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12th September 1999

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Female eye worm startles surgeon

By Faraza Farook

In a rare occurrence, an eye specialist removed a worm from the eye of a 53-year-old man from Boralasgamuwa.

The female worm, which is 42 mm in length and 143 micro metres in width usually, infects animals such as cats and dogs, Dr. H.S. Padmini said.

This species known as the Brugia Ceylonensis was found for the first time in the eye of a person in Sri Lanka, she said.

Dr. Padmini, an eye surgeon under postgraduate training said the surgery took just 15 minutes and was done under local anaesthesia. "The big worm, surrounded by a thin tissue membrane, was live and highly active. I was able to take it out intact," she said.

A month before the surgery, the patient had complained of itchiness in the upper part of the cheek and mild swelling. "His main complaint was the itch while there was mild redness of eye," she said adding, "but we found the worm accidentally".

The surgery was done immediately as it was possible that the worm could have migrated to other parts of the body, which would make it difficult to locate. The worm was found in the lower, white part of the eye called the bulbar conjunctiva.

How he acquired this is not known. His pet dog has also been tested but showed negative results. Dr. Padmini said a vector might have laid the lava, which had later developed.

The worm is now at the Parasitology Department of the Medical Faculty.

Vasu challenges his expulsion

By Shelani de Silva

Government is awaiting an official confirmation from the LSSP over the expulsion of Vasudeva Nanayakkara for him to be removed from the People's Alliance.

Mr. Nanayakkara who was suspended from the LSSP a few months ago on his decision to sit with the Opposition in Parliament was informed on Friday of his expulsion by Party leader Batty Weerakoon.

With his removal Mr. Nanayakkara faces the threat of losing his seat in Parliament.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle told The Sunday Times that once the LSSP informs the Government officially of his removal, the PA can cancel Mr. Nanayakkara's membership.

"Till the party informs the Government we cannot take any decision. Once the party informs the government Mr. Nanayakkara will be removed from Parliament," he said.

Meanwhile Mr. Nanayakkara, in a desperate attempt to remain in the LSSP, is carrying out a campaign to seek the support of party members to call for an emergency meeting to discuss the issue.

Mr. Nanyakkara told The Sunday Times he would seek the support of the Central Committee members to call for an emergency meeting.

"My expulsion was done without a mandate. If the emergency meeting fails I will present my case at the Members' Central Conference in December and ask on what ground I was expelled," he said.

He added that if he is removed from Parliament he would take it to the Supreme Court .

"The LSSP has shown that it is going along with the Government. The party did not take any action against Athauda Seneviratne when he violated the party laws. This shows the duplicity of the party," he said.

Sinhala-Tamil show sans Tamil

The invitation to a function at which a Sinhala-Tamil handbook for soldiers was to be launched with the aim of promoting ethnic unity was, strangely, sans Tamil.

The function was held recently at the Mahaweli Centre and among the distinguished guests, according to the invitation, were Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte and Army Commander Sri Lal Weerasuriya.

Media Minister's words anger Sinhala group

The Sinhala Veera Vidana has accused Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera of insulting the Sinhala race by saying the organisation comprises eccentrics.

Mr. Samaraweera at last week's Cabinet news briefing came out strongly against the organisation by stating that the government made the mistake of allowing such an eccentric group to enter a high security zone during a protest march.

The Sinhala Veera Vidana said the minister's comments were defamatory and an insult to the Sinhala race.

Secretary S P Ratnayake said it was unfortunate to hear such comments from the media minister at the news conference, while Minister G L Peiris had hailed the movement on many occasions at previous Cabinet news conferences.

"Buddhist Prelayes have given their blessing and always helped our organisation, which is fighting to safeguard the Sinhala race, but when a senior minister makes such alligations it is not only an insult bit alos shows the country is deteriorating. The Sinhala Veera Vidana calls upon the minister to make a public apology to all the Sinhala people," he said.

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