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Once there was a man in a country called Kekirilanthaya.  He was very rich.  He owned or controlled more than a hundred companies.  This man, Hasith Kokawala, had a good reputation.  ‘Good’ when it comes to making money and being ruthless.  He had friends in high places.  ‘High places’ obviously meaning politicians with clout.  He didn’t like people standing between himself and a place called ‘Profit’, even if the ‘obstacle’ happened to be a childhood friend who was so close that he was the Best Man at Kokawala’s wedding.  Stood in the way, was swept aside.  Single-minded he was.

Anyway, Kokawala ran a Ponzi scheme through one of the companies he controlled, Silver Key.  The inevitable happened.  It collapsed leaving a lot of people dead broke. ‘Dead’ is right because at least one of the victims hanged himself.  Life savings, EPF/ETF payments and even inheritances were invested in Silver Key. It all went down the tube.

The victims ganged up. They took Kokawala to court.  Now some of these victims were actually rich and influential in their own right.  Kokawala was arrested and one his partners in crime, his wife Lucille, fled the country.  He had bucks.  He could purchase good lawyers.  He could drag things along.  He did just that.

The victims wanted their money back.  They suggested that the assets of Kokawala and other Directors of Silver Key be liquidated and the money used to compensate the vicims.  Hadn’t happened.

Then comes our knight in shining armor, Savvy K.  He’s the Finance Minister who knows a lot of about scams of this kind.  He’s had to fight off allegations of financial wrongdoing.  He’s said to be implicated in a massive Central Bank bond scam just weeks after he took office.  Savvy K is officially in charge of the Treasury.  He sorts out everything.   He puts his able hands into the Treasury kitty and pulls out the amounts needed for ‘part payment’ which, in the context of upcoming elections might be read as ‘I could get you every cent you lost but this means I have to be re-elected and elections cost, y’know?’
He does something profound, Savvy K does.   He gets the Cabinet of Ministers to approve the payment schedule proposed by him.  That’s to the Silver Key depositors.  The initial amount he’s picked from the Treasury is 544.3 million Kekirilantha Rupees (KKR).  Mind you, even after this ‘payment’ the total amount due to the depositors is a whopping 7 billion KKR.  Bait, did someone say? Election gimmick did someone else add?  After all, it’s the ‘small investors’ who are being bailed out in this so-called ‘initial payment’.  That’s about 2000-3000 people.  ‘Votes,’ actually.  The big investors are naturally small in number.  Smart, Savvy K certainly is.

Anyway, there’s a small catch in the deal.  Kokawala doesn’t own the Treasury.  What’s in that particular kitty belongs to every citizen of Kekirilanthaya and only a handful of them were suckered in by the Ponzi scheme that Kokawala ran through Silver Key.  Did Savvy K ask permission from those other people who out of ignorance, poverty or even better sense did not deal with Silver Key? No, he did not.

But there’s another catch.  Savvy K makes it out, in effect, that he’s getting all the taxpayers of Kekirilanthaya to help their fellow citizens in distress and, in effect, tells us ‘don’t worry, you will be repaid soon’.  ‘How, Sir Savvy the Valiant, are you going to do that?’ is clearly a question that the man anticipates.  Here’s the answer that’s been dished to the press: ‘Recovery of this fund will be made through the liquidation of the assets of Silver K’.

That’s good.  I mean, that’s consolation.  Someone runs a Ponzi scheme, tricks dozens of suckers and gets caught when the house of cards collapses, he has to pay.  There’s another small catch though.  There’s a ‘small print’ caveat following the note about asset liquidation: ‘…with the permission of the Supreme Court of Kekirilanthaya where a petition in this regard is being heard.’

Oh dear!  This means that the Supreme Court has not yet decided whether or not it will demand the liquidation of Kokawala’s assets.  Therefore, Savvy K is essentially taking the money belonging to the citizens of Kekirilanthaya to compensate people who have been robbed by Kokawala.

So anyone, after this, can rob anyone else in Kekirilanthaya knowing well that others’ tax money will be used to pay the victims.  Insurance companies will collapse because no one needs fear theft because Savvy K will put his hand into the Treasury, pull out the relevant amount and everyone will be happy.  Well, he won’t do that immediately.  He will give them 7.214718% of what they lost and say ‘I am sure the Supreme Court of Kekirilanthaya will order the liquidation of the fraudster’s assets so I can put back in the Treasury what I took’.  He will add ‘the rest of the money, that is 92.78282% will have to wait until this election is over.’  He will say sotto voce ‘I don’t know what some other Finance Minister might do…so…you know…{*wink, *wink).’

The biggest catch, though, has absolutely nothing to do with money.  It has to do with the position of Savvy Key in the justice business vis-à-vis the Supreme Court.  Savvy K is essentially ANTICIPATING a decision of the Supreme Court.  What does the Chief Justice have to say about this?  Did the Cabinet of Ministers even have the barest number of grey matter in their heads to understand that Savvy K was essentially determining ON BEHALF OF THE SUPREME COURT?

Hasith Kokawala was last found laughing his guts out.  And on the 9th day of January in the year 2016, exactly one year after Savvy K was appointed the Finance Minister of Kekirilanthaya, a cleaning lady discovered that the Treasury of Kekirilanthaya was empty.