Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Why I suuport Gota

First, my personal reasons, then the track record and finally the allegations.

My personal reasons

I was back in SL in 2010 just as the war ended. Ended up living on the border of Wilpattu.  It was also the de facto border between LTTE and Govt control.

It was desolate, no economy for the locals. Three shops, one blackened with soot tea shop (the kade) and two small grocery shops (sillara kada). The shops had very little not even Astra Margarine or ice cream.  Sri Lanka has sachet of everything in affordable price/qty eg LKR 30, margarine/ice cream. Not available because those were luxuries that the local villagers could not afford.

The road was so bad it took 1.5hrs to travel 30 kn to the nearest town. The new road started being built end of 2012.  There was a section where many bends and some huge Kumbuk trees. I was quite sure using the excuse of having a straight road, trees would be cut for benefit of  politicians. The trees were not cut except for one, nor was the road straightened (its dangerous at high speed.  Apparently, personal directive by Gota to not cut tree.  Gota was not only Secy of Defence he was also head of Urban Development Authority (UDA) and Road Development Authority (RDA).

Anyway the moment the road was finished, 2013 or so, the economy took off.  There 25 shops now in the village. People were able resume agriculture. By 2016-17 there were 7 hotels catering to local and foreign tourists visiting Wilpattu and the Kala Oya. Some hotels on the high end, eg The Backwaters at USD90+/night.

Come Easter 2019, the economy crashed. Why because the current jokers were fighting among themselves, reduced intelligence and ignored what little intelligence that remain.  The situation was so bad, Anandi Sasitharan a former LTTE ranker wanted the military to kept in Jaffna.

Economy crashed, Tourism is 20% of Sri Lankas economy with multiplier effects.  In a small village it was very noticeable, the buses to the nearby town are empty. The three wheel guys have no hires or on credit.  The tourist hotels have laid off staff.  Backwaters has cut is prices down to USD50, Full Board for two. Personally I have had no income since Easter and had to rely on meager savings and handouts.  You can imagine the curse words I use mentally on these current joker monkeys. I try to minimise using curse words.

Proven track record of the  Rajapakses.  A few among many

a) End of War. I get to live here in this small village because the war ended.
The building of roads has changed the economy for the better.

b) GDP growth 7% down to 3% and less probably for 2019

c) External debt has increased.
   Debt to GDP.  78% in 2015 and 83% in 2018.
   There have been no capital/infrastructure intensive projects to justify additional debt.

d)A clean and beautified Colombo and other cities.
  I have personally seen, the change in Kilinochi and Jaffna.
  Seen the photos of Batticoloa
  The clean up of Pettah and Private bus stand with floating market benefits the average person. It has become dirty of late.

e) The Southern Expressway.  Four years and the current jokers cant finish the 5 km  joining the Katunayake Expressway to the Southern Expressway (Kerawalapitiya to Kadawatha). 
When the Expressways were being built the usual litany of complaints. It will only be for the rich, wont be able to pay for itself, corruption the works. I travel by bus and there are not enough buses to serve the average joe who takes a Expressway bus.  The lines are long and have to wait for 2-3 buses to get a seat. LKR 150 to travel from Negombo to Colombo. LKR 500 to travel from Kadawatha to Galle.

Now for some of the allegations, easy to difficult

a) Lamborghinis apparently bought by Namal Rajapakse. 
   That was an election allegation and a promise to find them.
   That should have been easy,  Lamborghinis would be hard to hide.

b)  Mangala Samaraweera said the Rajapakses had stolen USD 18 billion and that money would be recovered.
    USD 18 billion is huge chunk of SL economy.
    If that amount had been stolen our economy would have crashed. 
    Compare the numbers
    Gross External Debt USD$50 billion (2015),
    Revenues  USD 12 billion (2015).

    The fashion designer, Mangala Samaraweera who made that allegation, is now the Finance Minister. 

c) After commiting various numbers of heinous acts. Crimes against humanity.
    There have been 4 years to prove these allegations.
    Each person has a different version of were heinous acts and the crimes aginst humanity.
    Plus, Gota was a US citizen so could have been extradited till a few monthsago.
   Allegations of crimes were never specifically pointed out, and hence could not pursued.