A question of money
The Development Lotteries Board, a national money spinner, generates
a revenue of Rs 950 millions a year and the income almost entirely
goes to the President's Fund from which moneys are paid out for
a multitude of needy causes. It is also the source of funding for
Mahapola Scholarship Scheme.
Karunanayake complained yesterday that his Ministry, which was responsible
for the Mahapola Scholarship Scheme, had not received any moneys
from the President's Fund. This again is because the President's
Fund had not received the moneys from the Development Lotteries
Board. According to Mr. Karunanayake, the President's Fund owes
Rs. 584 millions to the Mahapola Scholarship Fund.
He said that
last year the Mahapola Scholarship Fund received Rs 130 millions
whilst the President's Fund receipts were Rs 1.6 billion. In view
of these circumstances, the President believed that if major changes
were brought about in the DLB, they would have an adverse impact
on the various welfare services provided to the poor people by the
Fears of the
privatization of the DLB and Minister Milinda Moragoda's moves to
introduce an international lottery scheme, the Norwegian hi-tech
lottery game, also compelled the President to move for a takeover.
the DLB functioned under the purview of the President in her capacity
as Finance Minister. From 1994 to date, the work carried out by
the President's Fund had increased by about 20 times, sources said.
Apart from funds released for medical treatment for patients diagnosed
with grave illnesses, the President's Fund widened its scope to
encompass education, health, human disasters, sports, arts, religious
and cultural activities.
was burnt and starved'-Lankan maid
By Dilantha Hettige our Matale correspondent
In another tragic tale of suffering of a Lankan housemaid working
overseas, Nandawathie returned to Sri Lanka on a stretcher after
being burnt and battered by her employer in Saudi Arabia.
R.M. Nandawathie, who returned to Sri Lanka on May Day with burn
injuries had been taken directly to hospital from the airport. A
mother of three, Nandawathi went to Saudi Arabia last year as her
husband who was a labourer found it hard to make ends meet. Nandawathie
had obtained employment through an agency in Anuradhapura.
The first few
letters that Nandawathie sent home as she went to Saudi Arabia all
stated that she was getting on fine and that she had been employed
by a senior police officer. But soon the letters stopped.
husband had made many attempts to get information about his wife
from the agency he had failed. Finally after repeated visits to
the Bureau of Foreign Employment he managed to get the officials
there to issue an order to the agency to file a report on the whereabouts
of Nandawathie before April 6 this year.
he had no news till he received a telegram a few weeks back from
the Bureau with the shocking news that his wife had been admitted
to Negombo hospital with burn injuries. A shattered Wijeratned had
borrowed Rs. 3000 from neighbours and rushed to see his wife.
presently receiving treatment at the Womens' Accident Service at
the Matale Base Hospital related to us her tale of horror. "I
was treated well during my first two months there. But then things
changed. It was my employer "Mama" who subjected me to
all this. She assaulted me with whatever she could get hold of.
The blows I received broke my teeth. Both my legs were also fractured.
even burnt me holding a hot iron to my body. She used to hold scorching
knives against my skin. Sometimes she would pour hot water on me.
She also starved me for days. To prevent me from escaping all the
doors and windows of the house were kept locked.
30th of this month they told me it was necessary to go to the Police
Station and dressed me in a frock which covered my body. They also
covered my head and I realised that I had been brought to the airport,"
a sobbing Nandawathie told The Sunday Times.
only appeal was that at least her children receive some assistance.
"After that I don't mind if I die," she said.
drowns as officials pass the buck
By Faraza Farook
As Colombo drowned in a downpour last week, the usual game of passing
the buck regarding poor drainage systems and inactive pumps, was
enacted once again with the CMC and UDA trading charges regarding
who should be in charge of which section of the city.
were pointed at the CMC for the lack of a well-maintained drainage
system in the city, which has been identified as the main cause
for Colombo going under water every time there have been a few hours
of rain. Officials had apparently identified 20 places in the city
as flood prone.
Azath Sally while admitting that the Municipality should bear a
good deal of responsibility in ensuring an efficient water pumping
system said, poor maintenance of gullies and unauthorized constructions
that have mushroomed in the city, have contributed to the flooding.
He said although
notices have been issued to owners of unauthorized construction,
nothing has been done yet. Mr. Sally said these constructions would
be demolished once the Mayor gave the go ahead.
he also said the CMC would take steps to increase the number of
gullies in areas identified as flood prone and they would be maintained.
He said if the existing gullies had been maintained properly, last
week's flooding could have been averted.
said the responsibility of looking into the causes that led to the
flooding of the People's Park Complex at Pettah was the responsibility
of the UDA. The People's Park Complex had came under several feet
of water last week owing to inactive pumps. Although five pumps
had been installed, not all of them function.
Mahanayake says no to Rocca
By Shane Seneviratne
Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter Ven. Rambukwella Sri Vippasi
Thera has refused to grant an appointment to US Assistant Secretary
Christina Rocca, who will be visiting Sri Lanka next week.
officials on Friday visited the Maligawa to seek an appointment
but the prelate had refused stating that he had a tight schedule
on the two days of Ms. Rocca's stay in Sri Lanka.
Times learns that the embassy officials had visited the Mahanayake
on several occasions to request an appointment. It was on Friday
that the Mahanayake had refused the appointment.
the Mahanayake of the Asgirya Chapter Udugama Buddharakitha Thera
has granted an appointment to Ms. Rocca at 9 a.m. on Tuesday. Following
the meeting the US Assistant Secretary is scheduled to visit the
museum which contains pictures of the 1997 bomb attack on the Maligawa.
A visit to the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens in the afternoon has
also been included.
the US Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs is currently,
in India with Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage after visiting Afghanistan
Ms. Rocca will also meet several Government officials, political
leaders, non-governmental groups to discuss bilateral and regional
issues. After talks in Colombo, Ms. Rocca will visit Kandy and Trincomalee.
LTTE war memorial opened
By Sinniah Gurunathan
The controversial LTTE war memorial was declared open last Monday
at Gopalapuram junction in Nilaveli north of Trincomalee. It was
constructed in the memory of 22 LTTE cadres who died in a mid-sea
mishap in 1990 when they were returning after attacking a camp of
the Eelam National Democratic Front then backed by the Indian Peace
the sole survivor of the mishap, now the political head of the Nilaveli
division of the LTTE, and TNA parliamentarian R.Sampanthan declared
open the memorial. Three months ago the Kuchchaveli Police filed
an action in the Trincomalee magistrates court on a complaint by
the Sri Lanka Navy seeking the intervention of the court to prevent
the erection of the war memorial as it would cause breach of peace
in the area.
S. Thiagendran issued notice on Thooyavan to appear in court. When
he failed to appear in court the magistrate issued warrant on Mr.Thooyavan.
However the magistrate later recalled the warrant and dismissed
the action filed stating that the prosecution had failed to furnish
necessary evidence to support its case.
The war memorial
was opened on Monday with the permission of the government authorities
in the presence of the SLMM monitors and the Kuchchaveli Police.