“My mother is a woman”- qualification to become women’s affairs minister
Sri Lanka’s new Cabinet ministers have been making comical remarks as they struggle to explain their new portfolios (with no particular responsibilities or departments to run) to the electorate.
Many ministers in President Rajapaksa’s new “small Cabinet” of over 40 members, apart from the Rajapaksa brothers and a handful of other loyalists, were not assigned any serious responsibility and senior ministers are reportedly feeling insulted by the Royal family.
The US government has decided to review the GSP facility extended to 3,400 Sri Lanka exports to the country.
The decision to review the facility was arrived at after studying a petition was handed in by American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization. The petition had stated that Sri Lanka has not implemented the international labor charters. It states several areas of concerns like the minimum age of child laborers, minimum wage, the minimum number of working hours per day, security at the work place and health.
The UNP Leader, SLFP (M) Wing Leader Mangala Samaraweera and several other senior UNPers have secretly discussed the possibility of brining former President Chandrika Kumaratunge back to parliament as a UNP National List MP in order to contest the Presidential election, if the government implements the amendment to extend the number of terms of office held by an Executive President, it is really learnt.
JHU National Organizer’s brother registers new political party
Anura Sri Warnasinghe
The JHU National Organizer Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe’s brother Anura Sri Warnasinghe has started a new political party named the Sri Lanka Social Democratic Party and the relevant papers to register the party with the Elections Department have already been handed over.
It is learnt that this political party has been formed by combining several political parties including the North and East Sinhalese Organization, which is an affiliate of the JHU.
Political circles are now discussing that the new political party could be a strategy of the JHU to push its ideology in society in a different aspect.
Wimal’s monk friend involved in a racket to admit children into schools
A monk appointed to the board of directors of the Urban Township Development Authority by NFF Leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa, as it is a subject under his purview, is reportedly involved in taking bribes from people promising to help admit their children to popular schools in Colombo.
It is learnt that Ven. Ittekande Saddhatissa Thero has taken money from parents saying he was a close associate of Minister Wimal Weerawansa and was therefore able to get the President to help enter their children into popular schools.
The Lanka Truth website, which is being operated by the JVP Media Unit, is being obstructed by Sri Lanka Telecom, it is learnt. The action has been initiated by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC).
Senior government members, who were disturbed by the launching of www.radio.lankatruth.com web radio channel, have approved the TRC’s move.
Defence Secretary shows signs of entering politics!
Opens a pre-school in Divulwewa
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who is planning on entering politics after taking over the Urban Development Authority (UDA), yesterday (2) entered the education sector by opening a pre-school in the Divulwewa village in Morawewa.
Gotabhaya’s wife, Ayoma, had also participated in the opening ceremony of the school which is to facilitate the children of about 500 Sinhalese, Muslim and Tamil families that have been resettled in the area.
Former President Chandrika Kumaratunge it is reliably learnt had requested SLFP (M) Wing Leader Mangala Samaraweera that it was not the time to carry out a lone battle to safeguard the policies of the SLFP and that he should accept UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s invitation and join the UNP.
Chandrika had also separately met with SLFP (M) Wing seniors Upulangani Malagamuwa and Anuradhapura local government member Anurudhdhika Dissanayake and explained to them why they too should join the UNP.
Speech made in Parliment on 2nd of July by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera-MP for Matara
"No country has ever achived economic prosperity for the people by suppressing the Rule of Law"
The budget presented on the 29th, the first since the defeat of the LTTE in May last year, could well have been the most important budget to have been presented in Sri Lanka, in recent times, heralding a new era of peace and economic prosperity.
Instead we were presented with an IMF approved wish list without any reference whatsoever to the practical day to day nightmares our people have to face today.
Ajith Jayasekera awards tender to relative in violation of tender procedure
Sri Lanka Cricket Additional CEO Ajith Jayasekera it is learnt has handed over construction work at the Pallekele and Kettarama cricket stadiums to one of his relatives, S. Panangala, in violation of normal tender procedures.
It is learnt that Ajith Jayasekera calls for, open and award tenders on behalf of Sri Lanka Cricket. He is also said to receive 10% of the tender as a commission.
He has reportedly given employment at Sri Lanka Cricket to about 17 of his Air Force friends and colleagues.
Wimal had acted against the UN Secretary General following a request by the President
A senior member of the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) told Lanka News Web that NFF Leader and PNM senior member, Minister Wimal Weerawansa had summoned a press briefing on June 30th and criticized the UN Secretary General following a personal request made by the President.
President in a mess trying to find the two-thirds majority
A senior government minister told Lanka News Web that although the government was trying to introduce the constitutional amendment to extend the term of office of an Executive President in great urgency, they are unable to do so, as they are yet to find the required number of opposition members of parliament to support it.
The President currently has the support of 143 legislators in the House excluding the Speaker. However, following the decision of the five Leftist party members in the government to oppose the amendment, the government is in need of the support of 13 opposition MPs to get the required two-thirds majority.
CaFFE requests party leaders to support the government’s proposal to broadcast parliamentary sessions live via internet
Campaign for Free ad Fair Elections (CaFFE) commends Minister Dinesh Gunawardane’s proposal to broadcast parliament sessions live via internet and requests all political parties to support this proposal in the coming party leaders meeting. We believe that this step will help the general public to understand the role played by the MPs in the parliament.
Basil asks for stories to be published that Dhanuna is being hidden in the US embassy premises in Colombo
Minister Basil Rajapaksa has asked Divaina reported Keerthi Warnakulasuriya and a female journalist at Lake House to publish stories saying that General Sarath Fonseka’s son-in-law Dhanuna Thilekaratne is being kept inside the US embassy premises in Colombo.
Meanwhile NFF Leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa has been assigned the task of creating an impression among the public against such actions.
Jackson paid Rs. 30 million for the cultural show at the ceremony held to fill water into the Hambantota Port
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has decided to pay Rs. 30 million to Jackson Anthony after handing his propaganda company, Helanka, the cultural show at the ceremony to be held on August 1 to fill the Hambantota Port with water.
Veteran dancer Channa Wijewardena and several artists had visited the venue a few days back to inspect the grounds where the cultural show is to be held.
President unhappy with India for not objecting to Ban Ki-moon’s panel
A senior official at the External Affairs Ministry told Lanka News Web that the President was displeased with India for not raising objections against the panel of experts appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to study and make proposals on Sri Lanka.
He said that the President had told the External Affairs Minister that while 29 countries including Russia have objected to the appointment of the panel, neighboring India has remained and that India’s silence was a sign of the country’s approval of the panel.
Bandula’s henchman appointed as head of transport at Lake House
Lake House Transport Manager Sendanayake, who is allegedly helping the Chairman’s corrupt activities, has been promoted as the head of the transport division at the institution and as the manager of the Lake House provincial office yesterday.
Lake House sources said that the transport manager had been given such a promotion and a massive pay hike since he allegedly supported Lake House Chairman Bandula Padmakumara in his corrupt and irregular dealings.
STOP LABOUR RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN THE APPAREL
SECTOR AND COMPLY WITH ILO STANDARDS TO PROTECT
The US government has accepted a petition
to review the US GSP status enjoyed by Sri Lanka. The American Federation of Labour and
Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL-CIO) filed the petition. Sri Lanka is now at the brink of
losing both EU and US GSP regimes. The Republic of Maldives lost its US GSP due to such
complaints at the beginning of this millennium.
The TUC wishes to state that the US GSP complaint accepted this week by the US government is
a direct result of poor labour conditions and non-compliance with international labour standards of
the ILO especially by the apparel sector employers and the government of Sri Lanka. It draws
attention to poor enforcement of labour laws in Export Processing Zones and the apparel sector,
restrictions to form union federations consisting of public-private sectors, etc..
A plan to give the coastline between Puttalam and Jaffna to India under the guise of using the area for a wind power project has been revealed. The Power and Energy Minister had made this statement during a visit to the area recently.
The Minister had said that the Kalpitiya area in Puttalam is to be used for a wind power project, but had not stated as to who would carry out the project.
Decision not to grant positions to defeated candidates not applied to All Ceylon Muslim Congress
Senior officials at the SLFP headquarters told Lanka News Web that the President’s decision not to appoint defeated candidates at the last general election to positions in state institutions has been violated by all other constituent parties in the UPFA, with the exception of the SLFP. The official said that All Ceylon Muslim Congress leader Minister Rishard Bathiudeen had yesterday violated the Presidential directive by making such an appointment.
Samurdhi not approved for the Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Mannar districts
A TNA parliamentarian told Lanka News Web that the government when allocating funds for Samurdhi payments had not made provisions to include the Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Mannar districts in the scheme.
The parliamentarian said that when queried about the matter from Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, he had said that there was no need to allocate monies through Samurdhi for the three districts as funds have already been allocated for those areas through the resettlement programme.
UPFA to filed Omar, UNP to field Musammil
A senior government minister from the Colombo District told Lanka News Web that the President has already decided to filed Omar Kamil as the UPFA’s main candidate at for the Colombo Municipal Council during the local government elections.
Kamil had previously held the post of Colombo Mayor when he contested under the UNP and won. He currently serves as the Colombo Municipal Commissioner following a Presidential appointment.
A group of students affiliated to the agriculture division of the Peradeniya University had hooted at Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena and Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.
The Health Minister had been hooted at by the students when he had participated at the event to open the agriculture equipment and food products sales center within the agriculture division of the University yesterday (29).
JVP trade unions vow to fight for a salary increment
The JVP affiliated trade unions have decided to fight to win relief and salary increments to the working masses following the government’s announcement that salary increments would only be introduced in the 2011 budget.
JVP politburo member and President of the National Trade Union Center, K.D. Lalkantha called on the public and other trade unions to join the fight saying it is now up to the trade unions to fight to win salary increments for the working masses.