Peace for the World

Peace for the World
First democratic leader of Justice the Godfather of the Sri Lankan Tamil Struggle: Honourable Samuel James Veluppillai Chelvanayakam

Friday, March 31, 2017

Grave injustice to rural children

The watched pot never boils. Yet, the department of examination has released the much awaited G.C.E. (O/L) results in double quick time to the utter surprise of the parents, teachers and the students. In my ramblings, I came upon some children who were on cloud nine. 

Is President Sirisena Showing Ticker? 

Colombo Telegraph
By Shyamon Jayasinghe –March 30, 2017
Shyamon Jayasinghe
Has President Sirisena woken up from his slumber and shown up ticker at last?  He has unequivocally made a statement that he will bring before the law all those suspected of  violations of human rights not connected to national security. We are jubilant over the following  story appearing in The Ceylon Daily News of Thursday, 30/3/17:
“President Maithripala Sirisena said today he was not prepared to make any war hero a suspect in the charges leveled against the armed forces and the government on the alleged violations of human rights during the war against terrorism.
However, he said he was unable to protect those found guilty of acts not connected to national security and those guilty of killing media persons or sportsmen. He made this statement at the opening of the newly constructed three-storeyed building at the Defence Services School in Kurunegala today.”
What is important is that President Sirisena has specifically mentioned the killing of media personnel and sports persons. This is an obvious reference to the brutal  murders of Sunday Leader Editor, Lasantha Wickrematunge and ruggerite Thajudeen.
These two murders stand out today in very high profile not only because of the personalities involved. Lasantha was a prominent and outspoken editor of a mainstream newspaper. Thajudeen wasn’t anywhere near that kind of an elevated public personality. What listed these two murders in the priority list of public attention were reasons other than the high profility. In Lasantha’s case, he had evidently been strongly persona non grata with both the former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa and his powerful brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who had been none less than the Defence Secretary officially and ‘Minister’ of Defence in virtual reality. The murder occurred upon the heels of the newspaper’s investigation report about the purchase of MiG planes made by  the Defence Ministry. That was a very big deal by any standards and Lasantha’s report suggested that Gotabaya had been behind a racket. Apparently, there had been a verbal altercation between Lasantha and both the brothers where foul words had poured forth. Secondly, it has now been revealed that there had been an apparent over-up in the nature of attributing Lasantha’s death to gunshots. On the other hand, current postmortem investigations on the exhumed body have clearly indicated that Lasantha had been stabbed brutally on his head several times.
Thajudeen’s murder derives special public attention because, according to story, he had incurred the wrath of the former President’s siblings. In a situation like this immediate public sympathy is drawn toward a perceived injustice done by the high and mighty of political power. In addition, Thajudeen was an innocent and friendly guy with a small kid in hand. The public’s sense of foul play got intensified. Again, current post-mortem investigations have unveiled that the murder of the young man had been carefully covered up after dismissing it as a case of motor accident. Courts gave the order that it had, in fact, been a murder.
In both these cases what is clear is that the Defence Ministry evinced little motivation to pursue action. I remember Gotabaya going before BBC and angrily suggesting, upon questioning, that Lasantha could have been killed by “one of the numerous” enemies he had made. There it all ended. The President and the virtual Minister of Defence should have thought it their responsibility to treat this case seriously as it had been the murder of one of Sri Lanka’s leading newspaper editors that would attract world attention. Particularly, they should have realised that they would get implicated if care and caution hadn’t been exercised. But, then, they were ensconced in power with such apparent safety that it appeared they would never fall.
Why bother? This is the central problem of power that Lord Acton famously enunciated as a behavioural principle when he said that, “power corrupts; and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  It is now a cliched truth.
It is poor imagination not to suspect that the President and Gotabaya were unaware of the background to both major assassinations. This is not to mention the covering up that had been done in both instances. On a minimum, Gotabaya, being in charge of law and order and police, should have made it his prime duty to pursue both these murders until the perpetrators were caught. On the other hand, by bringing into the Defence Ministry as supervising MP for Defence a man like the jailbird Duminda, then suspected of murder and drug-dealing, both the President and brother Gotabaya demonstrated an appalling and outrageous callousness over responsibilities for the subject of law and order. Pardon me, former Excellency, for uttering this unpalatable truth. When you behave like that we say like this.
The Acton’s behavioural theory is correct and it tells the world about the necessity of avoiding power sans checks and balances. It also explains the central fault line of the constitutional position of an Executive Presidency. Although the US President is restricted by checks and balances to a significant extent still we witness how Donald Trump is playing ducks and drakes. Trump has recently appointed his son-in-law to a powerfully created position of overseeing others of the executive.
Persons in politics, anywhere in the world, would try to live on the largesse of  funds provided by taxpayers. Today’s Herald Sun, Australia, gives the  recent story of Australia’s former Foreign Minister Brownwyn Bishop (according to report) rorting public funds in this way over foreign and local travel.  Detail statistics are given. Australians are lucky to have a free Press like this and to have journalists who aren’t afraid to expose. These are part of the total system of checks and balances available in Australia and the whole Western political system. I believe, this is what we expect ‘yahapalanaya,’ to achieve in Sri Lanka. Right now, our MPs loot the public largesse or treasury-buying and selling luxury car permits and engaging in all manner of questionable deals. Those in power will rob and sort at will if they can find the loophole.

Arjun Aloysius buys Sun, Weekend brands

Arjun Aloysius buys Sun, Weekend brands

Mar 31, 2017

Well-known businessman Arjun Aloysius has bought the Sun and Weekend newspaper brands from the M.D. Gunasena Company, according to reports reaching Lanka News Web.

The company owned Weekend, Sun, Riviresa and Davasa, and Aloysius has bought the first two only. Forty eight members of the company were entitled to the two brands and all of them have been paid by Aloysius.
Meanwhile, Aloysius’ newspaper company will launch its first publication, Janayugaya, on April 04 as a daily. Thereafter, Weekend and Sun will be launched as weeklies.
A big promotion is underway for Janayugaya, including a poster campaign claiming a people’s rebellion is nearing for a new era. Key personalities in the electronic and print media have been recruited to the new newspaper company at very high salaries, reports add.

The Wilpattu Controversy: Open Letter To The President

Colombo Telegraph
By Shahul Hasbullah –March 31, 2017
Prof. Shahul Hasbullah
Appeal to withhold the Gazette notification (Friday, 24th March 2017) declaring as forest area vast tracks of traditional lands owned by the people of Musali in Mannar District
Hon. President Maithripala Sirisena Presidential Secretariat,
Your Excellency,
Appeal to withhold the Gazette notification (Friday, 24th March 2017) declaring as forest area vast tracks of traditional lands owned by the people of Musali in Mannar District
I write this appeal to you to revoke the gazette notification which declares as forest area the vast tracks of traditional lands owned by the people of Musali in Mannar District, knowing that you will protect the rights of the displaced people. You have already proven this by similar actions, giving relief to thousands of war affected people, elsewhere in the conflict affected areas of the country.
I support my appeal based on my intimate knowledge and personal experience about the people and the land of Musali. As an academic, I have written a document titled Denying the Right to Return: Resettlement in Musali South and the Wilpattu Controversy, which was based on intensive research and observation, and providing factual information about the claims made in this appeal.
  1. The people of Musali (Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalese) have been living in this area for more than 500 years as historical evidences indicate, except for a 30 year absence when they were living elsewhere, because of forcible expulsion by the LTTE in 1990.
  2. The people are peasant farmers and fully dependent on a land based economy that includes paddy, chena and cattle farming.
  3. Recently declared forest boundary denies the access and use of their paddy lands, chena lands and areas of cattle farming located in “declared forest area”.
  4. Recent forest demarcation is done in a manner that is disconnected from the historical continuity of the communities of North and South Musali, of both Tamils and Muslims. It artificially creates enclaves which would restrict mobility and social interactions of the people of the region.
  5. With the forest demarcation, returnees are living in fear as to what would be their future in a place where watchful forest guards and other security activities may take place.
  6. The forest boundary goes along the fences of the houses of the people and make them feel like living in a cadged situation.
  7. A forest reserve going along the settlement invites human-elephant conflicts closer to home. Settlers would be affected by the treats of other types of wildlife.
  8. The action by the state has already caused a negative impact on the returnees and displacement from their homes again.
  9. Future IDPs returning to this and other areas will be hampered by the declaration and implementation of the newly declared forest reserve.
I would be grateful if you would kindly consider the above appeal and take a wise decision that will give justice and durable solution to the people of Musali, who have been affected by the three decade long war.

President replaces his ‘cyanide talk’ with ‘Tube light talk’; segregates war heroes from criminals..! He must match his words with deeds

LEN logo(Lanka-e-News- 31.March.2017, 11.45PM) Issues pertaining to any officer of the forces ,staff member or  war heroes who fought against the LTTE during the war will be addressed  by him , the president said . As regards incidents such as murders and  abductions committed or attacks launched on media personnel , sportsmen and sportswomen , or others of other sectors who are not LTTE terrorists , and who are not a threat to national security , in such cases if anybody is involved in committing those crimes, whether he /she is an officer of the  government, the  forces or the police , he has no necessity  to rescue them , and   he has only the necessity to resolve   such issues and remedy the faults with a view to safeguard the image and repute of the forces , president Maithripala Sirisena went on to elaborate.
The president made these comments when he attended the inauguration ceremony of  a new  building at Kurunegala for the children of heroes of the security services on the 29 th.
This latest announcement of the president is like  a  ‘ tube light’  lit  yet deserves  respect. 
Indeed , it is this stance the pro good governance masses  took  on 2015-01-08 , and Maithripala Sirisena became the president because of this stance. In fact  Maithripala Sirisena’s stance was this from 2015-01-08 until his cyanide theory announcement in October 2016.
However , after the Commission investigating allegations of bribery and corruption put Gotabaya the accused on the dock , Miathripala saying ‘War heroes are  being hunted’  , planned to send  the Bribery Commission ,Director General home while enacting the ‘cyanide’ drama . It is worthy of note  , it was therefore Maithripala himself and not the pro good governance masses who indulged in the histrionics. 
Again  it was president Maithripala and none else who  transgressed even the laws brazenly  to reinstate in service the criminal army officers involved in the abduction and disappearance of Ekneliyagoda when they were released on bail. The president  also went further to make statements against the criminal army officers being held in remand custody .
Even thereafter , it was the president and not the pro good governance masses who went on bragging  at so many places at various times   making  fierce gesticulations  that he would rescue the ‘war heroes’ while seeking  to    rescue the criminals of the forces.
On every such occasion , the pro good governance masses declared ‘ you are wrong president’ . But now , lo and behold ! the president himself has suddenly become a  lit  tube light.

Lokka who phoned  FCID and CID to rescue the criminals….

Lanka e news wishes to reveal a most important piece of information that has surfaced so far…

The good governance government comprises two chiefs – the president and the prime minister (P.M.) . One chief gave calls to the FCID and the CID conducting investigations into the crimes committed during the nefarious lawless decade of the Rajapakses, and that chief was no less a person  than president Maithripala Sirisena. It is significant to note Ranil Wickremesinghe the P.M. has not given any call to those Institutions. This is borne out by the records of the in-coming calls received by those Institutions. This came to light because every call received by those Institutions is recorded. 
In case president Maithripala Sirisena is refuting our allegation , we shall reveal that report .
Hence,  ‘tube light statement’  made at Kurunegala on the 29 th by President Maithripala Sirisena cannot be given credence  to by the people .Sadly , it is president Maithripala himself who  has undermined the faith reposed in him by the people on 2015-01-08 , and  alienated them . It is all because of his derailment by heeding the advice of foolish farts clustered around him  as advisors. Hence , the president  must not stop at lip service , he must prove it  by deed if he is to win back the trust.
In the circumstances , the pro good governance masses are asking a trifling favor from him.  That is , duly interdict the army suspects  (now out on bail) in the murder of Ekneliyagoda who have been reinstated illegally .
This is an action that can be taken by the president who is also the commander in chief of the forces , instantly . By this he can prove his statement made on the 29 th is not just lip service. it is then the pro good governance masses can give credence to his statements and accept  him as a leader who can be trusted. In that  case,  the masses would also believe that he may have not given phone calls to the FCID and CID to rescue the criminals.
by     (2017-03-31 23:26:36)

Rathupaswala murders, or arresting the pistol while leaving the killer alone

Rathupaswala murders, or arresting the pistol while leaving the killer alone

Mar 31, 2017

The CID has arrested three suspects in connection with the Rathupaswala murders. During the terror regime of the Rajapaksas, three persons were murdered and around 40 others wounded when Rathupaswala residents were shot at and attacked by the Army. The daylight killings at Weliweriya in Gampaha in 2013 raises questions about the so-called humanitarian operation that was conducted by using the same Army in the north in 2009.

The problem facing the Rathupaswala people was the pollution of underground water, the nearest reason being the improper disposal of waste by Venigross factory. They protested against that. Owner of the factory was Sri Lanka’s richest man Dhammika Perera, a crony of the corrupt Rajapaksa regime. The Rajapaksa regime made that dastardly interference on behalf of its friend. 
The Rajapaksas used the Army to shoot at the protesters to convince the public that it is a reason to be shot dead if they protested against their cronies. Every time an allegation was leveled against the Army, they hid behind a banner of the so-called war heroes who saved the country. Incumbent president Maithripala Sirisena also says wherever he goes that he will not allow the war heroes to be touched. Under the inhuman Rajapaksa regime, Tamil people were considered as Tiger loyalists and enemies. Therefore, killing Tamils at the time was a qualification to be honoured as war heroes. However, even under that brutal thinking, can the killings of two schoolboys returning from tuition and a young employee of the Biyagama free trade zone and all-shooting of the people be considered an act of war heroism?
It is only natural that the Rajapaksas did not investigate the attack. Even its human rights report was released after the Rajapaksas were expelled. Even two years later, three suspects were arrested, that is according to the theory of the blame going to the minions.
Brig. Deshapriya Gunawardena, who commanded the group of soldiers in this barbaric attack is still a free man. As a reward for his loyalty at Weliweriya, he was given a security attaché posting in Turkey by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Even under the present ‘Yahapaalanaya’, he remains a free man. The suspects presently in custody cannot furnish information about those who had given the orders. It is the brigadier who can give that information. However, the CID apparently goes after the minions, not the big fish. Progress of investigation that was to be buried by the Rajapaksas to at least to this level should be commended.
Similar attempts have been made to investigate and enforce the law with regard to several crimes. However, it appears the CID seems to give into the big fish that were involved in these crimes. Is it their habit or is it their lack of a backbone, we do not know. But, if those who were responsible for the crimes are allowed to go scot free with the intention of clearing the hierarchy, that should be vehemently opposed. The CID too, should be bold enough to maintain its dignity and do its duty without risking any shame.

Is Sri Lanka Ready To Elect A Tamil Or A Muslim As President?

Colombo Telegraph
By Lankamithra –March 31, 2017
Political dictatorship and social hopelessness create the desperation that fuels religious extremism”  ~ Benazir Bhutto
Is Sri Lanka ready to elect a Tamil or a Muslim as President? If qualified, they should not hesitate

Sadiq Khan
London is now home to more than 8.6 million people, the highest the city’s population has been since 1939. What’s more, 44% of London now consists of black and ethnic minorities, compared to only 28.9% in 2001. That’s according to the Greater London Authority, which serves the London mayor’s office. Islam is London’s second largest religion. 38% of England’s Muslims live in London, where they represent 12.4% of the population (Source: Wikipedia). Yet London elected Sadiq Khan, a Muslim as its Mayor. In voting registers, London has an overwhelming majority of Anglo Saxon whites. England customarily is, when it was a dominant colonial power, considered in the 19th and 20th centuries as a predominant member of the ‘whites only’ club in the international sphere. Britain’s cruel and merciless treatment of her subject people, especially in India, has been chronicled for future generations to read and judge. Great Britain may have secured somewhat an enviable station in the journey of man since his departure from the ancient caves into civilization. Yet that same history, I hope, would not hesitate to pen the appalling atrocities the British Raj committed on the innocent Indian civilians on numerous occasions. As far back as 1930, Winston Churchill hit headlines when he said about a famous Indian, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: “It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious middle temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half-naked up the steps of the viceregal palace, while he is still organizing and conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the king-emperor“. That nation, whose one-time leader was Churchill himself, has come a long way from that snobbish, patronizing and condescending conduct and embraced a more humble, egalitarian and realistic attitude towards its own minorities.
Let us look at the demographics in the United States of America (USA):
Voting population by ethnic group:
A country whose voting population was 74% White, voted an African-American (Black) from a community that consists of mere 13% as President. These two examples, USA and London are two extreme cases where a minority leader has been elected to the highest office by voting populations which are overwhelmingly white.
Now compare the demographics in London and the USA to those of Sri Lanka, and specifically in the context of Sri Lanka’s Tamil population: Sinhalese 74.9%, Sri Lankan Tamil 11.2%, Sri Lankan Moors 9.2%, Indian Tamil 4.2%, others 0.5%. Total Tamil population is 11.2+4.2=15.4%. Is Sri Lanka ready to elect a Tamil as President?

Mahindananda summoned for financial fraud

March 31, 2017
The Colombo High Court yesterday (30th) issued summons on former Minister of Mahinda Rajapaksa regime Mahindananda Aluthgamage to appear before Court on 22nd May in connection with an indictment filed against him by Attorney General for alleged criminal breach of trust of Rs.3.9 million funds belonging to Sri Lanka Nidahas Kamkaru Congress.
The Attorney General in the indictment charges that Mahindananda Aluthgamage had committed punishable offences under section 389 of the Penal Code and the A G has listed 13 persons as the witnesses in the case and named eight documents as production items of the case.
H1N1 not the only flu currently spreading – DGHS

H1N1 not the only flu currently spreading – DGHS

logoMarch 31, 2017

The Ministry of Health says that apart from influenza-A H1N1 (swine flu), there are several other viruses which are also currently spreading across the country. 

 Director General of Health Services Dr Jayasundara Bandara stated that sneezing, coughing and fever are the first symptoms of these viruses. 

 However, he state that such illnesses are not fatal and that it is only dangerous if the patients are prone to complications. 

 He stated that small children, pregnant women, elderly persons and those with immunodeficiency disorders should be extra careful regarding such viral flu.

 The director general said most of the country’s hospitals are able to treat such illnesses and that therefore there is no need for any undue fear or concern regarding the situation. 

 He stated that the country’s weather conditions have an impact on the spread of such viruses and also urged the public to pay extra attention to their personal health as it would help control this situation.   - 

Country in danger.! While doctors chase behind SAITM, media are after filthy lucre, H1N1 influenza spreads like wild fire.! -5 dead already at Matale hospital alone !

LEN logo(Lanka-e-News- 31.March.2017, 11.50AM) The H1N1 contagious influenza is fast spreading in the North, already about  400 patients have contracted it and no hospital in the North is having the facilities to control the virus was revealed by Lanka  e news via its report on  8th March.
Now , there are reports that this H1N1 influenza has spread to Matale , Dambulla and its environs very swiftly. At the Matale hospital alone , about 60 cases have been identified and five have died due to this contagion. Among them is a mother. In addition , some members of the staff  including two nursing  officers of the Matale hospital have also contracted the ailment.This is because the facilities for treatment  are available only at the Colombo hospital.
Like in the North even in the districts aforementioned , the hospitals do not have the facilities or equipment to identify the H1NI virus. The phlegm and blood samples of the patients have to be sent to Colombo for examination . Owing to this handicap , the disease is fast spreading. 
This is a disease that is spread via breathing , but the hospitals aforementioned haven’t the isolation wards to treat patients. Even the N19 masks for protection against the virus are inadequate in those hospitals. 

Doctors of high rungs  staging strikes also a reason…

With  the disease spreading like wild fire , there is a likelihood of the menace gripping the whole country soon , and the disease spreading across the entire country in a few days.
It is a pity , one of the main reasons for this prevailing grave situation is the responsible and superior doctors of the country who should be in the vanguard to combat this health danger at this crucial moment are instead   neglecting their duties , and wasting their time on the SAITM issue while staging strikes across the country to the detriment of the patients and the country at large.
 In the circumstances , the president ,the  Prime minister , minister of health , and provincial  council health ministers must take urgent action to rescue the country from this most perilous situation which is threatening the life of every citizen.
by     (2017-03-31 23:30:50)

Muslim Clerics Acting In Bad Faith: Using All Resources To Hamper Progress On MMDA Reforms

Colombo Telegraph
March 31, 2017
Chairman of the Muslim Personal Law reform committee former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Saleem Marsoof said the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama (ACJU) have acted in contravention of the good faith reposed in them, and instead have extended all their resources to stunt the work of the committee.

Justice Saleem Marsoof
He also said the actions by the ACJU have had an intimidating effect on the members of the committee.
“Mufthi Rizwe and Mubarak Moulavi both of ACJU are members of the Committee chaired by me. According to news reports, a delegation of ACJU have gone around meeting Muslim members of Parliament and handed over various documents including working drafts prepared by me for consideration of the Committee under confidentiality,” he said in a Facebook post in which he called for opinions on the reforms.
Mufthi Rizwe is the Chairman of the main theological arm of the Muslims, the ACJU. He has been the Chairman of the theological arm for over 17 years.
The ACJU came in to severe criticism by the Muslim intelligentsia following an expose by Colombo Telegraph on its support to Underage Marriage of females, among other rituals and views, deemed archaic.
The legal luminary, who also acted as Chief Justice further said that the ACJU have commenced a campaign expending all resources to curtail the work of the committee.
“Already jumma sermons and signature campaigns have been conducted to object to any amendments to the MM&D Act on the purported basis that it is of divine origin, and some members of my committee feel intimidated and may tow the ACJU line” he said.
The discussion on his Facebook page was called for by Justice Marsoof following a revelation by Colombo Telegraph which said the Ulamas were in agreement on child marriage and that a child could be married even before puberty.
“Have your say! The Quazi Court is an integral part of the Sri Lankan Judiciary. Aggrieved parties may appeal from its decisions and orders to the Board of Quazis and from there to the Court of Appeal. The Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act restricts appointments of Quazis and to the Board of Quazis only to males, when Art 12 of the Constitution guarantees equal opportunity to all. The ACJU vehemently objects to opening out these judicial appointments to women. I share this article that seeks to clarify the ACJU stand, and for opening out the issue for discussion in the public interest!” Justice Marsoof said on his Facebook page.
The MMDA does not stipulate a minimum age for marriage and the act specifies instead that a female under the age of 12 could be married subject to authorisation by the Qazi.
In effect it means that there is no minimum age for marriage and children over 12 years of age could be married with no bar. The MMDA also does not have provision for consent from the Bride and females do not participate in the signing of the marriage.
Accordingly the females are legally permitted to be married at any age without their consent. Girls under 12 have to be married subject to Qazi authorisation according to the act in its present form.
The Colombo Telegraph is also in possession of evidence of widespread fraud among the Qazi’s. According to the Act, the entire Qazi system is legally mandated to be only male.
The expose, came on a submission made by the Ulama to political leaders.
Issuing a statement in November Justice Marsoof said the committee is in its final stages of preparing the recommendations.
The Committee which comprise 16 members was set up initially in 2009.
The efforts to reform the act have been met with stiff resistance from conservative elements among the Muslims. They insist that the Laws including marriage before puberty, the non appointment of females due to a reasoning that a female is not on par with a male are valid.
The Colombo Telegraph learns that the male dominated clergy have been using the Friday sermons attended by males to propogate these views in mosques across the Island.
Sri Lanka’s consumer price inflation hits record high on drought

Sri Lanka’s consumer price inflation hits record high on drought

logoMarch 31, 2017

Sri Lanka’s consumer price inflation hit a record high of 7.3 percent in March under a new index, government data released on Friday showed, which analysts attributed to the impact of a lingering drought, higher taxes and a weaker rupee, besides the effect of a low base year. 

The inflation, measured on the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI), rose to 7.3 percent in March from a year earlier, accelerating from the previous month’s 6.8 percent under a revised base-year and market basket. 

“This is predominantly because of the prices of food and other materials except energy going up,” said Danushka Samarasinghe, an economist and research head has stated. 

“The economy is seeing the full impact of the value added tax (VAT) increase. The rupee depreciation is also having an impact. Food prices have risen due to the drought.”

 Inflation measured on a 12-month moving average basis also hit an all-time high of 5.0 percent, compared with the previous month’s 4.6 percent. 

Core annual inflation, which excludes fresh food, energy, transport, rice and coconuts, rose to 7.3 percent in March, compared with the previous month’s 7.1 percent, the index with a new base year of 2013 showed. 

The rupee has fallen 1.4 percent this year, resulting in expensive imports. 

-Source: Reuters 


Minister claims he offered MOD Rs. 5 mn to release land

D M Swaminathan- 

Many an eyebrow has been raised by a senior UNP minister’s claim that he had offered money to the tune of Rs. 5 mn to secure the release of private land held by the military in the Mullaitivu district.

Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Affairs D M Swaminathan yesterday said that he had received an assurance from the MoD that 189 acres of land would be released within one month after receiving Rs. 5 mn payment.

A senior spokesperson for the ministry said that following discussions between Minister Swaminathan and Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi last week, the former had received an assurance that in addition to 189 acres of land, the military would release 279 acres in the Keppapilavu area on or before 15th of May 2017. The area identified for release consisted of 248 acres of state land in the Keppapilavu village and 31 acres of private land in Seeniyamutai village area. Altogether, a total of 468 Acres land were to be released, the official said.

The ministry said that the ongoing release of military-held land was taking place under the directions of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Recently, the SLAF released a section of land within the SLAF Mullaitivu station following protests launched by a section of the four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA). The TNA wants the SLAF to vacate LTTE built runaway in Mullaitivu. (SF)

geetha kumarasinghe citizanship issue

geetha kumarasinghe citizanship issue

Mar 31, 2017

At present Mrs. Kumarathunge's Parliamentary position has been challenged due to her dual citizenship in Switzerland. Lanka News Web talks with MP Geetha Kumarasinghe regarding that issue.

Let us start the discussion from the dual citizen issue. What is the truth behind this story?
I completely refute these allegation. Every media institution has been showcasing this as a grave issue. There was nothing else for them to criticize me. I was elected by the popular votes of the people. If anyone challenges my appointment that means it is a challenge made to the people's sovereignty of this country.

Does that mean you have no dual citizenship with Switzerland? Are you a sole citizen of Sri Lanka?
Yes. I would like to emphasize once again that I am only a citizen of Sri Lanka. This is a court case that has been filed against me in a baseless manner. Some people have been accusing me by referring to something that was mentioned by the Attorney General's department during the trail. Still the case is not even over.

What is the present status of this court case?

Now it is in the Court of Appeal. I respect the court. And I have a big trust about our legal system. So I am waiting moderately until the court executes justice. Since this is an ongoing trial I would not comment further on the matter. I do not have any intention to insult the judiciary.

If the Court suphold the fact that you had possessed Swiss citizenship then your MP post would be abolished. What would you then?

It cannot happen. And even if id does, there is a Supreme Court to appeal next. I became an MP from the votes of the people. If anyone had a problem about me then they could have forwarded a petition during the nominations. At that time there was a lot of time available for election petitions. But no such thing happened. If these sort of things are allowed, it would set up a bad precedence. The MP posts of all the 225 members of the parliament could be taken away just by filing a case at a lower court. There are laws to prevent these things. Even now there are several MPs in the parliament who have dual citizenship in other countries. But none of them are being chased by the media.

Who are attacking you like this?

There is a group of politicians who have been rejected by the people. But they have been able to creep back into the government and even secure ministerial positions. This is not democracy. After that these defeated politicians have filed cases against the victors. But in public they are shouting about increasing the female representation in the parliament into 25%. Instead of increasing, what they are doing at present is decreasing that number even further. The people can judge the fairness of these matters. As a woman, my determination was my main strength. It was far more than physical strength. Even after being defeated for 6 years, I worked for the betterment of the people. That is why the people decided to elect me into the parliament. I have made my contribution to the society. At present, the tradition of our politics is to inherit political power from husband to wife and children. May be there are other ways as well. But I did not come from any such way. I was born and raised in a village. I went to a village school. After coming into cinema, I did my best to make it greater. I have taken the name of the country even into international cinema.

But what about the Geetha Kumarasinghe the politician?

Yes. Even in politics I have faced many challenges and have overcome them. I was addressed with every derogatory insult that could be said to a woman at political stages. I was mentally tortured. I even faced underworld threats to silence me. I will like to reveal such an incident for the first time to media. Recently there were elections for the Co-operative societies. When the time came for the election of Director Board there was a big competition. There were about 20 candidates from the UNP. But the SLFP was divided into Mahinda and Maithri Factions. However, when we were discussing the matters, suddenly, three thugs crashed into the place and scolded us in gutter language. I would like to request all political parties not to give nominations to rapists and thieves. If not, they are only going to protect their fellow criminals.

Why are you being accused like this?

I gave up a luxurious life, a citizenship of a foreign country and a vast wealth in the name of politics, it was the reason for the breakup of my marriage. It was an emotionally difficult incident for me. All this happened to me because of politics, if I had just kept quiet without demanding anything, no such thing would happen to me. But I like to face challenges than accepting ministerial invitations.

Does this mean that they are you are being subjected to political revenge taking?
Definitely. There are members in the TNA who have dual citizenship. There are other MPs and ministers who have dual citizenship.
 - AshWaru Colombo