7th December,  2003, Volume 10, Issue 21


















Governance in disarray

By Dilrukshi Handunnetti

It is almost a fashion for Sri Lankan political leaders to speak periodically of consensus, cohabitation, bipartisanship and national governments. The idea of a political union between the two main parties has often been romanticised and is permanently in vogue, though nothing concrete has been achieved so far despite the popular support for such an initiative.

In the recent political history, bipartisanship between the two main parties was advocated and supported by former Under Secretary, Foreign Commonwealth Office, Liam Fox. In 1997, Fox managed a political trot, but the cohabitation between the PA and the UNP reached some six years ago remains not worth the paper it is written on, if the acrimonious relations between the signatories are anything to go by.



It was a unique scene to witness a Muslim Mowlavi calling for national unity and amity among all  communities at the foot of the statue of Lord Buddha at Viharamahadevi Park. The call for peace was followed by a peace march led by all religious organisations in Colombo last week          Photo by Ashoka Peiris

AHRC against dropping CJ’s impeachment

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has said that a call by President Chandrika Kumaratunga to drop an impeachment motion against Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva sadly undermines the process of disciplinary control of senior judicial officers, bringing it down to an issue of political compromise.

“It cannot merely be a political issue,” the ACRC based in Hong Kong has said in a statement.

The impeachment motion against Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva is now before parliament with the signatures of a 100 MPs in support of the motion.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s call for the withdrawal of the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice is among the latest proposals to defuse the current political conflict between President Kumaratunga and the government.

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Sumathipala goes underground

By Frederica Jansz

One week after Chairman, Sri Lanka Telecom and President, Sri Lanka Cricket, Thilanga Sumathipala went missing, the government remained inactive — allowing the head of one of the state’s premier institutions, Sri Lanka Telecom, to remain in hiding after being charged with a criminal offence. The Attorney General’s Department has ruled that a prima facie case against Sumathipala exists for having facilitated the travel of an underworld killer to the UK in 1999 using a forged passport and in using Cricket Board funds to do so.

According to the documentary evidence available, Thilanga Sumathipala not only authorised in writing the release of sterling pounds 1,500 to the killer but later wrote off those monies at the Cricket Board. A statement of minutes of the executive committee meeting of the Cricket Board dated March 29, 2001, proves that the exco members headed by Sumathipala “wrote off” the sterling pounds 1,500 that had been issued to the underworld killer Dhammika Amarasinghe alias Buddhika Priyashantha Godage.

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