Those who cannot the COPE need to go home, and that is almost axiomatic.
Parliament was dissolved before the COPE Report on the Central Bank Governor’s bond dealings had a chance of seeing the light of day.
It is patently obvious to the people that the abrupt dissolution of Parliament at this juncture was a direct result of the COPE bombshell, and other financial irregularities of government heavyweights which were bound to be highlighted in the no-confidence debates that were to come.
The Yahapalana (good governance) administration has left under a massive cloud, with corruption of 10 billion rupees suspected in the bond scam alone. It happened in less than 200 days.
On every economic indicator, the alarm bells were ringing. Here is a recap of that ignominy:
These are the contrasting numbers for January 2015, and for barely six months later.
Forex reserves – (Jan – 9 billion, June- 6.3 billon.). Imports ( USD). Jan – 4 billon, June -3.84 billion.) LKR borrowing limit – LKRT Bonds and Bills. (Jan – 850 billion, June – 1250 billion.) external USD cost 10 year bond. (Jan – 5.87 percent. June – 6.125 percent.) GDP ( Jan – 7.4. percent.) 2015 6.4). Long term rupee bond interest rates. ( Jan-9.75 percent – June-11.75 percent.) Budget deficit as percentage of GDP- (Jan 6.5- June 9.5). Such contrasts are not in the abstract. Bottom-rung UNPers are themselves seething over what they see as the grand betrayal due to financial shenanigans of the top UNP elite, with Karunanayake heading the pack of hyenas.
For a dispensation that claimed to have come to power on a mandate of good governance, the above recapped economic debacle coupled with the fact that the Govt., had to save itself by dissolving Parliament, should be the kind of ignominy that takes years to achieve.
But no, Wickremesinghe’s UNP managed all of this in an easy six months! Ranil’s cronies have done him in, and there are no more ignominious henchmen among that lot than Arjuna Mahandran who came in with a cloud hanging over his head, having been an advisor to HSBC Private, which was convicted for money laundering in the USA.
All governments have cronies and a less than savoury characters who are hangers-on, but a bunch of cronies who were able to wreck a perfectly promising economy in less than 200 days is special by any reckoning!
Rajapaksa is accused of many things but his worst detractors find it difficult to say he was not a doer. He accomplished many things, though many faults are laid at his door, such as the alleged protection afforded to bad eggs and those who are routinely evading the law.
But the UNP’s record of cronyism in a matter of six months ascertained two things. These people governed a train-wreck and a train-wreck seems to be the only thing this lot has the experience to deliver.
That forms a telling contrast to Rajapaksa’s record for performance, a fact bolstered by the statistics given above for the shape the economy was in at the beginning of the year when the election abruptly delivered change.
Anyone surprised that there is a hankering after the lost Rajapaksa rule should understand that the dynamic there is simple. People have eyes. They have a sense of smell. They know the obvious when it is happening right under their noses, right before their eyes.
As Rajapaksa gains — and make no mistake, it is Rajapaksa and not the SLFP which is essentially a sign board for just another opposition party — the dirty bombs being planted by the likes of Kumaratunge would go down in history as the worst recorded campaign in Sri Lankan history for unwelcome and perfidious vilification.
People are not prepared to see Kumaratunge, universally seen as a zero-achiever in government, ask for the jailing of Rajapaksa for no reason!
She says ‘these people should be in jail’ and has nothing to show in terms of facts to back-up that piece of mealy mouthed vilification, as nobody was caught up in more financial scandals during incumbency than Kumaratunge herself.
This is a morally degenerate condition for which the entirety of the Sri Lankan polity should be held responsible. All of us should hang our heads in shame over the fact that this brand of vilification has been allowed about a man who turned around a bleak situation for the country, won a war, and built upon that success with the kind of economic gains that has the numbers to show for it. There aren’t lines of Buddhist monks however, taking to the streets to say that such vilification is a demonic excess.
But why should there be?
The people are the ultimate witnesses and their verdict is the only one that matters.
It seems to be why the rants are taken in a spirit of nonchalance.
The contrasts are so glaring that a five year old won’t miss the joke. Here is CBK saying she is saving the country. After the six months of UNP rule and the situation that was recapped above, it is clear she does not know the meanings of either of those two words. Save? From herself?
Country? Which part of it that is left after January 2015?
The lie has exposed itself. But this degree of ignominious and farcical let down should not go without repercussions. Ranil and his hundred days cronies and how they managed to crash the economy in less than half of a year should be the subject of a meticulous probe.
A six month swindle of this order would qualify as epic, even in the annals of major disasters and ultimately memorable debacles.