The Corruption Of War

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One of the most silly arguments from nationalists is that peace advocates are in it for the money. The real money is in war. Obviously. To quote this guy from the UN, “The total UN and NGO budget is about $8 billion,” McNamara said. “The global defense budget is at least $800 billion. It’s a non-equation. It’s no contest. The guys who provide the guns and make the wars are onto a winning streak. We need to redress that balance,” In Sri Lanka, the projected war budget is $1.48 billion dollars for 2008. I dunno what the NGO budget is, but it’s miniscule in comparison. The real people making money are the warmongers. And, with impeccable timing, Basil has declared a Rajapakse monopoly on arms dealing, just as the spending has boomed. So where will we get our arms? From Lanka Logistics of course, the company incorporated one day before the shady MiG deal. Who’s the head of that company? Gothabaya Rajapakse. The Rajapakses have started this war, set up a monopoly on arms deals and are now preparing to get (more) rich. That’s who’s making money here. It ain’t the NGOs and it ain’t the peaceniks. It’s this Pack of Rajas.

The news links are in the prior para, I don’t know how it can get more clear. Mahinda Rajapakse has abandoned the peace process and restarted our intractable war. Yes I know the LTTE is bad, no shit, but we had a peace process that could have been worked out with some diplomacy, courage and vision. And all the people of Sri Lanka would have been more prosperous and less dead in the process. Anyways, Mahinda restarted the war. Basil has told all the private arms dealers (no saints themselves) that this is now a family concern. Basil runs the arms dealership. Everybody gets their 10%, more even. Meanwhile, 5,500 Sri Lankans have been killed since December 2005, hundreds of thousands displaced, abductions in our capital, a terrorist proxy in the East and rampant inflation and corruption. Everything else I can take the war excuse for, but the rampant corruption, no. If we’re at war our public servants shouldn’t be making such ridiculous profits from it. Sometimes the servants take a little sugar or milk powder. That’s OK. But lighting the house on fire and selling us petrol? Please.

The Rajapakse family has a direct financial interest in the war. They profit from all of the arms deals. And our leaders have profited in the past, our expensive electoral system makes it almost a necessity. I expect our politicians to be corrupt, but I expect them to not ‘milk the goose’ and to at least try to hide the corruption. The Rajapakse family, however, has no shame at all. They’ll try to sell SLT, they’ll try to borrow from high interest capital markets, they’ll print money, anything for dollars, dollars, dollars. However, the most shameless canard is this latest set of moves. The same family that started the war and raised the defense budgets also has a monopoly on arms deals. Gentlemen, have you no shame?

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20 Comments »

2007-10-11 21:00:51

How pathetic, The Shameless part is very true………..they seems to run the country as their own “Sillara Kaade”. But we have a bigger problem ,all those guys in the parliament are same type of duds, They are there to earn money & live happily ever after. I’m sure that many will vote for JVP if there is an election, JVP is the only option people have, its risky but i think its worth trying.

rajivmw
2007-10-11 22:53:44

The JVP have been a great disappointment in many ways. They often display admirable intelligence and integrity, but are so muddled by ideology, class resentment and inexperience.

In supporting the government while staying out of the cabinet, they aimed for power and influence without the responsibility and accountability. How clever they must have thought themselves. But alas, Mahinda the old pro has played them like a bunch of amateur mugs.

He knows that they passionately believe their own propoganda about Ranil being the bride of Prabha and mistress of the IMF. He knows that a bit of Great Patriotic War arouses their moist Stalin fantasies and takes their glazed attentions away from the plunder going on all around them.

So now he has them reduced to behaving like sullen teenagers who’ve just been conned in a dope deal. They mutter and grumble bitterly, but are too dazed and confused to act as the check on corruption and incompetence that many many people thought they would be.

Having said that, if you ask me which party offers the best chance of reforming the culture of sleaze, sloth and selfishness that prevails in the country today, I would have to say it’s the boys in red. But goodness knows they have a fair bit of growing up to do.

 
 
galleblogger
2007-10-12 01:17:42

agreed!
this is by far the best post i have read in a while in the, wait for it, “sri lankan blogosphere”…..
want anymore FACTS cyberonlyspacedoutwarwankaz!? open your eyes sri lanka.
just a thought….isn’t pointing these things out, explaining them and therefore DEFENDING the Nation from greedy “families” (mafia meaning included here), from greedy and corrupt politicos of all sides, PATRIOTIC? i suppose it’s more patriotic than bombing fellow lankans, no? how more patriotic can u get?
indi, dont’ u think someone should start a patriotic movement against these traitors, and their arselicking cocksucking supporters, who are pillaging the country?! u know, defend the morals, the unique culture, fellow lankans from bombs falling on their heads, deportations….etc…
ltte is shite, but it’s colombo (and beliatta of all places!!!!!) which is ruining the country with it’s unpatriotic greed.
re-read the post with patriotic eyes now and see the effect!
somebody should DEFEND the NATION from these jokers, but not ranil….sorry indi, i can’t stand him! jvp? i agree with rajivmw….unfortunately….

 
Jack Point
2007-10-12 10:24:28

“war budget is $1.48 billion dollars for 2008″

This was for 2007, the expected spend. The 2008 estimates will be presented in the budget due on 7th November.

2007-10-12 11:22:03

Not sure how you get that intepretation. Here’s the text:

Defence spending in calendar 2008 would total 166.44 billion rupees (1.48 billion dollars), up from an estimate of 139.4 billion rupees in 2007, the appropriation bill showed.

The defence spending amounts to nearly a fifth of total government expenditure estimated at 925 billion rupees (8.22 billion rupees) next year, the figures tabled in parliament showed.

The government is due to unveil new revenue proposals on November 7.

To quote the Daily Mirror as well,

The government presented the Appropriation Bill in Parliament yesterday ahead of the budget, projecting Rs. 166 billion in Defence expenditure for next year, which is 19.4 percent higher than the 2007 Defence allocation of Rs. 139 billion.

 
 
Jack Point
2007-10-12 11:21:02

“Anyways, Mahinda restarted the war”

To be fair, it was’nt Mahinda, it was the LTTE that restarted it, with various mine attacks on soldiers. Mahinda retaliated after about 4 months (in April).

Mahinda’s fault was not getting enough international pressure put on the LTTE to make them stop and get back to talks, and his lack of a clear plan for talks (there were two desultory meetings with the LTTE), but this again due to his general incompetence, not war-like intention.

Following the attempt on Sarath Fonseka and later Gota, MR moved to all out war. Now both parties are intent on war with the peace talks existing on paper only.

2007-10-12 11:30:18

Mahinda started this war. I’ve gone into it on this post (Mahinda’s War). Read the Chinthanaya or any interviews. Mahinda was against the CFA and negotiations in his election platform and he has been for a military solution since he took office. It didn’t matter what the LTTE did, Mahinda was and is for war. Just read any of his statements or follow any of the policy. That Mahinda is for war is a bit of a truism.

It’s easy to blame the LTTE, but they are childish thugs in the international scope of things. Sri Lanka is a mature democracy and responsibility for leading the peace process lies with us, not a band of self-appointed criminals. Mahinda could lead us towards or away from a negotiated peace and he has led us away. Not going out on much of a limb there.

Jack Point
2007-10-12 12:28:30

It is correct that MR was against the CFA and his chinthanaya was pro-war.

Howver, having got into power, he did not seem unduly anxious practice what he preached or at least that was my impression. He did not have anything to offer to take talks forward, but neither did he make the first move in battle.

I do regard MR is the most incompetant and and corrupt leader in the post independence era and he will sink the country to new depths, I was only quibbling about who started the latest round, not that it matters very much now I suppose. (I blame Prabha was electing MR and thus finishing off the country- again another reason why I say the LTTE started this round)

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rajivmw
2007-10-12 13:23:27

It’s easy to blame the LTTE because they started the war. Reading the Chinthanaya or the interviews reveal nothing like what you’re talking about, unless you are wearing glasses tinted a very deep green. Or striped.

Sure there is talk of amending the CFA, and of a unitary state, but these are legitimate positions even if you may not agree with them. I don’t, but nor do I see in them a declaration of war. On the other hand, the LTTE’s campaign of murder long before the Chinthanaya and shortly after election sends a much clearer signal.

You sanctimoniously posit the responsibility for taking the peace process forward with the government. But it is also the responsibility of the government to maintain order. I doubt any other democracy, no matter how mature, would tolerate the wholesale slaughter of service personnel for as long as Mahinda did.

The LTTE wanted this war, did their best to get it going, and eventually succeeded. To absolve the LTTE from blame by citing some vague passages in an election manifesto is downright shameful. I don’t think you have convinced anybody except the blindest Mahinda-haters that he started the war. So stop trying already, because it is making you look like a pathetic partisan hack.

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David Blacker
2007-10-12 17:50:48

“Mahinda started this war.”

In fact he didn’t. The LTTE did. MR just didn’t do enough to stop it.

“Mahinda was against the CFA and negotiations in his election platform”

Of course he was against the CFA. Most of the country was (and is) against the CFA, mostly because it seemed to be implemented only against the GoSL. But that wasn’t why he was elected. The Chinthanaya was mostly about the economy. And he wasn’t against negotiations — MR was against the sort of negotiating that the UNP was doing; and again, so was most of the country, ably helped by the free media who trumpeted out each LTTE infringement.

“Mahinda was and is for war”

He wasn’t. And the patience shown for four months after his election proves it. But he had no problem with giving the LTTE the war that they wanted. And they most certainly wanted it. They were willing to elect MR to get it. But they fucked up. They thought he’d react immediately and in a haphazard manner, before the armed forces were ready. He didn’t. And when he eventually did, the Tigers had lost their chance both on the battlefield and in the hearts of the IC.

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N
2007-10-12 19:44:30

What David said…and the first blow of this war, the assassination of Lakshman Kadirgamar was thrown before Mahinda was in power…and Mahinda only retaliated after the Sarath Fonseka assassination attempt…there were around 100 or so naval deaths before that date to which the GOSL did not react to. Yes he’s a corrupt, fucked up jackass but he didn’t start this round of the Eelam war.

 
 
 
 
galleblogger
2007-10-13 01:02:49

this is not about who startede the war, who gives a toss?
there is no mention about who re-started it. keep to the point. in fact noone so far has contradicted this patriotic post…
well done indi.

N
2007-10-13 08:41:50

I do give a toss actually galleblogger…because a very valid point about the Rajapakse’s corruptness is being clouded by inaccurate statements such as ‘Mahinda started the war’….

 
David Blacker
2007-10-15 09:13:34

Actually articles like this are worse than silly. If you wanna attack MR & Bros Ltd there are plenty of areas in which it is obvious they’ve failed miserably. The waar isn’t one of those. To try and attack them on that aarea is a bit stupid when it’s obvious it’s the one thing they’re doing right.

Times Eye, I don’t think the LTTE thought they could capture Jaffna and the East simultaneously. However, I do think they expected to get a retaliation from the GoSL which they could then use as a legit excuse to overrun a maajor military base like China Bay or Palaly; after which the IC would call for an immediate return to the CFA before the GoSL could recapture the bases; leaving the LTTE in a better bargaining position at the next round of talks.

Thamil
2007-10-26 14:22:58

“..they could then use as a legit excuse to overrun a maajor military base..”

Not bad, David! a good speculation!!! except, there is no hopes of MR or the Tigers returning for talks.
Looks like Gota wants to use his power & learn it the hard way like previous sinhala leaders huh?!?!

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David Blacker
2007-10-29 12:33:38

“except, there is no hopes of MR or the Tigers returning for talks.”

That’s now. I was talking about then.

As for Gota and learning lessons — he’s got more soldiers than Prabha has Tigers. And the next generation of Tigers are growing up malnourished and uneducated. The Sinhalese will outlast the Tamils if things remain the way they are.

 
Thamil
2007-10-29 17:05:55

It has always been more sinhala soldiers than tigers, David!
And looking at the way they did a spectacular attack on Anuradhapuram, I am not convinced that next generation of tigers are Malnourished or uneducated. They seem well trained & more disciplined than Pervi Gota’s boys, who stripped & displayed dead soldiers….discusting!

 
David Blacker
2007-10-29 17:50:42

“It has always been more sinhala soldiers than tigers, David!”

And so it always will be my friend. The Sinhalese and other races outnumber you. If the status quo is maintained, the Tamils lose. Perpetual war will see the NE in perpetual ruin.

“I am not convinced that next generation of tigers are Malnourished or uneducated.”

Sorry, I thought you had perception of the situ. Do you know what the ‘next’ in next generaation means? ‘Next’ means ‘yet to come’, not current. The attack was carried out by the current generation. But now that you mention it, it seems it isn’t just the next generation of TIGERS that is uneducated. :)

“They seem well trained & more disciplined than Pervi Gota’s boys, who stripped & displayed dead soldiers….discusting!”

Yeah, it happens. C’est la Guerre. Get over it.

 
 
 
 
2007-10-13 08:55:07

After CFA LTTE wated to strengthen themselves, then they wanted to capture Jaffna and most of east to declare an another state. Karuna himself revealed this information, what more proof do we need? They wanted Mahida to be in power to justify their attempt in starting the war ,because he was a hardliner, they had what they wanted from Ranil, Ranil was no longer needed. But they misjudged the situation, they miserably failed the attempt to recapture jaffna , now they are helpless, thats why they want to declare another state immediately which they originally planed to do after re-capturing Jaffna.

 
2007-10-19 12:11:09

I believe all ruling jokers within the several SL Governments that have been in parliament since independence have been after the money, be it war or peace. Its the illegal pursuit of money that has led the nation into this abyss. They say, “Money is the root of all Governance”.

 
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