- Release Of LTTE Suspect In Kadirgamar Killing
President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa have lost their cool with Industries Minister Rishard Bathiudeen at the UPFA party leaders’ meeting held a few weeks back.
Although details about the clash were not immediately available to the media, the incident and details related to it have now come out in the open.
During the meeting, the President had addressed Bathiudeen and had asked him not to violate agreements arrived at by the governing party seniors.
The President had made this comment in reference to Bathiudeen’s move to hand in nominations from the UPFA to the Mullaitivu District when the government had already reached an agreement with UNP MP Jaya Sri Ranga.
According to the agreement, the governing UPFA was not to contest the local government election in the Mullaitivu District while Ranga was to contest the election under the Citizen’s Front with government support.
However, on the final day of nominations, Bathiudeen handed in nominations for the Mullaitivu District on behalf of the UPFA.
Rajapaksa had told Bathiudeen that the decision was made looking at a long term plan in establishing the government’s power base in the North.
He had said that Bathiudeen was given the Mannar and Vavuniya Districts while Ranga was to be given the Mullaitivu District in order to establish a power base for the governing party.
Bathiudeen had not been too pleased to hear the President’s words and had accused Rajapaksa of being biased towards Ranga, who is still an opposition MP, while sidelining the governing party members.
The President had shouted back saying according to the initial plan Bathiudeen would have been able to concentrate on the Mannar and Vavuniya Districts and record a good victory.
An angry President had then told Bathiudeen to now show what he is capable of by winning all three districts.
Bathiudeen had then turned to Basil and said that he should have known better to discuss such an agreement first with governing party leaders. Bathiudeen had said that the governing party leaders should have been asked beforehand.
An angry Basil had then shouted back at Bathiudeen asking him to mind his words. He had asked Bathiudeen to remember that it is he who had saved him from being thrown in jail.
Party leaders have been baffled on hearing the argument.
They have later on found out that Bathiudeen has also reached an agreement with former TNA Parliamentarian Sathasivam Kanagarathnam.
Kanagarathnam was arrested by the security forces in Mullaitivu after the final stages of the war. After spending months in the CID, he was released.
Kanagarathnam joined the UPFA afterwards and even contested the last general election from the governing party. He was not elected to parliament.
Kanagarathnam is now being used by Bathiudeen to manage the government’s campaign for the local government polls in Mullaitivu promising him the release of his son Adithya Kanagarathnam, also known by the aliases Giridaran and Giri, who has allegedly played a key role in the assassination of former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar.
The State Intelligence Service in its investigations has found that Giri had played a key role in the Kadirgamar assassination and had also planned suicide attacks on the President and a senior official in the country’s Defence establishment.
However, Giri, Kanagarathnam’s son was is now in the custody of state authorities.
“Bathiudeen has promised Kanagarathnam that he would help secure his son’s release if he ensures that the governing party wins the local government elections in the Mullaitivu District,” a governing party member said.-
Namal’s Stamps For Buddhika
The postal stamps given to First Son and Hambantota District MP Namal Rajapaksa are being used by UNP Matara District MP, Buddhika Pathirana.
Every legislator is allocated an equal number of postal stamps by parliament to be used for their mail. Each legislator is entitled to receive 40,000 postal stamps every year during their tenure in parliament. Most often, these postal stamps are sent to the respective parliamentarian’s office and the secretaries use them for official work.
Pathirana however is an excessive user of postal stamps as they are used mostly for the mail related to his foundation. Rajapaksa and another governing party parliamentarian seeing the excessive use of postal stamps by Pathirana have offered him their monthly quotas as well.
Pathirana is known to have close links with Rajapaksa and he now uses the postal stamps allocated for him, Rajapaksa and another governing party MP.
Faizer Stays Away From Kandy Meeting
Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha was a notable absentee at the meeting held in Kandy by government seniors including Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
The meeting was held on Friday (18) to discuss relief measures for the families affected by landslides, recent floods and to also look at measures to curb the rising cost of living. The government members were to discuss the proposed Divi Neguma programme where households, schools and state institutions are to be encouraged to cultivate vegetables for their consumption. Therefore, officials from the Agriculture Ministry including the minister and governing party members representing the Kandy District were present at the meeting. However, Mustapha, did not attend the meeting and remained in Colombo. According to government sources Mustapha had not attended the meeting as he is another disgruntled member of the government.
Berty Gives Reminder To PB
Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara was last week reminded of how he was appointed to his office by the North Central Province Chief Minister, Berty Premalal Dissanayake.
A meeting with the Chief Ministers from the provinces was organised in Colombo last week. All the chief ministers had attended the meeting.
Several key government officials were also asked to participate in the meeting and among them were Dr. Jayasundara.
However, referring to his hectic schedule, the Treasury Secretary had said that he did not have time to sit at a meeting with the Chief Ministers.
Dr. Jayasundara’s statement had implied that the meeting with the chief ministers was not a priority in his list of duties.
However, angered after hearing about it, Dissanayake had though it fit to remind the Treasury Secretary as to how he was appointed to the office.
Dissanayake had said every governing party member including the chief ministers have worked hard during elections to get the President re-appointed to his office and to bring victory to the party at the general elections.
Dissanayake had reminded Jayasundara that he was appointed to his office by the President who has been re-appointed to the position with the hard work of every party member.
Therefore, Jayasundara was asked to keep in mind that “little detail.”