Saturday, May 30, 2015

Socialism and waste management

“Garbage, in its "worthless" state, is the primary fuel for creativity.”
― Yusuf A. Leinge

Some say politics is dirty. Is it really so? But I think dirt is also politics. Why?

People who live in Colombo and who visit Colombo daily dump 750 tons of garbage every day. Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) relieves the burden of garbage at Meethotamulla where you can go for a hike on a mountain of dirt.

The residents of the surrounding areas protested last week violently against dumping garbage in their environment and they had a good bath after all from riot police. Are they citizens, I wonder and if they are citizens why doesn't the CMC listen to their woes? They may be thinking they are non-citizens themselves. Citizens do not burn old tyres on roads permanently damaging them. They are the roads they travel and not only the roads the garbage dumpers are driven. They are public roads and the tar is public money.

Fronline Socialist Party (FSP) leader Pubudu Jayagoda claimed in his Facebook that one of their activists was leading the agitation and Jayagoda was critical on whom he called liberals for not taking the side of the protesters. I don't know if they may like their counterpart(y) JVP takes to streets in Meethotamulla mobilizing people against dumping garbage there. The two leftist parties are in a tooth and nail battle for claiming the patent for protests over public issues. It is always good from the side of the people that some elements are available to support them when they want to go against the government, no matter whoever takes the political advantage.

Marxists argue capitalism cannot solve any problem of the system which it creates. I have not noticed anybody has spoken about the socialist solution for the garbage problem. Capitalism promotes consumerism. Extreme consumption patterns lead to produce and excess of waste. Therefore the solution for the problem of garbage must definitely be anti-consumerist.

Meethotamulla protest was successful since the garbage issue was taken out of the dump and set in the TV screens. People of Meethotamulla ask the authorities and the fellow citizens too if it is right to dump others' shit in their locality. Actually, garbage needs to be dumped in some locality. Residents of Meethotamulla say they can be dumped in Muthurajawela, an environmentally sensitive wetland which they consider wrongly as ground which is not in any locality of humans. What you give will come around in some way and be careful folks!

Everybody thinks garbage is something, of which we must rid our immediate environment. We are the people who hang the dirt bag on a nail hammered to the parapet wall outside near the gate. We don't care how it stinks when the brew flows out on the road. It is outside, man. Developed nations dump developed garbage in outer space now with similar attitude. They are like the ones who throw their bag of shit on the road in wee hours while driving their vehicle at a breakneck speed so as the number is not noticed.

What is the actual practical solution to this?

Garbage is not totally waste. If we have proper ways to manage our waste, most of the things we throw can be recycled. Unfortunately, we don't recycle all paper we use. We import paper. It is same with glass and other materials too. Much of the matter of the dump in Meethotamulla comprises of compost automatically processed after dumping. Why can't people make compost at home and use them to be put into flower or vegetable plants in pots? We import chemical fertilizer and it is so cheaper for the farmers since the entire population pays for the fertilizer subsidy. Compost appear costly vis-a-vis the cheap and easy chemical fertilizer.

Super markets and the other retailers must be taken to the management of polythene and plastic waste. Nowadays, you cannot take your own cloth bag even to state owned retail network Lak Sathosa and ask for your commodities put in them. The busy and careless customer servicemen of public service reject your bag silently and put the stuff in polythene bags. Food City girls put even the box of matches in a polythene bag. The local government has to manage the waste they deliver. I think the cost for managing of polythene and plastic waste spread by the retailers is many times higher than the taxes paid by them. They must be asked to collect their waste and to assist the authorities to manage them.

The packaging industry of the modern times is packed in plastic and polythene. Therefore, there is no go back to 'Kadala Gotta' type waste paper packaging. People have health concerns too now which they did not have in the times of 'Kadadasi Gotta' package. But packagers must not be so lavish in throwing away material difficult to be recycled. There must be laws that must be thoroughly imposed on the packaging industry. Some regulations related to the thickness of the polythene matter were introduced by the previous regime but the laws are freely violated due to lack of monitoring mechanisms.

Recycling must definitely be rewarded. It is not a sin that we have a pompously subsidized recycling industry in the country. Give all sorts of relief to those who recycle. They are saving the planet.

The most hazardous general dumping is related to CFL bulbs and batteries of mobile phones. CFL bulbs are thanked for saving power but the flimsy, low quality CFL bulbs cause more severe damage to the environment due to mercury in thrown away bulbs. Laws must be brought to make compulsory for the distributors of the CFL bulbs to collect them back after the warranty period is over. The lifetime of most of those bulbs is the time of warranty offered by the producers.

Real revolution in waste management is actually in the minds of the people. We must change our attitudes from the mindset of taking all the polythene bags home and throwing them away thereafter to a mindset of say a sharp NO to unnecessary packaging. People must use them like misers. As citizens, we need to be extra careful in dumping garbage.

Authorities must have proper mechanisms for waste management. People tend to free themselves of the waste they produce in ad hoc ways when there are no proper ways and means to do it. The society must be disciplined in terms of waste management. Citizens may not mind even the Lee Kuan Yew type draconian laws against the polluters but only after streamlining the waste management systems of the country.

- Ajith Perakum Jayasinghe

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Friday, May 29, 2015

* Why were the suspects of murder of women of Kahawatta acquitted?

acquitted suspects, lawyers and relations (Photo: Dinamina) 
Three suspects of one of the ill famous women double murder cases of Kahawatta were acquitted by court yesterday since police failed to prove the charges against the suspects.

The case was heard by Colombo High Court Judge Devika De Livera Tennakoon as a special case. The suspects were charged with the murder of Liyanagahewage Premawathie (63) and her daughter Hewagamage Pushpika Kumari (23) on June 17, 2012, at Kotakethana in Kahawatte.

According to scientific evidence, the DNA samples taken from the rape victims did not match with the DNA patterns of the suspects.

The evidence of a crime accomplice who was made a witness of the prosecution also had contradiction. The investigations of the police were criticized for being biased.

People of Kahawatta agitated yesterday after the verdict was delivered. They might have protested the judiciary but the blame should have gone to police which had failed to investigate and frame the charges properly.

However, the case indicates the judiciary of Sri Lanka is independent, impartial and professional, instead of being driven by popular sentiments, back again.

In some previous occasions, the murder suspects of Kahawatta who were released on bail by court were killed by unknown groups. Police did not find the killers of these murders. Police under former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was often blamed for acting illegally for narrow popularity.

Hewagamage Pushpakumari - one of the victims 

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Monday, May 25, 2015

* Swiss national among rapist killers of Sri Lankan school girl

Sri Lanka police sources say that a Swiss national is also a suspect of a brutal rape and murder of a 17-year-old school girl of Kaits Island of Jaffna.

The Swiss national suspect who engaged in the group rape and killing of the underage girl has been identified as Mahalingam Rishikumar (41).

The suspect who hailed from Kaits was temporarily residing in Wellawatta. He was arrested while attempting to return to Switzerland secretly.

Rishikumar belongs to the generation of Sri Lankan Tamils who sought political asylum in Europe stating that they are discriminated by Sri Lankan government and military.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

* Sri Lanka's former President vows to change the rule before long

Sri Lanka's former President Mahinda Rajapaksa vowed on May 22nd that he would change the system soon.

"We shall change this. Before long, we shall change," he said to a violently cheering crowd in the Buddhist temple.

He said this addressing religious function held in  Mahawapi temple in Ampara in the Eastern Province.

The former President highlighted in his speech that those who voted Swan were from Northern and Eastern Province. He said they have voted to change the President but not the Prime Minister.

He lamented that the investigations conducted against corruption of his regime were acts of revenge.

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* Charred body recovered near Colombo

Athurugiriya police recovered a dead body which was being transported illegally in a van.

The body was half burnt when it was arrested by police.

The body is believed to be of a 40 year old man of Galle. The man has reportedly been tortured and killed.

The van, the driver and another person has been arrested.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

* Foul play suspected in resignation of Commissioner of Bribery in Sri Lanka

Sources close to the Bribery or Corruption Investigation Commission of Sri Lanka say that the resignation of Commissioner Keerthi Wimalachandra may be aimed at disrupting the functioning of the Commission.

Retired judge of the Court of Appeal Keerthi Wimalachandra resigned on May 15th citing personal reasons, the same day the Speaker of the parliament endorsed the 19th amendment.

Under the 19th amendment, the Commissioners for the independent Bribery Commission must be appointed through the Legislative Council.

Appointing of Legislative Council is delaying due to conflict of ideas between political parties. JVP is in the view that the Legislative Council must be appointed by a new parliament.

However, the resignation of the Commissioner Wimalachandra has paralyzed the Bribery or Corruption Investigation Commission since it now lacks quorum. Replacement was unable since he resigned just before the endorsing of the 19th amendment.

The Commission cannot order new investigations and legal action now. However, complaints are received and the legal actions already taken are proceeded.

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

* Sri Lanka's elderly politician Vasudewa speaks filthy words in parliament

Sri Lanka's veteran leftist and leader of Democratic Left Front Vasudewa Nanayakkara used filthy Sinhala language words in parliament to blame Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe.

Vasudewa called the Prime Minister 'Pakaya.'

Pakaya in Sinhala language is similar to fucker.

However, the word literally meant fruit in old Sinhala literature.

Seventy-six years old Vasudewa Nanayakkara is a former Minister of National Languages.

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa warned him to mind his language since school children were in the gallery.

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*Are racist elements behind mob violence in Jaffna?

The victim 
The mob violence seen in Jaffna when the suspects of raping a 17-year old school girl of Kaits were produced in court indicate the depth of tension that prevails in the northern society.

The rape was not connected to military and police arrested the suspects and produced them in court. The investigation did not appear flawed. Then what was the reason for hurling rocks at court, insulting the judiciary and damaging public property?

The motive appears to be disruptive. The demand of the mob was offering the suspects to them to be killed. Some of the perpetrators have been arrested and remanded.

Probes must lead to arrest the disruptive elements that ignited violence. Desperate racist elements can be behind it and the their counterparts in the south can be seen elated in social media. They appear to be too early to predict a war.

Sociological researches must be conducted to understand and remedy the undercurrents that lead to this type of crimes and social backfire to them in post-war Tamil areas of Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

* New political front in the formation in Sri Lanka under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena

Sri Lanka's political sources say that preliminary discussions are underway to form a broader political alliance aiming the upcoming general election.

Sources say that a  number of political parties which were in the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) would join the new alliance.

The new alliance is likely to be build up against the political front being built up by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa with the political parties like a faction of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, National Freedom Front, Mahajana Eksath Peramuna and Democratic Left Front.

Jathika Hela Urumaya, Lanka Samasamaja Party, Communist Party, upcountry Tamil parties and several Muslim Parties have shown interest to join the new alliance which is to be led by President Maithripala Sirisena. The President's winning symbol Swan has won the attraction of the alliance campaigners but a political party linked to UNP MP Ravi Karunanayaka has the legal rights for the symbol.

The campaigners for the new alliance have focused to the People's Liberation Front (JVP) and Democratic Party led by Sarath Fonseka also to take them to the alliance.

However, the sources say that the United National Party is likely to contest as an individual party hoping the majority power in the parliament.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

* Mahinda Rajapaksa to form New Sri Lanka Freedom Party

Mahinda Rajapaksa campaign politician Wimal Weerawansa's website Lanka C News reported today that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa would form a new political party as New Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

The symbol of the new party is Wee Karala (pod of rice).

The website reported that about 100 MPs of present parliament have agreed to contest under the new party.

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

* Sri Lanka's powerful Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) split

Sri Lanka's powerful doctors' union Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) has split.

A specialist doctors' association has been restructured and the union held its first media briefing today.

The  secretary of the union is Ravi Dayasena. Chairman is D.J.N. Rathnasena.

The Chairman said that the union was preparing a list of names of specialist doctors.

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* Sri Lanka's Mahinda camp polico's wives accused of forging national identity cards

MP Wimal Weerawansa, a leader of Mahinda Rajapaksa camp of Sri Lanka will be summoned by Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for interrogation.

He is to be questioned about his wife's use of forged national identity card and passport. She had a diplomatic passport also in her possession.

CID informed court yesterday that Shashi Weerawansa's national identity cards and passports were erroneous.

CID has sought legal advice from the Attorney General to proceed with the case.

Meanwhile, former President Mahinda Rajapaksha's wife Shiranthi Rajapaksa is also accused of providing false details to open a bank account. She has provided the national identity card number as 222222222V and the Department of Registration of Persons has verified the number is false.

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Friday, May 15, 2015

* Is online applying for university entrance fair in Sri Lanka?

University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka has introduced an online application process for university entrance for the first time in the history.

The application process included submitting data and uploading a scanned soft copy of the national identity card of the student.

The student must fill all the entries online and take a printout. After that, the application must be endorsed by the principal and the final stage is sending it via registered post to the Commission.

Only the students who do not possess national identity cards are allowed to apply fully via postal services.

Although the University Grants Commission expects all students to be thorough with computer and internet, the majority of the schools do not provide IT education to the students. They do not possess computers, scanners and printers etc. Outsourcing such services in rural areas is not easy and they lack quality too.

Internet connectivity is a problem in many of the rural areas and mostly the younger generation uses smart phones for surfing. The application process is not optimized for such situations.

On the other hand, the English language knowledge is also not very good in rural areas. Although General English is a subject in the curriculum, a pass is not compulsory for university entrance. Most of the students do not focus to English language during reading for highly competitive Advanced Level examination.

Sri Lanka has still not introduced a standard for writing personal and place names of original Sinhala language in English transcript.

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

* Why do people love TV pranks?

Pranks are a major part of the schedules of profit seeking commercial TV stations.

Sri Lankan actor Mihira Sirithilaka was once a victim of this kind of foolish prank by a local TV channel.

Recently, one such TV station performed an inhuman prank with an underage girl. The story was described by BBC like this.

A Mother's Day prank on Cambodian TV has backfired on social media, with the producers accused of cruelty to a teenage girl.
Autumn Allen, a 13-year-old American singer living in Cambodia, had just performed on a local television show last Sunday when she was told that she would be reunited with her mother.
Ms Allen has been living in Phnom Penh with her father since 2008. She last saw her mother, who lives in the US, when she was six.
Wiping away tears, Autumn told the show's hosts that it was her "dream to see her mother again".
"My mother last held and kissed me and told me that she would always love me," she told the audience.
But the promise turned out to be a prank staged by the TV station. Instead of Autumn's mother, a local comedian - dressed in drag - came out pretending to be her.
TV pranks are another aspect of the consumerism. The TV stations are manipulating the sadistic and fraudulent uncivilized inner mindset of people to sell these programmes. People watch these programmes since they love to see other people embarrassed.

Creativity is a waste here. Why must the people be innovative to cheat others?

But it happens in market. It happens in art and politics too. It happens in religion. Therefore, why not in media?

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* Sri Lanka's former Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana's piano deal urged to be probed

Ceylon Teachers' Union complained to the Ministry of Education to probe the way the former Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardana offered pianos belonged to the Ministry to a private nursery network.

Three thousand pianos were offered to the Ministry of Education by the Korean government.

Minister Bandula Gunawardana has given 35 pianos to Carlton pre-school network, a private entity run by Shiranthi Rajapaksa the wife of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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* Sri Lankan wildlife authorities dig Buddhist temple land to find the remains of slain elephant calves

The photo shows wildlife authorities of Wri Lanka are digging the soil in the premises of Buddhist temple Vipassanaramaya in Maharagama to find the remains of killed wild elephant calves.

Sri Lanka's famous elephant calf thief Ali Roshan has allegedly hidden some elephant calves in this temple. Allegedly, the elephant calves were buried here after they died due to ill treatments in captivity.

(Photo courtesy: Dinamina)

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* Sri Lankan magistrate surrenders illegally kept wild elephant

Additional Magistrate of Colombo Thilina Gamage, who has allegedly kept a wild elephant cub in illegal captivity violating wildlife ordnance, handed over the elephant calf to the Wildlife Department office of Battaramulla yesterday.

Director General of Wildlife H.D. Rathnayaka said that the magistrate had no legal permit to keep the elephant.

A number of persons who kept captured wild elephants in their possession illegally with the support of politicians have been identified. However, legal action against these wildlife criminals is delaying.

The registry of wild elephants maintained by Wildlife Department was stolen recently to cover up the crimes.

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* Multi million rupee tsunami housing fraud for which Lalith Weerathunga and Tiran Alles are being questioned

By Sonali Samarasinghe (Cross posted from Sunday Leader July 08, 2007)

Damning evidence of the government's secret deal with the LTTE has now surfaced, revealing President Mahinda Rajapakse granted unsolicited multi million rupee bogus housing projects to the Tigers to allegedly facilitate the transfer of money under the deal.

The bogus projects were being given to the Wanni even as a water crisis depriving some 15,000 farmers of water raged on in Mawilaru, a humanitarian crisis was brewing in Muttur resulting in thousands of Muslims being displaced from their homes, and hundreds of soldiers had been killed in fierce fighting ordered by Rajapakse no less.

The projects were whitewashed through a cabinet paper submitted on August 2, 2006 by Rajapakse himself well after the decision had already been taken and after a large sum of money had already been transferred to the said company.

Two part deal
In fact it was part of the deal agreed upon before the presidential election with the LTTE in exchange for the Tigers enforcing a boycott of the poll in the north and east.

The deal with the Tigers our investigation reveals was two fold. The first part was the payment of a large sum of money by Basil Rajapakse to the LTTE front man Emil Kanthan. Some of the money was in dollar notes, the numbers of which the LTTE had noted before putting it to good use to further their goal for a separate state.

The second part of the deal was to come into effect in the event of Mahinda Rajapakse's victory and was to include inter alia a housing project for the LTTE, disarming the Karuna group, appointing LTTE nominees to various political offices and resumption of talks in Thailand.

The cabinet note forwarded by the President on August 2, 2006 sought approval to grant the first housing project in the north and east in terms of the post election part of the deal. It was for forms sake to be under the Rebuilding the Nation Jayalanka Housing Programme and given to B & K
Holdings (Pvt) Ltd. of No. 437A, 3rd Lane, Hirunavukulam, Thandikulum, Vavuniya. The deal was for the construction of 400 housing units at Trincomalee; and another 400 units in Batticaloa was awarded to Everest Civil Engineering services of 113/1, Mill Road, Ukulangkulam, Vavuniya.

The note also states ambiguously that 400 other housing units will be implemented in other districts but do not even name the districts, merely stating the entire cost estimate for the 'required' 1200 housing units would be Rs. 757,166,000 (inclusive of consultancy fees).

Key player
The key player in the entire drama was of course Emil Kanthan, the man the Attorney General's Department and the Terrorism Investigations Division have identified as a key LTTE intelligence officer in records filed in court.

In fact, former Airport and Aviation Chief Tiran Alles was arrested for allegedly providing funds to Kanthan, a matter he has hotly denied but an investigation by The Sunday Leader reveals it was none other than President Mahinda Rajapakse who provided funds to a front company of Kanthan under the guise of a housing project. 

The consultant named in the cabinet note is GS Builders & Consultants of Vavuniya, who top sources said was also connected to Emil Kanthan.
Sources also said that while the cabinet note attempted to allude to some sort of procedural propriety by stating that approval was granted for invited and solicited offers no such thing had actually occurred and the reality was that President Rajapakse engineered the entire post secret deal operation.

It was in fact President Rajapakse who had directed the Reconstruction and Development Agency to put up a board paper and approve the project to be granted to the Emil Kanthan front.

Therefore there had been no cabinet approved tender board, no cabinet procurement committee approval as is mandatory in such development projects and certainly no pre qualification of contractors as per the government rules under ICTAD's Grade M1 certification.

Shadow offensive
Ironically even though a shadow military offensive was continuing in the north and east and the armed forces were engaging in combat with the terrorists, Rajapakse did not force a full blown military confrontation until after the Mawilaru incident and well after his cabinet paper was tabled. 

President Rajapakse meanwhile maintained publicly he was a patient man who did not rush to war and was observing the Ceasefire Agreement even though there was to be a marked increase in civilian and military deaths in the north east, while privately seeking to allegedly honour promises made to the LTTE. 

To top the diabolical deception the Rajapakse administration while making good its promises on the secret deal with the LTTE on the one hand was facetiously calling on the international community to convict the Tigers of war crimes over the Mawilaru anicut.

Our investigation shows that the trumped up projects were handed over to Barkavi Shanthikumar, the common law wife of whom the government identifies as a LTTE intelligence wing member and go-between Emil Kanthan and her two brothers Shanthikumar Kishokumar and Shanthikumar Gajankumar,. The projects were handed over  through a construction company - B & K Holdings (Pvt) Ltd. of No.437A, 3rd Lane, Hirunuvakulam, Thandikulam, incorporated just one month after Mahinda Rajapakse took office as the President.

Diabolical deed
President Rajapakse himself signed the cabinet note on August 2, seeking approval to grant the over Rs. 700 million project to the bogus company whose stated Vavuniya address in the cabinet note is anything but an office.

A Sunday Leader search revealed the company was incorporated on December 23, 2005 in Colombo and not in Vavuniya as stated in the Cabinet Memo giving as its address No.45/4, Church Road, Wattala. However our investigations found the address to be as mysterious as the one given in Vavuniya. There was certainly no office with that number on Church Road, Wattala.

 The subscriber shareholders of the company - the common law relatives of the infamous Emil Kanthan -- have given their address as No. 48A, Albert Place, Dehiwala. Though this address exists our investigations found only a deserted residence which had been padlocked from the outside.

What is also potentially treacherous is that the bogus company to which the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces was now handing over construction projects had as its primary objects not only the business of construction building but also building, owning, managing and operating plants for the generation of electricity using hydro power, thermal power, wind power, fuel or oil and bio gas or other resources not to mention the business of telecommunications.

The very fact the government had not checked the credentials of the companies to which the President was seeking to hand over a project running into over Rs. 700 million was evident from the above details alone and it was so because what was in play was part of the secret deal and the only credential required was that of the man who delivered Rajapakse the Presidency, Emil Kanthan. After all which other company incorporated just six months earlier with no credentials would be given a project worth over Rs.700 million? And just to cover their tracks a bank guarantee was sought.

Be that as it may, the authorised share capital of B & K Holdings Private Ltd. is stated as Rs. 10,000,000. The Secretaries are LM Management Services (Private) Limited of No 291/32A, Havelock Gardens, Havelock Road, Colombo 5. 
Funnily enough President Rajapakse would have us believe that the cabinet was satisfied that this recently incorporated bogus company was sufficiently able to undertake a Rs.700 million project to construct homes in the north east when even the Vavuniya addresses given in the cabinet paper of both the consultant firm and B&K holdings were false to say the least.

A Sunday Leader investigation revealed there were no offices at these addresses. No. 113/1, Mill Road in Vavuniya was a residence where one P. Nandakumar and one Rajeswari Nandakumar lived.

No. 437A, 3rd Lane in Vavuniya was also a residence occupied by one Wannisingham Subramanium.

Of little concern
Certainly these did not look like the offices or the employees of two companies able to construct, maintain, manage and operate electricity generators, leave alone construct 700 million rupees worth of houses in the difficult north and east area.
For Rajapakse who is willing to waive the government's right to first refusal and transfer 25% of NTT shares in Sri Lanka Telecom to a company hastily incorporated in the Netherland Antilles like Global Telecommunications Holdings such a matter may be trivial.

Certainly even the cabinet note seeking approval seems to be mere chicanery and only an attempt to launder the money transfer under the alleged deal.

Pre-election promises
Both Sooriyaarachchi and Alles who were President Rajapakse's closest allies at the time revealed it was Basil who had been the main negotiator for the President. Sooriyaarachchi also alleged Basil had paid millions in furtherance of the deal.
 More importantly Alles had stated in his statement to the TID that Rajapakse had asked him to secure a connection to the LTTE during the presidential campaign and he had informed the then prime minister he could only give him a business contact - Emil Kanthan.

Once the contact was introduced however it was Lalith Weeratunga, P.B. Jayasundera and Basil Rajapakse who decided on the nitty gritties and allegedly clinched the deal.

Keeping promises post win
While President Rajapakse is not known as a man inclined to honour legal agreements or Memoranda of Understanding the promises to the LTTE which secured his victory and fulfilled his lifelong dream, he was determined to keep.
Once Emil Kanthan had made a request to hand over the moneys under the alleged deal through some project, President Rajapakse shortly after he took oaths as Chief Executive, was made aware of this. He immediately informed Treasury Secretary P.B Jayasundera to do the needful. 

To this end President Rajapakse also requested that housing projects be handed over to persons nominated by LTTE's Emil Kanthan.

By a happy coincidence it was Tiran Alles then still close to Mahinda Rajapakse who headed RADA, the agency now in charge of reconstruction. However Alles had wanted tenders called and evaluations done before handing over such large housing construction projects but Rajapakse, sources alleged, had insisted that both the construction company and the consultant should be nominated by the LTTE link.

Approved without question
Rajapakse had also insisted a board paper on the subject be put up for approval to the RADA board and as it was a request by the President himself the RADA board -- as is the habit in Sri Lanka and other underdeveloped, simple-minded third world countries -- had approved it without question.

President Rajapakse was to then call P.B. Jayasundera and tell him to release the money to RADA in order to facilitate the unsolicited projects.  

RADA sources told The Sunday Leader there were many other bona fide projects discussed relating to the north and east. It is obvious the bogus projects were to be embedded within the bona fide projects to camouflage the government's subterfuge. 

Cabinet paper
It was to this end that President's Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, ever the bureaucrat and expert in cover-up documentation, who at a meeting at the Presidential Secretariat which included RADA officials, suddenly realised that the project which had been already granted to Emil Kanthan should be 'covered' by a cabinet paper.     

By this time some Rs. 150 million had already been paid to the bogus company of Emil Kanthan.

Furthermore once the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of RADA Saliya Wickramasuriya was appointed to the Ports Authority as its chairman it was Shanthi Fernando, wife of Sunimal Fernando, special advisor to President Rajapakse who took over as the COO of RADA.

The cabinet paper was therefore prepared by Lalith Weeratunga and the information had also been communicated to Shanthi Fernando.
The cabinet not surprisingly had approved the project which was indicated as the first housing project for the north and east under Rebuilding the Nation Jayalanka Housing Project. (See box for full text of cabinet paper)

Deal struck
While speculation was rife during the 2005 elections the Rajapakses had struck a deal with the Tigers to disenfranchise over 600,000 voters in the north east in a bid to ensure a Mahinda Rajapakse win, details of the diabolical deed only came to light when ousted Minister Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi publicly announced he was privy to certain aspects of the secret deal with the Tigers and alleged a large sum of money had changed hands.

It was at about this time that former Rajapakse confidant and Airport & Aviation Chief Tiran Alles was also becoming increasingly distanced from the President. But it was not always so. 

It was Alles, who was earlier widely rumoured to be the link man between the government and the LTTE, that Mahinda Rajapakse appointed as head of the lucrative Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) even though it was first speculated RADA would come under the purview of UNP cross-over Mahinda Samarasinghe's Disaster Management Ministry - an agency Samarasinghe had eyed when making his decision to jump. Though promised to Samarasinghe, we know now why RADA was kept within presidential control.

RADA was established in November 2005 under a Presidential directive, as successor to the Task Force for Rebuilding the Nation (TAFREN).

End of silence
Meanwhile Alles who was credited with securing the deal with the LTTE for Rajapakse prior to the presidential election had maintained silence throughout the controversy over the secret deal which led to the Tiger enforced boycott of the election but finally broke his silence May 30.

In a statement to the Terrorism Investigations Division (TID)  Alles revealed details of the pre-presidential election deal with the LTTE and informed the TID he was requested by Mahinda Rajapakse as prime minister to establish a link with the LTTE to coordinate the presidential election strategy for the north-east.

So happy was Percival Mahinda Rajapakse with the results at the time that Alles was one of the first persons he rushed up to and delightedly hugged at his Presidential inauguration ceremony in November.

Be that as it may, Alles was arrested shortly after making the damning statement indicting the Rajapakses, for allegedly funding a LTTE intelligence wing member identified as Emil Kanthan.

Startling revelations
However Alles in his statement while maintaining he at no stage was informed by Sri Lankan Intelligence that Emil Kanthan was a LTTE member, made some startling revelations including that Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapakse, President's Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera had also in his presence had discussions with Emil Kanthan on matters agreed upon prior to the presidential election.

He further said it was Basil Rajapakse who had several rounds of discussions with Emil Kanthan, a fact reiterated by former Minister Sooriyaarachchi on several occasions in public fora. 

He also told the TID a full affidavit revealing the entire sequence of events was sworn by him on February 12 and that he would furnish it to the TID for further investigations. Indeed, Alles has revealed that it was Basil Rajapakse who gave money before the presidential election to the LTTE, details of which no doubt will also surface through the affidavit when it sees the light of day.

Answer to public
President Percival Rajapakse not only as the country's first citizen but as the Commander in Chief has to now answer the people why he was to continue to deal with Emil Kanthan as the Head of State while the LTTE had only weeks before taken control of the Mawilaru anicut cutting off the water supply to 15,000 innocent civilians in the Seruwila area and resulting in the destruction of some 30,000 acres of paddy lands.

The LTTE when closing the sluice gates on July 20, 2006 claimed that under an ADB scheme meant for uncleared territory as well had been taken out of the implementation programme. According to TNA Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan the LTTE claimed this was the work of the new governor for the north east and the new government agent for Trincomalee.

It was even as the SLMM was sitting and talking to the LTTE and to local villagers to resolve this problem that the air force dropped a bomb in the vicinity and the meeting was thwarted.

 Attempts to resolve this conflict continued with even Norwegian Special Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer arriving in Sri Lanka and visiting Kilinochchi.

An agreement was reached but when the SLMM Chief, the Political Head of the LTTE and some people from that area went to release the water on Sunday, August 6 more military attacks were to follow.

Following this it was reported in the media the SLMM was holding the government totally responsible for the breakdown in the settlement to the Mawilaru water crisis after the security forces allegedly launched a fresh shell attack on LTTE cadres near the anicut just before the LTTE was to open the sluice gates.

Other agendas
It was reported the "SLMM Spokesman Thorfinnur Omarsson had in fact charged it was clear the government had other agendas in mind but stressed that it was not the end of the road as negotiations for a settlement were still continuing."

While the water war was raging on the one hand with the government only intent on a prestige battle rather than supplying water to the starving villagers, simultaneously the LTTE moved in to Muttur and heavy clashes between the Tigers and the military ensued resulting in the displacement of over 53,000 Muslims.

The army meanwhile vowing to recapture the anicut was to commence military operations from Kallaru army camp on July 28 risking the lives of soldiers even as troops attempted to move towards the anicut through heavily mined fields and amidst LTTE artillery attacks. By July 30 a fierce battle had commenced some 400 metres from the anicut which left several military personnel dead.

The incident was getting to such proportions the UNP also warned that an armed conflict between the LTTE and the government would result in the destruction of the Mawilaru tank, calling on both parties to adhere to the Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA).

Government stance
On July 24, the Government Peace Secretariat released a report which stated the LTTE action was a war crime under International Law and the Roman Statute of the International Criminal Court, also saying; "The LTTE has forcibly closed the water supply from the Mawilaru Anicut (irrigation channel) to the Seruwila, Muttur and Ichalampattu areas in the Trincomalee District, preventing the flow of water that sustains approximately 15,000 families and feeds approximately 30,000 acres of paddy land. The LTTE has prevented the Irrigation Department from opening the sluice gates. In addition, the LTTE has prevented the SLMM from having access to the location and blocked efforts by the SLMM to facilitate restoration of the water supply."

Two days later the Government Peace Secretariat, now desperate over Mawilaru stated, "The Government of Sri Lanka, at the highest levels, has repeatedly called upon the LTTE, through the Norwegian facilitators and the SLMM, to restore the water supply to over 15,000 families in the Trincomalee District who have been deprived of water since the LTTE forcibly closed the Mawilaru Anicut on Thursday, 20 July, 2006."

The report went on to add, "The Government of Sri Lanka has also raised the matter with the diplomatic community and international organisations. There is agreement that the denial of water to civilians by the LTTE is a blatant contravention of all norms of civilised behaviour and the rules of international law.'
In what was to become a cruel joke and in their haste for prestige both the LTTE and the government claimed they had opened the sluice gates. However the SLMM confirmed the sluice gates had been opened by the LTTE.

It is during this horrendous ordeal that the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces was continuing to deal with the LTTE. It was during this period of starvation and suffering that the Chief Executive of this country who neither honoured his pre election commitments to the Marxists or to the Buddhist monks was to be hell bent on honouring his agreement with the terrorists.

Meanwhile it is ironically Tiran Alles who is arrested by the TID for keeping company with the LTTE point man to whom it is in fact the President of this country Mahinda Percival Rajapakse who granted projects signed under his very hand.
It is now Tiran Alles and funnily enough UNP Minister Jayalath Jayawardena who are being questioned by the TID on their knowledge of Emil Kanthan.

President Percival should know this.  Knowing a man is one thing. Doing deals with him in order to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of people in order to perpetrate election fraud is quite another.

Mahinda's note to cabinet
Rebuilding the Nation under
Jayalanka Housing Programme
First Housing Programme for North and East
The Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) has been directed by me to commence projects for equitable assistance to all needy communities, irrespective of whether they were affected by conflict or Tsunami, in the fields of housing, livelihoods, social and physical infrastructure.

One of the first projects identified for immediate and speedy implementation is the construction of housing units for conflict-affected communities in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Batticoloa, Ampara, Vavuniya and Mannar districts. Housing requirements obtained from 42 GN divisions in these districts amounted to 1200 housing units. The Board of Management of RADA granted approval to invite offers from consultants and contractors in the area to implement this project. Funds for the project are to be obtained from the Consolidated Fund.

Accordingly, offers were solicited from prospective consultants and parties willing to undertake housing construction in the stipulated areas. GS Builders & Consultants of Vavuniva was selected as the Consultant for the project.
B&K Holdings (Pvt) Ltd of No. 437A, 3rd Lane, Hirunavukulam, Thandikulam, Vavuniya, which offered the lowest quote for a 500 sq. ft housing unit at Rs 624,725/(exclusive of VAT) was selected as the Contractor for the construction of 400 housing units at Trincomalee. Another 400 units in Batticaloa was awarded to Everest Civil Engineering Services of 113/1, Mill Road, Ukulangkulam, Vavuniya, at the same rate of Rs 624,725.00 (exclusive of VAT).

Housing projects in Trincomalee and Batticaloa are in progress, and the total cost estimate for both projects is Rs 499,780,560/-. With the addition of 400 housing units to be implemented in other districts shortly, the entire cost estimate for the required 1200 housing units is Rs 757,166,000/- (inclusive of consultancy fees).I seek the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers to proceed with the construction of the 1200 housing units as envisaged above.
August 2, 2006
Mahinda Rajapakse

P. B. Jayasundera sheds light
When The Sunday Leader spoke to P.B Jayasundera regarding the secret deal significantly he did not deny meeting Emil Kanthan but referred instead to a meeting at ousted Minister Mangala Samaraweera's house and stated he had met people but did not know who they were. 
Q: Your name has transpired as having been present at meetings..
A: I can only say I have not participated in any discusions with the LTTE
Q: With Emil Kanthan?
A:I haven't participated with anybody because I attend various discussions with various people. I don't know the peole who come to those meetings and from which group.
Officially  Minister Mangala Samaraweera invited us for a meeting so we have gone, so there must have been people but we went as officials. But our dealings are as officials. So I don't know why Tiran Alles made that statement because my dealings with him was only as chairman RADA, not beyond that.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

* Mahinda associates still misusing public property for personal benefit

Two employees of Walallawita Pradeshiya Sabha were arrested today by police as they were transporting an electrical generator belonged to the local government illegally to be used in a ceremony held under the patronage of former President Mahinda Rajapaksha.

The generator was being transported to a temple of Pelawaththa in Kalutara district. Mahinda Rajapaksha is to attend a ceremony in the temple in Pelawaththa.

The suspects said to police that they were transporting the generator under instructions of the Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha.

The Chairman of Walallawita Pradeshiya Sabha Udeni Athukorala is a supporter of Mahinda Rajapaksha. He was recently arrested when soliciting a bribe from Chairman of Benthota Pradeshiya Sabha over a deal for soil transportation. The case is pending but his Chairman position was intact due to blessing of Rajapakshas.

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