Invitation From CBK
UNP parliamentarian Buddhika Pathirana recently bumped into former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge on an Emirates flight bound for Colombo from Dubai.
Pathirana was returning to Sri Lanka after attending a workshop in Canada when he met Kumaratunge while passing through the business section of the flight.
It was Kumaratunge who first greeted Pathirana and after exchanging pleasantries, the former President asked him how the UNP was fairing these days.
He responded, saying the party affairs were continuing as usual.
Kumaratunge then told Pathirana, “If you guys come with a proper leader, I will show you how to take over power within three months.”
She then inquired if Pathirana is a member of Sajith Premadasa’s faction, for which the MP had responded saying he is.
Pathirana said that he had read on websites that Premadasa’s office at the party headquarters has been locked down.
“Not nice,” Kumaratunge said, adding that Ranil Wickremesinghe was still far better than Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Nevertheless, Kumaratunge observed that she was even informed by UNPer from Attanagalle that Wickremesinghe could not win an election.
Pathirana then inquired from Kumaratunge if senior members from the government still kept in touch with her.
She smiled and said that they were afraid to keep in touch with her, but they had means of communicating with her when there was a need for it.
Basil And Nimal “LTTEers” Before Long
The labelling of persons or groups acting against the government as “LTTEers” or “LTTE supporters” by the government still continues.
Operations Coordinator of the Movement for People’s Struggle, Duminda Nagamuwa said the government before long would end up calling SLFP seniors like Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva as LTTEers if they criticize any actions of the government.
Nagamuwa referring to accusations level by some government members against the Movement that it was being supported by the LTTE said that the government was still using the LTTE label even after the end of the war.
“The government claimed that the LTTE has been wiped out, but it still continues to use the LTTE label for its survival,” he added. He noted the government based its survival by showing a greater evil to the people.
Nagamuwa pointed out that no person who has spoken against the government has been spared from being labelled as an “LTTEer.”
“One of the these days senior ministers like Basil Rajapaksa and Nimal Siripala de Silva will also be called LTTEers if they point out any wrong doings of the government,” he said.
The Fall Guy
The government has found a fall guy for the whole mess up in A/Level results. This time it is the computer operator who has been chosen to take the blame.
The committee appointed by the President to probe the mess up in the A/Level results has stated that the mess was due to the fault of the computer operator who had entered the data into the computer system.
The authorities have been under fire for the past few weeks over the mess up in the A/Level results and after blaming everything on a computer error, the fault has finally been laid on the computer operator.
Education sector trade unions however say that finding fault with the computer operator alone is not the solution to the issue.
However, the trade unions point out that the mess up was due to the delay in releasing the results and then finally releasing them following a Presidential directive in a hurry without a proper mechanism.
“The government cannot shirk responsibility for the mess up,” the Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) said.
Illegal Timber To Construct Courthouse
The Wild Life Department officials in Bakamuna in the Polonnaruwa District have confiscated stocks of timber from trees that had been cut down illegally.
The irony of the incident was that the illegal timber was being transported to be used for construction work of the courthouse in Bakamuna.
The Wild Life officials had carried out an inspection at the work site on a tip off and had found wood from Teak, Halmilla, Palu and Jack trees.
It is believed that most of the timber would have been taken from illegally cut trees in the Minneriya Forest Reserve.
The Wild Life officials have initiated an inquiry into the matter.
Namal In Court
First Son and UPFA parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa who took oaths as a lawyer last month appeared in the Colombo District Court last week for a case.
The case was of UNP defector, parliamentarian Mohan Lal Grero, who has filed a case before court challenging his expulsion from the UNP. Grero defected to the government last month and was later appointed as the supervising parliamentarian of the Education Ministry.
Rajapaksa appeared along with Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha for the case.
The court postponed Grero’s case till January 26th.
A Call From MR
President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week telephoned the UPFA MP and wife of the late Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Dr. Sudharshani Fernandopulle.
The President made the call on the 11th when preparations were being made to commemorate Jeyaraj’s birth anniversary.
“Is it not Jeyaraj’s birthday today?” the President has asked. Dr. Fernandopulle had asked how the President knew it.
Rajapaksa had responded by saying that it was Jeyaraj’s 59th birth anniversary and that he always remembers his friend’s birthday.
He had added that his friendship with Jeyaraj went to the days when they were both studying at Law College. The President has then asked what plans had been made to commemorate the anniversary.
Dr. Fernandopulle has said that religious observances have been organized at various places including at the temple built by Jeyaraj.
Rajapaksa has inquired after the children and had ended the conversation saying he would leisurely pay a visit to the family.
UPFA Galle District parliamentarian Ramesh Pathirana, who is the son of former Education Minster the late Richard Pathirana tied the knot last week at the Galle Face Hotel.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa was one of the first guests to arrive at the wedding.
Interestingly, there had not been many government and opposition parliamentarians at the venue, which is usually a common feature at many weddings of politicians and those related to them. Ramesh’s wedding had been void of much of the fanfare witnessed in VIP weddings.
Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody who is also a Ramesh’s relative had been present at the wedding. Weerakkody had also organized the fireworks display that was put on show when the newly wedded couple prepared to leave the reception hall.