ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 52

Odds & Ends

Quick action

The report in The Sunday Times about President Mahinda Rajapaksa admonishing Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana over his inability to bring to Temple Trees Mangala Samaraweera to take his oaths as Irrigation Minister was hurriedly conveyed by officials.

The President was in Jordan when he was told that an upset Mr. Moulana, was admitted with a heart problem, to a private nursing home in Wellawatte. President Rajapaksa immediately telephoned Mr. Moulana from Jordan to inquire after his health.

Larger the better

A large number of trade union officials are headed for Geneva a la courtesy of the Government. The reason - officials want a large Sri Lankan audience when President Rajapaksa addresses the International Labour Organisation's annual sessions. He is slotted to speak on the last day, just after the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. The question asked in political circles is whether President Rajapaksa would take a large delegation to Geneva too. Geneva is one of the most expensive capitals in the world and our trade union leaders will sure be able to make a good comparison of the cost of living.

Tough day

This week was no doubt a tough day for Police Special Task Force Commandant DIG Nimal Lewke. Last Wednesday morning he was at the National Security Council giving a briefing on VIP security and related matters. The STF boss has been the victim of a vicious campaign by sections in the Police jockeying for top slots in the STF. In the evening he briefed the Cabinet about the re-settlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Batticaloa district. The next day (Thursday) he briefed the Colombo based diplomatic community on the same subject.

Second rebellious show on the way

This ministerial angel is an expert at getting caught literally with his pants down and facing the wrath of the bitter half in public but what has the poor man gone and done now by giving an annex to a raw one? With a jaya mangala rebellion predicted the second time, unlike the flopped first one, no wonder the green boss is smiling and the raw ones must be wanting to keep a close tab.

Tracing the calls

Two UNP MPs raised privilege issues in Parliament last week saying they had received threatening phone calls. One was Gampaha district MP John Amaratunga who said he had received the call while on his way to Parliament on Wednesday while Kandy district MP A.R.M.Abdul Cader said he had received a call on Tuesday while he was at his residence in Colombo watching the Sri Lanka-Pakistan cricket match. Mr.Cader said he had received two similar calls in April at his residence in Gampola and gave the phone numbers from which the calls originated as they were received on his mobile phone. The Speaker requested MP John Amaratunga as well to furnish the phone number from which he had received the calls so that the matter could be handed over to the police for investigation.

Jibe goes home

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe spoke on Thursday on the condolence vote of former Speaker Stanley Tillekeratna and praised him as someone who upheld the dignity and rights of the House. Obviously promoted by the presence of another former Speaker M.H.Mohamed who joined the Government ranks recently seated right opposite him, Mr.Wickremesinghe went on to say that he was unlike some other Speakers who had entertained an impeachment motion against a President when it was not signed by a majority of the members. “When a Speaker entertains a motion without the signature of the majority of the MPs, it shows the level to which the House had fallen, Mr. Wickremesinghe said adding that once the issue had fizzled out, he, as the Leader of the House at the time had been asked to bring a no-confidence motion against the Speaker but had refrained from doing so. Amidst these remarks, Mr. Mohamed, during whose tenure as Speaker the impeachment issue came up, chose to walk out of the Chamber.

What special projects?

A question was raised in Parliament on Thursday by JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti on the responsibilities of the Special Projects Minister Mahinda Wijesekara, the names of the institutions coming under this ministry as well as details of staff and vehicles allocated to this Ministry. Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said he needed a month to provide the required information. Wonder what the minister is doing since his appointment nearly three months ago without knowing what his responsibilities are and what institutions come under his purview.

‘Cementhiya’ refuses to budge?

He is the man supposed to guard the environment, but his actions have been more towards harming Mother Nature. In short he could even be termed a nature terrorist. Now the boss has asked for his resignation. The number two at the authority resigned honourably and went, but not this ‘cementhiya’. They say he has always survived by doing wrongs, especially to please a previous boss.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.