”Hey, I am filthy rich, and that proves I am scrupulously not corrupt.”

Sunday Times Punch

New yardstick to gauge MPs’ corruptibility factor

KIRIELLA: The new litmus test for corruption

A new yardstick was introduced last week by the Minister of Highways Laksman Kiriella to measure a politician’s corruptibility factor. Apparently, it all depends how much money a politician has in his reserve bank. And, according to this theory, the more one has, the less likely he is to be corrupt and susceptible to temptation.

By the use of this yardstick, Kirielle is beyond corruption, as he said so himself. By his own estimates, he told Parliament last Wednesday, he has over Rs 400 million in his bank account which puts him in the ivy league of incorruptibility.

In reply to a query raised by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who alleged that mega frauds had taken place in the construction of the Central Expressway, Minister Kiriella proudly said: “We do not need others’ money. We have been rich since the days of ancient kings. My wife’s grandfather had over 30,000 acres of land in Balangoda. My grandparents, too, had properties equal to that. We both worked in courts and usually paid Rs 2.5 million a year as taxes on our income. I have Rs. 400 million in my account. We do not need to steal from others.”

By his own measure, he is above board. But the yardstick was not his alone to use.

This Monday, Primary Industries Minister Daya Gamage told a group of fresh water prawn farmers in Chilaw that he too was clean and had no reason to rob the public. And, pray, why? Because, as he said, “former president Mahinda Rajapaksa invited me to join hands with him or to give up politics and join his business but I refused.”

“I had no intention to rob money belonging to the country, or the public by joining hands with the Rajapaksa regime. Therefore I choose a different path,” he said.

Slowly but surely, this new yardstick, which depends on what the politicians already possess will come in handy to a great many and will soon be the rage of town to those who wish to demonstrate their incorruptibility by reference to what they already possess. And shout aloud the new slogan in town:”Hey, I am filthy rich, and that proves I am scrupulously not corrupt.”

Except for one thing. As the Buddha’s philosophy holds ‘life feasts on life and death on death’ and greed has no end and remains insatiable. Which is why it is held that the richest man is the one who is content. But good to know that we have amongst us two ministers whose riches have made them transcend thanha. Perhaps it will not be far off when many more MPs rush to declare their assets and use the Kiriella yardstick to measure and to prove their moral rectitude.

Wimal’s NFF party restates: Parliament must be bombed

WIJENAIKE: Wimal’s party national organizer condemns Wimal’s bomb threat and is sacked

In the storm that broke following Wimal’s outburst of bombing Parliament if it did not abide by his wishes, one man from his own party, its national organiser no less, was brave enough to stand up to his leader’s rant and declare that ‘ the statement made by his leader Wimal, did not reflect the opinion of the party, the party had not taken nor authorised Wimal’s statement and that it was Wimal’s alone. And that he had checked with the party’s General Secretary who had confirmed it.

National Organizer of the National Freedom Front (NFF), Piyasiri Wijenaike on Tuesday, denounced the comments made by his own Party leader Wimal Weerawansa MP that a bomb attack should be launched on Parliament. And on Thursday moves were afoot to strip him of his post. It is not the concern of the general public how Wimal runs with an iron fist his one man show within his own party of handfuls. But what must shock is that he has shown no repentance to atone for his sin in his threat to bomb parliament out of existence.

One of Wimal’s catchers, a NFF MP Jayantha Samaraweera addressed a news conference on Friday and faithfully barked his master Wimal’s decree that Parliament must be bombed if it passes the proposed Constitution Bill. He said: “If the parliament approves this Constitution with a two-third majority, then the parliament should be bombed: it should be struck by lightning without rain and should be flattened. There is no need of a parliament, a cabinet or MPs. It must bombed. It must be turned into a museum. That is the stance of our party. ”

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya should take careful note over this growing trend that threatens the very existence of Parliament itself. Nay, he should use the Parliamentary Mace and all the powers at his command to crush in the bud the ultimate contempt that can be made to Parliament: For MPs to will Parliament’s own destruction by bombing it out of extinction. And also bring it to the notice of the people: That those who have lived by violence will fall by violence and that Parliament is not the place for such vermin to find their burrow.