night club nightmare
and MSD face dilemma over brawls of rich political brats
By Tania Fernando
To hell with the Prime Minister's advice or warnings seems
to be the thinking of some of the ministerial brats who often get
involved in brawls in popular night clubs.
With the continued involvement of VIP sons, there came a strong
warning from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to some of his
cabinet Ministers: discipline your kids and ensure that they don't
tarnish the image of the government.
In the latest
night club brawl that occurred on Wednesday, three sons of two ministers
allegedly assaulted the son of Airport Aviation Limited Chairman
also brought to light the alleged misuse of the ministerial security
personnel by ministers and their family members.
A senior police
official attached to the Ministerial Security Division said police
officers providing security to ministers often carried out various
errands for the politician and their family members because they
did not want unnecessary problems.
He said there
were instances where VIPs had requested the withdrawal of police
officers who had refused to carry out orders that were outside their
line of duty.
It is alleged
that more than ten MSD personnel were withdrawn recently when they
refused to escort a son of Minister Mahinda Wijesekera to a nightclub.
However, Mr. Wijesekera denies the allegation.
He said his
son did not ask the MSD personnel to accompany him to the night
club. "Neither did I ask them to do that," he said. "I
asked them to leave because they were not carrying out their duties
properly."(See box for interview with Minister Wijeskera).
But, a statement
the ten security personnel gave at the MSD on Friday 9.30 a.m. tells
a different story. According to this statement, the security personnel
had telephoned the MSD and said the Minister had asked them to leave
his residence when they refused to go along with the son to the
night club. The Minister had told them that their services were
not needed anymore.
(29394), one of the police officers 'expelled' by the minister said:
"Around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, the minister's son requested us
to accompany him to a nightclub. But we refused. The Minister then
intervened and said that our services were not necessary and asked
us to leave the premises."
however, said that security personnel attached to Ministers were
changed from time to time, and the removal of the present batch,
which resumed work two months ago, was a routine affair. But MSD
officials said that changes were made only at the request of the
about the involvement of some MSD personnel in five-star brawls
and violent incidents elsewhere, the senior police officer admitted
that some officers had got involved in such incidents when they
were asked to do so by the minister's family members. But he said
that all such incidents reported to the Division were being probed
and tough action would be taken against those found guilty.
He said all
MSD personnel had been served with a circular which clearly stated
that they should not go beyond their line of duty. Even at the monthly
meetings, this message is stressed, the officer said.
given instructions that their duty is only to look after the VIPs
and they should comply with department regulations," he said.
police officer said that all MSD personnel had been given a specific
warning that disciplinary action would be taken against them if
they were found to have accompanied sons of ministers.
Pavitra Fernando, son of Airport Aviation Services Limited Chairman
Hemasiri Fernando, had lodged a complaint with the Kollupitiya Police
saying that the sons of Ministers S. B. Dissanayake and Wijesekera
had assaulted him while he was with a few of his friends at the
Hotel Oberoi night club, Cascades, which celebrated its fifth anniversary
on Wednesday night.
The case has
been handed over to the Colombo Crimes Division, the police said.
CCD Chief Inspector
Nuwan Wedasinghe said the statements from the night club staff had
the statement, the incident started 30 minutes after midnight when
a person carrying a glass of champagne accidentally spilled it on
one of the ministerial sons. Initially the two sides pushed and
shoved each other. But later it led to fisticuffs with Pavitra being
severely beaten up.
reports, the MSD personnel attached to Minister Dissanayake were
present at that time and got involved in the brawl.
Tourism Minister Gamini Lokuge has advised hotels and night clubs
to take necessary measures to prevent trouble-makers from entering
from Hotel Oberoi said a proposal was being mooted to blacklist
She said that
under the proposal all hotels would share information on miscreants
and take collective action against them by not allowing them to
enter any hotel premises.
Boys will be boys: Mahinda W.
In an interview
with The Sunday Times, Fisheries and Oceanic Resources Minister
Mahinda Wijeysekera defended his son's involvement in a night club
brawl, by saying 'boys will be boys' and accused political enemies
of blowing it up to throw mud at him.
Two Ministers' sons who were summoned to appear before
the police in connection with the alleged assault on the son
of a top official, have not yet turned up, a police spokesman
said last evening.
Crimes Division Chief Gamini Seneviratne said Narada Dissanayake
and Kanchana Wijesekera - sons of Ministers S. B. Dissanayake
and Mahinda Wijeyesekera - had been told to appear on Friday
but had not turned up even by yesterday evening.
that when Police inquired from the family, they were told
the boys were not at home.
said two police teams had been deployed for the investigations.
is the reason behind the removal of the MSD personnel who were attached
Friday, December 13, I wanted to go to Matara and I asked the MSD
personnel how many of then were available to accompany me on the
trip. They said only three were present that day. I had to keep
one here and take two with me. I told them that it was a waste of
state resources to take along with him only two MSD personnel in
an escort vehicle.
I told them
to go because they were not looking after my requirements.
you ever asked any of the MSD personnel to accompany your children
have never asked them to go with my children. This particular batch
had never gone out with my children. My children are friendly with
security personnel attached to me. The earlier batches even had
meals out with them.
that you have asked that the MSD personnel be withdrawn, who is
providing you security?
have four constables from the Matara Police Station and some of
my own people. But I am going to write to the MSD, requesting special
training for a team by me in handling weapons and providing VIP
you think that your son faces a security threat?
is no threat to my son. He was involved in another fight a few days
back. But boys will be boys. These are largely stories created by
my political enemies, just to throw mud at me and say that my sons
are killers. They have their future and if they get invovled in
a problem, we have to solve it.
about the Cascades incident on Wednesday night?
was a continuation of an incident that took place at Kompannaveediya.
There was a group of youths after drugs and they had assaulted a
woman. My son and another Minister's son had intervened and assaulted
him and he was a little bit injured.
you expect the MSD to provide security for your family
think they should protect me, my family and my properties.
you think that you are misusing your perks as a minister.
can be without any security. But providing security is a routine
matter and I am entitled to it.
tells how he was attacked
Pavitra Fernando, son of Airport and Aviation Chief
Hemasiri Fernando says he was badly attacked by a group involving
the sons of Ministers S. B. Dissanayake and Mahinda Wijesekera.
the events that night, Pavitra said:
invited for the fifth anniversary of the Cascade night club at Hotel
Lanka Oberoi and I went there with a friend around 8.30 p.m. Soon
after midnight, I accidentally knocked down my friend's glass of
champagne and it fell on a person who was identified as Minister
Mahinda Wijesekera's son.
hold of my friend by his neck and threatened him. At this point,
I stepped in and told Mr. Wijesekera that we had not come there
for a fight.
arose and the hotel security staff told us to leave. Mr. Wijesekera
along with the two sons of Minister S. B. Dissanayake left but they
to take a call but since it was noisy inside, I went out to take
a call on the cellphone. As I reached the door, I was dragged out
and badly assaulted. About 15 of them got involved in the attack.
police constables who were outside the hotel informed the Kollupitiya
police station. They arrived there within five minutes. The group
who assaulted me vanished as soon as they saw the police. Thereafter
I went to the Kollupitiya police to lodge an entry.
But, when I
mentioned the names of the persons involved in the attack, they
were reluctant to entertain my complaint. I waited there for more
than half an hour. Thereafter I left as they were not recording
day I was admitted to a private hospital as I had injuries. From
hospital, I obtained permission and went to the Kollupitiya police
station again and this time they entertained my complaint.
group assaulted me one and half years ago at the Blue Elephant night
club. That time, too, I lodged a complaint at the Fort Police, but
so far no action has been taken against those who attacked me."
refutes anti-peace charges
By Gunasinghe Herath
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has declared
that she was doubtful about the motives of the LTTE and as the head
of the State she was only pointing out the deficiencies of the current
in an interview with our sister paper "Irida Lankadeepa"
said she felt that the LTTE was building up its strength and also
recruiting more cadres and bringing more weapons for themselves.
She said that
it was the duty of a responsible government to ensure that the peace
process does not end in a disaster and they should act after making
a proper assessment of the LTTE, but in this case there were no
signs that the government was doing so.
fully supportive of the peace process, but if there are shortcomings
in the process, it is my duty as head of the State to inform the
public about that. It is my duty to point out these shortcomings,"
said that the Government had not sought her assistance for the process
and though she could place a number of obstacles she did not want
to do so.
remove the Prime Minister and take over. I have not done that. I
can remove the Defence Minister. But I have not done that. What
is the obstacle I have placed for the peace process? Instead what
I have done is to have failed in my duties by not informing the
public about the shortcomings of the peace process. Only after nine
months I started talking about the deficiencies.
said that the Government had agreed on a Federal set up and that
and Thamil chelvan who had gone to Oslo had made a different statement
in Tamil as against what Anton Balasingham had told in English.
The Tamil statements had said that they had not given up the demand
for Eelam and if necessary would get back to war.
assessing the LTTE it is dangerous to work with them. They have
been described by the Time magazine as one of the most dangerous
terrorist groups in the world," she said.
is an organisation which has a history of repeating time and again
their actions," President Kumaratunga said. "It is necessary
to analyse what they did and didn't do at talks before this. When
did they abandon talks? But without doing any of this, just in order
to win an election they signed an agreement with the LTTE and are
having to dance to their tune, now see what has happened, President
went on to condemn the corruption in the government stressing that
this was the reason for the failure in cohabitation.
place is wreaking with corruption and it is spilling over. But my
part is not like that. That is their part. I am also part of the
government. I am four-fifths of the government. They are only one-fifth,"
the head of state. I am also the head of government. I am the Commander-in-Chief
who issues orders to the armed forces. They are only the cabinet.
The Prime Minister has no powers. Only the name tag Prime Minister,"
President Kumaratunga said, adding "What I said was the position
of the Constitution. Therefore what is required for cohabitation
has not been provided by their side." The President further
said that Ravi Karunanayake started scolding her after she dragged
out the golf course story.
say something else about the corruption in the government. They
announced all over the country accusing me of robbing money while
awarding the tender for the construction of the Colombo-Katunayake
Expressway. As soon as they came to power they stopped the construction
of this Expressway. But now why is that company quietly doing the
work," she asked.
made invalid the tender awarded by the PA government, and called
for fresh tenders. But nothing more has happened. That company is
continuing the work. How did that happen. Who received a cheque
for 3 lakhs of dollars," President Kumaratunga queried.
charge that whether it is then or now more corruption takes place
during the UNP governments than during our governments. But the
media is silent because of the government's control and influence."
President Kumara-tunga said. Responding to a question on poll rigging
the President said, "Two of the people accused of mass-scale
poll rigging during our time have now gone to the UNP. Two more
are still on our side."