queries fate of Rs. 2,500 mn tsunami funds
left in Central Bank
government last week evicted Former
President Chandrika Kumaratunga from
her official Independence Avenue
residence and transferred her staff
to the public service pool. The
office equipment and furniture were
also removed with Presidential
Secretary Lalith Weeratunga renting
a separate house to store the items.
Picture shows the Former President
watching the furniture being taken
away --- Photo by Lalith
left in presidential account for housing
over where the money was spent
over non completion of houses
President Chandrika Kumaratunga has called
on the government to explain the fate that
befell a sum of Rs. 2,500 million received
by the country as tsunami aid that was in an
account at the Central Bank under a
query came in the backdrop of a statement
made by the World Bank that about 15,000
families are still without permanent houses,
three years after the tsunami.
tsunami waves hit the island in December
2004 during Kumaratunga's tenure in office.
In the aftermath of the tsunami, a special
presidential fund was established for the
smooth channeling of funds received by the
country for the rebuilding process.
asked by The Sunday Leader about the funds
left over by the tsunami, Kumaratunga said
that there was a sum of Rs. 2,500 million in
the account when she left office in end 2005
and said she would like to know what
happened to those monies which were to be
used for housing.
used to present a full statement of accounts
and the amount of income every month for the
11 months I was in office after the tsunami
and when I left there was over Rs. 2,500
million in the account," she said.
expressed surprise at the non-completion of
houses in the aftermath of the tsunami as
the necessary arrangements were already in
place to meet the entire housing needs in
the areas affected.
surprised that they have still not completed
the houses because I certainly supervised
the entire reconstruction process at the
beginning every day and there after twice a
week. And at the time I left 11 months after
the tsunami, the total number of houses that
were totally or partially destroyed was
about 72,000 and we had made arrangements
through TAFREN to already provide them more
than two thirds of the houses, meaning that
construction had either begun or it was
about to begin," she said.
to Kumaratunga lands were released, money
was available and other arrangements were
made with the contractors or with the owners
in relation to the owner driven programme by
the end of 2005.
government according to Kumaratunga had then
received a huge grant from the World Bank
and secondly quite a lot of countries
undertook the reconstruction.
Turkey and other countries like China gave
us money. In addition to that what was not
undertaken by foreign agencies was picked up
by Sri Lankan benefactors very generously.
We were going to build the rest of
the houses not picked up by anybody with
money from the special presidential fund,
which was in the bank," she said.
money that came into the fund, Kumaratunga
said, was from Sri Lankans all over the
world who sent individual donations and the
cabinet was presented a report on it once a
used to present a full statement of accounts
and when I left there was over Rs.
2,500 million in the account. The lands and
projects were all identified," she
also said that apart from the reconstruction
of houses, the only other project that was
left undone was the reconstruction of the
one and only heritage city in Sri Lanka,
Galle, to bring it back to it's past glory.
"We had begun the work and as far as I
understand the people are saying houses are
still not built and I am surprised that the
Galle project is completely stopped,"
I wonder where this money is and what this
money has been used for. I'd really like to
know as a person who spent a lot of energy
and love on this project, I'd like to know
what this money is now being used for,"
vehicle with unlimited fuel also urged
Advisor on cricket asks Rs 300,000 monthly
newly appointed Presidential Advisor on
Cricket, D.S. de Silva has requested for a
huge financial package from Sri Lanka
Cricket (SLC), The Sunday Leader learns.
a written communication to the Chief
Executive Officer of SLC, De Silva had
reportedly asked for a monthly payment of Rs.
300,000 and a car befitting a director with
an unlimited fuel allowance, informed
to SLC sources the financial package has
been sought via e-mail communication from
CEO Duleep Mendis.
least three top officials confirmed the SLC
receiving the communication in the name of
De Silva but the Presidential Advisor was
not available for comment.
SLC sources said in addition to the
financial package, which also included an
unlimited mobile phone facility; De Silva
had wanted office space with a separate
staff under him at the Cricket Board.
is learned De Silva had further called for
voting rights at board meetings.
top SLC source said the request for the
financial package would be submitted to
Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge for approval.
to be IC chairman
parliamentarian and former Sri Lanka cricket
captain Arjuna Ranatunga will be the new
chairman of the Interim Committee of Sri
Sunday Leader learns Ranatunga will receive
his letter of appointment next week from the
sources said, on a presidential directive
Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge signed
Ranatunga's letter of appointment before
leaving for the United States last week.
Ranatunga will succeed outgoing Chairman
is learned Ranatunga will most likely assume
office from January 7, 2008. With the
appointment of Ranatunga, other changes in
the Interim Committee are also expected to
follow, the sources said. Contacted by The
Sunday Leader, Ranatunga said he had heard
his appointment letter was signed by the
Minister but had not received confirmation
on when it would be delivered.
runs into more money trouble
Air has been compelled to ground its A320
aircraft plying to Indian destinations due
to non payment of dues.
Bulgarian company that leased out the A320
aircraft to Mihin on a wet lease has
instructed its pilots not to fly the
aircraft as Mihin had not settled its dues
under the lease.
has two long haul aircraft, an A320 leased
from a Bulgarian company and an A321 leased
from a Turkish company. The controversial
budget airline pays Rs. 90,802,000.00 as
leasing charges on a wet lease that includes
cabin crew and pilots.
at 31.03.2007 Mihin's operational costs
stood at Rs. 195,410,886.41 and records
reveal the budget airline is making a loss
of about Rs. 8-9 million a day.
a budget airline Mihin, incurs a huge sun of
Rs. 25,249,614.13 for advertising and
promotions and Rs. 16,129,577.06 for staff
salaries and allowances.
currently flies to seven destinations. They
are Dubai, Male, Bangkok, Tiruchirapalli,
Trivandram, Buddha Gaya and Singapore. The
debt ridden Mihin currently owes a sum of Rs.
300 million to the Ceylon Petroleum
Corporation (CPC) for fuel purchases and
over USD one million to SriLankan Airlines
for ground handling and other services.
fear among IDPs - UN
is a sense of pervasive fear among the
internally displaced in the country, the top
UN official on IDPs warned last week as UN
agencies reported that they were unable to
move any food supplies to IDPs in Mulaithivu
and parts of Kilinochchi District.
representative was struck by a pervasive
sense of fear and uncertainty among those he
spoke. Sources of insecurity are varied, but
include the following: continued incursions
and attacks by the LTTE; disappearances,
abductions and looting; threats and attacks
upon individuals by irregular and armed
groups such as the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai
Puligal (TMVP)," the UN said of the
visit by Walter K„lin, the representative
of the Secretary-General on the Human Rights
of Internally Displaced Persons.
was in the country between December 14 and
21 and visited Puttalam, Vavuniya,
Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts but was
not given clearance to visit Kilinochchi by
during the time of his visit the World Food
Programme said it was unable to move food
supplies to Mulaithivu and parts of
Kilinochchi. "Due to restrictions on
movements to Mulaithivu District, WFP was
unable to transport food supplies for 8,997
displaced families (32,096 persons). Food
was also not transported for WFP, FFE, FFW,
FFT and MCN programmes over the past three
weeks. In Kilinochchi, Kandawalai AGA
located along A-35 road on
Paranthan-Mulaithivu road restricted,
affecting WFP programmes in the area,"
the Inter Agency Standing Committee (ISAC)
did not specify what the restrictions were,
but aid agencies working in Wanni have
complained of increasing restrictions, some
imposed by the Tigers, others due to
security fears due to the prevalent security
meanwhile praised the government efforts to
resettle the 200,000 IDPs in the east, the
mass resettlement had drawn criticism from
UN and other agencies at the on set in March
the majority of the more than 220,000
persons who had to flee their homes in the
Eastern Province between April 2006 and
March 2007 have returned, been provided with
transitional shelter, and are beginning to
regain their former lives. While I
appreciate what has been achieved, targeted
measures in line with international human
rights standards and the United Nations
Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement
in the areas of security, livelihoods, and
humanitarian access are essential if these
returns are to be sustainable in both the
near and long-term," he said.
also requested the government to allow
increased access to agencies working on
protection relayed issues.
access for agencies and NGOs working on
protection would improve confidence among
IDP populations because these agencies can
identify and promptly facilitate the local
resolution of individual concerns," he
of handcuffs affecting Prisons Department
lack of handcuffs in the Prisons Department
has made it impossible for authorities to
produce prisoners before courts, Prisons
Department sources said.
Department sources told The Sunday Leader
that the department has run short of
handcuffs, which has resulted in difficulty
in producing prisoners to courts.
were instances where we had to take the
prisoners without handcuffs. Luckily we
managed to guard them but we cannot expect
the prisoners to obey the prison guards
every day. Anything could happen if the
required handcuffs are not supplied,"
the sources said.
Commissioner of Prisons, Major General (Rtd)
Vajira Wijegunawardena told The Sunday
Leader that although there was a shortage of
handcuffs still the department could manage
its work without any hindrance, as there are
enough wrist cuffs and gang chains available
in all prisons in the country.
present there is a 50% shortage of handcuffs
in the Prisons Department but we would be
receiving the necessary stocks by January
10," Wijegunawardena said.
to Wijegunawardena handcuffs, wrist cuffs
and gang chains are mostly used for major
convicted prisoners and those who are
serving minor sentences were not handcuffed
of the total number of prisoners only 8.8%
are serving jail terms for major offences.
hand and wrist cuffs only on these
prisoners but not very often on minor
offenders," Wijegunawardena further
Commissioner Supplies, Venura Gunawardena
told The Sunday Leader that although some
prison guards claim that there is a shortage
of handcuffs in the department it has not
caused a major threat to prison work.
two or three weeks we will be receiving the
Chicago made handcuffs from the Police
Department as we have already ordered 400
handcuffs to overcome the shortage,"
prison inmates clash injuring two
persons were injured following a clash
between the inmates of the Batticaloa prison
on Friday, Batticaloa police said.
attack was carried out on a group of 15
inmates who were on their way to the temple
for their morning prayers.
police stated that
the two inmates of the prison,
Tharmaguhan and Ravich- andran who were
injured due to the clash were receiving
was reported that both these persons were
critically injured as they were attacked
with sharp weapons on their heads.
was reported that members of paramilitary
groups who were remanded in the prison had
attacked the other inmates on Friday
the Batticaloa police said that it could not
be confirmed whether members of paramilitary
groups had carried out this attack.
police also stated that investigations were
being carried out into the incident.
the TNA said that it had requested details
about what had happened at the prison
premises on Friday.
Batticaloa Parliamentarian S.
Jeyananthamoorthy told The Sunday Leader
that his party had not taken any stance on
this issue, as it was not aware of the
actual reason for the clash.
are several stories. However, our stance
will be revealed once we get to know the
incident in detail," he said.
Duty waiver out from
Prices of essential
items to skyrocket
By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
Prices of several essential items are to
increase with immediate effect as the seven-month duty concessions
granted for 10 selected commodities by the government expired on
The government in March identified 10
consumer items and exempted them from tax for a period of seven
months, which expired last week. However, the government has so far
not decided to extend the duty waiver for a further period.
The government's decision not to continue
with the duty waiver programme was informed to the commodity traders
by Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunewardena who held meetings
with them on Friday (28) and Saturday (29).
The Sunday Leader learns that Gunewardena
at the meeting on Friday had requested the traders to clear their
imported goods at the new prices (with duty), and to sell the goods
at the old price.
The traders have however opposed it saying
they would incur heavy losses if they were to sell the goods at a
lower price after clearing them with the additional duty payments
that have come into effect since the 25th.
Gunewardena had then told the traders that
they should ask the opposition to stop protesting about the rising
cost of consumer goods if the prices are to be increased.
However, Gunewardena had also said that he
would see if any arrangement could be made and had asked the traders
to meet him again yesterday.
When the traders met the Minister on
Saturday, they were informed that nothing could be done till the
government formulated a new programme, and that it would only be
ready by mid next month.
The traders had then informed Gunewardena
that they would have no option but to increase the prices of
consumer goods as well.
When contacted by The Sunday Leader,
Gunewardena agreed that the prices of essential items, which were
earlier exempted from duty, would see an increase.
He said that the prices would have already
increased as the duty waiver programme ended on the 25th.
Gunewardena said that politicians as well
as the people who agitated that there was no reduction in essential
items would now know the real prices and realise that the government
had indeed reduced prices to an extent.
The government according to Gunewardena,
had incurred a loss of Rs. 10 to 15 billion due to the duty waiver
on selected consumer goods.
"The government incurred a loss of
billions of rupees, which was even more than the amount that was
allocated for Samurdhi. All this was done to provide some relief for
the people. Prices of essential items were controlled to an extent
as a result, but there was no positive response from anyone.
Everyone criticized the move, the opposition even voted against the
bill in parliament. So I guess now everyone can be happy because the
"bad move" we took has been stopped. No one can find fault
with me as I did my best and no one agreed with it. If I'm accused
of anything I can always reason things out as the government did
look at providing relief for the people," he said.
According to Gunewardena, prices of
essential items would increase and the government would now have to
look at a new programme as the seven-month programme has come to an
The Minister however could not give a time
frame as to when the new programme would be put in place.
Tigers, TMVP recruiting
children - UN
By Amantha Perera
The Tigers and the breakaway Tamil Makkal
Viduthali Pulikal (TMVP) continued to recruit underage children for
armed combat during 2007, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in
his latest report to the Security Council.
"While there has been limited
progress in the release of children associated with the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and Tamil Makkal Viduthali Pulikal (TMVP)/Karuna
faction as previously called for, both groups continue to abduct
children, direct attacks against civilians and impede the access of
humanitarian actors," the report submitted to the Security
Council's Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict that was made
public on December 28 said.
The report said that both parties failed
to allow UN officials access to verify reports of underage recruits
and engage in a transparent process to release them.
"From 1 November 2006 to 31 August
2007, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) received reports
of 262 children recruited by LTTE, including 32 who were
re-recruited. This represents a significant reduction in the rate of
reported recruitment of children by LTTE, as compared to the
previous reporting period," the Ki-Moon report said.
In the previous 12 month reporting period
756 children had been recruited including 97 re-recruits. December
2006 recorded the highest monthly recruitment by the Tigers at 62.
"From 1 November 2006 to 31 August
2007, 41 per cent of the children reported to have been recruited or
re-recruited (109 children) were from Batticaloa district, followed
by Kilinochchi, with 27 per cent of reports received of children
recruited from the district (71 children). Jaffna experienced the
lowest reports of child recruitment among the north and east
districts, with one child recruited, one child re-recruited and one
child released during the period, which reflects a substantial
reduction," the report said adding that the average age of the
children recruited by the Tigers was 15 years while 169 were boys
and 61 girls.
"From 1 November 2006 to 31 August
2007, UNICEF received reports of 207 children recruited by the TMVP/Karuna
faction, including 45 who were re-recruited. This represents an
increase in the rate of reported recruitment by the TMVP/Karuna
faction, as compared to the previous 12-month reporting period. The
majority of children were abducted and recruited by the TMVP/faction
in Batticaloa, followed by Ampara, Trincomalee and Polonnaruwa
districts," the report said of the TMVP.
During the same period, 71 children were
released from the group while 65 reportedly escaped.
"Reports have been received that
families or recruits are receiving a monthly allowance ranging from
SL Rs 6,000 to SL Rs 12,000 (approximately $60 to $120). UNICEF has
recorded 36 cases of recruited children who are receiving payments
in Batticaloa district alone."
"Abduction and recruitment of
children by the TMVP/Karuna faction continued to take place from the
streets, temples, homes and internally displaced persons camps in
the east, mainly in Government-controlled areas. Reports were also
received that children were recruited and abducted in areas in close
proximity to Sri Lankan security forces offices and
checkpoints," the report added.
Foreign lobbyists also
to help improve Lanka's global image
Worried about Sri Lanka's international
image, the Foreign Ministry has proposed ways of improving it
including the viability of hiring foreign lobbyists for the job.
In a circular to nearly 20 of Sri Lanka's
diplomatic missions, especially those in the west, the Foreign
Ministry has also invited ideas from our diplomats and said any
proposal to hire lobbyists would also be considered and funds
allocated if the idea is accepted.
Titled the "Sri Lanka Political Image
Building Campaign," the Ministry's Director General of Public
Communication, Ravinatha Aryasinha has listed several ideas that
appear to have emanated from an advisory group appointed by the
Ministry's Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona.
Among the proposals put forward by the
Kohona 'think tank' are for our diplomatic missions to get together
friends of Sri Lanka; form a network of committed political lobby
groups; encourage the Sri Lankan diaspora in the respective
countries to help; reach out to Tamil groups including Indian Tamil
groups and organise road shows involving "goodwill
ambassadors" from Sri Lanka.
Among the proposals is that diplomatic
missions should look at the need to fund lobby groups to undertake
the task of improving Sri Lanka's image.
Aryasinha in his circular says in regard
to foreign lobbyists, that Baroness Greengross of Notting Hill has
already made a proposal in this connection but gives our diplomatic
missions no information at all on what it is.
Baroness Greengross, formerly Sally
Greengross, was elevated to the House of Lords in 2000 and was for
several years connected with "Age Concern" an organisation
concerned with elderly persons in the UK.
In a recent interview Dr. Kohona had
mentioned meeting her during a brief stopover in London.
Asked by The Sunday Leader about the
Foreign Ministry's image building exercise, former senior Sri Lankan
diplomats and prominent business personalities scoffed at the idea.
"It seems that after almost one year
in office secretary Kohona is trying to justify his existence with
having a think tank that is trying to reinvent the wheel. He must be
thinking that these are all new ideas, which have just been
discovered. If he had served in some of our missions abroad he would
have known that we had been doing much of this all along. We did not
hire foreign lobbyists because we didn't have the money. We did not
have road shows either because at that time there was no need to
improve our international image. It was already good until the
politicians created the mess," said one former diplomat who had
served in several capitals.
"This is one way for some so-called
lobbyists to make a lot of money. That includes Sri Lankans who
pretend to lobby important politicians and media. Let the ministry
say who the people in this advisory group are for the information of
the public. Then we will know how competent they are. As for road
shows, the tourism industry and the investment promoters are already
"What do they want more road shows
for? To get politicians and their families and friends to do some
free travelling I suppose," said a senior tourism and business
Besides our diplomatic missions in the
west, the circular is also said to have been sent to those in
Malaysia, Australia and Japan in the Asia-Pacific region.
Teachers to strike
during first school week
The government's failure to rectify the
salary anomalies of government teachers by December 31 would bring
school activities in the island to a complete standstill during the
first week of January, the Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU)
Although Education Minister Susil
Premjayanth on October 28 assured the trade unions to address the
grievances faced by the teachers before December 31, neither the
minister nor the government has so far honoured the pledge, claimed
the CTSU sources.
General Secretary, CTSU, Mahinda
Jayasinghe told The Sunday Leader that unless the government
honoured the promises given to them on October 28, all government
teachers would launch a crippling strike to obstruct school
activities in the first week of the new school term.
According to Jayasinghe, the CTSU has sent
a reminder to Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake on December
20, of the cabinet assurance given to the trade unions on October 28
but the Premier has so far failed to acknowledge receipt of the
letter and whether the promises would be honoured. (NK)
Sripathi asks Speaker
to appoint SC to probe Tiger deal
Member of parliament and SLFP (M)
coordinator Sripathi Sooriyarachchi has in writing requested Speaker
W.J.M. Lokubandara to appoint the parliamentary select committee to
probe the secret deal between the LTTE and President Mahinda
Rajapakse as approved by parliament.
Sooriyarachchi has said since parliament
has already approved the proposal to appoint a select committee, the
Speaker should without further delay appoint the committee.
Sooriyarachchi earlier in a motion called
for the appointment of a select committee to probe allegations that
the Mahinda Rajapakse campaign had entered into a secret agreement
with the LTTE prior to the presidential election.
It has been alleged that the LTTE enforced
a boycott of the election in the north and east following the
agreement and that a large sum of money was given to the LTTE.
Contacted by The Sunday Leader,
Sooriyarachchi confirmed he had written to the Speaker and said that
there was already an inordinate delay in appointing the committee.
"All that has to be done now is for
the committee to be appointed and the proceedings to commence. Why
is there a delay? The President also cannot prorogue parliament
because the government has only 111 MPs now and if parliament is
prorogued, the opposition will have a majority in all the select
committees to be appointed as well as the COPE and PAC. Therefore,
without proroguing they are also delaying the appointment of the
select committee," Sooriyarachchi said.
arrivals show signs of picking up
arrivals in the country have significantly
gone up during the last two months,
President, Tourist Hotels Association of Sri
Lanka (THASL) and Managing Director, Jetwing
Hotels, Hiran Cooray said.
to Cooray although the leisure industry
suffered immensely during the first 10
months of the year it was able to bounce
back on a positive note during November and
November the industry is fairing
significantly well but still we could not
achieve what we accomplished in 2002-2004
during the cessation of hostilities. The
industry flourished really well during that
period but still, we are happy over the
present situation and also in regard to the
forward bookings till February,"
Director/ CEO Serendib Leisure Management,
Srilal Miththapala told The Sunday Leader
that other than in the Cultural Triangle
areas all hotels in the other parts of the
country had faired well during the last two
the Cultural Triangle areas the hotels got a
beating as a result of terrorist activities
but the other hotels in the country have
faired well during the first two months of
the winter season," claimed Miththapala.
December 29 we were receiving 5-6 Russian
charter flights which looks good for the
industry. If this trend continues it could
boost the country's tourism industry despite
the conflict which is confined to the north
and the east," Miththapala added.
Immediate Past President, Sri Lanka
Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO),
Vasantha Leelananda told The Sunday Leader
that he is optimistic that the present
positive trend in tourist arrivals would
further improve in 2008.
there were set backs during the first few
months in 2007 once the year progressed
tourist arrivals increased steadily. It is
mainly due to the relaxation of the French
travel advisory and the softening of the
strict travel advisories of the other
tourism generating markets. As long as the
war is confined to the war torn areas the
industry will fair well," Leelananda
Haris no more
Haris Hulugalle, former chairman of Times
of Ceylon, State Development and
Construction Corporation, and former
Director of Multi Packs (Ceylon) Ltd and
Leader Publications (Pvt) Ltd expired on
December 22 after a brief illness. His
funeral was held privately on December 23.
Haris opting for early retirement resigned
from Leader Publications and Multi Packs in
1996. Haris Hulugalle was a very lively and
exuberant personality in town and lived life
to its fullest.
He was immensely helpful at the
commencement of The Sunday Leader and
encouraged the management during the
formative years. Never one to hog the
limelight, Hulugalle was happiest amongst
his close friends. He had an in built talent
for creativity. Having opted for early
retirement he pursued his passions amongst
which riding horses took pride of place.
He leaves behind his devoted wife Neela
and daughters, Shaniya, Ameena and Aini.
May the turf lie softly on him.
place of LTTE high rankers destroyed - Govt.
military last week said it had destroyed a
meeting place of the LTTE high rankers in
Spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara
told The Sunday Leader that the meeting
place, situated in Puthukudiyiruppu was
destroyed by the air force based on
information received that a meeting was
being held in the area.
stated that the military was unaware of the
casualties or damage caused following the
attack was carried out at around 12 noon on
Friday. The attack was carried out based on
information we had received that a meeting
was being held in the area. However, we do
not know the casualty details of the LTTE,"
Brig. Nanayakkara said.
LTTE could not be contacted for a comment on
News Director leaves hospital fearing for
staff of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini
Corporation (SLRC) has requested the
Inspector General of Police to provide
security to its News Director following last
Thursday's assault on him by Labour Minister
Director, SLRC, T.M.G. Chandrasekara
confirmed this to The Sunday Leader and said
that Chairman SLRC has requested the IGP and
the DIG Nugegoda to provide adequate
security to him as his life was under threat
following Thursday's assault on him.
to Chandrasekara, following his complaint to
the Cinnamon Gardens Police the police got
him admitted to the accident service for
observation but had to get discharged
fearing for his life.
was taken to the accident service by the
Cinnamon Gardens police following my
complaint but I had to get my self
discharged on my own in fear for my
life," Chandrasekara said.
the Labour Minister's ugly behaviour the JVP
affiliated Rupavahini Corporation Employees'
Union sources told The Sunday Leader that
the alleged assault on the News Director
would not be the last of its kind in media
many media personalities have been subjected
to harassment by Mervyn Silva? All this time
the government took every step to cover up
the dirty work of Mervyn Silva and his son
Malaka. Silva may have thought that since
SLRC is a government institution he could
act according to his whims and fancies.
Despite he being a minister we taught him a
good lesson that will not be erased from his
memory for ever," the sources said.
sources further stated that if the
government calls for the explanation of the
employees who assaulted the Minister and his
thugs, the SLRC employees were ready to take
stern trade union action against the
by any chance the government asks the SLRC
to call for the explanations of the
employees for their counter attack on Mervyn
his thugs we do not have any other option
but to launch trade union action to teach
the administration a lesson for its failure
to uphold justice irrespective of the status
of the persons involved," the sources
to lead delegation to Abu Dhabi
Sri Lankan delegation led by Minister of
Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare
Keheliya Rambukwella is to head to Abu Dhabi
early next year for a seminar and conference
which is being held for ministers from
and labour sending countries in the
to The Sunday Leader, Deputy General
Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB) L.K.
Ruhunuge stated that the conference is
expected to cover a wide range of issues
including that of the welfare of Sri Lankan
said that the conference is scheduled to be
held for the fourth consecutive time in Abu
Dhabi on January 21 to January 24.
to Ruhunuge, this is the first time a labour
receiving country is hosting the seminar.
The first was held in Colombo in 2003 and
the last one held in Indonesia.
Ganesan to sue Dhinakara newspaper
Civil Monitoring Commission (CMC) and
Western People's Front (WPF) Leader Mano
Ganesan, intends to take legal action
against the SLFP affiliated Dhinakara
newspaper for statements allegedly published
in that paper which he claimed were
speaking to The Sunday Leader on the issue
said that a letter of demand would be sent
to the newspaper for statements allegedly
on December 16.
said the letter of demand would be sent
newspaper had referred to Ganesan as one who
represents the LTTE and who supports its
a letter to the SLFP General Secretary
Maithripala Sirisena, Ganesan has questioned
as to why the government had not taken steps
to arrest him if it considered him a
representative of the LTTE as stated in
was first runner-up at the annual US Freedom
Defender's Award early this month for his
work against abductions in the country.