It was a heated session of the National Executive Council (NEC) last Monday when former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga picked up a mobile phone to speak to Defence Ministry Secretary K.M.U.D. Basnayake. She was angry. “Who the hell asked you to issue a letter to Nissanka Senadipathi, the Chairman of Avant Garde Maritime Security?” she demanded. [...]


Angry CBK wants Defence Secretary removed


It was a heated session of the National Executive Council (NEC) last Monday when former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga picked up a mobile phone to speak to Defence Ministry Secretary K.M.U.D. Basnayake. She was angry. “Who the hell asked you to issue a letter to Nissanka Senadipathi, the Chairman of Avant Garde Maritime Security?” she demanded. She went on “that too had been prepared last Sunday when the MoD remained closed. You had gone out of the way to turn up at the Ministry, open your office to prepare this letter which is not within your area of responsibility.”

Ms. Kumaratunga was referring to a three-page letter which has been produced by Mr. Senadipathi’s counsel at the Colombo Magistrate’s Court last Monday as supporting evidence to obtain his passport for a second time to travel abroad.” She said that it was wrong for Mr. Basnayake to issue such a letter where he had declared that Mr. Senadipathyi’s travel abroad was athya avashyai or very essential. More so when the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was investigating the floating armoury case involving Mr. Senadipathi’s private company.

Ms. Kumratunga also raised issue with Defence Secretary Basnayake why he granted leave for Damayanthi Jayaratne, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, to travel abroad when she had become the subject of investigation by the CID over the same case. He had replied that Ms. Jayaratne had to go for an urgent family matter. NEC members disclosed that leave had been granted for six months.

Ms. Jayaratne, as Additional Secretary was in charge of Civil Security matters at the Ministry of Defence. Hence she had signed ‘authorisations’ for the issue of weapons to the floating armoury. CID detectives have recorded statements from her and had wanted to question her to cross check information when they learnt she had departed from Sri Lanka.

Former President Kumaratunga did not hide her feelings when she declared that there was now a need to change the Defence Secretary. She said she would take up issue with President Sirisena who was then on a visit to Britain. The National Executive Council is the apex body of partners of the rainbow coalition, civil society groups and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

Subaskaran Allirajah

Lanka-born British tycoon in trouble again
Subaskaran Allirajah, the Sri Lankan born mobile phone business tycoon in Britain who vied to take over the SriLankan Airlines agency in London, is in trouble.
This is what Britain’s The Sunday Times reported in its March 8 issue under the headline THREAT TO TOP TORY DONOR:


“One of the Conservative party’s biggest corporate donors has been threatened with being forced off the register of British businesses.
“Lycamobile, a low-cost telecoms operator, is more than three months late in filing its accounts.


“WWW Holding Company, were due to file their financial statements by the end of November. They have both been notified in the past fortnight by Companies House (Britain’s Registrar of companies) that they will be dissolved within three months unless they can show by then why they should not be struck off.
“Lycamobile told The Sunday Times: “We are aware of the deadline for submitting our accounts and are working with our auditors to finalise them. They will be submitted to Companies House in good time for their deadline.”


“The company was founded in 2006 by the Sri Lanka-born Subaskaran Allirajah, Based in London’ Canary Wharf, it has 12m. customers and operates in 18 countries across Europe, North America and Australasia. Allirajah is ranked 514th on The Sunday Times Rich List with a fortune €180m.
“Lycamobile has given more than Euro 750,000 to the Tories since 2011, and Allirajah recently paid Euro 210,000 for a bronze statue of Margaret Thatcher, auctioned at a Tory fundraising dinner.
“The company is one of the world’s biggest ‘mobile-virtual network operates’- organisations that lease bandwidth from other phone networks and from partnerships with the telecoms companies in the countries where they operate.”

One of two photographs released by the Presidential media entourage from London.

Tiger pix by Sirisena’s media men
Though his delegation consisted of only 17 members, there was his official media team among those who accompanied President Maithripala Sirisena to Britain.
The main purpose of the visit was to take part in Commonwealth Day celebrations. President Sirisena and his wife also paid a courtesy call on Queen Elizabeth, an honour for him as Chair in Office of the Commonwealth.


Eyebrows were raised in the local media when his media entourage distributed in Colombo a news release accompanied by photographs. It was titled “Protests in London against the President’s UK Visit.”  Captions to these photographs said: “A small group of LTTE supporters gathered at Westminster Abbey in London protesting President Maithripala Sirisena’s participation at the Commonwealth Day Observance, March 9, 2015.”


There is little doubt that official media team’s are called upon to accompany President’s entourage to publicise his visit and meetings with dignitaries. This is using taxpayer’s money. How come such money is being used to promote what the press release itself says is an “LTTE protest in London?”
Or is this part of the media freedom which the new Government is offering where even terror groups, mind you banned in London, are publicised in Sri Lanka? This is going by the claim in the official press release that it was “held by the LTTE.”

No decision by NEC to arrest Gota: JVP
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake has distanced himself from reports in the State media that the National Executive Council (NEC) had decided to arrest former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“The NEC has no authority to take such decisions. From what I know, there has been no such decision by it either,” he told the Sunday Times.
He said any arrests should be carried out by the appropriate State investigating agencies on the basis of their own findings. A political body does not enjoy any such right, he pointed out.

Dinesh Weerakkody as PM’s advisor
Dinesh Weerakkody is to be appointed as an Advisor to the Prime Minister, according to Government sources.
He is the son-in-law of Public Order Minister John Ameratunga. He also serves on the board of directors of the Access group of companies.

Modi confused by who’s who and where
“It’s rather confusing. You all are everywhere. This is a new way of running a Government,” quipped Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was introduced to Government and Opposition leaders. The occasion was a lunch hosted by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Waters Edge in Battaramulla.

Besides Ministers, several opposition personalities including Nimal Siripala de Silva, G.L. Peiris, John Seneviratne, Susil Premajayantha and Dinesh Gunawardena took part in the lunch in honour of Mr. Modi.

Field Marshal Fonseka’s wish list
Army Headquarters has referred to the Attorney General’s Department a ‘wish list’ provided by General Sarath Fonseka when he becomes Field Marshal on
March 22. Among his wishes — to maintain an office and enjoy all facilities provided to a Major General. He also wants security with adequate staff as well as an official residence.

The funeral of a Field Marshal, he has pointed out, should be with full military honours including a 21 gun salute.

Rajapaksa accuses RAW, CIA and MI-6 of  plotting to oust him
Claiming that the Research and Analysis Wing conspired with “Western agencies” CIA and MI-6 to rally the opposition led by Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he does not, however, believe Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the government was responsible, says a report in the Chennai-based Hindu of March 13. The report adds:


“In an exclusive interview to The Hindu, his first to any Indian media organisation since his surprise defeat in the presidential polls in January, Mr. Rajapaksa says he raised concerns with the (Indian) government over his belief of a conspiracy. “I said the man [RAW station chief] who is here in Colombo, should be moved out. They agreed, but only at the very last minute before the election, and by then it was too late,” he said at his residence in Colombo.


In January, a report by international news agency Reuters had claimed that an Indian intelligence official at the Indian Embassy in Colombo had been recalled over allegations he was part of a plan to unite and organise the opposition to President Rajapaksa. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin had categorically denied that the transfer of the official was anything but routine, and “in natural course.”


“While Mr. Rajapaksa alluded to the “RAW hand” in Sri Lankan politics in interviews to Dawn and South China Morning Post, this is the first time he has spelt out his accusation, saying that the plan to try and oust him began “two years ago”. ”When asked pointedly if he felt the RAW was working under political guidance, he said, “No, no. I’ve never accused Mr. Modi.



“Because he only came in less than a year ago. It was a long-term plan. They misunderstood me over the Chinese question. And that is why they planned this,” he added. ”Mr. Rajapaksa’s comments come hours ahead of Mr. Modi’s visit to Colombo, where he is expected to meet the former President. Sources said the meeting was sought by Indian officials on behalf of the Prime Minister.


“Mr. Modi met with President Rajapkasa three times last year, including the last meeting – reportedly very cordial – during the SAARC summit after the release of five Indian fishermen on death row in Sri Lanka. ”Confirming that he will meet with Mr. Modi on March 14, Mr. Rajapaksa said, “Yes, I met him three times before. When he comes to my country, I felt I must meet him.”


“Mr. Modi’s visit comes at a time of speculation in Sri Lanka over when parliamentary elections would be held by Mr. Sirisena. Under Sri Lanka’s system, while the Presidential poll is a direct contest between individuals, the Prime Minister is elected through Members of Parliament. This could lead to the hypothetical scenario of Mr. Rajapaksa, who still belongs to President Sirisena’s party, the SLFP, returning to government if he were to win enough support from MPs……”

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