By Keerthi Wijayabahu
As the Sri Lankan Government fights a battle against the LTTE overseas propaganda machinery, former LTTE Eastern Commander and current Deputy Minister of Resettlement Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman has invited the Prime Minister of the Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, Visvanathan Rudrakumaran, who is also a prominent LTTE activist, to visit Sri Lanka.
Even though Minister Muralitharan had extended an invitation to his one-time ally and eventual nemesis, the motive behind the invitation yet seems obscure.
Rudrakumaran, who is the son of a former politician in Jaffna, had been criticized for not taking a strong stance against the national issue and the rights of Tamils.
The one-time LTTE theoretician, Anton Balasingham had been irked by Rudrakumaran entering the LTTE’s political sphere. Balasingham had even gone to the extent of expressing his dissatisfaction to senior Tiger leaders.
This time, it is the former LTTE arms procurer and financier Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, who is currently held in the 'golden cage' of the government, who has been irked. He is angered over the invitation extended to Rudrakumaran.
Insubordination at its worst
Despite the Ministry of Power and Energy being on a drive to conserve electricity last week a directive given by the Power and Energy Minister, Patali Champika Ranawaka, had fallen on deaf ears.
The minister, who had been disturbed after learning of street lamps along the Galle Road in Wadduwa being kept alight during the daytime, had pulled up his senior official and ordered him to look into the matter.
However, despite the minister’s orders, on the following day too the street lamps had been kept on during daytime.
The annoyed minister had called the officers in charge of the particular area and addressed them on the issue. Is this a case where insubordination and energy conservation go hand-in- hand in the Ministry of Power and Energy?
Uninvited guest at lunch
While civil rights activists, journalists and opposition politicians participated in a demonstration on Thursday against the probe on srilankamirror.com and srilankaxnew.com websites, Ruwan Ferdinandez, the web administrator of the two sites in question had dined with the President on the same day at Temple Trees.
While Ferdinandez had been speaking to President Mahindra Rajapaksa over a political matter, the President had abruptly got up from his seat and had said that he was hungry and was going to have his lunch.
Ferdinandez had then followed the President and had sat in the Presidential dining table uninvited and had feasted with the President and his associates.
Many activists and journalists, who were protesting had expected Ferdinandez to join the demonstration. However, it was none other than Ferdinandez’s close associate Mangala Samaraweera, who had paid a courtesy visit while the demonstration was ongoing. After a short while, Samaraweera made a quick exit from the demonstration.
Rajaratnam has a VIP visitor
During the past several months, news of American billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, who is currently serving time for insider trading and manipulation of the US stock market, had hit headlines in Sri Lanka.
His involvement in crimes did not only stop at market manipulation. They even went to the extent of terrorist financing.
However, despite his involvements in financial scams, the Sri Lankan born American billionaire maintains connections with several Sri Lankan politicians. He is even engaged in business activities with a certain Sri Lankan businessman, who is in a prominent opposition political party.
Recently, whispers from a maximum security prison indicated that Rajaratnam had been visited by a Sri Lankan. It eventually transpired that the particular visitor was none other than an opposition politician.
Ranil and Sagala topless
Last week Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe along with his blue eyed political protégé, Sagala Ratnayake, UNP parliamentarian for Matara District, was seen topless – without their shirts – at a temple in the South.
The news of the pair being shirtless together had sent alarm bells amongst sections of the UNP, which feared that the news could cause a negative media blitz of their Leader.
However, the discreet tour of Ranil and Sagala eventually reached the public domain. The pair had been together and had participated in a 'religious tour' down South. They had even visited a prominent temple in Kataragama.
Like a story from a fairy tale, details of the tour ended, by Ranil and Sagala entering the temple shirtless after they had taken a bath to purify themselves, in order to take part in a ritual.
White van hounds Vs stray hounds
The authorities have turned a deaf ear to the plea made by dog lovers who allege that man’s best friend is now mysteriously disappearing from the face of Colombo City.
Activists fighting for the rights of dogs, claim that the elusive white vans that lurk like a phantom in the city, are currently not focusing on abducting journalists, humanitarians, businessmen and political activists, but have now turned their attention towards the stray dogs in Colombo.
Few of these dog lovers claim that they had made several calls and sent several letters to seek a meeting with Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to address this burning 'national crisis'. However, despite their many attempts to seek an appointment, they had not received any feedback from the Defence Secretary.
They said that this was part of a government plot to eliminate stray dogs from Colombo City. They also claim that though these were stray dogs, they had been regularly vaccinated and taken care of by several animal rights groups.
“The stray dogs, we know and feed regularly, keep disappearing from the city. Apparently the first disappearances were recorded in Galle Face in 2010 and since then, dogs from other parts of the city are disappearing on a continuous basis. The abductions have been seen to be taking place in broad daylight, by people. When the animal lovers of Colombo tried to investigate, they say that all the leads finally pointed to the Defence Ministry,” a disgruntled dog lover said during a recent protest held against the 'abduction of dogs'.
Is this a case for the hounds of justice or the men of justice as mystery shrouds the case of the missing stray dog?
Longing to meet Aung San Suu Kyi
During the past few days President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been making plans to visit Myanmar which will be one of his tours scheduled as a Head of State.
This time around, it is certainly not the bilateral ties, shopping, cuisine or the culture of a region which is attracting Sri Lanka’s Head of State. His visit to Myanmar is to meet Burmese opposition politician and Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.
The President has always longed for the day he would meet the Iron Lady of Burma and to pose for a picture which would be placed in the Temple Trees wall of fame. This time around, the President will be able to fulfill his long time longing.