Archives | Home | News | Editorial | Politics | Spotlight | Issues | Lobby  | Focus | Economy | Letters | World Affairs | Serendipity | Business | Sports

Unbowed And Unafraid                                                                       Unbowed And Unafraid                                                                       Unbowed And Unafraid                                                                       Unbowed And Unafraid                                                                      Unbowed And Unafraid                                                                      Unbowed And Unafraid                                                                       Unbowed And Unafraid

News

   
 

                         POLICE BRUTALITY


The bodies of Dinesh Tharanga (21) and Danushka Aponsu (22) await final
rites today at a humble abode in Angulana.  The two youth were allegedly
 brutally gunned down by the Angulana police last week. Their bullet-riddled
bodies were found in Angulana in two different areas after they were last
seen being taken away by the police with three T-56 guns pointed at them.
See inside pages for story. -
Photo by Thusitha Kumara .

IDPs swimming in human excreta 

By Arthur Wamanan 

Torrential rains in Vavuniya Friday burst temporary sewage pipes, destroyed make-shift shelters and trapped thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) interned in Menik Farm in Vavuniya causing many of them to undergo severe difficulties as rain waters filled with sewage matter, maggots and human excreta rose in tents sheltering some 20,000 IDPs.

Reports reaching The Sunday Leader yesterday said that IDPs particularly in Zone 3 and Zone 4 of Menik Farm were seriously affected as poorly constructed drainage pipes caused severe flooding within the area.

The situation caused panic and while turmoil raged the Government moved in additional military personnel fearing large numbers of IDPs would escape the barbed wire camps.

The Sunday Leader has over the last three months consistently highlighted serious concerns raised by humanitarian agencies who pointed out that flooding was possible in these camps due to badly constructed drainage and sewer pipes.

Jeevan Thiyagarajah, Head of the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA) told The Sunday Leader that apart from inadequate sanitation facilities and tents meant for an emergency only would also collapse in the event of heavy rains.  “My predictions have been proved right,” he said last evening. 

Thiyagarajah in fact two months ago threatened court action if the tents were not de-congested.

Government officials yesterday confirmed that of some 20,000 IDPs facing this horrendous situation only around 1,000 had been relocated to other locations within Menik Farm.

Vavuniya Government Agent, P.S.M. Charles told The Sunday Leader that around 400 people in Zone 4 of Menik Farm were on low level grounds and faced more risks than the others in the camp.

“Around 1,000 persons have been shifted to locations within the camp premises. The problem in Zone 4 is that the drainage system could not be completed on time. These 400 persons are on lower level ground. Therefore, they face more problems and would have to be shifted to another location if rain continues,” she said yesterday.

She said the government continued to supply them with food and essential items.

Meanwhile, TNA Wanni District Parliamentarian Sivasakthi Anandan told The Sunday Leader that he had received calls from displaced persons on the issue. “IDPs especially in Zone 4 have been shifted to locations within the camp. I am not aware of the actual number,” he said. “In other zones too, those who live on lower level grounds face similar problems.”


Millions busted on defunct NPC

By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema

The maintenance of the now defunct independent commissions costs the government millions of rupees.

Terms of the National Police Commission (NPC) and the Public Service Commission (PSC) ended in April this year and are now defunct due to the inability to appoint members to these commissions.

The expenditure on the defunct NPC for the month of June alone is over Rs. 3 million - Rs. 1.5 million on salaries, Rs. 700,000 on allowances, Rs. 723,000 on building rent and Rs. 200,000 on water and electricity had been spent in June. These amounts do not include the money spent on hiring vehicles.

The total expenditure of the NPC for the year is Rs. 46 million.

NPC Secretary, K.C. Logeswaran confirmed to The Sunday Leader that over Rs. 3 million was being spent to maintain the commission.

According to Logeswaran, the Commission could function till the end of the year as three members still continue to function. "The Commission is short of one member for the quorum."

He said that after April the Commission continued with certain statutory work vested with it until the Cabinet decided to delegate the NPC and PSC work to the relevant ministry secretaries. "With this decision most of the work we (NPC) did has been taken away."

However, Logeswaran said that when the Cabinet arrived at the decision, it had overlooked several key areas that were covered by the independent NPC.

The fundamental right of appeal given to members of the police force and the public that was held by the NPC under the 17th Amendment has been taken away and has not been allocated to any ministry secretary either.

Police constables had the right to appeal against decisions they did not agree with and to seek relief. "The right of appeal of the police constables and the public right to appeal/complain has not been addressed in the Cabinet decision. Therefore, these issues are not being addressed any more," Logeswaran said.

Meanwhile, millions are also being spent to maintain the now defunct PSC as well.

PSC Secretary, H.D.L. Goonawardena was not available for comment.


KP will be tried in  Sri Lanka - Kheliya

By Dilrukshi Handunnetti

Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP will be tried in Sri Lanka under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) for aiding and abetting terrorism in Sri Lanka within its territorial limits and from outside, Defence Spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella told The Sunday Leader.

He said Pathmanathan was on the wanted list for a long time given his huge arms deal rackets and the narcotics involvement and applauded the intelligence services here and abroad for working together with commitment to arrest the self proclaimed successor to LTTE leader Velupillai Pirapaharan.

He said so far India has not made a request for Pathmanathan who is also wanted by India in connection with the Rajiv Gandhi murder.

"So far there has been no request. If India does make a request, that will be positively considered. But we will try him for multiple offences relating to terrorism in Sri Lanka," Rambukwella said. Kumaran Pathmanathan during interrogations, he said, has revealed details relating to the LTTE's funds as well as assets some of which are safely hoarded in other countries.

It has also transpired during interrogation that KP held some 1,582 bank accounts worldwide besides those held by the LTTE under different names in different cities in the world.

It was also reported that the LTTE while it was active in Sri Lanka earned US$ 500 billion per year through their fund raising activities and numerous illegal businesses.

Rambukwella said that Pathmanathan has also revealed some vital information relating to individuals and organisations that indirectly supported or funded the Liberation Tigers. The Defence Spokesperson pledged legal action would be instituted against such individuals and organisations.

The LTTE has two international wings - KP, named after Kumaran Pathmanathan himself and another known as the 'Aiyanna' Group. The latter had active engagements in global terrorist activities.


Southern expressway set for huge delay

By Faraz Shauketaly

The Japanese contractorawarded the flagship mega national project, Kumagai Gumi is likely to face further frustrating delays on the Southern Expressway Project. 

Hot on the heels of the collapsed metal arch underpass in Poddala, Galle, in which a young life was lost, investigations have revealed that not only is it likely that all the metal underpasses will require changing but also that a number of concrete underpass structures are now showing cracks. The cracks and the possible unsuitability of the metal arch underpasses conspires to not only delay the project by at least a further two years, but in terms of money is likely to cost in the region of US$ 20-35 Mn (i.e.) Rs. 2-3.7 billion. 

The manufacturer of the metal underpass system has visited the site recently in the company of the RDA and the contractors Kumagai Gumi as well as Access Engineering. Notwithstanding that visit, experts from the University of Moratuwa have been asked to undertake a comprehensive study and report back. Their findings are likely to be available in approximately three months.

The bulk of the metal arch underpasses despite the project being a very long way off from commissioning, are already visibly rusting and some of the bases are showing signs of cracking. This in itself is most significantly worrying, as the roads above are not yet carrying the intended loads. Structural engineers are being taxed to the limit in searching for the possible effects once these bridges start to take the load when vehicles start using the roadways.

From an aesthetic point of view there simply is no contest. The original two-lane highway has become four-lanes. The underpasses beneath the original two-lanes are rounded, whilst the concrete structures under the newer lanes are square.

Sources close to the supervising contractor, Roughton International, confirmed that the request to replace the Metal Arch Underpass was to do with the fact that the scope of the contract has been changed by their client. The RDA changed the scope and has converted the original two-lane highway to a four-lane highway. It is for this reason that the Metal Arch Underpass is not being used. The same sources said that Roughton International is more comfortable supervising concrete underpass erection but not Metal Arch Underpass erection.

Whilst the Japanese company has admitted its liability in an exchange with the consultants, it has also warned of remedial work needed on the balance of the similar structures that is used on this project. It is understood that approximately 70 such structures are used on the project at a cost for the equipment alone being in the region of US$ 6 million.

The Presidential Committee looking into these issues visited the site of the collapse on June 10. Their report will be available shortly, after the visit from the manufacturer who was keen to ensure that the actual erection of the structures was carried out as per specifications by their contractor, Access.


Precisely, why do we need PB Jayasundera?

By Faraz Shauketaly 

This is what P.B. Jayasundera stated in his sworn testimony to the Supreme Court. Here's why we - as well as more than 90% of our readers - think, that P.B. Jayasundera is not the man for all seasons, unlike Sir Thomas More.

1. Mismanagement of government revenue:

The Report of the Auditor General in relation to P.B. Jayasundera the then D.S.T.,said inter-alia:

"The responsibilities devolving on the Secretary to the relevant Ministry in terms of the provisions in the Constitution, and on the Secretary to the Treasury and the respective Heads of Departments as the Accounting Officers through the Financial Regulations had not been discharged properly.

"P.B. Jayasundera gave 'questionable responses instead of taking the immediate steps necessary to be taken even after serious lapses were brought to the notice of the institutions concerned by audit.'"

In pursuance of provisions in Article 52(2) of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka the overall responsibility in this area is devolved on the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance.

The Constitutional provision that "The Secretary to the Ministry shall, subject to the direction and control by his Minister, exercise supervision over the departments of Government or other institutions in the charge of his Minister" surpasses all other provisions.

Apart from that, a huge responsibility and a duty are devolved on him in terms of Financial Regulations as the Secretary to the relevant Ministry who is the Chief Accounting Officer and as the Secretary to the Treasury whose foremost responsibility is the maintenance of the financial control and administration of the Government."

 The Auditor General had in no uncertain terms said that P.B. Jayasundera had not "discharged his duties properly."

2. VAT & GST Fraudulent Refunds.

As regards, the fraud perpetrated vis-…-vis refunds of VAT and GST reported upon by the Auditor General, it was suggested that this matter be referred to the Presidential Investigation Unit for investigations and warranted action under the law.

Despite having been asked by PERC to refer this matter to the Presidential Investigation Unit, who would have ordinarily after investigation referred the matter to the CID, P.B. Jayasundera in collusion with the Commissioner General for Inland Revenue merely appointed an internal committee to look into this massive fraud.

In Nihal Sri Ameresekere's affidavit to court, he states that this is another instance when P.B. Jayasundera's application to the Supreme Court "give the lie to what he had stated under Oath to Your Lordships' Court at paragraph 6 of his Affidavit"

(faraz@thesundayleader.lk)


Massive crowds throng Madhu

By Arthur Wamanan 

The Madhu festival concluded yesterday with the participation of thousands of devotees, for first time after the completion of the war.

Administrator, Madhu Shrine, Rev. Fr. B. Fred Desmond Kulas told The Sunday Leader they were expecting at least 400,000 pilgrims on August 14 and 15, the last two days of the Madhu feast. Pilgrims have been travelling to Madhu since August 6 to take part in religious services leading up to the feast.

The military ensured security for the pilgrims and requested them to limit their movements to the church premises.

Military Spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said the military had cleared mines along the road to Madhu and the area surrounding the church.

Rev. Kulas said devotees have been requested to stay within the one kilometer radius around the church that has been cleared of mines.

The Madhu shrine was affected due to heavy fighting last year. The statue was removed from the shrine and taken to St. Xavier's Church in Thevanpitti, Pallamadu, 70 kilometers north of Madhu due to heavy fighting in the region. It was the first time the statue was relocated since 1670.

The statue was taken away from the shrine in 1670 to the Periyamadu area by civilians fleeing Manthai, due to Dutch persecution.


IDPs relocated to areas within the camp 

By Arthur Wamanan 

Heavy rains in Vavuniya have caused difficulties to the IDPs and around 1,000 have been relocated to locations within Menik Farm, government officials said yesterday.

Vavuniya Government Agent, P.S.M. Charles told The Sunday Leader that around 400 people in Zone 4 of Menik Farm were on low level grounds and faced more risks than the others in the camp.

“Around 1,000 persons have been shifted to locations within the camp premises. The problem in Zone 4 is that the drainage system could not be completed on time. These 400 persons are on lower level ground. Therefore, they face more problems and would have to be shifted to another location if rain continues,” she said yesterday.

She said the government continued to supply them with food and essential items.

Meanwhile, TNA Wanni District Parliamentarian Sivasakthi Anandan told The Sunday Leader that he had received calls from displaced persons on the issue. “IDPs especially in Zone 4 have been shifted to locations within the camp. I am not aware of the actual number,” he said. “In other zones too, those who live on lower level grounds face similar problems.”


Two bodies found in Colombo 

Investigations are being carried out into the death of two females, whose bodies were found in a canal in Colombo.

Police spokesperson SSP Ranjith Gunasekara told The Sunday Leader the victims have been identified as Jeevarani and Samaji, from Maskeliya.

The bodies were recovered from a canal down Bauddhaloka Mawatha yesterday. (AW)


 

 

 

More News....

 

Millions busted on defunct NPC

 

KP will be tried in  Sri Lanka - Kheliya

Southern expressway set for huge delay

 

 

Precisely, why do we need PB Jayasundera?

 

Massive crowds throng Madhu

 

IDPs relocated to areas within the camp 

 

Two bodies found in Colombo


©Leader Publications (Pvt) Ltd.
24, Katukurunduwatte Road, Ratmalana Sri Lanka
Tel : +94-72-47218,9 Fax : +94-7247222
email :
editor@thesundayleader.lk