has a return, and not that which robs from the most vulnerable in our society

Anonymous said...

jonnies gave us the lowest inflation in our entire history. It's only 3% year on year as we speak. What's the bet that opposition will drive that into 10% after printing money to meet their irresponsible election promises?

I get it, it's a lovely feeling that if people from our social circles were running the show and if we had a prime minister who wears a proper suit. But that is too much of a gamble given the progress we made in the last 5-6 years if you ask me.

It would have been ok if the future government was a UNP one. I'm not sure about who is pulling the strings on sirisena at the moment. Is it Ranil or is it JHU? or is it his former master or is it a foreign country?

Anonymous said...

if you take a poll of public perceptions about 'business leaders' in sri lanka, they would likely be perceived as corrupt, thieving, opportunistic, and amoral persons, so it is no surprise that they are willing to sing for their supper. it's been that way since the beginning of time and continues to be that way. the titans of industry in sri lanka all came into their wealth by dubious means, or at least multiplied their wealth through dubious means, the most benign being trading on insider information with the more sinister being money laundering. is there any business leader in sri lanka with clean hands? is there any politician in sri lanka with clean hands? the country is a cesspool of corruption and it's only through this means that citizen perera will get ahead. what a mess!@@@

Anonymous said...

MR camp is optimistic comparatively and sirisena camp is always pessimistic about everything. A good indication for non-partisan voters.