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PARLIAMENT

Condolence Vote:

Late Parliamentarians remembered

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa presided when Parliament met at 1 pm yesterday.

After presentation of papers and oral questions, the House took up the condolence votes on late Parliamentarians Tyronne Fernando, Albert de Silva and E L B Hurulle.

Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva: The late MP Tyronne Fernando, was elected to Parliament representing the Colombo district. As a Deputy Minister, Minister and the former Governor of Northern and Eastern Provinces, he rendered yeoman service to the country.

The late Tyronne Fernando was born on August 8, 1941 in Kandy. He was educated at Royal College, Colombo. He entered the Oxford University for his higher education, where he obtained his Arts and Law degrees from the Oxford University. He was engaged in active politics for the UNP where former President J R Jayewardene, was the chief organizer for the Moratuwa electorate.

In 1977, he entered Parliament. He rendered yeoman service to the country as a Deputy Foreign Minister, Deputy Minister of Justice and Prisons and Judicial Reforms Minister.

As a Media Minister, he brought the media to a very high level. He was a person with lots of potential. He used his potentials to serve the people. He initiated several housing schemes for the benefit of slum dwellers. He passed away on February 26, 2008.

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe: The late Tyronne Fernando was always interested in politics. In 1977, the two of us were elected as members of Parliament.

He always had an interest in foreign affairs. That was why he was appointed a Deputy Minister and later Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He was instrumental in developing the Moratuwa area.

He was a good debater.

A number of housing schemes were established for the slum dwellers under his leadership.

A H M Azwer takes the Chair.

Karu Jayasuriya (UNP): In 1977, the late Tyronne Fernando was elected to Parliament representing the Moratuwa electorate. Under late President J R Jayewardene, he was appointed as a Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister. He had launched a number of programmes for the benefit of prisoners during his tenure as a Prisons and Judicial Reforms Minister. He took measures to depoliticize the media, and ensured media freedom as a Media Minister.

Though he was a lawyer by profession, he was a well-known film producer by producing two films, including ‘Weera Puran Appu’ and ‘Kolamba Sanniya’.

Public Management Reforms Minister Naveen Dissanayake: Late Minister Tyronne Fernando, was an honest politician who always spoke the truth within and outside the party. He was a gentlemen politician. He is always in our hearts.

A H M Azwer (UPFA): I had the opportunity of having a close association with late MP Tyronne Fernando. He was always keen on informing me about cricket matches. He always invited me to watch cricket matches at the stadium.

Copies containing the condolence speeches made by members of both parties during the condolence vote would be sent to the family members and relations of the late MP Tyronne Fernando.

The House then took up the vote of condolence on late MP Albert de Silva.

Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva: The late MP Albert de Silva, was elected to Parliament representing the Galle district. He was born on June 15, 1915. He was educated at Mahinda College in Galle. He was elected to Parliament in 1977.

The Galle police station, post office and main bus stand, were constructed under his leadership. He rendered yeoman service to uplift electricity, health and education facilities among the people of Galle. He played a pioneer role in religious and social activities in the area.

Karu Jayasuriya (UNP): The late MP Albert de Silva, was firstly elected to Parliament in 1977. He took leadership to construct the bus stand and hospital in the Galle district. He was always loved by the people of the Galle District and served them to his maximum capacity. He spent his personal wealth for the well-being of the poor people.

Nishantha Muthuhettigama (UPFA): The late MP Albert de Silva was a politician who rendered yeoman service to the Galle district. He took leadership to upgrade the facilities of the Galle district. The people of Galle will never forget him and his services.

Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardane: Late MP Albert de Silva, hailed from a business community. He had a good religious background and always tried to protect the country’s national heritage. He was educated at Mahinda College. He was always frank in his speeches.

Gayantha Karunathilleke (UNP): Late MP Albert de Silva, was an honest politician who was always respected by the people of Galle.

He was a very good public servant. The Galle District’s main bus stand and post office were constructed under his leadership.

A.H.M. Azwer (UPFA): Copies of the Hanzard containing the speeches made by the members of both parties, during the condolence vote would be sent to the family members and relations of the late MP Albert de Silva. The House then took up the Vote of Condolence on late MP E.L.B. Hurulle.

Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva

Late MP E.L.B. Hurulle, was a veteran politician elected to Parliament representing the Anuradhapura district. He was born on January 19, 1919 in Horowpathana. He was educated at St. Patrick’s College in Jaffna, Trinity College in Kandy and St. Joseph’s College in Colombo. He held the post of Basnayake Nilame at the Natha Devalaya in Kandy.

He attended to the needs of the people. He was first to start paddy cultivation in the Rajarata area. He was a very popular politician among the people.

In 1956, he was elected to Parliament. He was appointed Transport Minister and rendered yeoman service to uplift the public transport. He did a great service as a Cultural Minister.

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe: Late MP E.L.B. Hurulle, was a gigantic person of the UNP. He always worked in accordance to the policies of the party. His name was synonymous when spoken about politics in the Rajarata area.

He created a golden era in the cultural sector as Cultural Minister. He obtained aids from the UNESCO and developed the cultural sites in Sri Lanka. He initiated the Buddhist Commissioners Department and rendered yeomen service to protect Buddhism.

S.C. Muthukumarana (UPFA)

Chandrani Bandara takes the Chair.

He was an exemplary character. He never harassed his political opponents. He had a very close relationships with the people. That was why he was elected to Parliament with a majority of votes. He was a genuine politicians who was committed to the service of the people.

Karu Jayasuriya (UNP): The late E L B Hurulle, was a famous politician since 1956 to 1977. He was specially loved by the farmers of Rajarata. He was a polite and humble politician who won the trust of UNP politicians.

He was appointed as the Cultural Minister under J R Jayawardene’s government. He rendered a great service to preserve the culture in this country.

He was appointed as the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Australia. He was appointed as the Transport Minister during the regime of Dudly Senanayake. He had five children including a son Themiya Hurulle, who following in the footstep of his father rendered a great service to the people of the North Central Province as a politician.

A H M Azwer (UPFA): A genial and gentle politician was E L B Hurulle.

Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody takes the chair

A H M Azwer: Any person who come across Hurulle, would not believe that he was a politician or a great person. He was such a simple man. When he was elected to Parliament in 1956, we found him to be a great orator. He was simple but robust. He never beat about the bush. That’s a reason we can learn from him. He was loved by all. He initiated the cultural triangle as Minister of Cultural Affairs.

Lakshman Kiriella (UNP): The Hurulle family was a very well known family in Sri Lnaka. Is noted in history that the Hurulles came to Sri Lanka when the Sri Maha Bodhi was brought to Sri Lanka. He had a close relationship with Buddhism. The late Hurulle joined the administrative system as a DRO. He was elected to Parliament on his first attempt.

A H M Azwer takes the chair

Water Supply and Drainage Minister and Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardena: The late E L B Hurelle, always attempted to preserve the heritage of our country in all positions he held during his career. In 1956, he was elected to Parliament and sat with the opposition with 7 other members. When I was elected to Parliament in 1983, he was a senior politician.

E L B Hurulle was a leading figure in the group who initiated to construct the Golden Fence around the Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura. I can remember now he spoke to us in the visitor’s room in Parliament, emotionally after listening to our speeches in the House. He was a politician who took measures to let the first jet land at the Katunaike Airport, when he was the Transport Minister. It was a first step to build up the Katunaike Airport as an International one.

Chandrani Bandara (UNP): E L B Hurulle, was a relative of Prince Sumittha who accompanied Sangamiththa Therani when she brought the Sri Maha Boddhi sapling to Sri Lanka.

He took initiatives to offer larger extensions of land to the people in Horowpathana. He also took measures to commence a train service from Anuradhapura to Colombo which is still in operation.

He also took steps to preserve the Jethawana Dagaba, Mirisawetiya Dagaba and Abayagiriya Dagaba.

This great politician took leave from this world on April 6, 2009.

Labour and Labour Relation Minister Gamini Lokuge: E L B Hurulle always thought about the poor people when he took decisions. He took measures to provide opportunities to taxi drivers, those days, to import taxies without a Custom duty. It gave a new lease of life to the taxi drivers’ profession.

His son Themiya Hurulle also as a politician corporated with us and rendered a great service to the country in the North Central Province.

Gamini Jayawickrama Perera (UNP): My wish is that great people like E L B Hurulle should be born on this land, as services of such great people was needed to this land. Nobody could point a finger at E L B Husulle to say he had made mistakes. He was such a gentleman.

J R P Suriyapperuma (UPFA): E L B Hurulle was a great man who gave a new lease of life to Rajarata. There is another name for Rajarata which is Pihiti Rata. It was known by this name as the Sri Maha Bodhi situated in Rajarata.

E L B Hurulle was a relative of a prince who came to Sri Lanka when the Sri Maha Bodhi was brought to Sri Lanka.

A H M Azwer in Chair

I direct the Secretary General of Parliament to send copies of condolence vote to relatives of late MP E L B Hurulle.

The House adjourned till 1.00 pm today.


'Govt will support EC for free and fair elections'

The Leader of the House and Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, said in Parliament that there had been no problem with the preference of the people in the North, but the government would support the Elections Commissioner to conduct a free and fair election on July 23.

The minister further stated that the government’s aim was not victory at the Local Government election in the North, but the fact that a free and fair election had been held in the North which was a victory of the government.

He further stated that the government needed to ensure that political rights of the Northern people at grass roots level after the eradication of terrorism were met and stated the government had no intention to postpone elections.

He also said that the Northern people had been deprived of their right to cast their votes, but this government has guaranteed it.

The minister made these observations in response to a special statement made by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe under standing order 23 (2).

During the previous election, the public in respective areas had elected their representative, but so far those people had not made any complaint about intimidation, election violence, etc.

We held the Local Government Election in the Eastern Province. An LTTE child soldier was elected as the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province. It was a great victory to this government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Our government had no need to postpone the elections saying that the conditions were not satisfactory to hold an election, soon after the 30 years conflict, but our government needed to offer those people the power of administration. In the same way, everything is set to hold the election in the North.

Our government wanted to hold elections in these areas along with the elections that were held in other parts of the country, but court cases prevented the holding of election and after the judgements had been delivered, we were conducting those local government elections.

The development programmes which were initiated in the North and East, were not at the victories at elections. The government had initiated them long before elections were planned to be conducted.

As a government, we were bound to provide water to the North as well as the farmers. We were unable to put it off until the election were over.

Our government had initiated the construction of A-9 road, long before we had planned to hold Local Government elections. The government had also allocated a large sum of money on development programmes in the North.

If the government has earned any popularity by doing so, nobody should worry about it.

Our government had to ensure that the people in the North felt that democracy prevailed in the country. This elections was not held to secure the victory of any individual, but to ensure that democracy prevailed in the country.

The government did not expect to succeed at this election, but expected to hold a free and fair election. If the government party wins, it was a different matter.

The other matter was that the government would not hold elections as the UNP held elections in the North, when they were in power.

The Elections Commissioner also had guaranteed a free and fair election in the North.

So we request the Opposition Leader not to be afraid, but face the elections.

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe:

The Local Government elections in the Jaffna Peninsula and the Wanni was scheduled to be held on July 23, 2011. In 2009, immediately after the defeat of the LTTE, when the security conditions had not reached normalcy, elections were held for some local bodies in the North. The conduct of these elections were far from satisfactory.

Armed groups operated openly. The police had not take action to the complaints made by candidates of opposition parties.

This election was being conducted under conditions of normalcy. The maintenance of peace and enforcing of election laws was the sole responsibility of the police. Nevertheless, the events of the last few weeks had shown inability of the police to inquire into complaints of election law violations.


Seven-year plan to host Commonwealth Games

Chief Government Whip and Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena stated that a seven year plan had been designed for Sri Lanka to act as the host country during the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

He also stated that the government has spent a sum of Rs 110 million as an initial payment to apply to the Commonwealth Games. The minister added that the games will be held in Hambantota district and the expenditure will be planned accordingly, if we were selected as the host country.

The minister made these observations in response to a question raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake.


Hedging deal:

Govt to seek legal advice

Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha told Parliament yesterday that the government would engage in legal procedures to avoid further losses from the Hedging deal.

The government would never engage in any action detrimental to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation or the country.

The minister was responding to a special statement made by DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake.


‘74 companies identified for importing sub-standard medicine’

The Health Deputy Minister Lalith Dissanayake stated that the government had identified 74 companies for importing sub-standard medicine, while five of them have been black listed. The Deputy Minister stated that those companies had been identified for importing sub-standard medicine during the last six years. He added that 20 companies have paid a sum of Rs 31,693,117 to the government and another sum of Rs 46,643,863.42 had to be paid by another 22 companies.

The Deputy Minister further said that investigations were being conducted against another 27 companies.

He made these observations in response to a question raised by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara.

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