August 2022
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Let us give thanks to the generous people of Sri Lanka

Let us give thanks to the good people of Sri Lanka for the extraordinary generosity they have shown to their leaders. It has just been revealed that the former president Mahinda Rajapaska is estimated to have stolen about $5bn in just 9 years in power. That’s about $550m a year or $10m a week. No wonder he’s always smiling:

sri lanka president

Sri Lanka’s average wage is around £2,400 ($3,600). So each year, President Rajapaska stole the amount earned by around 153,000 working Sri Lankans.

And that was just him. When you add in what all his family members and cronies have also stolen, you’re probably well over $2bn a year.

Of course, Sri Lanka is a supposedly ‘poor, developing country’. So it gets lots of foreign aid – around $880m a year. A study by the Global Financial Integrity project has estimated that Sri Lank’s rulers steal about $1bn a year. However, after the latest revelations about former president Rajapaska’s generosity to himself with his country’s money, they may need to revise their figures upwards ever so slightly.

We in the West fail to understand the mentality of leaders, officials and businesspeople in Third-World countries. When there’s some natural disaster or war, we show solidarity by collecting and distributing hundreds of millions or even billions. But for the local elites, these are just opportunities to get rich by plundering the aid  money.  In Sri Lanka, where the Boxing Day Tsunami killed 35,300 and made 516,000 homeless, customs officers impounded vehicles and medical supplies we sent and would reportedly only release the vehicles and aid in return for an immediate payment of around $1m in cash bribes and a further $2m later. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Government, seeing all the aid money pouring in imposed a special tax on foreign aid. It’s not difficult to imagine where this tax money ended up.

In fact, if you look at the Global Financial Integrity project’s estimates for the amounts stolen each year by Third-World leaders, it usually comfortably exceeds the amount their countries receive in aid. Here are just a few examples:

looting and aid

In just these ten African countries, which receive around $12bn in foreign aid each year, the rulers are siphoning off about $38.3bn a year. That’s more than three times as much as they receive in aid.

I could have produced a table for over 100 Third-World countries and the results would be the same. So forget all the bleating by Guardianistas and professional handwringers about the need for foreign aid. If Third-World kleptocracy could be reduced by just a third and the stolen money invested in new schools, hospitals, roads, power plants, water supply, ports, trains, power stations, universities etc, we could stop all foreign aid immediately and hardly a single Third-World country would be worse off. If we could halve corruption, we could stop all foreign aid and most countries would actually be better off.

That’s something you’d never find anyone in the mainstream media mentioning as they’d be terrified of being labelled a “waaaacccciiiiissssttttt!!!!” So the wholesale plundering across the Third World continues unquestioned by our supposedly ‘free’ press.

And as for bankrupt Britain increasing its aid budget to these worthless kleptocrats from £7.9bn a year to over £12bn a year. I have pointed out several times that just the £4.1bn increase in our aid budget to the world’s greatest thieves would have been enough money to pay for 32,400 police and 39,000 military being fired here by the Coalition government to save money.

2 comments to Let us give thanks to the generous people of Sri Lanka

  • Keen Reader

    More people need to know the truth about these begging bowls designed to rob the poor and give to the rich. Although less overt, things aren’t always that much better in the UK. I believe that funds established from donations given by decent UK citizens to assist the families of other decent UK citizens in the wake of such tragedies as Penlee and Aberfan (these are merely the two which spring immediately to mind; there are many others) are still “open”, meaning that much of the money donated decades ago has never been distributed, but is tucked away in lucrative little investments, the dividends paying nice fees to the funds’ “trustees” – accountants and lawyers who, in return for “signing off the books” annually, live like leeches on the donated money and who, naturally, have a very negative attitude towards winding up such funds.
    Having weakened and given a significant donation following the Tsunami a decade ago, only to learn of the subsequent deplorable land-grab from the homeless coast-dwelling fishermen to benefit property speculators, I resolved never again to donate to any “disaster” appeal.

  • MGJ

    It seems we have a horribly stable situation in which charities simply accept that corruption and theft is an unavoidable cost of providing aid. Just imagine if one of them had the courage to announce they were ceasing aid to a country owing to corruption. They’d immediately be denounced as racists and donations would plummet. Before long, Dave ‘n’ Ed would probably weigh in with their priceless insights.

    Sadly this particular kleptocrat gravy train does not look like leaving the rails any time soon.

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