two children were among the nine handed over by the LTTE to
their parents last week in Jaffna. The LTTE released the nine
below 18 years who had joined the organisation voluntarily. The
child on the right kept looking blankly at his feet most of the
time during the hand-over ceremony as if he was not sure what to
do next now that the LTTE was sending him home. Photo by Asoka
readies for poll
The government yesterday moved its election machinery into full gear amidst
reports that the Supreme Court will tomorrow notify Speaker Joseph
Michael Perera that the 19th amendment to the constitution will
not require the approval of the people at a referendum.
learns, however, that while the Supreme Court is expected to so
rule, there was also speculation that the court will require one
provision in the amendment dealing with the conscience vote to be
subject to a referendum.
Minister who went out of Colombo for the weekend, Friday night
informed UNP chairman Malik Samarawickrama to prepare the party
machinery to meet any eventuality and set in motion the party’s
on Saturday convened a meeting of the party’s think tank at Siri
Kotha to map out the party’s strategies for the coming week.
told The Sunday Leader yesterday the party is being geared
to face a general election or a referendum if the need arises.
with a huge mandate from the north-east and South to consolidate
the peace process, even if a referendum is called for, it will be
don’t think a referendum will be called for, but even if it is,
we will use such mandate given at a referendum to push for
economic revival of the country in addition to the other
democratic reforms on the pipeline” he said.
also said while the government was certain of the two thirds
majority to pass the 19th amendment, in the event of any
unforeseen circumstances to realise this aim, he said the
possibility of a snap general election will be inevitable.
member Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Sarath Silva
and Justices S.W.Wadugodapitiya, Shiranee Bandaranayake, Hector
Yapa and Amir Ismail last week heard submissions for and against
the 19th amendment and are expected to notify the Speaker of their
ruling tomorrow (Monday).
told The Sunday Leader the country was at a critical
juncture with regard to the peace process and can ill afford
political instability or divisive politics at this stage by going
to the electorate, but would be left with no option if the 19th
amendment requires a referendum or fails to get a 2/3rd majority.
a crucial meeting of the PA parliamentary group is scheduled for
5.30 pm tomorrow at President’s house to discuss the current
political situation , with parliament also scheduled to meet on
President is expected to chair the PA parliamentary group meeting.
153 mn. scam at CEB
By Frederica Jansz
Another scam at the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is alleged to have
taken place with regard to the purchase of spares for the 110 MW
Frame 9E gas turbine at the Kelanitissa power station.
calling for quotations in April this year from registered
suppliers to supply spares for the above machine, the CEB
is to pay Rs. 153 million more than a recommended tenderer and buy
the spares from an Indian source.
were called from six reputed suppliers, of which two responded to
bids came from Global Energy Technologies who offered a quote of
US$ 2,325,520 as
against GE Power Systems/BHEL (India) which quoted US$ 3,926,830.
decisions were made by the CEB in this regard but both companies
who made the offers were asked to extend the validity of their
offers four times. It
is now six months since offers were called on a critical basis.
Power Systems (India) has previously supplied parts for the Frame
V gas turbines at Kelanitissa, but the CEB on numerous occasions,
the last being as recently as March this year, have complained and
warned the Indian firm about supplying damaged parts.
these shortcomings and the fact that R. S. Kodikara, the
procurement engineer at the CEB in a note to the DGM (Thermal
Complex) on July 7, observing that due consideration must be given
to Global Energy System - there has suddenly been a change of
Sandhanayake, the project director had suddenly recommended
borrowing the necessary parts from AES and replacing them later by
buying from GE/BHEL, India, which will incur an additional cost of
Rs. 153 million for the CEB as against the offer made by Global
result, the CEB has violated government tender procedure and
ignored the CEB’s call for quotations in April this year, by
making an ad hoc decision to scavenge parts from one machine and
then purchase new parts for this machine, at a cost that is nearly
Rs. 2 million higher than a quoted offer.
however denied having interfered with this tender. He said he had
only made a proposal on the recommendations of the consultant
inspector from GE who has, Sandhanayake
claims, stated he would prefer for the spare parts to be bought
added that the decision to scavenge spares from the AES gas
turbine machine was made “because there is a problem of getting
concerned over child soldiers
The LTTE is not doing enough concerning child soldiers, officials of the Sri
Lanka Monitoring Mission based in Jaffna said last week.
The criticism came
ironically just after the LTTE had released nine under-aged
recruits to their parents and relatives in Jaffna last Wednesday
(2). At the releasing ceremony attended by officials of the SLMM,
the LTTE head in Jaffna, Ilambarandi said that it was done because
the children were under-aged and were not physically strong
enough. He also said that they had joined the organisation
can do a lot more,” was the reaction of Pekka Vihervas, the SLMM
deputy head for Jaffna
District. He added that the SLMM had received details of 100
children recruited by the LTTE and so far only nine had been
haven’t got any details of the others from the LTTE,” Vihervas
told The Sunday Leader. However, Ilambarandi said that
since the MoU, the LTTE had released 70 under-aged recruits who
joined the organisation after the MoU. The SLMM official said that
the 70 did not include the 100 names that were received by the
famous for its young combatants has been more attuned to the
international pressure on using child soldiers since the MoU.
During negotiations on the release of POWs, the LTTE refused to
accept a 14-year-old suspect.
ceremony to hand over the children in Jaffna, the LTTE presented
some of the children with books and other educational material.
The LTTE also handed over three boys above 18 years to their
however observed that despite such hand-overs some of the children
return to the organisation. At least one of the nine handed over
on Wednesday was not willing to go back to the parents.
of child soldiers in LTTE ranks wary with some putting the figure
as high as 4000.
Vihervas observed that the child soldier problem could not be
solved without alleviating the living conditions in the north.
“We can understand why some of the children do this. Their
living conditions are terrible,” he said.
in the net this week
The Criminal Investigations Department expects to arrest a doctor in the medical profession for having master-
minded the killing of Dr. Wasantha Seneviratne of Homagama this
sleuth confided the cops are already on the trail of the killers
and expect to net a colleague of Dr. Seneviratne’s early in the
Seneviratne was gunned down at his home at Homagama last month.
Success of night life
By Risidra Mendis
Barely a month after illuminating
the city of Colombo by the Colombo Municipal Council(CMC),
Deputy Mayor Azath Sally says so far the concept has
received full support from the public as well as
the private sector.
He said leading business organisations have volunteered
to increase their activity
to light up Colombo
in order to comply with the CMC initiatives.
The deputy mayor said one of the leading clothes shops
has come forward not only to illuminate its own building but the
adjoining buildings as well. "This is absolutely
encouraging," he said.
He also said two leading paint companies have offered to
donate paints to paint the town hall free of charge.
"The 23 companies that initially offered to help
us in this
regard are continuing to render assistance. They have further
vowed to light up some other places where there is no light
at present," he said.
Sally, said the film
theatres that shut windows after the second show in the
past have now opted to go on for the third show as well. He said
the theatre owners have expressed satisfaction with regard to the
present security arrangement and have opted to open theatres till
late in the night.
Live bands also would be
providing the public entertainment
at night in the near future, he said.
According to him private companies would sponsor these live
bands. "You see, the council does not have to spend a cent.
The private companies have already pledged to assist financially
and otherwise," he said.
He said that lighting up the city would also bring down
the crime rate drastically, especially in Colombo. "Most of
the crimes are carried out at
night and with the whole city lit up, the perpetrators
would have second thoughts before indulging in their
nefarious activities," he pointed out.
"Once there is a decline in
crime and the city is lit up, foreigners and tourists would
be attracted to do more shopping. This would also put the city's
economy in better
shape," he said. He also said that the council is prepared to
accept constructive criticism but not
the sake of criticism. "I
understand some are trying to discourage us from doing this. But
we are going ahead. We realise we are on the right path so we are
proceeding," he added.
Meanwhile another CMC Member, C. P. Y. Ram also said the
concept of lighting up the city
momentum. He said this is a programme that was initiated by the
Colombo mayor and the residents in Colombo seem
to have accepted this concept and are now beginning to
"At the initial stage it was difficult for
the people to accept it. But now they are realising its
potential. I understand the cost factor involved but if people
could ignore this factor and continue to engage in night life they
could in turn increase their productivity, thereby contributing to
the economy," he pointed out.
granting leave to doctors
Two medical doctors attached to the Medical
Research Institute (MRI) who attended a programme titled 'Training
in Iodine Surveillance' have been granted two different types of
leave, Health Ministry sources disclosed.
While one doctor was granted duty leave the other was
asked to apply for personal leave entitled to him.
The Investigation Unit of the Health Ministry has now
been directed by the director general of health to probe in to
The programme was organised by the Center for Disease
Control (CDC), an American funded body. The seminar was held in
Health Ministry officials pointed out that according to
government regulations, as both doctors have been invited to
participate in the same programme, both should have been granted
duty leave. "This is unfair," they said.
Meanwhile The Sunday Leader also learns that the MRI
director had directed that both medical experts be sent on duty
leave, prior to their departure.
Killers still at large - Dr. Srideva
Dr. C. Srideva, a family physician, laments that
the inquiry into his son's murder
that took place on July 6, 2001 is still pending and that
the police have yet not managed to bring the culprits
A final year medical student of Sri Jayewardenapura
University, Niroshan Srideva was brutally murdered in front of his
father. Now the worried father says despite repeated requests to
Interior Affairs Minister John Amaratunga
and Minister of Power and Energy Minister
Karu Jayasuriya regarding this, nothing has so far
"Even the CID says that they still have no clues and
no progress has been made," he said.
"The emergency police arrived 10 minuets after the
murder took place. When I requested them to rush my son to the
hospital they refused saying that it is not their job," he
He says like doctors who try their best to save the lives
of patients, the police too should bring offenders them to justice.
Plans to resume India
- SL ferry service
By Shezna Shums
India and Sri Lanka are exploring the possibility
of resuming the ferry service which exsisted between the two
countries prior to the north-east war.
According to Shipping Corporation Chairman, A. J. M.
Muzammil, the Ports Development
Ministry with the help of the Indian Shipping Ministry and the Sri
Lanka Shipping Corporation has already conducted the preliminary
surveys to commence a professional ferry service from Colombo to
According to him both the Sri Lankan and the Indian
Shipping Ministries are
at present holding a series of discussions regarding this new
venture. The distance
of the journey is 140 nautical miles from
the Colombo port to the Tuticoran port, he observed.
"Earlier there was no regular ferry service between
the two countries. Only
at times there were a
few boats travelling to Colombo and the occasional cruise ship
from Singapore, Hong Kong or
from other parts of the world," he said.
He said Ports Minister Rauf Hakeem initiated this project. Muzammil however said final cabinet
approval has not yet been sought
as still the
ground work has not been finalised.
Regarding the fares,
Muzammil feels that the ferry fares will have to be at
least 20% to 25% less than airfares.
"There is at present heavy passenger traffic between
the two countries. Therefore trading as well as tourism will
benefit with such a service," he added.
Mervin Wijesekera says
that there are already immigration officers at Colombo Port to carry out formalities for the crew members of ships.
"If the ferry service is to start then this force will have to be strengthened. This also depends on the
number of ships and passengers coming from India.," he added.
Wijesekera assumes the ferry service may attract a
large number of passengers from Tuticorin as there is no
airport. He also says people may
engage in enhanced business than before.
"As Indians don't need a visa to come to Sri Lanka
they will have no need to get prior visas. Therefore when they
arrive at the port, a landing endorsement will be given for one
month to them by the immigration officials," he said.
President, National Chamber of Commerce, Chandra
Embuldeniya welcoming the idea said that there is also need
for a ferry service on the coastal belt within the island such as
Colombo to Galle.
According to Embuldeniya there should be ferry services
to all parts of Sri Lanka so that passengers could travel to all
parts of the country for leisure as well as on business.
"Speedboats should also be available for passengers travelling to places
of greater distances," he said.
"Usually a trip to Trincomalee will take six to
seven hours but if there was a ferry service then this trip will
take a very short time. This ferry service
especially to the south Indian ports is a very important
step for business and for Sri Lankans
going on pilgrimage. If a ferry service with entertainment
and sight-seeing is organised it could be made profitable for the
country. This is how Maldives attracts a large number of
tourists," he added
Mounting opposition to
private medical college
By Hemamala Wickramage
Setting up of a new private medical college
affiliated to the Tanzanian International Medical and
Technological University in the Piliyandala area has sparked a
controversy amongst current medical students and professionals in
The Sunday Leader learns that the institution named
Vignan Education Institute offers medical degrees at a cost of Rs.
300,000 to students with Advanced Level qualifications.
However the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMS) rejects this
degree on the basis the whole medical course is not completed in
The working committees of medical faculty students of
several universities have expressed their staunch opposition to
the setting up of Vignan Education Institute. They express their
serious concern with regards to the quality of education provided
by this private medical institute.
"We believe this is part of the government's
conspiracy to privatise educational institutions in the country,
thereby blocking the chances of thousands of students who belong
to the majority of lower economic level families from entering the
medical field" a statement issued by the working committee
While the first batch of students are already engaged in
studies at the institute, a statement states that Tertiary
Education Minister Kabir Hashim has not given his approval for the
setting up of the institution. However, The Sunday Leader's
attempt to contact the minister for his views with regards to the
matter proved futile.
Private Health Sector, Health Ministry, Dr. Harsha de Silva
speaking to The Sunday Leader said the ministry on principle
encourages private sector participation in
health sector manpower training. "We do this in
keeping with the open economic policies of the government.
However, certain standards need to be adhered to in the setting up
of such private training institutions," he said.
According to Dr. Silva, for a training institute to
operate in this manner certain
standards should be maintained by the institution. For
example, the availability of tutorial staff and other inputs which
includes proper teaching methods, lecture halls, and also other
facilities which include facilities for practical tests for
According to Dr. Silva as there were doubts
concerning the level of material and the standards of the
system the Health Ministry has so far
refused approval for this project. However, The Sunday
Leader learns that Vignan Education institute has
obtained Board of Investment (BOI) approval for the
Meanwhile speaking to The Sunday Leader, Registrar, Sri
Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), Professor P. S. S. Panditharatne
said Vignan Education Institute has so far not acquired SLMC
"They have not invited the SLMC to ascertain for
itself the level of its recognition and are operating without
it," said Prof. Panditharatne. However, according to the
medical ordinance there is no legal implication
which prohibits such
an institution from functioning without the SLMC's approval, he
According to Prof. Panditharatne the first two years of
the course offered by the institute accounts for 40% of the total
course value for the medical degree. Students
have to complete the next three years of the five year
degree in Tanzania.
"Though the SLMC does not recognise the first half
completed in Sri Lanka, it accepts the Tanzanian degree. But for a
graduate to practice as a medical doctor in Sri Lanka both parts
of the course needs to have SLMC recognition. Thus, in this case
those graduates will not be able to practise here at this
stage" Prof. Panditharatne pointed out.
Expressing their concern, other Health Ministry officials
too stated that the graduates of the said institute face a legal
barrier in practicing as medical doctors in Sri Lanka.
The saga of the seven
By Amantha Perera
While the release of the seven POWs in exchange
for the 13 LTTE cadres monopolised the headlines, fresh behind the
scene negotiations were underway to get a further seven released.
The abduction of the seven soldiers evolved into a
complex issue involving
not only the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) but the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as well. At least
some of the monitors expressed
concern last week that the incident might harm the peace process.
The seven were captured by the LTTE at Vilgamvihara in
Trincomalee on September 25. They had gone to the area to gather
sand for construction
The LTTE argued that the soldiers were in a LTTE
controlled area, armed and in violation of the MoU.
As soon as news of the abduction reached Colombo, the
military command suspected that the LTTE was on a tit for tat
Two weeks back, two armed LTTE cadres had been
apprehended in Kantale and were produced in court during the week
the soldiers were apprehended and remanded till October 10.
The demand for the two was first made unofficially, but
the day before the POW release was to take place, the LTTE
communicated to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission that the release
demand was official.
The SLMM thereafter told the LTTE that its mandate did
not allow it to interfere with the judicial process of the
By that time however
attention was totally on the POW exchange. When the SLMM
communicated its stance on September
27, the LTTE was too involved in the POW exchange.
However, the following day the LTTE political wing got in
touch with the SLMM. The message was clear; they needed the two
cadres if the seven soldiers were to be released, according to
SLMM spokesperson Teitur Torkelsson. But the LTTE political wing
deputy, Pulidevan who was in touch with the SLMM indicated that
the rebels understood the SLMM's position and would get back to
the monitors by Monday, September 30.
Pulidevan, who ironically had played a prominent role in
the POW exchange, went to the extent of telling Defence Secretary
Austin Fernando that the LTTE did not have more security forces
personnel in its custody and told the SLMM that nothing could be
done on Sunday and that negotiations would have to recommence on
There was no communication between the two parties till
Monday. When the LTTE once again spoke to the SLMM on Monday
September 30, the position it seemed had not changed, despite the
impressions the SLMM officials had of an imminent breakthrough.
The LTTE came up with its own logic. It argued that the
offences of the nine people in custody were similar. The
government authorities had taken its cadres into custody in
government controlled areas and taken action according to its law.
The LTTE had taken
the soldiers into
its custody in areas under its control,
- at least one of the soldiers was armed - and proceeded to
take action in accordance with its laws.
While the LTTE was thus outlining its thinking, 90
relatives and friends of the soldiers had a meeting with the SLMM
officials at its Trincomalee office on how and when the captives
would be released.
It was Monday afternoon that the decision was taken to
tackle the problem from Trincomalee. SLMM Head of Mission Trond
Furuhovde himself flew to Trincomalee the day after. He went to
the location where the soldiers were apprehended and met with the
army and the LTTE.
On the eve of
Furuhovde's mission, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
intervened to sort out the matter. The capacity of the
intervention has remained unclear. The SLMM had not received any
sort of communication from the prime minister or his office.
"The only thing we have got is the army's
complaint," said SLMM Deputy Head Tomas Haukland.
However he admitted that the continuing custody of seven
soldiers by the LTTE was a serious offence.
Wickremesinghe had in fact had a meeting with the Peace
Secretariat on Monday where he had made known his desire that the
seven soldiers be released very clear.
The SLMM also met with officials at the secretariat
before the Wickremesinghe meeting. It was at that meeting that the
LTTE's uncompromising attitude was conveyed to the government.
Even as Furuhovde was in Trincomalee, the SLMM officials
were not sure what to expect. Throughout the negotiations the SLMM
had been optimistic that the soldiers' release could be secured
despite the impasse that had been created.
Furuhovde's mission produced immediate though partial
results when the LTTE released one of the soldiers, Deepal
Samantha on Wednesday, October
as a humanitarian gesture. It was after the visit that the
LTTE allowed the SLMM and ICRC access to the six remaining
The LTTE's position that the soldiers were apprehended in
areas under the organisation's control would take some convincing,
There are no lines of control in Trincomalee as in the
north. The area where the soldiers were taken is just one
kilometer from their camp and according to the army is accessible
to civilians as well.
Just the day after the soldiers were taken in by the LTTE,
the army went to the location with the SLMM and established the
location using GPS and gave it to the SLMM official. The army has
been pushing its position that the soldiers were not in a LTTE
When Friday dawned, 300 protestors had gathered the day
before in Trincomalee including parliamentarians to agitate for
the release of the six soldiers. The protest continued into Friday
as well when Trincomalee was reduced to a ghost town except for
the 300 protestors gathered at the bus stand. They had burnt tyres
at several locations in the city bringing public transport to a
The LTTE meanwhile was preparing an official letter to
the Attorney General's Department requesting that the two members
be released on bail, according to the SLMM. The letter was to be
sent direct to the AG's Department through a lawyer.
The SLMM was also of the opinion that the two could be
released before October 10.
The abduction that was all but forgotten when the POW
exchange went through had ballooned
into a major hostage fiasco just a few days later.
River of beer at high
By Hemamala Wickramage
A staggering 28, 000 cups of chilled beer were
consumed by spectators at the Australia- Sri Lanka semi final
match during the ICC championship.
"We believe this to be the recorded highest sales
for beer at a match in Sri Lanka," said CEO Three Coins,
Three Coins was the official beer at the ICC tournament.
A cup of beer was sold at Rs.50 each. According to
Suriyapperuma, the demand for beer depended on the excitement each
match generated. "We had our good days
and the less exciting days. There were some matches, which
had very poor attendance. However, we are quite satisfied with the
overall outcome," he said
He was however not willing to comment on the total sales
during the tournament, arguing
that the details were confidential.
Three Coins' state-of-the-art back pack beer dispensing
system was a huge success he explained, saying that it guaranteed
that the beverage was below 12C at all times when serving.
The mobile dispensers also ensured that chilled beer was
easily accessible to spectators in their seats, making it
unnecessary for them to go in search of the prefered drink Down
Two wet months ahead
By Shezna Shums
The dreaded El Nino effect which created severe
droughts in the past
is now bringing buckets and buckets of rain to the island.
The threat of drought has receded says Meteorology Department Deputy Director, G. B Samarasinghe, explaining that after the recent rains
that came down last week the likelihood of drought is much less.
Very few Sri Lankans would have missed the start of the
rains. They came down, dampening the excitement of the recently
concluded ICC Champions trophy
The final match between Sri Lanka and India had to be
postponed by a day owing to heavy rains during the latter part of
However on the following day too the finals
as India was unable to complete their innings because of rain.
Just before the rains came down the Water Supply and
Drainage Board made an announcement to curtail water usage due to low water levels at the reservoirs.
Despite the rains that came down during the week, Colombo
and other parts such
as Dehiwela, Moratuwa,
Pannipitiya and Homagama will still have to suffer restricted
water supplies at least for some time.
that all over the country, the rain conditions have improved with
the inter monsoon coming in now.
This monsoon will bring showers with lightning and
thunder during the afternoons and evenings for the next two
However, Deputy General Manager, Water Supply and
Drainage Board- Greater Colombo, H.G.Thilakaratne says that the
recent heavy showers in Colombo and other parts of the island only
increased the water in the Kelani River. The two major reservoirs
that supply water to Colombo, Kalatuwawa and Labugama still have
very low levels of water and the recent showers have not increased
their water levels.
Only if there are two to three weeks of rains in the areas of these two major reservoirs will the
water restrictions be stopped after there are significant amounts
of water in the reservoirs.
Banned items available
all over Colombo
By Risidra Mendis
Tourism it seems has played a major role in the
economy of Sri Lanka. But apart from luring tourists to a country
known as one of the prominent bio-diversity hot spots in the
world, many fail to see the repercussions in the long term.
It is natural for tourists to want to purchase something
unique from their holiday destination. Which is why they shop at
most of the handicraft outlets in the country. Banned items such
as ivory, turtle shell and porcupine twill are available to
fulfill the needs of tourists.
But despite these items being freely available in
Colombo, the Wildlife Department's Flying Squad has failed to raid
these outlets and bring the culprits to book. "According to
Section 49 of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance, the trade,
transport and exposure of any wild animal dead or alive and the
sale and purchase of any animal article is prohibited," an
official from the Department of Wildlife and Conservation, E.
Wilson told The Sunday Leader.
whether through ignorance or greed many handicraft shops in the
heart of Colombo continue to sell wild animal products . At
Lakpahana, one of the most famous handicraft shops in the country,
there was a table made out of wood and porcupine twills priced at
around Rs. 15,000. A range of bracelets, rings, ear rings and
chains made out of buffalo horn and white coloured rings made out
of animal bones were
also on display.
inquiring from the sales lady as to what bone this was, she
was very vague and said "I really don't know." At the
Kandyan shop close to Thunmulla junction, a jewellery box made out
of porcupine twill and some white combs with carvings on top, were
on sale. Even though one salesman said this was an old product,
and they don't get porcupine twill products because it is too
expensive to sell and people don't make them anymore, the other
salesman on inquiry said the combs were made out of elephant.
However when The Sunday Leader
asked him if it was elephant teeth, he quickly changed his
story and said the combs were made out of fish bone.
A visit to Craft Corner at Liberty Plaza however made us
realise that this salesman knew the danger of selling products out
of porcupine twill. He said he had no other way of getting rid of
these products and therefore has them in the shop for sale. He
further said there was a time when he exported large quantities of
porcupine twill products but now due to restrictions by the
Wildlife Department has stopped. "For some people their whole
life depends on making porcupine twill products. Some tourists
come looking for such products because they are unique," the
Anusha Handicrafts in Kollupitiya had a big showcase of
ornaments made out of porcupine twill. In another showcase there
was a wide variety of pendants, bracelets, chains and earrings
made out of turtle shell. According to the salesperson even though
the number of tourists has lessened
one of the fast moving items was turtle shell jewellery
priced from Rs. 195 onwards.
However Zam Gems in Bambalapitya had the most number of
ivory products - two large ivory
carved tusks priced at Rs. 1.5 lakhs and some small ornaments of
elephants and a chair made out of ivory. "If anybody is
interested in purchasing the ivory tusks we have to first get
permission from the Archaeological Department," the
However commenting on the turtle shell rings and pendants on sale
the sales person said there is no problem.
A turtle shell ring priced at Rs. 55.00 was finally
purchased by a customer for Rs. 10.00 as it had a crack on one
side. Commenting on such products being sold in the market, an
official from the Wildlife Department said, "Where buffalo
horn jewellery is concerned, if it is a wild buffalo then the
products cannot be sold." He later changed his mind and said
all buffalo horn products cannot be sold. "Our flying squad
has only six to eight people, and these people apart from raiding
illegal sales products have other responsibilities in the
department," the official said. However he said if they find
illegal products the shop owner can immediately be produced in
court. He also wanted The Sunday Leader reporter to inform the
flying squad unit where exactly the shops were, so they could be
Suspects of lesbian
love drama arrested
After nearly one and a half years
in to investigations, on Monday,
September 30, Biyagama police took into custody the
suspects of an acid attack on a man. The arrests revealed that the
acid attack was a result of a lesbian love triangle.
Speaking to The Sunday Leader Crimes OIC, Biyagama
Police, SI Suresh Gunasena who conducted the investigations said
the three suspects included one female and two Muslim men.
SI Gunasena in his investigations was able to unearth
most of the background details of this love triangle. The two
women involved, Dilani and Niroshi (names changed) had been
working together at a private firm in the Biyagama area. Before
their friendship began Niroshi was carrying on with her boyfriend
Indika (name changed) who worked as an executive at a leading
group of companies in Colombo. Two years in to Niroshi's
relationship with Indika which started in 1995, the two women met
each other and soon found them to be becoming more than just
workmates. In 1998, Dilani the daughter of a senior officer in the
police force got married to a man living in the US and left the
country with him to settle down there. Dilani's departure -
letting romance slip - caused much heartache for Niroshi. However
she made up her mind to move on and marry - by this time her
boyfriend of three years - Indika.
Meanwhile Dilani who started 'missing' the love of her
life got separated from her husband and came back from America
just after three months of marriage.
Upon arrival she found her 'girl friend' happily married
According to police information Dilani despite her
lesbian tendencies purposely got friendly with a Muslim man named
Rushad (not his real name) in order to get at Indika.
Dilani managed to convince Rushad that a very close 'girl
friend' of her's was being abused by her husband and sought his
help to rescue the friend. The police have found out that Rushad
first tried to hire associates of a well known underworld figure
to carry out the acid attack.
However, Rushad who could not ignore his lady love's
request decided to take care of the matter himself.
Meanwhile, Nirosha was banned from speaking to her 'best
friend' Dilani when Indika suspected his wife and this other woman
were more than just friends. With that Nirosha found her secret
relationship in jeopardy but this made things more alluring and
she continued to talk with Dilani over the telephone. According to
SI Gunasena during these private chats, unwittingly Nirosha
herself had given information of her husband's whereabouts and
daily travel routine to and from work to Dilani. Afterwards
Indika's nightmare began with death threats and crank calls. He
lived in fear of an unknown group of persons constantly following
his trail and was puzzled as to how they received all the
With several failed attempts at carrying out the acid
attacks Rushad was
weary of trying. However, Dilani managed to convince him to try
once more and finally her vicious plan succeeded.
After six months of the incident, Sapugaskanda police who
initially carried out the investigations went ahead and arrested
Nirosha's brother (victim's wife's brother) as he was living with
the couple and suspecting him to be the culprit who knew all
private information the couple shared between them. Due to lack of
evidence the case was dropped.
According to SI Gunasena after nearly one and a half
years, acting on a petition received,
Kelaniya Division SSP Jagath Abeysirigunawardena requested
the case be opened again and handed it over to the Biyagama
Through information received the police team then
proceeded to arrest the shop keeper who sold the bottle of acid to
Rushad and his friend. As a result of the evidence uncovered, the
police team arrested Dilani at her home at Millenium City in
Malabe. Rushad was arrested at Ratmalana and his frien,
man who aided him was arrested at Mount Lavinia.
Country grinds to a halt
By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
It's a week since the ICC Champions Trophy
tournament came to an end and with it came the end of the cricket
mania witnessed in the country from September 12 -30. The finals
between Sri Lanka and India,
on September 29, 30 saw the country coming to a virtual
standstill as the cricket crazy fans either flocked to the R.
Premadasa Stadium - venue of the finals - or hurried home to catch
it on TV.
Roads were almost deserted, while many closed shop around
2 p.m. to catch the action while the few shops which were opened,
had nearly no business at all.
Speaking to The Sunday Leader, President, Public Bus
Operator's Association (PBOA), Gemunu Wijeratne stated that only a
few private buses operated on the 29th because of the finals
adding that the operators themselves would have been keen to
follow the game. When asked whether they didn't have plans to
increase the number of buses to accommodate the crowds after the
match, Wijeratne said that they were not requested to run extra
buses. As for Monday, Wijeratne said that buses operated as usual
and added that they did not witness an increase in the number of
commuters on that day.
Station Superintendent, Fort Railway Station, Nimal
Wijesinghe said that when compared with other days, the 29th and
30th showed a lesser number of commuters. He went on to say that
the city was almost deserted as people were either at the stadium
or at home. When asked whether the traffic flow to Colombo from
other areas was higher than other days, he said that they noticed
an increase in the number of commuters traveling to Colombo from
other areas on Sunday 29. As for Monday, he said that it was the
normal crowd. Wijesinghe said that the 5 o'clock trains on Monday
were not fully packed like other days. "If usually a
compartment accommodates 100, on Monday, there would have been
only 80 commuters," he said. It was only the elders and women
who traveled as the youth were glued to the game.
As for security, MSD Chief, ASP Jayantha Jayasinghe said
that when compared with other tournaments, this time around, the
number of security personnel deployed were increased to meet the
request made by the ICC anti-corruption unit through the Board of
Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka.