The former President Chandrika Cumaranatunge told Lanka the Sunday Lankadeepa newspaper that the rumour that went round in the past few days that Vimukthi Cumaranatunge is coming into politics, joining in a discussion with the newspaper. She says that when her son compared with other sons of the present day, he is world’s apart.
She who mentions that she was faced with financial problems after she left her position as President, further says that she sold 5 pieces of land during the past 7 years and turned all that into money. “I don’t have one piece of land in Colombo now,” she says.
A part of the discussion which disclosed the above ideas with the newspaper is as follows.
There is a rumour that a section of the public is trying to propose you as President. Is it true?
If I come of course I can win over the present person. People are chasing behind me, asking me to come. But I haven’t taken a decision like that. I haven’t so far thought of taking over a responsibility. I am not a person who puts brothers, sisters and sons and do politics. Even at that time we didn’t do things like that.
Some say that you are involved in activities these days with the idea of coaxing your son to get into politics.
I won’t bring children into politics. The principle I live my children and the principle on which they live is world’s apart. I gave only one vehicle for use to both of them. I could have given two.But I didn’t. Till one work was finished and the vehicle came back, the other had to wait. The present day children have nine, ten or eleven vehicles. Then how many will all three have? That’s why I said that principles of our children are worlds apart in comparison.
I ruled the country for 11 years. I developed the country. I developed the country by getting everybody to participate together.What we did with great dedication has now been destroyed. If the country in the position in which it is now is to be saved, 10 Chandrikas of the type who was there in 1994 is needed.
You always say that you sell land and live.
All throughout the past 7 years I lived by selling 5 pieces of land. Now Chandrika doesn’t even have an inch of land in Colombo. I even sold the only house I had in Colombo. I built that house in my mother’s land from a loan I took from Bank of Ceylon. I paid that loan for 20 years. I sold the Rosmead Place house and gave a little to my children and kept a little for myself. I sold the Rosmead Place property for 50 lakhs a perch. There were 50 perches. Calculate the sum and see for yourself will you. I now live with that share of money I invested.
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The Sri Lankan government should account for everyone who was taken into custody at the end of Sri Lanka’s 26-year-long armed conflict in May 2009 and are feared to have been “disappeared,” Human Rights Watch said today. Despite numerous requests from families for information about their relatives, the authorities do not appear to have conducted any serious investigations, Human Rights Watch said.
Human Rights Watch said unresolved enforced disappearances should be part of the mandate of a proposed United Nations investigation into laws-of-war violations by both government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). A Panel of Experts appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to advise him on steps for ensuring accountability for laws-of-war violations in Sri Lanka is expected to hand over its report later in April 2011.
Sri Lanka onion prices to rise after Indian export ban
Dec 21, 2010 (LBO) – Prices of onions and leeks in Sri Lanka could rise after India’s decision to suspend exports of onions, a trade official said.
Pettah Wholesale Traders’ Association vice chairman Nihal Seneviratne said 90 percent of Sri Lanka’s onion requirement is imported from India and imports from other origins would be more costly.
India on Monday suspended exports of onions, a key food staple, after prices of the vegetable soared, adding to the government’s inflation woes.
Sri Lanka might be forced to import from sources like Pakistan, China, Egypt and the Netherlands, Seneviratne told Vimasuma.com, our sister news website. “Pakistani onions are not as good as Indian onions and they spoil quickly,” he said.
“To ship onions from China takes about a month and requires use of a refrigerated container. Therefore, onion imports from these countries will invariably be more expensive than from India.”
Even if the government reduces a 10-rupee a kilo import tax on onions retail prices cannot be reduced under present conditions, Seneviratne said.
Stocks of onions in the Pettah wholesale market were running low and Indian exporters had even taken back cargoes of onion already loaded on ships, he said.
Prices of onions grown in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna peninsula as well as leeks are likely to rise.
Sri Lanka imports 4,000-5,000 tonnes of onions a week from India which supplies about 60 percent of the world requirements of onion
Surpassing the USD 2000 per capita income, Sri Lanka is no longer an underdeveloped country and as a result not qualified for International Development Association (IDA) loans that provide interest free financial assistance to underdeveloped countries, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director of the World Bank Group stated.
She made this statement when she called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees today (17).
Instead, the World Bank will consider providing a commercial loan of USD 265 million from International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, she said.
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), an arm of the World Bank aims to reduce poverty in middle-income and creditworthy countries by promoting sustainable development through loans, guarantees, risk management products, and analytical and advisory services.
`The World Bank has been an active partner in supporting Sri Lanka in its transition from a low income country in conflict to a middle income country in peace`, said Dr. Okonjo-Iweala.
The post-conflict environment provides an opportunity to build on our relationship to support the government`s vision to firmly establish the country`s place in the ranks of fast growing middle income countries, she said.
In addition to funding, she said the World Bank is willing to share knowledge and expertise with Sri Lanka regarding urban development.
Foreign Direct Investment is vital for any middle income country to achieve its economic targets, she added.
She also emphasized the importance of seeking alternative energy sources as the world is on the brink of an energy crisis.
Deputy Minister of External Affairs Geethanjana Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Novard Cabrall were also present at the dicussion.
Sri Lanka has once again emerged as the most successful country in South Asia in healthcare delivery, recording low indicators in Maternal Mortality and a high rate of Life Expectancy , ‘The State of World Population 2010’ (Report) issued by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said today.
According to the Report all other countries in South Asia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives lag much behind Sri Lanka in respect of these important health and social indicators.
The Infant Mortality Rate per thousand births in India in 2010 was 52, Pakistan 61, Bhutan 41, Nepal 38 and Maldives 20 while Sri Lanka had only15 deaths which was highly satisfactory.
The Maternal Mortality rate per 100,000 births stood at a high 830 in Nepal while in India it was 450, Bangladesh 570, Pakistan 320, Maldives 120 with Sri Lanka only 58 mother deaths.
The life expectancy in India respectively for male and female was 62 / 66 years, Bangladesh 68 years for both, Pakistan 66 / 67, Nepal 66 / 68, Maldives 70 / 74 and Sri Lanka was 71 and 74 years.
The country with most dismal indicators in the world, Afghanistan records 152 infant deaths per 1,000 births and 1,800 maternal deaths per 100,000. The life expectancy in Afghanistan is only 44 for both sexes.
Some of the best countries to live in, Sweden, Australia and Switzerland, the Infant Mortality rate, Maternal Morality rate and Life Expectancy stood respective at 3, 3 and 79 / 83, 4, 4 and 79 / 84 and 4, 5, and 79 / 84.
Mrs. Lene K. Christiansen, UNFPA country director Sri Lanka, addressing the gathering at the ceremony held to mark the release of the Report said the Report makes the case for replacing the vicious cycle of crisis and underdevelopment with virtuous cycle of peace and stability.
“It is time to tear down the false barriers between crisis, recovery and development. Investing in the development soften the impact of crisis and natural disaster and whatever is invested during humanitarian response can become a solid foundation for development and rebuilding a society,” Mrs. Cristiansen stressed. Mr. Reza Hassaini and Mrs. Sunila Abesekara also addressed the ceremony.
Defeated terrorist elements have encamped in several foreign nations and their latest weapon is to defame our country and throw allegations at our war heroes accusing them of war crimes, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
‘We have already commenced the battle against them in the international sphere and are committed to continue it’. President Rajapaksa said so at the ceremonial passing out parade of Cadet officers at the Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA) in Diyatalawa (21 Dec).
We are now at a significant phase in the humanitarian operation. Our endeavor is to win hearts and minds after freeing the people and lands from terrorism. The humanitarian operation includes de-mining, resettlement and providing basic requirements among other tasks. All development programs carried out in the North and East are part of the humanitarian operation, the President stated.
He stressed that this humanitarian operation will not stop until the painful memories of terrorism and all thoughts of separatism are
removed from people’s hearts.
‘You pass out today to contribute to this noble humanitarian operation’, the President told the Cadet officers.
A person does not excel through talent and knowledge alone. Instead, the most important element is the love for one’s country, he pointed out.
‘The government not only lined up the security forces for the humanitarian operation but also organized the people against terrorism.’