Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What poisonous drink was Gunny Peiris to produce?

Sri Lanka police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) says that the most wanted person in relation to an alleged attempt of producing a poisonous drink using Vinyl Chloride imported by a toy factory in Kosgama in Colombo district has been arrested at Chennai airport on a warrant issued by Interpol.

The suspect is Canute Siripalan Peiris aka Gunny Peiris left the country as the investigation was commenced, says CID adding that discussions are underway to bring him to Sri Lanks for investigations.

We searched for what this chemical substance as it was mentioned in many media and found that it was not the D but V and the Vinyl Chloride is a carcinogenic substance. used in PVC production.

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

Vinyl chloride is a chemical intermediate, not a final product. Due to the hazardous nature of vinyl chloride to human health there are no end products that use vinyl chloride in its monomer form. Polyvinyl chloride is very stable, storable, and nowhere near as acutely hazardous than the monomer.
Vinyl chloride liquid is fed to polymerization reactors where it is converted from a monomer to a polymer PVC. The final product of the polymerization process is PVC in either a flake or pellet form. From its flake or pellet form PVC is sold to companies that heat and mold the PVC into end products such as PVC pipe and bottles. Tens of billions of pounds of PVC are sold on the global market each year.
Until 1974, vinyl chloride was used in aerosol spray propellant. Prior to the removal of vinyl chloride from hair spray the accumulation of vinyl chloride vapor in hair salons may have exceeded the NOAEL (No Observable Adverse Effect Level) exposure guidelines.
Vinyl chloride was briefly used as an inhalational anaesthetic, in a similar vein to ethyl chloride, though its toxicity forced this practice to be abandoned.
Here is a part of chemical fact sheet of the substance. 

HOW ARE PEOPLE EXPOSED TO VINYL CHLORIDE?Breathing: Most exposure to vinyl chloride occurs when people breathe contaminated air. If a water supply is contaminated, vinyl chloride can enter household air when the water is used for showering, cooking or laundry.
Drinking/Eating: People can be exposed to vinyl chloride if they drink or cook with contaminated water.
Touching: Vinyl chloride can be absorbed through the skin. This can occur when people handle vinyl products, contaminated soil, or bathe in contaminated water. However, skin absorption is probably a minor route of exposure.
DO STANDARDS EXIST FOR REGULATING VINYL CHLORIDE?Water: The state drinking water standard for vinyl chloride is 0.2 parts per billion (ppb). We suggest you stop drinking water containing more than 0.2 ppb. If levels of vinyl chloride are above 2 ppb, avoid washing or bathing with it. You may still use the water to flush toilets. Contact your local public health agency for more information specific to your situation.
Air: No standards exist for the amount of vinyl chloride allowed in the air of homes. Most people can’t smell vinyl chloride until the level is greater than 10 ppm. If you can smell the chemical, the level is too high to be safe.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources regulates the amount of vinyl chloride that can be released by industries.
WILL EXPOSURE TO VINYL CHLORIDE RESULT IN HARMFUL HEALTH EFFECTS?Vinyl chloride is very toxic. People should avoid contact with this chemical. The following health effects can occur after several years of exposure to vinyl chloride:
  • Damage to the nervous system
  • Changes in the immune system
Cancer: Exposure to vinyl chloride may increase a person's risk of developing cancer. Human and animal studies show higher rates of liver, lung and several other types of cancer.
Reproductive Effects: People exposed to levels of 1,000 ppm or more in air may have an increased risk of miscarriage and birth defects. Damage to male sperm-producing organs has occurred in laboratory animals.
Organ Systems: Being exposed to vinyl chloride can affect a person’s liver, kidney, lung, spleen, nervous system and blood.
Bone: Long-term exposure to high levels of vinyl chloride can result in a decrease in bone strength in fingers, arms, and joints.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

The political party business

Election Secretariat of Sri Lanka has sert last warnings to the secretaries of registered political parties giving time until September 01 to file all necessary documents to continue their registration.

Under the 2009, 58 revised act of elections, the political parties need to submit documents including annual audited budget to continue recognition.

Sri Lanka presently has 67 registered political parties and the Election Commissioner's Department say that some of them have not so far compiled some of the essential documents pertaining to extention of registration.

Certain political parties in Sri Lanka have become movable property or business of some unscrupulous elements. A large number of them are not actual organizations but what exist in files of some crooked individuals.

They trade political parties whenever their is market. Major politicians and sometimes political parties hire these lesser known name board parties for misdemeanor that goes in the name of democracy. A balm Mudalali ran for a major election sometimes back under a party he bought in the market like this. It is comparatively easy for present or former MPs to register a political party since they have been proved engaged in politics. In this way, political parties own many other names of political parties. What a funny freedom of organization!

There are some political parties that are established by apparent lunatics. One such filed nominations to Kurunegala Urban Council with the names of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike's son and daughter mentioning their address as Independent Square, Colombo. It is yet to be revealed if the so-called secretary of this political party forged signatures of these persons.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yes, there is rock at the mouth of Sri Lanka's new harbor

After so many denials locally, Sri Lanka government has internationally assumed that a massive rock is blocking the entrance of the newly built Hambanthota harbor.

After spending 1.4 billion  borrowed US dollars to build the harbor and an year after all ceremonies to declare open the harbor, the government has now sought another loan of US dollars 40 million from China to blast the rock.

Here is the Reuters report:

Sri Lanka seeks $40m. Chinese loan for port rock removal
Wednesday , 24 August 2011

Sri Lanka’s Port Authority on Tuesday said it has asked China for $40 million loan to demolish a massive seabed rock obstructing the entrance of its new $1.4 billion Hambantota port, due to start commercial operations this year.

The island nation launched the port in August 2010 with an initial target of handling 2,500 ships annually, as a cornerstone of a $6 billion drive to rebuild infrastructure that was neglected during a 25-year civil war.

But large ships are yet to call on the port and the country’s main opposition United National Party (UNP) has pointed to the rock as a sign of government mismanagement.

Although the port is in President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s home district in southern Sri Lanka, along the ancient "Silk Route" trading path, the rival UNP first proposed it.

"This rock was identified before we started the port construction," Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Priyath Wickrama told Reuters. "We need just below $40 million to blast it. We have requested the amount from China."

Sri Lanka is banking on the port to help fuel growth targets of 8-9 percent in its $50 billion economy.

It has increasingly been relying on China, Russia, India and to a lesser degree, Brazil, for the financing and expertise required for its post-war rebuilding plans.

Beijing on commercial terms loaned a combined $1.24 billion to build the port and a 4 million metric tonne fuel bunkering facility, all of it built by Chinese engineers -- much to the chagrin of neighbouring India.

Hambantota is about 2 km from one of the world’s biggest east-west shipping lanes, and is bidding to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The government is building Sri Lanka’’s second international airport there, and a master-planned city.

"Normally ships don’’t call at once. They need time to study business opportunities," Wickrama said. "We have to develop secondary facilities at the port and once we have them along with bunkering facilities, we can get ships to Hambantota."

In June, Wickrama said the ports authority had secured around $1 billion in investment into port facilities, including warehousing.

The fuel bunkering terminal is expected to start operations next month, four months behind schedule.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Policeman, epilepsy patient beaten to death thanks to Grease Devils; are we crazy?

A police officer was beaten to death and five civilians were shot and injured in Sri Lankan yesterday in an incident related to the fear psychosis known as Grease Devil.

The incident took place in Managunduwa in Puttalam area as some people caught a suspicious person. As they were taking him to be handed over to the Village Officer, they were shot by an unidentified group injuring five persons including a woman.

A tense situation erupted there and Navy and Army officials were deployed to defuse the tension. However, police say hundreds of e people pelted stones at the security forces. Meanwhile. a police officer was caught by the mob and his body was later found beaten to death, police say.

This incident took place before 24 hours passed the residents of a village in Vavuniya in the Northern Province brutally beat two police officers suspecting they were the so called Grease Devils.

Grease Devils still haunt in the minds of the people despite whatever the government and the security forces say in media. Yesterday, the body of a epilepsy patient who was escaping from Gileemale hospital in Kahawatta area where the Grease Devil myth originated was found 50 meters away from the hospital beaten to death.

A chronic epilepsy patient can be psychiatric too, medical sources say. Once police beat to death a mental patient publicly near Bambalapitiya beach. Now, people do it in Kahawatta.

The victim is a 37 year old father of two.

Wonder is that this killing of epilepsy patient did not hit headlines. A man, not a normal man but an epilepsy patient beaten to death and media does not care it!

Human rights organizations and the civil society also remain mostly dumbfound before the spate of violent incidents related to this mythical Grease Devil.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Don't cry for Nil Manel Mal; we have NaMal

Sri Lanka's national flower is not Na flower, although the President's son or the son of the nation is Namal.

But, now it seems that we can replace the national flower with Na Mala (Mesua ferrea) since the original national flower Nil Manel is endangered.

Sri Lanka's national flower Nil Manel or blue water lily (Nymphaea stellata) has been identified hybridizing with a foreign water lilly in natural environment, says Prof. Deepthi Yakandawala of Botanical Department of Peradeniya University.

In February 1986 blue water lily was chosen as the National flower. It is found all the parts of Sri Lanka and grows in the shallow water. Its pPetals are arranged like a star and the flat round waterproof leaves are bright green.

Considered a symbol of purity and truth, it has a sweet fragrance and used for offering at Buddhist Temples and rituals for god Vishnu.

Sigiriya frescoes of women holds these flowers in their hands.

I remember that Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) in its prime time of state building named Niyangala Mala (Gloriosa Superba) the national flower of Ealam. 

No Niyangala and no Nil Manel too now. Yet we have our Na Mala. 

Sri Lanka Central Cultural Fund performs miracles with five rupees

A news item in state-owned Sunday newspaper The Silumina said that Sri Lanka government has commenced a special project to conserve the ola leaf ancient manuscripts that are found in the temples island wide.

The same story said that there are estimated around one million ola leaf ancient manuscripts in temple libraries.

Do you know the fund allocated to this 'special' project. Rs. five million, no less.

Five rupees per manuscript, if all are conserved. Fifty rupees per manuscript, if 10% of the manuscripts are conserved.

The control board of the Central Cultural Fund has taken this decision under the guidance of the Prime Minister D.M. Jayarathna.

Wonder of Asia doing miracles with five rupees!

We hope the authorities will set aside more money for this as same as what they do for things like purchasing vehicles.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Garlic tax of Sri Lanka government

garlic flowers
The Cooperatives and Internal Trade Ministry has increased import taxes on big onions, potatoes and garlic. Taxes on a kilo of big onions have been increased by Rs. 10, potatoes by Rs. 5 and garlic by Rs. 15.

Normally, the government says that the taxes are imposed to save the local farmers from price slash. OK. But what about garlic?

As far as we know, garlic is not grown in Sri Lanka.

The price of garlic rose very high last month and now it is low.

What government doing is robbing the poor consumers Rs. 15 per kilo of garlic.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Confession of an outspoken ‘A brother out of control’

Sri Lanka Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, addressing a symposium on post-war challenges at the BMICH, to coincide with the launch of www.outofwar.com, yesterday expressed concern over Indian newspaper The Hindu targeting him on the basis of a recent interview he did with Indian TV channel, Headlines Today, in Colombo.

Here is the said interview

This is the text of the editorial appeared in “The Hindu”of August 16th 2011 under the heading “A Brother Out Of Control”

Two years after defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and eliminating it as a military entity, Sri Lanka is still struggling to emerge from the woods on some important fronts.
Two issues are predominant. One is the nature of the peace, and the efforts by the Sri Lankan government towards a political reconciliation between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority.
The military victory over the LTTE, and President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s strength in parliament, gave the government an unprecedented opportunity to put in place a progressive political framework to heal the wounds of a 30-year war, and address Tamil grievances that predate the war. That it has taken only nominal steps in this direction is a matter of concern even to friends of Sri Lanka, such as India, which stood by its military efforts against the LTTE.
The second issue, which has found strong voice in a recent documentary by a British television station, Channel 4, and in a United Nations report, has to do with the nature of the military operations in the final stages of the war in 2009. Both make allegations of war crimes against the Sri Lankan Army, accusing it of knowingly aiming fire at civilians such that thousands lost their lives, of killing captives in cold blood, and of possible sexual assault.
It is shocking that instead of addressing these issues in the right spirit, a high-ranking official of the Sri Lankan government, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a brother of the Sri Lankan President, has chosen to vitiate the atmosphere even more with his intemperate remarks against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, and by attributing motives to the adoption of resolutions on Sri Lanka by the State Assembly.
Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s comments, made in the course of an interview to Headlines Today television, reveal a troubling contempt for the Tamil minority. He has trashed “the political solution talk,” asserting, among other things, that it was “simply irrelevant” because “we have ended this terrorism in Sri Lanka,” making the egregious assertion that when the 13th Amendment was being drafted, “the government of Sri Lanka was not involved,” and proposing that with the LTTE “gone,” there was no further need to amend the Constitution. President Rajapaksa would be well advised to distance himself swiftly from his brother’s stream-of-consciousness on sensitive issues that are not his business.
This includes an outrageous comment that because a Tamil woman, an “LTTE cadre” who was a British national, interviewed in the Channel 4 documentary was “so attractive” but had been neither raped nor killed by Sri Lankan soldiers, the allegation of sexual assault by soldiers could not be true. For this statement alone, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa must be taken to task.

Rajapaksa says that he was surprised that the editor of The Hindu N. Ram, in spite of knowing him personally, had lashed out at him over the interview conducted on the sidelines of the recent launch of ‘Humanitarian Operation-Factual Analysis’ and a video at the Hilton Colombo in response to war crimes allegations.

"I didn’t want to be interviewed by the correspondent for Headlines Today television, though I agreed reluctantly. See where it had landed me. The Hindu now wanted my brother to get away from me," Rajapaksa said. "In fact, the Indian journalist assured me of ‘a good coverage’ and promised to build my image. At the end of the day, Headlines Today television did a lot of damage," he said.

Sources: The Island, The Hindu, Trans Currents 

Now they sell identity also

Now the government of Sri Lanka is going to sell the citizens the identity card also.

The cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that they would give the digital ID card free of charge only to those who already possess it.

That means the school students writing Ordinary Level examination will have to buy it. The parents that are in fear of the future of the children throughout the life will pay for it due to further fear of being their kids considered lower standard citizens.

They sell jobs also to the young people. The less affluent stampede to collect a job application. Over 62,500 Advanced Level passed students applied for 3300 positions of teacher trainee in National Colleges of Education to enter ill paid teaching profession, the last resort of the educated youngsters.

Do we have anything to express digitally in this country through the identity card.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Indian anti corruption activist assassinated

In a broad day light murder, an RTI activist and a strong supporter of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement, Shehla Masood was shot dead around 11.30 am on Tuesday.

Unidentified assailant shot her dead from point blank range while she was leaving in her car to attend a demonstration in support of Anna Hazare.

About 35 years old, Shehla was still sitting in the driver’s seat when she was attacked , however, no one heard any gun shot. When the car didn’t move for a while, the family members came out only to find that she had collapsed on one side with blood oozing out from her chest.

She was shot in her chest. The murder took place just in front of her house in Koh-e-Fiza locality of Bhopal. However, more details are still awaited as a post- mortem is still on.

The seriousness of the crime could be ascertained from the fact that the director general of police SK Rout and Additional director general Intelligence Rishi Kumar Shukla also inspected the crime scene along with the IG and SSP of Bhopal.

Shehla was an RTI and a wild life activist and had annoyed many people while seeking information and raising issues.

The crime scene suggested that the murder was executed by some professional killer with a firm arm fitted with a silencer. However, the SSP Bhopal Adarsh katiyar told the Media “there are many theories coming up but it is too early to say anything about the murder as the post mortem is still on.”

Shehla Masood was very active on social networking sites such as twitter and facebook. Her last status update on facebook said, “Gandhi: “the purpose of civil resistance is provocation.” Anna has succeeded in provoking the government and the opposition. Hope he wins us freedom from corruption. Meet at 2 pm Boat Club Bhopal.”

Masood didn’t reach the venue.

(Courtesy: TOI)


Government assisted United National Party leader unshaken by massive protest of rebel group

More than 10,000 activists of Sri Lanka's major opposition United National Party (UNP) held a demonstration against the party leader ranil Wickramasinghe near the Viharamahadevi Park.

Later they marched towards the office of the Opposition Leader and continued protest there. Some were seen attacking the gate of the office.

A group of traditional devil dancers performed a devil dance in front of the gate playing drums acting as chasing the devils in the party.

MP Dayasiri Jayasekara addressing the gathering said that they were not urging the Opposition Leader to resign but to hand over the party leadership to Karu Jayasuriya.

The agitation was earlier planned by Sajith Premadasa Group near the party headquarters Sirikotha but had to be changed due to a court ruling.

The government supported Wickramasinghe by closing the road in front of Sirikotha for carpeting. Wickramasinghe enjoyed protection from protests covering to the rollers of corrupt Maga Neguma.

However, the UNP sources say no significant decision was taken at the party working committee held yesterday regarding the leadership.

Karu Jayasuriya, Sajith Premadasa, Dayasiri Jayasekara and Ranjith Madduma Bandara of the rebel group also participated in the working committee meeting but reportedly remained silent mostly. No one asked Wickramasinghe to step down and hand over the reins to Co-Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya. Not only that, Sajith Premadasa reportedly agreed to work on the basis of the agreements reached on March 23, 2011 while airing his personal grievances in the party.

They even consented  disciplinary action against some leading figures of their group if they repeat violating party constitution despite being the mentors for them, sources say.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A window to a different view on recent riots in Sri Lanka

One of our colleagues have sent us this link with a different view regarding what we wrote about the riots in Kinniya and elsewhere in Sri Lanka.

"Please also read this article, and try to read in another angle of your very recent writings about riots. I have disagreements about your conclusions about riots," he says.

Thanks Machan. OK, I will read and comment.

Riots in UK could Forshadow Riots in US

The British government has charged that the riots are being caused by an increase in “criminality”. This is patently ridiculous. What is the difference in London or Manchester now than last year? If these riots are presumed to be the act of “criminals”, then what triggered these “criminals” to riot? If “criminality” is the reason why people are on the streets destroying neighborhoods and looting shops, why is it happening all over the country? Did the “criminals” all get together and decide to stage a riot in different cities so that they could hone their “criminal” skills? There must be some underlying reason why people feel that they need to go out on the streets and break things and to steal from shopkeepers, or was this week just a moment where all the “criminals” decided to act out all at once? This is the supposition that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron is making. This is a situation that shows just how preposterous politicians can be.

When you analyze the situation, what you see is people filing the streets and displaying very anti-social behavior. What the British government is asking the people of Britain and also the rest of the world to do is to assume that there are very many “criminals” in England. While I can agree that the people on the streets are committing criminal acts, I don’t believe that all of them decided to be “criminals”, and moreover, all on the same day. There must be an underlying reason why this happened in England. There is also a reason why the British government is using such a ridiculous assumption as to the cause of the riots.
I would like to point out a few things and also ask a few questions of the British Prime Minister;
1. Why is there such a disparity between the rich and the poor? Why has income risen for the upper classes while the lower classes have seen a reduction in theirs?

2. Why is Great Britain waging wars in Afghanistan, Libya and other countries under the guise of delivering “democracy” while they are part of a culture that worships class structure?

3. Why is it that “people of color” are living in neighborhoods that are substandard while the richest neighborhoods have very few minorities especially when you consider that the practice of slavery ended so long ago in Britain? Are the minorities just racially inferior to the white people?

4. Why is it that people of every race are rioting in the streets? If you take PM Cameron at his word, it’s probably so that they can steal a wide-screen TV.

5. Could it possibly be that corporations are purchasing influence from members of Parliament at the expense of the common people in England?

6. Could it be the possibility that their former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who is now facing extradition to The Hague for war crimes stemming out of the Iraq War, make citizens feel deceived about the war?http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/57361,news-comment,news-politics,war-crime-case-against-tony-blair-is-now-rock-solid
7. Are people rioting because the standard of living gotten has plummeted? The recession has pushed living standards in Britain to below the 2005 general election level.http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/dec/31/economic-growth-recession-uk

8. Are people more than just a little bit angry when they are informed that the U.K. faces the sharpest spending cuts since WWII while cutting over half a million jobs?http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39754325/ns/world_news-europe/t/uk-faces-sharpest-spending-cuts-wwii/#.TkbxUYJvCZY

9. Are the people angry because many colleges and universities are being forced to close due to British spending cuts while at the same time London is spending millions on foreign wars?

10. Are the lower classes angry because the budget for new social housing would be cut by 60% over four years?
These are just a few reasons why people in the U.K. might be more than just a little bit angry. I sincerely doubt that people in
London, Manchester and other cities in Britain have all decided to become “criminals”.
The riots on the other side of the pond should be a wake-up call to the United States. Of the 10 reasons I remarked on, most of them apply equally to the United States. I can already picture Barack Obama and other politicians blaming future riots on our streets as being perpetrated by “criminals”. Our politicians will probably use the term “economic terrorists”.
By Timothy V. Gatto timgatto@hotmail.com Read Tim's Book "Complicity to Contempt" and his Novel"Kimchee Days or Stoned Cold Warriors From Oliver Arts and Open Press and available on Amazonand all other online bookstores.

They are real Maharajas

Sri Lanka Opposition Leader and the leader of the United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickramasinghe who is at risk of party grip accused yesteroday publicly that the media company Maharaja was slinging mud at him since he denied granting one of their demands.

The UNP leader said that the media company had asked for two national list slots for their representatives at the  general election held last year.

Two Maharaja journalists contested the election under UNP ticket. Susil Kindelpitiya lost in Colombo while Sri Ranga elected from Nuwaraeliya quickly to change sides and join the government.

The leader of the UNP said that he denied granting the request since UNP was a people's party. He emphasized that no one could buy it. Who knows what happens in closed doors?

They are real Maharajas. They say 'We Report; You Decide' while they decide what to report. Not only that, they are in an attempt to decide the happenings as well.

Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.
 ~Ben Hecht

Maldivian and Sri Lankan Presidents chat with people over a broken fence

President of the Republic of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed arrived in Sri Lanka today for an official visit.

He arrived in the island yesterday morning around 11.15 with a six member delegation.

He was welcomed by the Minister of External Affairs Professor G.L. Peiris at the Katunayake International Airport.

The Maldivian President who worked once in Sri Lanka as a journalist as well while being a fugitive from Gayum's dictatorial regime met the President of Sri Lanka today at Hambanthota.

Sri Lanka President who hails from this remote district is in a dream of turning it into a commercial hub. Rarely, a local leader shared a moment with a foreign counterpart in this way in a remote area.

They watched the the Sri Lanka- Australia third One Day International at Sooriyawewa International Cricket Stadium and had a friendly chat with the local residents over a broken fence, a common scene a step away from development hoopla.


What a springboard is UNP now!

The ex-Mayor of Anuradhapura Municipal Council of Sri Lanka Kithsiri Lanka Caldera has decided to cross over to the opposition, political sources say.

He is to contest the upcoming election for the Anuradhapura Municipal Council under the opposition United National Party (UNP), the politician said to media.

He expressed plans to extend his political career to national level via UNP.

Caldera is a medical officer by profession.

Nowadays a politician crossing to ruling party is not a significant news. Is it same vice versa too? May be he is doing this since he has no opportunity through the ruling alliance to touch the national level.

He can touch the national level from UNP and later join the ruling alliance again with a new strength. What a springboard is UNP now!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mobs pelt stones at military camps in Sri Lanka. Are they heroes?

Sri Lanka Navy spokesman Commander Kosala Warnasuriya said to media that the protests that took place in Eastern Province Kinniya town occurred following the raids against racketeers that were operating in the coastal area.

Pointing out that they wanted the Navy camp would be withdrawn from the village, stressed that it would remain there.

On the night of August 14, more than 3,000 people attacked the Navy camp and set fire on a police vehicle also in Kinniya town alleging the camp was harbouring three unknown persons, whom they alleged were ‘grease devils.’

Four Navy and police personnel each and five civilians were injured in the incident. Police arrested at least 24 trouble makers and more of their kind agitated yesterday even taking the Army Eastern Commander hostage to urge the authorities to release the arrested persons.

Mobs held Sri Lanka Army Eastern Commander Boniface Perera, the Commander of the 22nd Division Brig. Hettiarachchi, Trincomalee District Secretary P.T.R. de Silva and some Members of Provincial and Divisional Councils of Kinniya area today for several hours.

The mobs supported by villagers protested the arrest of fellow villagers. Later, the arrested villagers were released on orders of the Ministry of Defense, sources say.

Ministers A.H.M. Fowzy, Rizak Badurdeen and SRauf Hakeem, ri Lanka Muslim Congress leader, rushed to Kinniya to settle the dispute.

Following is the way a media linked to Marxist People's Liberation Front (JVP) reported the incident in a heroic tone. Do Sri Lankan Marxists still identify mobs as heroes?

(Lanka Truth) It is reported that authorities have taken measures to release 25 villagers in Kinniya who had been arrested by the police after a clash the villagers had with personnel of SL Navy yesterday. The villagers of Kinniya detained 22 people including the Eastern Commander and District Secretary for Trincomalee demanding the release of the arrested villagers.
The villagers later released theEastern Commander Boniface Perera, the Commander of the 22nd Division Brig. Hettiarachchi, the District Secretary P.T.R. de Silva, Members of Provincial and Divisional Councils in the area who had been detained by them.
The government had taken urgent measures to send from Colombo Ministers A.H.M. Fowzy, Rizak Badurdeen and Raum Hakeem to mediate in the issue. However, the police on special orders from the Defense Secretary had to release the villagers as the agitators were not willing to agree with the ministers.
After the villagers were released they were taken away from the Divisional Office in armed cars which were also attacked by villagers with stones and other missiles say reports.

United National Party rebel Sajith in a do or die battle for the leadership

Sri Lanka's major opposition United National Party (UNP) sources say that the rebel group led by Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa is planning to hold a massive protest in front of Sirikotha, the party headquarters on August 17th when a crucial working committee meeting is scheduled.

The aim of the agitators is to topple the leader of the party Ranil Wickramasinghe in a revolutionary way against the party constitution.

Media reports said that the group was organizing to rally around 10,000 people and to surround the party headquarters to urge the party leader to resign.

Party sources say that by now all the efforts of the UNP seniors to resolve the crisis of the party amicably among the leaders have been unsuccessful.

Internal sources of the UNP say that the rebel group led by party Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa is not giving up the fight to topple the leader since UNP has great prospects of winning several crucial local government bodies like Colombo Municipal Council in the election scheduled for October.

"A person that leads the election can boast about the victory and Sajith's group is in a do or die battle to topple the leader before the local government election," a UNP senior said.

However, the situation developing in the UNP appears to be advantageous to the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA). Minister Basil Rajapaksa seems leading the election campaign for Colombo Municipal Council.

He is to declare open a shopping center for the Colombo minor traders in Gunasinghepura of Colombo Pettah bazar today.

It comprises of 468 stalls. The shops have been distributed among the pavement hawkers, of whom the majority is lumpen elements previously supportive to the UNP, that were evicted for public convenience and city beautification.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Activists from Colombo now in Jaffna to express solidarity to colleagues there

Free Media Movement (FMM), some other NGOs and activists of South Sri Lanka are now in Jaffna to hold a protest campaign tomorrow in Jaffna city to express solidarity to the bereaved journalists there.

A group of 40 journalists from Colombo left for Jaffna this morning to express their solidarity with embattled journalist community in Jaffna, said FMM secretary Sunil Jayasekara to media.

The Free Media Movement led group includes a number of media organisations as well as few human rights activists.

They expect to hold a peaceful demonstration in Jaffna city tomorrow noon together with journalists form Jaffna.

They are also to visit news editor Gnanasundaram Kuganathanhas of Uthayan daily in Jaffna hospital, who is recovering from a fatal assault on him by an unidentified gang on 29th July.

Pro-opposition Sri Lanka Mirror website reported that this is a historic occasion in strengthening solidarity and enhancing mutual understanding between journalists working in Jaffna and Colombo. The website added in a pleading tone they they would expect their right to protest and association will be respected by the state security forces in Jaffna.

Are they telling "Don't beat us! We're Sinhalese!"??? They never made such statements before they held protests in Colombo.

Forget Jaffna. It is in fact a good move to have such activities for activists of Colombo too, first to get rid of the fear psychosis they are engulfed in now.


From Grease Devils of Sri Lanka to Daniel Kahneman

I'm a lot worried of the fate of the Greece Devils of Sri Lanka in the hands of the angry mobs.

Have you ever experienced the wrath of a mob against you in your life? I experienced it many times. Once, perhaps in 2003, I was selling a leftist newspaper near a political meeting of a JVP coalition. I stress near because I was not in the meeting venue they had booked for the rally. But they were an upcoming power then and not like today's 'downgoing' gentlemen.

One person I met in an outside corner of the venue was a student of mine who appeared or pretended fond of me until that moment. He was in a programme in which I taught English as a volunteer and he had not lost money even if my teaching was bad.

The newspaper I was selling supported negotiated settlement through power devolution for the ethnic problem. But there was not theoretical stuff at all in that newspaper. It was just a radical tabloid. It was selling well at this particular meeting. After a short while, a group led by a man wearing a suit usually worn by MP security staff came and asked me what our stand was about self determination. I said it was a theoretical issue and could not be discussed on the road. They said we were supporting self determination and asked to leave the place or face circumstances.

I quit as an angry mob was gathering around me from everywhere and that student of mine was also there with eyes burning with wrath. I can imagine the helplessness of a so called Greese Yaka in the hands of a more violent mob.

Now as Sri Lankan people beat Greece Devils to death and the government is trying to channel the wrath of the mobs on the JVP activists in villages to make political mileage from this unexpected development, I recalled a past study on behavioral economy and Daniel Kahneman. Here are some excerpts from outward resources worth reading and further study:

I think prospect theory opens a path to trace the origins of the present fear psychosis of which I have written in Sinhala language elsewhere. Read it.

Daniel Kahneman (Hebrewדניאל כהנמן‎) (born March 5, 1934) is an Israeli-Americanpsychologist and Nobel laureate, notable for his work on the psychology of judgment anddecision-makingbehavioral economics and hedonic psychology.
With Amos Tversky and others, Kahneman established a cognitive basis for common human errors using heuristics and biases.
Behavioral economics and its related area of study, behavioral finance, use social, cognitive and emotional factors in understanding theeconomic decisions of individuals and institutions performing economic functions, including consumers, borrowers and investors, and their effects on market pricesreturns and the resource allocation. The fields are primarily concerned with the bounds of rationality of economic agentsBehavioral models typically integrate insights from psychology with neo-classical economic theory.
Behavioral analysts are not only concerned with the effects of market decisions but also with public choice, which describes another source of economic decisions with related biases towards promoting self-interest.
Prospect theory is a theory that describes decisions between alternatives that involve risk (i.e., alternatives with uncertain outcomes) where the probabilities are known. The model is descriptive: it tries to model real-life choices, rather than optimal decisions.
The theory was developed by Daniel Kahneman, professor at Princeton University's Department of Psychology, and Amos Tversky in 1979 as a psychologically realistic alternative to expected utility theory. It allows one to describe how people make choices in situations where they have to decide between alternatives that involve risk (e.g., in financial decisions). Starting from empirical evidence, the theory describes how individuals evaluate potential losses and gains. In the original formulation the term prospect referred to a lottery.
Valuefun.jpgThe theory describes such decision processes as consisting of two stages, editing and evaluation. In the first, possible outcomes of the decision are ordered following some heuristic. In particular, people decide which outcomes they see as basically identical and they set a reference point and consider lower outcomes as losses and larger as gains. In the following evaluation phase, people behave as if they would compute a value (utility), based on the potential outcomes and their respective probabilities, and then choose the alternative having a higher utility.

The first text that roused my enthusiasm about Kahneman was in Vimasuma.com website and it was written by Mr. W.A. Wijewardhana, a senior official of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The article is in Sinhala language. Read it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A meaningful legal move against wheat flour terrorism of Sri Lanka, only if implementable

Another law against the hyped wheat flout terrorism of this country! This time Sri Lanka Ministry of Health has decided to bring new laws to prevent the removal of bran when processing wheat flour, a good move to save the health of the wheat flour food lovers who are facing health risks due to consumption of too much starch.

So far, the wheat flour processors could remove bran up to 74%.The wheat flour in the market contained only 26% bran that contains the most of the nutrients of the flour.

The Ministry has decided to permit only the removal of 20% of bran from wheat flour.

Sri Lanka has too many laws but less understanding among public and the low enforcers too regarding them., Recall, the same Minister Maithripala de Silva banned use of polythene less than 20 microns of weight when he was in charge of environment.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

War widow problem of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Child Development and Women's Affairs Ministry sources say that the government has identified around 60,000 war widows in the Northern and Eastern Provinces following the end of the war.

According to the Ministry there are 42,565 war widows in the East and 16,936 in the North.

The majority of them are Tamil women.

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