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Meeting the Bribery Commissioner

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Meeting the Bribery Commissioner (Picture courtesy- AFP)


This is a dream I really have to share with you.  It must have been about an hour after I went to bed.  All of a sudden there I was with a file in hand standing before the newly appointed bribery ma’am.

‘Amdan, what are you doing here?’ she asked, welcoming me warmly.

She was curious about the contents of the file: ‘Most of the material people bring in files are cartoons, you know what in America they call “the funnies”…I thought you had also brought that kind of stuff for me.’

 ‘Sorry Ma’am.  I never once condoned bribery and corruption.  I was opposed to it during the time of the Accelerated Mahaweli Project, during those long Gam Udava years, when Shell Gas was sold, when SATHOSA was sold, when Air Lanka was sold, when the Waters’ Edge fiasco happened…there was corruption in all this.  There was corruption during Mahinda’s time too.  Not only was I opposed, I collected all relevant information.  That’s what’s in this file.’

Then I made a request: ‘Ma’am I want you to take a look at the material, conduct a proper investigation and put the guilty parties behind bars.  This is the best I can do for my country.’

She got mad, I can tell you.  Hopping mad.

‘Are you stark raving mad, Amden?  Although I am referred to as the Bribery Commissioner, I have a job description, you know?  I have to do two things, broadly, remember.  There’s mudslinging.  And there’s whitewashing.  My only fear is where I might have to whitewash those I sling mud at in the near future. ‘

Was I disappointed!  Crestfallen, I stood up.  My foot got caught in one of the legs (of the chair, in case you were wondering!).  I was floored (in more ways than one, I might add).  That was when I got up.  That was when I realized I was only dreaming.

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