cornered in Ponnambalam murder
that President Chandrika Kumaratunga knew the identities of the murderers of All Ceylon
Tamil Congress Leader Kumar Ponnambalam for the past several months mounted last week when
an inspector of police, Nuwan Vedasinghe, swore on oath that he helped type the damning
report that informed the president of the background of the killings as far back as
By The Insider
When Kumar Ponnambalam was murdered in cold blood in January, 2000, we editorialised
his death as follows:
"The late Kumar Ponnambalam had many enchanting qualities, one of which was his
abysmal failure in politics. Ponnambalam was given to calling a spade a shovel, a disdain
for euphemism that failed to endear him to many. Of course, he went further than that,
adopting apparently extreme positions not so much because he believed in them, but because
he wanted to provoke the intellectually less adept to think. They didn't, and they killed
him. The Sinhalese have a phrase for such murders: they say, garandiyek maruwa - 'they
killed a rat snake.' A rat snake is large and apparently formidable, but harmless. Kumar
was just that.
Although Ponnambalam, despite several attempts, was never elected to office in any
capacity, he continued to be a thorn in the flesh for the Kumaratunga establishment, the
outspoken enfant terrible of the Tamil cause. He was never taken seriously by the LTTE,
and he himself was mortally scared of the rebels. When TULF Leader Neelan Thiruchelvam was
assassinated by the LTTE, Ponnambalam was careful not to point his finger at the Tigers.
The provocative outspokenness of this advocate of the Tamil cause however, was clearly too
much for Kumaratunga."
Why it was her cousin, Anuruddha Ratwatte's son Mahen, who organised Ponnambalam's
murder is a mystery. The ACTC leader could not possibly have wronged Ratwatte Junior. No
doubt Ponnambalam's numerous provocative and belittling utterances critical of Kumaratunga
served to irk the president. And even as Kumaratunga is known glibly to use her license to
kill, as her Tissamaharama Doctrine exemplifies, it would surely be testing the public's
credulity to think it possible that mere banter by Ponnambalam could have caused her to
wish him dead. Or would it?
Just days prior to his murder, Kumaratunga no less was on national television launching
a blistering attack on Ponnambalam by innuendo. Days before that verbal attack,
Ponnambalam himself wrote an article, launching a scathing attack on the president. The
president's television address was on January 2, 2000. Kumar was murdered three days
later, on January 5.
This was a time the president, having returned from London after medical attention
following the Town Hall bomb blast was breathing fire.
It should be also recalled that it is at about the same time, the president herself
alleged plans were afoot to kill an 'editor or two' by a minister, the minister being S.
B. Dissanayake, who in turn has charged that it was the president who was mooting such
During the past three weeks we have published convincing evidence that both the police
and Kumaratunga were aware by September 2000 at the latest that Ponnambalam and Satana
newspaper editor Rohana Kumara were murdered by people very close to the president.
An official report from the Director of the CDB to the President of Sri Lanka dated
September 7, 2000 informs Her Excellency succinctly that Anuruddha Ratwatte's son Mahen
commissioned two underworld thugs, a reserve Police constable Sudath Ranasinghe and Moratu
Saman, to murder Kumar Ponnambalam. A third assassin, one Sujeewa, also joined in the
killing. It went on to say that Mahen Ratwatte was harbouring Ranasinghe until he
surrendered, in connection with another offence; that when questioned, Mahen Ratwatte had
the audacity to tell the Director of the CDB, 'Why are you worried? All the top people
know about the assassination'; and that in addition to everything else, the Ratwatte
family is harbouring and consorting with yet another criminal, Dhammika Perera, who is
wanted in connection with no less than 17 other murders!
As for the Murder of Rohana Kumara, and the two abortive attempts on the life of the
editor of The Sunday Leader, the police and Kumaratunga have been aware at least since
September 2000 that they were committed by the notorious underworld criminal, Baddegana
Sanjeeva, whom Kumaratunga knowingly retained in her Security Division and upon whose
murder she sent a wreath of flowers condoling his demise.
In fact, SSP Wickramasinghe in his affidavit reveals, upon the president being told of
Baddegana Sanjeeva's involvement in Rohana Kumara's murder, she had allegedly said
Sanjeeva must be sent abroad.
Predictably in the aftermath of The Sunday Leader revelations, Kumaratunga last week
wrote formally to IGP Lucky Kodituwakku stating that no meeting with Show Wickramasinghe
had taken place as alleged by him, denying also in effect that she had read his report
dated September 7, 2001. That Kumaratunga is a fluent and habitual liar has now been well
established, and it would be testing the public's patience to give any credibility
whatever at face value to her denial. In any case it rings hollow in the light of
Kumaratunga's celebrated Tissamaharama Doctrine, in which she urged her supporters to
'murder those who you think are murderers'. That the president is a criminal is well
established: her statement at Tissamaharama constitutes a crime in terms of Sections 100
and 101 of the Penal Code. It constitutes an impeachable offence in terms of Article 38 of
the Constitution that she has sworn to uphold and defend.
It is also no secret that following the PSD's attempt to murder Minister S. B.
Dissanayake, the president no less telephoned the police and directed that the arrested
PSD officers be handed over to their Director Nihal Karunaratne. We also have it from
Dissanayake that Kumaratunga plotted to burn down the presses of The Sunday Leader and
Ravaya in addition to planning the murders of the editors of these newspapers, a charge
the president first levelled against Dissanayake.
Kumaratunga's urging Kodituwakku to investigate Bandula Wickramasinghe's allegations
are laughable. The police themselves have known the facts behind these murders all along
and failed to bring the perpetrators to book. They have gone further, and been party to a
disgraceful cover up. A political appointee of the worst kind, Kodituwakku can hardly now
credibly initiate an inquiry into the complicity in murder of his own appointing
authority, the president. The president's request to Kodituwakku tantamounts to seeking a
cover up by a selected team of henchmen, possibly led by CID DIG Punya de Silva. In any
event, it should not take Kumaratunga to call for the investigation. She is a suspect and
the government should have by now appointed an independent team to probe the charges.
The question all these sordid details begs is, 'What is the UNF government doing about
it?' Answer: nothing. The police under Lucky Kodituwakku has been miserably politicised.
Policemen by and large seem to think that they have to side with whichever government is
in power. This is precisely why the police have yet to act effectively against the baser
elements of the UNF who are wreaking vengeance against their PA opponents. Prime Minister
Ranil Wickremesinghe must act swiftly to end this malaise. Kodituwakku, a political
hireling, cannot credibly retain his post. He must go and go now. What is more, the new
IGP should have the strength and courage to act impartially and objectively, not cowing
and bowing to the whims and interests of politicians, be they ever so high. More even than
the politicians, the police need a new culture in Sri Lanka, and the government must not
delay to introduce it.
Despite Kumaratunga's denial, another police officer, Nuwan Vedasinghe, has now stated
under oath that he helped type Bandula Wickramasinghe's report to the president dated
September 7, 2000, and also that he and Wickramasinghe went jointly and handed it to
Temple Trees. What is more, he has named a third person, a computer expert named Duleep
Samarasinghe, who helped type the document. It is now Kumaratunga's word against that of
three others, none of whom has an axe to grind in this affair. Furthermore, he
corroborates SSP Wickramasinghe on the damning evidence contained in the September 7
report as well as Wickramasinghe's affidavit stating he himself as the officer
investigating the murder passed on the information to the CDB Director. And the report of
September 7 and the affidavits don't stand in isolation.
Apart from more evidence to follow, telephone records, computer records, diary entries,
etc. will also show whether Wickramasinghe in fact prepared a report, visited Temple
Trees, spoke with DIG T. V. Sumanasekera and Sarath Gonagala at the relevant time, just
While the constitution bestows immunity from legal action on the president, it does not
give her immunity from investigation. The police must investigate the murders in which she
has been implicated, albeit post facto, and the government must act on their findings. It
simply will not do for Sri Lanka to have a president whose hands are stained with covering
up murder at the best and plotting it at the worst.
P Jayantha Vedasinghe's affidavit
I Keerthi Nuwan Jayantha Vedasinghe, Inspector of Police, Police station Ampara, being
a Buddhist do hereby solemnly sincerely and truly declare and state as follows:
1. I am a the affirmant above named.
2. I am an Inspector of Police and currently function as the Personal Assistant to the
Senior Superintendent of Police Ampara Division.
3. I was appointed as the officer-in-charge of the Colombo Detective Bureau in 1994. I
functioned as the officer-in-charge until November 2000.
4. My superior officer from November 1998, while I was OIC of the Colombo Detective
Bureau was Senior Superintendent of Police Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe.
5. In late August 2000, Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe my senior superintendent informed me
that he was required to meet HE the President and was going to Temple Trees for that
6. I state that Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe informed me that he could not meet HE the
President that day and was required to meet her the next day at Temple Trees.
7. I state that after returning from Temple Trees on the second occasion Mr. Bandula
Wickramasinghe informed me that he met HE the President and during the meeting had
informed HE the President information regarding the activities of Minister Anuruddha
Ratwatte's sons, the Kumar Ponnambalam murder and doings of Baddegana Sanjeewa. I state
that Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe informed me that after listening to him HE the President
had required Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe to forward a report on the information that had
been given by him regarding Minister Ratwatte's sons to HE the President.
8. I state that later Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe informed me to find a responsible and
reliable person to type the said report since HE the President had wanted the report
prepared secretly and confidentially.
9. I state that thereafter I contacted Mr. Duleep Samarasinghe whom I knew was an
expert in computers as well as a reliable and confidential person and asked him to come to
the CDB Headquarters.
10. I state that Mr. Duleep Samarasinghe came to my office and both of us assisted Mr.
Bandula Wickramasinghe to prepare a report addressed to HE the President.
11. I state that I can identify the said report that was prepared by Mr. Bandula
Wickramasinghe, Mr. Duleep Samarasinghe and myself and annex to this Affidavit a copy of
the said report which has been signed in every page by me by way of authentication
(Annexure A). I state that annexure A is a copy of the very same report referred to above.
12. I state that I accompanied Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe to Temple Trees to hand over
the said report prepared by us. I state that after calling one Mr. Gonagala on Mr.
Wickramasinghe's mobile phone, Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe went up to the gate of Temple
Tress and handed over the report to a person. Thereafter, we returned to CDB Headquarters.
13. I state that matters stated by Mr. Bandula Wickramasinghe in his report are on
facts reported to him by me consequent to investigations conducted under my supervision.
Further state that the informant was instructed by me to give all information to Mr.
Bandula Wickramasinghe. I knew that the informant had given all information to Mr. Bandula
Wickramasinghe over the telephone in this regard.
Regulatory authority needed for gas market
By Amantha Perera
As predicted in The Sunday Leader last week, gas prices came down by Rs. 50. The
reduction only applies to cylinders marketed by Laufs which will now be in the market at
The reduction came as a request made by Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Ravi
Karunanayake seeking possibilities of reducing gas prices. Laufs had come back to the
minister saying that it could bring down prices provided certain amendments are carried
out in its agreement with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. Laufs buys its entire stock
from the CPC.
Soon after the reduction, Karunanayake said that the ministry was looking into reducing
the prices even further. And according to officials at Shell, Laufs, their only rival,
could cut down prices even further. They argue that if the CPC stocks are provided to
their company, the price could be brought down to Rs. 250 per cylinder. So if Shell is to
be believed, Laufs still has a Rs. 100 mark-up to play around with.
Soon after the Laufs price reduction was announced, Shell wrote to Karunanayake stating
its proposals on price revisions. However, it was not clear whether Shell had indicated
that it can bring the price down. Shell officials were tight lipped about the letter and
The proposals refer to putting in place a pricing system through which the price could
be set on a monthly basis. Now the price is set every six months. If a monthly price is
set, the Sri Lankan consumer would have to get used to fluctuating prices every 30 days.
On the other hand, Shell had earlier indicated to the minister that it was unable to
bring the prices down and looking at the CP Aramco price and the exchange rate, the price
per cylinder would need to go up by about Rs. 20. The formula that has been suggested in
the letter also involves the Aramco rate and the exchange rate, which means that it is
unlikely prices can be brought down.
Minister Karunanayake also said that any operator could refill any cylinder. Which
means that Laufs could refill Shell cylinders and vise versa. However, Laufs officials
themselves revealed that the company does not have any intention to set about refilling
Shell cylinders. In fact, the cylinder is the property of the company and the consumer
gets to use it after the payment of a deposit. "It would be like Pepsi filling a Coke
bottle," a Shell official said.
The Sunday Leader learns that Laufs is now awaiting written approval on the matter from
the ministry. Ministry officials were reportedly going into the legal ramifications of
such a move and it was not clear how long it would take to get the plan rolling. Last
week's price revision would only affect 85,000 cylinders of the 140,000 tons that are
consumed every year. Nevertheless, Karunanayake should be lauded for attempting to bring
down the prices.
The question that begs to be answered is that if Karunanayake, who has been in the job
for less than a month, could attempt such manoeuvers and succeed, why didn't the earlier
regime? Why didn't anyone think of such possibilities when the deals were signed, a time
when the exchange rate was not this high and competition would have created a clear
advantage to the government to hammer out a deal that would have been to the benefit of
The PA deals with both Shell and Laufs have come under criticism. While the Shell deal
has been criticized as being one-sided and creating undue advantage, the latter has come
under criticism from Shell itself, who has argued that when the CPC contract was awarded
to Laufs, no open tenders were called and there was no transparent pricing system.
However, there is no regulatory authority in place to look into these allegations.
That is the next step that Karunanayake has to take. He has to make sure that an
independent regulator is there to look after the gas market since ministerial intervention
at every nook and corner would not be the ideal situation. The need of a regulator was
felt once again just days after the Laufs reduction was announced.
The Auto Gas Association of Sri Lanka wrote Karunanayake highlighting areas which it
felt was detrimental to their industry with Laufs price revision. The Association
predicted in the letter that with the reduction, vehicles using LPG would take a massive
rise but most of the business would go to Laufs as it can give the best deal driving out
competition. The Association also said that more and more vehicles would resort to using
domestic cylinders for vehicles.
Charging that Laufs has already announced that it would do the conversion to gas free
of charge provided the vehicles only use Laufs stations, the Association predicted, rather
gloomily, "The proper conversion market which is already on its last legs would
fold." The Association has been in the forefront of accusing Laufs of siphoning LPG
meant for domestic cylinders to vehicular use.
However, appealing to Karunanayake would not have been needed if there was regulator in
place. For that, the minister is not to be blamed. It was the job of those who carried out
the deal and the market players at that time to insist for a regulator, as Shell has begun
to do rather belatedly. The prevalent situation is so bad that Shell has complained to
three government arms about its grievances regarding Laufs, and so far, has not got a
single reply. The regulatory authority should be Karunanayake's next priority.
Prima's pricing formula
During the last two weeks, The Sunday Leader has been exposing the controversial Prima
deal and this week we give our readers an idea of how the pricing formula in this contract
will affect the end price of wheat flour to consumers.
Pricing is stated in the sale agreement under:
Pricing of wheat flour
(i) The government shall on or immediately before the effective date, fix the price of
general purpose standard wheat flour in institutional packs ex-Trincomalee based on the
formula set out below.
(ii) Barring force majeure, the buffer stocks need to be maintained and the following
formula price shall apply only to General Purpose Standard Wheat Flour in institutional
packs ex-factory Trincomalee till the expiry of five (5) years from the Effective Date
i.e. till 19th June 2006.
Formula price (A+B) + C. where 0.74
"A" is the average of the last six (6) months before the first business day
of the Relevant Time representing the closing FOB price of wheat mix quoted on the Kanas
City Board of the Trade at the Relevant Time.
"B" is the sum of the cost of freight and insurances Ex PNW/GULF to
Trincomalee and any duties, taxes and levies including any surcharge on import duty
payable at the point of Customs.
"C" is the cost of packaging and additives.
The Sunday Leader contracted a leading commodity trader to comment on this formula and
this is what he had to say.
"The effective date being 20.06.01 (assuming that the sale proceeds of US$ 65
million has been remitted to Sri Lanka governments a/c on the said date) the government
would have fixed a price in Sri Lanka Rupees based on the above formula for wheat flour
which is stated in the contract as "General Purpose Standard Wheat Flour." The
institutional packing is not clearly explained and therefore Prima would be in a position
to supply in any packing with any net weight of their choice which they can say is
"institutional packing." Standard packing for wheat flour is 'New Strong Single
PP bags of 50 kgs nett per bag with inner polyliner.' Price is stated as 'ex-Trincomalee.'
It is standard practice in contracts such as this, that you mention specifically as 'FOB
Tincomalee,' 'ex-warehouse Trincomalee' or 'on truck Trincomalee' etc. There is a cost
difference involved for each of the above.
The mention of buffer stocks is misleading. Is this pricing applicable only for buffer
stocks to be maintained for the government or is the price that Prima sells the wheat
flour to the public? Or, is Prima permitted to sell wheat flour to the public at any price
they wish and the formula applies only for buffer stocks?
Here, the price specifically refers to ex-factory Trincomalee and is thus contradictory
to what appears in the earlier paragraph.
Kansas City Board of Trade is the terminal market at which wheat futures (paper
contracts) are traded. The Kansas City BOT futures contract for wheat is quoted in US
Dollar per bushel FOB USA Gulf. For the period 20.06.01 to end of the year 31.12.01, the
wheat flour price will be determined amongst other factors by the average of the Kansas
City BOT wheat closing price on every single trading day in the six months before 20.06.01
for both soft wheat grain and hard wheat grain. Each succeeding year a new price for wheat
flour will be fixed on the first business day of that year (1.1.02) taking again the
average Kansas City BOT wheat closing price on every single trading day in the six months
preceding. Why closing price of only six months was selected is unclear particularly when
pricing is fixed for one whole year. (A price variation clause for fluctuating closing
prices as well as for exchange rates is given as above).
Another factor is the cost of freight and insurance. These costs are mentioned
ex-PNW/Gulf to Trincomalee. It is not clear how these are arrived at. Is it on any
declaration made by Prima or an independent body or a recognised trade body? Is it on the
average of six months or one year or that on the 'effective date?' Further, freight from
PNW (Pacific North West) and Gulf (East Coast) to Trincomalee is never the same. Even if
we consider a computation of freight and insurance from the USA on this basis as
reasonable, how will it apply for other origin wheat such as that from Australia or India?
For eg. current rate of freight for a cargo load of 50,000 MT wheat grain from the USA,
Gulf to Trinco would be in the region of US$ 18/- MT but from India, it would be no more
than US$ 10/MT. The application of the formula for Freight and Insurance is thus
misleading, if not mischievous.
In item "B" is included local costs such as duties, taxes and levies, which
are always paid in local rupees whereas freight and insurance is paid for in US Dollars.
How the local cost is to be converted into US$ to achieve the sum of "B" is not
clear nor explained. 'Agreed exchange rate' is mentioned at the end. Where and how it will
be applied, is not mentioned.
Item "C" refers to costs involved in packaging and for additives. No details
of packaging is mentioned nor is there a list of additives. For eg. If Prima decides to
change the current packing in bags into boxes, the government is obliged to pay the
difference. Further, the government is obliged to meet the costs of packaging and
additives (whatever they may be and changed at their will) as declared by Prima, however
high they may be.
0.74 refers to a conversion quotient i.e. 100 kgs of wheat grain when milled gives 74
kgs of wheat flour and 26 kgs of wheat bran. This yield rate is true for only certain
wheat frain such as that from USA, Canada, Australia etc., where the actual yield is even
higher. For Indian wheat grain the yield is only 65%. How a 0.74 quotient could be applied
universally is therefore beyond comprehension.
From the price variation clause which is stated above, it appears that only Prima (PCL)
can decide to adjust the formula price if the mentioned variations take place. The
important word here is 'may' and not 'shall.' Under items a) the adjustment of + US$
20/Mtons refers for a 'statistical trend' whatever it means. These words are not defined
and thus, meaningless. Same goes for exchange rates. For eg. on 1.1.02 if one US$ equals
Rs. 100 and on 30.06.02 it is Rs. 110 and again on 31.12.02 it drops to Rs. 102, how are
the prices to be adjusted? The meaning of the words 'statistical trend' should have been
He added, "It will be an interesting exercise to use the formula for all the
purchases made by the CWE prior to this sale agreement and compare those results with the
amount CWE actually paid, for the said cargoes. What is even more devastating is that no
compensation whatsoever is given for the wheat bran (25%) which Prima gets from milling of
the wheat grain."
As we have stated before, it is vital for this government to request Prima to
re-negotiate this contract in everybody's interest. It is now known to us that Prima
imported a large of Sort Wheat on a vessel named 'Navaring' in November this year, a
quantity of 61,282 metric tons at a dectaral value of US$ 7,736,107 or a unit price of US$
126,23 per metric ton C&FFO Colombo. They paid on duty or GST only NSL of 6.5 pct and
stamp duty of 1 pct. This is the actual cost as declared by Prima. It will be interesting
to see how the government will be called upon to pay under this formula!
Rising from the ashes
By Ranee Mohamed
They say you can't put a good man down, so it is with a good TV and radio station; for
barely one hour after a major fire destroyed Sirasa's master control room, studios and and
edit suites one two and three, they sprang back on air with a greater force.
Two hours after the fire, even Sirasa TV was there in our homes, live and clear, very
matter-of-factly giving us their hottest news -- their own home news of the fire. Sirasa
Radio started their broadcast one hour after the fire, underscoring the efficiency and
professionalism of the Maharajah Group.
Sirasa, at Depanama, Pannipitiya who brought entertainment and news to the nation for
ten years suffered their worst setback, when a major fire ripped through the studios
Sunday last. The fire started at approximately 1.40 p.m. January 6. It was caused possibly
by an electrical short-circuit.
Friends, well-wishers, journalists and political personalities rushed to Depanama the
moment the news reached them. It was perhaps the only news-event that Sirasa missed while
Forty people were hospitalised with problems of smoke inhalation, but people like
Sangeeth Kalubowila took time to go into hospital, for he waited till he finished his news
bulletin to think about himself and his health and later sought treatment for smoke
"There was smoke coming out and we could not go in. It was unbelievable,"
said Senior Engineer Priyal Udugampola.
Sirasa Radio first went on air on March 2, 1992 and Sirasa TV came into being on June
16, 1998. Ever since, Sirasa has gained strength and enjoyed immense popularity. Their
breakfast shows, lunchtime TV, Adaraneeya Amma, Rasa Risi Gee, Hindi top ten, Sujatha,
Kagede Gee Nada, Savanata Vadanak, Nonawarunu Mahathuruni are programmes eagerly awaited
by hundreds of thousands of viewers.
"And nothing is going to change, we will continue with the same fare," said
Group Director Nimal Lakshapathiarachchi.
"When I received the news of the fire, I was in hospital visiting a patient. I
could not believe it. My first question from Sydney Chandrasekera, who telephoned me was,
"Is it a fire which we can control," said Nilendra Deshapriya, Director of
Broadcasting. "But Sydney answered in the negative and I rushed to the scene,"
"The place was filled with smoke and employees were coughing. We lost a lot of
machines, but our human machines were very much alive," said Lakshapathiarachchi. He
said the employees were more interested in saving what they could.
"We will come back in a big way and we will take this opportunity to introduce the
newest and latest technology -- technology of the next generation," said Mano
Wikramanayake, Group Director -- Electronic Media Business of the Maharaja Organisation,
speaking from his Dawson Street office.
"This is a big financial loss, but we have suffered several setbacks and this is a
substantial loss, but we will come out of it," stressed a very confident
It is Thursday, January 10, 2002. It is hard to say that barely four days ago this
place had a blazing problems. The pihibiya trees continued to fan a soft breeze and Sirasa
stood elegantly up on that hill.
Inside, the newsroom was abuzz with happenings from all over. The only tell-tale sign
was that hundreds of tapes were being wiped with pieces of cloth. There was a container
full of tapes in the garden. We could hear news being aired and passed several sections
with employees at their busiest.
Then came a time to don helmets and walk into a dark corridor; it was easy to imagine
this place as a hive of activity. We were walking along the once-chic studios of MTV and
Sirasa. It was heart-rending. Today it lay blackened, equipment, cameras and pieces of
technology that one could not fathom.
In a different area, MTV and Sirasa were in full swing. There was no air-conditioning
and no phones, but employees kept smiling into cameras and paused to wipe their foreheads.
MTV may have lost their equipment, but they have retained their greatest and most
valuable assets -- their employees. Talented and dedicated, they continued to give the
same high-quality fare to their fans. The professional approach of MTV and Sirasa and
Shakthi TV, be it in presenting news, views, interviews and entertainment, has sent feet
tapping and lightened many a heart. This is why perhaps fans rushed to their aid with food
and drink the moment they heard about the fire.
Today, MTV is thankful to other TV stations, Rupavahini, ITN and Swarnavahini, for
giving them all their support.
It is at a time of disaster that we realise how much we are appreciated and how much we
are loved. Ten years is a long time and for ten years they have reported, and the viewers
have decided that they are too precious to be allowed to go up in smoke.