We poor pensioners need to thank Chandrika Kumaratunga for having drawn public attention to the plight of us pensioners. If that fabulously rich lady is requiring an increase of her pension the world can imagine our plight. We need in this regard to recall an instance which makes CBK’s request quite ironical.
Many of us retired public servants would recall a statement made by this same lady in 1997 that we pensioners were receiving ‘ping padi’ and were being paid for being idle, without us doing nothing in return for what we were receiving as pensions
It was rudely pointed out to her that considering the salaries we were paid, and comparing those salaries with those of our counterparts in countries such as India, Pakistan, Singapore and Malaysia, what we were receiving as pensions could have been considered as the balance due to us for the services we had performed, more or less at half price. She did not respond and the matter was laid to rest and considered as yet another instance of her tendency to ‘run at the mouth’
Now this same lady suffering from some form of amnesia no doubt, is requesting for an increase in her pension! What has she done to deserve a pension leave alone an increase? We need to devote our whole lives to earn a pension and she gets a pension after 10 years and what may we ask has she done for this country in these 10 years, did she build one house for the homeless?
President Premadasa built thousands. Did she build one new road or even one mile of railway, one irrigation work? She has nothing to show to justify any payment to her, not even the pension, leave alone an increase of pension.
Do we not recall what this ‘very poor lady’ is remembered for? She has on numerous occasions been asked by CMOGG to explain her role in the following transactions but there has only been a deafening silence:
1. Tawakkal: the-take over of Puttalam cement
2. Air Lanka take over by Emirates
3. Shell gas monopoly
4. Waters Edge transaction
5. Rubber Block factory affair
6. Alleged purchase of second hand vehicles at new car prices
7. Giving Admiral Sandagiri an unprecedented three year extension after the age of retirement, considering that there had been serious allegations being made against him in respect of improper arms purchases.
8. The French locomotive tender — when the Tender Board was compelled to authorise the purchase of ship engines for locomotives
9. Irregularities in the administration of the President’s Fund.
10. How she came to be granted an official staff of 63 and 198 security officers and a fleet of 36 government vehicles? Is this by itself not scandalous? We do hope this has been reduced.
11. Finally the manner in which she came to have land allotted to her in Pelawatte despite owning a house in Colombo 7. Fortunately the Supreme Court annulled the grant.
It was only in the Waters Edge transaction that she has been found guilty of malpractice, but there again she has got away lightly. There is one question we need to ask this ‘poor woman’ who is asking for an increase in her pension; do you not have any sense of shame?
from Sunday leader