CPA strongly rejects statement by Bellanwila Wimalaratne Thero

“Our shock and sadness in this regard are compounded by the fact that the Venerable Thero made a deeply respected contribution to our ‘Never Again’ public interest television campaign in 2008 marking the 25th anniversary of Black July, the central message of which was non-violence and peaceful coexistence amongst all the peoples of our country,” CPA said.In keeping with its non-partisan organisational mandate, CPA has engaged in strengthening good governance and democracy in Sri Lanka since its inception in 1996. CPA will continue to work on research and advocacy to build broad public support for a new constitution. CPA also notes that the Venerable Thero does not produce any evidence in respect of the allegations made against CPA and its Executive Director’s purported role in the constitutional reform process. Accordingly, CPA regrets to have to state that such remarks by such a personage are alarmingly irresponsible and even inflammatory. “CPA strongly rejects the statement made by the Venerable Thero. His comments unfortunately associate him with the extremist opponents of the constitutional reform process. These extremists have labelled supporters of a new constitution “traitors”, threatened them with death and called for Parliament to be bombed if a new constitution is passed by its members. In this context, CPA is appalled and saddened by these remarks of such a highly respected member of the Sangha,” CPA said in a statement. The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) strongly rejected claims made by the Venerable Bellanwila Wimalaratne Thero.Addressing a conference of Bikkhus at the Dhammikaramaya in Ratmalana on the proposed new constitution, the Venerable Thero stated that CPA and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu are behind “constitutional courts” and are “pumping” the constitutional reform process with “NGO money”. A report to this effect was also published in the Lankadeepa newspaper on 1st November 2017. CPA fervently hopes that the public debate on the new constitution can be carried out without misinformation, insinuations and threats of violence, which are all reminiscent of the recent past. We believe our country needs a new constitution that meets the aspirations of all of its peoples and comprehensively rejects the politics of hurt, harm and hate. We strongly appeal to our fellow citizens, politicians and all religious leaders to engage in and lead an informed, responsible and constructive debate on this pivotal issue. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Woman says passengers were confined to plane on Ottawa runway for six

Woman says passengers were confined to plane on Ottawa runway for six hours MONTREAL – A woman who was aboard an Air Transat flight says she and other passengers were forced to stay in the plane on an Ottawa runway for six hours in uncomfortably warm conditions.Maryanne Zehil said the plane, which had originated in Brussels, was meant to land in Montreal on Monday but that the 336 passengers were told it would not be possible because of storms.The captain then diverted the plane to Ottawa.Zehil said it was very hot in the plane and that some passengers were having trouble breathing.She added that one person called 911 and that is when bottles of water were handed out. At that point, passengers had been in the Airbus A330 for 15 hours.“We were stuck on the ground for six hours,” Zehil said in an interview. “At one point there was no more power. There was no air. Children were crying. It was really bad because we didn’t know why we weren’t allowed to get off so the problem could be solved.“It was inhumane and unacceptable.”Air Transat (TSX:TRZ) apologized in a statement to passengers on Tuesday.“Following yesterday’s violent late-afternoon thunderstorms in Montreal, some of our flights from Europe and the South had to be diverted to other airports,” it said.“Unfortunately, this unusual situation beyond our control caused delays of several hours for our passengers.”It said nearly 30 planes, belonging to several airlines, were diverted to Ottawa.“As a result, Ottawa airport staff were unable to provide with loading bridges or stairs that would have enabled the passengers on the Brussels flight to disembark or our ground crews to replenish the aircraft’s empty drinking water reservoir,” the statement added.“The shortage of fuel also explains the lack of air conditioning on board for a time.”In Ottawa, a spokesperson in the federal Transport Department said such incidents will not be able to happen again once Bill C-49 becomes law.The legislation will force airlines to give passengers water, food and the possibility of getting off a plane, as long as it is safe, after being stuck three hours on a runway.It will also oblige airlines to explain delays to passengers. by The Canadian Press Posted Aug 1, 2017 12:37 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 2, 2017 at 6:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more