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.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

. Sri Lanka Marxists say government sell off Embilipitiya Paper Mill

 "Mahinda Rajapaksa government, we believe, should be ashamed for handing over an invaluable national asset for such a low price," says Sri Lanka Marxist People's Liberation Front (JVP) issuing a statement on the alleged sell off of Embilipitiya Paper Mill.

The communique of the JVP, signed by MP Sunil Handunneththi says the sum of Rs.600 million for which the factory was leased to Perth Engineering Company in Australia for a 30 year-period is an undervalue.

"The government, by selling the company which is installed with a system of machinery that could produce high quality paper and a more than 250 acre land where it is constructed to a song indicates again the plundering economic policy Rajapaksa government is following," JVP says.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Those who now criticize party decisions supported them then, says Sri Lanka Marxist central committee member

Sri Lanka Marxist People's Liberation Front (JVP) central committee member and former MP Bimal Rathnayaka said that the persons now accusing them on certain party decisions were also supporting those decisions then.

Rathnayaka explained that the decisions to make alliances with the capitalist parties were supported by the rebels who now charge the JVP leadership for taking such decisions. The JVP rebels say that the party collapsed due to coalition politics with the capitalist parties.

Bimal Rathnayaka made these comments addressing a November hero commemoration held in Paris organized by the party committee in France, party sources said.

JVP central committee members Bimal Tathnayaka and Nalinda Jayatissa addressed the commemoration.
JVP factions are in a battle of showing strength through the November hero commemorations locally as well as internationally. Rallies of both factions were held in Colombo yesterday with the participation of massive crowds.

Parents of Sri Lankan housemaid who is in death row are to visit her today

Chairman of the Bureau of Foreign Employment Kingsley Ranawaka and Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Tissanga Wijeratne have left for Saudi Arabia now with the parents of Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek who is in death row in Saudi Arabia.

The parents are to visit Nafeek in prison today.

Meanwhile Western Province Governor Alevi Mawlana, a Muslim leader of Sri Lanka, is also to leave for Saudi Arabia on November 16th.

The Sri Lankan housemaid who was given death sentence for killing a baby she was looking after there by a Saudi court.

She was an underage by the time the crime she is accused of had committed. However, all attempts so far have failed to seek a pardon for her.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sri Lanka government wants websites to be registered

Issuing a media release, the Ministry of Media and Information has asked the administrators of the websites to register the ministry.

The administrators can contact Ms. K.W.T.N. Amarathunga, the Additional Secretary (Development and Planning) of the Ministry via the telephone +94112513943 or the email secretary@media.gov.lk to obtain application forms and information, the Ministry says.

Information regarding registration is also available in www.media.gov.lk website, the Ministry says.

The Ministry has however not outlined what action will follow in case of websites not registering in the Ministry.

Ministry has warned the websites that disseminate news that target to tarnish images of certain persons and the government.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sevanagala Sugar Factory of Sri Lanka under forcible peoplization

A group of persons allegedly the supporters of  Sri Lanka government MP Jagath Pushpakumara have reportedly taken over the Sevanagala Sugar Factory.

Daya Group of Companies that own this factory say that the managers of the factory have been removed from the premises and some employees have been assaulted.

Sevanagala Sugar Factory is an asset slated to be taken over under Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilised Assets Act which the government plans to table in the parliament next week.

The company says that the group that has taken over the factory have blocked access roads to the factory disrupting the functioning of the factory.

Daya Gamage, a legislator of the opposition United National Party (UNP) is the owner of Sevanagala Sugar Factory. It was purchased by him in 2002 for Rs. 550 million. The company says that it is profiting now.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Now armed forces of Sri Lanka to maintain cricket grounds

Local media of Sri lanka reported that three key sports grounds of the country that were under the Ministry of sports had been taken over by the Ministry of Defense.

The grounds that have been taken over are Sooriyawewa Mahinda Rajapaksa Esplanade, R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo and Pallekale Stadium in Kandy.

Media reported that the Ministry of Sports stated the sports grounds were handed over to the Ministry of Defense to minimize the massive expenditure that had to be incurred for the maintenance of the esplanades.

Money earning Sri Lanka Cricket is now near bankrupt. Ministry of Defense is Sri Lanka's biggest spender of public money. Yet it has workforce to do things. Soldiers have no work now thanks to peace. Therefore they will sweep and pick the leaves fell on these grounds. In addition, they will have perhaps a chance to play a game of soft ball cricket as well in a corner of one of these grounds that remain unused most of the time in the year.

Plans are underway to deploy the personnel of the three armed forces to maintain the grounds, sources say.

From this month the Air Force will be managing the RPS and the Navy has taken over the Pallekele Stadium while the Army will be maintaining the Hambantota Stadium.

It is good maintaining sports grounds. Most of the sports grounds of the common man are completely never maintained by the local government authorities that own them. Sometimes they become even burial grounds for local politicians and priests. In some other occasions, they are th venue for musical shows. Not bad yet, they can be accessed by public.

Some school playgrounds are now out of bound to the villagers. The principals have locked the gates. Notices are displayed stating children playing in village ground is trespassing.

What a sporty country this is!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Crony capitalist Rajapaksa regime, the biggest under performer aims to take over under performing businesses

Sri Lanka government has planned to go ahead with the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilised Assets Act despite opposition from the United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and a wide section of private sector businessmen.

Accordingly, the bill is to be tabled in Parliament on 9 November by the Government, but the Opposition had given an early warning that it would be opposed.

Takeover Bill on underperforming State enterprises and underutilised assets came under fire by the Opposition at the Party Leaders meeting held in Parliament.

UNP and TNA questioned why it was being introduced as an urgent bill and stating that the Government should have had practiced basic democracy and common courtesy by having discussed it at the Parliament Consultative Committees.

The objective of Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilised Assets Act is to takeover enterprises with state exposure and a host of assets such as land and building. Defunct BOI approved private ventures also include into the category. Compensation is to be paid. They can be revived with government mediation either via restructuring or entering into new management contracts.

Though the Bill comes with a schedule of specified entities, the UNP warned that the Government could add more enterprises or assets by bringing in amendments to Act in the future.

UNP MP and spokesman on economic affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva said that the government was the biggest underperformer

Another crucial fact pointed out by the UNP was that the bill would scare the foreign investors who want guarantee of safety for their investment.

UNP further says the act violates economic freedom, definitely not of the poor man but of the capitalist class.

Sri Lanka government under President Mahinda Rajapaksa attempts to act as a top level company manipulating its state powers. It is similar to the economic policy of the former socialist block of Eastern Europe in many aspects.

The move is clearly against the neo-liberal capitalist principles promoted by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization etc in the past period. They wanted the privater sector become the engine of the economy. What they meant by economic freedom was private sector been granted equality with the public enterprises. They prefer 'more equality' too.

Mahinda Rajapaksa government dreams to be a big privileged corporation with state powers. They are given tax money of people as investment and also tax exemptions etc. to compete with the private sector. Performances are irrespective. Losses are born by state and passed on to people. A new class of cronies of the government hold the management positions of these companies and at the same time or separately engage in contracts with these companies.

Some still call these moves peoplising attempts but this is sheer crony capitalism.

Sri Lanka Minister of Transport says state bus service incurs additional losses due to price hike of diesel

Sri Lanka Minister of Transport Kumar Welgama speculated a bus fare hike in state owned Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB).

He said that the loss making SLTB incurs an additional loss of Rs.2.2 million per day.

Speaking at a media conference held at the Ministry of Transport Minister Welgama said the increase of price of diesel by Rs. 8 per liter is adversely felt and trying to conceal the hardship is futile.

However, according to the the price formula that has been agreed by the bus companies and owners, to raise bus fares the price of diesel should go up by 4%. Government raised diesel price by 3.2% only.

. Lanka Indian Oil Corporation introduces Euro III grade petrol to Sri Lanka

Euro III grade petrol, which is used globally to run premium vehicles will be introduced by Lanka Lanka Indian Oil Corporation (LIOC) to Sri Lanka market from mid November, the company announced.

EURO III will replace the company’s premium petrol brand “90 Octane”. It will be sold in in 120 LIOC outlets island wide.

However Octane 90 petrol will continue to be sold in LIOC fuel outlets, the company says.
Lanka IOC also sells Octane 95 Petrol.

LIOC has 159 outlets in Sri Lanka. It is the second player in fuel market that is competing with the Sri Lanka Petroleum Corporation.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Capitalism without rule of law is Krandeniya; violence in a town of Sri Lanka

Karandeniya is an insignificant tiny town in Southern Province of Sri Lanka. However, Karandeniya hit headlines yesterday due to violence in a post-murder scenario.

A doctor businessman who owned a channeling center was  brutally assassinated on September 29 and the mystery came to light almost a month after.

Read the incident here: Bloody competition for doctor channeling come to light in doctor murder in Sri Lanka

Here is the immediate aftermath of the arrest:

Police imposed curfew in Karandeniya police area in Galle district due to a tense situation there. The curfew is to prevail until further notice, police say.
Angry mobs set fire to a medical laboratory run by a suspect arrested for a murder. Several other buildings in the vicinity were also damaged. The suspect's house was also set fire reports from Karandenuya say.
The suspect allegedly killed a doctor in Karandeniya on September 29 with connivance of an Army captain and two soldiers. The last two persons who were brothers were the gunmen in the assassination plot.
The house of the Army captain and a business place of his father's was also set fire.

Another shop burnt belonged to a nurse that worked in the medical center of the suspect.

Police Special Task Force was also summoned to control the situation, but after the carnage was complete.

The killing of the doctor was due to rivalry created by competition in doctor channeling in this small town.The slain doctor is reported as a gentleman with a good heart. Not only that, he had been a very successful businessman. He was trying to monopolize in medical center business there through a fair competition. There is nothing wrong until he pays income tax according to books.

In advanced capitalist economies there is rule of law and the losers are prevented of taking personal revenge from the rivals like this.

What Sri Lanka lacks foremost today is rule of law.

A bigwig in the town, Minister of Resettlement Gunarathna Weerakoon was in the town celebrating the police success of arresting the culprits of the brutal murder of the doctor. The violence followed his visit, speech and lightening of firecrackers by his supporters.

There are reasonable suspicions that Minister ignited violence against the families of the suspects.

There may be more channel center owners who threw petrol to fire to see the opening of a new market for them through blood and fire.

capitalism is brutal since the primary force that drives it is craving for profit. Such capitalism without rule of law is Krandeniya.

Read in Sinhala 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bloody competition for doctor channeling come to light in doctor murder in Sri Lanka

Criminal Investigation Department of Sri Lanka arrested an owner of a medical center for killing a doctor in a bloody competition in specialist channeling business.

The suspect confessed that he gave a contract to a friend of his, a captain of Sri Lanka Army to kill Doctor Priyanka Prasad Ranasinghe of Karandeniya in Galle district.

Ranasinghe who was the owner of a private medical center was assassinated by two gunmen before his business place named as Digasee, meaning long life..

This medical center was blooming in business and the suspect doctor was losing his business to it.

The gunmen were two soldiers that were under the suspected captain. They are siblings and they were to be paid for the killing.

The killing took place on September 29. Two suspects have been arrested. Two assassins are absconding and police is looking for them for taking them to custody.

Sri Lanka Marxist JVP announces student leader removed from post

The student wing of the People's Liberation Front (JVP) Socialist Students' Union (SSU) yesterday announced that the former national organizer of the Chamera Koswatta had been removed from the post.

JVP central committee member Nalinda Jayathissa who was appointed the new national organizer said to media that Koswatta was assigned to another duty by party and he was not to reveal it. He further said that Chameera Koswatta is no more in the SSU.

Meanwhile, Koswatta, a leading member of the JVP rebel faction laughed off his alleged removal. He said he was elected to the post by a general assembly of the SSU in 2008 for five years and he cannot be removed even by the national committee of the SSU.

He further said that the majority of the SSU cadres were with him.

Convicted Kandy Mayor released under special Presidential pardon

Former Mayor of Kandy city of Sri Lanka Kesara Senanayaka who was convicted for robbing public money was acquitted yesterday under a special presidential pardon.

Senanayaka was convicted for defrauding funds allocated for a training in Thaiwan and touring in Singapore with his wife with that money.

He was found guilty by Colombo Chief Magistrate for two counts. He was fined and given suspended jail terms as well.

The punishments were endorsed by the Court of Appeal as well following an appeal from the convict.

The convict was pardoned and released yesterday by Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli on an official request from the President Mahinda Rajapaksa under section 34 (1)(A) of the constitution.
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