Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has come out with a novel proposal to build what he calls “a well-mannered society” in Sri Lanka. For this purpose, he wants to set up special offices in different parts of the country. Officials will be tasked to carry out measures to achieve this objective. Recently Premier Wickremesinghe’s proposal, as Minister [...]


PM proposes a novel move to build a well-mannered society


Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has come out with a novel proposal to build what he calls “a well-mannered society” in Sri Lanka. For this purpose, he wants to set up special offices in different parts of the country. Officials will be tasked to carry out measures to achieve this objective.

Recently Premier Wickremesinghe’s proposal, as Minister of National Policy and Economic Affairs, was discussed at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers. Even President Maithripala Sirisena, who has welcomed the idea, made his own suggestions.
Among those who had made observations on this proposal earlier were Minister of Finance (Ravi Karunanayake) and the Minister of Tourism (John Ameratunga).

The ministers decided to appoint an official Committee to examine the highlights of the proposals and make further recommendation. It is headed by the Secretary to the President. Other members are the Secretary to the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, the Secretary to the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and a senior official nominated by the Secretary to the President.

The Committee has been asked to give due consideration to representations made by the Minister of Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs.

Sent to desert because of dinner
A Chief Inspector who claims to have an unblemished record with 24 years in service, has complained to the National Police Commission (NPC). The officer who is in charge of a Police Station in the outskirts of Colombo, has sought an inquiry against a top cop for allegedly taking steps to move him from an OIC’s post to a mundane desk job.

​The Police ​officer in question has not given reasons in his letter seeking an inquiry. However, others who are aware of the circumstances say the officer concerned had refused to visit the residence of a businessman with questionable integrity when the top cop visited him for dinner. The businessman’s business came within the Police area of the officer concerned and he had dealt with the businessman earlier, they claim. It was now too embarrassing for him to remain in the area and police it after the top cop’s visit for dinner.

Ties between SriLankan management and pilots nosedive
The ‘cat and mouse fight’ continues in SriLankan Airlines, the virtually bankrupt national carrier.
The latest round between the management and the Airline Pilots Guild of Sri Lanka (ALPGSL) comes after the suspension without pay of senior pilot Sujith Jayasekera. He is accused of having refused to subject himself to a breathalyser test ahead of operating a flight to Thailand’s Swarnabhoomi International Airport. Pilots had been told of such checks after one of their colleagues was found being over the permitted blood alcohol level and unfit to operate a flight from Frankfurt to Colombo.

Though refusing to undergo the test, Captain Jayasekera was allowed to fly the Airbus A330 aircraft. It was only thereafter, he was directed to return to Colombo as a passenger and placed under interdiction. An investigation is now under way and Captain Jayasekera has said that the team that conducted the test was not properly constituted. The test was being conducted by security guards.

On Thursday, the APGSL sent out an urgent SMS to its member pilots. It made clear that they would ‘work to rule’ until Captain Jayasekera was re-instated. This is what the SMS said: “ As a result of the decision taken by the Membership at the EOGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) held on 5th September 2016 with regard to the unfair suspension of Captain Sujith Jayasekera and a lack of progress or commitment from the Management to resolve the matter; the Membership of the ALPGSL will hereby:
Adhere to their public rosters.

Not accept flights on their off-days.Refrain from extending FDP (Flight Duty Period)
“The above Membership mandate will commence with immediate effect from 0001 hrs on 09 of September 2016.
“As an ALPGSL Member you are reminded and requested to honour the overall Membership mandate till such time the Exco communicates otherwise. Should there be any operational clarification required during this time, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Exco.” The note has been signed by the Guild’s President Renuke Senanayake.

In a bid to get the ALPGSL to re-consider its decision, the Airline’s Flight Operations Chief Rajind Ranatunga has told pilots that the image of the national carrier should be protected when it is about to embark on a public-private partnership.

On Friday, Captain Ranatunga said in a message: “Further to the point brought forward by the Pilots Guild where there was dissatisfaction in the personnel conducting the test.  It was mutually agreed and finalised that the company’s trained nurses will carry out all testing with the on duty safety officer as an observer, and there will be no involvement of the security personnel in the testing procedure. The security personnel will only be involved in the event a staff member needs to proceed to a hospital for the purpose of undergoing the “Blood alcohol test”. The FSI will be amended in due course. In relation to Captain Jayasekera’s incident and subsequent inquiry, I would like to confirm that as per the company’s laid down procedure of dealing with such incidents, the relevant reports have been submitted and the inquiry will be completed by the 27th of this month.”

Travel operators are concerned that a prolonged disruption of operational activity may prompt the Government to seize the opportunity to close down the airline. Relations between the SriLankan Chairman Ajith Dias, its CEO Suren Ratwatte and the Pilot’s Guild have nosedived over the past months.

Rail houses for backpackers
The Transport and Aviation Minister has won ministerial approval to release railway lands for “backpacking tourist accommodation.”
The details of how such land would be distributed are to be worked out. However, at present, large extents of land that abound railway tracks remain unutilised.

New military liaison officer in New York
Major General Sumedha Perera has been appointed Military Liaison Officer at the office of Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations in New York.
He succeeds Maj. Gen. Ubhaya Madawala who served a stint there.

Fire over smoke
Remarks by Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne that there should be a tax of 90% on tobacco have touched the raw nerves of some revenue conscious Treasury officials.
One of them said yesterday that such a decision would have to be made as a matter of policy by the Cabinet of Ministers.
The reason – the Ceylon Tobacco Company, they point out, is the number one taxpayer with Rs. 100 billion every year. That is said to constitute one per cent of the GDP.
Officials contend that if the proposal is accepted, there would a threat to some 3,000 jobs, not to mention the agents and distributors. On the other hand, they warn, that it will give rise to a thriving cigarette smuggling industry.

Fish link with China
Sri Lanka’s National Aquaculture Authority will sign an agreement for fisheries co-operation with a Chinese entity – the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Bureau of Guanxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Post Comment

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.