exposes Rajapakse Bros.
cabinet to 35 and charge those named in COPE
report says Mangala
accused of interfering in port projects
told to ensure Lalith, Gamini fate won't befall
Treasurer and Matara District MP Mangala
Samaraweera in a devastating letter to President
Mahinda Rajapakse last week detailed the
interference of his family members and other
officials in tender procedures and the functions
of the Ports and Aviation Ministry and said he
was still prepared to accept an invitation for
discussion provided Rajapakse agrees to
implement the proposals submitted in the letter.
letter follows an invitation by President
Mahinda Rajapakse to discuss the crisis in
government and resolve the disputes that led to
the sacking of three ministers last week.
his letter Samaraweera has directly named
Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapakse as one
person who interfered in tender procedures and
major projects coming under the ministries he
also named Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse
and President's Coordinating Secretary Sajin
Vaas Gunawardena as two other people who
attempted to use their influence in his
after this letter becomes public, I will be the
target of underworld gangs, kidnappers and
criminals. Under such circumstances, a few hours
after having been relinquished of my portfolios,
you have reduced my security.
I would like to emphasise that you are
responsible for my life and for my protection. I
would like to state that it is your duty to
ensure that we do not meet with the same fate
that befell Ministers Gamini Dissanayake and
Lalith Athulathmudali," he has added.
that the human rights situation in the country
has rapidly deteriorated and his own security
withdrawn on the instructions of the Defence
Secretary, Samaraweera has said he fears being
abducted once his letter is made public.
former Foreign Minister has in his letter, while
indicating the possible reasons for his removal,
forwarded 10 proposals for implementation by the
President if their discussions are to be
proposal made by Samaraweera is that cabinet
should be restricted to a maximum of 35
ministers. He has said he does not intend to
serve in that cabinet.
former Minister has also asked for a
Presidential assurance that he will take legal
action against all those named in the findings
of the COPE report forwarded by its Chairman,
has also dealt at length with the statement made
by the President to the SLFP Executive Committee
giving reasons for their removal and charged
that they were absolutely false and without
with the dispute on the Palestinian issue,
Samaraweera had said Sri Lanka abstained from
voting to ensure the country did not lose the
support of the US government, which is crucial
at this juncture.
further pointed out that the Palestinian Foreign
Minister had in fact thanked him for the neutral
stand taken by Sri Lanka, which copy Samaraweera
said was forwarded to the President earlier.
had further said that he had never indulged in
conspiracies against a government he served nor
has he leaked cabinet secrets while being a
minister. He has said the allegations made were
false and that the President could have had
other reasons for doing so.
has said one reason for removing him from the
Ports Ministry could have been due to the
clashes he had with Presidential Advisor Basil
Rajapakse over the Hambantota Port Project.
former Minister has drawn the President's
attention to the specific proposal of a Chinese
bidder submitted by Basil Rajapakse in this
had said the President was aware of the clashes
he has had with Basil over this issue and that
on his instructions, the project was finally
awarded to the original bidder and the company
nominated by Basil Rajapakse as a joint venture.
do not know whether the problems that your
relatives and associates faced in winning the
Hambantota port development project was also a
factor in my dismissal," Samaraweera wrote.
Samaraweera points out that his refusal to bend
the rules and regulations for Sajin Vaas
Gunawardena on the Mihin Air Project despite
repeated requests may have resulted in his
removal from the Aviation Ministry.
says he signed the Mihin Air cabinet paper sent
by the President against his conscience and that
other ministers faulted him because they did not
even get to see the cabinet paper before
has also drawn the President's attention to the
several instances he had brought to Rajapakse's
notice on the interference by his family members
and officials in his ministries.
has added, despite the difficulties, requests by
the President's relatives and other officials to
employ various persons in his ministries were
an example, Samaraweera states one person was
appointed vice chairman of a institution under
him when his only qualification was being a
friend of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse
and being a resident of the USA.
vice chairman, Samaraweera states, was insulting
to him at a meeting in the presence of other
officials and on this issue being brought to the
President's notice, rather than remove him as
promised, the official was promoted to the post
further states whenever he attempts to discuss
critical issues with the President, he was
always asked to go and discuss them with Basil
Rajapakse or Gotabhaya Rajapakse.
also states that grave concern was expressed on
the human rights situation to no avail.
Samaraweera states he is prepared to still
discuss a settlement to the crisis provided the
President agrees to act on the 10 proposals
10 proposals made by Samaraweera are as follows:
(1) forward a plan to address grievances of the
people who worked for Rajapakse's victory, (2)
limit the cabinet to 35 ministers, (3) restore
the Samurdhi Ministry, (4) Formulate action plan
to strengthen human rights and media freedom,
(5) develop friendly relations with India and
the international community (6) make a clear
commitment to a political solution and make a
clear statement that the formula will be
submitted within two months, (7) allow the
business community to conduct their business in
a proper environment without having to pay
commissions, (8) win back JVP support to
government (9) take appropriate steps to bring
down the cost of living by stopping waste and
corruption in government (10) act against those
found responsible in the COPE report of Wijedasa
states if the President is agreeable to the
proposals, he stands ready to talk anytime.
also states if the President is not agreeable to
do so, he stands ready to take whatever action
needed to face any challenges to protect the
SLFP and fulfill the wishes and hopes of those
who elected Rajapakse to power.
withdraws from APRC
UNP last week decided to withdraw from the All
Party Representative Committee (APRC) with
decision was made at the party's Working
Committee meeting last Thursday chaired by
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe,
following strong viewpoints expressed by several
members on the matter.
MP and Colombo District Leader Ravi Karunanayake
at the meeting said the UNP's decision to join
the APRC had been made on the basis of the MoU
signed between the UNP and SLFP. He stated that since President Mahinda Rajapakse had
abrogated the MoU by taking a group of UNP
defectors into government, the party was no
longer bound to participate in the APRC.
statement was seconded by several UNP MPs and
Working Committee members, including Gampaha
District MP, Jayalath Jayawardena.
told The Sunday Leader that he did not see any
point in the UNP participating in the exercise,
given the government obviously had no clear
policy or stand on the APRC or a solution to the
APRC Chairman, Science and Technology Minister
Tissa Vitharana last week urged the Opposition
Leader not to withdraw from the APRC since the
absence of the UNP would make the exercise
UNP has called on the government to submit its
proposals to parliament on the assurance support
will be extended if they are in keeping with
announces de facto state
Tigers last week said that they considered
themselves a "de facto state" and not
an armed group any more, a week before the 2002
ceasefire was to reach five years.
Tigers said this in a statement reacting to the
report presented by UN Special Advisor Allan
Rock to the UN Security Council's Working
Committee on Children in Armed Conflict on
February 9. The Tiger statement released by its
Peace Secretariat came out on February 14.
LTTE is no longer an 'armed group' but is indeed
a de facto state. A functioning de facto state
like the LTTE is entitled to recruit those above
the age of 17 but not send them to the battle
front," the Tiger Peace Secretariat said.
based its argument on the premise that it was
providing far-reaching services and non-military
noted in the Rock report, the LTTE takes the
position that it is not covered by Article 4 of
the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the
Rights of Child on 'Children Affected by Armed
which states, 'Armed groups that are
distinct from the armed forces of a state should
not, under any circumstances, recruit or use in
hostilities persons under the age of 18 years.'
On the other hand, the Convention on the
Rights of Child permits the armed forces of the
state to recruit those over the age of 15."
LTTE provides extensive civil services in many
areas of civilian life such as health,
education, child care, law and order, and
environmental protection in which LTTE members
take part. It is only in LTTE areas in this
island there are no children or women begging on
the street which speaks for the extensive social
welfare services provided by the LTTE. Many
young persons entering the LTTE ranks are also
trained as doctors, engineers, and in many other
professions," the Tigers said.
had earlier recommended that the Tigers release
all recruits under 18 and stop recruitment as
well. The Tigers said they were willing to
observe the base age limit of 17. The Tigers
also said that most agreements entered during
the ceasefire were now defunct.
of the UN have argued that LTTE must adhere to
the minimum age of 18 as it has agreed in
previous agreements made to UN bodies. The most
cited agreement where the minimum age of 18 was
agreed to by the LTTE was the Action Plan of
Action Plan was one of many agreements reached
during the early ceasefire period as part of the
Other notable agreements were a
Secretariat for Immediate Humanitarian
Rehabilitation in north east (SIHRNE),
Subcommittee on De-escalation and Normalisation
(SDN), and the Post Tsunami Operations
Management Structure (P-TOMS).
of these agreements, including the Action Plan,
have become defunct," it said.
as the fifth anniversary of the truce
approached, aid agencies warned that the Tigers
were gearing for more military action.
by the capture of a key LTTE stronghold south of
Trincomalee harbour, Sri Lanka's government has
vowed to go on the offensive to destroy the
rebels' entire military machine in the belief it
can finally win the war. Analysts say the
government and military are underestimating the
rebels. They expect the LTTE to retaliate,
further escalating the conflict," Jesuit
Refugee Service said last week.
accused of trying to destroy SLFP
General Secretary and Agriculture Development
and Agrarian Services Development Minister
Maithripala Sirisena on Friday accused former
President Chandrika Kumaratunga of cons-
to destroy the SLFP and ensure the return of
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to
made the comment when addressing the SLFP local
authority members of the Western Provincial
meeting was convened to obtain an endorsement on
the President's decision to sack Ministers
Mangala Samaraweera, Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi
and Anura Bandaranaike.
had said the President had to sack the three
ministers because they had fallen into
Kumaratunga's trap to destroy the SLFP and
several councilors at the meeting had protested
the attack on Kumaratunga and Samaraweera and
shouted down the General Secretary and guest
speaker at the meeting, Justice Minister Dilan
US Senators call on Govt. to address human
powerful Senators of the United States including
a 2008 presidential candidate of the Democratic
Party have written to the Government expressing
serious concern over the deterioratinghuman
rights situation in Sri Lanka and called for
urgent steps to arrest the rising violations.
four Senators who wrote to the Government are
Edward Kennedy (Massachusetts), John Kerry(
Massachusetts), Christopher Dodd (Connecticut)
and Richard Durbin (Illinois). All four Senators
are from the Democratic Party which is in
control of both Houses in the US Congress.
Dodd is a candidate of the Democratic Party for
the 2008 presidential election. Senator Durbin
is the Majority Whip of the ruling Democratic
Party in the US Senate. Senator Kerry was the
presidential candidate of the democratic Party
in 2004 and Senator Edward Kennedy, the brother
of former US President John Kennedy is one of
the longest serving US Senators.
first missive was fired by Senators Kennedy and
Kerry on December 14, 2006 where in a letter to
Sri Lanka's Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke they
expressed their increasing concernabout the
humanitarian situation on the ground due to the
to some reports, several thousand people face
malnutrition, disease and starvation", the
Sunday Leader learns, the Senators had not
received a detailed response to the letter.
second missive went out from Senators Dodd and
Durbin on December 18 to the then Foreign
Minister Mangala Samaraweera where it was stated
that they are 'particularly concerned about
alleged human rights violations; forced
conscription of children; and the unfolding
We deeply regret the tragic deaths of thousands
of Sri Lankans during this conflict and
encourage a political solution to it, not a
military one", the Senators wrote.
Senator Dodd's Legislative Assistant,
Ziad Haider has confirmed to The Sunday Leader
the letter did not elicit a response.
similar letter of concern was also sent to the
Government by 38 Congressman from the House of
Representatives in December. The letter was
signed by 32 Democrats and eight Republicans.
(See Page 6 for details)
organizers back Mangala, Sripathi
district organizers and local authority members
have strongly opposed the decision to sack
ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi
Suriyarachchi from their portfolios and are now
urging President Mahinda Rajapakse to take
immediate steps to bring them back into to the
follows a series of meetings organized by the
SLFP to drum up support for the recent decision
by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to
unceremoniously sack both Samaraweera and
the Galle district meeting yesterday presided by
Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva, SLFP
members protested and called for a reversal of
the presidential decision and urged that both
members be invited to return to the government.
Opposing a resolution to endorse President
Rajapakse's decision to sack the ministers, the
SLFP organizers adopted a resolution calling for
Colombo meeting on Friday also proved a victory
for Samaraweera and Suriyarachchi with members
opposing the ouster and the Matara meeting
yesterday recorded overwhelming support for
Samaraweera for the stance adopted.
Matara district organisaion rejected the
President's decision and adopted a resolution
urging the restoring of both portfolios and
security for the ousted members.
the gathering, Health Minister Nimal Siripala de
Silva lauded Samaraweera's contribution to the
party t which point angry members demanded to
know the reason for Samaraweera's ouster.
who is Matara district leader and SLFP Treasurer
was not invited for the district meeting.
plans are a foot to replace Samaraweera as SLFP
Matara district leader.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa summoning a junior
SLFP member to the President's House on Friday
night to discuss the replacement of SLFP Matara
District leader Mangala Samaraweera, a piqued
Samaraweera is now poised to take legal action
against the party leadership if removed from the
am a true blue SLFPer. While it is possible to
remove me from my portfolio, nobody can make me
a non- SLFPers by removing me from the post of
district leader. There is only speculation now,
but if this happens, I will seek legal
help," Samaraweera told The Sunday Leader.
Sunday leader reliably learns that President
Mahinda Rajapaksa summoned the Matara Mayor,
Upul Nishantha to discuss the possibilities of
transferring party leadership to the junior
politician as Samaraweera continues to adopt a
hostile attitude towards the President.
sources form the SLFP said that Rajapaksa was
eager to replace Samaraweera with a young rural
politician who could help build the SLFP base
It is all speculation still. I have not been
notified of anything. But if I am removed, as a
SLFP member, I would fight it tooth and
nail," vowed Samaraweera yesterday.
also said that some urgent logistical problems
last week prevented him from lodging a complaint
with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) about the
removal of his official security.
knows that I am on the hit list. The President
how is also the Defence Minister should accept
responsibility for our security, now that he has
withdrawn our security. But my rights have been
violated and I shall complain to the HRC next
week," he said.
the meantime, Gampaha district parliamentarian
Sripathi Suriyarachchi added that the delay in
lodging a complaint with the HRC was due to
several urgent problems.
will lodge a complaint with the HRC tomorrow.
Both of us are under grave threat, more so
Samarawerra who is on the LTTE hit list
specially after the European Union's decision to
include the Tigers on their list of banned
terrorist organizations," he said.
threatens to reveal secret deal with LTTE
Port Development Minister Sripathi
Sooriyaarachchi has threatened to reveal before
long who the real culprits are that had enterted
into a secret agreement with the LTTE.
by The Sunday Leader, Sooriyaarachchi who made
reference to this impending revelation at
Thursday's press conference said they will be
forced to go public on this issue because of
attempts to label them as being LTTE
said due to this charge, they would reveal soon
who actually worked with the LTTE.
have tape recorders. We know about agreements
that were entered into. We will put them out at
the right time.
also heard there was an agreement to hand over
Karuna to the LTTE before February 20,"
LTTE is not a banned organisation but is listed
as a terrorist organisation in several countries
including the USA, Canada and India. Any citizen
having links or dealings with a listed terrorist
organisation is liable under the laws of that
country for arrest and criminal prosecution.
complains of plot to
Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
Minister Sripathi Sooriyarachchi yesterday
lodged a complaint with the Borella police
alleging there was a plot to assassinate him.
complained to the police that following public
statements made by him at a press conference
last week that he would reveal those with real
connections with the LTTE and substantiate with
proof, as certain elements have published a
fabricated story in a Sinhala weekly, Rivira
which has created fresh threats to his life.
after lodging the complaint, Sooriyarachchi told
The Sunday Leader that although they (the ousted
ministers) were initially accused of having
links with the LTTE, the statement made by him
last week that he would in the near future
establish through electronic evidence as to who
actually had links with the LTTE. He said a
malicious story seeking to damage his reputation
and endanger his life has been published.
accused us of being LTTEers and when we
threatened to reveal the actual facts as to who
actually offered money to the LTTE through tapes
at the press conference. Fearing exposure, some
elements are now plotting to assassinate
me," he said.
noted that the information has already been
dispatched to embassies.
am a lawyer and has always advocated democracy,
which is very much in danger in the country. I
have asked the police to investigate into this
fabricated story, which I suspect was published
with an ulterior motive," he said.
also observed that fabrication of a story to
implicate a person is an offence punishable with
all these I have asked the police to investigate
and take legal action against those who have
been instrumental in this exercise," he
woman's plight, a reflection of situation
Jasuthan has been waiting for her husband for
the last four months. She has taken every
possible step to find out the whereabouts of her
husband, Kandaiyah Jasuthan, who was taken away
by armed men last October.
case is an individual representation of the
agony the families and loved ones of
those who were abducted undergo in the Jaffna
to The Sunday Leader of her experience on that
fateful day, Sutharshini said that about four
armed men, whose faces were covered with black
cloth had come to their house in Neerveli,
Jaffna on October 19
around 12.15 a.m.
asked the door to be opened. My mother asked
them to come in the morning. However, she was
forced to open the door as they began to break
open the door by kicking it," she said.
to Sutharshini, nearly 30 armed persons had
surrounded the house at the time. Their faces
were also covered with black cloth.
spoke fluent Sinhala and they did not speak
proper Tamil. That is why I suspect the army of
having taken my husband," she said.
armed men had come into the house and searched
all the rooms before taking her husband away
held on to the door and shouted that he cannot
go. But, they dragged him away. I have not heard
of him since that day," she said.
mother of two children aged seven and five,
Sutharshini with little hope could only go to
every possible place she could
complained to the Human Rights Commission (HRC)
in Jaffna, the SLMM, the police and the army.
Our house was near the army camp. Therefore, I
never dreamt that my husband would be taken away
like this as he was friendly with the army
personnel," she added.
to the wife, Jasuthan was not connected with the
LTTE or any other organisation connected to it.
married seven years ago. Both of us are of the
same age. He is a three-wheel driver.
I know my husband. All he knew was his
job and his family," she said.
after four months , she had not given up hope
and still continues her mission to find her
have complained to the HRC head office and the
SLMM head office in Colombo. I will never give
up until I find my husband. But, I need help. I
cannot do this alone with my two children and my
mother. I cannot live without my husband. Our
family depended on the income brought home by
him and now we do not know what is going to
happen to us," Sutharshini said.
abduction of Jasuthan had also affected the
studies of the two children. "How can they
study when their father was taken away like this
in front of their eyes? They are still scared
and everyday they cry for him to come
back," she said.
the whole family is depending on the money sent
to them by Sutharshini's sister, who is living
sister who is abroad is supporting me and the
rest of my family. I don't know how long this
will be going on," she added.
are many families and loved ones crying in agony
and living in anxiety and fear as to what had
befallen the loved ones who were abducted in the
is just one of them.
of Sutharshini's cousins, Atchuthan Vaikunthan
(24), was also abducted on the same day.
"He lived near our house in Neerveli. He
was not married," she said.
said that he had also not received threats
before and was not connected to any armed
HRC Jaffna stated that they were getting nowhere
with the investigations regarding the complaints
Jaffna Regional Coordinator of the HRC, T.
Suvendraraja who was in Colombo
told The Sunday Leader that the
environment in the peninsula had become very
dangerous for even the HRC to conduct their
investigations on the complaints.
to the Jaffna HRC, more than 60 persons had been
abducted or arrested in the peninsula during
this year alone.
security situation is very bad in the peninsula
these days. We have received many complaints on
recent times," he said.
the civilians in the peninsula prefer to remain
indoors at night. "They do not go out
because they are not sure of going back home.
The people get very scared even if a dog barks
at night," he said.
to the Regional Coodinator, the work of the HRC
was restricted due to these issues and due to
the threats received by the HRC workers.
are also under threat. We are unable to carry out investigations properly
due to these threats. Many of our workers are
leaving the organisation due to this
situation," he said.
said that he had come to the HRC head office in
Colombo to discuss these issues.
came to Colombo to discuss the issues faced by
the workers and about the threats to my life. We
can only wait for the right time to come,"
SLMM office in Jaffna could not comment on this
issue and SLMM officials in Colombo could not be
Foundation for Co-Existence Kumar Rupesinghe in
a letter to The Sunday Leader states he never
sought a meeting with Indian National Security
Advisor M.K.Narayanan during his recent visit to
attend the Indian National Congress centenary
report in Pot Shots
titled 'Kumar and his mission' is
completely false. I was invited by the Indian
National Congress to attend the centenary
celebrations of Satyagraha inaugurated by
Mahatma Gandhi. There were 300 others
participants at this seminar. Two other
NGOs Sevalanka and Sarvodaya were also
invited. I never visited Basil before I left for
India and had not seen him for over two months.
Further, I never asked to be sent to any
European country to whitewash the government's
human rights record. I never requested a meeting
with the Prime Minister or
Narayanan, although I met most of them
during the conference and had some opportunity
to talk to them, he wrote .
note: The Sunday Leader stands by its report. We
also know for a fact that
Kumar Rupesinghe himself had told many
confidants he unsuccessfully sought the
appointments referred to.
Rupesinghe himself has confirmed to this
newspaper on many an occasion he met with Basil
released on NTUC demand
government has agreed to one of five demands
made by the JVP backed National Trade Union
Public Administration Circular No 06/2006 (iii)
released on January 25 2007 states that when a
public servant reaches the maximum salary scale
he would be entitled to receive the final salary
increment as part of the pension annually.
"In June 2006 this facility was withdrawn
from government servants by a circular. A
decision to stage a strike on February 2
resulted in this decision by the government.
This is a great achievement to the people,"
JVP MP and Chairman NTUC K. D. Lalkantha said.
to the Circular this facility will be effective
from January 2006.
and ECT Day 2007
ICT and ECT Day of WP/Jaya Sri Rahula Balika Maha Vidyalaya, will be held on
February 22 at the main school hall.
directors of education of the Jayewardenapura
zone and Kaduwela
division will be the chief guests at this event.
The function will be arranged under the
guidance of the principal of Sri Rahula
Balika Vidyalaya, S. P. Jayaratna.
tourists in 2007
Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB) is targeting
600,000 tourist arrivals in 2007 despite
the travel advisories and the deteriorating
security situation in the country.
country's fourth largest foreign exchange earner
- the leisure industry suffered severe setbacks
during the 2006 /2007 winter season and is
struggling for survival although
the city hotels have faired well so far
this year thanks largely to a windfall in the
form of the Bohra convention that was held in
General, SLTB S. Kalaiselvam said that
the industry was badly affected due to a
spate of bomb
explosions in Colombo and in close proximity to
tourist destinations in the country but still
559,603 tourists arrived in 2006. "Although
the much anticipated winter season was
the number of arrivals was satisfactory.
If not for the travel advisories and the
the number of arrivals would have topped
our 2007 target" Kalaiselvam
asked as to how many leisure travellers visited
the country last year as all the arrivals could
not be considered as leisure travellers
Kalaiselvam told The Sunday Leader that 15% were
business travellers and the rest were the real
he added that plans are afoot to promote tourism
in tourist generating markets and apart from the
ongoing UK campaign a huge promotional campaign
was launched in India on February 12 with the
participation of the national cricket players.
"Since India and UK are the country's major
tourist markets we are promoting more in these
destinations to attract more tourists.
We are also
launching a promotional campaign in China
on February 27 and also hope to promote tourism
in the Gulf region as well" Kalaiselvam further stated.
the arrival of First Choice, the leading
charter agent in UK is a welcome sign for the
industry. We hope this will continue and
hope to further increase this at the ITB
in Berlin next month where 46 hotels and travel
agents will take part" he further stated.
President, Tourist Hotels Association of Sri
Lanka (THASL), Hiran Cooray told The Sunday
Leader that all the hotels in the country had
suffered occupancy slumps of around 40-50% which
is a huge loss to the industry.
occupancy rate dropped by in
most hotels in the country. The much
anticipated winter season was somewhat
devastating but the city hotels faired well in
January because of the Bohra pilgrims,"
to Cooray the THASL is confident that the new
Tourism Minister would help to boost the
industry as he has already
taken steps to convince the foreign
missions in Colombo to get the travel advisories
is exactly what we wanted. He is a capable
who could convince the international
leaders to get the travel advisories lifted.
Certainly this is a
relief.There are fresh hopes and when we
met him last week we found out that he has done his home work," Cooray said.
CEB official takes home luxury vehicle
have been raised as to who
approved the Additional General Manager (AGM)
Region 2, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to take
home a luxury Mitsubishi Pajero vehicle worth Rs.
40 lakhs on his retirement.
K.A.Amarasinghe who went on retirement on
February 8 has taken away the luxury vehicle
bearing registration No.65-5686 although he was
not entitled to the vehicle. "This is the
first time that a luxury vehicle was given away
to a retiring officer. This has never happened
before," CEB sources told The Sunday
know that there is a hidden hand behind this.
The Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne
needs the support of the
GM and AGMs
to carry out his duties. Hence there is
no doubt that he may have approved Amarasinghe
to take away the luxury jeep on his
retirement," the sources alleged.
is a breach
of the board's rules and regulations. It is also
learnt that just prior to the removal of the
jeep the CEB at its own cost had fixed new
wheels to the jeep," the sources further
The Sunday Leader learns that when the
particular vehicle was taken to the Department
of Motor Traffic on Thursday to get it
transferred in Amarasinghe's name the Motor
Traffic Department had turned down the request
CEB had not paid the lease money for the vehicle
programme on protection of wild life
television programme to educate people on the importance of protecting wildlife
was introduced by Telescene recently.
television programme can be viewed by adults and
children of all ages.
to The Sunday Leader Director Wild Asia,
Padmalatha Abeysinghe said Sri Lanka is a
country with many places of interest for nature
are many national parks in the country where
people can go and enjoy the beauty of wild
animals and nature. However there are some
people who go to a national park and return home
without seeing a wild animal. These people are
not interested in visiting a national park to
spot a wild animal. Their interest is to engage
in other activities, such as consuming
venison," Abeysinghe said.
added that the television programmes would
encourage people to show compassion to animals
and refrain from killing them.
programmes also highlight shortcomings in
national parks such as the need to have an
animal hospital to treat animals and a faster
and efficient service to attend to wild animals
injured in national parks.
stressed that if wildlife and nature is to be
protected in the country the public should make
it their responsibility. Telescene has produced
three television programmes on wildlife and
intervenes on behalf of Parameshwary
of the largest networks of Indian women media
practitioners, the Network of Women in Media,
India (NWMI) has called upon President Mahinda
Rajapakse to immediately intervene and secure
the release of Maubima journalist Manusamy
to President Mahinda Rajapakse and Prime
Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake,
the NWMI members have called for the
immediate release of Maubima journalist Munusamy
Parameshawary (23) who has been detained by the
Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) without
charge for more than 75 days.
The NWMI claims that Parameshawary has
been held in the TID office in Colombo since her
detention on November 26, 2006, under the
Prevention of Terrorism Act on suspicion of
having links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Indian women media professionals claim that no
charges have been framed so far and until
recently, she was denied access to lawyers, her
editor and media organisations.
claim that in another travesty of justice on
January 23, after a brief court appearance, the
TID has successfully
extended her detention for another 30 days
"This is a shameful situation, and
your government cannot remain inactive while a
young woman journalist is denied her fundamental
rights, and languishes in detention. This
shocking case has grave implications for press
freedom and human rights in Sri Lanka," the
NWMI extends its full and unconditional support
to the Free Media Movement (FMM) in their
campaign for the release of Parameshwary, and
join colleagues around the world to stand in
solidarity with Parameshwary, and all Sri Lankan
journalists, in their struggle for an
independent, safe and free media.
petition has been signed by senior women
journalists on behalf of the Network of Women in
Media, India (NWMI) including Ammu Joseph,
Vasanthi Hariprakash, Meena Menon, Laxmi Murthy,
Jyoti Punwani and Charumathi Supraja.
University to reopen tomorrow
Jaffna University will reopen for academic
activities tomorrow (19) after a lapse of six
months, university sources said.
senior lecturer at the university told The
Sunday Leader that the students would be given a
grace period of two weeks for them
to come for lectures and settle down.
university will be open after a lapse of more
than six months. "We have already announced
the date to the students. We will not postpone
the reopening of the campus. The students will
be given a grace period of two weeks to attend
the lectures and get used to the
environment," he said.
official said that the future academic plans
would be decided depending on the attendance of
the students during the two-week grace period.