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‘Billions and Billions -Thoughts on Lifeand Death…’ Kawda Hora… Fisticuffs cost 4.5 mn to tax-paye

15 January 2018 12:38 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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‘Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first’ ~ Ronald Reagan

Reflecting on what had happened, what continues to, and where we are going; where we are heading for - my mind wandered repulsively until it settled on American science writer and astronomer Carl Sagan, who named his 1997 book “Billions and Billions-Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium.”
As the Daily Mirror reported, members of the United National Party and the joint opposition traded blows and exchanged unpleasant words over differences with regard to the tabling of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry report on the Central Bank bond issue when the Parliament met for a special session to debate the CB bond transactions. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had announced that President Sirisena had agreed to present copies to the House in a week.  

 

“There are billions of stars in our universe”, said our Science teacher at JSC form 60 years ago, and he posed the question, “how much is a billion?” just a few did speculate, “ten million…? 100 million?”

 

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is now fallen between the devil and deep blue sea and had earlier warned the mischief makers and provokers of bad behaviour that one parliamentary sitting costs something like Rs. 4.5 million. The ‘debate’ on the bond commission report was an utter waste of public funds. Some of our ‘honourable’ MPs [sorry, they are paid excessively; hence no more honourable] have proved once more that they do not deserve to occupy the hallowed precincts of Diyawanna: perhaps, albeit the surrounding mud holes in it. Politics has become an art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other, but, once they gain power, would plunder the common wealth of both. Will the Commission report be taken up again, [warm up for round two?] after the tabling of the Bond report in Parliament along with the 34 reports of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate and inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges, were handed over to the President following the completion of investigations. The 34 reports of the PRECIFAC on past heroics, mainly by the JO and SLFP men have to be debated too. The tax-payer cannot afford to foot the bill; what is more appropriate is to draft necessary legislation as recommended by all these Commissions for drastic punitive action against the perpetrators, including those connived and helped, direct and indirect persuaders, and finally the aborted or successful cover up operators at all levels. The drafters of the enactments must ensure the applicability of such laws to past, with necessary changes to make retroactive the legal consequences of actions that were committed, before the enactment of the law. If necessary, Constitutional amendment can be proposed too, for two-thirds; a Referendum undoubtedly, will receive 99.9% ayes!   


Taking turns they Rob the National treasury to the Tune of ‘Billions’ 

“There are billions of stars in our universe”, said our Science teacher at JSC form 60 years ago, and he posed the question, “how much is a billion?” just a few did speculate, “ten million…? 100 million?”  
Thanks to our Legislators, today, even a grade two student would confidently give the correct answer; they are used to hearing term ‘billion’ mentioned frequently on the news along with Scam, Swindle, hoax plunder and fraud (ten years ago only when the budget deficit was mentioned we heard the term billion). Let them continue the ‘good work’ of educating the nation; already the Deputy Minister of Finance has assessed the loss on CB Bond issue to be over one trillion. The voters must ensure they encourage the ‘Diyawanna Scammers cum martial arts champs’ by casting their vote for the Parties they represent, so that in their next tenure in office the children would learn how much is a Quadrillion and perhaps if the children are lucky, a Quintillion as well.   

 

  • Speaker Karu Jayasuriya fallen between the devil and deep blue sea, had earlier warned the mischief makers and provokers of bad behaviour

  • The tax-payer cannot afford to foot the bill

  • 34 PRECIFAC reports on past heroics, mainly by the JO and SLFP men have to be debated too


Do not debate, enact ex post facto laws to prosecute and recover loot 

Some common-law jurisdictions do not permit retro-activity-- the principle, “law does not operate retroactively” could be made null and void through the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy, which allows Parliament to pass any law it wishes—needs to be passed retrospectively—the racketeers must be brought before the Courts.  
 “When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer ‘Present’ or ‘Not Guilty’.” -Theodore Roosevelt.   
Since 1960, the Bribery and Corruption Commission hasn’t produced a single MP or a government Minister in Court. The last punitive action against a politician was in the first few years of post-independence Sri Lanka. Why is it that the Bribery Commissioners did not want to independently investigate allegations of corruption against Parliamentarians? Those who make accusations against the men in power for corruption are the ones who were equally corrupt or more crooked when they were in power. Today a fair proportion of Politicians of both sides are corrupt to the core. The State has got into dire financial crisis due to the robbery and plunder of state possessions by the politicians, their Cronies and Acolytes.   


History of action against legislators 

 Allegations against State Council members prompted DS Senanayake to advise Governor Sir Andrew Caldecott to appointed a Commission to investigate bribery among them; the one-man commissioner, Lawyer L. M. D. de Silva, King’s Council, who later served as a member of the Privy Council in UK, found eight members guilty of corruption. They included three Europeans appointed by the Governor himself. The elected members were E. W. Abeygoonesekara - Nuwara-Eliya, A. H. Gunasekara - Balangoda, D. D. Gunasekara - Bandarawela, U. Batuwantudawa - Kalutara and E. R. Thambimuttu -Trinco-Batticaloa. The first seven handed in their resignation immediately. The Leader of the House, DS Senanayake moved for the removal of Thambimuttu.  
The next was in 1959. A few days before his assassination, and on September 11, 1959, Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike advised G.G. Ponnambalam QC to appoint the Thalgodapitiya Commission to inquire into allegations of bribery and corruption against his own government’s parliamentarians, that included some members of his Cabinet. 

 

"The 34 reports of the PRECIFAC on past heroics, mainly by the JO and SLFP men have to be debated too. The tax-payer cannot afford to foot the bill"


The report tabled on December 16, 1960, found two of SWRD loyalists, D. B. Monnekulame and C. A. S. Marikkar, along with H. Abeywickrema, M. P. de Zoysa, M. S. Kariyappar and R. E. Jayatillake guilty. SWRD’s successor Sirimavo Bandaranaike was lenient with the offenders. In 1965, they were punished under the UNP-led Government of Dudley Senanayake. Kariappar lost his seat and civic rights, as the rest of six lost their civic rights too. The Bribery Department was converted to a Commission to eradicate and inquire into Bribery and Corruption in the 1940s. During Sirimavo’s UF rule [1970-77], there were allegations of corruption against SLFP Ministers on taking bribes as low as five hundred rupees, or for handing over teacher appointments held in Rest Houses!   

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