Let’s pray for the Family Silver
Lucien Rajakarunanayake (Island)
Don’t you think the recently established National Asset Protection Centre would be better named as the Family Silver Protection Centre?
C’mon…what has family silver to do with national assets?
I’m only going by what former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the brains behind National Asset Protection, has said.
What has he said?
He says the new centre is necessary because the selling of Family Silver was the only strategy the UNP knows to develop the country.
So what has National Assets got to do with Family Silver?
One thinks he must know it best, because of all that Family Silver acquired in his time, had so much to do with National Assets.
But don’t you think he is looking at the Nation as a Family, when he considers the UNP’s National Asset sales – or privatization policies, as Family Silver sales?
Of course, he knows best the link between National Assets and Family Silver. Look at one big example he gives. SriLankan Airlines.
Why, what about SriLankan? Is it not a national asset?
Of course, it is. He says they acquired SriLankan instead of selling it or privatizing it.
Isn’t that true?
It is true in parts. It was acquired because he could not get a seat on it on a return flight from London. It was making a profit in partnership with another airline at the time. And since then, it has been making big losses, and continues so to this day under the Silver Selling UNP, too.
But isn’t it the right of a National Asset that is publicly owned to be making losses? Surely, you must know that profit is to do with capitalism and the liberal economy, while losses are part of a national economy.
But why don’t you look at the family side of the SriLankan national asset?
What family side are you talking about?
I’m just thinking of the Family Silver side. The Chairman of the state acquired SriLankan was his brother-in-law. No doubt he had great trust in his family…so the choice was obvious. But don’t you think it was a National Asset going waste, while the Family Silver was getting more value?
But what about the UNP’s selling of the Hambantota Port to a Chinese company…isn’t that the loss of a National Asset?
Don’t you know that everything built in Hambantota was kept as part of Family Silver, with the country having to bear all the losses on the huge loans taken from the Chinese themselves?
Alright. Hambantota was the hometown and had much to do with Family Silver.
But what else can you say?
If you must know, the Family Silver extends a very long way…It runs through the whole family. Just look at the CSN assets that came to one son. That surely is a whole lot of Family Silver, whether you consider it a National Asset or not.
Why not…It was the National Sports TV broadcaster.
Have you forgotten how Sri Lanka Cricket and ITN so readily handed over the telecasting to CSN, and the unknown sources of funds for its equipment worth millions. That is certainly a whole lot of Family Silver.
You want to know anymore…What about all those millions that came for the promotion of Rugby? It was a huge asset gained by the elder son, who scored big tries, with no challenge at all. That is surely another huge lot of Family Silver.
Hold on…What do you have to say about the UNP and its SLFP ally wanting to sell our national assets through privatization? Shouldn’t we put a stop to that?
Of course, we must raise a cry against that. But isn’t it better if the first shouts come from those who have never been associated with the huge acquisition and accretion of national assets as Family Silver?
Isn’t it better if the call to protect National Assets or Family Silver comes from those who were not involved in Divi Neguma, which was one huge means of diverting national assets to actual Family Silver, and spread over immediate, close and distant members of a family of acquisition?
With the UNP in an assets selling mood, while Rajapaksa and the Joint Opposition are in the assets protection mood today, we are caught in a quandary between the sellers and gatherers of Family Silver. The trouble is that Family Silver hoarders are in power today, just as earlier. There can be little hope for the Family Silver being kept safe from these ravagers and plunderers on either side of the political divide.
Just pray for the Family Silver to be safe.