Odds and Ends

Guns before Budget

A State radio station yesterday (Saturday) abruptly ended a discussion on the Budget featuring two eminent professors and a well-known economist, to announce that Government troops had captured the key jetty-town of Pooneryn.

“I was responding to a question on ‘how is the Budget’ when the programme was suddenly terminated,” said senior economist Dr. Sirimal Abeyratne from the University of Colombo. Other panellists were Emeritus Prof. W.D. Lakshman, also an advisor to the President and Prof. Jagath Wickremasinghe, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayawardhanapura.

Dr. Abeyratne said the two-hour programme titled Ethulu Paththa (Inside Story) on Lakhanda radio began at 10 a.m. and 10 or 15 minutes later it abruptly ended. The two professors had expressed their views, on the first question, before it was Dr. Abeyratne’s turn.

The announcement on the Pooneryn capture was followed by comments on the radio by various people.

Big Brother watching

MP Wimal Weerawansa of the breakaway JVP faction was passing through the Parliament lobby last week when he met with a scribe in the company of a JVP MP from the Matara district. Upon seeing a comrade of his former party, Mr. Weerawansa remarked looking at the JVP MP, ‘They don't talk to us anymore.

’ Looking a little startled the JVP MP looked around and said, ‘It's frightening. There are cameras everywhere,’ before promptly leaving the scene.

Before and after

JVP Anuradhapura district MP Ranaweera Pathirana has been raising questions in Parliament from ministers to ascertain who is availing themselves of the Rs. 100,000 monthly rents they are entitled to. It was revealed that among those taking the entitlement are Ministers Champika Ranawaka and Gamini Lokuge.

The JVP MP could not help quipping that while one had come to power saying he would live in ‘aranyas and temples’ once elected to office, and the other saying he was joining the Government to ‘strengthen the hands of the President’, all that seems to have been conveniently forgotten after coming to power.

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