Father Vs. Son
The ministers’ team is tipped to be led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa while the parliamentarians’ team is to be led by his son, Namal Rajapaksa.
The match is scheduled to be played at the Sports Ministry grounds in Torrington and is named the Speaker’s Trophy.
The young and the not so young have been following a fitness routine for the past few weeks and practising to put up a good show before the President. It has been a difficult task to contact ministers and deputy ministers in the mornings since they have been busy practising the game.
However, the ministers’ team is a little unhappy that two former Sri Lanka cricket captains Arjuna Ranatunga and Sanath Jayasuriya could play for the MPs’ team under Namal.
The match is to be given live coverage by the Carlton Sports Network (CSN).
Bad Luck Continues
The defection of UNP MP Mohan Lal Grero to the government had made one deputy minister of the government become the subject of jokes among his colleagues.
Soon after Grero’s defection, there were rumours that the President was likely to appoint him as the Deputy Education Minster.
When several colleagues humoured Deputy Education Minister Vijith Wijithamuni Soyza that he was soon going to lose his position, he has said that once he lost the chief ministerial post and now it’s going to be the deputy ministerial post.
Everybody had laughed at the joke, but was relieved to hear that the President had appointed Grero only as a supervising MP for education.
Soyza was requested not to contest at the last Uva Provincial Council in order to make way for Shasheendra Rajapaksa to contest as the UPFA Chief Ministerial candidate for the elections.
Rajapaksa won the election and was appointed Chief Minister while Soyza was given nominations to contest at the last general elections.
Tap Runs Dry At Opening
Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe faced an embarrassing situation recently when the water did not run through the taps at the opening of the Hermanwatte Dodangoda water project.
The water project was completed with the aim of addressing the problem of drinking water that has affected the people in the area for about eight years.
The water project was finally completed at a cost of Rs. 260 lakhs.
However, when the Minister opened one of the taps as a symbolic gesture of inaugurating the new water supply system, water had not run through the tap.
Samarasinghe had made the fund allocation for the water project following requests made by people in the area.
The Minister had finally told the crowd that they should not be deterred and continue to support the electoral organiser and him.
Waiting In The Rain
The opening of the Southern Expressway recently was quite a wet day for some of members in government.
Youth Affairs Minister Dullas Alahapperuma was one of the government members to have got wet in the rains experienced in the South that day.
Waiting for the President to arrive in Devata, which is the entry point to the Southern Expressway from Galle, were several hundreds of school students standing with balloons to greet the head of state. Accompanying them was Minister Alahapperuma.
However, due to the sudden shower, Alahapperuma had to stand in the rain with the children for several minutes until the President arrived at the venue.
Meanwhile, the President had also experienced some difficulty in travelling to the expressway opening due to the rains.
The First Family was to arrive for the opening from Meda Mulana. Due to the heavy rains, the First Family had to stay in their vehicles for a few minutes after the helicopter transported them from Tangalle to the Koggala Army Camp.
Female Legislator Overlooked
It was irony that took centre stage at an event organised by a women’s group to launch a report on how to increase female representation in local politics.
The event was organised at a five star hotel in Colombo by a women’s NGO with the assistance of the Norwegian embassy in Sri Lanka to publicise the report on the findings of a survey carried out on how to encourage women in the North and East to enter politics.
Ironically, the organisers had failed to allocate a seat for a female legislator to grace the occasion.
UPFA MP Dr. Sudharshani Fernandopulle had walked in to find that a seat had not been allocated to her although two seats had been designated to female opposition MPs.
She had immediately called the organisers and had expressed her disgust at the manner in which a women’s organisation had failed to recognise a female in politics.
Dr. Fernandopulle had said that there were only 13 female legislators in the country and it was sad to see women’s organisations aimed at promoting female representation overlooking women who are already in politics.
Dr. Fernandopulle had raised her objections and walked out of the ceremony.