Sunday September 9th, 2007
Two top LTTE cadres slip through
Two top LTTE cadres, wanted by the Criminal
Investigations Department (CID), have slipped through
the net of Immigration authorities and fled to
Singapore. They have made their get-away with the
assistance of one Thavarajah.
The duo had migrated abroad a few weeks ago. Following
this development, S. Thavarajah, a former MP and the
second most senior member of the Eelam Peoples
Democratic Party (EPDP) has left for England. Reports
reveal that he is unlikely to return...
The German woman, who had accompanied Chaminda
Senasinghe, is reported to have gone missing. The
Bambalapitiya Police is on the look out for her to
record a statement with regard to Thursday night’s brawl
at the Bistro Latino club where Minister Mervyn Silva’s
son Malaka assaulted Senasinghe. Senasinghe is
The stinking truth
In Colombo city,
everything stinks – not least the legislators. Yet, the
Bloemandal garbage dump takes things to another level. Beneath
this huge mountain of waste, a community continues to reside –
respiratory disorders, foots sores and unbearable stench
notwithstanding. This family scavenges for something valuable,
to salvage some hope from our great pile of waste, that they
still call home (Pic by Nissanka Wijerathne)
|CEB opts to buy power at higher price
The crisis ridden Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is set to make
yet another massive financial blunder through its attempt to
procure renewable energy. By obtaining the renewable energy CEB
will be forced to pay an extremely high price for a unit of
electricity, derived from wind power, from Enercon, an Indian
The Nation reliably learns that the CEB and the Power and Energy
ministry have agreed to pay Enercon, which deals in wind energy,
US $ 13 cents for every unit of electricity produced from a 50
MW power plant. The power plant is likely to be set up in
Kalpitiya, identified as the most viable area for wind power
generation in the country.
However, sources pointed out that paying US $ 13 cents for a
single unit of electricity generated from wind energy is very
expensive. They said that this price is similar to that paid for
every unit of electricity generated from oil based fire plants.
“The issue is that the money will be paid in US currency. Taking
the present situation into consideration, which includes the
high inflation and the present continuing trend in the country,
we may even end up paying as much as US $ 20 cents (more than Rs.
20) per a single unit of renewable energy, which is quite
hideous,” he emphasised.
This hefty price has also been approved by the Cabinet Appointed
Negotiating Committee which comprises Power and Energy Ministry
Secretary M. M. C. Ferdinando...
Discussions underway to re-open
Discussions are underway between the
government, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
and the LTTE to re-open the Uyilankulam entry point in Mannar,
which remains closed since early last week.
“ICRC is currently discussing the security situation with both
parties to the conflict in order to obtain the security
guarantee it needs to continue facilitating the smooth passage
of civilians and goods between areas controlled by the
government of Sri Lanka and those controlled by the LTTE,” the
organisation said in a release.
The organisation withdrew its employees from the Uyilankulam
point on September 3, citing security fears.
The ICRC in its release reminded the government and the LTTE of
their obligation to comply with the international humanitarian
law, in particular, to ensure the protection of the civilian
population and the safe passage of civilians fleeing conflict
SLMM wants 60 monitors
Eight new monitors are scheduled to arrive in
the country this week, totaling the number of international
observers to 31 at the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM).
The Mission’s spokesman Steinar Sveinsson told The Nation
yesterday that the new monitors were expected within the next
few days, four each from Norway and Iceland.
He also expressed the mission’s hope of augmenting this number
further, similar to that enjoyed by the SLMM earlier when the
SLMM consisted of monitors from European Union countries.
“We are looking at a target of around 60 international observers
for the mission. The SLMM will put forward a request to this
soon,” Sveinsson added.
With the eight new monitors, the number of Norwegian observers
will increase to 21 and ten from Iceland.
Meanwhile, the Mission in its weekly report which ended on
September 2, stated that the security forces had informed the
monitors that some 50 LTTE cadres continued to be active in the
Muslim power threat to Sinhalese in East – JHU
The Jathika Hela Urumaya yesterday expressed fear
that the entire Eastern Province will be taken over by the
Muslims soon, resulting in the Sinhalese being thrown out of the
The party’s spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe charged that
Muslims in large numbers were being resettled in the province,
following the liberation of the East from the LTTE.
“The large numbers prove a threat to the Sinhalese who live in
the province,” Warnasinghe told The Nation.
He charged the National Unity Alliance Leader Ferial Ashraff and
the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress as the culprits behind this
clandestine move by internal and local Muslim extremists to
throw out the Sinhalese.
“Earlier the Sinhalese had a problem when they had to flee their
houses because of the harassment meted out to them by the
Tigers. Now they face a similar threat from the Muslims,”
Impartial probe into Karuna’s child
The Sri Lanka government has conveyed to the United Nations
Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict,
that it would adopt necessary measures to cause an independent
and credible investigation into allegations made against some
elements of the security forces, in connection with the
abduction and recruitment of children by the Karuna faction.
The assurance was made just days after Disaster Management and
Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe appointed a committee
to inquire into the alleged abduction and recruitments of
children to be used in the armed conflict.
“The government is fully committed to the rehabilitation and
reintegration of child combatants, who escaped from captivity of
the armed groups, back into the society. The programme is being
done through the provision of a protective environment as well
as family reunification and vocational training,” the sources
The Committee to Inquire into Allegations of Abductions and
Recruitment of Children for Use in Armed Conflict comprises
senior officials including Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada
Gamlath, Child Development Ministry Secretary Indrani
Sugathadasa, Disaster Management Ministry Additional Secretary
G.K.D. Amarawardane, Deputy Solicitor General Shavindra Fernando
and AG’s Department Deputy Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda.
The other members include representative of the Foreign Ministry
Secretary, representatives of the three armed forces and police,
nominated by the Defence Secretary, the Secretariat for
Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) Secretary General and the
Deputy health Minister, union lock horns
Deputy Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition, Suresh
Vadivel has refuted allegations made by the All Ceylon Health
Service Union, that he owned eight vehicles and was trying to
purchase a new vehicle for Rs. 10.2 million. Vadivel however,
said that he would be privileged if the government was to give
him a new vehicle to replace the one he now has as it had broken
Speaking to The Nation he said, “This accusation...
It is the economy that matters
Military push halted in favour of
a then little known man named Bill Clinton launched his campaign against
the incumbent President of the United States, George Bush (Snr.), his
campaign strategist James Carville hung a sign in Clinton’s office in
Little Rock, Arkansas to constantly remind his candidate what the
campaign was all about. That sign simply said, “It’s the economy, you
That Clinton trounced Bush at the election that followed notwithstanding
the latter’s success in the Gulf War, is now history. But, if there are
any strategists left in President Mahinda Rajapakse’s team of advisors
at this point in time, they might as well take serious note of
In fact, after a long and self imposed slumber, the country’s major
opposition party, the United National Party (UNP) also appears to have
realised that it is after all the economy that matters. They should
know: many believe the short-lived United National Front (UNF) regime
collapsed in 2004 partly because its economic benefits were designed to
give only long term yields and there was no short term redress for the
Traditionally since independence, UNP governments have been better
managers of the economy than Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led
coalitions. Thus, while the government of Sirima Bandaranaike in the
early seventies is best remembered for the economic hardships it imposed
on the country, the J.R. Jayewardene regime that followed is credited
with liberalising the economy and paving the way for sustainable reform.
Chandrika Kumaratunge who followed seventeen years of UNP rule was
ideologically more of a socialist than a capitalist. But realising that
offering to discard the popular open economic policies would be
political suicide, she ran with the slogan ‘An open economy with a human
face’, a reference to tackling the corruption...
Having secured Silavathurai, a relatively small area
held by the LTTE in the Mannar District, the government
has expressed the desire to hold talks with the LTTE to
arrive at a negotiated settlement.
However, the sentiments voiced by Minister Keheliya
Rambukwella will not be sufficient to impress the LTTE,
since he attached strings to his statement by
proclaiming that such talks could only be possible if
the LTTE renounces violence and terrorism as a means of
achieving its objective.
What is important to observe is that the government is,
at least temporarily, not keen to go ahead with its
military campaign in the north owing to international
pressure and the unfolding drama of human suffering.
Though there is a lull in the north right now, people
are still living in fear of the war which they have
experienced over the years in Wanni and other
On the other hand, it was reported that the LTTE too is
well entrenched in the Wanni and any offensive to take
over the area would create severe problems for the
What the government would want to do is to share power
with the Tamils to satisfy the international community
with the concurrence of India, so that it could solicit
the support of international and regional powers to
exert pressure on the LTTE to accept the solution
The underlying factor is that India would not want
anything more than what it has already devolved to the
provinces – a quasi federal system to be given to the
LTTE for obvious...
The Bench, Bar & You
Reply: Judging the religious
belief - Ahmadiya viewpoint
Advocate, Supreme Court, Pakistan
Mr. Ghauz-ul-Ameen Attorney at Law, contributed an article that
was published in
The Nation of May 27, 2007 on ‘The Bench, Bar & You.’ The
article is titled, ‘South Africa decides on Qadinis – Supreme
Court of South Africa upholds MJC decision.’ It needs to be
stated that the ‘Qadianis’ is a pejorative description of Ahmadi
He relies on the resolution of March 17, of all Ceylon
Jamiyyatul Ulema, the decision of Muslim Judicial Council (MJC)
of South Africa and the Supreme Court of South Africa upholding
the MJC decision. It is interesting to note that Mr. Ghauzul
Amin relies on the decision of the MJC and the MJC in turn
relied on a Fatwa from Cairo. About MJC the court observed:
“Where the MJC derives the authority to issue Fatwas and impose
them on the local Muslim community remains unexplained.”
(Supreme Court of South Africa, Cape of Good Hope, Provincial
Division—Sheikh Abbas Jassiem Versus Sheikh Nazim Muhammad Case
No.1434/86—page 115) and about the Cairo Fatwa the court
observed: “it gave no indication of the depth of research...
DUTUGEMUNU’S SON ON THE
Mervyn Silva claims to be the direct descendent of the hero King
Dutugemunu, but both he and his son Malaka are making headlines
these days for reasons far removed from heroism. Junior Silva
who seems to be following in his father’s combative footsteps
got into yet another brawl last Thursday when he allegedly
assaulted a brother of a UNP politician at a night club in
Chaminda Serasinghe, brother of UNP Western Provincial Councilor
Sujeewa Serasinghe, was beaten up by Malaka Silva at a night
club down Duplication Road. The victim claims that Malaka Silva,
along with ten of his bodyguards, assaulted him when he visited
a popular latino dance club, to have dinner with a German lady.
The lady is believed to be the reason for the brawl, since she
had once had an intimate relationship with Junior Silva.
Bambalapitiya Police said both parties had lodged complaints,
accusing each other of assault. Inspector Abeyratne Dissanayake
speaking to The Nation said that Malaka had claimed that
Chaminda Serasinghe had hit him on his face while Serasinghe had
also lodged a complaint saying that Malaka Silva along with ten
other goons, believed to be from the Ministerial Security
Division, had beaten him up.
Who hammered whom?
Both Silva and Serasinghe are currently receiving treatment at
hospital. The latter speaking to The Nation claimed that he was
brutally assaulted by Silva after the politico’s son realised
that Serasinghe was with his ex-girlfriend. Serasinghe, who had
returned to the island after living abroad for over two
|Argentina gatecrash France
PARIS (AFP) - Argentina spectacularly gatecrashed
France’s World Cup party on Friday when they kicked off the six-week marathon
with a stunning 17-12 upset over the hosts in front of 80,000 people in the
Stade de France.
The result delivered a major dent to France’s hopes of qualifying for the
quarter-finals from a Pool D which also includes Six Nations Triple Crown
It was also a blow for the country’s sporting prestige which was so badly
bruised by the loss of the 2012 Olympics to London.
“We are overcome with happiness, but we shouldn’t get above ourselves because it
is only the first match,” said Argentina coach Marcelo Loffreda.
The Pumas scored all of their points in the first half with Ignacio Corleto
scoring a breakaway try and Felipe Contepomi, playing alongside brother Manuel,
kicking the other points.
David Skrela kicked France’s meagre four-penalty response.
“When you begin a World Cup, and it is imperative to win the match and you lose,
you can say only one thing that the sky has fallen in on your head,” said
devastated France coach Bernard Laporte.
The defeat was a shattering let down for France which has invested millions in
the tournament and has seen the 10 venues in the country bedecked in the French
tricolour and submerged in World Cup hype...
A charity banquet for a worthy
The late Gamini Dissanayake was not renowned only for what he did to raise
the standard of Sri Lanka cricket, but unknown to many he also excelled in other
diversified fields. One of which was to educate underprivileged students and
prepare them to face the 21st century. The Gamini Dissanayake Institute of
Technology and Vocational Studies which has been in existence since October 1995
teaches English and Computer Studies to underprivileged students selected on a
scholarship basis. In the past 11 years the institute has performed valuable
service so much so that all the students who have received Diploma certificates
have found gainful employment.
Following the outstanding success they’ve had, the institute has been relocated
from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya.
The Grand Charity Banquet that was held at the Waters Edge Grand Ballroom to
honour Dissanayake’s contribution to Sri Lanka’s entry to world cricket turned
out to be an outstanding success being attended by 700 people including the
cream of past cricketers, administrators and corporate personnel. The presence
of the Sri Lanka team led by Mahela Jayawardene to honour a person of
Dissanayake’s caliber was appreciated by all and applauded. The purpose of the
banquet was to raise much needed funds for the Institute and in that aspect one
should say the organisers were successful considering the turn out that brought
in substantial revenue running into some million rupees.
It was money..
Govt. point man against corruption
Justice Minister Dilan Perera seems to be walking a
tight rope, following the war of words he had with
President Mahinda Rajapaksa and others at last week’s
parliamentary group meeting. Perera, an outspoken
politician, says that he will not hesitate to highlight
corruption and expose it without any fear or favour.
This is not the first time Perera has come out against
corruption and bribery. He was the only government
minister to speak in support of a federal system, and
even participated at the anti war front rally, for which
he was called a Tiger. He told The Nation in an
interview, that if he had not stood by his principles,
he would have today been “on Cabinet and not non
Following are excerpts;
Q: You are now at the center of controversy, following
the war of words you had with the President and others
at the group meeting held last week. What prompted you
to enter into an argument?
A: Firstly, it would be wrong on my part to explain
what happened at the group meeting or, even the Cabinet
for that matter. Also, I can’t call it a war of words.
Since the COPE report has become controversial only, all
these problems have cropped up. I think this is one of
the best reports that the COPE has ever produced and I
will stand by it at any forum....
Joseph blames UNP dissidents for
hardships of public
The strength provided by the UNP dissident MPs who joined the
government has helped the present government to place untold
hardships on the people. They have also helped the government to
indulge in waste and corruption with impunity They have thus, by
their actions, betrayed the mandate of the people on which they
were elected as UNP members. So said Chief Opposition Whip
Joseph Michael Perera in an interview with The Nation.
Perera was commenting on the remarks made by the dissident UNP
members at a press conference that it was to strengthen the
government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and create a stable
government, that they had joined the government. They would thus
stand by the government and thwart any attempts to topple it.
Q: The United National Party together with the Mangala
Samaraweera wing of the SLFP are holding campaigns throughout
the country vowing to topple the government. President Mahinda
Rajapaksa at the recent annual convention of the SLFP said that
the present government was a strong one with half the UNP
members of Parliament joining it. The dissident UNP Members at a
recent press conference too have pledged their continued support
to solve the pressing problems faced by the people. Any
A: There is no doubt that the dissident UNP Members have
given the government the desired majority in Parliament. It is
because of this majority that the government has been encouraged
to impose burdens on the people with impunity, in order to cover
up the waste of public funds, corruption and other malpractices
that are rampant due to the inefficient administration. The
pledges given to the people at the last Presidential elections
have not been fulfilled and the slogan `Mahinda Chintana’ has