1st July 2001
The UNP yesterday began a series of
In some areas the cuts will be 6.45 p.m. to 8.15 p.m. In others from 8.15 p.m. to 9.45 pm and the third phase from from 9.45 p.m. to 11.15 p.m. in different areas with the times being varied every week.
The first group includes some areas of Colombo City and the areas supplied through the following stations: Western-South: Kosgama Seethawaka and Pannipitya, North Western: Kurunagala, Sabaragamuwa: Thulhiriya. South: Galle and Matara. North Central: Habarana. Uva: Bdulla and Rantamba. Easteen: Trincomalee.
Areas coming under the second group includes: Central: Kiribathkumbura, Ukuwela, Nuwera Eliya and Kandy. North Central: Anuradhapura. Western-South: Mathugama. North Western: Chilaw Puttlam, Colombo City and Kolonnawa
The third group includes: Western -North: Sapugaskanda, Biyagama and Kotugada. Western South: Ratmalana and Panadura, Sabaragamuwa: Balangoda Embilitipitya. Southern: Deniyaya. Eastern: Ampara
Following is the schedule for power cuts within the Colombo city.
*First Group Colombo City 6.45 p.m to 8.15 p.m.
Colombo 1- Banku Mw, Lotus Rd, Janadipathi Mw, Chatham St.
Colombo 2- Galle Rd upto Rotunda Gardens, Kompanna Veediya, union place, Nawam Mw, Makan Marker Mw, Kew Rd, Justice Akbar Mw and connected by road.
Colombo 3- Duplication Rd, between Kolupitya lane and Bagatale Rd and connceted by Rd, Galle Road between Kolupitya junction and Bagathale Rd.
Colombo 4 - Duplication Rd., between Bullers Rd., junction and Dickman's Rd., and connected by road.
Colombo5 - Thimbirigasyaya Rd. and Jawatta Rd.
Colombo 6- Peterson Lane, W.A. de Silva Mw.,
Colombo 7 - Reid Av., Keppetipola Mw., Bauddhaloka Mw., Torrington Av., Green Path Marcus Fernando Mw., Wijerama Rd., Horton Place, Gregorys Rd., Ward Place, Rosmead Place, Barnes Rd and connected by roads Kynsey Rd., Town Hall, Dharmapala Mw.
Colombo 8 - Ananda Rajakaruna Mw., Borella Cross Rd., Wanathamulla, Lady Ridgeway Hospital,
Colombo 9 - Dematagoda, Baseline Rd, Kolonnawa Rd, Kent Rd, Maligawatte Rd, Stace Rd
Colombo 10 - Deans Rd, Norris Canal Rd, Maradana, Mckcullum Rd, Sangaraja Mw.
Colombo 11 - Pettah
Colombo 13 - Colombo harbour, Kotahena, Jampettah St.,
Colombo 15 - Mutuwal, Mattakkuliya, Sri Wickrema Mw., Furgusion Rd.
Group 2 from 8.15 p.m. to 9.45 p.m.
Colombo 1 - Chattam St., Lotus Rd.
Colombo 2 - Sir Chittampalam A. Gardiner Mw., D.R. Wijewardene Mw, Vauxhall Street, Hyde Park Corner
Colombo 3 - Duplication Rd, up to Kollupitiya Lane and connected by roads
Colombo 4 - Bamabalapitiya
Colombo 5 - Chithra Lane, Kirula Rd, Fife Rd., Park Rd, Narahenpita, Havelock Rd between Dickmons Rd, junction and Maya Rd, and connected by road. Amarasekera Mawatha. Dickmon Rd, Wijeya Kumaratunga Mw, Robert gunawardene Mw., Seibel Avenue, D.M. Kolambage Mw.
Colombo 6 - Wellawatte
Colombo 7 - Torrington Avenue, Independence Square, Sri Lanka Rupavahini, SLBC, Malalasekera Mw. and Maitland Place
Colombo 8 - Bullers Rd, Cotta Rd, Castle St, Castle St. Hospital, D.S. Senanayake Mw
Colombo 9 - Dematagoda, Katawelamulla Rd, Sri Dharma Mw,
Colombo 10 - Sri Saddharma Mw, Maligawatte, Jumma Masjid Rd, Panchikawatte, Darley Rd, Maradana
Colombo 12 - Dam Street, Prince Street, St. Sebastian Street, Sirimavo Bandaranaike Mw,
Colombo 11 - Olcott Mawatha, Superior Courts Complex, Quarry Road, Centre Road, Messenger Street,
Colombo 13 - Cyril Perera Mw
Colombo 14 - Aluth Mawatha, Grandpass Road, Kettarama
Following the recent musical chairs in the political set up, suddenly the media has been blamed for the crisis.
This week acting President Ratnasiri Wickremanayke at a public meeting blamed the media while several senior ministers too have been very critical .
It is not only the Government which is taking such lines but the JVP too accused a journalist in the Sinhala medium of supporting the UNP and even having an office at Sirikotha !
So the country is going in for a national census after 20 years, The Department of Census and Statistics definitely got on to a good start when it scheduled July 18 as the final census day- a neketh day
But officials felt there would be practical difficulties as it was a auspicious day for weddings.
So it was decided that the date be shifted to July 17, to avoid any difficulties. As one official said , "we can't send our enumerators to hotels to collect the data ."
Despite advancing the nakath day for the national census and with the announcement of the no-confidence motion to be debated from 16 to 19 July will the government now allow its MPS to go home in time for the censors to take their datas. Has astrology gone awry or will the Opposition go in for a surprise move is anybody's guess?
July has now turned out to be a month of many surprises and unexpected events in Sri Lanka.
July 15 1995 was the day the President promised to abolish the Executive Presidency. Now that's history.
But in Bangladesh the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is to handover power to the President on July 15, to form a caretaker government till elections are held.
The legislators' complaints about the food seem to be on the rise, what with weevils and caterpillars making their presence felt on their privileged plates.
But this time it is the face of restaurant staffers they are finding
fault with. A first time legislator from the Kandy was heard protesting
against the inclusion of a female waitress. " I lose my appetite when I
see her face" observed the legislator at a House Committee meeting recently,
while angry staffers say the entire country loses its appetite watching
the antics of politicians!
This decision was taken on the recommendation of a committee comprising eminent dental surgeons who also said that the dental surgeon Dr. F.D. Mirza should be reported to the Indian Medical Council.
The patient L.Jayasuriya had complained that his right nasal cavity had been perforated by an implant done by the dental surgeon. This gave him unbearable pain and it had to be removed by another surgeon.
The Medical Council said it could not hold any more inquiries or take
further action as the dentist was not in Sri Lanka now. But Mr. Jayasuriya
said he felt the action by the Medical Council was inadequate and he wondered
why it took three years for any action to be taken.
A delay in completing the procedural requirements to send a fresh Sri Lankan contingent to serve on the UN Mission in East Timor has caused the previous batch to continue in East Timor despite the Department of Peace Keeping Operations informing the defence authorities of the expiry of their term of service, police sources said.
The previous batch consisting of 27civilian police officers completed their one-year term in East Timor this April, and in early March it was decided to send another batch to replace them.
In accordance with the stipulated procedures of selection, the 27 officers
have undergone the pre-employment assessment by the US Selection Assistance
Team, and were subjected to tests in the mastery of the English language,
driving and firing though they are yet to take wing.
By Dilruskhi HandunnettiAs political manoeuvering and wheeler dealing intensify in the final lap to the no confidence motion, the stakes are alleged to have been raised with as much as Rs. 2.5 million or a fully equipped flat in a plush residential area of Colombo being offered for a crossover.
With many political carrots being dangled, the politicians find themselves facing a jigsaw puzzle where even two pieces cannot be matched and nobody being quite sure as to who will eventually cross where.
While many politicians recall the nightmare of the Singapore trip during last August crisis in Parliament, one source claimed several private companies were reportedly ready to gamble their money on the political horse deals.
In this backdrop, President Chandrika Kumaratunga who was due back from London over the weekend has arranged special meetings with groups of PA MPs and provincial councillors to work out counter strategy at national and provincial level.
With four Cabinet members, one deputy minister and three MPs being touted as possible PA cross overs, there was speculation that their grievances would be looked into and immediate relief provided for them and their electorates.
The no confidence motion is likely to be taken up on July 17 .
By Shelani de SilvaThe JVP will hold a series of public meetings from Tuesday to explain its position in the current political turmoil, party spokesman Wimal Weerawansa said.
He said the theme of the meetings would be how to defeat the government, which way to go and how both the PA and UNP were following anti people economic policies based on the interests of the west.
Tuesdays meeting will be held at Hyde park to be followed by meetings
in other towns and villages.
By Chris KamalendranMore than 10 Tamil political parties backed by trade unions are planning a major protest in Colombo, a hartal in the north and east and a token strike in the hill country on July 6 to mark their protest against the alleged rape of a Tamil woman in the Maradana area, by three policemen.
Spokesman for the Tamil parties, S. Sri Kantha told The Sunday Times that they had selected July 6 as the emergency is being taken up for debate on that particular day and want to create an awareness about the harassment which people undergo.
The woman, aged 38, was returning home after work with another male employee last Sunday when she was questioned at a checkpoint at Maradana by the policemen on duty. They had allegedly noted down her address and had come later in the night and taken away from her boarding place saying they wanted to question her further.
The woman was accompanied by her fellow male employee, but the policemen had sent the man away telling him to bring tea for them.
The man had been forced to walk a long distance looking for tea as the time was around 3 a.m.
Meanwhile the woman, who was the mother of two children, had been taken away and allegedly raped by the three policemen and later released.
They had lodged a complaint at the Maradana Police station. The woman later underwent a medical examination. The report is due to be submitted to the Maligakanda Magistrate on July 6.
Three policemen had been arrested and two Army personnel manning the check-point are in police custody and are due to be produced for an identification parade on July 6.
Mr. Sri Kantha said sexual harassment by the police and security forces
personnel has not been confined to the north and east but is spreading
to other areas.
By M.IsmethThe Co-operative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) had continued to incur heavy losses due to shortages, wastage and uncontrolled overhead expenses due to lack of proper financial management.
According to the Auditor General's report of 1998 the CWE had suffered a net loss of Rs. 123,334,546 for the year ended December 31, 1998, compared to a net loss of Rs. 740,130,017 in the preceding year.
Other salient points made in the report are:
A sum of Rs. 107 million recoverable from the staff for shortages had not been recovered up to November 30, 1999.
Inter-departmental debts amounting to Rs. 142 million representing the value of consumable items/capital items supplied to various departments of the establishment from the sales centres have not been recovered.
Provision for payment of gratuity had been understated by Rs. 44 million.
Debts amounting to Rs. 361 million remain unrecovered for more than two years out of which Rs. 277 million nearly remained unrecovered for more than five years.
26 officers who are not entitled to use official vehicles for private use had been allowed to use them for private purposes.
The CWE had sustained a loss of nearly Rs. 21 million on sale of commodities at less than their cost .
Large stocks of textiles purchased for nearly Rs. 48 million without a market study had been remaining in the stores without being sold.
Eight officers who were sent on compulsory leave during 1996 had been
paid salaries amounting to Rs. 1,364,910 without any services obtained
By Shelani de Silva.The Sri Lanka Administrative Services Association has objected to the Cabinet decision not to extend the services of officers who are above the age of sixty, excluding appointments made by the President, claiming a policy decision should apply to all categories.
The Cabinet decided against the extension of service of public servants in a bid to create job opportunities.
The decision was taken following representations made by a sub-committee of four Cabinet ministers.
However, The Sunday Times learns that extension of service of some officers, such as ministry secretaries will be at the discretion of the President.
President of SLASA S. Rannuge told The Sunday Times that if the government made a policy decision it should be applicable to all.
Besides ministry secretaries, certain exceptions have also been made in the medical and engineering fields and those who are working in the North and East.
However these officers will be paid only their salary and not their pension.
The Sunday Times learns that around 200 officers are employed in ministries who are above 60.
These officers are entitled to both pay and a pension.
The charges will increase approximately three fold.
The increase will be due to the fact that the originator of the call will be paying for the receiver's call. At present all mobile operators charge the user for incoming calls.
The implementation of the 'calling party pays' (CPP) system which mobile phone operators have been lobbying for is being looked into currently in a favourable manner by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC).
Telecom sources said the CPP system will be introduced early next year.
According to Director General of TRC, R D Somasiri, at present there are around 350,000 on the waiting list for SLT phones.
"If CPP is introduced there will be a bigger demand for mobile phones, because the incoming call will be free", he said, adding this will also encourage the mobile operators to increase their coverage.
SLT presently charges trunk call rates for all numbers that begin with 0.
However, with the introduction of CPP there will be a revision in the charges.
Meanwhile, a representative of the Telecom Users Association (TUA) said they feel that whatever is introduced should be a cost based method. "We want to ensure that the ultimate benefit would be passed to the telephone user", he said.
The TUA representative further said that presently a certain percentage is paid by the mobile operators to SLT for incoming calls, but it does not happen vice versa. Therefore, if an agreement could be made between the SLT and mobile operators, the cost could be increased only by about Rs.2 and the charge for incoming calls to mobile phones could be reduced. He also said that two committees have been appointed to study the commercial and the technical aspect of introducing CPP.
"After an evaluation is made, the exact cost be will decided. However, the cost should be around three times that of a local call. This is finally not beneficial to the SLT user", the TUA representative said.
The cost of a local call on the SLT network, at present, is approx. Rs. 3.50 per minute during peak hours. According to one of the reports submitted, the proposed increase is Rs. 5.60 per minute, which would mean that a user would be paying around Rs. 9.10 per minute for an outgoing call to a mobile phone during peak hours.
However, a official of Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd., who are in favour of CPP say that the mobile industry is not doing well.
"Right now the companies are subsidizing customers for even the free first minute incoming call that is presently offered".
Although the arguments could go on and the mobile phone user will benefit from it, finally the SLT users, whose usage is more compared to those in the cellular industry, would be having to pay more for call charges.
SLT will also be increasing its call charges by 15% in the near future.
By Tania FernandoA 50% increase in telephone rentals has been proposed by Sri Lanka Telecom in the near future along with a revision of call charges, Telecom sources said.
The present rental of Rs. 200 per month is to be increased to Rs. 300.
The proposed increase in tariffs will mostly affect low users.
Those who use 100 units per month are presently being charged Rs. 1.10 per unit. With the revision this will increase to Rs. 2.00 per unit, Telecom sources said. The charge for 101-300 units is to be Rs. 2.00 from the present Rs. 1.40. Users of between 301-500 units will see an increase from Rs. 2.20 to Rs. 2.50 and for those whose usage is above 500 units it is to be Rs. 3.00 per unit from the present Rs. 2.80. Sources further said the present installation charge of Rs. 13,500 for a new connection is to be increased to Rs. 18,000.
With the proposed revised rentals the Rs. 50 which is being charged for religious institutions is to be increased to Rs. 200 and the business rental of Rs. 360 to Rs. 500 per month.
While domestic call charges will be increased, international call charges are to be reduced.
These price revisions are in keeping with the agreement between the Government and Nippon Telecom which was signed at the time of the privatization of Telecom. The agreement states that there has to be an increase in charges annually up to the year 2002 with this year's increase being 15%.
Telecom officials said monies from these price revisions are to be used for the improvement of the industry and will be channeled for development of facilities in rural areas.
He also said the curbing of operations where IDD calls were coming into Sri Lanka illegally has brought increased revenue to SLT.
The proposed price revisions have been forwarded to the minister in
charge for approval.
By Laila NasryTwo top mobile phone companies challenged the guidelines imposed by the Sri Lanka Customs on mobile phone service providers, in the Court of Appeal, and obtained a stay order on them being put into effect.
Celltel Lanka Limited and MTN Networks (Dialog GSM) petitioned Court stating the guidelines imposed by the Customs, in a bid to prevent the illegal importation of mobile phones, is arbitrary, grossly unreasonable and ultra vires the provisions of the Customs Ordinance.
Justices J.A.N.de Silva and G.Amaratunga granted a stay order restraining Customs officers from taking any further measure in pursuance of the purported guidelines contained in the letter of June 12 sent to mobile service providers.
In this letter the Customs notified mobile phone service providers that a substantial amount of mobile phones used in this country have been illegally imported thereby denying the country of its revenue.
The letter which set out the guidelines to be followed by all mobile phone companies stated the cellular phone had to be produced for physical examination along with the application submitted for the new connection.
A certificate had also to be provided from the vendor giving all details of the phone and a declaration that it had been lawfully imported.
Phones brought in by travellers returning from abroad should include a declaration from Customs that the unit has been lawfully imported with details of the passenger's name, flight number and date, passport number, and details of the phone.
The letter further stated that those not adhering to the guidelines will be held responsible for depriving the Customs of revenue.
The mobile phone companies challenged the guidelines stating they were impractical. As service providers they cannot compel customers, who require only a SIM chip, to produce their phones for physical examination.
Besides the chip obtained from them can be used in one or more GSM phones, they stated.
It was contended that the mobile phone service providers patently lack the infrastructure and facilities to carry out the guidelines as set out by the Customs.
Further it was stated that the task of combating revenue defaulters shouldn't be imposed on a business organisation.
The service providers are only responsible for telephone connections and selling air time and cannot be held responsible for the alleged importation of hand sets by vendors and other persons as it would amount to an unfair burden on them as they have no connection with the importer.
Citing the Director General of Customs W.D.L. Perera, and the Chief
Assistant Preventive Officer (Investigation) C.H.G.A. Lankadewa as respondents,
the petitioners inter alia prayed court for a writ of certiorari quashing
the guidelines imposed when providing new cellular connections.
Party sources said the UNP was also seeking a majority stake for the opposition in scores of other parliamentary committees.
The Speaker is likely to announce the composition of the select committee
By Faraza FarookThe controversy surrounding the appointment of a Deputy Director to the Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH) took a new twist with the former Acting Deputy Director of the hospital now staking a claim for the post.
Dr. (Mrs.) N.D. Seneviratne claimed she had been ousted as Acting Deputy Director of the LRH early this year allegedly by the GMOA, which had included her name on the transfer list and had her transferred to the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital.
The GMOA refuted the charges claiming Dr. Seneviratne was placed on the transfer list by the Public Service Commission. GMOA Secretary Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said grade medical officers were eligible to serve in one hospital only for four years and therefore Dr. Seneviratne who was appointed in 1996 had to be transferred having completed her tenure in December last year.
"Of those placed on the transfer list, only I have been transferred with immediate effect while there are over 30 medical officers who have not been transferred, although they have received transfer orders more than two years ago," Dr. Seneviratne alleged.
The tussle between the Health Ministry and the GMOA heightened during the past few weeks with both parties remaining obstinate on the issue.
The post fell vacant in June 1999 and the Health Ministry has been appointing persons in an acting capacity periodically.
However, with the transfer of Dr. Seneviratne the post is again vacant.
The GMOA, while voicing its concern over several vacant administrative posts in the health sector , has been lobbying for the appointment of Dr. Sujatha Senaratne for the post.
However, the Health Ministry is delaying the appointment on grounds of investigations being conducted on allegations against her.
Both Dr. Senaratne and Dr. Seneviratne were among the five candidates vying for the post.
Dr. Sujatha Senaratne was short-listed for the post at an interview held on June 13, 2000.
However, her appointment has not been made following allegations of fraud made against her, during her tenure as a director in a private company.
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