By Keerthi Wijayabahu
Police meet their equals!
Previously they had to deal with someone intent on killing them. But now the beggars are faced with another challenge. That’s killing their daily earning from begging.
The once busy, Police Department, which had made breakthroughs in several of its cases, is now focusing on charging the poor beggars.
Last week, six beggars were charged with begging and obstructing pedestrians in Colpetty. They were arrested and fined Rs10 each. Those accused of committing the ‘heinous crime’ of begging were also severely warned by a Colombo Court.
At a time when murder, rape and child abuse, is the order of the day, it is indeed strange that the Police Department would turn its focus on charging the helpless beggers. It appears that the hapless officers are being outwitted by powerful criminals have met their equals.
Telegrams for condolence messages only!
Posts and Telecommunications Minister, Jeevan Kumaratunga has recently become known to be the front-liner in trying to stop Sri Lanka’s Telegram Service, which is said to be one of the oldest telegram services in Asia.
The minister had said that the service will be scrapped as mobile phones and the internet have taken over its function. However, this move by the minister has angered the unions within the ministry.
The Federation of Telecom Employees' Union is now expected to organize a series of protest campaigns, beginning with 1,000 telegrams being sent to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to draw his attention to their objection to the proposed discontinuation of the telegram service, which rendered valuable service for decades.
However, recently it was revealed that the very minister who was making attempts to scrap the age-old service had sent a telegram on 13 June, with a a message of condolence to a mourning family at Tabbowa in Puttalam. Will the minister now plan on only using telegrams for sending condolence messages instead of scrapping it entirely?
Pillaiyan capitalizing on land issue
Former Chief Minister, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, alias Pillaiyan, is now up in arms against outsiders claiming ownership for lands in Batticaloa.
The `ex-Tiger ‘Chief Minister of the East who was a trigger happy man just before 2009 is now a pious leader in white Veshti contesting for his second term in September .
Pillaiyan kicked off his campaign blaming the Sinhalese claiming land ownership in the East. He said, during the troubled times Sinhalese left the East by selling their lands in the region. But now they return to the Province and claim ownership for the assets they possessed.
When the politicians in the North grumbled about land grabbing in the Jaffna Peninsula, the Eastern Provincial Minister who was in power at that time didn’t utter a single word about the land issue in the North. However, with TNA seeming to take the upper hand in the Eastern polls , the former gun-toting Chief Minister would have thought that even for his campaign, the land issue was an ideal topic.
Shock over bombshell at school by sea
Old boys and Anglican clergymen who attended the recent prize giving ceremony held at a prominent school by the sea, located in Mount Lavinia are furious over comments made by the College Head Boy during his speech.
The recent controversy surrounding the college has now become a topic of discussion amongst parents and old boys of the college, related to the deteriorating tradition and values once upheld by this institution, which had once produced some of Sri Lanka’s most prominent politicians, academics, businessmen, sportsmen and even a few heads of State.
The controversial comment was made when the College Head Boy requested the Warden the equivalent to a school principal, to grant the day after the prize giving as a holiday. However, the sassy Head Boy went on to say that the senior students of the college would like the Warden to introduce his two beautiful daughters to the senior students, if the Warden was unable to comply with the request of granting a holiday. The Warden, the Bishop of Colombo, and several prominent members of the college were in shock over the bombshell that had been dropped.
Assumption, mother of all mistakes
The onetime elusive JVP hardliner, Kumar Gunaratnam alias Kumar Mhattaya who is currently residing in Australia, is making plans for his JVP breakaway, Frontline Socialist Party.
Recently, Kumar Gunaratnam had organized a meeting at Melbourne which was attended by former JVP members and Sri Lankan expatriates living in Australia.
In an unprecedented turn of events, an unidentified group of Sri Lankans had the meeting and had attempted to stop it after they assumed it was an LTTE gathering.
Due to the situation being tense, Gunaratnam was forced to call of the meeting. Eventually some of the Sri Lankans involved in disrupting the meeting later realized it was a JVP dissident group meeting and not an LTTE meeting. Indeed assumption is the mother of all mistakes.
Strict discipline in UNP!
Last week, United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe attended a protest rally which was organized in Gampaha. Along with the UNP leader, several other senior UNP stalwarts attended the rally.
In the heat of the rally, the Mahara organizer for the UNP, U. George Perera who had been enthusiastically chanting slogans against the government had got carried away as the atmosphere of the protest became intense.
In a frenzied trance, George had attempted to climb on to a lorry that had been parked near the protest in order to continue his chanting. A few minutes later, Ranil’s security officials had attempted to get poor George to disembark from the lorry.
However, George being adamant, had tried once again to climb on to the lorry. To add to his dismay, George was once again forced to disembark by Ranil’s security.
In a tone of resentment, George who was disgruntled over the incident told senior UNP member Joseph Michael Perera that the party is treating several members shabbily.
“These are good lessons for us. We get assaulted and go to jail for the UNP. But still we are treated in this manner,” poor George related his lament to Joseph Michael Perera.