hooded Tiger saying no to being photographed with a wave, is one of the
many time bombs waiting to explode. The photo shows some of the LTTE’s
dreaded suicide cadres, at the beck and call of Velupillai Prabhakaran,
ready to unleash terror any where at any time. The suicide cadres took
part in LTTE’s ‘Heroes Day Commemoration’ for the first time last
week, in Kilinochchi. If the peace talks fail, these cadres will no
doubt be exploding themselves all over Sri Lanka taking many an innocent
victim with them. Photo by Buddika Weerasinghe
games at Bribery Comm.
Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption,
Kingsley Wickremasooriya has in a special note to the director
investigations and the director general on November 15, 2002, called for
a list of parliamentarians, politicians and high officials in government
against whom complaints have been referred to for investigation.
The note is seeking information on such individuals against
whom statements have been lodged from the inception of the present
government in office.
Wickremasooriya in his strange missive is seeking
confidential details of members of parliament, members of local
government bodies such as provincial councils, municipal councils and pradeshiya
He has demanded that the list provide particulars of names,
names of the person, persons against whom the complaints have been made,
status and designation of the complainant and the date on which the file
was referred to the director investigations.
He has also asserted that the date of commencement of the
investigation as well as the present status of the investigation must be
indicated. Wickremasooriya wanted this list made available to him by
November 25, this year.
In the run up to last year’s general election,
Wickremasooriya, it was alleged smuggled out details in the
investigation files on Minister S. B. Dissanayake and secretly met with
President Chandrika Kumaratunga.
Wickremasooriya’s wife Sunila, is an employee of the
Presidential Secretariat and Wickremasooriya has been perceived to be
loyal and partial towards the President.
In March this year, the government sought the Attorney
General’s advice on the possibility of nominating fresh members to the
Bribery Commission. The AG however, was of the opinion that all members
appointed to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and
Corruption will according to the relevant laws specified continue until
the expiry of that period as stated in the law.
Third round of peace
The third round of peace talks
between the government and the LTTE will begin tomorrow (2) in Oslo,
Norway and will focus primarily on the de facto establishment of
police stations and judicial courts in Tiger territory.
The next rounds of peace talks in January and February 2003
will take place in Thailand while another round of talks in March is
scheduled to take place in Japan. Subsequently, towards the latter part
of next year, another round of discussions between the government and
the LTTE is scheduled to take place in South Africa with an input from
former South African President Nelson Mandela also expected.
Japan meanwhile, is playing an increasingly active role in
the ongoing peace process with Ambassador T. Akashi serving as
consultant to the Sub Committee on Humanitarian Relief.
Akashi is expected once more to arrive in Sri Lanka next month.
Meanwhile, Economic Affairs Minister Milinda Moragoda left
for India last week to brief the Indian government on the outcome of the
mini aid donor conference held in Oslo on November 25.
LTTE courts operative
the recent controversy over LTTE courts and police stations being opened
in the north and east, the Defence Ministry on November 28 has submitted
to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe a complete list of LTTE police
stations and judicial courts established before
Operation Riviresa in mid 1995, establishing the fact, it is not
a development that has taken place after the signing of the MoU between
the government and the LTTE in February 2002.
The first district court for the LTTE was established in
Chunnakam on August 21, 1993. Three judges, K. Thesigan, S. Poovantan
and S. Oppilan were appointed to this court.
Thereafter, eight more courts were systematically established
in Jaffna and the Wanni which were areas all under LTTE control at the
On August 28, 1993 a LTTE district court was established at
Chavakachcheri followed by another court at Point Pedro in September
that year and another in Jaffna on October 23, 1993.
On January 5, 1994, the LTTE established a district court at
Kilinochchi with another
opened five days later at Mullaitivu.
On December 5, 1994 a Tiger court was opened in Vavuniya.
An appeal court was also opened in Jaffna on March 19, 1994
and another district court in Mannar on January 14, 1995.
To administer the judicial system, the LTTE established a
department titled “Tamil Eelam Department of Justice and Law” on
July 3, 1994. This was
ceremonially inaugurated by S.P. Thamilchelvam in Jaffna, and the first
appointee as its head, Eliyathamby Pararajasingham alias Para, who was
then and still is a member of parliament of the EROS Group, named as the
head of the LTTE Judicial Department.
The LTTE introduced the “Penal Code of Thamil Eelam” on
December 1, 1994 consisting of 439 “penal sections.” These
provisions were practised in the courts established. The provisions
according to the Defence Ministry, are based on the Penal Code of Sri
Lanka though some clauses have been deleted and others freshly
A Tamil Eelam Law College was also established in 1994 at
Pasilan, Mandapam and Jaffna. Therefore, the concept of a law college
too is not novel in the present day context.
With the commencement of Operation Riviresa to regain the
peninsula, the LTTE had no option but to abandon the judicial system
established by them in Jaffna and most parts of the Wanni which were
regained by the security forces. However, they continued to maintain the
district courts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu, since these areas
remained under their control.
Interior Minister John Amaratunga insists that the LTTE’s
present trend of establishing courts and police stations is confined to
This policy he points out is similar to what they practised
before mid 1995, which was to establish such institutions in areas
controlled by them.
The LTTE have established 33 police stations in the north and
east with the two most recent being opened in Batticaloa on November 5,
2002 and another, three days later, on November 8, at Trincomalee.
Seven LTTE judicial courts are at present functioning with
two opened recently on November 23 at Palugamam in Batticaloa and
another to be opened tomorrow, December 2, at Kattaparichchan in
aid for peace in Sri Lanka
government has pledged DKK 150 million (approximately Rs. 1.5 billion)
to support the peace process in Sri Lanka.
The monies are
being given as grant assistance over the next three years, subject to
approval from the appropriate authorities.
In addition, a soft loan of up to DKK 450 million will be made
available during the next two years.
announced at the aid donor meeting on November 25, in Oslo, concerning
support for the peace process in Sri Lanka.
support will concentrate on clearing of anti-personnel mines, support
for a reconstruction fund, support for the return of internally
displaced persons and refugees, support for human rights and democracy
projects, support for the reconciliation process and conflict prevention
activities and continued support for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission.
pressure on refugees to return home
Affairs Minister and Head of the government's peace delegation, Prof.
G.L.Peiris has said that the government would not bring any pressure on
the refugees languishing in India to return.
press after the Sri Lanka Development Forum meeting held in Oslo last
week, the Minister had said the 200,000 refugees living in camps in
South India are welcome to return but the state would not bring any
pressure on them.
He has also
said that the government would give an assurance to the refugees that
they could settle down in the places of their origin, provided the
security climate is conducive.
Workshop to discuss poverty reduction
The ILO has
said that involvement and participation of non-government actors in
strengthening national development policies is now recognised to be
fundamental for achieving ambitious targets of reducing the current
levels of transitory and permanent forms of poverty.
An ILO a
statement says Sri Lanka with funding from the Dutch government has made
a significant step involving trade unions and employers in the
government's poverty reduction strategy.
development analysts have observed that continued poverty in important
pockets of the country have catastrophic implications for the growth
prospects of the country.
ILO, the oldest
agency of the United Nations, maintains that the creation of employment
that significantly improves the quality of living standards, is the most
effective way of reducing poverty. " It is significant that 95% of
the poor in Sri Lanka are working - already employed in some sort of
occupation and yet their standards of living are low.
statement adds that a workshop will be held in Colombo tomorrow to
discuss this issue.
machines costing Rs. 2m.
in the House not working
machines fixed at a cost of
Rs. 2 million in the parliament complex are no longer working.
During the past
week the swiping machines did not work, and at the security check point,
visitors and employees passed without swiping their cards, which is also
a form of parliamentary identity card.
card is mandatory for parliamentary staff, officials and media
sources said that machines that were lying around for months after their
purchase were fixed after complaints were allegedly received by the
former secretary general about their non-fixation, and that they were
still not being used for the purpose they were meant for - to maintain
formal records of staff attendance.
according to the source, is a mere security concern at present.
The source said
that parliamentary authorities have suggested that the swipe machines
should be replaced, again costing a cool sum, to introduce an easier
system where a button has to be pressed instead of swiping a magnetic
system too, installed at a cost of Rs. 55 million to record the voting
in the House is not being used as the Chair reportedly believes in the
accuracy of a manual count.
Dept. raid leaves three deer dead
A recent raid
conducted by officials of the Wildlife Department headed by Dr. Tharaka
Prasad in a private residence in Colombo has left three deer dead and
the rest in a traumatised situation.
eyewitnesses the raid conducted by the Wildlife department was one
similar to a movie. A number of policemen armed with T 56 rifles, batons
and handcuffs together with wildlife and zoo officials numbering around
20 to 25 had entered the house, while the owner was out.
information received by The SundayLeader this is the normal procedure
followed by the Wildlife Department when conducting a raid.
The owner, The
Sunday Leader learns had the animals for over 22 years and had treated
them like his own offspring and it was he who had informed the
department that he had these animals and requested special permission to
keep them. The original pair of deer was obtained from the Dehiwela zoo
during a special programme of lending excess animals to animal lovers on
the condition that they are returned when requested by the zoo.
due to the rash judgement in keeping with the Fauna and Flora Protection
Ordinance the raid conducted by the Wildlife Department has helped in
reducing further the deer population in the country," an animal
rights activist pointed out.
Dr. Prasad had
administered three animals with tranquillisers but says the animals died
of shock. He also said one
animal had knocked its head against a glass door in the house. However,
he had told the domestics at the house the animals were sleeping and
taken them away. The rest of the animals were caught in nets and taken
to the Dehiwela zoo.
Speaking to The
Sunday Leader Dr. Prasad said there was no other option than to resort
to the method adopted by them to catch the animals.
However , The
Sunday Leader could not contact wildlife Director, Dayananda Kariyawasam
for comment. The Director, The Sunday Leader was repeatedly was told was
always at a meeting, in parliament or on sick leave for the past two
senior officials at the Wildlife Department, the director has also given
them strict instructions not to divulge any information to the press.
"While serious blunders are committed by the department, with a vet
who has a past history of mistakes regarding animals, the director is
conveniently not making himself available for comment," the animal
rights activist charged.
When The Sunday
Leader made attempts to contact the flying squad, the telephone numbers
of the squad were out of order and so were many other lines in the
animal rights activists say the zoo director having found the animals
were suffering from an an
infectious disease had ordered them to be sent to a national park.
However Zoo Director Brigadier H.A.N.T. Perera denied such allegations
saying the animals are presently at the zoo. He further said a batch of
deer was released a few weeks back to a national park as a routine
programme of getting rid of excess animals in the zoo.
Bank has been declared insolvent, according to a joint International
Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank financial sector assessment.
transpired that People's Bank is not only insolvent, but has a negative
net worth of Rs. 6 billion and accumulated provisions for loan losses
amounting to a staggering Rs. 14 billion as at December 31, 2001.
disclosure, the government is planning to restructure/privatise the
Bank, an authoritative government source confirmed.
The source said
that the World Bank and the IMF missions have been repeatedly
identifying certain problems in the state banking sector since 1990, and
held the view that structural adjustments were mandatory to resuscitate
the state banks which were more popular with the public.
the People's Bank has had capital infusions from the government in 1993
and 1996 and the bank is said to be needing a further capital infusion
by the state for the third time.
The source said
that the assessments have also revealed that the bank has failed to meet
performance targets and
failed to achieve the desired results expected.
authoritative source told The Sunday Leader that the government was now
keen to arrest the deterioration of the bank and to prevent further
loss, and that meant a 'speedy and well-planned' restructuring programme.
explained that besides being cash trapped, the problems have intensified
with overstaffing, lacking appropriate skills and even union related
actions - the third having thwarted many management level decisions from
time to time.
disclosure of the bank's state of insolvency, the State Bank Advisory
Mission (SBAM) had proposed the privatisation of the bank in May 2002.
the SBAM, options have been recommended; including preparation for
privatisation even as a single entity; to separate the bank's key
functions into three categories such as commercial, savings and rural
Some of the
other options given include
the selling of the good loan portfolio, closure of lending operations
and full conversion into a savings bank, liquidation and setting up an
asset management company.
confirmed that the government had agreed to liase with the World Bank to
set up a bank-restructuring unit with a view to restructuring/
privatising of the bank.
accepts opposition challenge
Alliance is planning
to bring a no confidence motion against government Chief Whip and
Employment and Labour Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, in the event he
fails to suspend the incumbent chairman of the Foreign Employment
said that he welcomed the opposition's
"threat of a no
faith" against him and said this was promised during last year's
budget debate as well.
Parliamentarian Mahindananda Aluthgamage who made a series of
allegations in parliament last week during the votes on the Employment
and Labour Ministry, told The Sunday Leader that there was a petition
against the Chairman, Susantha Fernando by a former airport manager
alleging bribery charges.
said that if no action is taken against the chairman and an inquiry
initiated against him, the opposition would immediately give notice of a
no faith motion to the secretary general of parliament against Minister
alleged that the Minister has met with foreign employment agency owners
on Wednesday allegedly to collect signatures for a petition urging the
removal of Suraj Dandeniya from the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment
Agencies' Association(SLFEAA) presidency.
charges, Minister Samarasinghe said that he met the agents for an Ifthar
dinner and not to gather signatures as alleged, adding that there
were no allegations or any
petition against the incumbent chairman.
response for proposed
ban on polythene
In pursuance of
environment friendly practices, the government is likely to impose a ban
on the manufacturing of polythene.
sources said that cabinet approval would be shortly sought in this
regard, as the popular use of polythene has been aggravating the
environmental problems of the country.
Perera, a campaigner against the use of polythene, told The Sunday
Leader that such a move would be extremely welcome and one that
environmentalists have been agitating for in the larger interests of the
She said that
as a non-biodegradable waste, accumulated polythene would take millions
of years to evolve into miniscules of waste, and this was something the
already suffering mother earth could not afford.
As an initial
step towards the ban, already the Environment and Natural Resources
Ministry has held consultations with many polythene manufacturing
companies, and according to the ministry, the response has been
168 small and medium level polythene manufacturers have agreed to
considerably reduce the manuf- acturing of polythene, leading to the
complete halt of the manufacturing process in a few years.
have agreed that polythene would in the years to come prove a severe
problem, especially considering the lack of gathering of discarded
polythene and the dislike towards re-using polythene.
A fortnight ago
in parliament, Leader of the House and Justice Minister, W. J. M.
Lokubandara, Tissa Karalliyadda (PA), T.B. Ekanayake (PA) and
Anura Dissanayake (JVP) have collectively proposed to Minister Rukman
Senanayake that some action be taken in this regard before the regular
use of polythene creates additional environmental concerns.
series - "Meet The Minister"
Leader will commence a new series where the public will be called upon
to direct issues concerning them to the ministers through the columns of
public focus on issues linked to defence and transport at this time, we
have decided to submit your queries to Defence and Transport Minister,
Tilak Marapone for his
Leader invites all your queries to be forwarded to Minister Marapone to reach us by December 8, 2002.
be directed to;
C/O The Sunday
Leader, First Floor, Colombo
Building, 121, Sir James Peiris Mawatha, Colombo 2.
club to celebrate 101 years
Korale Planters' Club in Deniyaya will celebrate its 101 anniversary on
December 14, at the ClubHouse in Deniyaya.
The club, one
of the oldest planters' clubs in the country has planned a grand
celebration with a 'Tea Ball.' Ebony live band,
DJ music, guest artistes, prizes and surprises are all lined up.
1000 underprivileged children from the north and south are in luck this
festive season - they would be attending a fun filled
get- together during
the festive season.
Hotels Corporation along with the Lions Clubs of Wattala Mid Town and
Vavuniya Circle will be organising this unique event.
Corporation Chairman Bodhi Ranasinghe in a letter says even though the
A9 road is now open, many are unable to come to the south from the north
and vice versa, simply because they cannot afford the expense.
union of children of different ethnic communities would assist in building
peace, friendship and understanding among them," he has stated.
to arrange this get together during the festive season to provide the
children with lots of fun and entertainment and provide them with gift
parcels to make it a memorable day for them," says the chairman.
ban by LTTE
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has warned cinema owners in the Jaffna
peninsula to avoid screening 'adults only' films as it violated the
Jaffna said that this was not the first time that a warning has been
issued to some 20 cinema halls operating in the Jaffna peninsula.
The warning was
issued, the source said, after the LTTE detected 2,000 video cassettes
of porn films, all of which were immediately destroyed by owners under
radio celebrates 12 years
radio run by the LTTE in the north and east
of Sri Lanka completed 12 years of uninterrupted operation on
The Voice of
Tigers was set-up to popularise the Tigers' viewpoints with regard to
politics and culture. Later on, it became an unofficial news channel of
sorts that fed LTTE propaganda to the public of the north and east.
radio, originally based in Jaffna had to shift
periodically from place to place.
Airways to fly direct to Jaffna
will be the first international airline to fly direct to the Jaffna
peninsula, according to highly placed aviation sources.
Qatar Air has
recently offered to fly both to the Katunayake International Airport (KIA)
and to the Palaly airport in Jaffna.
that the airline has shown interest in helping to develop both airports
and has requested for high-level discussions to finalise flying
decision is to be taken when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe returns
to Sri Lanka on December 9, after his official visit to Japan.
for Namal Uyana
A website has
been created for the world famous Namal Uyana.
The Namal Uyana
within which Asia's largest rose quartz deposit is also found has
received much media attention in the recent past. The website will
include details of the geographical, geological and environmental
significance of the unique site.
address is www.jnu.lk
ranks in SL Army
Within the last
one year, the Sri Lanka Army has launched three recruitment drives to
fill up depleted ranks and to allow retirement of army personnel who
have been unable to retire due to the lack of new recruits.
The response to
the call to join the army has been very poor - less than 3000 have
enlisted. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Spokesman, Sri Lanka Army,
Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne said, "We can train 5000 at any given
time but the response has been very poor. There are many people who
should be able to retire but cannot do so because of the low number of
The number of
enlistments stand at 1249 after the recruitment drive that ended on
January 30, 616 after the recruitment drive that ended on June 30 and so
far, 1100 during the recruitment drive that started in October and still
not wanting to join the army is a psychological problem - the fear
psychosis. Now the situation is somewhat different, but before the
ceasefire, when the war was on, the fear psychosis was among the youth,
which was mainly a psychological problem. Another problem is that there
is no stability in the army and no prosperous future for soldiers - this
is also a sociological problem. The youth have alternate jobs now due to
the competitive economy and all these factors contribute to the lack of
enlistments," said Sociologist, Professor B. A. Tennyson.
official said "the main reason people do not want to join the army
is the low pay. That is the bottom line. People are able to earn a
better living outside. You can't really blame it on the war because the
number of deserters has increased after the ceasefire compared to last
to our culture, we like to be at home and further, the soldiers are the
breadwinners of their families and they have to go home regularly to
check on the building of their homes, etc. When they cannot go home for
long periods, they tell others not to join saying that you don't get to
go home for months."
tour privately funded
The price of
bringing down UB40 to Sri Lanka is a closely guarded secret.
charge of this concert do not want to mention the price being paid to
the band because they don't want to get into unwanted complications.
government funds will be allocated for the band to perform. Officials
say that all payments will be met by the private sector for the band to
On the official
UB40 website, Sri Lanka is the only country mentioned in the tour
details of where the band is performing this year.
At a press
conference held at the Commerce and Consumer Affairs Ministry, it was
disclosed that tickets for the concert will be Rs. 15,000 per ticket for
500 premium seats. Another 1000 seats for Rs. 5000 and a further 5000
tickets at Rs. 2500 will be available, while the rest of the tickets
will be sold at Rs. 300. There will also be 10 giant screens set up at
the grounds for people to be able to view the entire show.
An audience of
60,000 to 70,000 is expected at this concert. This will not be the first
and only group to be invited to Sri Lanka and according to information
from the Consumer Affairs Ministry, the Minister hopes to bring down
international groups to the island every three months. Other places of
the island such as Jaffna, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Galle and Matara
will have access to this mega concert live via satellite.
on a grand scale
With peace and
calm prevailing in the country, this year with the approval and
encouragement of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the government has
decided to celebrate the festive season on a grand scale.
Speaking to The
Sunday Leader, Interior and Christian Affairs Minister, John Amaratunga
said, "Lighting up the city of Colombo and bringing people of all
religions together during the festive season is our intention."
the Minister, for the past 15 to 20 years, people of Sri Lanka lived in
fear of bomb threats and didn't have peace of mind to celebrate during
the negative attitudes by a certain section of the public regarding the
ongoing peace process, today many people believe that peace is close by.
For us to make this event a success, we need the support and
encouragement of the public and I'm thankful to the private sector for
putting forward many proposals to light up their buildings and the
surrounding areas," the Minister said.
Minister Amaratunga, the government coffers are always empty. "This
is what Minister Choksy
says. But I can confidently say that for this year's seasonal
celebrations, the government will not be spending a cent," the
celebrations will commence on December 1, with a display of fireworks
from a ship at Galle Face, with the celebrations continuing till January
2, 2003. Lighting up of churches, round-abouts, roads, government and
private sector institutions, hotels, banks and parks will commence with
Minister Amaratunga symbolically switching on the lights at Lipton
Circus roundabout, Galadari Hotel roundabout, Liberty Plaza roundabout
and the Kotahena roundabout.
Minister Amaratunga, a well lit city becomes a huge tourist attraction.
"Our aim is to put Sri Lanka on this list in the future. With
support from the Colombo Municipal Council with regard to sanitation and
the water supply in the city and facilities of public transport for late
travellers provided during the season, we feel this plan will be a
success," the Minister said. Around 500 to 1000 underprivileged
children will also receive free gifts during the season.
suspects in police custody
over Samantha's murder
In the murder
case of Sri Jayawardenepura University student, Ovitawithanage Samantha,
48 suspects are now in police custody.
Inspector, Mirihana Police, K.A. Premadasa said Thursday (28) that of
these suspects about two or three had voluntarily turned themselves in.
Premadasa, the suspects identified will be charged appropriately. To
date there are 12 suspects identified out of the 14 that were presented
at the identification parades where there were 24 witnesses.
On the first
day of the identification parade, Harinda Indika Attanayaka, another
assaulted student who was critically injured, was present in court as a
witness. However, he was not present on other days.
Speaking to The
Sunday Leader a doctor from Ward 9, the neurosurgery ICU unit, and
another doctor who is treating the assaulted students at the National
Hospital, Colombo, said that Indika suffers from deep skull fractures.
was first brought to the hospital, Indika was in a very serious state
and if not for the immediate operation carried out, he would not have
survived. He was suffering from internal bleeding but his situation
improved after surgery and he was able to leave the hospital," said
It is obvious
by the injuries caused to these students that the attack on them was
inflicted in the hope of killing or causing serious and permanent damage
physically or even mentally.
further, the doctors said that there is a possibility of Indika
suffering future repercussions such as fits and behavioural changes.
JVP hoists black flags during Oslo confab
The Colombo Municipal Council
(CMC) is contemplating action against the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)
for hoisting black flags in Colombo after promising to put up the party
The JVP sought permission from the CMC promising to put up
its party flag on November 28, but after the Council granted approval,
the JVP had decorated Colombo with black flags at a time when the Sri
Lanka Development Forum was taking place in Oslo.
The Sunday Leader learns the JVP had planned to
protest against the Oslo parley. However, the CMC having been informed
of this development had to deploy its workers to remove all black flags
that were planted and destroy banners that were put up.
Meanwhile, last week, when the Council session started, the
JVP had made a protest against the chair, demanding that they be allowed
to make a statement regarding what was called the “denial of
rights,” to put up flags.
As the governing United National Party (UNP) did not grant
permission to make this statement, the JVP and other eight members of
the People’s Alliance (PA) walked out.
Colombo’s Deputy Mayor Azath Sally said that he confronted
the JVP saying that the Oslo meeting was necessary and that the entire
country did not like the return of war.
CWC says Indian Tamil representation vital
The Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC)
has in writing informed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Speaker
Joseph Michael Perera that the appointment of the independent
commissions without the participation of Tamils of Indian origin would
be of no use.
In a letter addressed to both the Premier and the Speaker,
the Congress Chief and Housing Minister, Arumugam Thondaman has said
that the representation of the Indian Tamils must be taken into
consideration when appointing all the independent commissions. He has
pointed out that a lack of this would result in this particular
community being deprived of many facilities.
The Minister said that the criteria set out in nominating
suitable candidate for the commissions were too high and that Tamils of
Indian origin could not fit themselves into this. “But it does not
mean we should be excluded. We have already informed the authority
concerned and we hope the list that is handed over to President
Kumaratunga would be reviewed, in our favour,” Thondaman said.
Archbishop calls to find out ways to peace
Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, Archbishop Michael L.
Fitzgerld has said while the ultimate causes of wars are well known,
steps must be taken to explore together the ways to peace.
In his message to the Muslims during Ramazan, the Archbishop
has expressed concern over the recent conflicts that had taken place
between the Christians and the Muslims.
“You are well aware how acute has become the question of
peace in our world today. Situations where war prevails are like an open
wound in the heart of humanity, above all those conflicts which have
been going on for many years whether in the Middle East, in Africa or in
Asia. In several countries such conflicts result in numerous innocent
victims, leading the population to despair of peace returning to their
land in the near future,” the archbishop has said in his message.
He has pointed out that in bringing about peace and
maintaining it, religions have an important role to play, one which he
says in these days more than ever is being recognised by civil society
and by governments. “ In this respect, education is a domain in which
religions can make a particular contribution,” he has said.
Point Pedro fishermen demand to
settle down in High Security Zone
Point Pedro and surrounding areas picketed opposite the Point Pedro
District Secretariat last week demanding that they be allowed to return
and resettle in their own homes located inside the High Security Zone (HSZ),
sources in Point Pedro said.
Several hundred residents from the Point Pedro harbour area,
Kottadi, 2nd and 3rd Cross Streets and Sinnathoddam, picketed opposite
the secretariat preventing the opening of the office for normal duty.
The picketers warned the Regional Secretary, S. Sivasamy, who
went to the secretariat premises around 10.00 am that the protest would
continue until they receive a satisfactory answer to their predicament.
Sivasamy assured the fishermen that he will forward their
complaints to his superiors and that he will obtain an answer within a
handed over a memorandum to be sent to the minister of defence and
suspended the protest, sources said.
Chambers to be streamlined
The Commerce Ministry is to
crackdown on all private companies, which are not legally registered
under any governing body in order to bring them under a relevant
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake told
The Sunday Leader that this would be implemented from January 1,
adding that this would make companies operating in Sri Lanka be more
responsible and answerable. The Minister said the existing chambers
would also be streamlined in order to make them the focal point in
governing all companies. He
said all chambers should be made more democratic.