The World Islamic Call Society (WICS) based in Libya has urged Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem to mediate between the government of Col. Gaddafi and the rebel groups of Eastern Libya who are fighting the Libyan government forces, a statement from the minister said yesterday.
Tarik Aleesh, resident representative of the WICS in Sri Lanka who paid a personal visit made a request from Mr. Hakeem on the grounds on his experience in negotiation and being the principal interlocutor on behalf of the Muslim community in the Sri Lankan government team during discussions between the government and the LTTE, the statement said.
However, responding to the call of Mr. Aleesh of the WICS, Mr. Hakeem expressed his reservations about the success of an effective intervention and mediation in the present context of the geopolitical interest that seem to be pivotal to the present crisis, the statement added.
Animal rights activists hold satyagraha
Animal rights activists have resumed their demand that the government steps in to ban ritual animal sacrifice.
The activists held a satyagraha at Bauddhaloka Mawatha yesterday, calling for a ban.
“Ritual animal sacrifice is a primitive and barbaric practice, and totally violates Sri Lanka’s culture, nurtured in the noble principles of Buddhism,” said animal welfare activist, Gamini Wanigaratne. “The call for the ban is also supported by Hindu religious dignitaries and others. It is certainly not a tradition of Hinduism.”
Mr. Wanigaratne claims the ritual slaughter of animals has increased over the past two years, and that it is practised regularly at the Munneswaram Bhadrakali Amman Kovil. Animal rights groups across the country have lodged 200 complaints relating to animal slaughter in Munneswaram, he said.
Pension Fund Bill- Govt. ploy to grab EPF, ETF and qualify for IMF loan: UFL
The Minister of Labour, in a communication to members of the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) dated June 3, has confirmed that the Pension Fund Bill has been withdrawn, the United Federation of Labour (UFL) stated.
In a statement, President- UFL, Linus Jayatilake said, amidst this communication, an effort is being made in certain quarters to reformulate the Bill, to be tabled in Parliament, after consultation with the NLAC members.
“At the last Parliamentary debate, certain ministers clearly stated that the same old Bill will be taken with certain amendments. The immediate need of the trade unions and the workers' movement in general, is to compel the Legislature to remove the Pension Fund Bill from the Order paper,” he said.
He said that former Judge Mahanama Tillekeratne's investigations are not known to the public, and that, every young worker is anxious to find out who gave the order to shoot.
Mr. Jayatilake said that the government is compelled to show the IMF that it is capable of being an equity-investor to receive the IMF loan.
“The EPF, together with the ETF, are the most flourishing funds. The total assets of these two funds amount to Rs 1,027 billion, of which Rs 902 billion already belongs to the EPF in 2010, and at present, is close to a trillion,” he said.
He said that the government is involved in a desperate effort to make the JVP the scapegoat of the FTZ workers' rebellion, while there was no way of inciting the workers of the three zones – Katunayake, Biyagama and Koggala, as the unionised members of the FTZ are a tiny minority.
“It became very evident that certain influential Trade Unions, including the UFL, linked with national-level Trade Unions – the Ceylon Bank Employees' Union (CBEU), and formed the Joint Trade Union Alliance. It was through this Joint Trade Unions that we started a strong joint campaign against the Pension Fund Bill,” the UFL statement said.
The jumbos come at night
Text and story by Hiran
Fear-stricken farmers at four villages in the Puttalam District are spending sleepless nights as wild elephants storm their paddy fields late at night leaving a trail of destruction.
Already, some 100,000 acres of ready-to-harvest paddy crops have been destroyed by the wild jumbos, with the authorities offering little or no assistance to look into the problem, the farmers say.
The affected villages are Thabbowa, Thevanuwara, Karuwalagasweva and Muriyakalama.
Villager N. M. Tillekeratne said that the farmers had to keep vigil at night along with lighted torches, and howlers perched on tree tops despite the lurking dangers.