7:28 AM

SSP Vaas transferred to Headquarters

SSP Vaas Gunawardena against whom there are charges over the abduction, assault and illegal detention of Nipuna Ramanayake of the SLIIT Campus has been transferred to the Police Headquarters with effect from 14th August. This is a step taken by the IGP while investigations are being conducted against the SSP.

Already, two Sub Inspectors have been transferred to Negombo and Kegalle; and four constables transferred to Galle, Kandy, Avisawella and Thebuwana in this connection. Investigations are also being conducted against them in the meanwhile.

However, it is significant to note that no arrests have been made so far although 12 days have already elapsed.

7:26 AM

More than 20,000 have escaped from IDP camps?

More than 20,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) residing in camps in Vavuniya have gone missing, and a census into the disappearances is now nearing completion.

A senior official at the Vauniya Kachcheri said yesterday, “There is a significant and glaring number of missing people from all IDP camps, somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 are no longer there.”

According to him, it’s unclear how so many people had made their getaway as there had been a steady decline in numbers, and nothing concrete to investigate on.

Unofficial sources claimed that some Tiger top leaders who had also been hiding among civilians in the camps have made their getaway, and have reportedly bribed officials with sums running to millions of rupees.

The source added that most of the IDPs have occasionally left camps saying they required treatment from hospitals, especially during some epidemics. Most of them, however, have not returned when they were expected to do so. The senior official said the number of visits to hospitals has been drastically reduced and humanitarian workers are required to see that the needs of IDPs such as medicines are met.

7:25 AM

Bodies of two young tamil girls found

The bodies of two tamil servant girls were found yesterday in a canal opposite the houses where they worked in Cinnamon Gardens. The servant girls were discovered missing in the early hours of yesterday and their bodies were found floating in the canal by neighbours.

The girls had written a note together in Tamil saying: “Because of a reason that causes us unbearable pain we are taking our lives. No one is to blame,” a Police source said.
The servant girls were aged 16 and 18 and were from Maskeliya.

A police officer said they were yet to ascertain the motive for the possible suicide and inquiries are underway.

Police spokesperson SSP Ranjith Gunesekera said that the girls were Tamil. Suicide was possible and however the cause of the death can be established at the inquest.

7:24 AM

Who will be the new Foreign Secretary?

Foreign Secretary Dr Palitha Kohona will leave for New York early next month to take up his new post as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, informed sources said.
At the time of going to press it was not clear as to who will replace him as Foreign Secretary.
The official government website also announced on Friday that Dr. Kohona, will shortly assume duties as the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, New York.

The incumbent Sri Lankan Permanent Representative in New York H.MG.S. Palihakkara was scheduled to return to Colombo over the weekend for personal reasons prior to completing his term there.
It is also still not clear who will fill the vacancy in Geneva as the Country’s Permanent Representative to the UN there. Dr Dayan Jayatillake was recently recalled without any official explanation.

Foreign Ministry sources said the Geneva slot is likely to be filled by either Aruni Wijewardena or Prasad Kariyawasam, both are senior career diplomats. Kariyawasam has already served a stint in Geneva as the country’s Permanent Representative
It was only in March this year that Jayatillake was given a one year extension.

It is believed that Jayatilleka’s sudden recall is over his getting entangled in public debates over some sensitive domestic issues.
Meanwhile, Jayatilleka yesterday denied rumours that he is to be the next Ambassador to Cuba. He added that the Government of Sri Lanka has not contacted him after informing that his tenure in Geneva will end on August 20.

“I have not been appointed, nor approached, nor has this been mentioned to me at all by anyone in the Government. I think this is merely a rumour without foundation,” Jayatilleka said. “I have had no communication from GOSL following the fax conveying my dismissal,” he added.

Earlier this week media reports circulated stating that Jayatilleka would be appointed as Sri Lanka’s ambassador in Cuba replacing Ms Tamara Kunanayakam. Last month Jayatilleka’s tenure as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations came to an abrupt end as he was informed that his term in Geneva will end on August 20.

Meanwhile, senior diplomat Ms. Kshenuka Seneviratne is now tipped to assume duties as Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Rome. The current ambassador there attorney at law Hemantha Warnakulasuriya is expected to complete his term shortly.