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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 78

Hold the deceitful politicians accountable for their misdeed

[color=blue][b]Hold the deceitful politicians accountable for their misdeeds[/b][/color]

Today, David Blunkett, one of the most powerful figures in the Blair Govt, compelled to give up as home secretary after an e-mail emerged showing a visa application for his ex-lover's nanny had been fast-tracked. The e-mail sent to the Home Office had just said "no favours but slightly quicker". But that was enough to decide that the Home Secretary Blunkett was not fit to hold the office any more.

It is worth exploring the situation in Sri Lanka in similar or far worst circumstances, sometimes where the conduct of the politicians who have absolutely lost their integrity never challenged but allowed to hold office.

Solid evidence of dishonesty of the President Chandrika

Over a period of two decades service in the Customs Administration I have some first hand evidence about the dishonesty and abuse of power by the politicians of both parties [UNP and PA], which I had exposed before. I have set out below some such illegal actions committed by the current President, Chandrika, and I believe that the people would assert their rights and demand an explanation from the President.

The first case where she abused her political power is refers to some confiscated foreign currency [US$ 200,000] attempted to smuggle out through Katunayake airport by two Cameroon nationals [currency was found concealed in their underpants]. After the detection, like in any other similar case, the production was confiscated.

After the conclusion of the fraud inquiry, at the instigation of a Businessman [Latha Jewellers of Sea Street] President Chandrika made a valiant attempt to release the production [$ 200,000] to the lawbreaker. Her hand written order with her full signature placed under it, demanded the Customs Chief to “give maximum possible relief” i.e to release the proceeds to the businessman. However her attempt was failed as I [then the Chief Charges Officer of the Baggage Division] vehemently objected her illegal order in writing, which was backed by the then AG, who also held that the President’s intervention was uncalled for.

UK’s Home Secretary Blunket had to go home, for seeking “quick action” in relation to a visa application. Action committed by the President Chandrika is much more serious. She wanted to “give maximum possible relief” to a convicted fraudster, purely a credibility issue. It was not an email written by somebody else, but a hand written order by the President. After I left the country her action was brought to light and but she never denied her dishonest conduct nor the media bothered to demand any explanation. It appears that the politicians [in the third world nations] are not bothered to commit actions that are morally as well as legally wrong, particularly in the absence of a strong public opinion which challenge such actions.

The other case I want to discuss refers to a revenue fraud ran into several millions committed by Ranatunga family. In this case [CRTF/304/2001] Ranatungas were charged for importation a luxury Mercedes Benz car, defrauding the government revenue. There was tremendous pressure brought upon me by the then DGC Janak Gunaratna at the instance of the President Chandrika. Ignoring all that pressure an inquiry was held into the fraud and a penalty of Rs. 4,198,255/- was imposed on Ranatungas who was found guilty for defrauding the government revenue. As a result of this action, I was compelled to leave the country [September 2001] to protect my life.

The conduct of the President, Chandrika, after my forced exit was appalling and it was far more serious than the action committed by the Home Secretary David Blunket. She directly intervened. And blatantly abusing her political authority, she ordered the Customs to nullify the order made against Ranatungas. In fact, by then Chocksy had assumed office as the Finance Minister. Yet the then DGC, Janak Gunaratna, acted upon the President’ illegal order and having recovered of a mitigated penalty [receipt No. F125518 dated 19-12-2001] of Rupees one million closed the file.

Of course, question arise as to why the politico cheats in the third world nations are not concerned or bothered about the accountability to their actions, whereas in the developed world actions of the politicians are always subject to close scrutiny by the media, guardian of the democracy. It is sad that in the third world nations politicians are allowed to indulge in such actions scot-free, insulting the intelligence of the people. No doubt that, if this trend continues and public failed to check their anti-social conduct the country will plunge from bad to worst.

Nagananda Kodituwakku
Former head of serious fraud investigations of the Customs Administration

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