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Saturday, 21 August 2010

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PARLIAMENT

Condolence messages :

Dr Karunanayake helped formulate Mahinda Chinthanaya - Minister Nimal Siripala

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa presided when Parliament met at 1 p.m. yesterday.

After the presentation of Papers and Oral Questions the House took up votes of condolences of ex-MPs late Dr Kamal Karunanayaka, late Yasendra Bakmeewewa and late Cholomondeley Goonewardena.

Irrigation and Water Resources Management and the Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva: I present here the condolence motion of ex-MP late Kamal Karunanayake to the House. He was a senior Presidential consultant.

He was born on April 29, 1937 at Minuwangoda. He was the father of Dr. Geeshani Karunanayake.

He received his education at Nalanda Vidyalaya, Minuwangoda and Nalanda Vidyalaya, Colombo. He obtained an honours degree in Economics at the Peradeniya University. He was the first one to enter the University from Nalanda Vidyalaya, Minuwangoda.

He started his carrier as an economics lecturer in Kelaniya University in 1963. He became a senior lecturer in 1975, and from 1976 onwards was a Professor of Economics. He held the Head of Department post twice at the Economics Department.

He worked as a consultant in many local and foreign Government and private institutions. He had to sacrifice his job in order to work for Sirimavo Bandaranaike in 1971.

He entered Parliament in 1989 from the PA National List. Due to his simple characteristics and the quality to listen others, he was greatly admired and respected by many. He was a founding member of the Economic Society. He made a great contribution for the victory of Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2005 and due to his talents became the Senior Economic Consultant of the President. He made a great contribution in the formulation of the Mahinda Chintana policy as well.

He died at the age of 68 on November 18, 2006. May he attain the Supreme Bliss of Nirvana and I suggest that we send the copies of this condolence motion to his family members.

Ranil Wickremesinghe (UNP): I got to know him well when I was working as a Biyagama Organizer.

He was an economics lecturer. He was well educated and an intelligent person. He served as a lecturer in economics at the Kelaniya University. He worked in many institutions as a consultant.

I express my condolences herewith to the family members and relatives of him.

Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena: We must first extend our admiration to his character. His talent and intelligence were outstanding, and therefore he added new courage to the education field.

He shared his knowledge and experiences while working as a consultant to Sirimavo Bandaranaike at critical times. He was an exemplary and humble person. He drove his own car to come to this House.

I express my condolences to his family members.

Karu Jayasuriya (UNP): I don’t want to repeat the positive characteristics brought out by the members who spoke before me. I fully endorse all those sentiments.

He gained his doctorate from the Birmingham University. He didn’t use political power to suppress the people who bore different ideologies fro his own. He didn’t harass them.

He had a happy family life. At this moment we extend our sympathies to his family.

Labour Relations and Productivity Improvement Deputy Minister Jagath Balasooriya: I consider myself very fortunate to speak a few words on behalf of a person, that I associated for a long time. Both of us were contemporaries and obtained economic degree in political science. We joined in the protests against the US held at the Hyde Park together.

He provided his service in many local and foreign institutions. During the latter stages of his life, he worked as a Special Presidential Consultant on economic matters.

During the Presidential Election in 2005, he made an enormous effort for the victory of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He was a friendly person, and was loved by many.

Dr Jayalath Jayawardena (UNP): Late Prof Kamal Karunanayake represented this House from 1989 to 1994 as a National List Member.

The biggest honour that we can pay him is to ensure that, educated and intelligent people come to national politics.

Today, we must ask our conscience whether we got anything from the exemplary life he led. He didn’t insult anyone and did not use words in a way that would hurt someone else.

Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Deputy Minister Wijith Wijithamuni de Zoysa: I join this condolence motion today as a relative and as a person who worked with him.

He was entitled to various positions in the party. He was a very active person. He spent a very happy life.

He had a close connection with the Rajapaksa family as well. He was well educated and had a refined character.

I express my sympathy at this moment to his family members and relatives.

John Amaratunga (UNP): An important fact considering his bio data is that he was the first one to enter the University from Nalanda Vidyalaya, Minuwangoda.

It was a great honour for the school.

He never involved in thuggery, during his political career. We are deeply grieved by his death and would like to express our condolences to his family members. May he attain Nibbana!

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sumedha G Jayasena: We knew him as a person who contributed greatly to the victory of the party. He entered Parliament in 1989.

He was always with cheerful face and was friendly with all. While being in the Consultative Committee he rendered an immense service to the nation.

As a consultant, he contributed a lot to the success of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the 2005 election. We learnt a lot from him and at times he was a great teacher to us. He was ready to teach us at any time.

Kamala Ranatunga (UPFA): As a representative from the Gampaha District, I would like to make a few words about him.

He was an intellectual. He had great talent. He always provided his services for the benefit of others.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa at many public occasions stated the value of dis-refraining from politics of hatred.

As a consultant to the President, Kamal Karunanayake also advised him in this regard. I express my sympathy over his death, and with that he attain Nibbana!

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa: I agree with the condolence expressed today in this House over ex-MP late Kamal Karunanayake. I order that a copy of these speeches of the condolence motion be sent to his family members and relatives.

Yasendra Bakmeewewa

Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva: I present the condolence motion of ex-MP late Yasendra Bakmeewewa to Parliament. He was a senior politician who represented the Digamadulla Seat.

Ranil Wickremesinghe (UNP): The biggest project initiated after the Independence was achieved, was the Gal-Oya project. One among those who benefitted is Nihal Yasendra Bakmeewewa.

He studied and developed as a village politician. He rendered his service at his topmost level to his area and only after 10 years was he elected to the Anuradhapura Municipal Council. Even thereafter he rendered his service to the village.

That’s why he could be elected to the Parliament in 1989. His service was so great that the people elected him to the Parliament as their representative.

P. Dayaratne (State Resources and Enterprise Development Minister): I met him at the Gal Oya project. He supported me at the election in 1979.

During the 1988 period there was terrorism on both sides.

In the Moneragala area there was terrorism initiated by Sinhala youth, while there was LTTE terrorism in the Aranthalawa area.

During that time it was difficult even for a Sinhala person to contest in Ampara area.

But Nihal Bakmeewewa contested for the Provincial Council and was elected. Thereafter he was elected to the Parliament in 1989.

Karu Jayasuriya (UNP): He was very lucky to be the only Provincial Councillor of the North-Eastern Provincial Council. He was also appointed as the Deputy Mayor of Ampara. He was known as the ‘friend of the poor’ by the people.

He was a great father to his children and a great politician to the country.

A. H. M. Azwer (UPFA): Nihal Bakmeewewa developed a brotherhood with the Muslim community in the Ampara area.

Bakmeewewa was interested in developing the remote areas such as Yala, Eastern Province, Kumana and the Hambantota area. He was a silent worker. Now Hambantota is being developed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. One of the biggest harbours has been constructed there.

A. H. M. Azwer takes the Chair.

Anoma Gamage (UNP): Nihal Bakmeewewa commenced his political career after being elected as a member to the newly established Ampara Municipal Council in 1979.

Thereafter he represented the people of Digamadulla in Parliament on three occasions.

Sriyani Wijewickrama (UPFA): He had seven siblings. They all have become responsible citizens.

He was a father of three. Being influenced by Nihal Bakmeewewa, his son Ayomaka Bakmeewewa has joined the politics. He is still held by the people of Digamadulla in high esteem.

Thalatha Athukorala (UNP): The Bakmeewewa family went to Ampara with the commencement of Gal Oya project.

Nihal Bakmeewewa’s father was an architect of the project. Nihal Bakmeewewa received his education from schools in Ampara and joined the Gal Oya project as an engineer. Thereafter he joined politics to serve the people of the Ampara area.

A. H. M. Haris (UNP):

He worked his best to create harmony among Sinhala, Tamils and Muslim people in the Digamadulla District.

He served the people of the East. He won the confidence of the people by rendering a greater service in the Digamadulla District.

Cholomondeley Goonewardane

Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva: Late Minister Cholomondeley Goonewardane was born in 1917.

He had seven brothers and sisters. He studied at St. John’s College and Holy Cross College, Kalutara. He later joined S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia. He received many prizes for English Literature.

He passed out as a lawyer from Law College and served for the betterment of the ordinary people. He joined the Lanka Sama Samaja Party in 1937. After that he was elected to the Kalutara Urban Council representing the Kalutara District. He joined the Suriya mal Campaign and Joined the anti Malaria campaign in the Dry Zone.

He fought for the rights of State sector employees.

He was elected to Parliament representing the Lanka Sama Samaja Party. He took measures to strengthen the democratic rights of the people. People who do not have houses were given lands by him.

He contested the 1956 and 1960 Elections and was elected to Parliament.

He was a well-known leftist leader.

He became a Minister under Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike. He took measures to construct roads and bridges in Kalutara.

He pioneered in introducing a highway concept in Sri Lanka. He rendered a yeoman service to the fishing folk in the country.

When he was a student at S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, he was given a memorial award for English literature. He constructed four lanes of the main road in Kalutara area.

We wish to convey our condolences to his family.

P. Padmasiri (UPFA): He was a lawyer and practised in his area in Kalutara to help the poor. He joined the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) to help the ordinary people to win their rights. He gave leadership to many struggles to win the rights of the working class. He faced numerous challenges in his political life. He was the pioneer of introducing highway concept to this country.

Late Minister Cholomondeley was a very sensible person. He always stood against injustices. He was a very close to the ordinary people. He was a legend in Kalutara. Ella-Wellawaya road was built by him which was very significant construction done by our engineers.

He distributed lands to fisherfolk.

Ajith Perera (UNP): Late Minister Cholomondeley was a remarkable character. He was sensitive to the needs of the ordinary people.

He entered Parliament as one of the youngest MPs. He was a lawyer. Today Kalutara has a developed road network. He improved the road system in Kalutara where there is no traffic congestion.

He upgraded the Nagoda Hospital. He pioneered the construction of Kalutara-Bandaragama road.

Deputy Minister of Ports and Aviation Rohitha Abeygunawardene: He did an immense service to Kalutara District. He started his political journey from the Kalutara Urban Council. He became a Mayor of Kalutara Urban Council and rendered a yeomen service.

He appeared for the needs of the fishing community. He took decisions for the welfare of the people. He established many ‘community villages’. He has taught as a lesson to respect humanity, disregarding political ideologies.

Palitha Thewarapperuma (UNP): He was elected to Parliament in 1947 as the youngest member from Kalutara district at that time. Challenges or threats could not stop him from serving people.

Dr N M Perera once said that Cholomondeley Goonewardena was a fine example for younger generation.

The proceedings were adjourned until September 07.


Examiners prevented paper leakage

Examiners had taken prompt action to prevent the GCE English question paper from leaking in a leading school in Ratnapura yesterday, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament.

English Question Paper II had been distributed among candidates instead of Paper I by the supervisors. Later realizing the mistake, the examiners did not allow candidates to go out of the Exam Hall during the lunch break and ordered them to sit the English Paper I. Minister Gunawardena answering a question raised by DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake promised he would look into the matter.

Dissanayake said a group of candidates who sat the GCE Advanced Level Examination in Ratnapura yesterday were kept under house arrest owing to a mishap by the supervision of this examination centre.


Automatic gates for level crossings

Chief Government Whip and Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday said in Parliament that a project is in progress to fix electric bells or automatic gates for 62 unguarded level crossings.

He said this in response to a question raised by UPAA MP A H M Azwer.

The Minister in his answer said that there were 569 unguarded level crossings and 147 level crossings with bamboo gates. He also said that 66 accidents took place at level crossings in 2009 and 20 were killed.

He also said in addition there is a plan to fix gates where railway transport is minimum and employ Samurdhi recipients at these level crossings.


No Army purchases from HICORP

Sri Lanka Army has not purchased armament or other items from the HICORP International Company registered in the United States of America, Parliament was told yesterday.

In response to a question raised by UPFA MP Arundika Fernando, Chief Government Whip and Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena tabled this answer before the House.

It says that, the Government was not aware of the names and addresses of the owners of this company.


US Forces help school

United States Forces in Sri Lanka for Operation Pacific Angel will present a school with a power generator, computers and associated equipment, US officials said.

Earlier this week, during Operation Pacific Angel’s renovation of the Semandaluwa Kanista Vidyalaya primary school, Principal Ranjaney Fernando told journalists that the school lacked a power supply and thus could not operate the school’s single computer.

The journalists then shared the request with US Air Force Col. Wesley Cockman, Pacific Angel-Sri Lanka Commander. Colonel Cockman will inform Semandaluwa Kanista Vidyalaya Primary School principal that the US team will provide the school a generator, computers and associated equipment.

After learning of the request, Colonel Cockman coordinated with the US Embassy in Colombo and United States Pacific Command in Hawaii to secure funding under the US Department of Defence Security Cooperation Agency’s Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster and Civic Aid (OHDACA) program. Within 48 hours, the request was processed, reviewed, approved and money transferred - paving the way for surprise notification at the school, a day before the Pacific Angel operation comes to an end.

“I am thrilled the request was approved,” Colonel Cockman said upon hearing the news.

“This funding will allow us to purchase equipment from Sri Lankan vendors and further enhance the ability of the school’s dedicated staff to provide quality education to the 90 students there. In addition to the support from the US Embassy in Colombo and US Pacific Command, a key figure in this process has been Mohammed Nazmi, Puttalam Mayor.

A joint, combined team of US, Sri Lankan and Mongolian civil engineers continue repairs at the Semandaluwa Kanista Vidyalaya and Mahasiyabalagaskada Vidyalaya (Neriyakulam) schools this week, planning to conclude the operation tomorrow.

The Engineering Civic Assistance Programs, along with medical care and education missions, are part of Operation Pacific Angel-Sri Lanka.


Ramazan dates

UPFA MP A.H.M. Azwer making a personal clarification yesterday said in Parliament that he will distribute dates received from Middle East countries for Ramazan among the Muslim community.

He said that he has been doing this for a long period. “I will distribute them among politicians and Parliament staff including the media.

He also thanked Muslim countries for sending those Ramazan gifts.

He also said that, facts given by Jayalath Jayawardena at Parliament recently in this regard were not true.


Corrections and Clarifications

In our Parliamentary proceedings on Page 10, August 18, 2010 under the headline “Amendments to overcome problems regarding private land ownership”, in reporting the speech made by Opposition Leader in Parliament we have inadvertently stated that Parliamentarian Wasantha Aluvihare has given a false statements to the Court Martial and Wasantha Aluvihare said that Parliamentarian Sarath Fonseka had discussed with the UNP for two weeks before his resignation.

What the Opposition Leader said was that State Counsel Aluvihare and the Judge Advocate General made false statements before the Court Martial.

We regret the error and any pain of mind caused to Matale District Parliamentarian Wasantha Aluvihare.

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