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Honesty is not the best policy

: (pseudo) diplomats come only second to politicos in lying for the country

by Pearl Thevanayagam

(November 03, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Island editorial today highlighted the fact that honesty is rarely seen in Sri Lanka. From those who manipulate their CVs to obtain employment to those who encourage their children on their behalf it has become du jure in our country that honesty is not the best policy for survival.

Even those university graduates who obtained loans to finish their degrees and absconded to foreign climes and now earning damned good salaries got their paper-trails ‘disappeared’ by bribing a junior officer in the Department of Education.

The late Norton Weerasinghe, administrative officer, used to wring his hands in despair that Lake House journalists were vultures and they sent in numerous invoices for taxis when they used buses for their assignments.

Time was when my father who when he was employed as a teacher in the Maldives used to bring sugar in plastic buckets during the early ‘70s due to the food shortage we underwent as Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranike in her wisdom (or folly) stopped all imports to encourage local farmers.

Being inculcated in the tradition of a Catholic upbringing and fearing damnation in hell he always instilled in us that honesty was the best policy under any circumstance. Ergo he declared sugar at the airport and paid the due taxes.

I still remember when he was Inspector of Schools he was sent cheques by students along with their examination papers to bribe him into upgrading their pass marks. Father would have none of it. He promptly tore these cheques and binned them.

Then there was a time I drank his Orange Barley he kept to ingest with his gastric pills. He was livid when the bottle was empty. All seven of his children were ordered to kneel in the prayer room and confess. After a sound caning he still did not find out who drank his beverage. Then he tried another tactic. Whoever owned up to the theft would be given one rupee. I raised my hand and was forcibly made to drink two bottles of Orange Barley which made me puke.

This is not to heap glory on my father but explain most parents in my younger days were strict disciplinarians and they did not condone dishonesty in their offspring.

Fast forward to the eighties.

The editor of The Sunday Leader, Frederica Jansz, has been cautioned today by no less than the highest Court in the island which should be lauding honesty and transparency, not to criticize other newspapers while she is still under scrutiny. If the court proceedings are sub judicae then this should be extended to the media who lampooned her and subverted the truth which transpired at the proceedings. Truth and freedom of expression should take a backseat to preserving national sovereignty according to even the judiciary. What more evidence do we have that judiciary is prostituting itself before the powers that ascended to lead the country by deception and manipulation of votes; hardly signs of democracy or transparency.

The government is surrounded by dishonest politicians. While General Sarath Fonseka is hounded by the wolf pack of reigning politicians and his son-in-law accused of procuring weapons circumventing legal procedures there is no accounting for the government succouring KP, an international arms dealer who holds the key to the LTTE’s monetary transactions, Douglas Devananda who is enjoying the government’s blessings with his commercial ventures of cargo ships plying North East and guest houses in the capital, K.T.Rajasingham, overtly Asian Tribune’s editor and covertly procurer of funds to appease the proclivities of politicians from Singapore to Hong Kong and West Europe; the list is endless.

Karuna got RW’s blessings to procure a forged passport and having spent time at Her Majesty’s Pleasure in the UK reading English books to improve his language skills is now a cabinet minister!!!

Get a reality check on the journalists who are now posted as dis-information counsellors to various Sri Lankan missions abroad. Their sexual escapades would make even Christine Keeler blush and pale into insignificance. If Clinton resigned in disgrace over Monica Lewinsky our ‘diplomats’ abroad should be sent to purgatory and sentenced to life.

Rohitha Bogollagama is another maverick who manages to keep his wife and mistress.

On the contrary they are paid hefty salaries with all the diplomatic immunity they could muster. Their suffering wives fully knowledgeable of their spouses’ infidelity condone them since they are provided with all the comfort to be paraded as DPL wives in cocktail circuits in their Kandyan outfit which hardly titillate their spouses when they could consort with East Asian or Eurpoean models in skimpy outfit and who are far more adept in bed-room techniques.

Their ageing egos cannot be truly satisfied by their corpulent wives. By the way, why is it that spouses of our politicos cannot sustain their figures unlike those in the West or East Asia. It must be something to do with prosperity or reward for remaining faithful to their DPL hubbies despite their duties tearing them away from their licensed dearly beloveds and throwing them into the arms and bosoms of nubile debutantes or (p)aid workers.

Procuring a DPL posting is not as easy as you think. It takes a lot of hard work to first dupe the powers that be that you are numero uno in lying to the public while lying underneath your mistress or vice versa. Then you have the onerous task of portraying to the public that you are acting in the best interest of the nation.

Truth is the first casualty of war but in our island truth is not something you flaunt if you want to ingratiate yourself to our politicians. Tell a Friend

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