Odds and Ends

Nothing to get nervous about

JVP Anuradhapura district MP K. D. Lal Kantha told Parliament last week that government officials should not get nervous when they see JVP members talking to UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe “We may talk to [President] Mahinda Rajapaksa or to Ranil [Wickremesinghe], but that does not mean we are changing our policies. So there is no cause for concern if we talk to the Opposition Leader,” Mr. Lal Kantha said. With Wimal Weerawansa cosying up to the President, it would appear that the JVP want to cosy up to the UNP leadership.

Beeline for higher things

Kshenuka Seneviratna, Sri Lanka’s former High Commissioner to Britain, is playing a prominent role in the upcoming SAARC summit, to be held in Colombo. The first thing she did on arriving from London last week was to head out for a preparatory meeting relating to the summit, which was being chaired by the Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama.

Putting his foot in his mouth

Last Tuesday, five media organisations met up with representatives of political parties to discuss issues relating to media freedom and the safety of journalists. Among those offering expert opinion was dentist-turned-politician Rajitha Senaratne, of the UNP-D group. Dr. Senaratne suggested the media take a lesson from the Iraqi war. Over there, he claimed, reporters “did not report anything unfavourable”. Not unsurprisingly, the minister raised a big laugh with his observation. Clearly, the minister has a very limited knowledge of the media’s role in both Iraq and Sri Lanka.

And this week the learned doctor was heard to mouth another interesting observation. He claimed that with the setting up of Lanka Logistics and Services Ltd, arms dealers had lost business because military procurements had become a state monopoly.

One wonders why the Government bothers to pay millions of dollars to a British firm to do its propaganda work, when it could turn to PR spokesmen like Dr. Senaratne.

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