Asian workers safety assured, says minister
By Nilika Kasturisinghe
All arrangements have been made to protect our migrant workers in
the event a war breaks out in the Gulf, Minister of Labour Welfare
Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told The Sunday Times.
who visited the West Asian countries which may be affected if a
war breaks out said an assurance has been received from the Kuwaiti
Government that it would extend to migrant workers whatever assistance
it gives its own people.
Forty persons comprising Embassy staff, agents, businessmen and
representatives of Sri Lankan associations in Kuwait will assist
in the evacuation of the migrant workers to safety.
would make available food, water and medicines required for one
month and if necessary for a longer duration. In Jordan rented houses
have been arranged for the approximately 35,000 Sri Lankan workers.
said the UAE is completely safe because its airport will not be
closed in the event of a war. Saud Arabia will also not close its
borders with the border between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia being open.
Organisation for Migration (IOM) will meet the expenses of charter
flights to bring back our workers, in the event a war breaks out,
the minister said.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Chairman Susantha
Fernando told The Sunday Times "Strict instructions have been
issued to our ambassadors in West Asian countries to give whatever
relief necessary to Sri Lankan workers".
students fire at new film
A student action group of the Colombo University's medical faculty
yesterday came out against the award-winning film Thani Thatuwen
Piyambanna (Flying with one wing), asking whether it had a promotional
agenda for the tobacco industry behind the screen.
film is based on a woman who tries to live like a man. This "Man"
has to struggle against various social norms, definitions and socio-cultural
expectations of manhood and masculinity. Running parallel to the
effort of becoming a man, is a woman's struggle against the social
injustice i.e. women's freedom. Since efforts to define masculinity
and women's freedom are two key themes in this film, any claims
that are made regarding masculinity, man-hood and women's freedom
are invariably important.
is full of scenes where smoking is glorified as a symbol of masculinity.
We find in several occasions that cigarettes are been pushed between
the lips of the characters in a very unnatural and artificial manner.
It is interesting to notice that all characters are smoking a particular
brand of cigarettes from the beginning to the end of the film,"
said a statement issued by Novil Wijesekera, chairman of the medical
faculty's Students Involved in Rational Health Action (SIRA).
like to discuss two scenes from the film. In the first one "the
man" goes to pick up a girl who returns home late night. When
"he" sees the girl, "he" throws away the cigarette.
Then the girl asks "Why did you throw it away? You are so nice
when you are smoking". In the next scene, at the climax of
the film, the wife of the "man" clearly describes what
a woman in general expects from a man. Amongst her items in the
list, with so much stress and emphasis, she says that smoking in
front of a woman is what a woman expects from a man," the action
Big anti-war demo in Colombo
Following up on the massive anti-war protests by about 30 million
people all over the world last month, the peace action groups including
several in Sri Lanka are planning another world-wide protest next
Saturday. The demonstration in Sri Lanka to protest against the
US-British threats to wage war on Iraq will be co-ordinated by the
Alliance For The Protection of Natural Resources and Human rights.
Fernando said the anti-war groups would gather opposite the Fort
Railway Station, at 2 p.m. next Saturday, International Womens'
Day to demonstrate and distribute leaflets bringing about awareness
on the "blood for oil" issues involved in the Bush administration's
plan to attack Iraq.
He said scores
of groups ranging from civic action movements and trade unions to
farmer organisations were being invited to take part in the anti
war protest. The Ven. Mahamankadawela Piyarathana Nayake Thera better
known as Eppawela hamuduruwo is the chief organiser of the protest
campaign and more details could be obtained by calling on telephone
Not honoured in death, says disappointed
A father of the pilot who was killed in the helicopter crash with
Minister A.H.M. Ashraff on September 16, 2000 at Aranayake is disappointed
his son has not been promoted to the next rank.
Mr. Nalin Sri
Perera (65) the father of late flight lieutenant Shiran Wasantha
Perera told The Sunday Times that his son who was the pilot of the
helicopter in which Minister Ashraff travelled, has not been promoted
to the next rank of squadron leader even when he really deserved
He said that
he is requesting his son's promotion on the convention that an officer
is promoted if he dies in action. Mr. Perera states his son died
in action because he was directed by Minister Ashraff to be the
pilot of the helicopter in which he travelled.
"My son was specifically brought down from Anuradhapura by
Mr. Ashraff because he wanted my son to be his pilot", he said.
said he had appealed to President Kumaratunga to grant the promotion
to his dead son, after Air Force authorities had failed to do so.
The President had replied that the promotion cannot be given because
he did not die in action.
was a very devoted officer, loyal to the Air Force. It is really
unfortunate that he is not given the due respect even when he is
entitled to it", Mr. Perera said.
He added that he received a compensation of about one lakh of rupees
for his son's death and is also receiving a monthly compensation
but said that it is not money that measures his son's service to
the country but a due promotion that is granted in appreciation
of his service.
Navy top brass withdraw case
By Ayesha R. Rafiq
The Sri Lanka Navy's number two, Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrema
and three other senior officers have withdrawn action against their
commander and Secretary, Ministry of Defence in the Court of Appeal.
an assurance from Defence Secretary Austin Fernando that no disciplinary
action will be taken against them, despite recommendations made
by their Commander, Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri.
had informed the Navy Commander of this decision on the instructions
of the Defence Minister. Rear Admiral Wijewickrema and the other
officers had petitioned the Court of Appeal seeking to quash the
Navy Commander's recommendation that disciplinary action be taken
The Navy Commander
had earlier written to the Defence Secretary criticising the findings
of a committee which had inquired into the conduct of the officers
and found them free of fault. He had recommended disciplinary action
had investigated allegations made by the Navy Commander that the
officers had unnecessarily committed the government to pay a high
price for gunboats with an electronics weapons system, whereas the
Navy Commander had recommended another type of craft from Ceylon
Wijewickrema and his colleagues had looked into an offer made by
the Chinese government and made their recommendations to then Navy
Commander Cecil Tissera. The former Commander had decided to purchase
the equipment but this move had been stopped when the present Commander