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Government Gazette

PARLIAMENT

Condolence messages:

'K M P Rajaratne had many positive humane qualities'

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Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa presided when Parliament met at 1 pm yesterday. After the presentation of papers and oral questions. The House took up the condolence motions of ex-MPs late K M P Rajaratne, late (Mrs) Kusuma Rajaratne and late L A B Perera.

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Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister and Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva: I present the condolence motion of ex-MP late K M P Rajaratne, who was born on October 27, 1928, in Welimada. He was an MP, a member of the Senate as well as a deputy Minister.

He had his primary education in Dambavinna, in a village school. Later, he entered Kotte Anandashastralaya for higher studies. He entered the Colombo University and graduated in history.

He was the first to enter the Colombo University from the Uva Province to study history. He served as a teacher of history and then as a lecturer. He was married in 1950 and was a father of four children. He entered politics during the Bandaranaike era and represented the Welimada seat from the SLFP party in Parliament. He was a good debator as well as a great personality.

He had many positive humane qualities and was a people friendly social worker. He expired on January 30, 2011, at the age of 83. His death had been a great loss to the whole country.

I express my grievances to his bereaved family members.

Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe (UNP): On behalf of the Opposition, I extend my condolences to the passing away of ex-MP late K M P Rajaratne.

He had a remarkable character and his name is immortal. When I was practising as a lawyer, he was also practising in the same profession after retiring from politics.

I should also forward my condolences for ex-MP late Kusuma Rajaratne.

Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena: He was a brave leader who came forward to save the country from the colonialists. He was brave enough to go before the Donomough Commission to present facts.

He began his journey in 1956, facing many challenges and defeating them. We are unable to forget the name of Rajaratne. When we go back to th events that took place in 1956. He was brave enough to remind the Sinhalese, that they could use their mother tongue at any occasion without blindly going after non native languages.

Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka: He was a patriot who came forward to save the country from the imperialists.

As a university student, he was very active in the anti imperialist struggle which was roaring in the country. During the Bandaranaike era, Rajaratne came forward to preserve the right to use Sinhala.

I must recall how we received his blessings when we initiated the 'Sihala Urumaya' political party. He was a patriotic Sri Lankan. I extend my condolence to both ex MPs, late K M P Rajaratne and late Kusuma Rajaratne.

J R P Sooriyapperuma (UPFA): The late K M P Rajaratne was a very talented debator. He was a founder member of the SLFP and worked with former leader S W R D Bandaranaike on the issue of preserving the rights of the Sinhala language. I was also fortunate to associate with him closely. Ex-MP Kusuma Rajaratne, his loving wife was always ready to give her husband a helping hand.

Finance and Planning Deputy Minister Geethanjana Gunawardena: As a member of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, I am glad to speak a few words about ex MP Rajaratne. He was a representative from the Uva Wellassa community who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the country. The Uva Wellassa community had faced many injustices during the Uva Wellassa rebel.

He was a giant in the 1956 victory. He appeared on behalf of the freedom of the people.

Ven Ellawala Medananda Thera (UPFA): As a person who had connections to the 1956 incident, I had the opportunity to observe the massive contribution given by late Rajaratnam to the whole process.

The national freedom struggle originated from Uva Wellassa and ex MP Rajaratne, had the capability to awake the nation by evoking the national feelings among the people.

It was President Rajapaksa who had the courage and leadership qualities to eradicate terrorism.

However, he was going through numerous challenges such as Channel 4, international conspiracies and local betrayers, as a result of his engagement to terminate the 30-year long curse of the country.

Sarath Weerasekera (UPFA): Today we are taking up the condolence motions of a great couple who endevoured to save the country from numerous challenges. Since many members had paid attention to ex-MP K M P Rajaratne, I would like to speak a few words on behalf of Kusuma Rajaratne. She was a patriot with national feelings. She worked a lot towards the welfare of the country and always supported positive moves of the country. She hailed from Kotte.

A H M Azwer (UPFA): Ex-MP late K M P Rajaratne had a close affinity and friendship with the Muslim community. During Rajaratne's time, there was a great agitation in the country, and particularly the Muslim community faced numerous problems. Ex-MP Rajaratne came forward to protect the privileges of the Muslim people irrespective of their cast, creed and religion. This showed his great personality. He was not afraid to speak out in defence of all people.

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa: I too join with the condolence motion of late K M P Rajaratne and order the Secretary General to send a copy of the motion to the family members of ex MP Rajaratne.

A H M Azwer takes the Chair.

Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister and Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva:

Late Kusuma Rajaratne worked for welfare of women

I present the condolence motion of ex-MP late Kusuma Rajaratne. She was an MP and a deputy minister who represented the Uva Paranagama seat. She had her education up to O-Ls at the Kotte Ananda Shastralaya and then entered Nugegoda Anula Vidyalaya for her A-Ls. She entered the Colombo University and decided to be a teacher by profession.

She met ex-MP K M P Rajaratne when she was schooling. She entered Parliament in 1957, representing the Welimada seat.

She did a lot for the welfare of women in the country. She was engaged in decent politics and gave enormous support to her husband in his social work and political initiatives.

John Amaratunga (UNP): Ex-MP Kusuma Rajaratne, served the nation at her best. She helped the needy women and people. She had many leadership qualities. She was a courageous woman with rare human qualities.

Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena: Ex-MP Kusuma Rajaratne gave her utmost support to move the community struggle forward which started in the country at that time.

She was the strength behind K M P Rajaratne. She expressed her ideas bravely and courageously when the need arose. The Sri Lankan Parliament had only a few female representation and she was an exemplary character to all women politicians.

Kamala Ranatunga (UPFA): Most of the debaters who spoke on ex MP late K M P Rajaratne, also spoke at least a few words on ex MP Kusuma Rajaratne. This fact reminds me of the statement that there is always a woman behind every successful man. She was an exemplary woman politician who upheld human values.

Finance and Planning Deputy Minister Geethanjana Gunawardena: She was a noble woman brought up under Buddhist values. She was dedicated to preserve the rights of the people. When her husband was labelled as a racist, she came forward to give voice on behalf of him.

Ven Athuraliye Rathana Thera (UPFA): Ex-MP Kusuma Rajaratne, was an active nationalist. She gave her helping hand to her husband in all his massive political initiatives. She was an ideal political figure whose name will last eternally.

J.R.P. Suriyapperuma (UPFA): K.M.P. Rajaratne with the greatest of difficulty, organized political activities while his wife Kusuma Rajaratne was a great support to him. He was imprisoned due to his political activities while he was in the Opposition. I too was arrested and detained for two days.

Rajaratne was a great strength to us during our victory in 1956. He was a very senior politician.

Kusuma Rajaratne went from village to village to support her husband. They gave a new lease of life to the Uva Province while reminding the past glory of the Uva Vellassa, where 100,000 paddy fields were located.

Today Uva has changed immensely, bringing about its past glory within 30 years and this change was initiated by non other than the late K.M.P. Rajaratne.

Lakshman Kiriella (UNP): I met Rajaratna a long time ago. I met him as an Attorney-at-Law. He was a very successful lawyer. Nobody speaks of that matter, but only speaks of his political career.

A.H.M. Azwer in Chair: I direct the Secretary General of Parliament to send copies of this condolence motion of MP Kusuma Rajaratna to her family members. Now the condolence motion of late MP L.A.B. Perera is taken up.

Nimal Siripala de Silva Leader of the House and Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister: I move the condolence motion of late Parliamentarian L.A.B. Perera.

He was born on February 06,1925, at Ampitiya in Kandy.

He initiated his education at Amptiya College. He was married to Rupa Perera and were parents to Ranjith, Nimal, Ajith and Sandya.

He joined the Lanka Sama Samaja party in 1949 and later joined the SLFP in 1953.

He worked as a journalist to foreign newspapers for 2 decades. Later he initiated his own company Lagodan Pvt Ltd. He sent youth to the Middle East for employments to solve their unemployment problems without any charge.

As a Buddhist, he supported a large number of temples in the country. His service to the country and the party, was appreciated by former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike by appointing him as a parliamentarian from the SLFP list in 1989. He rendered a great service to the country until 1994. He died on June 11, 2007, at the age of 82.

W.D.J. Seneviratne Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister: He worked as a journalist and wrote for a foreign newspaper when late Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike lost her civic rights, L.A.B. Perera was a great solace to her to convey her grievances to others. He was appointed as a parliamentarian from the SLFP list in 1989. He used to participate at the sittings regularly.

Wijithamuni de Soysa Education Deputy Minister: I met him a long time ago. L.A.B. Perera joined SLFP at a time nobody was interested in joining the SLFP. But he joined the SLFP and worked faithfully. When he became an MP, he worked cordially with others.

M.K.A.D.S. Gunawardena - Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs Minister: When he became a Parliamentarian in 1989, he rendered a great service to all without any hesitation. He sent youth for foreign employments free of charge.

A.H.M. Azwer in Chair: I too join my sentiments to the condolence motion of late MP L.A.B. Perera. I direct the Secretary General of Parliament to sent copies of the motion to the members of the late L.A.B. Perera's family.

The House was adjourned until 1 pm on July 5

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'Only 3,560 more projects to reach 100 percent'

Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, stated yesterday that only 3,560 rural electrification projects were needed to be implemented to provide an electricity supply of 100 percent covering the entire country.

In an answer tabled, the Minister stated that measures have been taken to provide the said electricity supply within the next eighteen months.

Minister Ranawaka tabled the answer in response to a question raised for oral answer by UPFA MP Roshan Ranasinghe.

The answer also stated that steps have been taken under the theme of "Electricity for all by 2012" under the Mahinda Chintana - Idiri Dekma policy to provide a 100 percent electricity supply by end of 2012 with the implementation of those extension projects.

According to the answer tabled by Minister Champika Ranawaka the electrification level had been increased upto 76 percent by 2005, since 1969, when the Ceylon Electricity Board was established.

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Opposition Leader, a disgrace to Parliament - Leader of the House

Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister and Leader of the House Nimal Siripala De Silva yesterday stated in Parliament that Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has disgraced Parliament as well as the post of Opposition Leader by holding a press conference in the Parliament corridor.

The minister requested the Opposition Leader to preserve the respect of Parliament and his post. The Minister raising a privilege issue said that the media has reported a speech of the Opposition Leader in the Parliament corridor last Thursday, in which he stated that the Opposition had not been given an opportunity in Parliamentary affairs by the government.

Parliament proceedings were being conducted according to the decisions arrived at the party leaders, meeting.

The Speaker never allowed proceedings to go beyond these decisions the minister noted.

The minister also pointed out that last Thursday had been allocated for condolence motions with the approval of both government and Opposition political parties, including UNP and DNA.

The Opposition Leader had said that the government was taking up condolence motions when there were more important issues to be taken up. However condolence motions of 47 late ex-MPs were still to be taken up. However, the agenda was made facilitating to move two adjournment motions. Even though the government MPs were greater in number, the Opposition was given more opportunities to present adjournment motions, he observed.

He also said that journalists would have been able to raise questions if the Opposition Leader had held the press conference at a more appropriate place rather than Parliament corridors.

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Universities to reserve 4.5 percent of seats for foreign, local students

Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister and leader of the House, Nimal Siripala De Silva stated in Parliament yesterday, that 4.5 percent seats would be reserved in local universities for the intake of foreign students and Sri Lankan students who had studied in foreign countries in addition to the space allocated for local students.

The Minister made this observation on behalf of Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake, while responding to a question raised by DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

He said that this reservation would be carried out in a manner that would not affect the opportunity for local students to enter universities to follow degree courses.

The registration of students for the 2010, 2011 academic year in Universities would commence on July 15 and conclude on July 30. According to the Higher Education Ministry, 21,495 students will be given university admission this year.

"According to the University Grant Commission handbook, 0.5 percent had been reserved for foreign students and Sri Lankan students who had studied overseas. Another 4.5 percent was to be allocated to them without disturbing the places where degree courses were being conducted at present," he observed.

He said that certain degree courses offered by local universities would also be available hereafter for foreign students and Sri Lankan students who had studied abroad. The Minister also stated that the foreign students would be charged for their respective degree courses.

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Programmes to reduce death rate of female migrant workers

The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) has introduced a number of programmes to bring down the preventable death rate of female migrant workers, stated an answer tabled in Parliament yesterday.

According to the answer, the SLBEF had established labour divisions in major labour receiving countries to ascertain the welfare aspects of migrant workers and assist them. Those divisions provide facilities such as providing financial aid for medical facilities in the case of hospitalization.

Chief Government Whip and Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena tabled the answer in response to a question raised by SLFP Parliamentarian Shantha Bandara from the Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister.

The answer further stated that the SLBFE had also initiated a mandatory training programme before departure for foreign employment, aiming at female domestic workers to make them aware of workplace safety, use of instruments in a safe manner, road safety and problem solving.

The answer further stated that the SLBFE had also made a medical check up compulsory before departure for foreign employment.

The answer also stated 111 Sri Lankan women died overseas in 2008 while 75 of them had died of natural causes. Out of the rest, 11 had committed suicide while three had been homicides. The rest had been due to road accidents and other types of accidents.

According to the answer 125 Sri Lankan women had died abroad in 2009.

During the year 2010, 109 Sri Lankan women had died overseas. Eight had committed suicides and recorded no homicides. Thirteen had died due to road accidents and 18 due to other types of accidents.

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Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva warns Lanka newspaper Editor

Leader of the House and Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday stated that he had informed Editor of the Lanka Newspaper not to defame him or anyone else, by publishing incorrect reports. He made this statement in Parliament in respect of a news item which had appeared in the 'Lanka Irida Sangrahaya' on June 12, with regard to reshaping the Highlevel Road from a point at Kosgama junction.

The Minister raising a privilege issue, stated that the news had stated that the Highlevel road had been reshaped from that point at Kosgama to gain personal advantages. He said that the land owned by his family in that area was sold by his grand father and his father to serve the public.

He said that he did not own even an inch of the land located there.

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Party leaders agree for more sittings

The party leaders have agreed to meet in Parliament on two additional days in July, to present the condolence motions of late ex MPs.

Accordingly Parliament will also meet on July 12 and 13 in addition to its usual timetable.

The party leaders have also agreed to commence sittings at 9.00 a.m on these additional two days. This decision has been taken, considering the pending 40 condolence motions to be presented to the House.

At the party leaders' meeting held last Thursday, it has been agreed to take up the condolence motions as much as possible during the two additional days.

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Clarification

In our Parliament Page yesterday, the portfolio of National Heritage Minister Dr Jagath Balasuriya has been inadvertently mentioned as National Heritage and Cultural Affairs Deputy Minister Dr Jagath Balasuriya.

The error is regretted.

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