The Sunday Times FT should be congratulated on the lead role you continue to play and the responsibility you are unrelentingly discharging in the public interest. You highlight fearlessly week after week, the callous disregard for the “Rule of Law” in many quarters. Conspicuously so by the business community and the Chambers of Commerce; a silence which can only be construed as disrespect, to say the least for the supremacy of the Court which issued the original order and the subsequent rulings which clarified the gravity and the implications, highlighting the consequences of inaction. The regularly organized business community is represented by the Chambers from whom society has a right to expect much more. The publicity you are so rightly and courageously giving to the horrific transactions concerning public property is heartening to all right thinking people.
The original order, concerning LMSL and the subsequent rulings and pronouncements have been freely available in the media for the last so many weeks, with the latest developments in court earlier this week, making it obvious the measures that have to be taken by people concerned. Decision-making in the private sector we assumed was faster than in any other? Why the procrastination, prevarication and vacillation?
The action to be taken is crystal clear. The ascent to eminence and leadership in the business community, the public has a right to assume, is by merit and it is with that qualification alone that one can hope to live respected. In the opening paragraph of a booklet published by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on Corporate Governance, there is reference to a promise to society; I quote, “It is clear therefore, that with the right to economic freedom, the private sector takes on a responsibility and promise to society to behave in an ethical manner………..”. It has been reported by you that an eminent panel has been entrusted by the Chamber to study the implications of the Judgement on the Code of Ethics. The unnamed group, it is reported are still at work on the subject. Is eminence a scarce commodity at the heights of office at the Chamber? Have not the respondents in the case been given ample time to defend their names if indeed they had a case.
Right thinking people are shocked at the attitude of our business community, who would have normally and should have by now, been screaming that justice has not been taken to it's logical conclusion. Law and order is a regular subject on the agenda of these Chambers. As I said earlier, the personalities involved and loyalty to friends seem to matter more than the principle -- the latter, a virtue that Chambers especially profess to admire. How can these double standards be explained? The only hope remaining today in an armoury devoid of other usable weaponry is public opinion and let not that hope be taken away from the ordinary people who so patiently await justice to flow to it's logical ends.
Reference is made to Private/Public sector collusion in the judgment. The people at the top in both camps have been feeding on each other and for too long at the expense of our people. Should the circumstances have been different with lesser beings in eiher camp being involved, the naming, shaming and “hanging” would have all already taken place and the men buried in mud by now. I am aghast at the excuse of time being required to study the Supreme Court order after a well argued and documented case in the highest court in this country has been issued and subsequently clarifed. Is the Court named as “Supreme” for lesser bodies to determine and debate the gravity and seriousness of it’s orders?
Please continue keeping the pressure by giving publicity to the developments regarding this important issue. It is in the long term business interests of this country. We need to primarily work towards a clean business environment in which both the public and private sectors work in a transparently clean and accountable manner. “Never Break Four Things in your Life-Trust, Promise, Relation & Heart. When they break they don’t make noise but it pains a lot” –Charles.