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DateLine Friday, 11 May 2007

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Government Gazette


UN dumb over abduction of two aid workers

As unravelled by a national English daily, the Colombo UN officials had deliberately kept silent over the issue, trying to cover-up the abduction of two UN employees by the LTTE terrorist outfit.

The Defence.lk web site, has posted the news release extracted under the topic Colombo UN officials tried to cover up the LTTE abduction of two UN employees, in its news column on Tuesday(08).

As learnt through Colombo UN staff officials, the two UN aid workers were forcibly abducted and detained by the LTTE terrorist outfit since April 20, on sheer desperation to demand its issues to the regional UN aid workers who are mostly Tamils from the North and East of Sri Lanka. The LTTE had abducted the two UN workers accusing them of releasing the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who were being used as human shields by the LTTE.

Despite being mute over the controversial issue, the UN Colombo officials has deliberately violated common ethics underlayed by the UN convention on the safety of the UN and associated personnel.

It is taken to notice that the UN Secretary General had been kept in the dark over the abduction of the UN employees by the ruthless terrorist outfit.

The Representative and the Country Director of the World Food Programme(WFP) and Acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Sri Lanka Jeff Taft Dick, is to be held responsible for failing to bring the issue to the notice of the concerned authorities.

He is also to be held responsible for clandestinely negotiating with an internationally banned terrorist outfit, who has claimed over 65,000 civilian lives over the past two decades. It has been learnt that Mr. Dick had used the term ‘arrest’ over the abduction and detention of its employees and later has expressed that the term was used in mistake.

It is imminent that the Colombo UN representatives have crossed the fault lines too many a times, and has jeopardized the lives of its staff and the ethics of the UN role as an international Neutral body.

The breach of the UN codes of ethics and underhand work, deliberately keeping a democratic Government in dark is to be dealt with severe attention in the highest courts of the UN to preserve its standards as a neutral party.

Mobile phone: Is it an indispensable tool?

At present, as the ‘Mobile phone fashion’ is everywhere and some people think it’s an indispensable ‘tool’. Anyhow I am not going to comment on this. There is something I would like to draw everybody’s attention. The message sending method has been found money saving and an effective communication method. Yes it does.

We hear that many FM channels and TV channels have organised many competitions in which the listeners or the viewers can send replies using their mobile or CDMA phones. What a great way! Here we have to think over the term used to send a message. They say “You can send SMS or I sent SMS etc.”

What SMS stands for? Sending Message Services!

Then how could you send SMS? You can send a text message or you can send a message. The language is the bridge between any known or unknown people to correspondent their feelings and expressions. It’s better to be specific when you talk or when you say something to another person. Please don’t attempt to kill the language when you use it.

Malinga the sexiest

There have been many speculations about Malinga in the local newspapers. A cricket enthusiast had quoted that Malinga is living in his youth and is enjoying life.

He leads the life he wants to, not to any others expectations! (Reference DN May 04)

Another had said keep up Malinga, let him enjoy his youth. (Reference DN May 09).

However, Upula Madhushankar, an enthusiast (Reference DN May 09) had viewed the comments of Ranjit Chandrasekera writing via email from Australia as drastic and do not agree with the latter, with his remark as having said as having a ‘third grade look’.

If I am correct Ranjit Chandrasekera is the famous motor cycling champion who dominated the motor racing field in the early ’80s and migrated to Australia. In contrast to what he has said about Malinga, he too adopted a style of his own sporting a very nice beard which really suited this Champion Rider as he was very fair in complexion.

Hence, I am of the opinion that no one could comment drastically on Malinga’s hair style and to be called the ‘sexiest’. Every person has his own imitable style.

In fact, he has brought fame to our Motherland and even Sir Garfield Sobers in conversation with our President during the World Cup has said that all West Indian housewives are crazy about Malinga’s bowling and his hair style which is a unique style, and one that is not emulated.

Well, no one cannot challenge his bowling as he perhaps came up with the most sterling bowling performance in the entire tournament by capturing four wickets in four balls.

In concluding, I must say Sri Lanka has been given a new popularity by Malinga being called the ‘sexiest’, as even I was called ‘sexy’ by some ‘hooligan’ young Aussies travelling in a speedy vehicle when I was doing an evening stroll over here after identifying me as a Sri Lankan.

Revision of Pensions 2006/2007

The Accountant (Pensions) at Colombo D.S. office, Dam Street deserves to be congratulated for her excellent job in completing almost 90 per cent of the revison of pensions except those with insufficient data and we understand is now in the process of revising W & O Pensions.

However, its disgusting that the Accountant (Pensions) at Thimbirigasyaya D.S. office is yet struggling from January 2006 to pay the revised pensions for 2006 and 2007. Only a few who pay homage to her office we hear had been lucky to have the revsions made. We hope the new D.S. will monitor the job of revsions and pay the dues to the underpaid pensioners.

Lethargic attitude of staff at National Archives, Colombo

I contacted the National Archives, Colombo on Wednesday, May 2 at 9.30 p.m. from Canada, which is 9.00 a.m. on Thursday, May 3, 2007. I made this call because I wanted to get photocopies of some articles that I had written to newspapers when I was in Sri Lanka. A person answered the phone in Sinhala and said that because of the rain, so far no one has come to office.

I called them at 10.15 a.m. Sri Lankan time and was again told by the same person in Sinhala, that because of the rain still no one has showed up. So I asked for the total number of staff working at National Archives.

He told me about 150 and cut the line. Another 5 minutes later I ran up again and asked the same person, “So out of the 150 staff only you seem to be working?” He replied that he had already mentioned about the rain. Then I said in that case I will have to bring this to the notice of the Minister.

I also informed him that every time I rang up, I mentioned that I am calling from Canada and this is costing me a lot. The moment I mentioned that I will discuss this matter with the Minister, he said he is only from the security office and that perhaps I could speak to the Deputy Director and put the call through.

It was not the Deputy Director but the Assistant Director, Finance who spoke. When I asked how much her office charges for one letter size (A4) photocopy of an article, she answered that she is not familiar with the rates and put the call through to the Public Relations Officer. She, of course, gave me all the answers I wanted.

What I want to know from the higher ups is whether staff members, even if they happen to be from the security office, have been given some advice or training as to how to answer enquiries from the public? In this case, only after I mentioned that I have to discuss this matter with the Minister in charge that he stopped lying and put the call through to someone.

May I also add one more thing. I got the email address of the Department of Archives from the Department’s own website and sent an email to this office two weeks ago making inquiries about the rates of photocopying etc. Up to now I never got a reply.

This is why I had to phone and it took three phone calls from Canada to get the information I wanted. Why on earth does the Department of National Archives have the e-mail address on their website if they do not want to respond? I hope the Minister of National Heritage and the Director of National Archives will look into this matter.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Villa Lavinia - Luxury Home for the Senior Generation

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