The CID is awaiting the open warrant issued on
Thursday by a High Court Judge for the arrest of LTTE leader Velupillai
Prabhakaran, for his involvement in the Central Bank bomb blast.
A CID officer
said they were yet to receive the warrant for the arrest.
He said the normal practice was to send the warrant to the closest
police station and in this instance the warrant would be sent to
the Vavuniya station.
Athas case: Bail appeal hearing re-fixed
The two revision applications filed against the Colombo
High Court order refusing bail pending appeal, to the two convicted
former Air Force officers in the Iqbal Athas case, came up before
the Court of Appeal last Friday and was re-fixed for inquiry on
The Bench comprising
Justices Raja Fernando and G.W. Edirisuriya re-fixed the matter
for inquiry as the affidavit filed by the CID officer M.L. Wijesekera
stating that the witnesses have been threatened and the two statements
made by Mr. Iqbal Athas and his attorney T.G. Gunasekera had not
been furnished to court by either of the petitioners.
Counsel P.P. Surasena brought this to the notice of court by filing
the documents on Thursday. However the documents had not been annexed
to the record.
Thus in view
of the absence of material court directed a postponement.
dissidents to meet PM again
meeting between the SLMC rebel group and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
is expected to take place before the budget is presented on Wednesday,
rebel parliamentarian Noordeen Mashoor said
leader A L M Athaullah had warned the dissidents would boycott the
budget also if a firm assurance was not given regarding the security
and rights of the Muslims.
told The Sunday Times he had learnt from the Prime Minister's office
that a letter from Mr. Wickremesinghe was ready and would be sent
At a stormy
high command meeting on Tuesday night the Athaullah faction had
told the SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem to stay away from the Thailand
talks till the Premier gave a response. Mr. Hakeem delayed his departure
for Bangkok but eventually left on Thursday morning just before
the talks began.
said later he hoped Mr. Hakeem would speak out for Muslim rights
at the talks in Thailand.
against silencing of quorum bell
has rejected a proposal by the Government to do away with the quorum
bell during the budget debates stating that it is against Parliamentary
claims that Standing Orders state at least twenty one members including
the person presiding must be present and that it objects to the
proposal since it is against Standing Orders.
Clause 10 of
the Standing Orders reads "The quorum of the Parliament required
by Article 73 of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic
of Sri Lanka is twenty including the person presiding.
If at any time
the attention of Mr. Speaker or other person is directed to the
fact that a quorum is not present he shall order the division bells
to be rung and if at the expiration of five minutes a quorum not
be present he shall adjourn Parliament without questions".
Michael Perera said the quorum is not a serious issue at the committee
stages unless a person raises the question but during the Budget
proceedings the quorum is vital.
seek meeting with CBK over bus co. sale
Nilika de Silva
Following this week's sale of six cluster bus company shares
to IBIS consortium, the Joint Council of Trade Unions has written
to President Chandrika Kumaratunga raising concern and requesting
an urgent meeting. The letter faxed on Thursday, the very day the
transaction took place on the Colombo Stock Exchange, was signed
by representatives of 12 trade unions, and urged the President to
intervene in the matter.
system which was peoplised by the government of Prime Minister Bandaranaike
in 1956, was sold today on the stock market by the UNF government,"
the letter stated.
hard to prevent this happening. However from now onwards we seek
your intervention, and have come to a decision to discuss this matter
with you," it said.
IBIS, a British company paid Rs. 1450 million and bought 39 percent
of the shares of six cluster bus companies. Britain's Trans Bus
Company and Mayflower Company of which former British PM John Major
is a Director are also members of this consortium. A local partner
in this venture is LATEC Engineering and Management Services Company.
The six bus
companies concerned are Colombo Metropolitan, Kalutara, Gampaha,
Rajarata, Sabaragamuwa and Mahanuwara.
tenderers not qualified, says rejected firm
A company which failed to win an Immigration Department
tender, alleges that the two companies short-listed by the Tender
Board for the printing of two million passports do not meet the
required tender specifications.
which had submitted a tender for the printing of passports on behalf
of a Singapore company was one of the 11 firms which had tendered.
tender was called in October last year, none of the applicants have
been informed of the result.
alleges that of the two companies short-listed, the Malaysian company
has not printed passports for two countries, which was one of the
specifications required in the tender documents.
It also alleges
that the other company is the present printer, which it alleges
has made many security breaches in the printing.
Controller of Immigration had a file on this particular company
due to the security breaches in the printing", an official
of the eliminated company said.
He said after
almost a year, his company had still not been informed that it had
been eliminated and that the names of the short-listed ones have
been forwarded to the Finance Ministry.
Secretary to the Interior Ministry M.N. Junaid said the decision
on the tender had been made by the Cabinet Appointed Tender Board.
sent the sub-Cabinet Paper to the Finance Ministry for its observations",
Insects and worms in rice given
By Sinniah Gurunathan
Some two thousand bags or 100 metric tonnes of
rice sent by the Rehabilitation Ministry, to the Trincomalee Cooperative
Society for distribution among refugees have been found unfit for
The rice had
been sent from the Kelaniya warehouse under the World Food Programme
medical officer who inspected the rice on Friday said it was infected
with worms and insects.
An angry Trincomalee
parliamentarian R Sampanthan later carried a bag of this bad rice
to the Government Agent, complaining that despite repeated complaints
about poor quality rice the authorities were continuing to send
Director. N. Puhendran said, later a Rehabilitation Ministry official
had informed him that ten lorry loads of quality Australian rice
would be sent to Trincomalee replacing the spoilt stock.
roads affect traffic flow
Nilika de Silva
Heavy rains have resulted in damaged roads leading to traffic
congestion in certain parts of Colombo city and its suburbs, Colombo
Traffic Police said.
Daya Jayasundera told The Sunday Times he had instructed the Division
Traffic OICs to meet Road Development Authority officials and get
the roads done up.
The damage to road surface and traffic lights has been extensive,
Alfred Wijewardena said his officers had collected data regarding
potholes and other damages on the roads and had informed the CMC
and RDA works division to take steps regarding them.
The worst affected
areas are Prince of Wales Avenue, Cotta Road and Mattakkuliya where
the new bridge connects Hendala, SSP Wijewardena said.
Baseline Road, Dematagoda and surrounding areas repairing of traffic
lights has not been effected despite the CMC and RDA having been
informed, he said.