Omigosh, Mangala is behind the times
Misleads President Kumaratunga as well
Minister Mangala Samaraweera addressing a press conference after the
launch of the PA's manifesto claimed The Sunday Times had last week published
only part of the opinion polls survey and deliberately kept aside part
of the findings of the survey and instant published them in its internet
President Chandrika Kumaratunga presiding over the conference also raised
doubts about the alleged failure to publish a part of the survey.
Both of them were responding to a question raised by Lakhanda Radio'a
News Editor Charitha Dissanayake.
His question was 'Madam President, before the elections certain media
institutions have carried out surveys and released their results. What
have you to say about this ?
President: (to Mangala) You answer it, then I'll take it from there.
Mangala Samaraweera: Last Sunday The Sunday Times had released the results
of a survey in this connection.
However, although the complete results of this survey had not been published
in the newspaper, answers based on all the questions had been posted on
the web site.
It is not necessary for me to give predictions here. However, there
is a very clear question asked there, in English. (reads) "Should the President
and the majority in the Parliament be from the same party, or can they
be from different parties ?"
(explains) This means would they prefer to have the Government from
a party representing the President or prefer to have the President from
one party and the government from another.
Here 60 percent had stated they prefer to have the government formed
by the party representing the President. This is not something that we
are saying, but something hidden by The Sunday Times newspaper, which was
in the website, and we have been able to find it.
Only 29 percent had stated that it would be better for the Government
to be formed from a party not representing the President. This is not our
opinion but something that was taken from the website of The Sunday Times
President: We now have a grave suspicion regarding the reason for hiding
this information. Clearly 62 percent of the people of this country are
saying according to an opinion poll conducted by the United National Party
that they would like a party associated with the President to come into
The people have a grave suspicion regarding the hiding of this information
because they are wondering whether the same thing that was done to Chandrika
Kumaratunga on December 18, 1999 will once again be done to her or made
done to her.
ST On-line Editor says: Dear, Dear. Cabinet Minister Mangala Samaraweera
must know by now that going into the wrong websites can get one into trouble.
The question and answer and figures he is quoting are from last year's
survey. This surely, is a different election in 2001.
The Sunday Times never asked for, never received and therefore never
published what the Minister claims is in its website nor were any facts
left out from the survey for this year.
Gosh, what a mistake he's made with the facts. And misled the President
Golden handshake for airline staff after all
By Tania Fernando
A Cabinet decision has been made enabling staff of SriLankan Airlines who
accepted the Voluntary Retirement Scheme package (VRS) collect their EPF
Labour Commissioner Mahinda Madihahewa had earlier stated that the airline
had failed to get the permission of the Labour Department before offering
the VRS package.
According to the Cabinet decision, staff being retrenched from companies
in which the government holds a 51% stake, can be paid their EPF dues.
This however, does not apply to private companies.
The Labour Commissioner said this decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting
"We should receive confirmation of this decision by November 26, when
the Cabinet has its next meeting", he said.
He also said that Cabinet approval was granted for the EPF laws to be
amended. However, the monies can be paid pending the amendment being effected.
Therefore, those who accepted the package do not have to wait till Parliament
meets next year to collect their dues, he said.
"The papers will have to be forwarded to the Legal Draftsman and we
should be able to start making the payments by the end of this month",
Mr. Madihahewa said.