Sri Lanka cried out for the arrest of UNP Parliamentarian Palitha Thewarapperuma, a man apparently competing for former Minister Mervyn Silva’s records for public humiliation (note to self: I think there’s a bondage fetish there somewhere). A lo and behold, Thewarapperuma was arrested. Whether he will stay arrested or be miraculously restored is still up for grabs, but my money’s on busted. What’s up with those pants, though?
The “Lamborghini witchhunts” began, targeting the three sons of former President Rajapakse for all manner of corruption, but mostly for running expensive cars bought with public funds. The results: one Lamborghini, which turned out to be a Nissan GTR (illegal on Sri Lankan roads to the average mortal), unregistered and with false plates. The biggest fingers are pointed towards Rohitha Rajapakse (I.E: NOT Namal), who has a known penchant for cars and a brief but practically meteoric career in oddball racing.
For example, he’s raced an Ariel Atom against a Honda Civic (kind of like racing a horse against a toilet seat) and won. (http://www.ft.lk/2014/09/10/rohitha-drives-to-triple-at-drag-race-championship/)
More to the point, photos on his Facebook account show him with an unlicensed GTR (which he apparently raced during Namal Rajapakse’s Night Races). Rohitha’s also crashed a GTR outside the Bishops Auditorium. There really aren’t that many of these cars here.
All in all, the systematic machine of public hate is being turned against the Three Lambs, and it doesn’t look like it’s going well for them.
I’m neither for nor against this. It’s a public secret that the Rajapakse sons do have a whole number of ill-gotten gains – everything from educational degrees to pilot licenses to get-out-of-jail-free-cards. I like the fact that the world’s against them. However, I don’t agree with them being made scapegoats for everything. What they did was made possible because of a whole bunch of corrupt people. You can’t run an unlicensed GTR and spend millions in taxpayer money and shut down entire cities for ludicrous street races without people willing to let you do that. If someone’s going to fry, everyone should fry.
The Pope (arguably the coolest Pope ever) arrived in Sri Lanka, fought briefly with the wind and then decided to let it go.
The President’s brother, Kumarasinghe Sirisena, was appointed the Chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom. That’s the old nepotism creeping in, alright. On one hand, the dude is qualified. He has a Bsc in Public Administration Management, a Bsc in Management (wait, isn’t that the same thing? Is one more corrupt than the other?), and MBA and something called a “Master of Public Administration.” Google thinks he’s a whole bunch of hot women.
Either way: he’s qualified. But in a general sense, and not specifically to run a country’s biggest Internet and fixed-line voice services provider. He apparently worked for 19 years in the RDA, and also has time a Director of the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation. The RDA has historically been one of the best ways of skimming money off the public account. Until people got ambitious and started building entire airports, the easiest thing was to do a shitty job of building a road and then do it again.
However, the man has skills. He was the CEO of the State Timber Corporation since 2006, until Mahinda fired him last December for being the Common Candidate’s Brother. He’s also served as Maithripala’s Coordinating Secretary. He apparently also consults for his brother Dudley Sirisena, who, well, controls a sizeable chunk of the rice in this country.
Maybe he can actually make SLT better. Maybe not. It’s a better appointment than many under the Rajapakse regime – he isn’t a young, fetching girl or a politician who failed Education 101, but he definitely is not the most qualified person for that particular job. The last I checked, a tar road, however useful, is not a data cable.
The 100Days plan is falling behind
This was expected. Despite an early start, three of the last few deadlines – appointing the Cabinet, forming a National Advisory Council and convening Parliament – have been set back by a day (but nevertheless completed). Standing Orders have not been amaended.