Colombo’s Mayor Rosy Senanayake was breathing a sigh of relief yesterday after the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) overcame one of its most troubled issues — the dumping of garbage. The Court of Appeal on Friday ordered the Wanathavillu Pradeshiya Sabha and its chairman not to interfere in or obstruct the CMC from disposing garbage at [...]


Appeal Court order brings relief to CMC


Colombo’s Mayor Rosy Senanayake was breathing a sigh of relief yesterday after the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) overcame one of its most troubled issues — the dumping of garbage.

The Court of Appeal on Friday ordered the Wanathavillu Pradeshiya Sabha and its chairman not to interfere in or obstruct the CMC from disposing garbage at the Aruwakkalu site till the case is heard completely.

After the Meetotamulla garbage dump collapse in which more than twenty people died, the CMC’s degradable and non-recyclable solid waste was disposed in a Kerawalapitiya state land managed by the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC). It functions under the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development.

The SLLRDC terminated an arrangement with the CMC to dump waste at Kerawalapitiya from August 2. The waste issue became the subject of top-level discussions at the Prime Minister’s Office. Taking part were officials of the Local Government Ministry, Megapolis Ministry and the SLLRDC.

There was no settlement reached. Even the CMC’s agreement with Western Power Company (a subsidiary of Aitken Spence) to dispose solid waste at its Waste Energy plant could not be done. The plant will be commissioned only in January next year.

The CMC accused the Megapolis Ministry of insisting that the council should transport the garbage to Aruwakkalu by road – a task that would cost Rs 45 million every month. The CMC said that the transfer of 200 metric tonnes daily also posed health hazards.

The Council said that early this week, the first fleet of trucks carrying garbage arrived at Aruwakkalu only to be prevented from entering the site by security officers. The CMC charged that the Wanathavillu Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman had come to the site and ordered the trucks to turn back. Hence, the move to go to courts.

Premier Wickremesinghe, President Sirisena and Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa at the BMICH

Educated candidates: To whom was the reference

The occasion was a meeting of the Buddhasasana Kayasadaka Mandalaya at the BMICH last Tuesday.

The body is made up of Mahanayake Theras and Buddhist organisations together with other religious organisations. They were presenting the three main political leaders a set of guidelines for candidates contesting future elections.

At one stage, a Buddhist prelate was speaking. He said candidates should be well educated…. Just then Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa was heard to exclaim “Ehanuda, Ehunada” (did you hear, did you hear) whilst looking and pointing his index finger at Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He laughed as he nodded his head.

President Sirisena, who was seated in the middle, chuckled at the remarks.

Why politicos are like ATMs

With this year’s presidential election nomination date just round the corner, a note making the rounds in WhatsApp makes interesting reading.

This is what it says: “To applaud a politician because he has built a hospital, a school, road etc with public money is the same as applauding an ATM because it gives you your money.”

How true!!

Whatever the President says goes a long way

Just before he departed on a state visit to Cambodia, President Maithripala Sirisena told a public meeting that parliamentarians were drawing more than Rs 400,000 a month.

Unlike his once famous remarks about fighting bribery and corruption with a sword, these remarks infuriated the MPs. If the remarks were true, besides the Rs 200,000 they were now drawing, where is the balance.

One of President Sirisena’s own MPs was so angry. He was seen asking a colleague whether “someone was pocketing the balance” since the leader would not say something that is wrong.

The anger of MPs prompted Home Minister Vajira Abeywardena to buttonhole President Sirisena after last Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.

He told him that an additional Rs 200,000 (further to Rs 200,000) they now receive, was approved by the Cabinet. It was on a recommendation by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to get the MPs to monitor development projects.

President Sirisena told Minister Abeywardena that the matter would be discussed later.

The moral of the story – whatever a President says, true or false, it goes a long, long way.


Wimal provokes quotes and quips over UNP nominee

It was at the funeral of Kurunegala District Parliamentarian Salinda Dissanayake when National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa met Palitha Thevarapperuma, the UNP MP for Kalutara District.

“Whom are you for – Ranil, Sajith or Karu?” asked Weerawansa. The parliamentarian known for many a controversy replied, “I am not particularly interested in one person. But I would prefer Ranil Wickremesinghe among them.”

Mr Weerawansa asked, “Why is that?” and added that “most of your party people are backing Sajith.”

Replied Thevarapperuma: “How can I back him. He does not have a meal anywhere outside. I can never talk to him. He does not answer my telephone calls. We don’t need a leader like that. I am happy with Ranil.”

In Parliament this week, Mr Weerawansa also fired a question at Prime Minister and
UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. “Who is your candidate for the presidential election?”
he asked.

Premier Wickremesinghe replied “It is Wimal Weerawansa.” That saw the NFF leader saying “Ehema nam ogollo goda” or meaning you all are then safe.

Governor goes over the top

At least one Governor in charge of a province seems to be enjoying the perks of his office to the fullest.

He was invited recently to a public event. The man made sure that the pandal erected to welcome him had a photograph – not the common practice of having a portrait of a political leader.

Instead, he ensured that his own portrait was in the middle. The political boss who heard of this laughed it off.


Sirisena puts off deal with US

President Maithripala Sirisena has put on hold for six month the MCC (Millennium Challenge Corporation)-Sri Lanka Compact programme.

He made the directive at a meeting of the National Economic Council held on August 1. The meeting chaired by Mr Sirisena was attended by Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe and several Cabinet Ministers.

The US-based MCC and the UNF Government together conducted an economic analysis in 2016 and agreed that transport and land issues should be priorities under this programme.

However, it has drawn a howl of protests from the opposition members who claim this was a US project to gain a greater foothold in Sri Lanka and had sinister motives.

A project management unit is already housed in the Policy Development Office of the Prime Minister’s Office to co-ordinate the compact development process with ministries and departments.

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