POLITICS OF DATES
The annual Muslim fasting month of Ramadan is
expected to be announced this week with the sighting
of the new moon, but politics of dates have already
begun with complaints that this sweet fruit usually
donated in large quantities by wealthy Gulf states
in West Asia for their fasting brethren here is
often not going to poor people it was meant for.
Since these gifts of dates are sent by the rulers in
those countries to leading Muslim politicians here
the meanest allegation is that these politicians end
up channeling much of it to others to curry favour.
SLMC TOP MAN OFF THE HOOK?
A top leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC)
may have escaped by the skin of his teeth from being
issued a rule by the Supreme Court for contempt of
court as happened earlier to S. B. Dissanayake for
shooting his mouth disparagingly about the judiciary
without thinking and was sentenced to a prison term
by a bench presided over by the previous Chief
Justice Sarath Nanda Silva. The top SLMCer being a
member of the black coated fraternity should have
known better, but the latest disparaging uttering
about the top judiciary was made at a workshop held
recently under the auspices of the Bakeer Markar
Foundation to get media engaged in the new
constitution making process, therefore to a limited
invited audience and can even be counted as an
academic exercise, unlike SB who fired his mouth at
a public meeting. But the same man was seen at a
wedding soon afterwards sheepishly talking with a
top judicial officer.
ANOTHER CAN OF WORMS?
Did Rehabilitation and Prisons Minister D.E.W.
Gunasekera help to open yet another can of worms
when he was recently quoted in a daily newspaper as
having said that widows of EROS leader V.
Balakumaran and one time LTTE spokesman and
negotiator Yogaratnam Yogi were among northern war
widows who sought assistance from him? During the
last days of the war and thereafter there have been
reports that Balakumaran, Yogi and some other top
Tiger leaders had surrendered to the forces.
Minister Gunasekera tells us that out of about
11,600 Tiger cadres who surrendered, there are close
to 8,000 still undergoing rehabilitation, while
others have been released and all those who are
still in custody are in touch with their families.
Among this lot are about 1100 hardcore cadres, but
no Tiger leaders. Balakumar of course, had much
blood on his hands, especially in the 80s.
SriLankan unions have apparently ensured that some
justice was exacted from a top notch recently forced
out of the airline for signing a questionable deal
that has cost the airline dearly at a time the
carrier is losing bns. A bird whispers that this
personality is not being allowed to take the
official vehicle with her after paying the usual
nominal sum to the carrier due to pressure brought
on particularly by a pro-government union.