December 10, 2019
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    Thousands went back to India from 1949 to 1983

    September 21, 2019


    The number of persons who had gone back to India despite having applied for Sri Lankan citizenship was 2,415 in 1949; 4,717 in 1950; 12,000 in 1951; 9,323 in 1953; 13,377 in 1954; 22,771 in 1957; 15,985 in 1956, and 7,357 in 1963, said Chief Government Whip Gayantha Karunatillake.He was responding to a question by JO-MP Udaya Gammanpila to the Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister regarding the number of persons who were sent or went to reside in India from Sri Lanka under various agreements and laws from 1948 to 2015.

    “By the Act that implemented in the 1967, No. 14 ‘Indo-Lanka Agreement’, it was decided to send back 600,000 Indians to India. Of them, 94,000 had refused to return to India and of the balance 506,000, about 342,000 had returned to India in 1983. Through the grant of citizenship to stateless persons (special provisions) Act No. 39 of 1988, about 80,000 persons of Indian origin were to be sent to India. However, due to the riots in 1983, all passenger transport ships operating to India had been suspended, and these persons had remained in the country. A large number of persons had fled to India during the war using various means, but the department does not have information of these persons,” Minister Karunatillake said.

    MP Gammanpila asked Minister Karunatillake if there was no way for the Sri Lankan government to obtain the information regarding how many have applied for refugee status in India. The latter said he would forward the question to the relevant minister for a response.

    Speaker warns Dayasiri over sarcastic remarks

    Speaker Karu Jayasuriya warned UPFA Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera not to take parliamentary affairs lightly when the latter addressed him ‘Hon. President’ instead of ‘Hon. Speaker’ during the round of questions for oral answers in Parliament yesterday.

    When the Speaker announced the name of MP Jayasekera giving him the floor to raise his question for oral answer on kidney disease that had been listed in yesterday’s Order Paper, MP Jayasekera got up and said “Hon. President, I ask” instead of “Hon. Speaker, I ask.”

    Then Speaker Jayasuiya said that the Parliament was not a place for jokes. MP Jayasekera then apologised and raised the question properly.

    Chief Government Whip Minister Gayantha Karunatilaka said that the opposition members too have a foregone conclusion of the forthcoming presidential election. “That was the reason why MP Jayasekera said so,” Minister Karunathilaka said.


    Over Rs. 362 billion spent on importing milk powder from 2010 to May this year – Buddhika

    “Over 362 billion rupees had been spent on importing milk powder to the country from 2010 to May this year,” Industry and Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Co-operative Development, Vocational Training and Skills Development Deputy Minister Buddhika Pathirana said in Parliament yesterday.

    He was responding to a query by Kurunegala District UNP MP Indunil Amarasena during the round of questions for oral answers.

    Deputy Minister Pathirana said he expected the expenditure on importing milk powder this year would decrease as there was an ongoing debate in society against the consumption of milk powder.

    Pathirana that Rs 30.95 billion was spent in 2010, Rs. 36.47 billion in 2011, Rs. 37.67 billion in 2012, Rs. 35.27 billion in 2013, Rs. 44.02 billion in 2014, Rs. 31.76 billion in 2015, Rs. 32.65 billion in 2016, Rs. 44.87 in 2017 and Rs. 50.31 billion in 2018 for importing milk powder.

    The Deputy Minister said that until May this year, the amount spent on importing milk powder was Rs 19.25 billion and the year-end cost would be around 25 to 35 billion rupees.

    The country produces 471.6 million litres of milk per year. The local milk production is on the rise and the government was taking measures to discourage importing powdered milk. All MPs have been informed of the standards of imported milk powder and related issues, the Minister said adding that the matter should be debated in Parliament.

    Speaker Karu Jayasuria commended the Deputy Minister for providing a detailed response to the question by MP Indunil Amarasena and promised that necessary actions would be taken to give a full day debate on the matter and undertook to include the issue in the agenda of the party leaders’ meeting.

    Technical error let SLC officials dodge COPE probe

    Sri Lanka Cricket officials yesterday escaped the parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) probe on frauds investigating the fraud in relation to selling broadcasting rights of international matches, due to a technical error.

    The COPE probe had to be postponed as some of its members were not present when the SLC officials had been summoned to the Parliamentary Complex for the investigation.

    The COPE comprises 16 members, but only its Chairman JVP MP Sunil Hadunnetti, State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe and UPFA Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera were present for the COPE meeting yesterday.

    Yesterday’s meeting had been reserved to investigate the computer data pertaining to the alleged missing of US $ 187,00 linked to selling of the broadcasting rights of the international cricket matches and another US $ five million from the SLC.

    In addition to the SLC officials, secretaries of the Ministries of Sports, Digital Infrastructure and technical experts had been summoned to assist the COPE members in their investigation.

    COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti said this case of missing funds should be investigated. “Prior to that the COPE members should be made aware of the email and other computer assisted communication and data storing systems used by the SLC. It is for that purpose that the COPE has been summoned today. But majority of members are not present,” he said.

    SLC Chairman Shammi Silva questioned if the COPE could summon any person before its committee.

    In response, COPE Chairman Handunnetti responded, “Yes. I have that power.”

    Then SLC Chairman Silva said, “Then I would like to suggest that you summon the former officials of the SLC.”

    The COPE Chairman responded that the COPE had the authority to summon even those who are in retirement. “Thilanga Sumathipala, too, had sent us a letter asking for an opportunity to give evidence. We would summon him, too, as per the requirements.”

    State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe joining in said, “Today there is a web posting of what the SLC officials had been discussing while leaving parliament yesterday. During their conversation they had ridiculed me. The name of the web is CricketAge.”

    SLC Chairman Silva said that it is a web operating from India. “SLC too is divided. It is the same as the government and opposition.”

    Handunnetti added that although they are divided in the Chamber as the government and opposition, when it comes to the COPE Committee, they are not divided. “The COPE acts as a single committee. If one of its members is ridiculed, then that amounts to demeaning the entire COPE. We should investigate that web posting,” he said.

    SLC Chairman Silva assured that they would investigate it.

    State Minister Senasinghe said that there was no need for such an investigation and asked that COPE members not be involved in the battle between the SLC factions.

    SLC Chairman Silva submitted to COPE Chairman Handunnetti the International Cricket Council and Asian Cricket Council meeting charts and schedules as per a directive by the COPE on the previous day.

    ‘Kidney diseases killed 6,481 persons from 2016 to 2018’

    From 2016 to 2018, 6,481 persons had died of kidney diseases, revealed in Parliament yesterday.

    Chief Government Whip Lands and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka revealed this responding to a query by UPFA Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera during the round of questions for oral answers on behalf of the subject minister.

    He said that 6,481 deaths from kidney diseases were reported from 2016 to 2018.

    There had been 2,135 deaths in 2016, 2,159 deaths in 2017 and 2,187 deaths in 2018, he said.

    During the period, 17,503 kidney disease cases were reported to hospitals. In 2016, 6,565 cases, in 2017, 6,017 cases and in 2018, 4,921 cases, Minister Karunathilaka said.

    He said 787 persons underwent kidney transplants during the three years with 246 in 2017, 270 in 2017 and 271 in 2018.

    Patients suffering from Kidney diseases are predominantly reported from Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Badulla, Matale, Ampara, Trincomalee, Moneragala, Mannar, Hambantota and Mulathivu, the Minister said.






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