Mr. President restore our right
After nearly two decades, the Nugegoda pavements were cleared of hawkers in
June 2006 by the Kotte Mayor, enabling pedestrians to use them freely. This was
a very welcome step, because hawkers were creating problems for pedestrians all
along and there was a large number of complaints.
But the hawkers returned to their usual haunts about three months ago, this
time, reportedly, with the blessings of none other than your honoured self. It
is rumoured that the hawkers, claiming to be members of a union of
self-employed, appealed to you and they were permitted to return to the
pavements, on condition that there should be no obstruction whatever to the
pedestrians and the place kept clean. However, now they occupy both sides of the
narrow pavement, leaving only a little space in the middle, which is blocked by
bargain hunters, leaving no room for pedestrians. In addition, they have also
put up shades overhead to protect themselves and their wares from sun and rain,
which prevents anyone from walking with an open umbrella. Though they had agreed
to keep the place clean, it is now observed in the breach. Thus, you see that
the hawkers whom you trusted, have misled you, abused your kindness, thrown the
conditions into the winds and created problems for pedestrians. In short, they
have taken the upper hand, because permission was granted by you, the highest in
According to a letter in the Daily Mirror of June 5, by a supporter of the ‘Chintanaya’,
you yourself have ordered the clearing of all pavements in the Colombo city of
all obstructions. If this is true, you have adopted a different standard for
Nugegoda. Is it because Colombo’s resident pedestrians are more equal than those
Unlike your predecessors, you gave the forces’ commanders a free hand to
prosecute the war and they delivered the goods. But, in this trivial matter,
which should be dealt with by officials at local level, you have interfered with
the functions of the Kotte Mayor and recreated a problem which she solved after
so many years.
You are a Human Rights champion; we are only asking for our inalienable right
and not a favour like the hawkers. Please restore our right to use the pavements
without obstruction by anyone at all.
Another supporter of the Chintanaya,
Karuna’s party debarred from
TMVP is totally committed to democracy and placed its full confidence in it
to win the justifiable rights and political aspirations of our people through
democratic means. We are also for a political settlement to establish permanent
peace in our country and are committed to create a new chapter in our history
where all communities Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim could co-exist. The liberation
of the east is a breakthrough in this regard.
Although local government elections are to be held in the Eastern province, the
elections department has postponed the elections in the Tamil areas of
Batticaloa until February 29, 2008.
The North and East was de-merged by a Supreme Court decision last year.
Presently, the Eastern province functions separately.
The High Courts verdict that fresh nominations could be called, while doing away
with the old, facilitates fresh Local Government elections in the Eastern
Province, particularly, in the Tamil areas. The verdict had cited the following
reasons for rejecting the old nominations.
1. Shifting of candidates
2. Migration of candidates
3. Death of candidates
When fresh nominations are called, the TMVP too, will submit its nominations at
the Batticaloa elections office. We will apply for the registration of our party
when fresh elections are called.
TMVP will submit its nominations to contest as an Independent Group if the party
is not registered.
There is no doubt that we would contest in all the elections in the eastern
province, as we are strongly positioned.
Your news release said that it was a severe blow to our party, since it is not
registered. Even Prabha’s group too took it for granted to carry out its false
propaganda against us.
Our political journey is advancing rapidly. The confidence of our people and our
brethren is being established while our political activities are widespread.
We request the media to act in a more responsible manner when reporting, since
such reporting encourages terrorism at a time when LTTE terrorism is being
The Norwegian Ambassador, on the eve of relinquishing his duties in Sri
Lanka, is purported to have said that unpopularity is a small price to pay for
Norway’s involvement in Sri Lanka and that Norway’s interest is to see that all
communities live in peace, within a united Sri Lanka.
“Unpopular” is to put it mildly Mr. Brattskar… very mildly. If there was a
reversal of roles, how you, as a Norwegian, would react to the antics of
do-gooder Sri Lanka defies conjecture, given your current stance of blatant
The discrepancy between your professed concern for Sri Lanka’s wellbeing and
your contrary actions, which reveal your dubious intentions, is so obvious, that
it is not only an insult to the intelligence of Sri Lankans but, a manifestation
of your scant regard for the sentiments of the latter. Even if you speak in
Norse Mr. Brattskar, no translation into Sinhala, Tamil or English is required
to understand your true intentions. I wonder whether the Vikings of yore, on
their missions of plunder and destruction, justified their actions on the
grounds of their hapless victims’ wellbeing? If so, your” actions would” then
acquire meaning as kindred genes manifesting themselves after transmission down
The despicable acts of the Norwegians, inimical to Sri Lanka, in the guise of
“facilitating”, are far too numerous and well - known to warrant repetition.
The former President Chandrika and the Tiger terrorists requesting Norway to
facilitate the “peace process”, and the current President repeating the request
is flaunted by you, Mr. Brattskar, as the overwhelming reason for Norway to
enter the Sri Lankan scene. How heartless of you to have forgotten former Prime
Minister Ranil, Mr. Brattskar. The Tigers wanting their patron by their side is
only natural. That Chandrika and Ranil competing for international accolades in
pursuit of their personal agendas, find the Norwegian passport invaluable to
gain ‘international community” acceptance, is an open secret. President Mahinda
is unenviably placed in having to reap what Chandrika and Ranil have sown and
his is merely an acquiescence in a situation sans options, where prudence and
diplomacy is of the essence. Therefore, your excuses for getting on the Sri
Lankan bandwagon, would find greater acceptance amongst the proverbial marines.
The fundamental flaw in your homily, Mr. Brattskar, stems from your equating the
Norwegian Government to the Norwegian people (who are at sea, as far as their
Government’s Sri Lanka agenda is concerned) and a handful of self-seeking Sri
Lankan leaders with hidden agendas to the Sri Lanka people.
As facilitator par excellence Erik Solheim would, no doubt, reassure you Mr.
Brattskar, unpopularity is indeed a small price to pay for the coveted “Prabha
Mervyn Silva pleads guilty to cheque
I refer to the news item in the Daily Mirror of July 25 and was astounded to
read of the punishment meted for the offence committed by Mervyn Silva. I wonder
whether Appuhamy would have got off that lightly, had he committed fraud and
misappropriation, and whether the Penal Code did not apply to politicians.
The Dictionary defines Fraud as Deceit or Trickery deliberately practised in
order to gain some advantage dishonestly. It also says that a person who makes
deceitful pretenses is a Humbug and an Imposter.
Misappropriation is defined as Dishonestly or unfairly taken for one’s use.
I could safely conclude that the Penal Code clearly spells out the nature of the
offence and the punishment that should go with it, for all citizens. The State
always proclaims that all its subjects are equal before the law. The most recent
instance was over the Rizana case, where the Cabinet spokesman vowed that action
would be taken in keeping with procedure.
I am certain that that there is no ambiguity in the law and also no provision
for anyone to be treated differently, be it Appuhamy or Mervyn Silva, sorry Dr
Mervyn Silva. I think it is relevant to inquire from the State Attorneys,
whether they could justify this action, where charges were allegedly tailored to
be helpful to the accused. Is this not an instance where the judicial process
has been tinkered with, and with far reaching implications.
I earnestly request the Bar Association and the OPA not to accept this kid glove
treatment to an individual and ensure that justice is done. The social impact of
such special treatment will be disastrous as citizen ‘Perera’ could not have got
off by paying Rs 2,500 as State costs. If this episode is swept under the
carpet, could the State indict another citizen for fraud. If so, would it not be
a violation of his Fundamental Rights.
An ex peon of the CWE, he gets emboldened because of his political clout and
goes from one alleged crime to another in confidence. I have no doubt that the
press would relentlessly pursue this matter
It is not who is involved but, to ensure that the law takes its course,
irrespective of personalities.
Dr Mervyn admitted to a lesser charge of committing criminal misappropriation
with a dishonoured cheque, using a false signature. On his own admission could
he remain a Minster of State or, a Member of Parliament, even though not an
elected representative. If Parliament, the supreme legislature, permits a man,
who pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of cheque fraud, continue as a Member,
then, it goes without saying that the entire legislature condones fraud and
I trust that the Justices of the Supreme Court will ensure that the rule of law,
irrespective of the person/s involved, is enforced and punishment befitting the
crime, meted out, so that, society could rest assured, as to what is in store,
for transgressing the law.
The country is aware of the manner in which the Supreme Court responded to a big
mouthed politico and the price he paid for being outspoken. Their Lordships,
justifiably, took a serious view of what they considered to be an affront to
their decision. In my view this is an offence that is as serious if not more so
and that society must not get a wrong signal of approval of fraud and criminal
I trust that this matter will not be swept under the carpet. Needless to say
that law abiding citizens watch with avid interest, how the laws of the land
will be applied and what place fraud and misappropriation will occupy in
A law abiding citizen
Open letter to the Minister of Public Administration
It was heartening and encouraging to read in the implementation of the
Citizens Charter that senior citizens would be treated with due respect, and
pensioners given due attention.
Against this background, may I quote the serenity prayer of Alcoholics
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Mr Minister, we don’t doubt your wisdom to know the difference between what can
and what cannot be changed, nor do we have the slightest doubt about your
courage to change what you can.
This is an open letter to bring to your kind notice once again that in spite of
our repeated appeals neither the Ministry of Public Administration nor the
Department of Pensions has reacted logically regarding the inclusion of
pensionable allowances received during the service tenure of regular Medical and
Dental officers of the Army and the Air Force in calculating their pensions
By statute every service Medical and Dental officer is entitled to receive all
other allowances as are payable to officers in terms of and conditions laid down
in the Army Pay Code and to have their rates of pay and allowances revised to
equate them to those recommended and accepted at any future date for Medical
Officers in the Department of Health.
De jure the service officers are not public servants, though de facto, from the
time of retirement till they die, they are treated like retired public servants.
The 1961 Gazette advocates the applying of the Minutes of Pension of the
Department of Health, to retiring Medical men of the Armed Forces, at a time
when there was a significant difference in the salary scales of the medical
professionals and mainstream officers and when there were no pensionable
allowances for army personnel.
Neither of the pension minutes refer to any allowance qualitatively or
quantitatively, nor to a procedure to be adopted with regard to the calculation
of pensions of medical men who are serving outside the Department of Health.
It is pertinent to reiterate that pensions are calculated on a percentage basis,
to enable a person to live comfortably in his retirement, within reasonable
limits. In the process of deciding the pension of retiring Regular Armed Forces
Medical and Dental officers, three parties are involved viz the particular
force, the Department of Pensions and the Divisional Secretariat.
The particular force provides the basis on which the pension is calculated, the
Pension Department authorizes the basis and the Divisional Secretariat makes the
payment. The Navy had been doing the correct thing from the inception and has
included the Ration Allowance and the Qualification pay, being pensionable
allowances, in the pensions of their retiring Medical and Dental Officers with
the Pensions Department paying them for over 20 years. This was after formal
approval by the relevant authorities. This process is correct.
Today, the same Pensions Department is putting forward theories and counter
theories. Ministry officials are asking for recommendations and reports, as to
why these allowances should be included in the pensions of retiring Army and Air
Force Medical men, ironically, whilst continuing to pay pensions, including
these allowances, to our Navy colleagues.
We have brought this to the notice of His Excellency the President, directly and
through the media. We have personally spoken to you not once but thrice, over
the phone. We have met with you in person, privately and in public. Your
secretary, verbally and in writing, gave instructions to a Deputy Director in
the Pensions Department in yours and our presence, to include these allowances
in the pensions of the retiring medical and dental officers, almost four months
ago, to no avail.
To be in receipt of the only terminal benefit we have accrued for giving our
entire professional life to the Armed Forces, we would sincerely appreciate your
Major General (Dr.) Tilak Jayaweera (Rtd)
Dear Ladymoon Happy Feast!
She is our mother who lovingly cares for us at our divine abode-Holy Cross
College (HCC); She is our best friend who helps us in all our needs: She is our
guardian angle who protects us from bad; she is our guide who leads us “Per
crucem-Ad Lucem” – Through the cross to the light; Above all, she is our dear
Sister Principal, Rev. Sister Deepani Ac, who reigns over our paradise, HCC.
Dear Sister, as you come out of the convent and walk down to the School, like
the morning sun rising above a greeny hill, felicity is immensely scattered in
our verdant vale. Your golden smile and silvery grace compose hymns of
confidence in our tender hearts, as we feel as if our mother is with us.
Thus, we make your Feast day and Birthday (August 21) a great opportunity to
thank you for your incomparable service rendered towards HCC with much love and
dedication. What we feel for you is much more than we express. May you be
granted with good health and satisfaction in everything you do, may good luck
attend you all the time. HCC is always with you, for we know that though we
search the whole world over, until our lives are through, we’ll never find
another one quite like you.
“May mother Mary shower her quiet graces on you
In each moment I remember you
May the Good Lord grant his blessing on you
In each moment I pray for you……….”
11F, Holy Cross College, Gampaha.