29 April 2015

The true meaning of ‘Insider’

Kolombians are a distinct people from Colombo who know much -- so much that they are wont to think that others don't know and can't think. They have things to say.  A lot of things to say.  The entire country can learn from them. This is the twenty fifth in a series published in 'The Nation' under the title 'Notes of an Unrepentant Kolombian'.  Scroll down for other articles in this series. 

I am losing faith in Ranil. Really.  He is yet to learn that although justice will not be done it must seem to be done.  He’s got a lot more to learn actually.  I think he slipped badly with this Central Bank bond business.  I thought he was playing smart when he organized a home and home affair by appointing friends to ‘investigate’ a friends.  But there are friends and there are friends.  Not all friends are smart.  The guys on this investigating panel were obviously pals but either they were fake Kolombians or worse, non-Kolombians. 

The newspapers and websites did their bit.  They gave the Kolombian spin alright.  ‘Exonerated’ was the word used.  The investigators got it wrong.  They said ‘not directly involved’.  This means ‘could have been indirectly involved’.  That’s the crux of the matter.  Insider deals are not ‘direct’. It’s all about ‘indirect’.  

They really messed it up by painting Perpetual (owned by the Governor’s son-in-law, no less!) and the Bank of Ceylon (which coughed up the dough and which, being a state bank, was directly linked to the Governor) in poor light.  It’s so simple.  I asked my neighbor’s son (both Kolombians by the way) what they made of the ‘findings’.  The young boy, just 11 years old said ‘Uncle, I can draw it for you’.  Here’s what he came up with.

Now I know that even long time backers of brutal UNP regimes (with PhDs of course) have dragged Ranil over the coals about this issue.  That should serve as a warning.  But what they’ve said is exactly what young Kevin next door said.  It’s about information leakage.  It is about a close relative going to moneyed entity that is in a way beholden to his wife’s papa to loan some bucks which can be invested in a quick-entry, quick-exit-with-lots-of-bucks kind of way.

I blame Ranil for this.  Those party loyalists should have been briefed. They should have been told what they should say and what they should hide.  They could have limited their comments to some vague comments about tender procedures or composition of this or that committee.  Now they’ve done it.  They have raised questions about the son-in-law’s ‘behavior’.  They have implicated a state bank.  If Ranil dug a hole for himself by appointing Mahendran and made it bigger by appointing some people ignorant of Kolombian ways, these people have made it so big that Ranil can’t come out. 

Deep down I knew that this Yahapalana business was bad news. Take it from me. That’s inside stuff. Insider news if you will.    What a mess, what a bloody mess!

Other articles in the series: