Finance Minister dines with the LTTE
Finance Minister dines with the LTTE
by Dushy Ranetunge
The participating of Federal Canadian ministers in a LTTE fund raising event is considered a first, and comes on a wave of LTTE fund raising activity since the fall of Elephant Pass which according to Canadian law enforcement sources has netted them over a million Canadian dollars to sustain their terrorist struggle in Sri Lanka.
Most of this fund raising has been carried out via three pro-LTTE Tamil radio stations in Canada.
The event in which the Canadian Federal Ministers participated, was a CN$60 a plate dinner, organised by Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils (FACT), which has been categorised as a LTTE front organisation by the US State Department.
The most famous FACT member is Manickavasagam Suresh whom the Canadian immigration officials have been trying to deport for several years and till recently was held in the famous Don jail in Toronto. Manickavasagam Suresh, a FACT leader, was also involved in raising money for the LTTE.
In January, a Federal Court of Canada judge hearing the Suresh case ruled that "those who freely choose to raise funds to sustain terrorist organisations bear the same guilt and responsibility as those who actually carry out terrorist acts."
The LTTE front, had mislead the Canadian politicians by stating that the event was a new year celebration dinner organised by the Tamil community. They were not aware that the Tamil New Year was in April and not May. Some Tamils who went for the dinner were amused to see Canadian ministers and politicians walking around saying "Happy New Year" to every body. The LTTE cleverly uses deception at home and abroad to further its terrorist aims.
On Saturday, Stewart Bell writing in the Canadian daily newspaper, the National Post, highlighted that the dinner was organised by a LTTE front and that the ministers were expected to attend. Despite this publicity, only the Mayor of Toronto decided to skip the event.
The article also highlighted that Raymond Chan, the Secretary of State for the Asia-Pacific, had said recently that FACT members had joined the Liberal party and approached him for assistance at the party convention in Ottawa. He had subsequently flown a FACT representative to Ottawa to discuss Canada’s role in brokering peace in Sri Lanka.
A Tamil who had telephoned the FACT office (416 463 7647) was told that the event was to raise funds for the "Tamil freedom struggle" and that tickets could be obtained by phoning Rev Francis Xaviar( 416 498 3228).
I had met Rev Francis Xavier, a slight man, at the pro-LTTE "international conference" in Ottawa on May 21st and 22nd 1999 held at the Carleton University. On that occasion, Rev Xavier had prayed for Peace and began by praying for "the millions of Canadian Red-Indians who had been massacred by the white Canadians" and then had gone on to pray for Chandrika, Prabakaran and Tamil Eelam. A few years ago, Fr Xavier was investigated for involvement in a human smuggling racket. It is alleged that he used his position in the church, to front and facilitate the smuggling of several Tamils into Canada.
The Canadian law enforcement authorities are horrified at the latest
development of Canadian federal government ministers, playing politics
with known terrorist fund raisers masquerading under the guise of
By David Graves in Colombo
Although the Indian government turned down a request from Colombo last week to intervene militarily for a second time in the 17-year civil war, New Delhi said it was prepared to send humanitarian aid to the soldiers and 500,000 Tamil civilians (CENSORED)
Two air force transport aircraft were on stand by at Trivandrum, capital of the southern Indian state of Kerala, (CENSORED)
A decision to start the relief effort is expected to be taken Monday at a meeting Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Indian Prime Minister, has called with opposition leaders to brief them on the deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka.
Rajiv Gandhi, then Indian Prime Minister, who ordered the deployment, was later assassinated by a Tiger suicide bomber in 1991.
Sri Lanka wants Tel Aviv to supply fighter-bombers and helicopter gunships to thwart the Tiger advance on Jaffna, the former rebel stronghold lost to the government in 1995, which is considered the capital of the any breakaway state of Tamil Eelam.
The restoration of diplomatic ties with Israel has angered Muslim politicians in Sri Lanka.
It has sent a new army commander, Maj Gen Janaka Perera, to Jaffna to take command of the defence of the peninsula. Security has also been tightened in Colombo, with sandbagged bunkers manned throughout the capital, after intelligence warnings of a possible Tiger bomb attack. The government has invoked war powers for the first time in its 52-year history.
With access for journalists to the battlefront banned and telephone
links with Jaffna cut, (CENSORED)
The current press censorship rules will not apply to media reports of proceedings in parliament today, two senior government and opposition spokesmen told "The Island" yesterday.
Deputy Chairman of Committees, Rauf Hakeem (SLMC) did not mince words. "The Competent Authority appointed by the government to enforce the censorship rules cannot "touch" reports pertaining to proceedings of Parliament," Mr. Hakeem said.
Any censoring of reports of parliamentary proceedings must come from within the Parliament, he added.
UNP’s Colombo District MP, Tyronne Fernando a former State Counsel and Minister under the last government said censorship rules cannot be applied to reports of parliamentary proceedings.
Any censoring of such reports must be carried out by a parliamentary committee of censors, which should be appointed with the consent of the party leaders, Mr. Fernando added.
He further said no such committee has been appointed, and therefore there will be no censorship of reports of proceedings of parliament today.
Today the parliament will debate the extension of the State of Emergency in the whole island by one more month from May 4.
The debate on the extension of the emergency earlier fixed for May 11, was advanced to May 9 by the government, instead of an emergency session of parliament called by the Opposition UNP, to debate the security situation following the Elephant Pass crisis.
Government has allocated an eight and half-hour debate on the extention
of the State of Emergency. The Elephant Pass issue is expected to dominate
the debate today. (WN)
by Saman Indrajith
The agreement was signed by Mr. R. A. P. Goonetilake, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (SLEDB) on behalf of Sri Lanka and the High Commissioner Ruth F. Archibald on behalf of the Trade Facilitation Office, Canada (TFOC).
The signing took place at the launching of ‘Exporters Training Workshop on Canadian Market,’ held at Hotel Trans Asia.
Addressing the workshop the Minister of Internal & International Commerce & Food, Kingsley T. Wickremaratne said Canada has become an important trading partner for Sri Lanka and it also serves as a bridge to the USA market.
Minister Wickremaratne said that Sri Lanka and Canada have been trading partners for a considerable period. Canada is deemed as a priority market for Sri Lankan products and services. "With the formation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada has become an important trading partner, and that trading relationship serves as a bridge to the USA market," he said.
"I believe that this workshop on the Canadian market will help exporters especially small and medium enterprises to develop their professionalism towards overseas markets," he said.
The Minister said that such workshops have twofold objectives. On the one hand they prepare the participants to be able to meet the challenges of international markets by providing them with a knowledge of all aspects of export marketing. On the other hand, they also serve to upgrade local export abilities and thereby ensure importers and buyers in foreign markets of reliable quality products from Sri Lanka.
The Minister further said that it is proposed to sign a free trade agreement among all SAARC countries. The training received from workshops on international markets will immensely benefit the exporters who join the transactions in the region then.
"Then Sri Lanka will be the hub port in the regional transactions. Sri Lanka in that context will become what Hong Kong was for China. This is an unsaturated market place unlike the European Union countries. An ideal place to become the hub of the region," he said.
Miss Archibald, High Commissioner for Canada in Sri Lanka, said that the SLEDB has been working very closely with the Trade Facilitation office in Canada since the 1980s and the two-day workshop would help the participants to develop their strategies and export plans.
Mr. Goonetilake said that the subjects for the workshop directly related to small and medium enterprises which play a vital role in the economy. "Nearly 80% of the exporters are from the category of small and medium enterprises. However, their contribution is only 20% of the total export value. Therefore it is vital to develop and guide the small and medium enterprises to be competitive in the international markets," he said.
Today is the final day of the workshop organised by the SLEDB and the TFOC.
The visiting Air Force Chief of India, Air Chief Marshal Anil Yashwant Tipnis, is expected to discuss the security situation in the country during his 6-day visit although it has been described as a routine one, security sources said yesterday.
The visit was scheduled months ago and it has no connection with the requests made by Sri Lanka to Inida for assistance following the recent debacle at Elephant Pass, official sources in Colombo and New Delhi have said.
Other sources in Colombo said that while the Indian Air Chief’s visit had been arranged weeks ago, his presence in Colombo at this time was expected to be made use of by both sides for an exchange of views on the current security situation.
India has ruled out military intervention in Sri Lanka again or even the supply of military equipment. Indian authorities have, however, said they were prepared to provide humanitarian assistance which could include food and medical supplies.
Official sources said that during his stay in Sri Lanka, Air Chief Marshal Tipnis will pay courtesy calls on President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Deputy Minister of Defence, Anuruddha Ratwatte.
He was also scheduled to meet the Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Chandrananda de Silva, General Officer Commanding Joint Operations Headquarters, Rohan Daluwatte, Army Commander Lt. General Sri Lal Weerasooriya and Navy Commander, Vice Admiral H.C. Tissera.
Air Chief Marshal Tipnis who arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday will visit the Sri Lanka Air Force bases in Anuradhapura, Diyatalawa and Katunayake. He will also visit historic sites at Anuradhapura, Sigiriya and the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. He is accompanied by his wife, Molina Tipnis and three senior officers of the Indian Air Force.
The Indian Air Chief was commissioned into the Indian Air Force as a fighter pilot in 1960. After a couple of staff appointments and a stint at the National Defence Academy in India as the Chief Instructor (Air) and Battalion Commander, he was posted to France in 1983 as the Team Leader for the Mirage Project Team, where he was responsible for the induction of the Mirage-2000 aircraft into the Indian Air Force. He has held the ranks of Air Vice Marshal and Vice Chief of Air Staff before taking over as the Chief of Air Staff in 1998.
The Peoples Liberation Front (JVP) together with several other political parties, trade unions and peoples organisations will stage a protest campaign today to urge the government to call off suppressive regulations imposed by it.
In a press release, the party said that they "have decided to protest against the government, urging to call off the special suppressive regulations, imposed in the guise of finding solutions for the war, to restore democracy and not to establish diplomatic relations with Israel".
The protest which will be staged by the JVP, Nawa Sama Samaja party, Muslim United Liberation Front with some trade unions and peoples organisations will be held at the Lipton Circus roundabout at 12 noon. The protest is expected to coincide with the Parliamentary debate on extending the Emergency Regulations.
Colombo East-West Group Corr:
‘The present staff training with emphasis on Procedures, FR and AR is of little use. Such training is easy to conduct as there are ready made notes and handouts. What is required but neglected is educating all the people in the organization about the mission, the tasks and ways and means of achieving them. This is difficult. There has to be some initial hard work which many top people in government organizations tend to avoid. It is due to lack of this type of training that there is no co-ordination, no knowledge about what is to be done and one person does not know what the man sitting next to him is doing.
‘ Permanent Ministerial Units must be established by a rational classification and amalgamation of subjects to suit the present development needs of the country. This enables the Treasury codings for Heads and Votes to remain unchanged despite cabinet reshuffles and changes of government. Each Ministerial Unit must have a Secretary. A Minister may be assigned one or more Ministerial Units. The Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs and Plantation Industries for example can be considered two Ministerial Units. If a Parliamentary Select Committee determines Ministerial Units they will remain intact for a longer time.
‘There must be a Performance Monitoring Authority (PMA) to review performance of all government agencies and report to parliament. Parliament must have a committee to examine reports of the PMA. This arrangement is similar to the Auditor General, COPE and PAC. These organs have had a vital role when the main government emphasis was on adminstration. Now the emphasis is on development. We are interested in results and not just compliance. It was observed in the past and now people want results even at the expense of compliance,he said.
Colombo East-West Group Corr:
Rev. Fr. Joseph Montannon, a native of France had arrived in Sri Lanka in 1910 and devoted has life as an inspired priest in various missions throughout the country. In the latter decades which were the period of ascendence of his literary career he served as Parish Priest of Halpe Mission in Katana. Pandit Amarasinghege Francis Silva a close colleague of Munidasa Cumaratunga was principal of the Catholic school at Nelumpitiya, contemporaneous with Fr. Montannon, their friendship developed.
Rev. Fr. Montannon indicated to his friend Francis Silva his deep desire to study the Sinhala Language and literature effectively and scientifically. Perceiving his intentions Francis Silva introduced Fr. Montannon to Munidasa Cumaratunga, the literary giant and most inspiring educator. This meeting turned out to be one of the most prolific periods of modern Sinhala Catholic Literature.
Intellectually activated by the scholarly and poetic inspiration offered by Cumaratunga, Rev. Fr. Montannon earned the sobriquet the father of Modern Sinhala Catholic Literature. Before that Rev. Fr. Jacome Gonsalves was called the father of Catholic Sinhala Literature. Rev. Fr. Joseph Montannon came to be known as the Father of Modern Sinhala Catholic Literature.
Fr. Montannon’s poetical works are ‘Dilindu Pasilla’ 444 stanzas, ‘Anisalakara’ 479 stanzas, ‘Owadan Kirila’, 116 stanzas, ‘Loka Darshana’, 584 stanzas, ‘Pahan Dahan’, 1264 stanzas, ‘Saehaen Daehaen’, 1200 stanzas, and ‘Kevali’. His prose works are ‘Pravurja Pooranee’, ‘Divyadharmodgrahanaya’, ‘Sugatigaminee’, ‘Prasada Vaahinee’, ‘Suwacha Chitta Vilasinee’, ‘Duka Komalee’, ‘Tapogaminee’- a series of volumes and ‘Timodamangalee’.
All these works clearly reflect the rays of the wealthiest literary soul of Munidasa Cumaratunga. As Cumaratunga’s second eminent pupil from France Rev. Fr. Joseph Montannon’s predominant characteristic is a fearless intellectual critical faculty and coherent and serious thinking that he struggled not for himself, but for his ideas.
The literature which Fr. Montannon produced was appreciated not only by knowledgeable Catholics but also non-Catholics as well. Munidasa Cumaratunga’s second French Catholic pupil passed away on 07.11.1945 not even one year after his death, said the speaker.
From Ranaweera Manukulasooriya our Gokarella Corr:
Rev. Rambukwelle Pannasara Thero, Chief Incumbent of the Pingalpoththa Raja Maha Viharaya, Polgolla presided.
‘’Most of our mothers go abroad for employment leaving their beloved children and husbands. When the children lose the affection of their mothers they automatically are compelled to take to vices. The husbands too are compelled to engage in various anti-social activities. As a result of this the whole family gets shattered. The main objective of our organization is to implement a programme to bring the living conditions of such families to a satisfactory level" Dr. Herath added.
Chandra Galpot-hthawala, a well-known Sri Lankan philanthropist who now lives in the United States of America has offered to grant financial assistance for this welfare organization.
From Cyril Wimalasurendre
observed Ven. Rambukwelle Sri Wipassi Mahanayake Thera of Malwatte welcoming the delegation of the newly formed political organisation ‘Sihala Urumaya on Sunday 07.
The delegation from the Sihala Urumaya led by its President S. L. Gunasekera, General Secretary Tilak Karunaratne MP and National Organiser Patalee Champika Ranawake called on the Malwatte Mahanayake and the Anunayake Thera of Asgiriya Ven. Galagama Attadassi.
The delegates paid their homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic at the Sri Dalada Maligawa where they were received by the Diyawadana Nilame Neranjan Wijeratne.
The Mahanayake Thera said that the Sinhala Buddhist should be given a united leadership by these groups who are genuinely interested in safeguarding the rights of the masses that possess the legitimate right to the land.
Political parties and leaders rise from time to time and disappoint the masses because they fail to fulfil their promises, the prelate noted.
The petty differences among the groups should be forgotten and unite to save the Sinhalese people and the country, the prelate added saying that he welcomed the Sihala Urumaya leaders and blessed the movement a success.
Anunayake Rajakeeya Pandita Ambanwelle Sri Pannasekera Thera lamented that the safe of Sri Lanka and the Sinhala people have been deteriorating for the last five decades since independence due to disunity.
He expressed the hope that Sihala Urumaya would excel in service to the nation.
The Anunayaka Thera of Asgiriya Ven. Galagama Attadassi Thera said that he was willing to welcome team leaders who were genuinely consulted to protect the rights of the majority Sinhala community while safeguarding the human rights of every person in the country.
What we need at this particular hour is unity of the country, he said.
The President, Hela Urumaya S. L. Gunasekera and the secretary of the organisation told the prelates that Hela Urumaya treated the security and the rights of the Sinhala community above politics.
The organisation was formed to prevent the country from being censored.
Diyawadana Nilame Neranjan Wijeratne told the party leadership that the blessings of the Sacred Tooth Relic and the guardian duties will be with the leaders and their parties who give an unblemished leadership to the country and race.
Patalee Champika Ranawake, Dr. Piyasena Dissanayake, Prof. A. M. Madduma Bandara, Ms. Rosy Bandaranayake and Pushpa Iriyagolle Dharmasena and several others were among those present.
inauguration of film festival in Kandy
KANDY: Parents should send their children to Dhamma schools and to cinemas as well. There is much to learn from films, said Northern Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Development Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama at the inauguration of a film festival consisting of Sinhala films produced some years ago.
The film festival titled ‘Yatagiya Dawasa’ was organised jointly by the Sri Lanka Film Corporation and the Kandy Municipal Council.
The festival was held at the Kandy D.S. Senanayake Public Library. Continuing Dr. Sarath Amunugama said, the belief that children become corrupted by seeing films was a misconception as in many instances films were educative and useful in day to day life.
He said, children should not be prevented or discouraged from going to cinemas or viewing film shows, but encourage them in viewing good films.
It was the responsibility of the authorities and parents to ensure that good films were produced and screened. Films that educate society and make people better in their behaviour, attitudes and thinking are needed, he said.
Chairman, Sri Lanka Film Corporation, Tissa Abeysekera, said that this type of film festivals were organised to provide the public the opportunity of enjoying the earliest Sinhala films which were subjected to much satisfaction and appreciation by the film fans because those artistic attribute were of a high standard.
Steps have been taken by the Film Corporation to extend the programme to several other outstations for the benefit of the film fans, he said.
The Mayor of Kandy Harindranath Dunuwille, expressed his gratitude to the Film Corporation and others responsible for organising the film festival in Kandy.
It was most appropriate to hold a film festival titled ‘Yatagiya Dawasa’ in Kandy as Kandy itself is a capital which has a historical and illustrious past, he said.
Central Provincial Governor T. K. Dassanayake and Kandy Municipal Commissioner Ms. Jayantha C. Bulumulle also addressed the gathering.
Among those present were Central Provincial Council’s Leader of the House W. M. Yasamana and Acting Librarian of the D. S. Senanayake Library Ms. Pushpa Muwandeniya.
by Norman Palihawadana
Elaborating further the Inspector General of Police stated that this intelligence service will have a check on Tiger terrorists as well as underworld criminals. The police security islandwide has been strengthened and that prompt action would be taken to arrest persons spreading false rumours and those aiding and abetting Tiger terrorists and the underworld crminals.
Meanwhile public information regarding Tiger terrorists and the underworld are being received and respective police stations have been ordered to take prompt action. Already about 20 underworld criminals have been rounded up stated the Inspector General of Police.