21st  July 2002, Volume 9, Issue 1
















Averting sinking of the peace process

By Suranimala

Having been dangerously poised, the peace process suddenly gathered momentum early last week with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission and the Norwegian facilitators moving to diffuse tensions following the mid sea drama on Saturday, July 13.

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PM snubs CBK’s call to sack Ravi 

In a fiery exchange of letters on Friday, July 19, President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe openly clashed over Commerce Minister Ravi Karunanayake whose sacking from the cabinet the President had called for.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe in responding to the president’s written request to sack the minister has not only rejected the demand but had by implication accused Kumaratunga of lying in her letter.

Minister Karunanayake has together with Finance Minister K.N. Choksy been in the forefront of exposing the Rs. 2.4 billion luxury vehicle purchase by the President.

The clash between the President and Prime Minister on Friday followed a meeting they had 24 hours earlier which was described by a section of the media as a reconciliatory meeting to re-establish the politics of co-habitation.

They have been starving for days and it was tears of joy for them on Wednesday (17) when a doctor responded to their heart-rending plight highlighted in The Sunday Leader last week under the headline "Knock! Knock! Who’s there?" These families living on the road near Lake House were chased away from the railway station. They were promised homes, but it is six months since then. Not only did they break promises, but hearts too.... They continue to plead for help — for the sake of their children
                                    Photo by Berty Mendis

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CBK's diversionary ploy

By Suranimala

Even as the cabinet sub committee probing the 2.4 billion rupees presidential luxury vehicle deal was zeroing in on President Chandrika Kumaratunga, a last minute effort was underway by the president to deflect the issue by producing 48 vehicles for inspection.

What the president sought to do was display 48 vehicles hoping it will lead to the inference all the vehicles were accounted for, thereby deflecting completely from questions of the failure to follow government regulations including the involvement of the company Navigere.

Ironically, while the cabinet sub committee in a note dated July 16 was accusing Kumaratunga of misleading the cabinet of ministers and querying who was responsible for this Rs. 2.4 billion deal, Kumaratunga was issuing ultimatums to the cabinet to come and view the vehicles by pleading for yet more time to answer the latest note signed by Ministers K.N. Choksy, John Amaratunga, Ravi Karunanayake and Mahinda Samarasinghe.

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