Columns - Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Azwer's babel

National List ruling party MP A.H.M. Azwer's comment in Parliament last Tuesday that the family of Prabhakaran is being looked after by the President was picked up by many foreign news agencies and web sites.

This led to officials handling media matters for the Government being inundated with calls with some asking where the family of the LTTE leader was being kept.

While it was decided to get Mr. Azwer to clarify his foot-in-mouth comments the following day saying that what he meant was Thamilselvan's family and not Prabhakaran's, there was one advisor who told him to say that he was referring to the family of the late JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera.

In fact when a journalist called him the next day he said he was referring to Wijeweera. However by noon some realised that referring to Wijeweera's family would be ludicrous as successive governments have looked after his family since he was killed in 1989 and no one government could take credit for it.

Key institutions suffer heavy losses

The Sri Lanka Railways, the Transport Board and the Department of Posts had incurred operational losses running into Rs 11,434 million last year, the Ministry of Finance and Planning said in its annual report.

The operational losses of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) had increased to Rs 5,508 million, up from the Rs 3,541 million in 2009.

The Postal Department too was in a dire situation with losses running into Rs 2,753 million in last year.
Meanwhile the operational loses of the Railways had declined to 3,173 million last year, down from Rs4, 988 million in 2009.

Royal's sarong power adds colour

A cricket team comprising expatriate old Royalists won the Col. Henry Steel Olcott Challenge Cup at the East Coast Cricket Festival held in New Jersey last week. The annual tournament is organised by the Ananda College Old Boys Association in the East Coast of the United States.

Since the inception of the tournament in 2006, the Royalists have won the trophy three times, while Ananda and St Peter's have won once each. In 2009, the match was abandoned due to heavy rains.
The biggest attraction this year was the Royal tent with plenty of free food and drinks. The Royalists literally added some colour to the event by arriving in blue and gold designer sarongs.

The slacks-clad winning team was captained by Ruchira Jayasooriya. "We were determined to win the trophy this year," said Chandana Mutucumarana, president of the Royal College Old Boys East Coast Association (RCOBECA). And to prove they were not the 'kultur' (trouser wearing snobs) they are often portrayed as, one would imagine.

Fonseka's bombshell comments

Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka is known to make brief comments to the media as he walks to court from the prisons vehicle. This has now turned out to be a common occurrence. This week, Mr. Fonseka charged that Sri Lanka Cricket which was one of the most wealthiest organisations in the country, was now bankrupt.

He also accused the government of planning to spend billions of rupees for constructions work related to the 2018 Commonwelath Games though the venue has still not been decided upon. He said the people would have to keep a watch.

The Army Chief said the feasibility study was just four pages but the government had spent millions for it."We could build more than 10,000 houses for the people," he added. That's the few minutes of fame he gets these days.

Keep minding your tongue, Mervyn

Maverick Minister Mervyn Silva broke his silence in Parliament on Thursday to speak on the condolence vote on late MP D.P. Wickremesinghe.

"I have not opened my mouth for anything other than to eat for the past few months but today I have decided to open my mouth," he said at the start of his speech. One can only hope his urge to open his mouth does not happen too often.

Sports Minister plays double game

The vote on the private members motion on the Freedom of Information Bill proposed by opposition UNP co-deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya was in progress on Tuesday and all government members were voting against it.

When it came to the turn of Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage he voted in support of the motion amidst applause from opposition members. "We have got the support of at least one government member," remarked an opposition MP.

Mr. Aluthgamage, whose sports bodies are in a right royal mess, realizing his mistake corrected himself saying he was opposed to the motion. "I did not know I have so much of support from the opposition," he quipped.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Other Columns
Political Column
Govt. rejects our right to know
5th Column
Oh, to be in H’tota now that games are due!
The Economic Analysis
Isn’t there a significant role for agriculture?
Victory bubble fast bursting with one bungle after another
Focus on Rights
An unenviable dilemma of extreme non-governance
Talk at the Cafe Spectator
Azwer's babel
From the sidelines
Not issued on this week


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 1996 - 2011 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved | Site best viewed in IE ver 8.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution