Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sri Lanka's JVP to hold convention to sack dissidents

Sri Lanka Marxist People'e Liberation Front (JVP) will ho;d its general assembly as scheduled tomorrow at Debaraweva in the Hambanthora district.

Colombo district Judge Ranjith N. Warhupola yesterday rejected to issue an injunction against the convention requested by two JVP Central Committee members.

JVP MP Ajith Kumara and Politburo member G. Kularathna cited in their petitions that the JVP general assembly was illegal and aimed at causing injustice to them. They pointed out that the party secretary had submitted a list of members in September to the Election Commissioner comprising 226 members loyal to the leaders. This list is in addition to a list of 954 members earlier submitted.

JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe faction has planned to sack over 10 Central Committee members that belong to the dissident group and appoint a new Central Committee. The general assembly is expected to seal the party division and guarantee the legal ownership to the Somawansa Amarasinghe group.

The District Judge fixed the hearing of petition on January 06 and summoned 22 respondents to appear in court on that day.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

A Presidential Committee; a good tactic to paddle through the troubled waters of Advanced Level results crisis of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to appoint a committee to probe the issues related to the G.C.E. Advanced Level examination results.

The committee will probe the irregularities of the result issuing process of the highly competitive examination and it is assigned to forward recommendations to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

Minister of Higher Education S.B. Disanayaka says that recommendations will be requested from the committee regarding amending the 1968 examination act that is effect now.

The high level committee comprises of three Vice Chancellors of universities and a Supreme Court judge, sources say.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Close associate of ruling family kills a British tourist in Sri Lanka

President with the assassin
A close associate of Rajapaksa family killed a British national tourist at a tourist hotel in the home town of Sri Lanka President himself and also injured the Russian national girlfriend of the deceased.

The incident was reported internationally and the tourism industry of the area if not the entire island is taking the brunt of it.

The culprit Sampath Chandra Pushpa Vidanapathirana is a young son of a close associate of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Father Chandra Pushpa was the Chairman of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha. His son was well supported by Rajapaksa family at the last election.

Chandra Pushpa, Jr, has familial links with thuggery, gang activity and violence in addition to what is called by them as politics.

On the doomsday, drunk to the brim, he and his gang quarreled with foreign tourists in a hotel in the are under his influence, assaulted some of them, brutally assassinated one, caused severe injuries to the deceased's woman who involved to save his life, perhaps sexually molested her as reported by media and fired guns before fleeing the scene to hide for a few days following which he surrendered due to pressure perhaps from his bosses.

The deceased, Kuram Shaikah Zaman, from Manchester, UK, who was on leave from his job in the Gaza Strip, where he worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross as a physical rehabilitation programme manager, had been photographing the misdemeanor of  the local gang.

Chandra Pushpa is a terrorist and a traitor. He terrorized the tourists in Tangalle and made them to flee. International news on his demeaning 'politics' will keep the decent tourists away from Sri Lanka.

This youngster gangster seems not a guy that can understand the depth of his crime that can affect to the economy of a country.

These gun wielding, brainless gang stars are the youth ushered by the next generation of Rajapaksa dynasty.

However, a little late, proud father of this brutality has ordered a partial investigation regarding the incident. Partial police investigation proves through the President's request rare otherwise

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dugong the Sri Lankan Sea Pig

Chairman of Sri Lanka National Aquatic Resources Authority (NARA)Hiran Jayawardhana says that at least 20 whales have been died due to accidents in the sea south of the island.

He says that the whales have died along the east-west sea route that crosses the island waters, some of them chopped by ship wheels.

A few blue whales and a threatened specie called dugong are among the killed mammals, the official says.

What is this dugong? It is interesting to study. Dugong is called Muhudu Ura meaning Sea Pig in Sinhala of which the flesh was sold in fish stalls until recent times. 

The dugong (Dugong dugon) known locally as muhudhu ura in Sinhala and kadal pandi in Tamil is the only representative of the order of mammals known as Sirenia (so named because these animals are thought to have given rise to the myth of the mermaids or sirens of the sea) found in the coastal waters of Sri Lanka. It is the only extant plant-eating mammal that spends all its life at sea, and has the ability to convert marine higher plants into meat palatable to man. It is also referred to as a sea cow, as it is a grazer. But unlike cows, the dugong can cultivate its crops! The dugong’s body, flippers and flukes are like those of a dolphin, but it has no dorsal fin. Being a bottom feeder, its 

mouth is sub-ventral in position, and the snout is covered with bristles and small stiff hairs, which are supposed to be the best developed sensory hairs of any mammal. The flippers, which lack nails, are used for stabilizing the animal while swimming. There are two mammary glands, pectoral in position. As in elephants, the molar teeth are replaced by continuous growth from behind as the front ones are worn away. The dugong’s common ancestry with the elephant is evident from its teeth, prehensile upper lip, long digestive tract, herbivorous diet and location of the mammary glands. The incisors in males are larger than those in females and are referred to as tusks. Adults reach between 2.5 to 3-m in length and weigh on average between 250-420 kg.

Interested? Link to the source

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Colombo College of Politics, democracy and Shiral Lakthilaka's crazy demo

Colombo has a political school which is called Colombo College of Politics.

The mastermind of this establishment is Shiral Lakthilaka, lawyer by profession and Westerm Provincial Councilor.

His office is there in Colombo College of Politics and it is quite like UNP Sajith Premadasa faction headquarters.

Shiral Lakthilaka is not only the de facto principal of Colombo College of Politics, he is also a promoter of social democracy.

Certain western donor organizations fund Shiral's ventures apparently to strengthen democracy in Sri Lanka.

Now the de facto principal of Colombo College of Politics is under arrest under suspicion for violence and carnage yesterday before Sri Lanka's major opposition United National Party (UNP) headquarters following the Working Committee election for party office bearers.

Ravi Jayawardhana, another civil society activist and one time Prisons Commissioner General, a lawyer by profession and UNP Horana organizer, an accomplice of Shiral has also been arrested.

They wanted Karu Jayasuriya as party leader but Karu entertained a humiliating defeat to incumbent leader Ranil Wickramasinghe.

A Buddhist monk has also been arrested on suspicion of causing damage at UNP headquarters.


Sri Lanka government MP Arundika Fernando and Puttlam donkeys

Puttalam of Sri Lanka was one time famous for donkeys.

Following story is not about donkeys but about an MP that represents Puttalm district. He is a law maker of this country.

Sri Lanka government MP for Puttalam district Arundika Fernando stated to local newspaper The Divaina that he manhandled opposition MP Palitha Range Bandara because the latter criticized the President on wrong allegations.

MP Arundika Fernando publicly said that he slapped several times at the opposition MP's face since he had not heeded to the protest of the government MPs during MP Range Bandara's speech in the debate on the expenditure heading of the Ministry of Defense.

Journalists observed MP Arundika Fernando assaulted Range Bandara at the opposition lobby as he exited the House from there after winding up his speech.

Some other government and opposition MPs also involved in preventing a brawl.

MP Range Bandara says that he will complain about the assault today to the Speaker and the police.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sri Lanka's Kelaniya University teachers unite against Dean of Science Faculty

The teachers of the Kelaniya University of Sri Lanka have decided to walk away on December 21 in protest of the Dean of Science Faculty Prof. Nalin de Silva.

The Association of University teachers of Kelaniya University says that they will hold a meeting in the university premises and hold a protest march too.

The university teachers have been angered by the alleged public insults targeting academics by Prof. Silva. They say the authorities have not paid attention to their protests earlier and they hope to urge action through the protest.

Prof. Silva, an arch Sinhala Buddhist nationalist, rejects modern science although he is the Dean of Science Faculty of the university. He recently said he identified arsenic in rice grown in Sri Lanka through super natural means instead of scientific method which other university dons denied.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Too dear Lotus Pond Mahinda Rajapaksa Theater

The charges of the Lotus Pond Mahinda Rajapaksa Theater is definitely too dear to Sri Lankan performing artistes like dramatists.

It may be OK for some light vein popular musical shows but not for classical musical presentations. Low quality laugh drama like Tennyson Cooray's too may go there.

How can a Sri Lankan dramatist afford Rs. 1,050,000 for two shows there in addition to the refundable deposit of Rs. 150,000?

Are there any fair sponsors for quality art in this country?

Definitely, performing here will be a dream for dramatists and viewing real art here will be a dream for viewers too. 

What finally can happen is that the artistes of this country will bend their spine further begging for sponsorship and relief for privilege of performing in Lotus Pond Mahinda Rajapaksa Theater. 

Luckily or unluckily we have so many boot-lickers to go.

Check for Lotus Pond Bookings


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dialog buys Suntel in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Dialog Broadband Network limited, a subsidiary of  PLC,has entered into a Share Purchase Agreement with Suntel Limited.

Accordingly, Dialog will purchase Suntel for a sum of US$ 40 million.

Dialog says in a statement that when the transaction is completed, both networks will be merged to provide advanced fixed line and broadband infrastructure to best standards.

Suntel commandeers a premium position in Sri Lanka’s fixed telecommunications sector and is ranked second in the sector in terms of fixed telecommunications business and Revenue Market share.

Suntel commenced operations in 1996 and is currently a subsidiary of Swedish telecom operator Overseas Telecom AB. Other shareholders of Suntel include NDB (National Development Bank PLC), C-Tech Investments (Private) Ltd, Kelmarsh Investments Ltd, Townsend Limited and International Finance Corporation (IFC).

It is easier said than done to win back what Singapore took away from Sri Lanka

Anand Dikshit of PWC India PricewaterhouseCoopers India told an investor forum in Colombo Sri Lanka's location and post-war growth opportunities make it well placed to emerge as a logistics hub for the region.

"Recently, we met the fourth largest conglomerate in India and they told us 'Give me a port in Sri Lanka and we'll buy it right now'," Dikshit said to the forum declining to identify the firm.

"Why? Because they know Singapore port only became successful because ports around Sri Lanka were not developed. It is such an important logistics place for the world."

The forum was organized by PWC, Sri Lanka Foundation and the government's Strategic Enterprise Management Agency.

Although Anand Dikshit might be paid to say so and the story of buying a harbor appears as gossip, what he says  is true. However, i.

Leadership  errors were behind  our loss then and the same thing persists even now.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vegetable Johnny of Sri Lanka rots vegi farmer and markets

Many economic centers and agricultural areas of Sri Lanka were in chaos today while police used tear gas to disperse angry farmers in Dambulla.

The economic town turned into a battlefield as farmers also pelt stones at police, eyewitness reports say.
Following the lorries that transported vegetable in gunny bags were arrested by police and fined, the Manning Market vendors did not make orders for today paralyzing the fruit and vegetable market. A protest was held by them too.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Johnston Fernando vowed that the decision to make use of plastic crates compulsory would not be revoked despite protests since the decision was taken following careful study to prevent post harvest wastage.

Protests against the use of plastic crates for the transportation of vegetables and fruits were held in Bandarawela, Ranna, Kandapola, Puttalam and Norochchola areas too.

Sri Lanka government's strict laws to stop waste of vegetables and fruits has affected vegetable market and it is causing more wastage, market sources say.

A large number of lorries carrying vegetable and fruit in gunny bags were stopped yesterday at the Peliyagoda new bridge by Army and Police and the vehicles were fined heavily.

Manning vegetable market of Colombo was short of supplies today due to this reason both yesterday and today, market sources said.

Farmers say they need extra money to buy crates and need vehicles to transport the crates back home due to this law. They say they cannot add these extra costs to the price of vegetables.

Meanwhile the vendors say they can transport less amount of vegetables in crates and the transport costs go up.

What the consumers say is that they need vegetables at lower price and they would not mind how they were transported.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sri Lanka's narrated village and the real village

Sri Lanka's village today is the place where no facilities are available. Where there are some facilities are called towns.

Both villagers and townsmen are alike culturally. Are there citizens in Sri Lanka? The common man is not a citizen. 'He' basically is not a socially responsible man.

Take our leaders. They are generally recognized as a bunch of thieves and thugs. The masses that elect them and are led by them are no less.

A group of subaltern academics are engaged in a discourse making attempt regarding Sinhala village. They use popular TV programmes like Doramandalawa of Independant Television Network in this regard. The villagers of Sri Lanka too watch the wonderful narration of the village that is completely different from their real village life with amazement .

These days media is marketing a news about a triple suicide/murder of two adolescent girls and one Army deserter that took place in Epawala in the Anuradhapura district.

If you read the sentimental news reports and features in Sinhala newspapers with a peep into the village life that is described underneath, you may understand what I try to say.

Vimukthi Jayasundara's Cannes-honored film The Forsaken Land-Sulanga Enu Pinisa dealt with this theme, the real village of Sinhala people. Present cinematographer and MP, then Naval officer Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara said that the film maker Vimukthi Jayasundara should be given death penalty probably for treachery i.e. revealing this truth.

Read: සූරිප්පෙරුමගේ ගම හා එප්පාවල කඩිගාව ගම

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sri Lankan officials following 'innovative' tactics to convert Hambanthota a harbour

Sri Lanka now has a new harbor though no ships go there even an year after its grand opening. Harbor mouth was blocked by a rock. A large sum of borrowed foreign currency was spent to break the rock. It could be removed at a lower cost before hurriedly filling in water.

After all, the port is ready now. However, 'innovative' thinking is needed to lure ships there.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) says now that it will permit car importers to unload their cargo only in the Hambantota Port from March 2012.

Sources say that this measure will be followed due to Colombo Port is highly congested, since it has less parking facilities after the ongoing expansion of roads and due to less port terminals.

There is no space for parking and the car carriers have to wait for nearly five to six days to clear their cargo before leaving the area, says Ports Authority Chairman.

However, if the dealers want their cars to be shipped to the Colombo Port they have to arrange for ‘direct delivery’ and have the preliminary inspection at their own yard and not at the port, according to the Chairman of the Ports Authority.

Sri Lanka's vehicle business is centered in Colombo, Kandy and Kurunegala. Therefore the imported vehicles will have to go a long way to reach the market. Perhaps the government wants to shift the market also to Hambanthota. It will affect Kurunegala. Who cares Kurunegala now? Now it is Hambanthota time.

The imported vehicles will also add into the traffic of the newly built Southern Expressway.

This is the 'development' the government is giving us. Who benefits from it? Definitely not the poor masses of whose name the massive loans are being obtained.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sri Lanka Tamil party wants President to mediate to release list of names of former LTTE cadres and supporters who are detained or in custody

Sri Lanka government once announced that 12,000 Tamil Tiger cadres surrendered to the state security forces during the final stages of the war in which the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) were militarily defeated. 

Two and half years after the war, the government is yet to release the lists of these surrendered cadres. 

Sri Lanka's major Tamil constituency Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Suresh Premachandran has urged the government to reveal the list of names of former LTTE cadres and supporters who are detained or in custody.

Premachandran says that there has not been any information received about the surrendered cadres by their families.

He has said the President needs to intervene and address this issue since the parents and relatives of former LTTE members want to know about their family members in custody. He says the government needs to tell, whether it is going to take legal action against these people or if they will be released.

The government should also take steps to document the fate of the disappeared persons, irrespective of their being LTTE fighters. After all they all are citizens of this country. 

D.B.S. Jeyaraj's market promotion of Niromi de Soyza's Tamil Tigress

D.B.S. Jeyaraj appears paid to step by step revelation of the true identity of the author of “Tamil Tigress - My story as a child soldier in Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war” written by a self-proclaimed former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) under the pseudonym Niromi de Soyza.

The true identity of the woman who is gathering momentum to become a minor celebrity is well marketed by Jeyaraj in his article From Shenuka to Niromi: True tale of a ‘Tamil Tigress.’

He has written it giving out a puzzle like revelation on the identity of the writer.

Let me be a tad facetious here and play a word game supplying a few clues. She has three names in all. Her first name is of North Indian origin but widely used by Tamils.;the second is of Irish origin but widely used by the English, Scottish and Welsh people. The third or maiden name which is her father’s, is a Sanskritised Tamil name. I have coined a name that has the first letters of all three names – “Sharmila”.
A good marketing trick after all. The book's second edition is to be released soon and it is to go from Australia to international markets.

Sri Lanka Marxists that backed war against Tamils launch a movement aimed at addressing the issues faced by the people in the North

Sri Lanka Marxist People's Liberation Front (JVP) says it will launch a movement aimed at addressing the issues faced by the people in the North. 

JVP backed government war against the Tamil rebellion before the Tamil Tiger rebels were defeated and they even opposed government stopping use of heavy armory against the displaced people in the no-war zone declared by state.

The movement is called the People’s Wall of Brotherhood and it is launched in Vavuniya today.

JVP Propaganda Secretary and parliamentarian Vijitha Herath says that MP Sunil Handunneththi and former MP Ramalingam Chandrasekar would be the co-conveners of the organization that will be formed to help find solutions to the immense hardships faced by the people in the North even after the end of the war.

During the war, JVP supported the government operations but now says the problems of the people of the Northern and Eastern Province have not been attended.

Efforts underway to guarantee release of Sri Lanka's former Army Commander

Sri Lanka's major opposition United National Party (UNP) will begin signing of a petition seeking release of former Army Commander and defeated Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka.

The petition is to be handed over to the UN General Secretary.

The signing of the petition commences from the official residence of the Colombo Mayor today. Then it will be taken around the country to collect signatures.

UNP expects to collect one mission signatures to the petition.

The petition is organized by UNP MP Jayalath Jayawardhana.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadheera said in parliament today that Fonseka is enjoying luxuries in prison. However he contradicted his own idea telling that all prisoners are treated alike in prison. 

Unconfirmed sources say that an effort is underway led by Fonseka-led National Democratic Alliance MP Tiran Alles to guarantee a conditional release for Fonseka. 

Meanwhile, international pressure is also indicated mounting on the government seeking his release. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dr. Gangodawila Soma Thero's university dishonored

Sri Lanka's state owned The Dinamina newspaper report4ed that the International University of Fundamental Studies (IUFS) of St. Peters berg, Russia is not a recognized university.

According to the newspaper, the Russian Embassy of Colombo has stated that the the university is not recognized by the government of Russia.

 However, the website of the university says a different story. It says,
 The International University of Fundamental Studies (the IUFS) is a non-governmental and non-commercial university in St. Petersburg(Russia) and is one of the major civic universities, which works together with Russian State University to offer International Degree Qualifications. In 1998 the Ministry of Education - State Committee for Higher Education & Science in St. Petersburg(Russia) recognized the IUFS. In November, 12, 2007 the University was granted the Inter-governmental Accreditation by the International Parliament of Safety and Peace (Italy). Further, in 2007 Inter-governmental Higher Academic Council (IHAC) was opened. On the 11th Day of June IUFS was recognized by the California University FCE. 

This is the university from which the late popular Buddhist preacher Gangodawila Soma Thero obtained a doctorate. He was suffering from a number of illnesses and died in St. Peters berg as he was there for the 'convocation.' Sri Lanka's present ruling alliance which was in the formation, media and a group of Buddhist monks and laymen highlighted the natural death as a murder. The charge was never proved but used for political mileage. Soma Thero whose death anniversary falls in December was completely forgotten by these political opportunists once they achieved their target.

The other comic fact is that the former Inspector General of Police 'Dr. Mahinda Balasuriya' who resigned from the post admitting the police responsibility of a murder of a worker of the Katunayaka Free Trade Zone is also a 'graduate' of this bogus university. Sri Lanka has, I think, more 'Dr.s' qualified from this university. If you want to buy a doctorate click here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Heroes Day assault on Tamil political prisoners and reconciliation

'We Sri Lankans' organization say that the Tamil political prisoners detained in Anuradhapura prison were brutally assaulted by a group of prison officials yesterday.

'We Sri Lankans' accuse that the prison officers were drunk and assaulted the prisoners asking if yesterday was their heroes' day. Later the prisoners were knelt in open in rain.

Five of the 60 Tamil political prisoners who were seriously injured are admitted in the Anuradhapura hospital.

The convener of the We Sri Lankans organization Udul Premarathna says he and a group of lawyers that went to Anuradhapura prison to visit the assaulted prisoners were prevented by prison officials.

Premarathna says that this type of actions will hinder the efforts of much needed reconcilation among ethnic communities of Sri Lanka.

This is how Tamil nationalist Tamilnet reported the 'We Sri Lankans' mediation. "At the complaint of some of the prisoners, ‘Naam Ilangkaiyar’ (We Sri Lankans) outfit of the Sinhala nationalist JVP, has brought out the attack incident to the public, criticising the Colombo government that it is dividing the peoples of the island.'

This type of incidents were quite common before the end of war. 1983 July massacre of Tamil prisoners at Welikada prison and 2000 October massacre at Bindunuweva Rehabilitation Camp in Bandarawela were two such events. 

The raising of the ugly head of violence against the Tamil political prisoners shows that the country is further shifting towards Sinhala chauvinist violence against Tamils. 

Effort of the 'We Sri Lankans' is a good initiative that lacks support of the Sinhala society. At least the JVP factions also do not take is seriously. 

Sinhalese won the war. That is the only difference between then and now. 

No one is worried about much needed reconciliation efforts. Reconciliation solely depend on a democratic state reform that seems non entity in the agendas of political groups of the political south. 

Sinhala Sri Lanka is far from Lanka, a dream country of Lankans, Sinhala, Tamil Muslim, Vedi, Malay, Burger etc. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Are Competent Authorities appointed to run businesses taken over by Sri Lanka state competent for it?

Sri Lankan Government appointed Competent Authorities, a Ministerial Sub Committee and an Officials Committee for 37 enterprises and assets that were recently took over from the private sector under Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Act.

However, non of these Competent Authorities seem competent to run these enterprises. All of them are engaged in other sectors then business. Some of them are District Secretaries that are busy with administrating the ailing public service.  They nay be trustworthy incompetent persons through whom the regime can interfere easily in the affairs of these businesses. 

Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa has been appointed as the head of the Ministerial Committee.The other members are Ministers Reginald Cooray who was sacked from the post of Western Province Chief Minister due to incompetency, Lakshman Senevirathna that crossed over from United National Party, Dilan Perera who always laments for not giving him a responsibility that matches to his seniority and Geethanjana Gunawardhana who has been elected from a political party that is incompetent to win any seat in parliament without being a member of the coalition with Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

A three member “Compensation Tribunal” has also been appointed underthe chairmanship of Chief Government Valuer to pay compensation within 12 months from the receipt of a claim by the Tribunal.

District Secretary of Hambantota is the Competent Authority of Pelwatte Sugar Industries Limited.

District Secretary of Monaragala is the Competent Authority of Sevanagala Sugar Industries Limited.

District Secretary of Badulla is the Competent Authority of Colombo Commercial Company. 

Attorney-at-Law Kalinga Indatissa has been appointed as the Competent Authority of Lanka Tractors Limited, Charmers Granaries, Ceylinco Leisure Properties Limited and Intertrade Lanka (Private) Limited.

Attorney-at-Law Senaka Walgampaya will function as the Competent Authority to Hotel Developers Lanka PLC. Tuly Cooray has been appointed as the Competent Authority of the BOI Enterprises acquired by the Government.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Budget show of the ruling mob of Sri Lanka

The President and the MPs of Sri Lanka behaved in a way to suit to the slogan of placards displayed by the opposition as the President in his capacity as the Minister of Finance delivered the budget speech.

The slogan was SHAME!

The government Ministers, Deputy Ministers and MPs assaulted the opposition United National Party MPs.

Notorious Mervin Silva, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Rohitha Abegunawardhana etc. who were thugs before and after they were converted politicians were leading violence.

Lohan Rathwaththa, an acquitted accused of Udathalawiina ten persons killing was also there.

A relatively young MP Roshan Ranasinghe had no shame to assault his father-like politician John Amarathunga.

Deputy Minister of Education Vijith Wijayamuni Soyza threw a book at the opposition.

Their leader seemed content about the behavior of his gang as thrown water bottles fell right in front of him.

Sri Lanka is ruled by a violent mob. The rule in the country is the anarchy of a mob. This is what they displayed.

However, a normal mob disperses and the individuals in it later regret as law comes after them. This mob is not like that. No repentance. No law against them. They are the law. They are everything and nothing too.

After all it is the people of this country that elected them.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sexual abuse charges against Sri Lanka Opposition Leader

Sources close to opposition of Sri Lanka say that a group of male MPs of Sri Lanka opposition United National Party (UNP) have complained that the party leader Ranil Wickramasinghe attempted sexually molest them.

The sources said that the charges were handed over to the party secretary Thissa Aththanayaka and it would be forwarded to a party advisory committee to take a decision regarding it.

The group of MPs accuse that the party leader asked for homosexual favors from the MPs promising favouration in return.

Minister of Public Relations Mervin Silva recently leveled sexual abuse charges to the UNP leader in a public meeting stating that it led him to leave the party.

Following is the voice track of Mervin Silva describing his experience. 

What a bad taste!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Timor-Leste's Veterans: An Unfinished Struggle? (A post struggle crisis)

This report by International Crisis Group focuses attention to a post-struggle scenario in which a newly liberated state attempts to address the woes of the former nationalist freedom fighters. 

It shows us how complex is the situation to deal with. 

The socialist countries where the revolution won did not face similar situation. The so called proletarian authoritarianism that was established after the revolution did not pay at all to compensate financially to the heroes.  Go on reading. 

Dili/Jakarta/Brussels, 18 November 2011: Ten years after the demobilisation of its guerrilla liberation army, Timor-Leste must strike a balance between recognising veterans' role and promoting strong and independent institutions in order to ensure stability.

Timor-Leste's Veterans: An Unfinished Struggle?, the latest briefing from the International Crisis Group, examines attempts by the young state to recognise and honour those who fought for its independence. While these efforts initially targeted on symbolic measures, the state's increasing wealth means that they have increasingly focused on cash benefits. The government has deferred difficult decisions on who will qualify for these payments. It has done so because of the complexity of Timor-Leste's 24-year resistance and fears that refusing benefits to claimants could create potential spoilers to the stability the country now enjoys.

“The question of who will qualify for veteran status remains both difficult and politically charged”, says Cillian Nolan, Crisis Group South East Asia Analyst. “While the promise of money eased discontent among dissident former fighters, it has also brought a flood of apparently false claims of service. A definitive list of veterans is an unreachable goal. Once the long-deferred decisions on who will qualify are made, they risk creating real discontent”.

Beyond cash benefits, there are two areas where the government will have to manage the demands of some veterans for greater influence. The first is plans for an advisory council that will manage decisions on veterans' affairs. It could be a useful forum for regulating these matters in general, and overseeing a carefully bounded set of benefits, including designing eligibility criteria for financial compensation. Some former fighters hope it will play a broader role in setting government policy and bring back the influence they enjoyed during the occupation; these expectations will need to be managed.

Second, the government will also have to decide on how to deal with pressure to give former fighters a formal security role as well as how to make clear the distinction between the state armed forces and their resistance-era predecessors. While it may make sense to give the former guerrilla army a ceremonial role to acknowledge the importance of its legacy, any decisions on a reserve force that could lead to rearming the former guerrillas in times of crisis may lead to the creation of a militia it may not be able to control.

Timorese politics and its security sector institutions remain held together by a small set of personalities rather than bound by legal rules. If veterans' demands for recognition are successfully managed it will smooth the way for a succession of power to a younger generation of political leaders to determine the country's future.

“The state continues to face a difficult challenge in balancing veterans' demands for recognition with efforts to promote strong and independent institutions”, says Jim Della-Giacoma, Crisis Group's South East Asia Project Director. “Only with the right balance will a shift in power be possible from the “Generation of '75” that brought the country to independence and still holds onto power”.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A tribute to a finest human being: 'Farewell my dear Father'

An article written by a daughter of a leftist who was killed by People's Liberation Front (JVP) during the 1987-89 struggle.

It was the late eighties. 

 Sri Lanka was heading towards more and more turbulent times dragging along the disillusioned and frustrated generations with her to a bottomless abyss. Widespread social inequality, rising unemployment, brutal state repression and sharpening ethnic divide provided an ideal platform for an unprecedented violent social explosion, not only in the Tamil North, but even in the Sinhala dominated South of the island. The strikers were sacked, ethnic minorities were brutalized and suppressed, dissident voices were silenced, opposition parties were banned, elections were rigged and every single obstacle was forcibly removed from the path leading to a constitutional authoritarianism. 

 The North was already in flames. The stage was set for a violent social upheaval in the South too.

 My father was one among the 40,000 state sector employees who were sacked within 24 hours for participating in an island-wide strike action that demanded a reasonable wage increase to match the rising cost of living. The ruling United National Party government adamantly refused to negotiate with the strikers, eventually deciding to throw thousands of workers out on to the streets. My father, despite carrying the burden of supporting a family with two kids, refused to bow down and instead decided to leave the capital city in order to start a farm in a remote area in the central highlands.

 The life in the farm was unforgettable. Unaware of the true difficulties of the life, a childhood surrounded by picturesque beauty of the mountainous region, became a wonderland that any kid would dream of. My father's unending love spread over our world like a limitless sky. The friends who used to visit him frequently discussed politics and social issues while we were running around them. The conversations we overheard was full of stories about social injustices and discrimination, though we never grasped the true sense of any of it until we became   No one of us ever imagined that our world filled with such a beauty and dreams was destined to  shatter into pieces.

 Outside our small isolated world, the society was engulfed in flames. The disillusioned less privileged youth in the Sinhala dominated South, followed their brethren in the Tamil North by rising up in arms against the state. Most of the frustrated social elements in the South of the Island were again absorbed into the rank and file of the Peoples' Liberation Front (JVP), who staged the first failed armed uprising the post independent Sri Lanka in the '70s. JVP's ideology was mainly made up with a mixture of distorted socialist slogans and militant Sinhala nationalism. Even though the uprising reflected the increasing despair and hopelessness that was dominant within the poverty stricken Sinhala rural youth , the mode of the struggle took more the shape of a rightwing nationalist upheaval than a progressive revolutionary resistance. The democratic thinking leftwing activists in the South became the ultimate  target of the JVP's armed actions on the basis that such people were acting against the collective rights of the majority Sinhala Buddhists in the country. 

 My father, being a staunch enemy of majoritarian chauvinism, became increasingly critical towards the JVP's actions and ideological positions without abandoning his criticism about the authoritarian regime. He was considered as an outspoken critique of the mislead youth and therefore became an open target of his enemies. 

 It was the 8th of November, 1988. Both I and my sister were at the school boarding house, after spending our weekend with my father as we used to do frequently. It never occurred to us that our lives were about take the most terrible blow soon after that fateful weekend. Before leaving the house hoping to go back to the school, we never dreamed that it would be our final farewell to the man who taught us everything about life and love. 

 On that fateful night, my father was brutally murdered along with four other friends. An armed gang of the JVP, surrounded our house before dragging everyone out to be shot in cold blood. Their bodies were brutally mutilated and the house we grew up was burnt to the ground. 

 We never heard him crying in pain. We never saw him in a pool of blood. We never even saw his mutilated body lying in a coffin. Therefore I still remember him as he always wanted us to remember him: A father with a heart filled with love for us and with unending passion for justice - As a human being made out of love and courage.

Nothing less - nothing more!

Ruwandi Silva


Sri Lanka's ex-Army Commander Sarath Fonseka's dock statement following conviction

"If any authorized person ordered the killing of surrendering LTTE cadres, he should be brought before the law.

I am not content with the Court’s ruling and not at all surprised with the verdict. I, along with the masses, hoped that the trial would mete out justice.

Before publishing a string of lies, people should have been informed. Fredericka Jansz had recently given an interview to the Daily Mirror and the journalist from that paper is ready to testify in public.

On the basis of this, can a journalist be punished? The duty of the judiciary is to probe into the matter. Punishing the common candidate, at the last presidential election, due to a statement, cannot be admitted. My answer to a query posed by a female Journalist in an interview has been misinterpreted and published. In this back drop, punishing me is not the trait of a democratic nation. I say, according to my knowledge such modalities are in place only in nations where dictatorships reign and this I abhor.

I, with my subordinate officers, conducted the war in accordance with the international rules, observing human rights.

Twelve thousand surrendering LTTE cadres were safely accommodated.

In the event any one gave an order on the contrary, why should he be not brought before law? Comments were made in respect of such heinous crimes viz. the Embilipitiya student killings and the murder of Krishanthi Coomaraswamy. Those who commented were not subjected to prosecution. But those who were found guilty were punished. I don’t advocate inciting masses. Those who commit such crimes should be punished. If people speak about two laws, they would be liable to be jailed. Is that justice? Mistakes should be rectified someday by the judiciary or else they would continue. I hope there would be not a questionable black mark."


Friday, November 18, 2011

Southern Expressway – safety concerns that should not be ignored

-Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Sri Lanka 
We, as the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Sri Lanka, wish to congratulate the Road Development Authority on the completion of the Southern Expressway With its completion, Sri Lanka will experience the first ever expressway facility.

This super highway experience will be new to Sri Lanka, and we expect that it will benefit the country and its users in a number of ways. Firstly, it will permit faster speeds up to 100 km per hour enabling shorter travel. Secondly, the roadway in allowing only limited entry and exit at selected localities will enable undisturbed free-flow of traffic and potentially fewer accidents unlike on other surface roads in Sri Lanka. Next, the relatively well aligned trace, pot-hole free surface and smoother travel will save both time and fuel. A further benefit we note is that by nature of its design that the highway will be protected from encroachment and unplanned constructions which are not only an eye sore but a reason for accidents and congestion on other roads in the country.

It is also noted that the new highway will bring about development of that part of the country including eco tourism, agricultural based industries and manufacturing industries. It will also bring communities closer to each other. Therefore, the Southern Highway, the newest member of the highway network of Sri Lanka, can be considered to be an important initiative and its accelerated implementation, subsequent to decades of delays and hick-ups, is commendable, despite its heavy toll on the public coffers.

Culture of Safe Driving
A good road design which looks safe requires all drivers to be more careful as they can be made to feel secure when it is actually not. Even though a road looks safe, if the drivers are not disciplined and skillful, it will be equally unsafe and the consequences of unsafe driving much severe. Thus drivers must match the safety with which they drive to that of the road design. This is called a road safety culture. This must be established. The culture that prevails on the normal roads must not be allowed to enter the expressways. Accidents on expressways tend to involve multiple vehicles and heavy fatalities.

CILT Sri Lanka has noted the recent media publicity on the features of the highway and some safety concerns that have been raised in several quarters. We have brought these to the attention of the relevant officials in order to suggest how such risks may be minimised so that the expected goodwill and benefit from the highway will be enjoyed by the people of the country. As no noteworthy response has been forthcoming, we now wish to make the public aware of the dangers that face them and what could be done to avoid such.

Narrow Lanes and Budget Cuts
Due to budget overruns and changes to design, the lane width has been reduced to 3.5m. This is less than the International norm of 3.7m. The reduced lane width does not allow safe overtaking at higher speeds, especially when the flow is high and there are large vehicles.

Start with Lower Speed
Given that most drivers in Sri Lanka have not driven on expressways and that most vehicles have not been used in such facilities, controlling speed is the single most effective tool to ensure a smooth and safe start to the facility. Drivers must get used to a number of new driving attributes such as high speed lane changing, merging and diverging at interchanges, sudden braking, maintaining lane control, over-takings, handling stationary objects when moving at high speed, avoiding collisions among other vehicles, management of headways etc. Most of these tasks become increasingly risky with speed. The level of risk at 100 km per hour will be more than double that at 80 km per hour. Our recommendation is to open the highway at 80 km per hour and to undertake a safety study during this time before increasing it to 90 and then to 100 km per hour.

Phased entry of Heavy Vehicles
The benefits of the new highway should be enjoyed by all motorists. However, knowing the attraction that a highway of this nature will have on our people, it is likely that the highway will begin with sight seers and thrill seekers who may pose a major threat on safety management. These vehicles are usually vans and hired buses and an accident involving one of them could result in a high toll on human life. It is therefore our recommendation that the access to this highway be initially restricted to vehicles registered as cars and dual purpose vehicles which will carry only the allowed number of passengers as per registration. Moreover only vehicles having seat belts, good quality tires, lights and generally in good appearance of being road worthy should be allowed to enter. This will also make the numbers that should be given user awareness manageable. It could then be opened for buses and trucks.

Where to stop? Insufficient Width of Hard Shoulder
Media reports and pictures of the highway have raised concerns that the hard shoulder available for emergency stopping of vehicles is less than what should be allowed for an expressway that allows 100 km per hour vehicles. Parking of a car or van and opening a door would require at least 2 ½ metre width and a heavy vehicle more than that. We have been advised that this is only 1.75 metres and can only be termed a ‘budget- expressway’ as it does not allow full expressway features. A car developing a mechanical trouble may be able to just get out of the traffic lane. But its occupants cannot open a door. If indeed this width has not been provided it is a grave concern how such situations can be safely handled. It is interesting to ascertain if vital safety features have been compromised in design and cost cutting. If indeed the width is inadequate, some re-adjustment of lane widths and if that is not possible now, of speeds may have to be undertaken. CILT Sri Lanka wishes to emphasise that road safety should never be compromised for speed or cost.

Even though the Police have been given powerful vehicles to enforce speed limits, it will be of much interest to know how they would stop such a vehicle on the side. Would they have to follow such a vehicle out of the next exit? This would be most unsatisfactory. Moreover, the expressway does not seem to have any locations where Police could stay to detect speeding or other offences. When His Excellency has declared a decade of road safety, the first world class expressway the country boasts should not be found to be compromising in safety.

Adherence to rules and traffic regulations by the users should be strictly monitored by the enforcement agencies, including the Police, Department of Motor Traffic and the Road Development Authority. Unlike in many other areas where we have seen slackness in law enforcement, any lacuna in enforcement with regard to the usage of Expressway is sure to yield catastrophic consequences. The Southern Expressway bears an added responsibility in this regard as its experience stands to set precedence for all future expressway usage in Sri Lanka. Therefore, it is the earnest call of the CILTSL that the laws be strictly enforced with respect to the usage of Southern Expressway regardless of the status or creed of the errant.

User awareness
While the media publicity that is currently given is most valuable and commendable, potential drivers should also be given a suitable hands-on training at least in the form of a 10 minute instruction in the vehicle itself just before they get on the expressway. They could then be given a paper certificate then and there which they can show when they wish to use the facility again. This could be handled by training some police officers or engaging some driving instructors after they themselves are allowed to drive and learn on the highway. This will be a valuable exercise that will yield much more benefit than the cost and effort involved. This will mean that passengers in the vehicle also are made aware. Limiting initial vehicle categories will make this achievable.

Users should understand that at high speed, a lapse will result in terrible tragedies that could be very serious and involve many vehicles and lives. Drivers must slowly learn the fine art of smooth merging and diverging at ramps. The ramp entry and exit maneuvers are likely to be difficult for drivers who have not used these before. The vehicles on the expressway should give way to entering traffic. It is necessary to establish correct pattern for this before allowing large numbers to use these. If not, bad practices will become the norm and difficult to change not only in the Southern Expressway but also on the others in future. Drivers should also be made aware how to handle emergencies when travelling at high speeds, such as tire blow outs, bird strikes, engine and brake failures. The latter is particularly important for large vehicles.

Maintenance and Toll Payment
The maintenance of high speed roads should be a priority task. We do not see the current roads being maintained in this manner. There is no culture of giving priority for maintenance of roads. The usual practise is that once a road is constructed, funds are not prioritised for maintenance. Moreover, remedial action is often delayed making the road dangerous, slow and costlier to repair. In this respect we would welcome the payment of a toll that would at least provide for regular operation and maintenance of this highway without burdening the non-users. However it is important that it is computed on sound economic terms and on the basis of “user pay” principles so that motorists - know and pay for the cost of the infrastructure they use.

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Sri Lanka, the leading professional institute for transport in Sri Lanka, wishes that the authorities will take necessary action to ensure safety on the Southern Highway before it is opened for traffic. It also wishes to remind the general public of their duty to call for rightful and prompt action of the authorities to ensure public safety.
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