The Nation Sunday Print Edition - page 3

Saturday, April 25, 2015
By Charith Udana Silva
Unlike the last year, most of
the political parties have al-
ready arranged their May Day
rallies to hold in Colombo. Ac-
cordingly, Sri Lanka Freedom
Party will go along with the
United People’s Freedom Alli-
ance (UPFA) in Hyde Park and
the United National party to
have its May Day rally at the
Campbell Park. The People’s
Liberation Front (JVP) will be
holding May Day celebrations
at the BRC Grounds.
UPFA has taken the theme,
‘United May Day’ and the rally
which is to be presided over by
President Maithripala Siris-
ena and has also invited both
former Presidents Mahinda
Rajapaksa and Cahndrika Ban-
daranaike Kumarathunga.
UNP’s theme for the May Day
was not confirmed by many in-
cluding two ministers, Siriko-
tha as well the Prime Minis-
ter’s office.
JVP will organize its May
Day under the theme ‘Red
May Day rally to win the peo-
ple’s power and voice’ and its
breakaway faction; Front Line
Socialist Party (FLSP) has al-
ready booked the Bandaranay-
ake Grounds at Rajagiriya for
their May Day rally with cul-
tural show.
National Freedom Front - an-
other breakaway group of the
JVP has decided to have a joint
Maya Day rally with the par-
ties which force to bring Ma-
hinda Rajapaksa back to active
politics. ‘MP Dinesh Gunawar-
dena’s Mahajana Eksath Pera-
muna, MP Vasudewa Nanayak-
kara’s New Left Front, Udaya
Gammapila’s Pivithuru Hela
Urumaya and several parties
will join together, spokesman
from the NFF said.
Meanwhile, MEP leader also
said that he has already invited
former President Rajapaksa to
attend their May Day rally and
he had accepted it. However,
SLFP General Secretary An-
ura Yapa has also invited him
for the rally of SLFP in which
he is also a patron. Former
President who came to visit
his brother, Basil Rajapaksa
at the Merchants’ Ward of the
National Hospital skipped the
question which rally he would
Council (CMC) has announced
that it is mandatory for orga-
nizers to register all Vesak
Dansals (offering free meals for
devotees who come on worship-
ping the religious places) which
they wish to operate within the
Colombo Municipality area.
Chief Medical Officer of the
ColomboMunicipal Council, Dr.
Ruwan Wijayamuni said that
all those wishing to host and or-
ganize Dansals would first need
to obtain approval and be regis-
tered with the CMC.
He added that the decision
pertaining to the registration
was taken to ensure food safety
during the Vesak week. He also
added that medical officers and
PHIs would inspect the Dansals
even after they’ve been given
registrations to ensure that ba-
sic standards of hygiene and
food safety are met. He also
added that they had the process
even last year and was capable
of making sure a hygienic and
healthy meal for the devotees.
“Not only the food, the water,
the place and how they oper-
ate whole the proceedings will
be monitored by the inspec-
tion teams”, added by the CMC
Chief Medical Officer.
Registration of Vesak
Dansals compulsory - CMC
May Day rallies of main
parties in Colombo
The problem is information leakage. This is ascertained by
circumstantial evidence. If the Governor was not directly involved
the circumstances indicate, in the very least, that he may have
been indirectly involved. There is enough suspicion to demand
removal, clearly, especially given the importance of the position.
This alone can outweigh all the positives of the past 100 days.
President Sirisena correctly pointed out that when ‘freedom’ is
new it is natural for the ‘incarcerated’ to cling to incarceration. He
did not mention the flipside of this: those who have for decades
helped perpetuate restriction are not easily weaned of habit. More
importantly ‘new found freedom’ is a natural companion of regime-
change. It is generally referred to as the honeymoon period.
Extending that period is inextricably linked to institutional reform.
One hundred days have passed since Maithripala Sirisena
assumed office. If he promised T-shirts to 4 persons and a million
rupees to a fifth and if he delivered the T-shirts and not the bucks,
it would be silly to say ‘I’ve delivered on 80% of the promises’.
The 19th and 20th amendments and the Right to Information Act
together make the equivalent of the million rupees above. They
remain ‘iffy’.
If assessment is strict, then we would have to conclude that the
people have been short-changed and so short-changed that even
‘cheated’ can be used. However, if one considers that promising is
easy and even ‘normal’ while delivery is tough, one can afford to
be generous and interject ‘better late than never, they say, so let’s
wait and see a bit longer’.
It all hinges on structural change, the consummate ‘toughie’ in
all this.
CHANGE or...
MP Kumara Welgama also addressed the gathering and
said that the arranged meeting between the President Mai-
thripala Sirisena and former President Mahinda Raja-
paksa was postponed. However, he assured that it will take
place soon. He also voiced his disapproval against arrest-
ing and questioning officials who worked closely with the
former President. He said he was unhappy over removal of
some of the SLFP Central Committee members from their
posts, which they served in for a long time.
Meanwhile, The Nation learns that the SLFP has planned
to go ahead with the proposed no confidence motion against
Minister Ravi Karunanayake and most probably it will be
handed over to the Speaker on Monday’ April 27.
SLFP readies to...
The Norwegian Ambassador, Ms Grete Løchen, called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential
Secretariat, on April 23, 2015
Norway always makes ways
By Sandun Jayawardana and
Sajitha Prematunge
Concerns have been raised regard-
ing ‘sensationalist coverage’ of vio-
lent crime in the media, with author-
ities urging media institutions to be
more cautious when reporting such
A series of incidents where sus-
pects are alleged to have violently
killed members of their immediate
family, including mothers and fa-
thers, have been covered extensively
in the media during the past month.
However, concerns have been raised
whether such detailed reporting of
the crimes themselves are adding to
the problem.
When contacted, Police Spokesman
ASP Ruwan Gunasekara told The Na-
tion that the number of homicides
reported so far this year was actually
down from the number reported dur-
ing the same period last year. “How-
ever, several murders committed
this year have gained wide media at-
tention specifically due to the reason
that the victims were all immediate
family members of the suspects,” he
Regarding sensationalist cover-
age, ASP Gunasekara also noted how
some media had initially made refer-
ences to a ‘serial killer’ after the most
recent murder of a woman at Kota-
kethana in Kahawatta, despite police
insisting that this was not the case.
When queried whether such things
were occurring due to a lack of regu-
lation or guidelines for the media to
follow, Secretary to the Ministry of
Mass Media and Parliamentary Af-
fairs, Karunaratne Paranavithana
said it was not due to lack of guide-
lines, but rather due to media insti-
tutions usually preferring to ignore
such guidelines completely. While
no Code of Ethics currently exists
for the country’s electronic media,
sections of the print media were ig-
noring even the Code of Professional
Practice introduced by the Editor’s
Guild of Sri Lanka, he added.
“The onus is on the editors and
heads of these media institutions to
report such matters in a manner that
respects ethical guidelines on report-
ing. The Ministry for its part has
made its displeasure known to cer-
tain state media institutions regard-
ing the way they have reported on
such crimes,” Paranavithana said.
See Insight
Concerns over ‘sensationalist
coverage’ of violent crime
By ArthurWamanan
In a move to adhere to European Union
(EU) guidelines and lift the ban imposed on
Sri Lankan fisheries export to the region,
the Government is to bring down 1450 Vessel
Monitoring System (VMS) units next month,
officials said. Secretary, Sea Food Exporters’
Association of Sri Lanka (SFEASL), Retd.
(Col) Channa Weeratunga told The Nation
that the task force appointed by the Govern-
ment to work towards lifting the ban had
completed the necessary paperwork.
“The task force has completed drafting
the regulations that go in line with the EU
requirements. What is left is the installation
of VMS’s on the boats,” he stated. According
to Weeratunga, the Government had earlier
brought down 100 units of the VMS’s so far.
He further stated that these units would not
be installed on boats that fish within the eco-
nomic zone.
Accordingly, the economic zone falls within
200 nautical miles off the coast of Sri Lanka.
“These units will be fixed on to boats that go
into international waters, that is beyond the
economic zone,” he stated. Sri Lanka’s Exter-
nal Affairs Minister, Mangala Samaraweera
earlier stated that more VMS’s would be in-
stalled in 1500 boats by July this year.
In addition, a delegation of the EU is also
expected to arrive in July to study the pro-
gresses made by Sri Lanka in keeping with
the standards and requirements. The ban on
Sri Lankan fishing exports to the EU was im-
posed on January 14 this year and is expected
to last six months during which Sri Lanka
had been asked to work on meeting the re-
quirements of the union.
Sri Lanka had been asked to fulfill the EU’s
obligation by preventing illegal and unre-
ported fishing, and install VMS’s on boats.
Installation of Vessel
Monitoring System begins
Rukshana Rizwie
The Tamil National Alliance
(TNA) has introduced an
amendment to the Fisheries
and Aquatic Act, which if ap-
proved by Parliament, would
make bottom trawling in Sri
Lankan waters an offense,
irrespective of the national-
ity of the fishermen. Speak-
ing to The Nation, TNA MP
Sumanthiran stated that the
bill would make it an offense
to indulge in the practice of
bottom trawling in Sri Lankan
territorial waters. “Even if In-
dian fishermen are engaged
in the act, they can be con-
victed in a court of law, once
this bill is passed.”
He added that the bill which
would be gazetted next week
will be presented in the house
for debate. He cited that the
ban on bottom trawling was
one of the measures suggest-
ed at a meeting with the Presi-
dent on the fishermen issue.
Swarna Hansa Foundation Chief, Gallage
Punyawardana in a statement claimed that
Leader of the New Sama Samaja Party, Dr.
Wickramabahu Karunaratne should apolo-
gize to the Sinhala nation and withdraw im-
mediately his ‘mad dog talk’ over the national
flag of Sri Lanka.
Punyaweardna claimed that he watched
on a television channel that the Dr. Karunara-
tne ‘identifying the lion of the Lion Flag as a
dog,” and he added that it is an unbelievable
shock to the entire Sinhala Nation and can-
not be expected from such a statement from
any citizen of the country. “On behalf of the
Sinhala Nation, the Swarna Hansa Founda-
tion totally and unhesitatingly condemns this
uncivilized beastly utterance. It is an utter
disgrace to the Sinhala nation,” his state-
ment said.
Contacted by The Nation, Dr. Karunara-
tne said that he never made comments over
the national flag of Sri Lanka or the lion flag.
“The National flag and the lion flag are two
different flags. What those so called patriots
brought was something else. I didn’t see
that two stripes in green and orange in the
flags which those demonstrators including
the Bhikku brought. Further, the background
was complete red. Is that the national flag?”
Dr. Karunaratne said.
He admitted that he used that word as it
was not the national flag or lion flag. He also
added that the same demonstrators were
shouting against the government that ar-
rest and punish the ones that destroyed the
country’s public funds for unwanted and per-
sonal things. “When the government takes
actions to question those allegations, sud-
denly one group becomes patriots. Who can
tolerate this kind of jokes,” Dr. Karunaratne
However, Punyawardene claimed that the
flag which they brought was one of the first
Sri Lankan national flags which was even
hoisted by DS Senanayake at an indepen-
dence day and the statement was against
the Sinhalese and Sinhala Nation. He reiter-
ated that Sinhalese is not a nation to tolerate
such imprudent statements and the nation is
waiting for an apology.
Minister of Arts and Culture
Nandimitra Ekanayake said
that a decision has been taken
to remove the mosque built in
Kuragala archaeological site
and to re- establish it in anoth-
er location. However, he failed
to give a straight answer to the
question ‘when will begin the
removal process and said ‘in
due course’.
The Minister said that the
Prime Minister, Ranil Wick-
remesinghe had appointed a
committee to investigate the
location since there were pro-
tests demanding to remove the
mosque from the Buddhist ar-
chaeological site in Kuragala
since a long time.
He added, “The committee
has assembled on April 21 and
discussed with the Muslims
of the mosque to relocate the
mosque in another place since
the report produced by the
committee has proved that the
mosque had been built in an
ancient Buddhist Archaeologi-
cal site.”
The Minister has agreed to
provide funds one million ru-
pees to reconstruct a mosque in
another location. The Minister
also added that all the other il-
legal constructions were also
removed from the site long time
Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Chief
Executive Officer, Dilantha
Withanage said that there are
already twomosques in the area
and one is used by the villagers
and other mosque is located out
of human residence, which was
decided to be cleared from the
area. Withanage said, “Bodu
Bala Sena has been asking it to
be removed since the mosque
was an illegal construction in
the archaeological site.”
TNA proposes bill to ban bottom trawling
This is justifiable as the number of voters have increased from 75,000 to 150,000
since the 225 seat system was introduced.
Secondly, 196 of the 255 seats are to be equally distributed among all electorates
under the existing proportional representation system. Under this quality of the
existing proportional representation system, it would provide equal opportunity to
minority parties for parliamentary representation.
Under the proposed system a delimitation commission will be established.
This delimitation commission must separate electoral districts to suitable electoral
regions. Various factors such as geography, ethnic ratio, economic development
level, cultural traits, number of voters must be taken into consideration when
designating these electoral regions. Moreover apart from first-past-the-post multiple
member seats can be introduced. Consequently 165 members will be elected.
Mixed electoral...
According to analysts, approximately
30 percent of Sri Lanka’s exports are to
the European Union (EU). Therefore,
the depreciation is expected to have
an impact on Sri Lanka’s exports to
the region. However, Economist and
Lecturer of Economics at the University
of Colombo, Dr. Sirimal Abeyratne told
The Nation that the situation had arisen
as a result of the recession in the West
and would only be temporary.
“However, Sri Lanka continues to be
slow in terms of expanding its export
market and diversification. We have to
look at other countries too,” he said. In
the meantime, exporters stated that it
was early to make an assessment of the
impact due to euro’s depreciation.
Chairman, Exporters’ Association of
Sri Lanka (EASL), Rohan Daluwatte
told The Nation that the impact due
to the depreciation was yet to be felt.
“The apparel and fisheries are the two
major sectors which export to the region
and they will have to come up with a
contingency plan,” he added.
Impact of Euro...
The Nation learns the 27 include
Parliamentarians, local government members
and several known personalities in politics.
Supporters of former Defense Ministry Secretary
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa engaged in a protest in
front of the Bribery Commission despite the
court order. However, Rajapaksa, who appeared
before the Commission, had asked for another
date as he couldn’t remind the subject which the
Commission had questioned him.
Supporters who gathered at the premises
also used a mini public address system and
several participants made comments against
the arrest and questioning of former public
servants. Rajapaksa also thanked the gathering
and voiced that that kind of questioning will badly
affect the public sector.
Former Ministers Dulles Alahapperuma,
Bandula Gunawardene, Gamini Lokuge,
Jayantha Ketagoda, Sarath Weerasekara and
several other parliamentarians have been
summoned by the court on May 08. The list
also includes Western Province Chief Minister
Prasanna Ranathunga, WPC councilor Udaya
Gammanpila and several others Members of
Parliament to be arrested for protesting in front
of bribery commission.
A fax report has been sent to the chief
magistrate in regard to the fate of the Members
of Parliament who took part in the protest held in
front of the bribery commission.
The Members of Parliament who took part in
the protest in the bribery commission yesterday
are said to be taken to court for violating a
court order banning protests in front of the
Many Members of Parliament including Former
education minister Bandula Gunawardane and
others such as Udaya Gammanpila and Roshan
Ranasinghe took part in the protest. The protest
was made up Rajapaksa supporters who lined
up in front of the commission during Gotabhaya
Rajapaksa’s visit to the bribery commission after
he was summoned over various allegations
made over him. Soon after he had left to visit
his brother Basil Rajapaksa who is at Welikada
prison hospital after he was arrested by the
Financial Crimes Division.
Kuragala mosque to be relocated
Bahu’s National flag comment
Swarna Hansa Foundation
1,2 4,5,6,7,8-9,10,11,12,13,14,...76
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