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21st February 1999

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JVP to attack PA on all fronts

By Roshan Peiris

The JVP will contest in all five provinces in the upcoming provincial elections, Wimal Weerawansa, party spokesman and chief ministerial candidate for the Western Province, said.

Describing the party's participation in the elections as a signal to show its true involvement in national politics and commitment to democratic principles, Mr. Weerawansa said: "The party may not win but what is important for us is the recognition of the JVP as a national party."

"In our campaign we will be attacking the Government on all fronts highlighting the broken election promises, high unemployment and cost of living and of course the use of violence, abuse and intimidation at Wayamba."

He said Anura Dissanayake had been chosen to contest the chief minister's post in the Central Province, K.D. Lalkantha for the North Central Province, Ajith Kumara Ranasinghe for Sabaragamuwa and Rohitha Tillekeratne for Uva.

Mr. Weerawansa said the party would begin its election campaign on March 5 from Colombo.

Karu Jayasuriya promises a 'clean' campaign

By M.Ismeth

Sick and tired of having seen supporters of rival parties fighting over posters and banners, Colombo Mayor Karu Jayasuriya the UNP's chief ministerial candidate for the Western Province elections has pledged he will not have any posters or banners to promote himself.

"I want to introduce a new culture for elections. I may be a lone ranger but I will have no posters or banners in support of me on the walls of the city or elsewhere. I will campaign through meetings and the media," Mr. Jayasuriya told The Sunday Times.

At the last local government elections most walls in Colombo were terribly or totally defaced by posters.

Mr. Jayasuriya said that though he would not use posters, he could not force other candidates of the party to act likewise.

But he said he hoped they would act according to the law.

Wayamba: Three UNPers take PA men to courts

By Ayesha R. Rafiq

The unsuccessful UNP Chief Ministerial Candidate for Wayamba, Gamini Jayawickrema Perera, and two other UNP candidates have filed action in the Court of Appeal against the alleged unfair practices which took place at last month's elections.

Citing Chief Minister S. B. Nawinna and PA General Secretary D. M. Jayaratne as respondents, Mr. Perera alleged they published deliberate and malicious false statements with direct reference to him to enhance the PA's chances and deprive him and the UNP of victory. He claimed that Mr. Nawinna and Mr. Jayaratne in separate interviews granted to 'Lakbima' in December made direct reference to him and accused him of being inhuman and responsible for a large number of murders.

Stressing that this character assassination was indulged in with a view to enhancing their chances of and affecting his and the UNP's chances of victory at the election, Mr. Perera asked that the respondents be charged with corrupt practice, and the elections declared void.

The two other UNP candidates have cited the Elections Commissioner and a large number of PA parliamentarians inclusive of Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers as respondents. Among these are Ministers Maithripala Sirisena, Amarasiri Dodangoda, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, A.H.M. Fowzie and Nandamithra Ekanayake, Deputy Ministers Lakshman Kiriella, Pavithra Wanniaararchchi, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Reggie Ranatunga and Parliamentarian T.B Ekanayake.

They too have asked that the elections be declared void mainly on the grounds that the voters were intimidated and prevented from voting for the party of their choice.

They have stated that the election commissioner's directive to remove and disregard ballot papers reported to have been stuffed in the ballot boxes was arbitrary and without any legal basis. They also submitted that being aware of the reports of ballot tampering, the commissioner was under a duty, in law, to not declare the results of the polls and in compliance with a request made by the chairman and general secretary of the UNP to not do so.

Power piracy exposure sparks off protests

By Frederica Jansz

Companies and individuals who pleaded guilty to charges of power piracy are saying they are victims of a draconian law.

Responding to a Sunday Times expose last week, Major Tissa Aluvihara whose father had pleaded guilty to a charge of power piracy this month said there was no alternative to the guilty plea as the law was 'draconian' and that it was not possible to prove one's innocence in such circumstances.

"This law is totally mis-used and in the hands of petty officials who use it to get at people like us. The legislation leans completely in favour of the CEB. It is a case of being guilty until proved innocent," he said.

Magistrate Karalliadde who heard the case of Tissa Aluvihara on February 8, said that under the law a judge had no discretion to grant bail to those charged with power piracy.

Legal sources say that even if a suspect pleads not guilty, he or she will still have to be held in remand until the case goes to trial.

Major Aluvihara alleges that on February 7, officials from the CEB forced their way into his father's residence at Battaramulla, and could have tampered with his electricity meter.

He said no police officers accompanied the CEB team. But Inspector Marlon of the Talangama police said they had accompanied the CEB team and the CEB men had not tampered with the meter.

Another resident living close to the Aluvihara residence said the CEB and the police teams had checked her meter too but they had been polite and there was no tampering.

Monaro Group Security & Services Ltd, does not deny that a stone was found in its electrical meter at Ratmalana. This had resulted in substantially reducing the recorded number of electricity units consumed. The company however claims that according to the CEB, the alleged tampering goes back to a period when the premises were occupied by a third party, and that they too were forced to pay the fine as the law stipulates that power piracy is a remandable non-bailable offence.

Meanwhile the office of the Deputy Speaker informed The Sunday Times that he had no knowledge whatsoever about the reported involvement of one of his officials in an incident of power piracy.

CEB's special investigations chief Rueben Wickremarachchi said it was irrelevant who occupied the premises earlier but since Monaro Group was occupying it now a fine of Rs. 200,000 was imposed on it.

The Sunday Times regrets the error last week whch named Major Aluvihara as being found guilty of pirating power and whatever embarrassment was caused to the Deputy Speaker.

Cover-up of the strip

By Hiranthi Fernando

No arrests have yet been made nor have the suspects been questioned in connection with the two cases of stripping and parading of women on the streets in Wayamba, although one month has passed by.

The two victims have named some of the culprits who are said to be well known in the area.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday ordered the IGP to hold an immediate inquiry into the case.

The Officer in Charge at Katupotha Police, said that the Police had not been able to locate the suspects. They have taken statements from the witnesses. They have gone to the homes of the suspects two or three times, also at night, but they have not found them.

The OIC of Wariyapola Police was not available but a Sub Inspector confirmed that no one had been arrested yet because they could not be found.

Sources in the area however say the suspects are freely walking about. One of the suspects has been seen at the courts on Thursday at the hearing of an assault case, in which he was the accused. The officers in charge of Wariyapola and Katupotha police station have reportedly been present in courts that day.

A lawyer who was at the courts had pointed out the suspect to the police officers concerned. Although the officers said they were taking him into custody, nothing had been done. It is also said that this suspect has been seen driving the official vehicle of a powerful Provincial Minister. Another suspect is said to be a Pradeshiya Sabha Member.

Kurunegala's Deputy Inspector General Jagath Jayawardena when asked why the Police had been unsuccessful in locating the suspects, said he had detailed a special team headed by an Assistant Superintendent of Police to handle the investigation so that the local police were out of it.

He did not name the ASP and was not in favour of our request to speak to the officer concerned to gather more information on the progress of the inquiry.

Police Chief Lucky Kodituwakku said he had ordered the DIG North Western Range to have all complaints regarding the elections properly investigated and bring the miscreants before the law.

Mr. Kodituwakku said special emphasis had been made on the cases of stripping. On the instructions of the President, a special team has been formed to carry out a full inquiry and report back early.

The team has been set up on Friday, on receipt of a letter from the President who appears to be taking a special interest to see that justice is done.

Dentists drill safety message

The College of General Dental Practitioners of Sri Lanka will hold the 16th annual scientific sessions and the 12th Brito-Muttunayagam oration on Saturday and Sunday.

"Occupational hazards in dentistry," has been chosen as the theme for this year's programme.

Dr.Lionel Dassanayake, chairman of the scientific sessions said this theme was relevant in the present day context.

"The impact of emerging injections on chemical dentistry" will be the topic of the oration to be delivered by Professor L.P. Samaranayake, oral microbiologist and associate dean for research at faculty of dentistry, University of Hong Kong.

Pera lecturer wins rights case

A senior lecturer at the Peradeniya university has been awarded Rs. 20,000 as damages in a fundamental rights case against the University of Peradeniya.

P.H.N.S. Jayasena filed an Fundamental Rights application in the Supreme Court challenging the university decision to delay her promotion.

The petitioner, a senior lecturer in education at the university, submitted that having served as an assistant lecturer in the university, she completed her degree and applied for the post of senior lecturer.

She was appointed to this post in October 1989. However, in August 1992 she received a letter informing she had been removed from the post by the respondent.

Having sought legal action she was reinstated in this post in 1994 and in October 1996 she received a letter which recorded her date of appointment to the post of Senior Lecturer Grade II as October 1990.

She has however submitted that according to the letter her service period has been reduced, although she was acting in the position even before the official appointment.

The petitioner has stated that by this action her fundamental rights have been violated as her future promotions will be affected.

Justice Shirani Bandara-nayake in her judgment ruled that the petitioner's fundamental rights have been violated.

She ordered that the letter dated October 1996 be invalidated, and that the petitioner's appointment date be considered as October 1989.

Vice-Chancellor Professor C.M. Madduma Bandara of Peradeniya University Dean of the Arts Faculty, K.N.O. Dharmadasa and the Attorney General have been cited, among others as respondents.

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