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Saturday, 12 November 2011

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PARLIAMENT

Condolence motion:

House remembers two late colleagues

Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody presided yesterday when Parliament met at 1.30 pm.

After presentation of papers and oral questions, the House took up the condolence motions of late Mirigama MP Mahendra Wijeyeratne and Kurunegala MP Senarath Sugathadasa.

Leader of the House and Irrigation and Water Resources Development Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva: I move the condolence motion of late SLFP MP Senarath Sugathadasa.

Senarath Sugathadasa was a son of SLFP founder member Suwaris Singho. His mother was Emalin Nona. He was born on February 3, 1938. He initiated his studies at the Naranwala Junior College and continued at the Naranwala Central College.

He was married to Sudarma Malini Chandralatha who gave birth to three children. They were Kumari Dharmapala, Chandima Sugathadasa and Shiranji Menike Senarath. Two of the children are engaged in business, while the other is a doctor. Chandima Sugathadasa is a Narammala Pradeshiya Sabha Member. Senarath Sugathadasa was appointed as the SLFP organizer of the Narammala electorate in 1987. He also was elected the Opposition Leader of Alawwa Pradeshiya Sabha from 1987 to 1993. He was elected to the North Western Provincial Council in 1993. He contested the General Election in 1994, was unable to get enough preferential votes to enter Parliament. But when S B Navinna quit Parliament in 1999, to contest the Provincial Council, Sugathadasa was elected to Parliament.

During his period as an MP, Sugathadasa took measures to uplift the infrastructure of Dambadeniya and also education. He took measures to provide employment and houses to the people in his area, specially in Kurunegala, Dambadeniya and Narammala.

Senarath Sugathadasa who was an exemplary SLFP politician, died at the age of 73 years on September 29, 2011.

J R P Sooriyapperuma takes the Chair.

Dayasiri Jayasekera (UNP): Senarath Sugathadasa joined the SLFP when the party was facing great difficulties as a political party. He was an interesting and humble person. He rendered a great service to the Dambadeniya electorate. Still the people of Dambadeniya respect him. During the last stages of his life, I visited him.

Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Jayaratne Herath: Senarath Sugathadasa was a strong member of the SLFP. Although our party is today stable under the President’s leadership, the SLFP was not stable during the period of Senarath Sugathadasa. He had confidence and directed the people of Dambadeniya to lead the SLFP to victory. When our government was established, he took measures to provide electricity to the people of Dambadeniya.

He also took measures to uplift the standard of education in Dambadeniya.

One of his daughters is a doctor in the Ampara hospital. One daughter lives in Australia and his son is a Pradeshiya Sabha member.

Karu Jayasuriya (UNP): The late Senarath Sugathadasa was an honest person and a gentleman in politics. He led a balanced life when he was in power as well as when he was not in power. He also led a good family life.

Consumer Welfare Minister S B Navinna: He served the Dambadeniya electorate filling the vacuum left after the demise of P B Wettawa. He was supported by one and all including the clergy in Dambadeniya. He was a friendly politician, who supported all, irrespective of political affiliations. He was not a wealthy person, but people supported him for his good qualities. His wife who was a teacher was a great strength to him.

His son is following in his footsteps and I wish Chandima Sugathadasa success to be elected to Parliament.

Shantha Bandara (UPFA): He was my political teacher who helped me to be elected to Parliament. He was a great politician of the SLFP and he was once imprisoned for his involvement in politics. But he never was moved by the difficulties that he had to face.

In Dambadeniya, only 30 percent enjoyed electricity and Sugathadasa as the MP, took measures to increase that rate to 70 percent.

Deputy Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa presided when Parliament met at 1.30 pm yesterday.

After the presentation of papers and oral questions, the House took up the Vote of Condolences on late MP Mahendra Wijeyeratne and late MP Senerath Sugathadasa.

Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardene: Late MP Mahendra Wijeyeratne representing the Meerigama electorate, rendered yeoman service to the country. He was born in 1934. He studied at St Anthony’s College in Katugastota.

He had his higher education at the British University and obtained a degree in engineering.

After his arrival to Sri Lanka, he started his career as an estate owner. He married Mallika Wijeyeratne and had three children. He was one of the leading businessmen in Sri Lanka. He dedicated his time and wealth for the betterment of the people of this country.

He entered Parliament with a landslide victory in 1977.

He rendered tremendous services for the development of the country. He paid special attention to develop the infrastructure facilities in his area. He had goodwill towards the people who associated with him. Unemployed youths in the area were provided with jobs. He won the hearts of the people in his electorate. He allocated his own wealth to develop religious places in the area.

May he attain Nibbana.

John Amaratunga (UNP): Late MP Mahendra Wijeyeratne was one of the foremost UNP MPs and Ministers in the Meerigama area. He had a big reputation in the area. He had a great interest in the plantation sector. He made a great contribution for establishing the Mahapola Fund.

He was instrumentally engaged in developing schools. He donated several of his lands to establish hospitals and schools in Mirigama. He was a brave and fearless person. He did his utmost duty to the people of Mirigama.

Karu Jayasuriya (UNP): Late MP Mahendra Wijeyeratne was an honest and distinguished politician of Sri Lanka. He loved the people of the village and was a good public representative. He contributed a lot to uplift of the living standards of the people.

He led a good and exemplary family life. He was very keen in developing his electorate. He did his best for the people. He was also a disciplinary character.

Petroleum Industries Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardene: He did a great service to the people of Mirigama. He had a very close and intimate relationship with the people and was instrumental in providing electricity schemes and water supply to the Mirigama electorate. People of the area loved him a lot. They will not forget his remarkable service rendered to them.

Sajith Premadasa (UNP): The late Mahendra Wijeyeratne gave leadership to launch many housing projects in Mirigama. Unemployed youths in Mirigama were provided with employment opportunities. He was instrumental in developing infrastructure facilities in the area.

Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna: He was a real leader and real representative of the people. There were many housing schemes put into operation under his leadership. Scholarships were provided to schoolchildren, especially for nursery children.

J R P Suriyapperuma (UPFA): He was one of the bravest political leaders. He came from a very respectable family in Mirigama. People in the area always loved the Wijeyeratne family.

He was instrumental in developing the Colombo harbour and was a man with clean hands.

Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva: He was a very humble Member of Parliament. He never earned a cent from politics. He donated his private wealth for social services.

His death was an irreparable loss to the entire country.

Shantha Bandara (UPFA): Copies of the Hansard containing the speeches made by the Members of both parties of the House during the condolence vote would be sent to the family members and relations of late MP Mahendra Wijeyeratne.

Rural Affairs Senior Minister Athauda Seneviratne: The late Mahendra Wijeyeratne had an intention to serve the people. We should take an example from his political path. He was an honest politician who always helped budding politicians.

Arundika Fernando (UPFA): The late MP S Sugathadasa rendered yeoman service to the country. He was a brave character who contributed much to gain landslide victories to the UPFA party in the Kurunegala district.

Cultural and Arts Minister T B Ekanayake: He was actively engaged in solving the problems pertaining to the Kurunegala district. A number of development activities had taken place in Dambadeniya under his leadership.

Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development Minister Jagath Pushpakumara: Regardless of party differences, the late MP Sugathadasa served the people. He was a simple person who had great qualities. As the Dambadeniya Chief UPFA Organizer, he contributed vastly to develop the electorate.

J R P Sooriyapperuma (UPFA): Copies of the Hansard 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 members of the late MP Senerath Sugathadasa.

At Adjournment

Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena yesterday, stated in Parliament that 4,000 graduates will be recruited as teachers by January 2012.

He also said that the required knowledge of the English Language and Information Technology have been already given to them.

He made this observation in response to an adjournment motion moved by DNP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena: There are around 4 million schoolchildren in the country. A conducive environment has been created in each school to improve extra curricular activities of the children. We have created a methodology of providing both academic and practical knowledge.

The literacy level has increased. Facilities have been improved in schools in rural areas. There are also shortcomings.

It requires time to overcome these shortcomings. Only 22,000 numbers out of 500,000 A/L students are qualified for University entrance. There are 338 Divisional Secretaries and each Divisional Secretary has been provided with a model school.

These model schools are equipped with all facilities. All schools which are situated around model schools will be upgraded. We must create a knowledgeable society as focused in the Mahinda Chinthanaya.

I wish to say that the biggest allocation will be provided for education through this year’s budget.

Anura Kumara Dissanayake (DNA): The quality of the education given at primary level is very important. That is why competition has been created among parents for entering their children to schools.

The future of this country belongs to the children. Therefore, primary education should be qualitative. The government must give its priority to provide high quality primary education for the children. It is the major responsibility of the entire society.

The allocation through the budget for education has been reduced. At least one percent from the GDP should be allocated for education.

The government should follow a proper methodology to uplift education.

The House was adjourned until 1 pm on November 21.


[‘Duminda Silva could go abroad for treatment, as court has not named him as a suspect’]

The Leader of the House and Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, yesterday stated that MP Duminda Silva has not been named as a suspect by court and that he had the right to go even abroad for treatment.

He made this observation in Parliament in response to a statement made by Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga under Standing Order 23(2).

UNP MP John Amaratunga questioned about not taking down a statement from MP Duminda Silva, transfer of ASP Samudrajeewa and about the crime rate in Sri Lanka.

Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, stated that a report was called from the IGP on these matters.

The minister stated that the Deputy Inspector General of Police (CID), had reported that MP Duminda Silva had been treated at the Jayewardenepura Hospital since October 8, 2011 to November 1, 2011, after sustaining head injuries at the Mulleriyawa shooting incident. The CID had discussed with the doctors and visited the patient to find out if there was any possibility to get a statement from Duminda Silva, but the CID found he was not in a health condition to make a statement. The minister also said that there had not been any objections for him to go abroad for treatment as he was not named by any court as a suspect.

Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva with reference to the transfer of ASP Samudrajeewa, stated that Samudrajeewa was transferred to the Mount Lavinia Division on October 19 as that position had fallen vacant. He added that the position fell vacant as ASP W R J K Karunakalage who was in that position, had to be transferred to Anuradhapura due to certain reports submitted against him. He further stated that ASP Samudrajeewa was involved in the arrest of Baratha Lakshman murder suspects, which is highly questioned in Parliament, and bringing those suspects from Chennai to Colombo.

Minister de Silva further said that the STF Commander had reported that none of the STF personnel who searched the residence of Negombo Provincial Councillors Lansa are interdicted. The rumour was baseless.

The minister presenting a report stated that the reported crime rate since 2004 to 2010, ranged from 57,000 to 61,000 each year. Out of those crimes during the same period, 29,000 to 31,000 cases had been solved annually.

He said that the number of cases solved ranged from 50 percent to 53 percent each year. The minister pointed out based on these statistics nobody could say that the crime rate had increased in Sri Lanka. Minister de Silva said that during the first months of 2011, 40,560 crimes had been reported and 16,406 of them had been solved.

The minister stated that it was clear by the statement that Chief Opposition Whip had been misled by someone in the same manner the Opposition Leader was misled.

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