By Saman Indrajith
Galle District SJB MP Manusha Nanayakkara yesterday told Parliament that out of the total number of 434 departments, boards, authorities and statutory bodies, 126 come under the purview of the ministries headed by the members of the Rajapaksa family.
Participating in the debate on President’s State Policy, MP Nanayakkara said that in percentage terms, the Rajapaksa family members’ run ministries had 29 percent of all statutory bodies.
“The President and Prime Minister are from the same family. There are two cabinet ministers from that family- Chamal and Namal Rajapaksa. Sahsindra Rajapaksa is a state minister. Chairman of the District Development Council is Nipuna Ranawaka. The Prime Minister has three Cabinet portfolios – Buddha Sasana, Finance and Housing and Urban Development. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has 23 institutions. The Prime Minister has 49 under the Finance Ministry, 11 under the Buddha Sasana and six under the Urban Development ministry. He has 66 institutions under him. Namal Rajapaksa has seven. Sashindra has six. In addition seven other institutions including BOI, Telecom, Telecommunications and Regulations are under the COVID -19 task force under Basil Rajapaksa. There is one Shipping industry state minister who does not have a single institution under him because he is not a member of the Rajapaksa family.”
State Minister Nimal Lanza found fault with Nanayakkara for criticizing the Rajapaksa family. He said Nanayakkara, who was a persons with no regard for family values, was not qualified to criticize others. “He does not care about his wife at least. He does not provide her with food,” Minister Lanza said.
MP Nanayakkara: “This is wrong. I once married and then got divorced. Thereafter I married again. I have a single wife. I do not run brothels all over my district.”
Hemasiri’s counsel complains to PCoI against ex-President Sirisena’s media statement
… says it has placed the life of his client at risk
By Rathindra Kuruwita
Former President Maithripala Sirisena had placed ex-Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando’s life at risk by issuing a media statement that the evidence given by the latter before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) investigating the Easter Sunday attacks was “malicious and fictitious”, Attorney-at-Law Dilshan Jayasuriya appearing for Fernando said yesterday.
Jayasuriya told the PCoI that by issuing that statement Sirisena had also undermined the PCoI.
Sirisena, on Sunday, issued a press release claiming that the testimony given by Fernando at the PCoI about his behavior was completely false.
“I vehemently deny what was said at the Commission by Fernando. These are malicious and fictitious statements and I wish to reiterate to the public that Fernando’s statements are false,” Sirisena said.
Counsel Jayasuriya pointed out that by disseminating such an idea, the former President was trying to intimidate the former Defence Secretary who was still testifying before the PCoI. Sirisena, who was a former President, a current Parliamentarian and a party leader, was powerful and thus, there were now concerns about the security of his client, Jayasuriya said.
The counsel said that it was up to the Commission to decide whether Fernando’s evidence was true or false.
Issuing of a statement undermining Fernando by Sirisena, who was the Commander-in-Chief, the Minister of Defence and the Minister in charge of law and order at the time of the Easter Sunday attacks, was a very bad precedent, the counsel for the ex-Defence Secretary said.
“The former President has been given the opportunity to crossexamine Fernando. However, he has issued press releases. People will be afraid to tell the truth openly if powerful people start issuing press releases on judicial matters,” counsel Jayasuriya added.
Jayasuriya requested the Commission that Sirisena’s Personal Secretary, Sameera de Silva, who issued this media statement, be summoned before the Commission. Silva should explain why he should not be charged with contempt of court. He also requested the Commission to take measures to ensure the safety of his client.
When the Commission asked the counsel appearing for the former President if he had anything to say in that regard, he said that he had not received any advice from his client. Accordingly, the Chairman of the Commission ordered that if there was anything to be said by Sirisena in that regard, it be presented before the Commission today through his legal representatives.
The Additional Solicitor General, who is leading Fernando’s evidence, also informed the Commission that she hoped to comment on the matter once the explanations were made by the former President.
What remains of the building that collapsed
Ill-fated building constructed on loose soil
By Ifham Nizam
Structural engineers’ approval was essential for the construction of building in hilly areas, a senior scientist said.
The National Building Research Organization (NBRO) Director (Landslide Research and Risk Management Division) R.M.S. Bandara told The Island to ascertain the real cause of the building collapse in Kandy on Sunday, an investigation would be conducted within the course of this week. “Initially we thought that could be done in two days or so,” he said
Bandara said that they would work with the Kandy Municipal Council Building Department to find out whether the original plan of the structure had been changed.
According to Senior Chartered Geologist Laksiri Indritilake, who was at the site, the NBRO team was carrying out the technical inquiry into the incident. He said as per their observations the collapsed building was an ad-hoc construction which had been erected blocking a valley path.
“Water flows from above grounds via a valley path. From our preliminary observations, it was evident that this building has been constructed blocking such a valley path. No safety precautions had been taken.”
“The multi-storyed building has been constructed on loose layers of soil in the respective valley region, and the building had caved-in, as the soil layers could not bear the weight of the construction,” said Samantha Bogahapitiya – NBRO’s Geologist in-charge of the Kandy district.
According to him, four families in the area have been were temporarily relocated as a precaution measure.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Geological and Mines Bureau, Anura Walpola said that the collapse had not been caused by a tremor.
SJB MPs decide unanimously to oppose 20A
by Akitha Perera
The Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) would oppose the 20th amendment to the constitution to be presented to Parliament, today, Chief Opposition Whip, MP Lakshman Kiriella said yesterday.
The SJB had studied all the proposed amendment in detail and they couldn’t agree with any of them, he said. Therefore, the SJB had no choice but to work with like-minded forces inside and outside parliament to prevent the bill from becoming law, the MP said.
Kiriella said that SJB MPs HAS met yesterday in Parliament to discuss the matter and they unanimously agreed to oppose the amendment given the weakening of checks and balances imposed by the 19th amendment to the Constitution.
The Chief Opposition Whip said that the replacement of the constitutional council with a parliamentary council, the weakening of the independent commissions, increasing the powers of the executive presidency and removing a number of key institutions from the purview of the auditor general were proposals that would not be accepted by any democratic minded person.
Hemasiri’s counsel complains to PCoI against ex-President Sirisena’s media statement
Reduce number of vehicles on our roads
A true People’s Company for a People-Centered Economy
Lanka only second to Canada in World Schools Debating Championship 2020
Bloody rumpus at Jaffna Central College blamed by CMEV on lack of understanding of counting process
Mangala launches new initiative to rally masses against SLPP
Business7 days ago
Sri Lankan cuisine showcased at ‘Lulu Food Festival’, Bahrain
news5 days ago
CID Sgt. tipped off Harin’s father about Easter attack a day earlier
Features6 days ago
Ruwan Wijewardena UNP leader-in-waiting
Features7 days ago
A Proposal for a new Paradigm in Foreign Policy for Sri Lanka
news6 days ago
Karu takes over late Ven. Sobitha’s outfit, Sajith vows to scuttle 20A
Features4 days ago
The Downfall of Democracy
Sports7 days ago
Resumption of international cricket;
Features5 days ago
Social Inequalities and People’s Movements in New Normal South Asia: Emerging Trends