Here are a few examples of how our vaunted Yahapalanaya government has sucked over the last year.
If you are wondering whether I have buyers remorse, I would say no. These guys are better than the last guys. Unfortunately, they still suck. In detail:
1. Bros Before Telcos
In one of his first moves, President Maithripala Sirisena appointed his brother as head of Sri Lanka Telecom. He was more qualified than some of the numpties that follow, but it was still a bad signal. Worse as controversy emerged over a bloated SLT offer to buy Hutch.
2. The Bond Scam
In February, the Central Bank Governor’s son-in-law made a killing buying a lot of bonds at a very high interest rate. Basically, the son-in-law seemed to have information no one else had, but the Governor denied everything. Given that part of his job is being trusted, he should have, but Arjuna Mahendran has stuck around. And the UNP seemed to have plenty of election dosh. Possibly unrelated, but the whole thing stunk like a week-old fish.
3. Ravi In Finance
Despite not being a high vote getter (placing behind Harsha De Silva for example), Ravi Karunanayake has something over Ranil (loyalty, cash, I dunno). He was given the Finance Ministry, which is a bit like the fox in the henhouse, IMHO. Ravi has been indicted for financial crimes (but cleared… after his appointment) and beyond that does not have a stellar reputation. His first proper budget (last December) was amended into non-existence. Also, people he appointed have refused to step down when Ranil wanted them too. And any number of things we don’t know.
4. The Ranatunga Brothers
Despite railing against nepotism in the Rajapaksa family, Arjuna Ranatunga appointed his brother as Chairman of the Ports Authority. Besides playing in two test matches for Sri Lanka, the brother has no particular qualifications.
5. Hirunika The Criminal
Following in her father’s footsteps a bit, MP Hirunika Premachandra decided to abduct a shop clerk involved in some love affair. She admits to giving him a talking-to but insists that she’s not guilty because she didn’t physically abduct the guy herself. The police seem to be taking her at her word on this dubious logic, when in fact she should be arrested like anyone else.
6. Cricket Crooks
Recently (2016 really but whatev), Thilanga Sumathipala was elected as President of the Cricket Board. He comes from a background in gambling and was convicted of getting a false passport for a known underworld criminal in 2007. At that point he lost the Presidency at the Cricket Board and, despite being acquitted on appeal, no one thought he’d be back. Especially since the lead witness in the trial was shot in court – some horribly gangster shit. But he is back, in charge. What?
This you can’t really lay at the feet of Yahapalanaya, it being an internal election among some seemingly awful people, but this government did put this guy on the National List after he lost the Parliamentary Election, and made him Deputy Speaker of Parliament no less.
So, in sum, that’s all the bad governance I can vividly remember from this year. Tell me if you remember anymore.