Pottinger: The Cunning Fox

EDITORIAL: Sri Lanka must sue Bell Pottinger for breach of contract? Will It?

(December 14, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Embarrassment and the breach of very purpose of engaging an image white washing company Bell Pottinger has not received the pressures from the contracting or engaging party Sri Lanka.
The contract with Bell Pottinger has been
 a top secret and even the opposition party
 does not have the guts to make it a public


A contract worth 3.5 million paid to turn the table for Sri Lanka has miserably failed, following revelations by Bell Pottinger’s head to an undercover investigation agent of the company’s modes operandi about its work for its client Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka remains ridiculed and humiliated as a result.
Though the intricate details of Sri Lanka’s contract with Bell Pottinger is not of public knowledge, it is expected that Bell Pottinger should have maintained professional standards by maintaining confidentiality on sensitive issues involving its client. With the recent revelations, Bell Pottinger has further damaged the reputation of Sri Lanka in an unimaginable scale and the very purpose of its engagement has been jettisoned as a result.
When sensitive issues are taken up in public, the government of Sri Lanka takes on the process of delivering its vengeance using all its resources. How it handled the Chanel 4 revelations of war crimes is typical example of its venomous effort to undermine and confuse the issues.
Since the Bell Pottinger revelations, Sri Lanka is maintaining heavy silence on the issue, except for the pacifying comments by the President’s Secretary Bandulla Jayasekera.
The media in Sri Lanka too is maintaining an astonishing silence except for the critical media reproducing some western media news reports.
It attracts interest as to why the victim Sri Lanka is maintaining silence on the issue. Beyond the damage the exposure caused, one could envisage the whole secret agreement with the Bell Pottinger must be a downright international money laundering exercise.
The contract with Bell Pottinger has been a top secret and even the opposition party does not have the guts to make it a public outcry. A contract that was signed under a cloud of secrecy, never reached the querying forums in Sri Lanka, primary of this is the National State Assembly- The legislature.
Ask one member of parliament from where the government found the money to enter into a contract with Bell Pottinger (and other secret white washing agencies), there won’t be an answer as the knowledge of the transaction is not a subject matter for the legislators. The disinterest is typical of the unquestionable authority the President has to do anything in a cloud of secrecy at his will.
If the deal with the Bell Pottinger is a simple straight forward contractual arrangement, there is a case to answer to the contracting Sri Lanka, but unfortunately the lethal deal must be containing maggots and foul play that seeking remedy on the failures of contract can only open the can of worms that could be detrimental to both the contracting parties.
This episode exposes both Sri Lanka and Bell Pottinger of undisclosed corrupt dealing and when the detail of the deal will emerge out is any ones guess. Even the British Freedom of Information Act to seek information from Bell Pottinger will not help as the law does not cover private companies.
Both the autocratic government and the unregulated and unaccountable image building company will maintain silence until such time a whistle blower from either side enters the scene with startling facts.
£3,500,000 at present exchange rate is equivalent to Rs 623,000,000 – the money that could have done many wonders for Sri Lankans.


Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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