The MR regime is back (even if in a caretaker capacity). The following episodes give us an idea of what to come, if they were to continue substantively.
1. The starkest example of their misuse of power, waste, nepotism and corruption must be what they did to Sri Lankan Airlines (SLA). A once profitable and reputable business venture, became a money-losing shadow of its former self, due to the forced attachment of a parasitic sibling, which had no chance of ‘taking off’ from the word go (from a Rs 4.4 billion profit in 2008 to a 28 billion loss in 2016).
After a very slow start, a PCoI into the past activities of SLA and Mihin Air has been going on where, ‘juicy’ details of how the gravy train was run, have been emerging. One of the top men facing accusations is Kapila Chandrasena, the CEO at the time. On Tuesday the 13th, the new minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, appointed the said Kapila Chandrasena as the new Chairman of SLA (in effect a promotion). The following day, an employee from the SLA who was due to appear at the PCoI failed to turn up. Fortunately, some NGOs made a lot of noise denouncing this appointment. As a result, and I would say only as a result, it had to be rescinded the following day.
2. Wimal Weerawansa was the Minister for Housing from 2010-2015. FCID found sufficient evidence to charge him with financial malpractice and nepotism, in that he was instrumental in giving away new government built houses at a fraction of the cost, to his relations. The cases are still pending (in a long queue with others). After the ‘October revolution’, he was re-appointed to the same ministry.
3. Mr. Premajayantha is on record as being vehemently opposed to the FCID and other commissions of inquiry, whilst in the opposition. Now he is the Minister of Justice, in charge of all these investigations and commissions. Apparently, he has been making ‘threatening noises’ about them already.
MR group claims that it has turned a new leaf since the bad old days, having learnt from their past mistakes.