Island’s Letters to the Editor’s page
Ravi meeting his supporters after resigning as Foreign Minister
May I convey my views and that of many friends who have watched with avid interest the drama that unfolded in the last few days. I agree with SDS. Even a child will confirm that Ravi K resigned under pressure and I guess one need not labour on that score. If all what he said had a semblance of truth, the nation would have believed him if he owned up to his misdeeds and quit pronto. People are well aware that the majority of the Members of Parliament are there to serve themselves and not to serve the country.
While conceding that Yahapalanaya had afforded space for dissent without disappearing and with media freedom, it must be said without any qualms of conscience it was the relentless pressure exerted by the media and civil society that made things happen where the bond scam was concerned. Yes, I agree with his daughter, what about the others. Malik Samarawickrema and Kabir Hashim too should have gone. We must also commend the President for appointing a Commission of Inquiry, sadly minus punitive powers. Hence, it goes without saying that a special tribunal must be appointed without delay to implement the recommendations of the Commission if it is to have the desired results.
It is now public knowledge that the sister of Nivard Cabraal, the Governor of the Central Bank whom Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed in 2005, was also on the Board of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd. Therefore, it is imperative that a fresh Commission probe that period too, since many shady deals took place during that vintage where billions were lost. It is abundantly clear to the discerning observers that Sri Lanka would have progressed much more within the last sixty nine years if there was no massive corruption, which increased with speed with every change of government. Hence the need for the President who enjoys a reputation of having emerged clean from the Cesspit in his immaculate white attire toset things right before his term ends. That said, I know your readers will endorse when I say that if he had a speck of dirt on him the last regime would have skinned him alive when he decamped.
The greatest service that the President will render to the country will be if he ensures that all these cases are presented to specially created tribunals with punitive powers, so that they will get concluded before 2020. -EARDLEY DABRERA, Mattakkuliya
Ravi K’s resignation
Minister Ravi Karunanayake arriving at his residence after his resignation made a statement to the people waiting for stating, ‘…that he resigned with pride from his Ministerial post to set a good precedent… “
But it is obvious that there was pressure from President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the media for his resignation. The media gave wide publicity for nearly two weeks to the allegations made against him. The Opposition had submitted a no-confidence motion against him. The issue was that, according to a key witness to the Central Bank Treasury Bond scam investigations, the monthly rental of a Penthouse leased out to him and his family had been paid for 6 months by Arjun Aloysius of Perpetual Trustees Ltd. The rent had been over a million rupees a month.
Compared to this, the New South Wales Premier of Australia resigned a couple of years ago because of the allegation that he had accepted a bottle of wine and had not declared it. There was no pressure for him to resign from anyone and the media never bothered him about it. – P.A.SAMARAWEERA, Brisbane