Thursday, December 31, 2015

Whale watching in Mirissa 31st Dec 2015 - Blue and Bryde Whales - here, there & everywhere

 This post is just to record some photos of today's trip @ Mirissa leaving from the fisheries harbor there.

I will follow up in a later post my observations on the usual failings of our tourism  industry bent on short term greed, in both being unable to make the experience unforgettable not just for the Tourist but also for the Whales.

If you are a whale in the water how would you like 40 boats chasing you whenever you surface. Is it surprising that the deafening sound of engines, much more amplified for the whales is a daily infringement of their freedom to roam the seas?

This is the greatest concentration of blues in the world and we just have no clue how to add value to that experience.

Just hand it to the Americans, and just see how well they will organize the show.

I have gone out to sea in Santa Barbara to see the BLUE whales when I was living and working there, and what a wonderful experience that was to both learn and show respect for the great est living creature on EARTH.

 Do we have anyone who knows anything about Tourism running this product in this Country? I think not, and high time we do, before even these creatures decide enough is enough and get the Hell our of here, as they cannot take this abuse anymore!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A reflection of a year that has flown by and nothing personal achieved

The year started with hope for a new beginning, and I was convinced beyond any doubt that we were about to witness a historic change of fortune for Sri Lanka.

It happened, and I was witness to the taking oath of office of the Ministers of Govt. at the Presidential Secretariat on January 12th 2015. We had a stake in this transition for which we fought tooth and nail for 5 years and finally our efforts were rewarded.

From that point onwards it was downhill all the way. One word that comes to mind and screams at us, DISAPPOINTMENT

Taking over 6,000 calls from people of all walks of life from around the Country, I realized what it was that people looked for from politicians and I really did not like the type of Country, our Politicians had endowed to us.

People believed all their problems could be solved ONLY by politicians as there was no other way, except for the wealthy, to have what they wanted.

It may have been a job, a transfer to somewhere more cushy, a recognition of the work that had been put into the party over the years, redress for wrongful termination and political revenge, a contract for something or another, a position in a board with perks, help to sort out mistreatment at the hands of a superior, paving of a road, now that the power was in our hands, putting a kid into a school, asking for a promotion and the list goes on, is endless!

Personally being unable to satiate the needy (a dependent condition created by politics) my position as a Secretary of one sort or another to a Minister was just not worth the 24hr on call, no good words, just complaints about everything!

The relief of being taken out to get back into the productive world was immense. The realization of how unproductive politics is in Sri Lanka, was a shock. How the whole political system just wastes the national resources when so much needs to be done, convinces me that without any politicians this Country will have a hugely advanced future. Politics is only a drag on development NOT a catalyst for it!

This state of mind resulted in a total blackout of creative writing from which I am just emerging. I will spend next year in suggesting, and creating what a totally new Constitution for Sri Lanka MUST look like, as if the brain dead 225 would even have the time to listen and learn! Let alone comprehend! 

Thursday, December 24, 2015


2015 ends,
Years passed
Wiser and older.
Experience emboldens
Apprehensions are numbed
Technology is harder to grasp
Clarity with which we see the future
Forces us to empower youth, the inheritors
Who’s fate is determined by our actions today.
Let us therefore handover to them to make decisions
Which affect them, and gracefully retreat into oblivion.
Our task is complete, engage the young, and encourage them
To embrace the undertaking with humility and sense of purpose
So that we face the New Year 2016, with optimism for their future,
Knowing that our time has come to be thankful for good health
Happy to have done our duty towards those who come after
Time to reflect on a life lived, how well is our opinion
No time for regrets, even though we may have some
Appreciate all that we have been through in life
Will on the young a glimpse of our past
So that our mistakes are not repeated
Think our goodbyes  to everyone
Lest we not see them again
Especially from offshore.
We take our leave now,
A duty accomplished
To heaven or hell
When called.

X’mas eve 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Is it any wonder that the State Universities in Sri Lanka should be abolished!

Yes that’s right! ABOLISHED. They are beyond resuscitation meaning they are DEAD, and no wonder the products of this system are unable to find remunerative employment except perhaps in one or two exceptional cases like Medicine, where the doctors can multiply their meager academic salaries by earning 10times that by moonlighting which is permitted.

As the article this morning see below for link shows (worth a read) the remuneration is fixed, and so an idiot academic is paid the same as a brilliant one, and so is there any incentive on the part of academics to go out of their way to teach, once they get tenure?

Not everyone is altruistic, who not caring for their pay checks has real concern for their charges, and therefore impart their knowledge to their students and hope they are able to grasp the conundrum of success, which means constant striving for creativity and innovation.

This again is the classic Socialism vs Capitalism question of lack of INCENTIVES and understanding Human Nature.

The students at Universities DON’T help their cause as they don’t seem to grasp the dilemma they are faced with, in a system that takes in the best and brightest and churns them in a ringer, and removes any degree of confidence and vision they enter with, leaving them shadows of their former selves when they Graduate into the outside world.

It is time for some radical thinking, NOT just putting some sticking plaster to prevent bleeding. We must begin with a more results oriented approach, if we are NOT to waste so much of the state’s resources which could be more usefully spent elsewhere.

The $64,000 question is how do you measure performance, and who do you entrust this measurement process on. In order to do this do you sell your Universities off to the highest bidder, or at least lease it for 50 years to a team who make certain claims that they can fix it. People are Human after all! Will they then just do what they want to increase their personal satisfaction? (wealth, power, following, psycho state) or will they work with the public good at hand?

These questions need answers if our economy is to grow, and we are able to produce the Human Resources of the future that the Country NEEDS!  

Another good article that should be read that covers creativity, a vital by product that MUST come out of the University system, which is currently STIFLED see below for link

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


In my trilogy of blog entries before this, I was exploring the problem of Education and resulting employment and was concerned that even those enrolled in courses that are desperately required for Sri Lanka DO NOT SATISFY THE COUNTRY’S or their personal requirements, resulting in a huge waste for both the Country’s or their resources.

One of the comments was that the answer to this is having to pay for their education, so they will choose subjects where they are more assured of getting that needed job. Whilst I am in broad agreement that this will increase the probability of satiation, I am not altogether happy with the current system, where there IS NO PROPER BASIS OF ASSESSMENT OF PROGRAMS in Universities and many students and their parents are UNABLE to choose courses that will truly help in achieving the goals.

This problem is NOT UNIQUE TO SRI LANKA alone, and even in the USA where even a Masters Degree is not worth the paper, as there are many masters graduates who are merely FEDEX drivers, where their qualifications, DO NOT lead to jobs, it is important that students follow courses (some extremely expensive) with a level of probability of employment.

The most important point to note here is that they follow this course the day they finish sitting for their A levels and NOT after they get their results, something that is now possible in many private university systems. Further if possible my advice is to SKIP A LEVELS and go straight to follow the tertiary course, as you are likely to emerge with a degree by the time you are 20 and even have your masters by 22, leaving you with a headstart in the job market, but for which you are likely to be in debt for a few millions!

It is still better as you will be able by 27 to have paid your student debt, and have 5 years experience in your field, the age at which the State Graduate begins to look for the job!

It is therefore important that informed choices are made in the course of study leading to a qualification that you wish to have and a career you have SET YOUR MIND TO, and more often than not you are likely to achieve your life goals.

The other tragedy of Sri Lanka is that whatever you do, and whatever qualification you get, the level of remuneration is pitiful, to achieve the goals of marriage, building a house, and taking care of your family, without help from parents or relatives.

A minimum monthly income of Rs50,000 is required, and it is hard to get that in most jobs in the first 3 years of employment when one has the needed experience and qualifications in a chosen profession. No wonder then that the only alternative available is to seek employment overseas, even in a field far below one’s qualifications, as there is NO alternative but to go!

The challenge facing any Government is to match expectations with employment and economic policy must be designed towards achieving this goal. It is easier said than done when the MAMA TITIES have not been weaned to face reality from imagination!      

Monday, June 22, 2015

State Universities – A lottery only where there are more losers than winners

You enter a State University after 2 years of wasting your time before you do an iota of academic work, by which time your study ethic has disappeared and you are ripe to be exploited by an ideology that is completely outdated, namely the IUSF (JVP affiliated Student Unions that tend to dominate the system)

You struggle for a wasteful 4 year period, and earn a degree, at a University that does not prepare you to make you aware of what is available in the outside world, and you are effectively thrown on the scrap heap!

This is a severe shock to the system as your family tell you that you are so fortunate as one of only 1% of the best of the best in Sri Lanka to have entered university and obtained a degree, and you wonder why no one is giving you a job. Unfortunately the facts of life have NOT been taught at University, and no one like me will be allowed into the University system to tell you the facts of life either!

The IUSF students are busy agitating to ban private education. Why? Simply because, it is only those graduating from the private sector who appear to be getting the jobs, leaving only public sector jobs for the state graduates.

Then how do you get a public sector job? Yes, now with the increased income of state sector employees, the illusory benefit of a Public Sector job is even greater. I personally know many private sector employees are clamoring for the same public sector job, as they cannot handle the pressure of performance, of piece work, and productivity, being told that they have none of that in the public sector and don’t even have to come to work on time, as they don’t have a fingerprint scanner to sign on and can leave by 3.30pm to go home.

This compounded problem, means that offices of politicians are flooded with people wanting to be placed in jobs. Letters from Ministers and MPs and recommendations, saying they have been stalwarts of the party through thick and thin are dime a dozen clogging the arteries of government, everywhere you look. It is the manna from heaven, the “State Sector Job for Life with a Pension” that everyone is striving for!”

This is the third in a series of continuous blog entries that lead me to write this as a culmination of the trilogy. This same person who I met in the first entry is still sitting in the office waiting now for 5 hours, to meet the Minister, hoping that by meeting him, there will be some difference, and that he will get the job! There is NO way he will get what he wants, and his hopes will only be further shattered. I asked him over the weekend to send me his CV by email, and he did not even have the courtesy to reply to my sms, as I wanted to send his CV to some contacts in the private sector to see if I can help. So obviously he did not want a Private Sector job or even be considered for one, as some member of this family or his colleagues would have convinced him that, the NLDB is the surest way to achieve his goals, whatever they maybe and he should pursue the dream no matter what!

     It is time we wean our babies in Universities from their mother’s milk and teach            them a thing or two about the big wide world out there, that to succeed needs                courage and risk!     

Sunday, June 21, 2015

It’s the Z score stupid – enslavement to a number not a dream!

Following on from my previous blog posting on the inability of a course specifically designed to ensure graduates who complete this specially vocation related syllabus, to provide gainful employment, I would like to make the following observations and invite comment.

UVA WELLASSA University on the outskirts of Badulla was constructed on the premise that those who graduate from their vocation related courses would find NO difficulty in obtaining gainful employment in their particular field of study.

Thus, when I enquired from this graduate, if he had taken steps to search for employment in the related field of study, the answer was in the affirmative, and what was worse, was that his fellow classmates were in the same predicament. I am picking on ANIMAL HUSBANDRY specifically, both because I am a farmer with NO TRAINING in either Agriculture or Animal Husbandry. In many senses I would have liked to have had the knowledge these graduates have in this field, and to think both Agriculture and Animal Husbandry graduates are unable to find work in related fields and are looking in other directions is a tragedy in itself, especially as the state has paid handsomely to provide an education to them, at the expense of training farmers who are actually engaged in this same field, so that as a Country we will be able to develop a culture of those going into the above fields with the necessary tertiary degrees!

The reason as I have already discussed at length in my various blogs, especially is that the font of knowledge required in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry exceeds that required of a Medical Doctor or Specialist and if a University can train these people, so they are equipped with the technical knowledge needed for this purpose, we in Sri Lanka CAN REACH the next level in food production, namely that of efficiency, productivity, and optimum use of resources currently hugely wasted.
The specific example I quoted to the Graduate who spoke to me about his inability to get a job in Animal Husbandry was that the person who milks my cows is someone who has done it for 30 years, in the way he is used to and who will NOT change his ways. I know that just by milking techniques I can immediately double the yield, and with further improvement in the nutrition and feed, and basic care of the animal, again double the yield for a 4 fold increase if I had some practical knowledge, and expertise, to which I have not expended resources, and further with the right mix of animal double the output further, leading to an 8 fold increase from present!!!! That is the challenge facing us farmers, and that is the solution the state was expecting by producing vocation specific graduates.

The unknown factor here is if taking students in with the required Z score is the answer, or if there is a rigorous aptitude test needed to further supplement the Z scores, though I do know that there is some kind of selection based on aptitude too at UVA WELLASSA!

It is how we pick the raw material to follow the courses, and the University MUST take the initiative in placing ALL these students in paid employment with an element of practical experience

Friday, June 19, 2015

Leading our Graduates astray! Where are we heading?

A few minutes ago, I confronted a boy and his mother who were waiting for one of our colleagues to come, so that he could speak to the Chairman of NLDB relating to a letter given him over a month ago, with a minute in pen written by Harrison the Minister of Livestock Development!

This was from a graduate of UVA WELLASSA in ANIMAL HUSBANDRY from our Electorate, who had got his degree in 2012 who had been trying for over a year to get into the NLDB! I put him in touch with another colleague of mine, who knew the Chairman personally to help, and I started thinking about how he should have approached his employment prospects.

As a Dairy Farmer myself, and as one approached by Anchor to find them land to build a model Dairy Farm, why is this person so adamant on getting a job with the NLDB. Surely there are so many private farms who are seeking QUALIFIED people to work in Dairy especially as the Govt. is getting more Milch Cows from Australia and are in so many private public partnerships to enhance dairy production in the Island with a view to at least producing 50% of the national milk requirement locally.

What is the problem? Whose responsibility is it, and how should people like this go about finding productive and remunerative employment?

To add to this there is NO proper job bank system, where people like this can post their resumes for interested parties to look and call for interviews. Obviously I asked this guy why has he not been in related gainful employment from the day of getting his degree, and wait so long! He has even worked in Fisheries in the Maldives. Was the latter because the remuneration was better than he could gain by apprenticing with a Dairy Farm Company?

I was not able to in the short time to ascertain the answers to these questions, as I am flummoxed that if he has searched for a job in the private sector and NOT been able to secure one, by now, UVA WELLASSA has failed him.

I have a high regard for graduates from UVA WELLASSA as the University was set up to have degrees in fields that can directly lead to a worthwhile and productive employment. I am in two minds whether to send this blog post to the VC there, so he can understand the problems facing the students who leave the University.

I told the boy, that I believed it MUST be the responsibility of the UNIVERSITY to use their contacts like after placing him in an internship, to also place him in a job for a year of apprenticing, which is ESSENTIAL to get the next job, and step on the ladder of FARMING as a career both essential for Sri Lanka, and hopefully beneficial to him as a lucrative career in the future, once he has mastered his art and skills to be productive.

This is another instance of ‘public’ foolishness to go behind a politician to get a job, and when even the letters have NOT worked, keep on pressing hoping to succeed. Is it due to the perception that Govt. job at all costs is the only goal, and to hell with the Private Sector? 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Condolences – How about it being timely for a change?

In the Sri Lankan Parliament, condolences are taken up on the last sitting day of the week, and the chamber is very poorly attended, and the family of the person, usually an ex-MP who has passed on, come to listen to the condolences from all sides of the chamber, as party political differences are set aside on these days, to pay tribute to the deceased!

The trouble is it is too long deceased. Often the condolence is for an MP who has died over a year previously. How ridiculous can that be? Kalpanakarananna what an anachronism that is. This happens when tradition takes over from common sense, and we are enslaved by tradition, not realizing that tradition is all cockeyed.

Contrast that with the wonderful tributes given in memory of Charles Kennedy the previous leader of the Liberal Democrats, who died the day before yesterday, and the condolences were heard in a packed House of Commons, just after Prime Minister’s Question Time!

We in Sri Lanka are very quick to dismiss anything English as being peculiar, but think of no better time, just after the death of the MP, long before even the funeral service, which will only be attended by very few close friends and family, that the House takes time to give ALL those who wish to say a few words of condolences to do so. The son of the MP only 10 years old was in the visitor’s gallery to hear the eulogies for his father from those who were from opposing camps in the House of Commons.

Frankly should we waste our time attending funerals and funeral houses, sometimes having to travel miles to do so, and take the best part of a day, from a very tight and busy schedule when these self-same politicians who do this funeral round, can eulogize instantly in a short period in the Parliament Chamber, where Hansard will record what they said.

It should be all about prioritizing life, doing what is important, and recognizing people when they need to be recognized, and NOT when you set a time for this tribute.

Kalpanakaranna is the order of the day, and determine that it is high time, that useless practices are scrapped, and sensible alternatives adopted for life and death! Only then will society grow up from a slumber of enslavement, where reason for certain practices are NOT questioned, but followed BLINDLY.

When will Sri Lankans really open their eyes and see fraud for what it is, and politicians for who they are, and boru show for what it is, and lead a life of sense and sensibility?

Imagine how you can remember a man who has departed this world so long, that when you are asked by his family to say a few words, you are at a loss for what to say! A word of condolence a day or two after the death will come more easily to the mind, and the instance related in a more human sense, reminding us of the uncertainty of life, and the real need to express our loss in words that are truly personal and not contrived for an audience, where speeches are written for you.

Time for another time out, change the rules, and replace outdated practices with novelty!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

CA Sri Lanka getting a taste of its own Medicine

As a UK Qualified Chartered Accountant, who had to completely depend on my monthly income as a Student Trainee Accountant to live, I have been a critic of the CA Sri Lanka, and its practices vis a vis its students for a very long time. CA Sri Lanka uses false advertising practices to entice students to enroll with them, without coming clean on what the students can expect and the chances they may have of survival through to qualification and admittance into the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka.

I might add that I never applied for reciprocity to get admittance into the Sri Lanka Institute as I would then be a party to this crime, and would not be strong enough to affect any change from within. I have had very constructive debates with my father who is one of the oldest living Chartered Accountants in Sri Lanka, and who has NOT had any recognition of his contribution to employing, preparing and encouraging future Leaders of Sri Lanka, many who now occupy the highest positions of Government, Commerce and Industry in Sri Lanka, over this very issue! 

It is therefore with interest that I just read another article by a recent student who is articulate enough to further elaborate another aspect of deficiency of the Institute by incongruous rules built into the Student Training Contracts, so as to effective enslave them!

the CA Sri Lanka elected officials had better take heed to these warnings sooner rather than later, if they are NOT to face a class action lawsuit that will put all these partners in big audit firms in jail for infringing on the human rights of the people they purport to assist!

As a Chartered Accountant, I can firmly say that the training and potential training can give an individual what it takes to lead any Organization or even any Government anywhere in the world. It is therefore necessary that the people who enter this field are selected on all round capability and rewarded in a way to maximize their productivity to our society  as they can contribute immensely to the development process of Sri Lanka, and the short sighted failures of society namely the Partners in Large Firms who just vegetate there as they will not be able to find employment anywhere else, are left to Lord it over CA Sri Lanka, and determine the fate of thousands of the best in Sri Lanka, and possibly suppress the creativity and talent of those who enter the training period, by their very actions, aimed merely at protecting their turf and their income.

This is NO DIFFERENT to the JVP unions who have resulted in some extremely promising companies closing down and leaving Sri Lanka, due to their selfish practices, only thinking of their personal well-being instead of the greater good of the Nation, the recurring topic of this blog.

     Let us hope we finally are able to attract some true leaders to the CA Sri Lanka for        change!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Remembrance Day or Victory Day

When a war ends and there is a victorious and a defeated party, there is a natural tendency of the Victorious to celebrate this victory, as many died for this result, and it is more of a tribute to them, that the carnage is finally over. The vanquished are in shock!

That said, when one reflects on it once the initial exuberance dies down and one realizes that it was a Civil War where it was one’s own Countrymen ON BOTH sides that perished, it is more apt to remember those who died on both sides, one side one may say were led to their deaths by an ideology that led their followers to believe in their goal of independence that turned out more to be the fantasy of their leader, much like the Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin mold of demagogues, Prabarkaran being hardly any different!

The problem is that there are those in thee TNA who still insist on calling this a Mahaveer or some such week, that glorifies this flawed man, for some kind of need to find succor in his suicidal endeavor that reduced the Tamil population in the areas that he claimed, to less than half of what they were when the movement started. In essence nullifying the whole process. Many left his terror, not that of the Sinhala army!! And it is time this is laid bare.

In reality the war has ended, and not even the Tamil refugees in a far tougher land of India wish to return to Sri Lanka, which says a lot for the perception of Tamil people, of Sri Lanka as refuge for them from hereinafter.

There are more Tamil people in Canada than there are in the Northern Province, negating their homeland issue for a mere 500,000 people! In a land of 20M where more Tamil people live amongst Sinhala, and would not leave those areas for all the tea in China. Time for the Diaspora to come to their senses that there is nothing for them to fight for or complain anymore except feel good that one day they may escape the misery of their adopted lands.

True there is much we can do to ensure that the people living in the North live in dignity, with NO fear, and are provided with basics of life available to all, and that does not mean roads. People still require the basics of life, and security to families led by women, who still have not got over the PTSD they have suffered due to the hostilities.

It is therefore VERY APT that as a mark of reconciliation with the vanquished, and oneness of the Sri Lankan people we all remember this war as one we should never wish to repeat and one we must always work to avoid. In that context it is important that the political parties representing the Tamils also join in this, as otherwise they are shown not to have accepted the Olive Branch offered as reconciliation. They must in that same vein STOP this Genocide Week stories also, and grow up and realize that it takes two to tango into the reconciliatory mode.

Similarly the jokers in the Rajapakse camp that are harping on the need for a Victory Parade should be publicly branded traitors, as being the reason for the lack of reconciliation and division in our society and treated like the lepers they are, for such divisive ideas that only SEPARATE us and NOT UNITE, as being traitors in the progress to a more tolerant and inclusive state where all those who do otherwise are shown up as the cause of separatism!!     

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Now that the elected LG members are out of a job can the Government Servants perform the temporary stand in role without corruption?

A truly mindboggling event has just occurred. I don’t think the sleepy Media has woken up to its significance yet!

In most of the Local Government Bodies, a local Divisional Secretary has been tasked with the job that these elected members did. So who puts up the bulbs in the street corners once they have burnt out! They will manage these local bodies for at least 6 months till elections under the new ward system are held AFTER the General Election.

We know how corrupt many of the Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman were. Bribes were the order of the day to sign any document! A local needed a doc signed for a simple process, like fencing a property, or getting permission to build on his own land, and for that signature there was a price. I trust that with “yahapalanaya” the appointed Govt. Servant who is now a commissioner will perform their duty, without fear or favor or DELAY to ensure that the wheels of commerce work according to the spirit or letter of the law.

As all these local authorities were exclusively dominated by the UPFA, and due to the previous MR regime permitting them to make money, they were loyal to MR almost to a fault. What happens to these Mahinda Loyalists that John Ameratunga, the Police Minister called Podi Horu as the MR Govt. Ministers were referred to as the Loku Horu or “Big Thieves”.

They are extremely dissatisfied with the President for not extending their life to steal, calling the President names along with CBK who have dropped further in their reckoning. It is time we separate the rogues and low life, from the reliable and trustworthy elected officials, and it is time that CBK and MS who now lead the UPFA and SLFP determine who they can trust and let the others go with the MR camp to back whatever party he wishes to form to contest in the next election.

In the end you cannot go wrong if you have people who are good! It is how you judge who they are that is important. In the end good will prevail over evil, and a more reasonable remuneration package has to be set up in future LG elections for elected officials.

Don’t forget that NO elected official has paid ANYTHING for the Motorbikes that were distributed to them, giving them a free Rs200K bribe from MR before the election, as these were supposed to be low interest loans, that have now gone into default. They are therefore ALL deadbeats who should all actually be prosecuted or their Bikes repossessed. Will the Commissioners appointed follow through on this?

This clear example of fraud MUST be exposed so the voters know the caliber of these people especially if they seek election again. This MUST be a black mark that their opponents in the election campaign can use against them, exposing the lack of integrity of these people, so that in order to clear their names they return these bikes or pay for them, whichever is the most practical for each individual. They are all matters for the voters to consider at future elections so we end up with people with MORE integrity than the past.        

Monday, May 11, 2015

Why is there such a fuss over the Wilpattu encroachment?

Minister Badiudeen insists that any constructions that we see outside the perimeter are LEGAL and that he has obtained state license for that building, corroborated by officials.

The basic question is where is the National Park Boundary? Where does other  state land end, what is the buffer zone, what is state land on which licenses can be given, and who has the right to distribute, sell or otherwise determine who is entitled to what and how much land and for what purposes and rationale for their distribution.

Without such basic analysis the mutter press, MUTS I mean seem to relish in making this into a racist event, where Muslims are seen to be settling their people, and the beneficiary is the Minister who is getting the political backhander for this.

There is a law, and I believe at some point, this law has been broken, and I don’t know if state officers have broken the law, taking bribes, and maintaining that the boundaries are different.

In short the Wilpattu Sanctuary is the largest contiguous wildlife zone in the Country, which must be preserved for the future, with no development taking place within, or outside in the buffer zone. There are pressures from all sides to encroach, and I believe an independent authority be established of conservationists who are tasked with policing this, and reporting any violations.

I am convinced that Government officials have given licenses, which they were NOT entitled to give, resulting in the claim that the Minister makes that all constructions are legal and within the law.

We must therefore investigate why and how land was granted, and there will have to be some backdated investigations into who was responsible for giving licenses and on what grounds. It will turn up a huge money trail of bribery implicating senior officials all the way to the top. When this unravels, then a lesson can be made to all that such illegal acts can be reversed and the law must prevail to the letter and spirit of the law.

Why is that basic work NOT being done, and the whole problem is one where the BBS is also gleefully entering it to take maximum political advantage over the misery of people who have been led a dance by unscrupulous politicians and government officials with money at the heart of the problem, and NOT race as it is made out to be today.

I have seen the thousands of acres that have been encroached upon, and the Tri Forces are just as much to blame for cutting down trees and building illegal roads within the sanctuary.

It is timely that the President issued an edict, but that is not sufficient, and we must get to the bottom of why this happened. Is an investigation into firstly demarcation of the zones, secondly the law as it relates to activity outside the National Park, namely buffer and other zones, and then to see if the law has been applied correctly, and if anyone has been settled on what basis that has taken place. As usual outcry will die down, with NO RESOLUTION

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Media culpability – Media reporting of today’s demonstrations outside Parliament!

Following my critique of the media and their misuse of their very real power in a democracy to influence public opinion, there will be another instance this morning outside Parliament as forces for, and possibly forces (paid thugs) stacked against the 19th Amendment are likely to gather, and it is a question of assessing the situation before a senior police officer asks the Court to ban any demonstrations in a specified area like the main road leading up to Parliament or the grounds in front of parliament or some such designated area. 

A quick reminder of how media was grossly manipulated by the previous regime, that only permitted (in addition to the main media it owned or controlled) a certain TYPE OF REPORTING, so that the people were prevented from getting at the truth, or very near the truth, by this suppression.

We witnessed the shenanigans last week where after the desecration of the chamber of Parliament by squatting MPs performing acts that had nothing to do with Parliament (trying to protect a person, whom was NOT an MP and therefore outside of the jurisdiction of Parliament) who then went outside and made a spectacle which was reported extensively, where actually such a puerile spectacle should have been relegated to a minor part in the back pages and NOT as part of the main news.

It is as well to bear in mind present activity that gets reported that should not, and the amount of coverage is the responsibility of the various Editors and sub Editors when they get the pictures and report thereon. Their giving prominence to such activity is based on their assumption of what sells papers, (people’s lust for parliamentary thuggery) and back stage responsible written analysis of the obligation of the very same people to respect the sanctity of Parliament which was wholly absent as to imply it was not of interest to people with blood lust!

Given this background which I brought in to this essay, to illustrate how bloodthirsty the reporters and photographers will be in the morning for a fight, that the Rajapakse loyalist who wish to scupper this historic sitting in Parliament will come JUST TO CREATE A SCENE that the pathetic reporters for reasons above will be waiting to catch with visuals and reportage, hoping these incidents will take center stage when the  proceedings inside, and the debate for and against MUST take center stage, along with live telecast, even if some activity is stage managed by some unscrupulous MPs for their own MOB appeal.

It is with this background in mind, that even though the Prime Minister has encouraged people to come in support of this amendment to demonstrate along the streets in support of the 19th Amendment in terms of restoration of Democracy and Good Governance, the Media will give the publicity to those who oppose such a move, where the voice cuts are for the filth, and the clean demonstrators of loyalists and civil society will get barely a mention.

I am afraid that due to the IDIOCY OF THE MEDIA, the police may have to take the step that the demonstrations, can disrupt the peace and safe passage of people to and from Parliament and restrict both camps, to areas outside this perimeter of conflict. SHAME!  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

How independent is our Media? Individual Journalists are in the pockets of interested parties!

It would be nice if when we read an article or hear or see some news, there was a tag with a journalist which says he is the mouth piece of so and so. In the English print media after a while one would get to know the bent of that journalist, spouting the views of their sponsor, or who only reports in favorable light of and sycophantic words of his sponsor.

Especially in the post 8th Janaury 2015 era, where there is broad license on what is written and there is little if any censorship by the Editors or Owners to prevent anti Govt. bias, it is all the more important that Journalists actually appreciate the new found freedom, and give credit where it is due, to the people, and therefore report in as objective a way as possible.

Due to the historic bias, and the 10 years of MR rule that effectively bought loyalty by shameless familiarity with Journalists, giving them laptops, and interest free loans, these compromising strings show in their writings. As a result there is still more biased reporting on behalf of an administration that has been clearly thrown out by the people, due to the Journalist knowing these rogues personally not being able to change their spots, and see them without the rose tinted glasses they seem to look at them still!

It will take a decade at least to change the Media culture, to return to a level of professionalism that only a few journalists have today. I trust budding journalists who go through their training learn what it takes to be a good reporter, especially an investigative reporter, and learn the inherent bias one comes with, as a result of one’s own experiences, or family background, and therefore being quite aware of one’s own prejudices due to that. If then they try to be objective despite having personal preferences, when reporting and writing for public consumption, they will do their profession a service.

I don’t know how many journalists reading this will understand what I am saying here. That goes to the crux of the matter, as today’s journalists don’t even realize how prejudiced they are towards certain people, let alone ideologies. How pathetic is their writing?

Taking the past Government they did not have an ideology as such, it was an era of Robber Barons akin to the turn of the 20th Century in the US, when they ruled, such as the Rockefellers and Carnegies, so being paid to write positively about crooks, was part of the course, as money was not an object and “arakku botaleta liyana warthakaru” was a dime a dozen. WE MUST CHANGE THIS PATTERN FORTHWITH.

An appeal to Newspaper owners and also those of other media. It is time to explain to your staff the importance of objectivity despite personal prejudices, and implore them that only with such reporting styles, will they improve their product and by that same measure improve the quality of the paper they are reporting for.

It is with some satisfaction that I see the yearning for political news amongst our newspaper reading public that the circulation of the Sinhala Newspapers has gone up so much after 8th January 2015. However this yearning and readership has not been satiated by responsible reporting and therein lies the conundrum.  Time for reflection and responsible reporting. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

225 MPs in Parliament have a historic duty

on April 27th and 28th on behalf of SRI LANKA

Isn’t it ironic that we call upon over 100 of those MPs (over 160 voted for) who voted for the 18th Amendment, to give absolute dictatorial powers to Mahinda Rajapakse on September 8th 2010 to vote to overturn that by the 19th Amendment.

The actual vote on that day was: 161 for 17 against and 46 boycotted!

First we need a list of the 161 who voted for the 18th Amendment so we will never forget and more importantly they will never forget the day they gave one man over the people!

Secondly we need a list of those who will vote against or boycott the 19th on April 28th and we should never forget them either. If there are some in both lists, then we know that democracy is not in their future vision for the Nation and so should be labeled.

The President’s speech to the Nation was more a speech to the 225 MPs reminding them of their duties to reflect the people’s mandate and choice of 8th January 2015 as being their responsibility, and not for (enlightened greed) self-interest for personal gain.

What is the Rajapakse stand on this? Are they in favor or against? We are still not clear, and as we don’t know, then it is safe to assume that they prefer the status quo, where they were able to plunder, without being held accountable at all, as they had the Legislature, Judiciary and the Executive all sewn up without the required independence, and the Fourth Estate was hounded into submission by threat and innuendo, unable to speak up for the masses.

Mercifully for the people of Sri Lanka we live in a different world today, and few seem to appreciate how different it is in fact. We must try and explain to our fellow countrymen who are still not convinced, that we are indeed in a different era, post Rajapakse, and Maithripala Sirisena cleverly was able to explain by using the Counter Revolution argument why it was natural that some segment of the population prefers the past, living comfortably in the past, unable to comprehend a brighter and better tomorrow.

It is clear that the Rajapakse family who so shamelessly led the Counter Revolutionaries, fall into the relic of the past bygone practices being unable to comprehend that it too has gone the way of Stalinism!

The populace are now wondering if the thugs, the drug dealers, the wannabes and the illiterates they have sent to Parliament will be able to shed their clothing and put on a new outfit to suit the occasion.

How ironic then that we are dependent on this low life, so that we may herald a period where we send more responsible people who truly wish to serve, just like Sirisena who made the claim as the Servant of the people, at the next election. It will be interesting to see how many of the old guard return and how many new faces, and new hope that may emerge. The problem with familiarity is that it prevents unfamiliar genuine and honest people replacing them. Prospective voters choose your prospective MPs carefully. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Oil – Has Sri Lanka optimized on the Oil Price windfall

that has directly resulted in a positive growth of the GNP and negates any fallout of reduced Construction Projects?

The attached article, is a telling example of the incredibly flexible and efficient US Economy and Technology, that was able to weather the price drop, but nevertheless be able to reduce the industry costs by more than 50% from the cost of production of a Barrel of Shale.

So when the Middle Eastern Countries who hoped that the price drops of over 50% would decimate the Shale business, they were sadly mistaken as the US was able to more than match it by cost reduction out of efficiency and technological improvements.

The consequence of this for long term price stability at lower prices, and its devastating effect on Middle Eastern Economies in the longer term, cannot at the moment be understood by many policy makers. This has consequences for the stability of the Middle East as they will not have sufficient surpluses to subsidize their ever thirsty, fast growing populations.  

If not foreseen, the possibilities of major implosions is more than certain, which will affect the political balance in the Middle East. Those economies that have been able to wean themselves out of oil dependency will most certainly benefit, but others like Nigeria and Venezuela will face an uncertain future as they are dependent on oil to run their economies.

Even Saudi Arabia with an increasing population will face pressure to abolish the monarchy or at least significant part of the largesse paid to the huge Royal Family of more than 4000.

We presume that by this time, Sri Lanka would have changed its human export structurally to essential and skilled jobs in these countries, that the local populations will not have the skills to replace, and thereby be cushioned from the impact.

The flip side for Sri Lanka’s energy security will be the cost of extraction of Oil and Gas from our own offshore fields, which will not become a priority in the future, and we should turn more to cleaning up the environment, and the use of renewable energy, and making our energy use more efficient, and reducing energy wastage both by more fuel efficient vehicles and our industrial and home energy consumption patterns.

The renaissance of the US economy will be at hand as the world’s largest producer and consumer of cheap energy, and it should be consequent upon Sri Lanka being ready to cash in on those opportunities presented without leaning to the China orbit for help and trade.

The Chinese economy will face greater pressures on cleaning up the mess they have created in their environment and the aging population, and health consequences of industrialization and non-communicable diseases spiraling out of control. If we predict we will benefit! That should be the slogan. We must look into what if scenarios and be prepared for all outcomes.