What A Charlie! – How Black is Ranil?

Likely support for the beleaguered former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka came from an almost predictable source. Charlie Mahendran former diplomat and Daddy to the man held responsible for the greatest financial scam since independence to have been inflicted upon the public, came out in strong defence of his son. Also predictably, Charlie was hailed as a right old Charlie for having done so.


Charlie Mahendran claimed that Arjuna his Balliol educated son had mustered the investigations of the Supreme Court as well as the parliamentary committee on public enterprise COPE. Both are erroneous and some would argue blatantly false.


Charlie Mahendran’s claims in his article that had been given space in a weekend national is silent on the lengthy findings of the specialPresidential Commission that looked into the issuance of bonds by the Central Bank


His claims are shallow certainly. For starters the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka never did look into the whole gamut of the issuance of bonds and bills by the Central Bank. They were asked to consider a plea to direct the Monetary Board to have an independent inquiry and to direct the Monetary Board on other matters. Their opinion was that there was no mechanism legally we presume of doing so and therefore the entire plea was rather short lived.


This has been taken out of context and so quoted not only by Charlie Mahendran but also by several others including the Minister in charge of the subject of the Central Bank at the time, Ranil Wickremesinghe. They knowingly in essence made false claims as to the nature of the Supreme Court order.


Charlie Mahendran also wrote that COPE did not point a finger at his son; Well COPE does not do that – their remit is to establish details and leave the rest to the different agencies and authorities.

For a person with so much of experience and we presume expertise, to not know the exact role of COPE is to dwell in the netherworld of being economical with the truth.


Being economical with the truth is a big ticket item within the yahapalanaya government. They have had enormous difficulties in maintaining the truth and in delivering the promises made during the electoral hustings.


The latest disgrace that shows the Wickremesinghe hand is the matter of the Black Media episode. It is none other than Wickremesinghe who mentioned the Black Media in parliament. It is Wickremesinghe who mentioned that the names from top to bottom will be exposed. Low and behold on the 10th of January a group of protestors turned up at various media institutions and engaged in their own brand of democracy.


This was to berate the media on what they termed as unbalanced coverage. We would point out to these political stooges who are clearly misled by so-called pseudo democrats that their political masters or idols or leaders or all in fact, are those responsible for the Bond scam, the Central Expressway scam, the scam involving the purchase of coal, the various transactions involving the Wickremesinghe confidante Malik Samarawickrama, the establishment of the Agency for Development to run parallel to the BOI headed by yet another lackey, the scam that saw the leasing of Hambantota port for USD 1.2 billion but having received the monies not settling the loan, the USD 150 million squandered in the Sri Lankan Airlines partial cancellation of orders with another four yet to be settled, the attempt to sell the Hilton Colombo for way below market value and yet not settling the existing legitimate shareholders presumably because these shareholders do not want to ‘cut a deal’ simply to get back what is legitimately theirs!


In aviation terms this government has gone beyond the point of no return – that is a return to good real governance and the promises they made when they conspired to rid the people of the Rajapaksa rule.


If Ranil Wickremesinghe truly has the party of which he has been a member of for all of the forty plus years he has been in parliament, the sensible action would be for him to hand over the reigns of power including the leadership of the party to Saith Premadasa. He may well be the catalyst for change that this country is waiting for. He may not be perfect but then democracy is not perfect and the road to real democracy is fraught with all sorts of challenges. The trick is to have someone who can be the catalyst for change and inspiration. Saith Premadasa certainly has the principal ingredients – the name, the clean record and a long history of being a work horse working for and on behalf of the people.


The future of our country and our future generations cannot be left in the hands of pseudo democrats and wannabe dollar billionaires who use their political position to achieve their narrow personal agendas. Their only agenda is to hang on to power when they know full well that they have lost their past appeal with the population.


The message is clear and absolutely so: Let the people vote now – not in a years’ time.


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