Election Final results, Political Reforms & The Process Of Reconciliation

By Dinesh D. Dodamgoda &#8211

Dinesh Dodamgoda

Dinesh Dodamgoda

The recently concluded Parliamentary Election has designed a ‘kind of hostile politics of the enemy-friend bi-polarity’ in terms of intended political reforms and the proposed reconciliation agenda of the new government. An evaluation of the election outcomes would show that a tiny over 50% of voters are for reforms and a small much less than 50% of voters are against reforms. What does this imply in terms of bringing intended political reforms into reality and implementing a reconciliation approach effectively?

It is evident from election results that there can be a significant ideological resistance to political reforms and to the proposed reconciliation agenda by virtually half of the population that voted for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa led United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). There is no doubt, former President Rajapaksa is the reputable, symbolic leader of the anti-reformist / reconciliation agenda. Nonetheless, one particular could argue that President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga need to be able to win the symbolic leadership position of the anti-reformist / reconciliation population by gaining and securing power in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Central Committee as properly as in the UPFA Executive Committee. In my opinion, though Sirisena-CBK group could gain ‘majority’ seats in these bodies, they will not be capable to obtain ‘legitimacy’ so simply. For that reason, ideological resistance to reforms and to the reconciliation agenda by former President Rajapaksa led population will remain as a serious obstacle. Furthermore, former President Rajapaksa led group’s resistance to political reforms and to the reconciliation agenda will reinforce the group’s political survival as properly. Hence, the stated obstruction is strategically crucial in terms of the group’s survival and, for that reason, the obstruction is almost inevitable.
Maithri Ranil
In order to emphasise my argument, I would like to note that practically 95% of pro-President Sirisena candidates that contested from the UPFA list did not make it to Parliament as there was an internally orchestrated negative campaign against them by the pro-Rajapaksa group. Some of the pro-Sirisena candidates who got defeated had been effective figures in the last Parliament. Hence, the vote that the UPFA received in this election can be viewed as a pure pro-Rajapaksa vote in which Rajapaksa led group derives its political energy. The vote percentage that the group received is effectively more than 47% of the total voters. Therefore, bringing mere structural modifications to Celebration steering Committees to secure Sirisena-CBK majority will not help the group in gaining ‘legitimacy’ amongst the UPFA voters who are capable of disrupting the new government’s socio-political agenda.

How does this have an effect on the new government’s proposed political reforms / reconciliation agenda? The answer is if not handled / or tackled wisely, the opposition can seriously destroy or disrupt the new government’s reformist / reconciliation agenda.

It is not required to emphasise that the new government’s reform programs need to be implemented smoothly as feasible. The UNF government, therefore, ought to very carefully and unconventionally devise its approach. Very first, the UNF government must be careful when devising its strategy as any careless error would cost dearly. Second, it has to be devised unconventionally as the technique ought to be aimed at reaching a consensus amongst politically polarised groups, the process that goes beyond conventional political boundaries.

Giving the nature of the hard line political stances that the President Rajapaksa led group displayed in the previous, it is reasonable to assume that the group would resort to comparable sort of political opposition even with regard to the proposed reforms / reconciliation approach. On the a single hand, the group has indicated that it aims to comeback to energy in the near future. On the other hand, a challenging line strategy would weaken the new government by derailing its reformist agenda in which the government aims to sustain its minority as properly as the international support. As a result, identifying of an appropriate strategy that would mitigate any challenging line opposition from the 47% of Rajapaksa led population is of paramount important for the new government as it decides the UNF government’s good results as properly as its internal and external political survival into a considerable extent.

The Maithri-Ranil government’s past eight months’ track record was not so impressive in terms of mitigating Rajapaksa Group’s hard line political opposition. There was a political as effectively as a personal hard-hitting hostile approach from Maithri-Ranil government against Rajapaksa group during final eight months. As a outcome, some of the Rajapaksa group’s members are still in remand and investigations are going on. In my opinion, the Maithri-Ranil government’s challenging-hitting approach against Rajapaksas had reinforced the group’s desperation for its political and personal survival and that led the group to type and group a robust political opposition that rallied and sooner or later fielded pro-Rajapaksa UPFA candidates in the not too long ago concluded Parliamentary Election against Maithri-Ranil government. The query is, ‘Should Maithri-Ranil group continue with the same difficult-hitting, hostile strategy in the future as well?’

If the Maithri-Ranil group want to continue with the same political and individual hostile approach against Rajapaksa group, it is affordable to count on a equivalent type of reaction. There is no doubt, this is the way Rajapaksas’ believe and in truth, the choice by the former President Rajapaksa to execute as an ordinary MP in the new Parliament is an indication of the ‘never giving up’ attitude of Rajapaksas’. They would fight till they die. Even so, the context that this hostile approach would produce is not the most favourable context that the UNF government want (or need to have), if they want to effectively implement intended political reforms and the reconciliation agenda.

The question then is ‘how ought to both groups move forward?’ The answer is ‘they must generate a context of political and individual co-existence for each groups that would assure UNFG’s smooth functionality at least in terms of proposed political reforms and the reconciliation agenda. Nonetheless, it will not be so effortless to achieve this context of political and private co-existence for both groups unless each sides operate hard, strategically and patiently. There are a few issues to note. Given that the hostile attitude in each sides is comparatively higher, a middle ground should be produced to facilitate initiating a constructive dialogue. The best way is to utilise proxy groups or ‘behind the scene strategists’ in both sides to open up a dialogue. Thereafter, modalities and terms can be laid out. Therefore, the most crucial activity would be to reach an agreement amongst proxy groups to be constructive and then to bring the level of hostilities in political actors of each sides at least to a much less destructive point. If this is possible, we can have a hope at least in terms of bringing intended political reforms into reality and implementing a reconciliation approach successfully.

As a final note, I would like to mention that this an critical chance that the country has to strengthen the civil society by bringing intended political reforms and to end the cycle of ethno-religious hatred by implementing a procedure of reconciliation that aims at rising the level of socio-political tolerance. The job would not be feasible unless both political sides, Maithri-Ranil group and the Rajapaksa group, are prepared to attain a political and individual compromise, at least to facilitate intended political reforms and the approach of reconciliation.

*Dinesh D. Dodamgoda, a Fulbright scholar and a lawyer, has a M.Sc. degree from the British Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham (Cranfield University) on Defence Management and Worldwide Safety. He was also an MP from 1995-2000.

JVP Encourages Rosy To Enter From The Back Door

The Central Committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Celebration, has agreed and granted their approval for the formation of a national government. The acting secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Celebration had stated that when working committee of the SLFP converged they had offered their consent and had put it forward to President Maithripala Sirisena.

RosyThe Elections Secretariat stated that the names of the winning 196 candidates will be sent to the government printer to be officially gazetted this evening. The names of the other MPs pointed out on the national list are to be handed in by the relevant party secretary&#8217s inside a week of results being officially declared.

Meanwhile the JVP had hit a discord when the Anura Kumara Dissanayake led celebration had incorporated the name of Sunil Handunneththi on the national list along with the name of Sarathchandra Mayadunne. This meant that Chrishmal Warnasuriya whose name was second on the list had to be scrapped off to accommodate Handunheththi who earlier was not elected when he contested from the Kalutara District.

Warnasuriya however had posted the following comment on his Facebook web page &#8220My dear Anura I sincerely hope that you had a Explanation for performing what you just did, I am deeply perplexed as none have been explained to me! However, now that you have taken this step, I will expect you to appreciate that I as well will have to Explain all of this to the many who supported us, and who are now inquiring of me &#8211 WHY? &#8221

Subsequently Warnasuriya posted and tendered a public apology to his supporters.

The UNFGG candidate from Colombo Rosy Senanayake who also failed to secure a seat contesting from the Colombo District, has had resounding assistance from her lobbyists who are egging Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to consist of far more names of female candidates by means of the national list. A petition performing its rounds on social media searching for signatures at present has noticed a mixed reaction to this campaign.

&#8221 Let&#8217s not begin back door manoeuvres when it suits us and criticize when it does not&#8230 If back door manoeuvres are incorrect when MR did it&#8230 it is also wrong If and when MS or RW does it. For example when Mervyn Silva lost the election some time back and was brought via the National list there were howls of protest&#8230. It was wrong then and this as well is wrong if they do!! The new culture has to be shown in action not words. Continuing the wrongs completed previously is not the way&#8221 stated a comment.

&#8220Only 11 ladies elected to this parliament. Final parliament had 13.&#8221 girls rights campaigners say.

Rajapaksa’s Loss Spells Victory For Democracy

By R Hariharan

 Col. (retd) R.Hariharan

Col. (retd) R.Hariharan

Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s hopes of coming back to power as Sri Lanka’s prime minister crashed when the. United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA), which fielded him as a candidate, lost out narrowly to the United National Celebration (UNP)-led coalition in the parliamentary election held on August 17.

In the most peacefully carried out election in Sri Lanka in recent occasions where over 70 per cent of the people are stated to have voted, the UPFA could win only eight of the 22 electoral districts as against its rival UNP’s victory in 11 districts. The Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK)-led Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won in three predominantly Tamil districts of Jaffna, Vanni and Batticaloa South. It would assistance UNP-led government rather than that of UPFA.

In Sri Lanka’s electoral program, out of the 225 parliament members, 196 members are elected by way of proportional representation method from 22 electoral districts. Every celebration is allocated a number of seats from the quota assigned to the district in proportion to votes secured by the celebration. The balance of 29 seats known as national list are allotted to parties according to the nation-wide proportional votes they receive in the election.

Mahinda jan 6 2014Rajapaksa conceded defeat in the morning of August 18 even prior to outcomes were officially announced. He told the AFP news agency &#8220My dream of becoming prime minister has faded away…I am conceding. We have lost a great fight.&#8221 Even though a message from his twitter account later contradicted this, he need to have noticed the writing on the wall early in the day.

As Wickremesinghe described, the presidential election was in a way a referendum. Over 15 million voters of Sri Lanka had to make a decision whether or not they wanted Rajapaksa’s return to politics right after a decade in energy. Once hailed as Sri Lanka strongman, Rajapaksa need to be a disappointed man to be rejected once again by the individuals in his bid for national leadership within a year following he lost the presidential election in January 2015. He had high hopes of coming back to energy as prime minister after the powers of executive presidency had been cut down to size by President Maithripala Sirisena. Rajapaksa also had to overcome the efforts of Sirisena as chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), to avoid him from contesting as a UPFA candidate.

Though neither the UPFA nor UNP-led alliance is probably to have a majority in parliament, Ranil Wickremesinghe, victorious leader of the UNP obtaining bigger number of seats, is expected to be sworn in once again as prime minister. President Sirisena is most likely to choose his loyalists inside the SLFP to join the national alliance government led by Wickremesinghe. Therefore both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe will be capable to follow up in action to fulfill their agenda for structural and constitutional reforms and pull up the sagging economy.

Rajapaksa’s failure is a political triumph for Sirisena, specifically soon after senior members of the SLFP central committee challenged his leadership and tried their ideal to bring back Rajapaksa to the detriment of Sirisena loyalists. Sirisena sent a sturdy message of his authority and sacked 13 senior members of the central committee including the all important secretaries of UPFA and SLFP and appointed his own nominees quickly after polling ended on August 17.

But Sirisena’s action could be challenged when the Supreme Court reopens on August 31 from holiday. According to a former chief justice, as per the party constitution only the secretary of the celebration has to nominate the national list members. On the other hand court action may possibly nicely be deferred as some of those impacted seem to be creating friendly noises to get back into excellent books of Sirisena.

Rajapaksa as a productive member of the UPFA will have to sit in the opposition benches in the exact same parliament where his writ ran unchallenged when he was president. If he is selected as a leader of the opposition by UPFA members, he will be presiding more than an anomalous circumstance when some of the members join the cabinet. Would he do it?

Out of power and after two successive failures, Rajapaksa’s political influence has been slashed. But his assistance base among the conservative Buddhist nationalist southern Sinhalas seems to be largely intact. Will he bounce back into politics? Apart from Rajapaksa, two other people – Sirisena and Wickremesinghe – also are probably pondering more than this query

In addition to former president Rajapaksa, his brother Chamal Rajapaka and son Namal Rajapaksa have also won. This would make certain an element of protection for the three Rajapaksas as they can not be arrested when the parliament is in session. This becomes essential in the investigations into situations of corruption and misuse of workplace now underway.

But this will spell problems for Rajapaksas. Mahinda is facing cases of corruption in handling of public funds and his brother and former minister Basil is tangled in yet another similar case in the law courts. These instances are likely to move on a quickly pace. But we can expect each Sirisena and Wickremesinghe to tread meticulously lest they antagonize Sinhala nationalist segment by vindictive action.

As far as India is concerned the news of Wickremesinghe combine’s victory would be welcome though even had Rajapaksa come to power he would have handled India with kid gloves. As far as China is concerned, possibly it would rue the failure of Rajapaksa as a lesson learnt, and court the new leadership to get its stalled projects by means of and get back to organization. Practically nothing moves Chinese like funds and President Xi Jinping like 21st Century Maritime Road. Sri Lanka is critical for China on each counts.

*Col R Hariharan, a retired Military Intelligence specialist on South Asia, served with the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka as Head of Intelligence. He is related with the Chennai Centre for China Studies and the South Asia Evaluation Group. E-Mail: [email protected] Blog: http://col.hariharan.info

Sri Lanka’s Ethnic Question & The JVP: A Pre-Election Clarification

By Chaminda Weerawardhana &#8211

Dr. Chaminda Weerawardhana

Dr. Chaminda Weerawardhana

As the Sri Lankan common election approaches, there is an work amongst pro-UNP media to raise an intriguing argument. This argument goes as follows: Voting the JVP is completely unadvisable, since JVP MPs will side with Mahinda Rajapaksa, when the UNP-led government moves towards ‘reforms’, specifically with regards to the ethnic question. Articles of this nature, published in outlets such as Lanka E News, very first appear in Sinhala, and then in English. In the Sinhala articles, the term ‘balaya bedeema’ is employed, when referring to the measures that a UNP-led government will supposedly take, in addressing Sri Lanka’s ethnic question. Civil society activists in Colombo’s English-speaking, West-oriented non-governmental lobby, who rely on funding from Western sources for their projects, have lengthy advocated the term ‘balaya bedeema’ in their Sinhala language documents, media engagements and public events. This was also the preferred wording of Chandrika Bandaranaike, who held the executive presidency from 1994 to 2005, and engaged in repeated efforts to bring about political reforms to the ethnic question. Back in 1993-1994 and in the course of her initial couple of years in workplace, the term ‘balaya bedeema’ was frequently employed when referring to a set of political reforms that would help address the political grievances of the Tamil community. When programmes for awareness raising and mass mobilisation, such as sudu nelum and thavalama were launched, the Sinhala documentation explaining the rationale for such initiatives also included the term ‘balaya bedeema’.

JVPIn what follows, this writer argues that the above-mentioned anti-JVP position of pro-UNP media is all but a hollow and desperate bid to woo swing voters. By castigating the JVP as prone to take the side of Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sinhala nationalists in the face of ‘progressive’ balaya bedeema reforms, the pro-UNP media demonstrates that they either a) have no clue of the political evolution of the JVP and the party’s present-day scenario, or b) they are totally aware of the JVP’s rising reputation and present-day position on the ethnic query, and are consequently desperate to engage in final-minute fear-mongering. In order to get to the bottom of this argument, it is needed to take a minor detour, recapitulating the regional and international implications of the problem of political reform.

Political Reform: international ramifications?

Six months into the presidential election of January 2015, it is clear that external powers, specially the India-USA-EU consensus, played a part in the political developments that facilitated the political changes of early 2015. Such developments involved Ranil Wickremesinghe, the leader of a political party given that 1994, with a strong track record of being ‘unmarketable’ at elections, taking a back seat. By means of the mediation of Chandrika Bandaranaike – who, just like Wickremesinghe, is a trusted ‘friend’ of the West – a a lot a lot more locally marketable ‘man of the people’, Maitripala Sirisena, was selected to contest for presidency on behalf of a common front, headed behind the scenes by the Wickremesinghe-Bandaranaike duo.

One particular of the crucial factors that led Delhi to endorse a procedure of regime change in Sri Lanka was the Mahinda Rajapaksa government’s reluctance to fulfil a pre-May 2009 guarantee to Delhi- that of implementing political reforms that would address the fundamental demands of the Tamil polity (read the Tamil leadership represented by the Tamil National Alliance), which Delhi could eventually market in Tamil Nadu to appease the province’s Tamil nationalist sentiments, and to enhance Delhi’s profile in Tamil Nadu as devoted to the cause of the Tamils of Sri Lanka. The failure of this plan was at the heart of strained relations in between Delhi and Colombo. Some media reports referred to an angry President Rajapaksa returning from Delhi soon after attending Narendra Modi’s swearing in ceremony, the cause for presidential anguish becoming Modi’s reiteration of Delhi’s demand for political reforms in Sri Lanka. Irrespective of the truism of this claim, it is clear that Delhi was, and continues to be, deeply interested in witnessing some kind of ‘political reform’ taking spot in Sri Lanka vis-à-vis the ethnic query. It goes with out saying that Delhi’s position influences perspectives on Sri Lanka in Brussels and Washington D.C.

The report on Norwegian engagement in the Vth Peace Process, produced by the Christian Michelsen Institute in Norway, reveals, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s zest to implement marketplace reforms raised concern even among Western diplomats. Below a Ranil Wickremesinghe-led government right after #gesl2015, there is a likelihood that Colombo would be receptive to the Delhi-led get in touch with for political reform, and get itself involved with a balaya bedeema discourse with the TNA.

A convoluted topic: parameters and public perceptions of political reform in Sri Lanka

In implementing political reforms with regards to the ethnic query, 1 can notice similitudes in the challenges that successive governments have faced. Throughout the heyday of the LTTE, attempts at negotiation, mediation, external facilitation, confidence-building measures, and discussions on comprehensive devolution and quasi-federal reform have been all perceived with scepticism in the Sinhala nationalist lobbies. The explanation for that scepticism, from the Chandrika Bandaranaike proposals for a draft constitution to the Wickremesinghe-led, Oslo-facilitated Vth peace procedure and the aborted P-TOMs initiative, have been the exact same they have been all deemed as measures that would ‘divide’ the ‘country’. The Sinhalese appellation ‘rata bedana salasum’ was tagged onto all the aforementioned reform initiatives. Political opportunism put aside, a substantial segment of the polity and Sinhalese society perceive substantial devolution and quasi-federal reforms as inimical to the interests of the Sri Lankan state. If a government, on the basis of a parliamentary majority, international help or the strength of an influential leader, seeks to ‘force in’ such reforms in the absence of public support, that government and its leader are prone to face a political crisis and a challenge to its energy base, paving the path for wider protest and unrest.

Managing the Reform Challenge?

When considering political reforms, any future government requirements to take previous precedents strongly into account. Secondly, and most importantly maybe, it is important to take stock of public attitudes to political reform. A vital question pertains to the domestic and international actors who are demanding political reforms. At residence, the TNA is quite keen to receive a set of reforms from Colombo, which it can then market to its northern electorate, and reinforce its energy base for posterity. Delhi’s keenness on political reforms was evoked earlier in this article.

At this point, it is of value to highlight a critical factor. It is not this writer’s objective to adopt a Sinhala nationalist stance and maintain that political reforms are unwarranted. This has been, for instance the position of the Jathika Hela Urumaya. This writer strongly believes that political reform, inspired by a context-distinct amalgamation of components from consociational energy-sharing models and integrationist perspectives of political reform, would be really appropriate and valuable in enhancing the current structures of governance (i.e. the Northern Provincial Council, municipalities and pradeshiya sabas).

However, this understanding of the suitability and worth of political reform does not blind this writer to a essential reality – that of the sensible feasibility of implementing political reform in a context of asymmetric energy, in between an ethno-national majority and numerical minorities. On top of that, the Sri Lankan polity is marked by repetitive situations when political reform projects failed due to varying types of majoritarian opposition, from the BC Pact of 1957 to the P-TOMS proposals of 2005.

Provided this reality, if a programme of political reform is to be effectively negotiated, agreed upon, ratified in parliament and implemented in full, there is an earlier preliminary step to be dealt with – that of developing broad-ranging consensus on the necessity and usefulness of such reforms in managing minority rights and ethnic relations. The collective failure of all past leaders who attempted political reform lay in an inadequate appraisal of this preliminary necessity. Taking past precedents and the present-day political configuration into account, it can be noted with certitude that Sri Lanka has not however entered the phase of implementing devolution or federalism-based political reform. If this reality is ignored and reforms are to be introduced directly, it amounts to placing the cart before the horse and abject pointlessness.

The real problems at hand?

How, then can a future government seek to reconcile this predicament, and adopt a workable strategy?

As a first step, a future government need to imperatively recognise the reality that the Tamil folks of northern Sri Lanka are concerned with priorities that go beyond political reforms, which neither the TNA nor any other Tamil political parties are keen to prioritise. An incomplete list of concerns, which the subsequent government imperatively ought to contemplate as absolute priorities, incorporate the following:

  • The full implementation of the national language policy (specifically in predominantly Tamil regions),
  • Developing a medium and long-term programme of help to war widows, single-parent (specifically single mother) households
  • A national programme for the welfare of orphaned young children and young adults
  • A plan of action to address drug proliferation, alcoholism and gender-primarily based violence
  • A robust initiative to make certain gender justice, with quick, medium and lengthy-term goals
  • Measures to address the situation of caste-primarily based discrimination in all elements of life
  • Guaranteeing an equitable policy of land distribution, returning acquired land to their rightful owners
  • Making sure fundamental human freedoms, which includes the appropriate for political engagement, of upholding political views of one’s option
  • Making sure, and totally guaranteeing the appropriate of Tamil people to commemorate war victims, which includes fallen LTTE combatants, who, soon after all, happened to be disgruntled citizens of Sri Lanka
  • A transparent national mechanism to examine wartime disappearances, deaths and acts of violence

Social reform instead of political reform?

The most advisable technique for a future government to adopt is to take a social reform strategy, which focuses not on the Tamil polity, but on reforms ensuring social justice for Tamil folks. Creating a national program of action to address the above-talked about and associated troubles, with the participation of a broad variety of civil society activists, victims’ assistance groups, religious leaders, academics and researchers, advocates of reconciliation and human rights activists is an absolute national priority. It is also a step with a lesser danger of a Sinhala nationalist backlash.

Instead of such a programme that focuses on people and society, the next government could repeat the past error of focusing exclusively on political reform, in a dance to Delhi’s existing tune. If this path is pursued, previous precedents indicate the inevitability of a political crisis. A programme of this nature is bound to strengthen the Sinhala nationalist lobby, which could mobilise around Mahinda Rajapaksa. It would be a birthday present to Bodu Bala Sena, Ravana Balaya and all other Sinhala nationalist entities.

The JVP: a strategic reaction is completely regular

Provided the absence of public assistance to a UNP-led internationally influenced project for political reform involving the TNA, its connotations of getting a concoction of pro-Western politicians and the of western-funded NGOs, the JVP, a national-level political movement that stands for ethno-national harmony inside a united Sri Lankan state, can not be anticipated to endorse such a reform drive. The JVP cannot be blamed for a choice of this nature, as the fundamental priority of any political movement is that of making sure its important support base and enhancing its electability.

Requesting the electorate to not to vote for the JVP, due to the probability that the JVP will oppose political reforms – a favourite pastime of pro-UNP media – is puerile at greatest. Let’s contemplate, for example, the (unlikely) hypothesis that the JVP does not carry out effectively at the basic election and is not represented in parliament. Even in the JVP’s absence from the legislature, a Sinhala nationalist backlash against Delhi-Ranil Wickremesinghe-TNA political reforms is inevitable. That backlash, if past examples are something to go by, will take place within the legislature as nicely as on the streets, spearheaded not by the JVP, but by an assortment of Sinhala nationalist hardliners who have MR to rally around.

The advisable course of action?

It is in the UNP’s ideal interests to bring this problem up with its Indian and Western allies, and reach an understanding on the substantive political dangers of pursuing the path of satisfying the demands of constitutional Tamil nationalism, represented mostly by the TNA. Beyond a set of cosmetic political reforms that it can marketplace in the North, the TNA harbours no interest in the day-to-day problems affecting the Tamil folks and specially the class and caste dimensions of such difficulties. The West is engulfed by the perception that the TNA is the main Tamil political entity, commanding the biggest support base. The TNA wins elections with relative ease in the North due to a fundamental cause: there exists no viable and credible option to the TNA in the predominantly Tamil electoral districts of northern Sri Lanka. It will be in the very best interests of a future UNP government (and certainly its Indian and Western backers) to proceed on a social reform agenda, and also take concerted methods to open a lot more space for political participation, and assist build option political voices that challenge the TNA’s electoral monopoly.

The present-day TNA is all but a Vellalar gentlemen’s’ Club, an unwelcome space for these from other castes and for rehabilitated ex-LTTE combatants, and for the most vulnerable segments of society. In this context, it is an absolute necessity in terms of basic democratic politics to aid create credible, totally democratic, non-violent and inclusive political alternatives to the TNA in northern Sri Lanka. A procedure of that nature would also give a valuable basis to launch a conversation on topics such as devolution of powers and institution creating. International observers want to take adequate stock of this reality.

Delhi, Washington D.C. et al: set your priorities straight!

Unless Delhi and the West wishes a future return of the Rajapaksa regime, it is in their very best interests to assistance a social justice-based reform agenda in northern Sri Lanka, which also involves an effort to strengthen democratic politics, diversifying political representation and enhancing inclusivity. Instead, adumbrating a commitment to practically non-feasible and politically risky political reform is verified hara-kiri and a enjoy letter to hardline Sinhala nationalism. As the pro-UNP media does, singling out a political party striving to emerge as a decisive force in national politics fit to be the official opposition and/or to assume governmental workplace, amounts to all but petty fear-mongering and a increasing fear of the JVP’s recognition.

Ahead of The 2015 Common Elections – II

By Izeth Hussain &#8211

Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

I am no psephologist with specialist skills in the evaluation of elections but I have found that commonsense can serve effectively in the prediction of electoral outcomes. On commonsensical grounds I count on the UNP to win by a comfy margin. Perhaps the most important explanation is a sense of fatigue with SLFP-led Governments given that 1994, except for a brief UNP inter-regnum. There is a deep human impulse that seeks renewal by turning to the new. One more crucial element is that the minorities’ vote that proved so decisive at the Presidential elections is certain to stay with the UNP. On the economy the voters could hope to see an finish to gigantic idiocies such as Mattala Airport and Hambantota Port. On democracy, and all the troubles of good governance, the UNP would clearly have the edge.

If it is true that there is a deep human impulse to seek renewal by turning to the new, the UPFA campaign can be observed to be deeply flawed. There has been a monomaniacal focusing on one particular point, the other points not being actually critical. It is that Sri Lanka is once more in danger each internally and externally and the Nation for that reason requires a Saviour, the exact same Saviour who saved us in 2009, the correct-blue Ruhunaputra, the descendent of the culture hero of the Sinhalese men and women, Dutugemunu. That concept did not have all that a lot traction amongst the Sinhala Buddhist masses at the Presidential elections. 45% of them voted against Rajapaksa, and the percentage could have been drastically higher if not for the command of the huge sources of the state by the Rajapaksa campaigners.

Mahinda Rajapaksa RThe assertion of Sinhala Buddhist supremacy by the State could be losing its attraction among the masses. That is recommended by the failure of the state-backed anti-Muslim campaign of the BBS. Impressive mass demonstrations have been held but right after the tumult and the shouting died down the usual relations of amity and co-operation amongst the Sinhalese and the Muslims continued. There would have been an enhance in anti-Muslim sentiment but there was no ignition of an anti-Muslim conflagration. What happened at Aluthgama/Beruwela was an organized affair, not a mass conflagration. The underlying cause why the assertion of Sinhala Buddhist and Sinhalese supremacy may be losing its attraction could be this: they asserted their supremacy with total success as far back as 1971 by the outrageously discriminatory University admission standardization scheme. Given that then it has been shown that there isn’t a dam point the minorities can do to challenge that supremacy. 44 years later it need to look to many sane and wholesome Sinhalese that there is no point in going on yelling and howling and screeching about a non-existent threat to the really existence of the Sinhalese. The time has come to really try to establish some degree of ethnic harmony and some degree of unity in this so-called nation. The mass appeal of racist neo-Fascism will continue. But the mass appeal of the assertion of Sinhala supremacy could diminish. It should be achievable to contain racist neo-Fascism inside a properly-entrenched democracy as in India – as I argued in the very first element of this article.

I would attach significantly importance to a linguistic change that has taken spot more than the final 3 years or so. Linguistic modifications in the kind of neologisms, words falling into desuetude, old words all of a sudden coming into vogue, words changing their meaning or acquiring new nuances, indicate alterations taking spot in a society. They signify new approaches of conceptualizing the world and evaluating it. I have in mind the reality that the word “communalism”, once ubiquitous in Sri Lankan usage has now fallen into desuetude and is used only infrequently. It has been replaced by “racism” which we utilised to think of as some thing that applied to what the whites did to the coloured, not what the coloured do to the coloured. I believe that the explanation why “racism” has come into vogue is that it has considerably stronger adverse connotations than “communalism”. We had 100,000 deaths as a consequence of communalism. The strongly denunciatory “racism” is much more apposite in that context. I take this linguistic modify as signifying that Rajapaksa’s racist neo-Fascism is not the wave of the future.

A noteworthy feature of the present pre-election scene in Sri Lanka is that there is not much well-liked enthusiasm about it, which is in striking contrast to a properly-established norm. The explanation for this could be that we are moving from a conflictual to a consensual model of politics. On the very first of the three great problems facing us, that of the economy, there is consensus about the basics amongst the two major parties. On the issue of democracy there is an apparent polarization, but it is not in the kind of a stark dichotomy in between democracy and dictatorship as in the Arab planet and elsewhere. There is no doubt that Rajapaksa is ideologically committed to racist neo-Fascism but in practice he is committed to operating within a democratic framework. Otherwise he would not have held democratic elections. On the ethnic problem, the moderates are clearly in the ascendant in the GTF and the TNA, and on the Sinhalese side both significant parties remain committed to a political remedy within the framework of 13A. It is not surprising that in this predicament our politicians are commuting from 1 Celebration to yet another without any sense of strain, so significantly so that we discover it hard to bear in mind to which Party this or that politician belongs at the moment.

There are also variables of a socio-financial structural order behind the move to consensual politics. I have explored that in an earlier post and I am not going to repeat my argument here. Instead I will quote a poem of Hilaire Belloc, one of the excellent political poems of the last century, which expresses the underlying reality of democratic politics with lovely lucidity:

The accursed reign of Privilege,

Which goes with girls and champagne and bridge,

Broke – and Democracy resumed its reign,

Which goes with ladies and bridge and champagne.

There is a school of believed according to which we are moving towards a three-Celebration system with the JVP as the third Celebration, comparable to Britain’s Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Parties. In that case the following nursery rhyme, also a fantastic political poem in my view, will be entirely apposite:

Hey rub-a-dub dub,

3 men in a tub,

The butcher, the baker, the candle-stick maker –

Turn ‘em out! Rogues all 3!

It is masterly, the way the rhythm moves towards that thundering emphasis on Rogues – so apposite to Sri Lankan politics. I recommend that both poems be inscribed in our new Constitution.

Thajudeen – Not The Very first & Not The Last

By V.Kanthaiya &#8211

“He chained my handcuffs to a chair so I couldn’t move. Attempted to remove my shalwar, I kept shouting and crying, but he was stronger than me. When he finished he went outside. A second official came to the area. He raped me as well. Second official smoked cigarettes and then with that burned my breasts, my inner thighs and legs. Both guys beat me. They bit my breast and my thighs. It was nevertheless dark when I was brought back to the police station the next day. The official who raped me first warned me not to inform anybody about this. They told me they would kill my husband. I began bleeding really heavily. I consider I was pregnant prior to the rape and miscarried. “ &#8211 An account by a victim of sexual violence and torture by Sri Lanka Safety Forces, We Will Teach You a Lesson, Sexual violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Safety Forces, Human Rights Watch, February 2013.[i]

Wasim Thajudeen

They even cite the undisclosed sources to graphically illustrate the final moments of the ruggerite.

The Sri Lankan media is so much obsessed with unravelling information of the former ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen’s murder. They even cite the undisclosed sources to graphically illustrate the final moments of the ruggerite. As per the Sri Lankan common English and Sinhala language primarily based media, Thajudeen had been abducted by a automobile belonged to Red Cross, but utilized by “Siriliya Saviya” a NGO run by Former initial lady Ms. Shiranthi Rajapaksa. It is reported that his teeth and pelvic bones had been broken, his ribs had been fractured, his neck had been pierced with a sharp instrument and the muscle tissues in his legs had been cut with a piece of broken glass. His physique showed that he had been assaulted by blunt instrument.

Why the police division didn’t disclose this in 2012? Why didn’t it take legal action primarily based on these findings? And now why they shamelessly inform us that there was a cover up? And why they have not taken any action against the officers who covered this up? Is this the only criminal case which had been “covered up” or any much more circumstances meted out the same fate? If so, how many circumstances the department has re-opened for investigation? How long will it take to arrest the perpetrators? How long will it take these alleged perpetrators to get the bail? And will our legal system provide the verdict with in our lifetime? And finally, will the perpetrators be punished or would be released citing lack of proof? And after they are released, will they say the whole legal action is an international conspiracy and eat kiribath or they will merely have a “bottle party” to celebrate their “Nidaahasa”? And to whom should I ask this question? To the IGP? Defence Secretary? Prime Minister? Or the President of Yahapalanaya? Properly! I have some more inquiries to ask and I really feel it is far better to ask them at the end of this write-up.

Suppose Wasim Thajudeen had been subjected to brutal torture at the hands of his assailants my dear fellow Sri Lankans, he was not the 1st 1 and definitely not the last one particular to meet this agony.

The report “We Will Teach You a Lesson, Sexual violence against Tamils by Sri Lankan Security Forces, released by Human Rights Watch clearly depicts that the torture and sexual violence on Tamils by the state’s security forces is not a summation of the isolated incidents by some rogue soldiers or officers, but it is a clearly drafted state policy and implemented by the glorified safety forces of the nation against Tamils, its own citizens. The safety establishments kept it an open secret and a routine practice so that even the females members of the safety forces assisted the rape and torture of Tamil detainees. [ii]

Though big number of minority Tamils were subjected to, the culture of torture and sexual violence and the impunity to the perpetrators in Sri Lanka started with the crackdown of the 1971 JVP rebellion. Still we hear the story of Premawathi Mannamperi who was tortured and murdered by the soldiers from threerd Gemunu watch, Ceylon Army. Again, she was not the only a single. The numbers are unknown. Following 4 decades, Sri Lanka was in the headlines of global news media for the rape, torture and murder of Isai Priya, by its security forces. Even so, the same common Sri Lankan news media, who still carry the story of Mannamperi, has shun away from informing the public about the gruesome fate meted out by this LTTE news anchor, almost certainly due the “Wise Patriotism”.

The newest report by the UK primarily based NGO Freedom from Torture (FFT) published this month, reveals that the practice of torture by the Sri Lankan safety forces continues even to date (that indicates even in ‘Yahapalanaya’) and the political leadership is well conscious of it.[iii]

In this final forty years of our country’s history, we have heard so several. Batalanda, Sooriyakanda, fourth floor of CID headquarters in Colombo, Matale mass grave website, Josep camp in Vavunia, Dehiwela, Kotahena,Chettikulam police stations, Veppankulam, Omanthai, Nelukulam army camps and countless accounts of the torture victims. However we have heard none of the members of the security forces brought into justice.

The essential cause why the state utilizes torture and sexual violence on its own folks is that state is well afraid of its own citizens. Take the Weliweriya massacres in August 2013. Why the military was deployed when the people agitating for the clean drinking water took it to the streets? Since the political leadership knows that masses can rise against the prevalent political culture of corruption and deceit. Regardless of the truth, that citizens are paying 11% (earlier 12%) of the worth of most of the goods and service they acquire as tax, the state offers little. 1 such instance is this article by Prof. Lasantha Pethiyagoda[iv]. The state is obliged to deliver the social welfare solutions to the masses. Nevertheless the high quality of public service is gone to the rock bottom and the frequent man (who is obviously poor) is frustrated by the service received from all the government institutions. Weliweriya is such instance. When the typical man of Weliweriya was denied of clean drinking water, he took the situation to the streets demanding his correct for. The then Rajapaksa government regarded as it as another mode of terrorism and sent its ‘Heroes’ and who in turn killed two college youngsters and an innocent family members man who had nothing at all to do with the protest.

The state was and is unbiased in enforcing its policy of torture and sexual violence own citizens regardless of the ethnicities. But, the Sri Lankan society has by no means raised its voice against it.

Why?

The political leadership of the country has raised the status of the security forces from soldiers to semi-gods. The Mahinda Rajapaksa regime was so keen in advertising the war victory to use it as a base to stay in the energy for decades. The regime did every thing in its capacity to continuously remind the masses outside the north and east about the ‘second freedom’. It had been completed by way of erecting war monuments, large hoardings, telecasting victory songs and above all the million rupee exhibition “Dayata Kirula”. The underlying concept of these efforts were to enhance the image of the soldiers as ‘liberators’ and, by means of that the Mahinda Rajapaksa loved ones as epic reincarnations of the legendary kings.

Since of this, any ‘smart patriot’ will in no way dare to raise his/her voice against the atrocities committed by these ‘semi-gods’ given that he/she would be branded as a traitor and a terrorist. As a result, I do not have any hope that the state’s policy of torture and sexual violence against its personal citizens will cease in the close to future, unless otherwise the Sri Lankan society wake up from its deep patriotic intoxication.

Now I ask my final inquiries.

Will the Police department find out the perpetrators of ‘White Van’ abductions? Will they say what happened to those ‘disappeared”? Will they arrest the assailants of Lassantha Wickrematunge? Will they arrest the abductors of Prageeth Ekneligoda? Will they locate the murderers of Raviraj &amp Maheswaran? Once again, Will the CID arrest these members of PSD who are alleged to commit the murder of Wasim Thajudeen? And ultimately, suppose these PSD members are sentenced by the court, Will our ‘Smart Patriots’ start off a campaign to free of charge those “War Heroes”?


[i] http://www.hrw.org/websites/default/files/reports/srilanka0213webwcover_.pdf

[ii] Web page 30, http://www.hrw.org/internet sites/default/files/reports/srilanka0213webwcover_.pdf

[iii] http://www.reuters.com/report/2015/08/13/us-sri-lanka-torture-idUSKCN0QI0NH20150813

[iv] https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/horrors-of-ward-30-at-teaching-hospital-kandy/

Bond: Who Scammed Whom?

By Aruna Kulatunga &#8211

Aruna Kulatunga

Aruna Kulatunga

Lankans loose Rs. ten,000 per person due to looses incurred under Cabraal

It was in 1992 that I returned to Sri Lanka from Hong Kong to start Forbes Analysis, one particular of the 1st independent equity research homes in Sri Lanka. In the course of my two year stint with Forbes Research, before leaving to Hong Kong once more to take up an offer you with 1 of Asia´s best stock broking firms, Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA) as their institutional sales head for the Indian sub-continent primarily based in HK, I was a member of the USAID-ISTI principal debt committee that created a series of suggestions which laid the foundation for the modify of what was previously identified as rupee loans to treasury bonds.

This background left me in some consternation when I read the report of the committee appointed by the government to appear into the Bond issues of the Central Bank final week. Prior to I delve far more, I have recognized Central Bank governor since his days as a young advisor to the then Minister of Industries Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe in the early 90´s, and have worked in parallel whilst he was head of study for Society Generale Cross Asset Investigation ( Soc-Gen Crosby) and I was at Credit Lyonnais. I have been in regular speak to considering that 2012 with Charlie Mahendra, a contemporary of my father at the University of Peradeniya and his neighbour at the Ramachandra Hall and an advisor to the Prime Minister Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe. The senior Mr Mahendra tolerated my chatter during the time we each visited the workplace of the leader of the opposition since 2012. When the very first indications of the Bond problem becoming an situation became apparent through a Facebook post, I was amongst the very first to defend Arjuna Mahendra – not because I had information of him, but also due to the fact it created no sense – and still does not.

Rajapaksa, Cabraal, Basil Rajapaksa speak during the presentation of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka annual report 2010, in ColomboLets take the events and construct a timeline taking from the Committee report.

01-Feb-15

The Public Debt Department (PDD) of the Central Bank in consultation with other folks estimates the debt requirement for the subsequent month – in this case for month beginning 01 March 2015. No evidence has been presented as to what this amount was

20-Feb-15

DG of Treasury Operations sends a letter to PDD stating the borrowing requirement to be Rs. 13.55 billion. (The report erroneously states this quantity to be Rs Thirteen point five hundred and fifty billion. It must study alternatively Rs. Thirteen billion and five Hundred Fifty Million. The report also states that &#8220in terms of the document referred to the entirety of the funding has to be through treasury bonds.”

23-Feb-15

The monetary board, where the Central Bank governor is also a member decides to situation a 30 year treasury bond to re-profile the debt service profile of the country &#8220as there is good interest shown by foreign investors&#8221. The Board had already decided to do away with the approach of direct placements followed just before the adjust of government and to raise funds by means of direct bond auctions.

The board does not repair the quantity that needs to be raised, as that is a function that is vested with the PDD. Two pertinent comments are in the Board paper (MB/ER/four/2/2015):1.) That the board disagreed with the reduce in policy prices as suggested by the MPC as &#8221 is NOT acceptable at this stage, given the increasing trend of industry interest rates and increasing development of private sector credit&#8221 even though deciding to sustain rates at the current level and that it was of the view &#8220that issuing 30 year treasury bonds would be favourable at this stage to extend the yield curve and re-profile the debt service&#8221, clearly indicating that board considered the policy prices to be the short-term rates and the 30 year bond price as a separate concern altogether that wants to be addressed differently.

PDD publishes the advertisement calling for bids for a 30-year bond for a total of Rs 1 Billion. PDD indicates (not in the advertisement, but in verbal communication with the major dealers that the indicated yield will be around 9.25%, as is the normal practice followed prior to the modify of government

27-Feb-15

The bidding for the Bond of the series quantity LKB03045C013 opens at 1000hrs.

27-Feb-15

The governor of the central bank, accompanied by two deputy governors is present close to the PDD dealing space from 1030hrs till 1056hrs. This data is not in the report but has been gleaned from other reports publicly obtainable and not denied by the Governor or the two deputy governors.

The governor and the two deputy governors leave the region at 1056hrs. By this time, practically 24 bids had come in, which includes two from Perpetual Securities. The largest bids up to this time came from EPF, (Rs. 1,000,000,000 at Yield net of Tax (YNT) of ten.9998% and Seylan Bank (Rs. 1,250,000,000) at YNT of 11.754%. The two bids from Perpetual, at equal amounts of Rs 250,000,000 each have been at an YNT slightly decrease than Seylan at 11.55 and 11.75%. The initial funding requirement of Rs 1 billion had been satisfied by this time.

Immediately following the Governor left the dealing space with his two deputies, within the period of 4 minutes from 1056hrs till 1100hrs when the auction officially closed, Perpetual made four additional bids, 1 at a YNT of 11.997, another at other at 12.24, the third at 12.75 and the fourth at 12.99. All of these bids, for 13 billion rupees were made by Bank of Ceylon on behalf of Perpetual.

Two additional notable bids came in soon after 1056hrs. 1 was the bid created by Bank of Ceylon for Rs. 3 billion at the highest YNT of 12.5009 and one more that came in seconds following the bids closed, but accepted by the Tender board from HSBC bank for Rs. one hundred,000,000 at a YNT of 12.5

27-Feb-15

The treasury Bond Tender committee meets at 12:30 pm (the meeting continued till 13:10pm) and decides to accept Rs. 10,058 million at a weighted typical yield (WAY) of 11.73%. The governor did not participate in this meeting according to the minute paper. Following the tender committee choice, the Public debt Department of the Central Bank released a press release providing particulars of the Auction, offering the coupon price of 12.50%, the quantity accepted and the weighted typical yield.

36 bids have been received of which only 26 bids were accepted and ten rejected. Amongst these ten rejected bids were two bids amounting to Rs 10 billion by Perpetual made by way of Bank of Ceylon at a WAY of 12.9% and curious bid by Sampath bank for Rs. 100,000,000 at a WAY of 18%. Acuity, whose name was described by Perpetual CEO to the committee, saying he also wanted to bid through Acuity but was unable to do so as an Acuity director could not be positioned, also created a failed bid for Rs. one hundred,000,00 at a WAY of 13%.

Here are the bullet points from the timeline

The industry was aware of the government´s borrowing requirement from the 20th of February, the date on which the Finance ministry director basic of Treasury Operations sends a letter to Public Debt division indicating the quantity to be raised as Rs 13 Billion and apparently indicating that the entirety of the funding has to be by way of the treasury bonds.

The industry was conscious that the monetary board decided to problem a 30-year Treasury bond to extend the yield curve and re-profile the debt service as of the 23rd of February.

The marketplace is conscious that the yield curves for the previous four 30 year bond troubles are reasonably related and was issued at related debt service profiles. (See illustration – “Previous 30 year bond problems and yield curves on the concern dates “).

Previous 30 year bond issues and yield curves on the issue datesThey had been all issued around a WAY of 11.75 with the differential among the brief term prices to the 30 year bond was between 31% to 44%. In comparison, the differential of the 30-year US bond price to the 3 month US T-bill rate on 27th February 2015 was over 130 times. (See illustration – “US yield curve on 27/02/2015”)

US yield curve end February 2015A brief explanation of the yield curves may possibly be necessary right here. The yield curves of brief to long term treasury bills and bonds basically reflect the confidence level of investors of the country&#8217s growth prospects and the danger the investors are willing to take in giving their funds for longer periods of time. The danger profile of a 30-year bond is obviously a lot larger than that of a 3 month Treasury bill and consequently investors do demand a larger premium or interest price to give their income for a 30-year period. If a yield curve is flat or is trending downwards – which means the longer-term prices are decrease than the quick rates, that indicates an economy that is entering into a deflationary period and there will be no demand for the longer-term instruments. The current European economic crisis, specially in the economies of Greece and Spain, are excellent examples where the yield curve reversed and there had been no buyers for the lengthy-term instruments.

The end February US yield curve and the healthy appetite shown by investors for US 30 year bonds is one particular of the causes why economists think the US has turned strongly about and is today back in the saddle as the world´s strongest economy.

Any affordable investor, obtaining in hand the data that the government needed a considerable quantity of funds to spend off the debts incurred by the prior regime, that the monetary board intended to extend the yield curve employing the 30 year bond and obtaining access to market place rates of earlier concerns and existing bond prices can make a affordable guess as to where the yield will be. It was not only Perpetual who created this affordable guess – Wealth Trust Securities, HSBC, Pan Asia Banking Corp and Capital Alliance all bid at a weighted typical larger than 11.73% with HSBC, Pan Asia and Capital alliance all coming in at 12.5%, slightly greater than the 12.311% WAY that Perpetual received for their accepted bids. There have been unreasonable assumptions also – for example that curious 18% bid from Sampath Bank. Other folks whose bids failed to make the cut-off point, in addition to the Rs ten billion that Perpetual created unsuccessfully, consists of Acuity, Pan Asia, Industrial Bank and Union Bank, who all bid above 12.five%. (See illustrations “Total bids and weighted Typical Yields” and “Rejected bids”).

Total bids and weighted average yields

rejected bidsThere is a vital assumption that I am producing right here – and that is what needs considerably far more scrutiny. I am making the assumption – primarily based on info gleaned from numerous sources – that the market place players have been fully conscious of two pieces of confidential info before the bidding began on the 27th – that is that the government needed far more funds and that the monetary board had expressed a sentiment that the 30 year bond concern will be used to re-profile the debt profile and extend the yield-curve. It is no secret amongst the main dealers and the top financiers of the country of the incestuous relationships amongst the dealer desks of the main dealers and that of the Public Debt department. Jobs are provided to kith and kin of senior central bank workers by primary dealers to propagate these relationships and there has been a totally free-flow of data between dealer desks for decades. Perpetual is 1 of these principal dealers who had access to confidential details since its inception, long prior to Arjuna Mahendran, whose son-in-law created and launched Perpetual Treasuries, became the Governor. A big quantity of the somewhat “controversial” private placements or direct placements that the Pitipana Committee alludes to in the Bond situation report, have been placed via Perpetual by the earlier regime.

As the committee itself observes, the very truth that a confidential internal document, the accepted bids list, ready by Mr L.S. Fernando, employee Number 1888 of the Public Debt Department and verified by Mr M.S.M.P. Fernando, employee quantity 1678 of the identical department, was obtainable on the world wide web not even 24 hours soon after the auction, testifies to the sieve like nature of the PDD. (See illustration “bids acceptance sheet for 27/02 auction”)

bids acceptance sheet for 27_02 auctionAs the timeline shows, what is curious is that the massive bids from Perpetual and the other high yield bids came following the Governor and the two deputies left the tender committee area. As the committee observes, there is no digital footprint available either at the PDD or of the senior Central Bank officials. It would however be trivial to get the Governor´s phone records to clarify whether or not or not the governor did make any calls to his son-in-law or any other connected individual after he left the dealing area and prior to the bids came in.

On the other hand, one particular could also question as to why 4 other major dealers, such as the late bid from HSBC, bid at a larger yield following ten:56am. Did all of these get a telephone get in touch with from the Governor? Or was there yet another “communicator” inside the PDD that relayed the details that there nonetheless was a gap in the cash required &#8211 due to the fact even though the PDD decided to accept bids up to Rs ten,058 million, only at 12:15pm, it would not be incorrect to assume that by 10:56am, there was a general agreement on the final numbers, given the Treasury borrowing requirements of the 20th and the Monetary Board choices of the 23rd, the same numbers that the industry had also. Nevertheless, the massively aggressive bidding by Perpetual, made by way of Bank of Ceylon for a total of Rs 13 billion, coming after the crucial time of 10:56am also tells a diverse story. Perpetual created 4 bids on their own, for a total of Rs two billion, for a WAY of much less than 12% before the deluge came by means of Bank of Ceylon. These four bids are on par along with the other bids that had been received by that time. Others such as the EPF and Seylan Bank made equivalent bids (even though EPF bid low, getting their allocation for a WAY of ten.99% &#8211 possibly fund managers at EPF had been not able to make best use of market place data.)

This brings us to yet another critical element of the puzzle. Other than for EPF, and possibly Seylan Bank, none of the other principal dealers would have been bidding for their personal account. Definitely, Perpetual will not have the capital of Rs 15 billion in total to invest in a bond. Main dealers typically locate a client, typically an investment fund or insurance business, and then bids on the client´s behalf. Banks, like Bank of Ceylon, extends margin calls to primary dealers and their consumers. Offered the sovereign status of Central Bank bonds and Treasury bills, such margins are provided at minimum rates and minimum fuss. The Bank of Ceylon dealer is on record on the committee report that he was under the impression the finish client for the Rs 13 billion order from Perpetual was an insurance organization. Perpetual CEO has denied that he disclosed the finish client.

A source from Bank of Ceylon indicated to me that Perpetual had been quick-selling both equities (which is illegal and is not possible under the present CDS guidelines) and debt, which is attainable beneath repurchase or REPO agreements, in the week ahead of the 27th auction. There was a differential between the 30-year bond and the brief-term instruments – but unless one is incredibly aggressive, one would not take the threat of a value miss-match between the short and lengthy-term instruments.

Along with this mismatch of data came the completely contradictory statements by former minister Bandula Gunawardane and the former governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal with regards to the so named losses incurred due to the Bond getting placed at a larger yield. Whilst Mr Gunawardane is on record saying this is as high as Rs million 59,000, Mr Cabraal areas the loss at Rs. Million eight,000.

A detailed calculation made by independent and respected study firm Verite has now proved beyond doubt the veracity of these claims, so significantly so that both Mr Gunawardane and Mr Nivard has stopped mentioning losses. Even the so named “interim draft report of the COPE investigation” refers only to an “opportunity cost” of Rs 526 million, significantly less than one particular per cent of the Rs million 59,000 that former Minister Gunawardane claims to be the loss. (Web page 11, section 17.B).

The Verite study calculation, that has now been analysed and accepted by a number of competent analysts states that Mr Gunawardane and Mr Cabraal just did not know how to calculate a value of a bond. They pointed to 3 main errors:

  1. A computational error on the time-worth of cash,
  2. An inaccurate stipulation of the base-price and
  3. A weak assumption with regard to market place effect and ‘loss’.

According to Verite estimates, the only impact the selection to boost the quantity from Rs million 1,000 to Rs million 10,000 was an enhanced interest burden of Rs. 896 million, over a 30 year period, or an interest burden of less than Rs 29 million each year, approximately the same quantity former President Mahinda Rajapaksa spent per day for the upkeep of his private fiefdom. Other analysts have pointed out that this is not a loss, as this improved interest burden really gets paid back to captive central bank controlled state institutions such as the EPF, ETF and Bank of Ceylon, who were the finish clientele of the principal dealers, ensuring that cash is captured in a loop amongst Central Bank and state institutions.

Each the COPE report and other reports allude to the apparent disregard of the former Central Bank governor to stick to established patterns in placing bonds and treasury bills. The suggestions clearly printed in the PDD manual (COPE report, Web page six, section 5, paragraph four) says that as significantly as feasible, debt should be raised by means of auctions. This is the established practice in all-significant economies in the globe and ensures transparency and industry prices for investors. On the contrary, the former governor decided to adjust the system in favour of direct or private placements to explicitly fix the interest rates as per the observations in the COPE report (page 06, section 05 and page 10, section 14). The COPE report also notes that there is basically no transparency in this method of raising debts. (Ibid. page 10, section 14).

Details now accessible by way of the Central Bank (created obtainable to the COPE committee) tells of the enormity of this very opaque method that reeks of favouritism and achievable corruption. Under this strategy, a handful of favoured primary dealers had been provided the chance of quoting on behalf of the captive institutions. The modus operandi adapted by the pre-09 Jan 2015 Central bank was to auction a pittance of bonds and treasury bills and then make a round of calls to captive institutions to force them to get at 500 basis points or half a per cent reduce than the price fixed by way of the auction. These transactions then had been executed by way of just a couple of favoured dealers. (See Private placements vs. auctions).

private placements vs auctionsIn 2014 alone, only 3.two% of Rs million 860,700 or as little as Rs million 27,800 out of the Rs. Million 860,700 was auctioned. The rest, Rs million 832,900 was privately placed.

The 500 basis point “discount” means that ETF, EPF and other captive institutions like the Insurance coverage corporation and Bank of Ceylon gets less for the monies they invest and in turn beneficiaries of those institutions, i.e. ETF and EPF beneficiaries earn less on their deposits.

Central Bank calculates that the loss for the ETF and EPF alone simply because of this controlled interest rate regime was Rs. Million 13,000 in 2013 and Rs. Million 24,000 in 2014.

As the table below shows, every Sri Lankan citizen lost a staggering Rs 2,445 rupees in the course of the previous 4 years in total due to mismanagement and fraud at the Central Bank below the watch of the former governor. EPF and ETF holders alone, the operating population of this nation, lost Rs 2,516 per beneficiary in those four years or Rs 629 per beneficiary every single year. If EPF had invested this Rs. two,516 in the February 27, 30 year bond problem at an interest rate of 12.5%, employing the erroneous approach of calculation used by former minister Bandula Gunawardane, every single member would earn Rs 9,435 in interest alone at the end of that 30 years, with no compounding the interest.

Central Bank losses and frauds from 2011 to end 2014 in Rs. Millions

Central Bank losses and frauds from 2011 to end 2014 in Rs. MillionsWhen one particular speaks with the primary dealer neighborhood in Colombo, one particular gets a sturdy impression that the incestuous relationships that the current opposition alleges against the current governor, Arjuna Mahendran, are not unique, but endemic in the community. For instance, its now established that former governor´s sister served for more than 3 years as a director of the holding firm of Perpetual Treasuries.

Another director of the business, Ranjan Hulugalle is allegedly closely connected with Anura Fernando, a effectively known figure in the monetary circles and a former companion of the former governor Cabraal when Cabraal family held equity in the multi-level advertising scheme connected with Malaysian high profile investor Vijay Eswaran.

Over the years, several allegations have been created against Mr Fernando concerning the proprieties of his bargains, but not much has been proven. Allegedly Mr Fernando was closely linked to the controversial deal in 2012 when the National Savings Bank, beneath the watch of its former chairman Pradeep Kariyawasam, purchased the The Finance Firm (TFC) in what appeared to be a classic pump and dump action. The previous government was forced to cancel and reverse the deal.

Major dealers claim that Perpetual showed an extraordinary growth since its start in 2013. For instance, their dealer license had been granted in just two months ‘time when most had to wait for more than two years. Whilst Perpetual did not show significantly wins in the auctions, dealers allege that they did have a steady flow of income as the lead dealer for ETF and EPF in the primary income markets exactly where most deals (96% in 2014) were done in the opaque and paper-trail-much less direct placement market place.

The government of Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe has promised a by way of investigation in to no matter whether or not Perpetual created use of inside details and if so, as to who are culpable. In a recent interview, Mr Wickremesinghe said that he would be appointing choose committee if his government returns to energy post- august 17 and that he will appoint an opposition member to head that committee.

The Aegean stables that Mr Wickremesinghe inherited on Jan 09th of this year are not just messy, smelly, intricate and hides not 1 but numerous monsters, it demands a herculean effort to clean.

Climate Adjustments

By Ranil Senanayake &#8211

Ranil Senanayake

Ranil Senanayake

Internationally there is a palpable sense of urgency amongst the climate scientists. Although waiting for our climate scientists to even twitch from their slumber, we should start to take into account what all this signifies to us. There seems to be a actual concern that the sea level will rise substantially. On July 20th, a main study suggested that mean sea levels could rise ten occasions more quickly than previously predicted: ten feet by 2065. Even though the level is up for debate the truth of sea level rise appears to be certain. 1 emerging, disturbing reality is that whilst the IPCC climate [adjust] models predict a gentle, slow adjust, the present expertise is a single so speedy that neither scientists, nor animals can hold up with it.

As our fossil profligate lifestyles, hold pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere a large element of it is absorbed by the oceans. As the oceans absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it&#8217s converted into carbonic acid and the pH of seawater declines. In contrast to a prediction of massive sea-level rise just decades away, the warming and acidifying oceans represent yet another issue that seems to have kick-began an oceanic mass extinction on the identical time scale. Acidification has a direct impact on mollusks and other marine animals with difficult outer bodies: A striking study final year showed that, along the West Coast of the US, the shells of tiny snails are already dissolving, with as-however-unknown consequences on the ecosystem.

pollustionThe combination of excessive nutrients from agricultural runoff, abnormal wind patterns and the warming oceans is already making seasonal dead zones in coastal regions when algae blooms suck up most of the obtainable oxygen. The appearance of low-oxygen regions has doubled in frequency every single 10 years considering that 1960 and must continue to develop over the coming decades at an even greater rate.

In the face of all these global difficulties, Sri Lanka stands exposed as the worst polluter of the Indian Ocean. The new maps on human impact on the world’s oceans are now on the internet.The maps depict a enormous halo of pollution that rings our island. If the pattern is studied carefully it will be seen that the harm to the ocean extends effectively beyond the region exactly where land primarily based pollution would be anticipated to impact. Additional, to the east of the halo of pollution a inform tale line of pollution extends in a straight line following the shipping channel. It seems that the shipping is indeed causing a serious effect on our waters. The huge load of agrochemicals, industrial chemical substances and silt from land erosion, that has currently brought ill wellness and misery to out farming population, makes our instant oceanic atmosphere hugely polluted. When the worldwide affects of climate alter and ocean acidification are added the future looks bleak.

The volume of shipping along this route is expected to increase drastically in the near future. As we do not have any handle more than this phenomenon and as shipping uses the most dirty polluting fossil fuels, we can count on the ocean pollution around Sri Lanka to increase substantially in the near future. Nothing at all has been done to manage ship-based pollution or insure that a tanker accident will not cripple our economy, by the galaxy of agencies concerned. There is poor possibility for pursuing accountability if ships have no insurance against such eventualities. A robust danger evaluation and subsequent risk insurance coverage need to be implemented at a minimum an successful monitoring program will then grow to be practical.

The prognosis is dismal Sri Lanka not only contributes to the pollution of the ocean about it, but also has embarked on an insane drive to establish coal fired energy plants to supply the national energy require. Not only do we defecate on or personal doorstep but we also let other folks also invite other individuals to do the identical. We let foreign vessels use and pollute our waters with no worry of prosecution.

It has been pointed out that climate modify has a simple resolution: End fossil-fuel use as rapidly as achievable. If tomorrow, the leaders of the United States and China would agree to a sufficiently robust, coordinated carbon tax that&#8217s also applied to imports, the rest of the planet would have no decision but to sign up.

In an astounding recent announcement White Residence administration stated that it sees no long-range future for fossil fuel, the state division climate adjust envoy, Todd Stern, said the world would have no selection but to forgo building reserves of oil, coal and gas. With this statement, the US administration has acknowledged that the era of profligate use of fossil fuels is more than.

But in Sri Lanka the so-referred to as ‘decision makers’ are nonetheless running with the thesis that bigger is far better, so megapolises, giant unwanted bridges and coal fired power plants are brought in to show that the new lot can be grander than, the useless airport, harbor, sports stadium driven old lot. Not a peep from our scientists, on the climate or on our irresponsibility of linking ‘development’ with the consumption of fossil fuels. Not a peep from the administrators who travel the globe attending conferences that shows the folly of reliance on fossil fuels. Have all of them gone the way of the politicians? They should have the capacity to educate the public on the value that we have to spend. But why is there such a silence in questioning the present ‘development’ procedure that gets this nation addicted to fossil fuels, which tends to make us contribute much more fossil carbon to the atmosphere, accelerates climate modify and leaves us fully at the mercy of the fossil market place? Not to mention the dubious title of the ’worst polluter of the Indian Ocean’.

Lessons from Kosovo for the Tamil Eelam lobbyists

Tamils account for 76million the globe over. The British transported Tamils all round the planet as indentured labor throughout colonial occasions. The Tamils functioned as loyal slaves of the British.&nbsp&nbspDisproportionate possibilities and privileges paved the way for Tamils to mentally believe they were superior and above all other people and from this has sprouted the notion for the Tamils to have a separate state. Although there are hardly 2million Tamils physically living in Sri Lanka, 72million Tamils in fact reside in an Indian State that is referred to as State of the Tamils (Tamil Nadu) where Tamils are more than 99% of the population, exactly where Tamil language is the state language, where Tamil culture dominates, exactly where Hinduism prevails &#8211 virtually all components need for self-determination in a state that was amalgamated by the British to be named India. It is these arguments that the Tamils of Tamil Nadu started using to demand separatism from India but with India passing the pillow to Sri Lanka by creating Tamil militancy/LTTE Sri Lanka has become saddled with India&#8217s headache. Nonetheless, carving out separate states becoming the newest norm of the capitalist West outcome of which Kosovo came about in 2008 the newest attempt is Tamil Eelam but there are severe lessons for Tamils themselves to find out from. They very first need to come down a peg or two from cheering an eelam to questioning if Eelam will turn out to be a nightmare as the Kosovars are now discovering with no return as well!

Yugoslavia was broken into 7 states : Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia &amp Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo.

Kosovo independence came in 2008.&nbspKosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is component of a criminal syndicate.&nbspThe PDK, led by Hashim Thaci was a former Kosovan Liberation Army commander.&nbspUS, the EU and the UN supported him and continue to do so. The Heritage Foundation and similar other worldwide thinktanks assistance the KLA-KDP, despite its criminal connections.&nbspAccording to Serbian Justice Minister Vladan Batic, &#8220the prosecution at the Hague war crimes tribunal has more than 40,000 pages of proof against former Kosovo Liberation Army leader Hashim Thaci,&nbsp (quoted by Radio B92, Belgrade, three July 2003).&nbsp

In April 2000, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright &#8220ordered The Hague chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte to omit from the list of war crime suspects Hashim Thaci&#8221 (Tanjug, 6 Could 2000). Carla del Ponte subsequently claimed that there was not adequate proof to indict Thaci on war crimes. .

Inline image 1

Madeline Albright and KLA leader Thaci

Just as in the case of Sri Lanka a nicely planned and funded set of lies enabled the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the creation of independent states that were ideal for the West to advance their agendas and get their hands on sources that would make a handful rich.

It is only after the harm is one particular and when there is no probabilities to reverse that the lies are coming out in a self-boasting by the villains!

A documentary by&nbspJonathan Dimbleby in 2000 confirms MEDIA LIED on behalf of the US/NATO. Media lied that there were &#8216ethnic cleansing&#8217 of the Kosovar Albanians creating the public opinion that NATO had the right to bomb and militarily intervene (doesn&#8217t it question the lies by MEDIA on behalf of West with regard to Sri Lanka!)

US/NATO employed MEDIA to led the globe to think ethnic cleansing took location. So far only 2000 bodies have been recovered. Doesn&#8217t that query the chorus of 40,000 to 125,000 claimed to be dead &amp missing in Sri Lanka with no providing so significantly as a single name.

Rambouillet Accords have been drafted with the hidden intention of creating separate states &amp concerns the present plethora of bogus resolutions against Sri Lanka by the very same players that developed Kosovo. What kind of Accord inserts provision permitting NATO freedom of movement not only in Kosovo but throughout Serbia with full immunity from all Yugoslav laws (watch out for such an inclusion in Sri Lanka&#8217s case for the same US/NATO forces)

Ninety per cent of Kosovo’s population is produced up of ethnic Albanians. At the finish of the conflict in 1999 numerous ethnic Serbs have been pushed out of Kosovo, but not all of them left. About 100,000 remained behind (recall the thousands of Sinhalese &amp Muslims chased out of the North by the LTTE &#8211 why was the planet silence on the ethnic cleansing by Tamils)

Existing scenario of independent Kosovo

  • Half of Kosovo’s 1.eight million folks are 25 or younger. Much more than 30,000 enter the job market yearly but only 8000 discover work.
  • Only 75 out of 192 states have recognized Kosovo independence
  • Russia claims it will not allow the cancelation of UN Resolution 1244, which confirms Serbia’s territorial integrity
  • International isolation : Afghani passport holders can cross 22 borders with out restrictions, whilst Kosovars can only travel to five countries visa-totally free: Turkey, Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Haiti.
  • Unemployment in Kosovo highest in Europe &#8211 45%
  • half of Kosovo’s citizens struggle to survive on social advantages of less than $ two per day.
  • Kosovo economy in shambles : Domestic commerce documents are not recognized overseas due to the lack of diplomatic relations.
  • Kosovo imports goods and solutions worth about $ 200 million from neighboring countries such as Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, it is not possible for Kosovo to reciprocate exports because Kosovo is not recognized.
  • West is no longer nice guy :&nbspGoods from Kosovo brought into the market of the European Union will be topic to added tariffs. Kosovo&#8217s as soon as close friends are now only concerned about business &amp profit!
  • Kosovo has no international postal or telephone code. Mobile telephone calls are channeled via Slovenia or Monaco at considerable expense.
  • Kosovo can’t acquire its own net IP address, inhibiting on-line acquiring, Net banking, and national cybersecurity.
  • Kosovo athletes can not even join international sports associations.
  • Kosovo is becoming gradually privatized.&nbspProperties have been becoming supplied for sale as if they were the holdings of politicians, rather than the resources of all Kosovo residents. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is attempting to acquire Kosovo Telecom.
  • Kosovo has become a prostitute/smuggling and human trafficking hub (both places that LTTE and Sri Lanka&#8217s North has been notorious for)
  • U.S. military base in Kosovo was constructed in 1999 without having consulting with the government of Serbia and is the largest U.S. military base built outside of the U.S.&nbspIf Kosovo has been offered independence why is there need to have for 17,000 UN &#8216peacekeepers&#8217 to stay?

If Kosovo is the EU&#8217s Iraq, Eelam will become West&#8217s gateway to balkanize the 3 giants of Asia. To bring this initiative to its grand conclusion is the inclusion of the man responsible for Kosovo Independence who is now one of the 3 members of the UNHRC panelhttp://www.lankaweb.com/news/ things/2014/06/27/navi-pillai- appoints-martti-ahtisaari- bribed-by-albanian-mafia-to- deliver-kosovo-independence- to-investigate-sri-lanka/

Who wanted Kosovo liberation, who got it and who is benefitting from it and was it truly worth it in the end are queries that the Tamils living in Sri Lanka need to have to ask themselves in certain those living in the North. A separate state in the North implies that they will not be welcome in the rest of Sri Lanka. Just as Kosovars are now isolated internationally economically disabled, internationally cut off and even those that helped them get independence giving a cold shoulder the precise very same is most likely to happen to the Tamils. A lot more dangerous is the realization of the vision of the existing Sri Lankan Prime Minister for a road/rail hyperlink to India which will mean the end of Sri Lankan Tamils in phase 1 and thereafter a total invasion colonization of Sri Lanka by India and finish of the Sinhalese race in Sri Lanka.

With the West&#8217s use of Islamic terrorism, the seeds are already planted for scores of future conflicts all of which will fill the purses of westerners and the local bastards enjoying producing income from facilitating the killing of their own individuals.

Do we really need to walk into such dismal occasions when we need to be learning from the blunders and manipulations taking place below our quite own eyes.

Kosovo&#8217s liberators had been identical as the LTTE. The political party that holds reign in independent Kosovo is no distinct to the LTTE representatives the TNA. Although Kosovars are now in a state of shock, vulnerable, fearful and in poverty the Tamils are continuing to vote for the TNA in spite of so many warnings offered to them. Should Tamils listen or take guidelines from the Tamil Diaspora all of whom hold foreign passports and are not citizens of Sri Lanka?

Let the Tamils of Sri Lanka understand at least now the error they are making in stubbornly pursuing a separate state when they need to comprehend that the state to be declared independent is to advance the West&#8217s geopolitical designs and have nothing at all to do with wanting to help Tamils. Tamils ought to also understand that they have utilized the discrimination and genocide themes beyond any level of tolerance.
by Shenali Waduge

Corruption Allegations & Most likely Voter Behaviour

By Nimesh Samarasinghe &#8211

Dr. Nimesh Samarasinghe

Nimesh Samarasinghe

I had the privilege of spending two weeks in Sri Lanka on holiday in the course of July. Contemplating that a parliamentary election is looming, I took every single opportunity to speak to ordinary men and women from different backgrounds both in and outdoors Colombo, so as to recognize the realities of regional politics at ground level. As ‘very good governance’ had been a buzz word during the current presidential election, I was especially interested in understanding the correlation of this term with the election of sincere candidates, as opposed to corrupt ones. Although some folks had been in a position to make clear distinctions amongst excellent governance and corruption, other individuals saw a fine line between the two.

The war against ‘corruption’ and the fight for &#8216good governance’ have been mantras of the UNP-led opposition coalition that supported the election of the presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena on 8th January 2015. It was a successful campaign that denied Mahinda Rajapaksa a third term in executive office. Maithripala Sirisena’s election campaign had highlighted the alleged corruption, lawlessness and nepotism levelled against the Rajapaksa administration, and it’s resultant failure to provide the benefits of brisk economic growth to the majority of voters.

This parliamentary election campaign is now at its peak, and the usual ‘politicking’ by parties and candidates concerned will quickly come to a closure. Appreciating that circumstances are diverse when it comes to voter behavior throughout presidential and common elections, the focus of this write-up will be on voter behavior when electing honest or corrupt political parties and their candidates at the upcoming parliamentary election. My views are grounded in political, policy and social science investigation performed in numerous components of the globe and of course some of my views on voter turnout, and the most likely outcome of the forthcoming general election.

Information on corrupt politicians

There is excellent proof indicating that a true or perceived lack of data by voters may possibly reward corrupt politicians due to the inability to distinguish in between clean and corrupt politicians. This association seems to stem each from very informed voters’ higher understanding and far better understanding of incumbents’ involvement in corruption. Throughout the not too long ago concluded Sri Lankan presidential election, social media played an outstanding role in electing the existing president. Social media informed voters about alleged corruption and nepotism inside the Rajapaksa regime and emphasised the need for very good governance and a adjust in the administration. Contemplating that Sri Lanka is moving towards a digital age at a quick pace, it was a sensible move for the UNP-led coalition to use far more of social media throughout their presidential election campaign, moving away from election posters and cutouts. It was an election exactly where the energy of social media was clearly demonstrated as a campaign tool in bringing down a government for the very first time in Sri Lanka. It is not surprising that majority of those standing for parliamentary elections are attempting to utilise social media to its full possible in their fight for the preferential vote and to expose corrupt parties and candidates. Nevertheless, in terms of informing the public about candidates’ wrongdoings, there exist limitations in terms of its reach to the villages in Sri Lanka. We see the standard strategies of communication and community participatory approaches at play to make sure reach of these messages to the grassroots. A single could argue that today’s average voter in Sri Lanka is far better informed about corrupt politicians and the parties they represent than ever ahead of. Even so, is details alone on corruption adequate for the voter to make a decision on picking a candidate or a party?

Goodies in exchange for votes

The subsequent contention or the question that I would like to talk about is whether or not voters are ready to elect corrupt politicians, even when they are informed about their incorrect doings?

MahindaStudy carried out in some Latin American nations suggests that voters may elect corrupt candidates despite becoming advised of their wrongdoings. Although the majority of voters would favor to hold politicians accountable for corruption, they do not often engage in preventing this misbehaviour, especially when politicians are able to reward their voters with public goods, patronage jobs and material benefits that other political parties or candidates do not, or can not assure. We have witnessed the offer of material goods in exchange for votes in Sri Lanka over the last handful of decades and this seems to be widespread in creating democracies.

Each the UNF and the UPFA are promising economic improvement, good governance and the prevention of corruption in their manifestos. The UPFA is offering the public immense rewards, some of which are unrealistic. For instance, the UPFA has gone on record by promising a minimum salary of Rs 25,000 for public sector workers and a Rs 200,000 ‘marriage bonanza’ for couples ending up in matrimony. I will let the reader choose if they are realistic when contemplating the UPFA’s track record on public spending. Interestingly, some people whom I spoke to in the course of my travels in Sri Lanka stated that they had happily accepted material goods from the Rajapakse strongmen during the final presidential campaign, but had voted for the opposition candidate. According to the literature on redistributive politics, politicians could advantage from targeting non-aligned or these not devoted to a celebration when supplying ‘goods’ to people and groups in exchange for votes.
In terms of the forthcoming parliamentary election, the evaluation of the final outcome will inform us if voters have rewarded corrupt politicians in exchange for goodies received. Voting for a corrupt celebration or a candidate is not restricted to accessing info on corruption and the delivery of public goods in exchange for votes.

Corruption and ideology

Ideology is one more critical issue that can strongly predict voting for a corrupt candidate. I am referring to voters in search of to best match their individual ideological preferences with a political celebration and candidate contesting the election. I am confident that most of us can uncover at least 1 pal or a relative who is a die-hard or staunch UNP, SLFP or JVP supporter in spite of knowledge of corruption. According to study, ideological self-identification is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of electing your preferred candidate or party. Even so, what are the consequences when the ideologically preferred celebration or candidate is corrupt?

There arises a circumstance where voters are confronted with a moral dilemma when they have to decide on amongst honesty and ideology. Some study suggests that, in the context of possessing much less decision for the voter on credible political parties, voters might assistance corrupt parties and their candidates when they mirror their ideological political preferences. Furthermore, some voters might have robust loyalties to particular politicians or parties such that their vision is clouded and permits a type of ‘cognitive dissonance’ to arise- a psychological theory whereby conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviours are held.

Nationalism’, as a political ideology cannot be ignored when analyzing voter behavior at the next election. Some writers argue that the former president’s government was the initial to totally embrace Buddhist nationalist ideology. It&#8217s appeal was to southern voters, as he was regarded as the leader who won the separatist war. In parallel, the creation of a worry- psychosis more than any revival of the LTTE, exactly where the country may possibly be at danger again of separatism is propagated by the UPFA campaign in a manner that corruption could be ignored in the interest of the nation and nationalism. Though, this is supposed to impress, a section of Sinhala Buddhist voters ignored this notion and voted against Mahinda Rajapaksa at the final election.

Tolerating a corrupt party, rather than voting for an option celebration whose ideology is contrary to their personal, would be difficult to the voter on 17th August. Conversely, the JVP has emerged as a strong third force despite the unfavorable image suffered due to its association with violent activism in the early 1970s and late 1980s. The JVP is equally supportive of very good governance, exposing and informing the public about corrupt politicians and their wrongdoings at an unprecedented scale. With the inclusion of JVP as a third force and a reasonable party alternative, we are yet to see if ‘ideology’ will play a more or less considerable part in electing corrupt candidates at the subsequent election.

Voter turnout

Yet another area that needs exploration is voter preparedness to either switch parties or remain at home in the face of their ideologically preferred party becoming involved in a corruption scandal.
Perceptions and experiences of corruption erode voter confidence in public institutions and the political program. If voters perceive data about corruption as damaging advertising, then such data has the prospective to weaken voters’ self-confidence in their potential to influence very good governance. This might lead voters to think that voting will not advantage them and there is a strong possibility that voter turnout will lower and erode partisan attachments.

The recent political circus exactly where members of parliament switched from one particular party to an additional cannot be forgotten when analyzing ideological preferences and voter turnout. Prominent politicians such as Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Ven. Athuraliya Rathana, M.K.D.S Gunarawdena, Arjuna Ranatunga and numerous other ex-members of parliament and Pradeshiya Sabha members crossed over from the UPFA to the UNF. Some of them had been staunch supporters of nationalism in Rajapaksa’s previous government. It was their prerogative to dissociate themselves from the alleged corrupt politicians who received nominations to contest the election from the UPFA. Even Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, the previous President and chairman of the SLFP appears to be supporting the UNF campaign. According to her, the forthcoming election is not about party politics, it is merely a matter of deciding on excellent or negative politicians.

With a frequent quantity of political cross overs, specially by a voter’s preferred candidate, there would seem to be a sheer amount of confusion and disillusion for the voter to deal with. Earlier work suggests that perceptions and experiences of corruption undermines voters’ confidence in public institutions, erodes the legitimacy of the political method, reduces trust in politicians and lower voters’ confidence in their government’s ability. This may possibly either send a robust signal by ‘abstention’ at the election or improve the so-called floating vote base.

In conclusion, corrupt politicians and parties will lose support at the next parliamentary election. Despite the fact that this can be less than a single would anticipate and a lot more frequently than not with only limited consequences for remaining in office for some alleged corrupt politicians. The UPFA is contesting this election without unlimited state sources (such as state media and the capability to mobilise state institutions) to counteract adverse campaigning against it. The prime minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe’s reputation is at an all-time high and although it could be premature to state, the UNP appears to have united given that the January polls. There is disharmony among UPFA strongmen as they try to dissociate between clean and corrupt candidates within their personal celebration. President Maithripala Sirisena also seems to covertly help the UNF.

With the announcement of election benefits on 18th August, the UNF is probably to win a lot more seats in parliament than the UPFA. We are also likely to see some alleged corrupt politicians being rejected by the public and other folks elected into parliament with significantly less preferential votes than the preceding 2010 election. The JVP will also ring alarm bells, emerging as the third force.

Ultimately, it is well recognized that corruption is linked with significantly less economic development, higher inequality, poor outcomes in the areas of overall health and environment, mistrust and a discontented population. Use your franchise wisely when electing your representatives to the 15th parliament of Sri Lanka.

*Nimesh Samarasinghe [PhDc (London), MSc (London), BSc (Hons) (London), DipHE (London)] has over 15 years of knowledge functioning in the British National Overall health Service in clinical, managerial and commissioning roles. He is at the moment operating as a Consultant, assisting the State of Qatar to reform their overall health solutions. The author also has comprehensive encounter in wellness and social care and public policy-generating research.