‘Wherever there’s opportunity the Mafia will be there’ – Jonny Keller
Cut-outs, banners and posters which is a colossal waste of money and environment pollutant have been minimized, thanks to Commissioner Deshapriya, and the President who stood by him. It is heartening to note that the public, in general, is becoming more mindful of the need to seriously reflect on the future of this nation. Vehicle parades, Kassippu Dansal [free illicit liquor] totally eradicated: Yahapalanaya [Good Governance] deserves credit.

In a backdrop of positive signs of a free and fair campaign, on the Esala full moon day, the Minister of Finance and ruling United National Party’s Assistant Leader Ravi Karunanayake’s election campaign in Colombo North was attacked by an unidentified gang killing two of his supporters.

“The United National Party vehemently condemns this attack on a group of people who were peacefully engaged in Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s election campaign,” said party Chairman Kabir Hashim issuing a statement. “We will not leave room for retarding our efforts to establish a civilized political culture in Sri Lanka by this type of uncivilized incidents,” he added.

Bringing underworld gangs, drug peddlers, and other culprits in to justice is the responsibility of government. Can the government blame it on “…bankrupt opposition politicians.”

The voter’s task in selecting their preferences is hectic if not chaotic; he will have to burn mid night oil in searching for good candidates to vote as their representatives, with little help from civil society, clergy and party leaders, all frantically calling for ‘avoid bad candidates’, but fall short of naming them.

Yahapalanaya -slip is showing?
Allegations are pouring against the past and present governments; Bond Scam, high cost of  living, Central Highway, release of ‘Karunka’ shipment to mention a few— all running into billions. Is Yahapalanaya -slip is showing? Questioned by a Daily Mirror interviewer on Bond issue, Dr Harsha de Silva, the, learned and respected UNPer who bears a clean and uncorrupted history, replies,
“I don’t want to call it a loss but if we were to pay it would be just a few billion rupees. [emphasis is mine]—but that is certainly much, much smaller than the fraud that took place between the Perpetual Company and Nivad Cabraal in the stock market. Various people have pointed fingers at various people even in this government but not me. I stand by my principles and I am a straight man. There was an allegation of insider information that someone used to make money. But that allegation must be fully investigated and if there is evidence to suggest it was so, people involved must be severely dealt with…”

The Central Bank bond mafia, like other mafias will align with any government. The white-collar criminals would tie up with corrupt leaders of the party in power, or if there are no such men they know how to convert a few good guys to fall in line with them. The voter who listened to the clergy will leave aside the bad eggs; but cannot rely on humans, as the saying goes, ‘each person has his own price’. Once again he becomes powerless. Robbers must be dealt with in the name of good governance instead of attempting to ‘sweep under the carpet’ the findings of investigations. Politicians of both sides are experts at pointing the finger at others; they shout themselves rough pointing at their opponents calling them rogues, dealers in drugs and ethanol, and underworld gang leaders while they themselves are involved in all these vices without any indignity or shame. They warn the public to be wary of the underworld gangsters while their own underworld rival gangs clash openly.

The National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) chairman Dr. Chamira Nilanga Samarasingha says, that drug king-pins and drug addicts are actively involved in election propaganda and campaigning activities. He further stated that his field officers island-wide had confirmed this fact. All political party leaders and candidates had been informed about the matter, the communiqué states. It adds, that drugs could not successfully be controlled until the link between drugs and politics was destroyed—they can destroy the link temporarily, but on short term; new links will emerge forthwith.

Unfortunately for the voter NDDCB too fall short of naming them for public awareness; what use of telling the leaders who persuade their candidates in winning by hook or crook, which is the name of the game.

One is at a loss to know how to comprehend the underworld or the ‘good world’ and who nurtures them. Can we go by past experience, ask ourselves who got rid of them and who brought them back; the thugs and robbers, drug peddlers and ethanol dealers? If the voter have to come out of this dilemma they needed to be guided by the clergy, the fearless ones, who can ‘stand and deliver’, name the culprits of both factions, not just repeat the mantram, “do not vote for…Kudu… Ethanol…corrupt…”

The Mafia is backed by a tremendously powerful global network of organized workers skilled in the art of enticing anybody even with an exceptional degree of honesty and integrity; it is a simple task. We need a government of ‘checks and balances’: it does not mean Mafia and crooked businessmen make out cheques and the Politicians
improve their Bank Balances!