calls for silent diplomacy
Minister Rauff Hakeem has suggested that the government and the
LTTE engage in "silent diplomacy" away from the public
gaze to get the peace process back on track. "The next step
is to start talks about resuming talks, perhaps behind the scenes,"
he said in an interview after international donors pledged $4.5
billion over four years to the country.
aid pledge was a "necessary milestone" in the vital transitional
phase leading to a final resolution of the conflict, he said. "I
suggest we follow the South African formula where the ANC and the
apartheid regime continued talks behind the scenes without publicity
whenever official talks broke down, as they did several times,"
Mr. Hakeem said.
move into silent diplomacy behind the scenes. We have well-meaning
friends who can help us overcome the current impasse. Let us remember
that this window of opportunity will not always remain open since
there are enough trouble spots in the world to which the international
community's focus can shift."
also said the two sides should stop the exchange of correspondence
which he said "leads us nowhere" and that President Chandrika
Kumaratunga and the opposition consider a "new approach"
the prime minister would be ever too willing to co-operate."
Mr. Hakeem said he was also pleased that the Muslim dimension to
the peace effort had been recognised in the opening statement of
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the final declaration of
the international community at the donor meeting.
very clearly urged the LTTE to include the participation of a separate
Muslim delegation in the peace talks as has been agreed earlier,"
he said. "In any negotiations, recognition of stakeholders
and elevation of their status as a necessary party is imperative.
I'm pleased with the fact that the PM was very sensitive to this
important dimension and he lent support to me to articulate my point
Bills in House next week
By Chandani Kirinde
Four Bills including the Local Authorities (Special provisions)
Bill are scheduled to be taken up for debate in Parliament during
the coming week. Several petitions have been filed in the Supreme
Court against the Local Authorities Bill which seeks to call for
fresh nominations and holding of elections in respect of 60 local
bodies including three Municipal Councils, six Urban Councils and
51 Pradeshiya Sabhas in the northern and eastern provinces where
elections to such bodies have been postponed due to unforeseen and
determination is expected to be conveyed to the Speaker to be announced
in Parliament this week. The other three Bills to be debated are
the Information Communication Technology Bill, the Betting and Gaming
Levy (Amendment) Bill and the Common Amenities Board (Amendment)
a Bill to provide for the exploration and recovery of petroleum
resources in Sri Lanka and for the regulation of the same was presented
to Parliament by the Minister of Power and Energy recently.
The Bill entitled
'Petroleum Resources Bill' vests ownership of all petroleum resources
to the state but allows partnership with the private sector in accordance
with international practice.
petitioner's mother gets compensation
By Laila Nasry
The Supreme Court in a landmark order in a fundamental rights application
awarded relief to a dependent of a person who had died in custody
whilst his case was pending for inquiry, leave to proceed having
been granted by court.
The Bench comprising
Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva and Justices Shirani Bandaranayake
and Ameer Ismail awarded Rs. 25,000 as compensation payable by the
State to the mother of a young farmer who died in custody subsequent
to filing an FR application for which leave to proceed was granted
for the alleged torture, cruel or degrading treatment.
Kanmany was awarded compensation for the torture inflicted on her
son, the petitioner, 31-year-old Anthonypille Jesudasen who died
at the hands of prison guards in the Kalutara prison where he was
detained for 44 days.
In a twist
of events 47 days subsequent to the death of the petitioner, the
Attorney General's Department had indicted him in the Vavuniya High
Court under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the recording in
the journal indicated that the indictment had been served on the
dead petitioner and his finger prints had been recorded.
war hots up
By Harinda Vidanage
The tussle for supremacy within the Sri Lanka Freedom Party between
Anura Bandaranaike and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse has taken
a new turn with Mr. Rajapakse appointing two SLFPers as his advisors.
The most important
has been the appointment of Newton Gunaratne as the new media advisor
to the Opposition leader along with Anura Siriwardena. Mr. Rajapakse
confirmed these new appointments.
to Mr. Rajapakse said that he had also appointed an advisory committee
headed by a Cambridge scholar to co-ordinate all his activities
in the context of an election as well as to advise him in future
of the Rajapakse camp comes in the wake of reports that Mr. Bandaranaike
also had formed a group of experts to advise him on image-building.
Meanwhile the other camp in the SLFP is trying to bring Anura Bandaranaike
to the fore at the national convention of the SLFP at a ceremony
organized to commemorate 75 years in power of the Bandaranaike family.
Negotiators of the proposed SLFP-JVP alliance have decided to look
for a new symbol after senior SLFPers threatened legal action if
the hand symbol was taken, political sources said.
The much favoured
hand symbol as the possible election symbol was earlier proposed
informally by the SLFP and accepted by the JVP.
said the two sides would look for a new symbol besides taking up
other important issues like electoral arrangements when they meet
Heart, Cool Head and Deep Breath
"A Warm Heart, a Cool Head and a Deep Breath", a collection
of speeches made by Minister Milinda Moragoda and published by the
International Democrat Union (IDU), will be launched on Thursday
in Thessaloniki, Greece by Norwegian Foreign Minister and IDU Vice
Chairman Jan Petersen during the 20th IDU party leaders' meeting.
Edited by former civil servant M.D.D. Peiris, the book will be launched
in the US by Senator John McCain on June 25 at the International
Republican Institute, Washington D.C.
Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujaral in his foreword has said that
Mr. Moragoda's speeches, in Parliament and elsewhere, "are
a fine example of parliamentary energy" and that they "bespeak
an earnest study of subjects, a commitment to democratic methods
of inquiry and redressal".
writes in his introduction that "the collection will entertain,
aggravate and energize readers who recognize that it is not only
a scarcity but a failure of leadership that has condemned too many
people around the world to enjoy neither prosperity nor security."
Prime Minister John Howard observes that Mr. Moragoda has set out
the fresh challenges that Sri Lanka is facing along with new opportunities
as the country emerges from decades of bitter conflict. Mr. Moragoda,
according to him, "offers answers, opens thought-provoking
debate along the way".
Mr. Petersen, "inspiring speeches collected in this book"
flow from "the ideas of democracy, human rights and free enterprise
as well as the desire to promote the peaceful resolution of the
conflict; ideals shared by Sri Lanka's United National Party and
the Norwegian Conservative Party."
S. Thomas’ buries one of
its longest serving wardens
The funeral of former S. Thomas' College Warden Wilfred Michael
Neville de Alwis who died last Thursday will be held today at Christ
Church, Dehiwela. The fifteenth Warden of S. Thomas' College, Mt.
Lavinia passed away in the early hours of Thursday. His body remains
at his residence at Mt. Lavinia and will be brought to the school
today where it will be kept from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A student of
S. Thomas' Mt. Lavinia from 1946 to 1957, he had a distinguished
academic career and won many coveted prizes and was a School Prefect.
Upon leaving school in 1957, he was invited to join the tutorial
staff. After a short stint as a teacher, he proceeded to read for
his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Ceylon. After
graduation he once again served as a teacher from 1961 to 1964 before
he went on to pursue his Bachelor of Laws Degree as an external
student while serving as a Research Assistant at the Official Languages
He was called
to the Bar in June 1969. From 1970 to 1971 he served as a Crown
Counsel at the Attorney-General's Department and later joined the
Legal Draftsman's Department in 1972 where he rose to be a Senior
Assistant Legal Draftsman.
He was associated in drafting several important legislations.
from his post in 1982 to join his alma mater. The third longest
serving Warden after Canon de Saram, and Warden Stone, Neville de
Alwis held office for fifteen and a half years. Born on June 25,
1937, as the youngest son of the late Wilfred and Gladys de Alwis
of Mt. Lavinia, he had four brothers and two sisters.