Covering up blatant human rights violations
is the propaganda resorted to by the present regime
regarding human rights violations? Simply it is a bold
denial and bald statements that no such thing occurs in
this country. When those of the likes of Mahinda
Samarasinghe, Rohitha Bogollagama and other
spokespersons of the government defiantly express this
view, any discerning person may well wonder the state of
we are faced with overwhelming evidence, findings of
various bodies, statements of both local and
international agencies which give the lie to all these
denials, yet our brave propagandists are undeterred by
Eradication of terrorism is the name of the game, and
under the guise of rescuing Tamils from the clutches of
the LTTE, innocent civilians are being displaced, made
to face untold hardships, made to lose their possessions
and even their lives. Education is lost to the
children, youth get older, and generations are lost to a
hapless community caught up in the destruction.
with this there are the random and baseless arrests,
abductions and killings, and the spectre of the 'white
van' operating everywhere.
all these are the wages of war: there is scant regard
for human life, and statements broadcast from the very
top that every precaution is being taken to safeguard
innocent civilians are just politically motivated
media has been subjected to attacks. Offices of various
publications have been targeted, and journalists
killed. What of their rights, and what of the
this viewed in context, does anyone think it foolhardy
to refute the stand of ministers and government
spokespersons when they hold forth that there are no
human rights violations in our fair island?
Officials on contract holding key posts
fully endorse the letter published in The Sunday Leader
of February 22 under the caption "Eastern Education
Ministry - a home for the aged" and congratulate the
writer for exposing such irregularity and The Sunday
Leader for exposing the maladministration and violation
of Public Administration Circular and the Circular of
the Public Service Commission by the provincial
only the Education Ministry, but as stated by the
writer, the top administrators such as Chief Secretary,
Secretary to the Governor and the Secretary to the
Provincial Councils - the three important persons who
are responsible for implementing these circulars,
advising and directing the governor, chief minister and
the provincial council are all persons who have been
re-employed on contract basis.
appointment of these officers is clearly in violation of
the circulars referred to, and they are guilty of
re-employing other officers without proper authority.
Moreover these three officers have been re-employed
blocking the avenues of promotion that should be
normally available to eligible Class I officers of the
Sri Lanka Administrative Service.
addition to these contracts granted by the Provincial
Public Service Commission contrary to Public
Administration Circular No: 56/89 and the National
Public Service Commission Circular No: 1/2008, the
Provincial Public Service Commission has issued an
invalid appointment to a teacher to cover the duties of
the Assistant Director of Cultural Affairs in the
Eastern Education Ministry which is a post for an
officer of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS).
By this act not only has the Public Administration
Ministry and National Public Service Commission
circulars been violated, they have also violated the
Service Minute of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service.
the National Public Service Commission which is an
independent body, the Provincial Public Service
Commission is controlled by the Governor's Secretariat.
the Sri Lanka Administrative Service union take up this
question at the national level and safeguard the rights
of the SLAS officers?
governor should be informed that he should exercise his
power within the provisions of Chapter XVIIA of the
Constitution of Sri Lanka, without creating problems and
embarrassment to the officers of the SLAS - an all
In defence of Ranil'
very much appreciate the article by Aman Faris published
on page 10 of your esteemed journal The Morning Leader
on February 25 in which reference was made to the Leader
of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe.
writer had stated the actual facts and the qualities of
Ranil Wickremesinghe without distortion.
is incorrect on his part to have said that it was Ranil
Wickremesinghe who masterminded the split in the LTTE.
Neither Ranil Wickremesinghe nor the UNP had anything to
do with the splitting up of the LTTE. The split was an
internal affair of the LTTE. When Karuna was called to
the Wanni for an inquiry by the LTTE Leader for some
serious lapses on his part, he decided to break away
from the LTTE and then the LTTE sent its cadres to
attack the Karuna Group in the Eastern Province.
then that Ali Sahir Mowlana, a UNP Member of Parliament
brought Karuna to Colombo for his safety, as Mowlana's
wife who is a Tamil is closely related to Karuna's wife.
After this incident Mowlana left the UNP and went
abroad. These are the facts.
don't deny that some UNP politicians were trying to take
credit for what was not due to them.
Wickremesinghe has not stated at any time that he was
instrumental in splitting the LTTE.
shall be very much obliged if you could publish this
letter in your esteemed journal.
Ex. Member of Parliament, Jaffna District and
The tiny "registered receipt"
Recently I presented a letter to be dispatched under
registered cover. I was appalled when I was issued with
a tiny printed form to be filled up. Nevertheless I
promptly heeded the request of the postal official and
resultantly I was given back the counter foil in which
only the registered number was written along with the
date stamp. The printed form bears the number as P.O.J.
Hitherto 'The registered postal article receipt'
designated in all the three languages, indicated in
detail the name and address of the sender, name and
address of the addressee the registration fee and the
registration number. The discerning public could file
them for purpose of record and future reference, which
will come in handy when one has to invite attention to
the document previously addressed.
authorities seem to have taken the masses for asses and
made this 'innovation' which tantamounts to a monumental
bureaucratic blunder. Anyone with an iota of common
sense should realise that such an uncalled for change
would certainly cause public opprobrium.
"Registered postal article receipt" was issued from time
immemorial. The change for the worse has been effected
without rhyme or reason probably by a misfit politically
catapulted to a position of authority to show that he is
a Smart Alec.
the Minister of Posts please be good enough to order the
reversion to the old order forthwith to prevent the
democratic credentials of the regime being dented?
Politics, now a career, not a calling
before nominations for the Western Provincial Council
elections were finalised by the political parties, some
members of these parties either expecting nomination or
in fear that they would be left out, have started their
election campaigns vigorously by having large posters
and cut-outs of themselves with their leaders installed
at vantage points, and on walls of private residences
among other places along important streets in the city.
However it would be interesting to quote what the
Telegraph View has said about politicians. "When
politics is treated as just a career, not a calling,
many of its practitioners will slip into the habit of
chiselling what they can, out of it. It is rare for a
week to go by nowadays without fresh evidence emerging
of politicians milking their generous self regulated,
systems of allowances and expenses for all they are
time when a man or a woman would make their mark on one
walk of life before going into politics to use the
experience so gathered 'to put something back' is long
gone. Unfortunately when politics is treated as just a
career, not a calling, it is inevitable that many of
these practitioners will step into the habit of
chiselling what they can, out of it."
this be stopped? Of course, it could be, if only the
leaders of political parties select honourable men who
have not been charged for rape, thuggery, fraud,
corruption etc. for nomination. If this warning is not
heeded by political leaders, although the public,
newspaper editors and religious bodies have repeatedly
voiced their concern, there is yet another effective
measure or action that one could take. That is, the
intelligent voters should select honest men who have
entered the fray, from whatever party it may be, thus
giving the leaders the unpleasant task of weeding the
the educated and intelligent voters of the Western
Province prove that they want decent, honest men to
represent them in the Western Provincial Council? Let's
wait and see.
Jayasiri Premalal Mendis
Although we have a common surname and both are
descendants of the Balapuwaduge clan from Moratuwa, I
was not a close relation of Jayasiri. My first
association with him was in the late 1970s when he
married my wife's sister.
told, their union was the culmination of a romantic
courtship in the serene and beautiful surroundings of
the Peradeniya campus where a handsome and very
intelligent young man from the Science Faculty dared to
venture into the then hallowed portals of the Medical
Faculty and profess his love to a beautiful but rather
reserved girl of Kandyan parentage.
also said that the good news had been conveyed to his
beloved mother in two simple Sinhala words in his own
inimitable style. His father-in-law was the happiest,
that one of his daughters had found a partner who was in
the same vocation that he had pursued.
graduation with a First Class in a difficult combination
of Chemistry and Double Maths, the first to do so at
Peradeniya, Jayasiri opted for permanent employment as
an Assistant Superintendent of Survey at the Survey
Department. His inherent talents were spotted early and
an assignment to the institute of Surveying and Mapping,
Diyatalawa followed. During this period his wife was the
Medical Officer of Health in Bandarawela.
happened that my employment had taken me to Ratnapura
and quite naturally I used to drive up to Bandarawela
with my family and spend many a weekend at her quarters.
Jayasiri was always a gracious host and treated us very
used to dote on his daughter and son who were in their
early childhood at that time. We were also benefactors
of the hospitality during his stint as the Head of ISM,
Diyatalawa. Our closeness continued even after our two
families took up residence in
our children growing up the bond was even further
strengthened. Our visits to his home were always a
pleasant experience with my daughters sharing a joke
with him or seeking advice on something professional.
Whenever any of them needed a second opinion on any
matter the natural reaction was "Let's ask Jayasiri
last occasion our two families met for dinner at our
home was barely two weeks before his untimely death on
February 3. None of us had the slightest inkling of what
was in store. Maybe he kept his tribulations to himself
without troubling others.
Jayasiri's elevation to the post of Surveyor General was
no doubt the pinnacle of his career. Heading a
department having a rich history going back two
centuries to 1800 would not only have been prestigious
but also stressful.
fact that he wore the crown lightly on his head, and
more importantly his humbleness and his simplicity
endeared him to his peers, subordinates and all others
who came into contact with him. The appreciation of his
humane qualities by his staff was gauged from the many
activities they performed voluntarily after his death.
the numerous banners on the walls bordering the road
leading to his home with expressions of grief and
sympathy, some neighbours were heard to say that they
had been unaware that such an important personality had
lived among them.
Jayasiri was not an ostentatious person. He displayed no
extravagance but had simple tastes and lived a simple
life. He felt most comfortable in his sarong, bare
bodied and bare footed at home. His graciousness and
omnipresent smile was a hallmark of his personality. He
handled a highly specialised job but was a simpleton at
Jayasiri was the second in a closely-knit family of
seven. The loss and sorrow that enveloped his brothers,
sisters and their spouses and the spontaneous outpouring
of grief by the many nephews and nieces bore testimony
to the very strong bond that exists amongst the family.
A link in the chain has now broken. He was a devoted son
to his aged mother and it will be difficult for her to
reconcile his loss.
wife, daughter and son will surely miss him but they
have consolation from knowing that his life was well
lived in the true Christian spirit and maybe he has
earned a well-deserved rest at the feet of our Lord.
the Lord giveth the Lord taketh away.