The Sunday Times on the Web News/Comment
14th June 1998

Front Page|
Editorial/Opinion |
Business | Plus | Sports |
Mirror Magazine

Front Page
Mirror Magazine

"Eya Lankawa Vikka" launched

A book titled "Eya Lankawa Vikka" detailing the unsavoury side of the AirLanka- Emirates deal in Sinhala has been released by the UNP.

Write-ups on the sordid issue, by MPs including Gamini Atukorale, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Karunasena Kodituwakku, Rajitha Senaratne and Ravi Karunanayake are among the interesting reading matter, on the controversial issue, which culminated in a heated debate in Parliament.

Among other contents, are questions like 'who collected the Commission?'' contributed by Sarath Ranawaka, the realization of only Rs 100 billion from a deal worth Rs 850 billon, by L. Saheer Moulana, 'she has given away 'Lanka as dowry' the Sinhala title with a 'pun' on 'Eya' by Sarath Kongahage, and Ranil's own contribution titled 'The greatest betrayal since the Kandyan converntion' are chapters that expose the whole raw truth on the Emirates deal.

Akurana telecom subscribers continue to be deprived

Though the Akurana exchange was updated eight months back, the subscribers in Kurugoda, North of Akurana complain that they continue to remain deprived of trouble free telephone service.

They said that the subscriber's telephones had been keeping mum for a couple of weeks in April as the main trunk wire connecting all these phones were damaged with the intransigency of the telecom officials.

The new year gift of free calls on April 13 and 14 too could not be utilised, they said adding that they are baffled as to the manner the Telecom authorities are treating the subscribers in the Kurugoda area.

They complained that they are being neglected as they do not have any political clout and that even the world prestigious Japanese organisation too seems to be interested only in augmenting the system in the Capital and greater Colombo areas.

Calls for radical reforms

By Arshad M. Hadjirin

A top UN official in Sri Lanka has called for radical reforms in vital areas if Sri Lanka's economic achievements are to be transformed in to better living standards for all its people.

"What is achieved in terms of economy is lost, due to unorthodox policies of the public sector. Health, education and agriculture sectors need to be reformed if economic achievements are to transformed into real development".

UN resident representative Arva Ofstad, said before leaving the country after completing his three-year term here.

"We see mixed element of development trend. The government should develop all parts of the country in a uniform manner to achieve a better economic output," he said.

Mr. Ofstad, outlining his work here said an important part was the resettlement of the displaced people in Jaffna."It was a difficult process, and unfortunately the social and economic systems are improving too slowly," he said.

"We need to resettle another half a million people who are displaced all over the country. We were able to study the enormous human cost of the ethnic conflict here. It is a tragedy for Sri Lanka," he said.

Asked whether he would make any proposals to the United Nations to find a plausible solution to the conflict, here Mr Ofstad said he would not. "There will be no peace till all parties and the LTTE agree to a compromise' he said.

Grand old man dies at 96

P. Andrew Cooray, the oldest stalwart of the UNP, passed away last Tuesday.

The grand old man of Kalutara served his area and the country for more than six decades in fields ranging from politics to films and business.

P. Andrew Cooray, a seasoned campaigner entered politics way back in 1928 when many of those in the political arena today would not have been born.

Mr. Cooray was born on August 5, 1901 and was a lawyer by profession. He was a founder member of the UNP and entered politics two years after he passed out as a lawyer in 1928. He was the Chairman of the Kalutara Urban Council for 14 years.

The eldest in a family of eleven, he worked his way to popularity and prominence entirely through his undaunted efforts. He claims to be the oldest politician alive in Sri Lanka.

Mr. Cooray became a Village Committee Member for Payagala and Maggona in early 1927 and then contested a seat in the Kalutara Urban Council. He was elected and remained a member for the next 30 years. In 1938 he became the Chairman.

He owned the Neboda Omnibus Company which was taken over by the then government. He was Chairman of the Free Lanka Finance Ltd. He also produced films like "Kaludiya Dahara."

"What is the secret of his long life and how did he feel outliving his contemporaries like Sir John Kotelawela and Sir Ukwatte Jayasundera".

"God has been kind to me" is the simple response.

"I take everything in my stride and never take problems seriously", he told The Sunday Times in one of his last interviews.

CWC forges 15-party alliance

By S.S.Selvanayagam

A new political alliance led by the Ceylon Workers Congress including fourteen trade Unions have been formed in the plantation areas to contest the up coming Provincial elections, a spokesman said.

CWC parliamentarian P P Devaraj told The Sunday Times new Political alliance led CWC President and Minister S. Thondaman would also include Deputy Minister P. Chandrasekeran's Upcountry People's Front which till recently. lt was at odds with the CWC.

Mr. Devaraj said the alliance would contest elections in the Uva, Central, Sabaragamuva and Western provinces and was hoping to make a big impact especially among minority communities.

But CWC rebel M.S. Sellasamy, who has now formed a new party known as the Ceylon National Workers Congress, dismissed the alliance as a ploy by Mr.. Thondaman to prop up his falling image.

In a hard hitting reaction Mr. Sellasamy said, the CWC in recent months had got a beating from the plantation workers because of its policy regarding privatisation and other facilities of the estate sector.

Faced with a diminishing vote bank Mr. Thondaman and the CWC were trying new tactics, but they would not fool the people.

Mr. Devaraj said a planning Committee comprising all representatives of all 15 parties in the alliance would meet on Wednesday to decide on various matters including the name, policy and the initial strategy of the group. After that the new alliance would formally apply to the Commissioner of Elections for recognition as a political party.

SLT in the dark over blasts

By Arshad M. Hadjirin

The Sri Lanka Telecom has failed to track down the perpetrators behind a string of explosions on their installations as more mysterious attacks are being carried out on them.

"We are still in the dark; we do not know who carried out the attacks or how," Christie Alwis, Director Emergency, SLT told The Sunday Times adding that they are awaiting police reports.

Since the first attack was carried out on a telecom tower by unknown persons at Kalutara on April 27, four other attacks followed,at Nochichiyagama, Kuliyapitiya, Kadawata and Kalawanhchikudi badly damaging installations. In most cases attacks were carried out on airconditioning plants.

Despite SLT Chairman Hemasiri Fernando's calls on the Defence Ministry to intensify security measures, The Sunday Times learns that only a few additional security forces have been stationed in Colombo. Other exchanges still require greater security measures, he said.

Simultaneously many attacks were carried out on electric transformers in the same fashion but police have still not been able to determine whether these were acts of internal sabotage or terrorist acts.

Mr. Fernando having indicated the possibility of a rival telephone company as being behind the attacks, has not ruled out the possibility of terrorist attacks but insisted on tightening security.

A spokesman for Mobitel said that they were still not able to form an idea as to who were behind these attacks, but said that it is clear that the attacks are focused on STL installations.

Managing Director Suntel, M. de Alwis said that they were deeply concerned about the whole affair. "Damage done to SLT installations have badly affected our customers, during the past two months, he said adding that all subscribers were affected as a whole as most people try to reach SLT lines.

Mr. Alwis of SLT said that except for the Kalutara explosion which cost the SLT a colossal Rs 40 million damage at other installations were in the region of a million rupees each.

"We have rectified the faults at the sites, though a few more things are to be sorted out," said Mr. Alwis.

NHD ahead of Premadasa centre

Fearing that the UNP would capitalise at the forthcoming Provincial Council elections from a shramadana campaign to be launched by the Premadasa Centre and the Sucharitha Viyaparaya to clean up the entire Maligawatte Housing complex, the NHDA has moved to forestall it.

The Common Amenities Board has been asked to organise shramadana campaign on 14 June.

According to sources the shramadana campaign was first organised by the Premadasa Centre and the Sucharitha Viyaparaya on June 21 in commemoration of the President Ranasinghe Premadasa's 73rd birthday anniversary.

As June 23, the day of his birth was a working day the organisers had advanced the date to June 21. As the organisers had been informed the Housing Minister Indika Gunawardena about the proposed shramadana and the NHDA, the CAB had now been told to organise its own shramadana on June 14.

Premadasa Centre sources told 'The Sunday Times' that they had decided to clean up the Maligawatte housing scheme one of the late President's pioneer projects.

This housing complex has been neglected and the Pradeepa Hall where weddings and functions are held is strelly and unclean and unfit to hold any functions the sources said.

Presented on the World Wide Web by Infomation Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.

More News/Comments * 'All the friends money can buy' * New Delhi still on the Tiger trail despite TN allies' plea

Return to News/Comment Contents

News/Comments Archive

Front Page| Editorial/Opinion | Business | Plus | Sports | Mirror Magazine

Hosted By LAcNet

Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to

The Sunday Times or to Information Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.