|Tharuna Aruna graduates taken
on a costly ride?
By Thimali Ranaweera
Unemployed graduates who underwent employment training under the
now suspended Tharuna Aruna programme are urging the government
to restore the program and find them employment in the
government sector and not temporary training periods in the
Over 2000 graduate trainees launched a satyagraha last week
protesting against the suspension of the program opposite the
Tharuna Aruna Centres island wide, convenor of the Unemployed
Graduates Union Sujith Kuruwita said.
He said they expect the government to let them complete the
training and to provide them with permanent jobs. After failing
to receive a positive response from the government they launched
a picket campaign in front of the Skills Development ministry
last Monday. As a result the minister of Skills Development
Sripathi Sooriyarachchi has agreed to intervene in the matter
and hand over a letter to the Finance Ministry seeking its
intervention on this issue. “We are going to meet the deputy
finance minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya on Wednesday. After
that we will be making a decision on the future course of
action” , Kuruwita said.
The government set up 33 Tharuna Aruna centres under the Skills
Development Ministry to train unemployed graduates for jobs
under the “Tharuna Aruna” project countrywide, convenor of the
Association of Unemployed Graduates, Sujith Kuruwita said.
He charged that the Mahinda Chinthana had pledged to provide
10,000 permanent jobs to graduates this year. “But after failing
to honour its promise the government later pledged to provide
permanent jobs after three months of practical training.
CEB work continue while some fall sick
Although a section of the CEB employees have resorted to a
sick note campaign urging a pay hike, Power and Energy Minister
John Seneviratne said that the majority of the workers have
reported to work and are happy with the salary package offered
by the government.
CEB employees belonging to the Lanka Viduli Sevaka Sangamaya
launched a sick note campaign last Friday. They were demanding
that the minor staff basic salary should be increased at least
Secretary of the Lanka Viduli Sevaka Sangamaya, Ranjan Jayalal
said that Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratna had agreed
to increase the salary by 30 percent and to add the interim
allowance of Rs.1200 to the salary at a meeting held on Thursday
at the ministry. “We cannot be satisfied with that. Because it
will not reach the Rs.5000 increase we demand for minor staff,”
He said that if the minister does not address the issue properly
they would be compelled to go for a 24 hour work stoppage. “If
the power supply is interrupted for 24 hours, it would take at
least another 72 hours to restore it, leading to a crisis
situation,” he said.
However Minister John Seneviratna said a salary committee had
recommended a salary increase by 30 percent. “But the unions
were still agitating for more. So after discussing with the
committee we decided to increase it by 33 and 1/3 percent and
add the cost of living allowance of Rs. 1200 to the pay which
will eventually reach the increase of Rs. 5000 demanded for the
minor staff. That is the maximum possible salary we can pay due
to the financial crisis in the CEB.”
He said that the majority of the workers reported for work on
Friday and the board was able to maintain the services without
any disruption. (TR)
Lankans held in Madrid quizzed
By Rukshana Rizwie
Three Sri Lankans have been detained in Madrid for interrogation
after Spanish immigration authorities arrested a number of men
on people-smuggling out of 160 people who arrived on boats to
the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife on September 14.
“A team of consular officers of the embassy of Sri Lanka in
Paris met with the group of Sri Lankans detained by Spanish
authorities. So far we do know that eight of the eleven Sri
Lankans have been moved from where they were detained in the
Canary Island to Madrid from where they will be repatriated.
And as for the other three, we are being told that they are held
for interrogation to gather some vital clues on the case of
people-smuggling.” said Abdul Latif Mohammed Lafir, the director
of Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
New laws to check police excesses
By S.J.Anthony Fernando
The National Police Commission will gazette a new set of
regulations and guidelines shortly to give the commission more
teeth and powers in carrying out speedy and independent
investigations into public complaints made against the police
service and individual police officers.
Chairman of the National Police Commission Neville Piyadigama,
told The Nation that the Commission had decided on this course
to strengthen itself in view of the large number of complaints
received from the public against police personnel some of which
are of a very serious nature.
Asantha at CPC helm
CPC chairman Jaliya Medagama has resigned from his post and
he had been replaced by former Sri Lankan cricketer Asantha De
Asantha de Mel is to assume office with effect from Monday
Speaking to The Nation, the former chairman, Jaliya Medagama
said his resignation was over several reasons including
interference of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
“I am a person who doesn’t like when there is unnecessary
interference on my work. I have so far done a good job to the
best of my ability. There was some interference from the
ministry which I don’t approve at all, and some decisions that
hampered the working of the CPC. So under these circumstances I
thought that it is high time that I should resign,” Medagama
Anyone not toeing party line free to leave:
By Anurangi Singh
The relinquishing of all party responsibilities by JVP
parliamentarian, politburo member and central committee member
Nandana Gunathilaka has not made any drastic effect on the
party, JVP MP K.D.Lalkantha, said yesterday.
Speaking to The Nation, he said that JVP being a democratic
party have had its members changing allegiance at their
discretion from time to time.
“We have had our former members who have played an active role
in the party leaving. In 1982 the secretary of the party left
the party as well. We are a democratic party, so we respect what
is wanted by the majority. If anyone cannot comply with that
they can leave if they wish to do so,” Lalkantha said.
He also said that there is no point on speaking on a person who
has already left the party.
Also that Nandana Gunathilaka has made some comments to the
media and that he had left out some core issues. “It’s best if
Nandana Gunathilaka is questioned on these issues rather than
seeking the party’s comment”, he said.
Nandana Gunatilleka relinquishing his responsibilities in the
JVP has said that he was giving up his positions in the party as
the party leadership had not heeded most of his proposals to
reform the JVP. There was speculation that Gunatilleka would
join the SLFP shortly.