Saturday, July 26, 2014

The level of human greed knows no bounds!


As if the Touchwood scam was not enough to make people understand that all get rich quick schemes are founded on the greed of human beings and the ease at which supposedly well educated people can be conned on theoretically plausible and practically impossible proposals to siphon money from hardworking people to con artists.

It was under this that I was visited by a person representing a well known company in the business of selling Agarwood plants that provide the same oil that the “Walla Patta” does and once sold at Rs1,400 per plant they promise that the value of the essence they will harvest in 8 years would be at least Rs50,000 which is the guaranteed buyback value of the tree.

One must remember that if one can get more than that you can sell to anyone else! So the company does not even tie you to them in that respect. Now why would one do that? Simply because they make enough from the initial sale to make sense of their business model, where the plant when sold has only cost them Rs 400 and now with a minimum sale of 20 plants for a customer guarantee their Rs20K up front, quite a multiple on cost!

This is the reality. Many professionals are fooled by these stories, as they are only looking at rate of return. Not about how realistic it is that they will be able to keep a plant growing at the said rate of growth and have one available for harvesting after 8 years.

These are the realistic possibilities, firstly that the company will not exist in 8 years to honor the promise, as there is NO insurance against the Company not being able to buy back. Secondly, it is most unlikely that in this era where there is NO enforcement of the law, that one will be able to protect one’s trees from theft. After all when break ins are not solved when people rob from a house, how can they solve one where a tree is cut within 10 minutes outside your home, and taken away. I was told to install CCTV! What a joke, as no thief will be apprehended by the Police, and if I apprehend one, the Police will release them as they will have more connections with the Law than I do. I cannot insure against theft of my tree.


Until there is the rule of law, and be seen to be enforced equally from the first citizen down, there is NO value in such get rich schemes, in an era of thugs and criminals and commission agents, who are the rulers, hand in glove with the security forces. It is time that honest people realize that such schemes are just TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Is it time to move to Moneragala? Hambantota no chance!


It appears that life expectancy is highest in Hambantota, and then the next best is the Moneragala district for the citizen’s longevity.


No automatic answer comes to mind, except to say that people who live in those areas, though they have the lowest GNP with the Moneragala District being the poorest District in the land, somehow have stress free, pollution free and an element of healthy living lives. I know the Moneragala District has now also received the CKDU, Kidney Disease curse that afflicts the North Central Province and therefore this number may take a slide.

It is interesting that the Colombo District with the highest GNP is also the lowest in life expectancy.

It is time to take stock of our development strategy and ask ourselves, what it is we are supposedly chasing? In an era when you only need Broadband Internet to get an education and not an access to Royal College, we must go back and prioritize life, to obtain maximum satisfaction from our lives, rather than the fatalistic attitude that much of the belief systems in Sri Lanka inculcate.

It is time to start a movement called, “fun times ahead” and encourage people to join it. The primary goal is to get people to think about what it is that is important to them, over and above showing off to their neighbors! Secondly it is to encourage people to take life decisions in pursuit of that goal, and do it in a way that does NOT destroy another person’s pursuit of that same goal. That is minimizing friction between people in the pursuit of one’s own selfish motives!

Sounds very greedy? Or altruistic? Surely cannot be both. I admit that life expectancy is but one marker of the success of a culture, community or Country and that may hide a whole host of other determinants of the quality of life index and the UNs Human Development Objectives, of better access to quality health care, nutrition, clean air, and water. I presume however, one must have a good mix of that for people to live longer.


That apart, I have recently travelled extensively in the Moneragala District, and it is the hidden gem of Sri Lanka, still unspoilt, with little local and foreign tourism, but a landscape of infinite beauty, and a land of unfathomable ancient sites, that are only partially discovered and documented. For how long can this secret be kept?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Any organization that threatens the GOSL Hegemony is fair game


When one is involved in illegal activity and any Organization or Individual who threatens that right is now attacked by the GOSL (Sri Lankan Govt.) as being some international conspiracy to destabilize the unity of the country and fair game for threats, sanctions and arrest!

Do they (GOSL) realize that if they had nothing to be ashamed of, then there would be no criticism of their activity? It is this need to hide their transgressions that appear to necessitate a complete control over what is being done by everyone and especially organizations that are loosely termed “civil society” that exist in any country to keep miscreants in the establishment in check. Sri Lanka is in dire need of this more than many other countries due to the lack of activism amongst people who are busy working and earning money to just survive and have NO time or energy to expend on matters that also affect their lives adversely, but for which they are really unable to organize resistance especially if such may also threaten their freedom.

An NGO has legal resources often that the Individual cannot command himself, and acts on behalf of a group of people representing their collective interests. We do not deny that some are open to abuse, and there are some prima donnas who live off of the NGO gravy train. However they are few and far between and can easily be compromised when their misdeeds can be outed in a Govt. owned media establishment. It is more difficult to criticize the Govt. when they are engaged in worse activity on a daily basis in defrauding the public on a grand scale.  

This control of where funds come to for NGOs is an unnecessary act as anyone who wishes to circumvent them for their own benefit is able to do so, without much imagination, and unlikely to get caught. Therefore this is no deterrent to the truly questionable and the really circumspect ones will suffer for the sins of a few rotten apples who are unlikely to reform anyway.

I have therefore in my previous blog entry made the allegation that for these reasons stated above, the tightening of rules is merely a ruse to use this as a method of skimming a percentage for political patronage to prevent a witch hunt.


Further, it is violation of the Freedom of Speech and other liberties enshrined in our Constitution, which appear to be found wanting due to the flagrant violations of the Guarantees that are even deliberately misinterpreted by a partial Supreme Court. Let us pray that there is legal recourse to nullify these orders!           

Why another schizophrenic set of rules? When we are in an era of loosening controls? - Foreign Funds

The GOSL is completely mad! They have no clue about consistency, as each act appears to be directly at cross purposes with the stated objectives. First it was a mad rush to encourage FDIs, and then they passed a law of expropriation of private property! No sane person will invest in Sri Lanka with the possibility of his investment being taken over, and with no compensation, as the appropriated assets have yet to be compensated.

It is with this same thinking that the new rule of all NGOs of obtaining approval prior approval from the Ministry of Finance before receiving funds from foreign sources. In an era of relaxing foreign exchange regulations, and people and companies sending money abroad, and the crooks in Govt. sending money to Swiss Bank accounts, and possibly to foreign terrorist organizations and others with links with shady groups in Sri Lanka, the GOSL is trying to prevent the same occurring here! 

Don't forget the VVIP can now fly direct to Seychelles and put their money in an offshore account, which can redeposit through Swiss Banks, making it easier for money laundering and avoiding any local controls. Remember Seychelles has 140,000 companies for its 90,000 inhabitants, and the reason is just so that these unscrupulous elements can have a field day there. We have NO economic interest in Seychelles whatsoever and so direct flights are for that activity after all.


Don’t they understand that there is a Law in Sri Lanka! If the law is enforced, then all lawbreakers can be punished to the full extent permitted by Law. So why prevent much needed foreign funding sources that are likely to be deterred by these new rules of unnecessary regulation and finger pointing.

Is it a tacit admission that Sri Lanka is a LAWLESS state and therefore they have to resort to these tactics to prevent foreign sources of funds, that may be coming in to do damage to the very existence of the GOSL, as that is obviously why this rule has been implemented.

The irony is that if they are trying to prevent covert CIA operations, then this rule will not prevent that, as they know how to circumvent any rule. After all the CIA funds directly through the GOSL top brass, as no one questions them, while they are selling their own mothers for their greed in commissions or payoffs.

This rule my dear readers is merely another form of graft for the GOSL, as now they will ask for protection money to permit funds to be disbursed to worthy causes in Sri Lanka! It is simply OUTRAGEOUS.


Further it is due to their inability to sort out our social problems that this money is coming in. For example I know some orphanages are dependent on foreign funding to feed their kids. The GOSL gives only Rs50 a child a day, so now that money is subject to a commission to the rulers, before being permitted in to feed them.  Pure Greed.

I just feel sick to my stomach that this Govt. has people who are, with NO scruples, willing to steal from the mouths of innocent and hungry people, just so that they can further fatten their already fat with looting personal wealth.

When will people of Sri Lanka understand that all the laws and rules being made are but for one purpose, NOT to safeguard and protect the Country from undesirable elements and influences, but to safeguard the status quo of those who are committed to daylight robbery from being caught with their hands in the till!

After this analysis, I must say that my first statement has to be contradicted, and the GOSL is NOT MAD, it is just indulging in mass extortion and daylight robbery from their own citizens instead.   

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Israel! What if it was called Palestine instead?


I have embarked on a series of blog entries that are provocative in order to obtain some clarity both for myself and the readers in how we could see a way out of the mess, as the crisis has been a festering sore for as long as anyone can remember.

The reason I have also introduced some thoughts, is to see how we can learn from the Israeli experience in solving our own ethnic woes, so that we can have a lasting resolution, where all the Sri Lankans can live in harmony, proud of our heritage!

The answers to both the Sri Lanka and Israeli issue both seem to be the same. Taking Israel to start with, it seems that they mischievously and the world foolishly have blamed the crisis on Palestinians and their individual warring factions as being the problem, that they are unable to find commonality and settlement of their grievances.

Actually it is Israel’s problem all along. They call the shots, make all the running and blame the Palestinians for it. Therefore the solution lies completely with Israel, and the Palestinians do not even need to be consulted, it is that simple. The question is whether they will do it!  

Why can’t Israel declare that whole area as one Country inhabited by all who currently live in this greater Palestine and call it Palestine as it was always called as a region? Like the integration of the two Germanys’ people of two different levels of income managed it, albeit they were one race and religion was not an issue. Taking a cue from the 2 million Christian and Muslim Arabs who live in Israel now, it is a matter of integrating another 8 million people! The Lebanese refugee camps will disappear too!  A multiethnic democracy is the answer, where an example will be shown how moderate Islam is practiced, and then all Islam fundamentalism will also disappear from the world as their whole basis for being falls apart.


Why not? Zionism! That concept is outdated and only if Israel can change out of that will it happen. 

In Sri Lanka the why not is Sinhala Buddhism, which has NO place in 2014 world either, but it is that concept that is preventing Sri Lanka from achieving a true and lasting peace, and instead has created a monster that threatens the very existence, stability and longevity of our state. 

It is time to buck the Nationalism based on me and my race, and bring back the US and WE are the world concepts back into this Country where 15% of citizens live and work overseas, immersed in a culture different to ours, and bankrolls our very existence. 

The Use of Disproportionate Force means but one thing!


Is there anyone here who is denying that the Israelis have engaged in the use of disproportionate force? to subjugate what is essentially a small show of resistance, by an exhausted and friendless bunch of people, extremists if you must, who are willing to sacrifice everything they have, which is just a motley collection of pathetic arms, that any self respecting guerilla organization would not be seen dead holding onto! In essence the Israeli Army (IDF) is using the weight of one of the most powerful forces in the world using US technology to attack an essentially civilian population.

Hamas has no friends and supporters left! The world’s attention is elsewhere, and the Israelis think that by this action they will prevent this nuisance of rockets coming streaming in to Israel, they must be sadly mistaken.

Let us be pragmatic. Every Palestinian wants Palestine, and how they express this desire is different. Whatever Israel does is going to increase this desire and NOT diminish it, and so everything they do is counter-productive. It is that latter point if understood, by the Zionists in Israel, which will change the status quo and NOT until then.

There is NO way you can tell them they have Gaza and can have a state there. You’ve got to be kidding. Israeli expansionism is rampant, and the wall built around their settlements in the West Bank a bizzare and insulting message to the Palestinians that they are just there to serve.

Remember Isreal has a huge Arab population within its boundaries they keep completely silenced, by indirect threat that their lives which are probably the most secure in the Arab world would be rendered Gazan if they get out of line, so they are a very meek segment of Israeli population, going about their daily lives, knowing they have No option if they want to live in their homelands!

It should be noted that due to Palestinian resistance this significant community have almost been lost to the world, and their leaders have been reduced to Uncle Toms for want of a better word to describe them.

The Arabs are their worst enemy as Israel is a super-efficient sophisticated society who know what they are about, and no one is going to upset that superiority however hard they try, and internecine wars in Arab lands is going to enhance that.


It is ONLY up to the NON ARAB world to point to Israel, that they cannot morally join the civilized world with their behavior and cannot hide behind Arab inhumanity, to look gleamingly civilized! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hamas

Hamas dominate Gaza. They hold power and openly operate out of the goodwill of the local people there. The Israelis have their spy network which is now so sophisticated they have live feed of ALL of Gaza where they wish to monitor in real time. They can hear and see everything in the area.

They have been looking for every opportunity to go in and take the positions they believe are a threat, OUT. So the killing of the Jewish kids and the resulting backlash provided the perfect opportunity for them to launch their surgical strikes killing 250 innocents thus far and more to come this week with the ground ops.

Hamas are willing on more killings in Gaza so they get more sympathy from the world. What is their end game? Are they making a calculated guess that one day the deaths become so gruesome, that even the US will have to lift its veto?

If that is NOT the end game they are so foolish willing to sacrifice countless lives, for a game they are NOT making any headway in deterring Israeli resolve to destroy Hamas at every instance. The Hamas rockets, and drones and ALL other armour are NO match for the Israeli defense system the DOME defense~


How much is the world going to report and become disgusted, but just look on at their self-destructive actions, as the Hamas want to show that they can fire rockets! Come on it is like the Indian firing arrows at the enemy armed with a different generation of both defense and attack weaponry, the sophistication of which even the Hamas commanders, relatively amateur compared to the Israeli professionals don’t realize they are up against.

The Palestinians will not fight Hamas as they are emotionally embroiled in the carnage with NO hope for a better future, even if there is peace, as they are hereded into a rotten piece of land that no one else wants! Israel MUST realize this is the state of play until they are able to destroy all humanity in that strip.


The tunnels the latest attempt by the Hamas to make a dent is just a waste of space as even the Egyptians will not permit weapons to come Gaza from Sinai, so why are they pursing a self-destructive path? Then only world sympathy to feed on! Is that going to dent the Israeli resolve for the status quo? Not a chance. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Gaza

How can we justify a conflict that does not want to end? There is NO end game, as Israel wants all rights to live in the areas they currently occupy and want more whilst at the same time the Palestinians cannot accept Israel’s right to exist.

For that reason the GAZA a tiny strip of humanity in the Israeli sea creates and will continue to create hate against Israel, which will NEVER stop, and using rudimentary weapons try to attack Israel in a David Goliath conflict, where the David here is Palestinian and Goliath is Israel. The world’s only Jewish state (parallels with SL!) is fully armed, well prepared, unparalleled espionage system with sophisticated listening devices, in every Palestinian Home, where they know which house to pin point, and have weapons of pin point accuracy ready to kill guilty and innocent at the same ferocity.

The Palestinians know they have NO chance, and Israel is already planning ground offensives, where Palestinians are ready to believe that they have won when one Israeli is killed for 100 Palestinians, and so unconscionable destruction results with the world just watching, knowing that nothing will change the status quo until the US has the courage to call a spade a spade, and insist first on proportionality, and secondly on a return to pre-1967 borders, none of which will be forthcoming.  

The US by this action HAS LOST credibility in the eyes of the rest of the world, and therefore cannot except by sheer economic power, and military power, exert their influence on the rest of us. As a result the US has NO moral authority left.

The fact that a few Zionists are able to hold the world to ransom, just shows how much power they wield! The Palestinians in the region are JUST CANON FODDER both for their own extremist groups but also for the attacking Israelis. They are the wretched expendables here, and they will continue to be expendable.

We will continue to demonstrate at the disgusting sights of Israeli military capability that gets even MORE sophisticated as it gets more lethal as well, but that will NOT change anything until OBAMA who has NO more election to face, has the Courage of his convictions for right and wrong, draws a line in the sand, and instructs his Government NOT to veto a future resolution against the Israelis at the UN Security Council and have Israel held punitively accountable for their actions.

He does not do it because he knows Netanyahu is a psychopath who is ready to destroy the world along with Israel, with his Nuclear Weapons in that instance! He is powerless to stop this self destruction and wants to see his grandkids one day! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Do we have to scavenge the depths of the great oceans to find an article that makes a Headline in the Daily FT?

Sri Lanka tipped as Asia’s new Island of growth is today’s top story in the Daily FT. (11th July 2014) Was there NO news to write like the CSE rise!


Whilst we must be proud of anyone who opines on this, we must look to the substance of the article and its source.


The link above is the reference to the complete article from which selective extracts have been taken, some out of context to make the point in the story. Both the blog from which it was taken Seekingalpha and the writer of the article Fraser Dinnis, whose spelling was atrociously mis spelt in the FT article are fringe publications and contrarian analysts. Therefore using the word “renowned investment banking and equity markets specialist” for him, is giving him a day in the sun, like he has never had before in his life. He would be most pleased, and no doubt would jump on the next plane to come and give a talk in something like the annual Chamber of Commerce Seminar to be held next month. I am sure he is angling for an all expenses paid invitation for the event including airfare!

Jokes apart he is comparing with Singapore. Which is the world’s most expensive city to live in, and they have made it to the top. There is nowhere for them to go! It is a no brainer there. Sure Sri Lanka has a lot of upside potential and can grow at a much higher rate than Singapore. He must to do justice explain why it is better than the comparative other Asian economies of South East Asia to get a better perspective of the relative investment climate.

I am also a person who believes that given a few different set of Governance fundamentals we can grow at double digits, and that the huge remittance pool from overseas can be put to far better use than at present, but that foundation is yet to be implemented.


I just hope that we don’t give misplaced adulation to people and articles that don’t deserve them, but be a little wary of taking anything that comes. We don’t want to be so desperate as to be bottom fishing. Just tell the Govt. to pay to plant an article like this in the WSJ and then there will be some believers other than locals.

This contrasts sharply with my earlier blog entry today on the daylight robbery taking place by the Govt. in power in contrast to Singapore's scrupulous morals!