Two ministers to counter Ananthi’s ‘genocide’ charge Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthi Shashitharan is perhaps one among few opposition politicians who have come under severe criticism from the Cabinet of ministers.This came after her speech at a side event during last month’s UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva. Speaking in English [...]


Two ministers to counter Ananthi’s ‘genocide’ charge


Two ministers to counter Ananthi’s ‘genocide’ charge
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Northern Provincial Councillor Ananthi Shashitharan is perhaps one among few opposition politicians who have come under severe criticism from the Cabinet of ministers.This came after her speech at a side event during last month’s UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva.
Speaking in English though not cohesive, Ms. Sasheetharan claimed there was “genocide” in Sri Lanka. The speech came days before the Council adopted the third US-sponsored resolution.

The remarks were to anger TNA’s arch-rival, Minister Douglas Devananda, leader of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP). He sought to get the Government to come down hard on the extremist TNA member, the wife of Elilan, one time Tiger guerrilla political wing leader for Trincomalee. She alleges that her husband was abducted by the military and his whereabouts were not known thereafter. Military authorities have repeatedly denied the charge.

No sooner Mr. Devananda heard of Ms. Shashitharan’s remarks at the side event in Geneva, he sent a note to the Cabinet. He recommended that strong action be taken against her. Claiming that her remarks were malicious, Mr. Devananda charged that Ms. Shashitharan had been involved in the recruitment of child soldiers when the separatist war was under way. He also said she had gained entry to the event with the help of an INGO (International Non-Governmental Organisation) and had defamed the country in the eyes of the international community.

The ministers considered the complaint and handed down tasks to two ministers. External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris is tasked to project the correct position in the Northern Province abroad both by himself and with the help of Sri Lanka’s diplomatic missions. Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella was called upon to carry out the same task locally through the print and electronic media.

Earlier moves by Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) detectives to question her upon return to Sri Lanka were dropped. “We don’t want to make her a heroine since her anti-Sri Lanka outbursts are not taken seriously,” said a senior police officer.

Mass promotions create top-heavy police
Police top brass now have the unenviable task of finding replacements as officers-in-charge for almost a quarter of the country’s police stations.
The reason — for the first time in their near one and half century of existence, some 120 officers-in-charge have been promoted to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police.

Whilst the vast majority were OICs of stations, there were a few who held desk jobs elsewhere including Police Headquarters. They are now undergoing training. There are 435 Police Stations in Sri Lanka. Some senior officers say the sudden elevation of 120 as ASPs was carried out without long-term planning though there were specialised units in the department for this purpose.

In five years, the larger majority of the ASPs would swell the ranks of Superintendents and in ten years that much more Senior Superintendents, they point out. It would make the department top heavy, they say.
One of them alleged that ‘mass promotions’ was the result of political compulsions and was not guided by departmental needs. However, an official of the Ministry of Law and Order denied it was based on “any political considerations.”

Serving Army officer as deputy envoy to Russia
A serving Army officer will be Sri Lanka’s Deputy Ambassador in the Russian Federation.
He is Major General A.W.J.Chrisanthe de Silva who is currently serving as Chief of Staff or the number two to the Army Commander. He will serve two years in Russia. Major General de Silva succeeds Major General Nandana Udawatte who is now Deputy Ambassador in Moscow.

Big boss fumes  at team mates
The boss of the political team, insiders say, has rapped two of his team mates for being critical of the administration.
One of them was told in stronger words that “If I have to go, I will make sure I take along the likes of you with me.”
The crestfallen team member was heard to complain to a friend, “look what happens when we speak the truth.” The second member, however, appears unperturbed. His words were “wait and see what is going to happen.”?

Ajantha’s baby catch at Galle Face cricket party
It was a case of a human ball, or a little child, who fell on the hands of one Sri Lankan cricketer last Tuesday. The triumphant Sri Lankan team that won the T-20 International Cricket World Cup in Dhaka, arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Tuesday. They boarded an open deck double decker bus for their journey, first to Temple Trees and later to the Galle Face Green.

Crowds lined both sides of old road to the airport (not the expressway) to cheer their cricketing heroes. At the Galle Face Green, an overzealous couple was forced to part ways with their child. Surging crowds had divided them. The child was passed from one to another until the child reached the arms of Ajantha Mendis. He was as deft with the child as he is with the ball. He hugged the child and later the parents took over.

Cricketer Tillekeratne Dilshan was overheard recounting this encounter by his colleague to Parliamentarians on Wednesday. This is when MPs of the Government and the Opposition feted them. When the Galle Face event was over, some motorists were lulled so much in national euphoria. They even drove on the wrong lane but the traffic cops were considerate.

Off-the-field encounters by Sri Lankan cricketers are voluminous. Once, master batsman Sanath Jayasuriya told a Government official his experience during a tour of Australia.In Melbourne, he had been to a Sri Lankan home. Later, one of the guests had volunteered to drive him to his hotel. They were on the way when the police stopped them. The driver was under the influence of liquor. That was bad enough. The Policeman found out that the driver had not cleared immigration formalities to enter Australia.

A conversation ensued with the policeman. Just when Jayasuriya introduced himself, the policeman was so thrilled. He shook his hands and declared “you are my favourite batsman.” Then he delivered a warning to the driver and asked whether he could drive. When he said “yes,” the man was allowed to go. As one wag remarked, “cricketers as our ambassadors are better than some of those serving the country.”


Muslims like UPFA biriyani – not Govt.
Southern Provincial Councillor Weerasumana Weerasinghe was the last to take his oaths as Minister at a ceremony before President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday.
The ceremony over, those present sat down to lunch at “Temple Trees.” Ministers Susil Premajayantha, D.E.W. Gunasekera and Mahindananda Aluthgamage were among those present.
“Apita Muslim kattiya Chandey dunn nethe aie (Why didn’t the Muslims vote for us)?” asked President Mahinda Rajapaksa from Nauzer Fowzie. He is the son of Minister A.H.M. Fowzie. He lost the Western Provincial Council polls but was appointed to a bonus seat.
“Sir Muslim kattiya Aanduwey biriyani kanna vitharai kemathi,” (Sir, Muslims like to eat only the Government’s biriyani,” replied Nauzer Fowzie. It was not just the special rice delicacy he seems to be alluding to. It was also the benefits that Muslims draw from the UPFA Government.

Ports directors get Rs. 100 m for five more years
For five more years, the board of directors of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) will be empowered to utilise a financial limit up to Rs. 100 million, a ministerial source said yesterday.

In May 2005, the source said, it had been decided to increase the limit to Rs. 100 million and that expired in May 2013. The new decision has thus extended the upper limit for ten years, the source added.

Two other ministries — Water Supply and Drainage and Power and Energy — will also have increased maximum limits imposed on them. However, the amounts are to be determined after the ministers in question make their recommendations, the source said.


Pacts with China to prop up coal  power plant
The UPFA Government is to now enter into agreements with China to obtain technical assistance to run the controversial project the Chinese built – the Norochcholai coal-fired power plant.

The move comes amidst reports that costs of thermal power production by the CEB are soaring. A Power and Energy Ministry official said there would be two agreements. One would be a Memorandum of Understanding between the two governments. That would be signed by Ministry Secretary M.M.C.Ferdinando on behalf of Sri Lanka.

The other will be an MoU between the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), which distributes the power produced, and the China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC).


Politico told: Shut up and eat
The event was last month but the story is doing the rounds now. It was the official dinner for visiting Afghan leader Hameed Karzai.
The dinner was under way. Suddenly one politico, known for his many antics, thought it was boring to remain seated and nibble food that was served.
So, he rose from his seat, walked up to a senior official and began a conversation.
The embarrassed official was to advise him to return to his seat immediately since this was a formal dinner and the host, the President of Sri Lanka, would not be pleased with his conduct. He hurriedly returned to his seat.

From Geneva bashing to birthday bash
External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris briefed Colombo-based diplomats on Sri Lanka’s position vis-à-vis the latest US-sponsored resolution adopted at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva last month.He asserted at the meeting on Wednesday that the UPFA Government would neither accept nor cooperate with the OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) in any investigation.

Dr. Peiris did not stop at just the resolution. He was to wax eloquent on Sri Lanka’s victory at the T-20 international cricket tournament in Dhaka last Sunday. All Sri Lankans, he noted, celebrated the victory irrespective of their differences.The next day (Thursday), Dr. Peiris drove off to Hambantota. He was there to celebrate the 28th birthday of Namal Rajapaksa MP. Young Rajapaksa was born on April 10, 1986.Dr. Peiris will holiday in the Maldives during the New Year vacation.


No bull fight for high-flying chief
The high flying big boss was scheduled to be in the bull fighting country for a conference with like-minded entities.
Only when the conference began did the hosts and even the participants realise there was “no show.” That reduced the Sri Lankan presence to only one.
Instead, the boss had arrived in New York with his companion. The man was seen with his escort at flashy joints in the big apple.
They were asking, of course jokingly, whether there were moves to revive Concorde supersonic flights, this time to Colombo.

Share This Post


Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.