Damning indictment on PBJ
By Faraz Shauketaly
public interest litigator and US-quali-fied fraud
investigator, Nihal Sri Ameresekere has provided a
36-page affidavit as part of his objections to P.B.
Jayasundera's application to have his affidavit annulled
or withdrawn - with a view towards making a comeback to
Earlier in the month, the President's Secretary, Lalith
Weeratunga had written to Jayasundera, asking him to
return to the fold of the public service.
Sunday Leader ran an SMS-based campaign asking the
public to vote whether the return of P.B. Jayasundera
was in the national interest or not. An overwhelming
91.04% of the responses said 'No, Not in the National
Jayasundera a former Central Banker has held a host of
senior positions in public service including Chairman
Sri Lankan Airlines and Secretary to the Treasury. He
was castigated in the Supreme Court for his unlawful
acts, for acting ultra-vires, for misleading the Cabinet
of Ministers and even misleading the then President,
Jayasundera has petitioned the Supreme Court stating
that the President wishes he returns to public service
and in that context is seeking the annulment of his
affidavit given previously to the Supreme Court.
Jayasundera has subsequently made an amended petition to
the highest court in the land and the hearing is set for
Sri Ameresekere in his 36-page affidavit listing his
objections has painstakingly provided extracts of
various Supreme Court directions and observations
concerning Jayasundera and his misdeeds whilst in public
service. In one section Ameresekere avers that a
statement by Jayasundera that he has acted with the
highest probity and with the National Interest at heart,
is "palpably false." Included in his affidavit is an
extract of a telephone bill which subject to
verification shows that a nexus of collusion can be
established between the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank,
Clive Haswell and P.B. Jayasundera as well as Citibank.
Jayasundera was the man who appointed the infamous Study
Group on Hedging and failed to appoint a representative
of the Attorney General's Department - who if present on
the committee would have been able to clarify that the
Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Act did not permit the CPC
to engage in deals such as that the CPC entered into
with the SCB and other banks, causing a potential loss
of nearly US$ 800 Million dollars.
By Dilrukshi Handunnetti
several key diplomatic appointments likely to be made in
the coming weeks, at least two nominees, both ruling
party politicians, are being examined by the Committee
on High Posts for their suitability.
nominees, former northern governor Dixon Sarathchandra
Dela Bandara and former SLFP parliamentarian Nawalage
Bennet Cooray are being examined by the special purpose
parliamentary committee at present.
two politicians are designated as heads of Sri Lankan
missions in the Maldives and the Philippines
required by law, the Acting Secretary General of
Parliament has now called upon any organisation or
individual through public newspaper advertisement to
make representations with regard to the above
Individuals and organisations could make representations
with regard to Dela Bandara and Cooray's nominations to
the top diplomatic posts, in the form of written
memoranda reaching the parliament secretariat by August
committee is the authority to examine the suitability of
persons who have been either appointed to any post or
nominated to hold office in any post determined by the
Cabinet of Ministers and to make recommendations with
regard to such persons.
contacted, ambassador designate Dixon Dela Bandara said
that he would not be the first politician to be
appointed as an ambassador and there should be no reason
for any objections. "I have served this country in
various capacities and this time it is different. That's
all," he said.
Ambassador designate Nawalage Bennet Cooray also said
there was nothing objectionable in appointing
politicians and said it was the president's prerogative.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and High Posts Committee
member John Amaratunge said there was a general decline
in the foreign service presently due to excessive
said during his tenure as state minister, career
diplomats had a trade union and the government accepted
in principle their position that 60% of the vacancies
will be filled by career diplomats leaving only 40% for
APRC proposals differ from 13th
By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
final proposals of the All Party Representative
Committee (APRC) will not fall in line with the 13th
Amendment to the Constitution and does not propose the
absolute devolution of power.
would be an indigenous method that would bring about a
solution to the ethnic issue.
Chairman and Science and Technology Minister, Prof.
Tissa Vitharana told The Sunday Leader that the final
APRC proposals would not in anyway "fall in line with
the 13th Amendment."
an indigenous method that would work out a solution for
our country. However, there would not be absolute
devolution of power," he said.
Vitharana said the APRC proposes the abolishing of the
Executive Presidency and reverting to the
also proposes the setting up of a Commission that
functions under the purview of the central government to
determine and monitor policies with regard to land and
APRC has looked at the formation of a village committee
system and a second chamber consisting of
representatives from the nine provinces.
Vitharana explained that following a series of
discussions, the APRC has prepared a draft of its final
proposals that would be submitted for endorsement from
the parties that were represented in the APRC.
first copy of the draft is to be presented to President
Mahinda Rajapakse, who is the head of the SLFP, for his
the President is handed over the first draft, the other
parties that were in the APRC would be given copies of
the draft to receive the views of their respective party
leaders," Vitharana said.
the APRC receives the observations made by each party,
it would be discussed and the final report would be
prepared with the signatures of all member parties.
final report would then be handed over to parties like
the UNP, JVP and TNA that did not participate in the
Customs investigating fuel imports
By John Ashkar
Sri Lanka Customs is investigating the import
declarations made by certain importers of fuel. Taking
advantage of a technical quirk in the chemical make-up
of fuel, importers have been getting away with paying a
lesser amount of duty, depriving this country of
Refined petroleum products are subject to taxes on the
volume imported to the country measured in litres at
actual temperature. However, imported consignments of
fuel are usually measured in metric tonnes. Sri Lanka
Customs has been using a conversion factor of 1196
litres per metric ton for diesel for calculating customs
and excise duties payable by CPC amongst others.
booklet Statistical Digest 2006 issued by CPC, it is
clearly stated that 1 metric tonne of Diesel is
equivalent to 1196 litres at operation temperature.
Operating temperature is the actual temperature which is
around 30 degrees Celsius - the temperature at which
local sales are done ( eg. at "Petrol Sheds" or retail
importer under investigation has been paying duties /
taxes using a smaller volume conversion factor which is
1182 litres per metric tonne. The difference between
these two factors is 14 litres per metric tonne.
Value addition of a different kind
By Faraz Shauketaly
bottle of Sprite was bought in Digana, Kandy and
provides fascinating value additions. There are objects
floating inside and it appears to be flakes of some
sort. We contacted the Coca Cola Company one of whose
brands is Sprite.
professed complete puzzlement as to how whatever has got
in has got in and wanted us to come over to their
factory where they proposed to open the bottle.
fact the Coca Cola Company offered to send a car to pick
and drop us off, so that they could conduct us on a tour
of their facility and explain how very difficult it is
for a bottle such as this to be contaminated.
explaining that we were really pushed for time and that
we didn't really want them to open the bottle until
independent witnesses could be available, maybe from the
Government Analyst, the Coca Cola Company stated that
they hoped we would change our mind and contact them
again if we wished to come over with the bottle of
course. All I can say of course, is that it is jolly
good that Black Label does not mix with Sprite so well!
Police dragging their feet in
investigation into the murder of the slain
Editor-in-Chief of The Sunday Leader Lasantha
Wickrematunge has shown no progress for the past˜seven
months although the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate ordered the
police to submit the investigation progress report to
Wickrematunge's murder trial was taken up at the Mt.
Lavinia Magistrate's Court on Thursday, July 23, once
again the Mirihana police failed to appear in court.
However the Mt. Lavinia police produced a further
asked as to why the Mirihana police failed to appear in
court although the court had ordered them to produce
their investigation report, Police Spokesperson SSP
Ranjith Gunasekera told The Sunday Leader that there was
no necessity for both police parties to appear in court
and that one party could represent the other party as