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 Post subject: His Worship the Mayor of Colombo - Uvais the trishaw driver
 Post Posted: Sun May 28, 2006 4:17 am 
His Worship the Mayor of Colombo - Uvais the trishaw driver
Colombo voted for the faceless names

Mr. Uvais Mohamed Imthiyaz, a three-wheel driver, whose wife is a housemaid in Saudi Arabia, has been picked to be the youngest mayor of Colombo. His Worship the Mayor of Colombo Imthiyaz celebrated his 22nd birthday yesterday at his home in Modera, Colombo North is virtually in hiding to avoid pressure from various sections.

@ ST / 28May2006

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Rotational mayors as Colombo gets trishaw driver as her 1st citizen

The controversy over substituting the winning independent group candidates with UNP members in the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is likely to end up in a legal battle as a 22-year-old trishaw driver was set to be sworn in as Colombo’s new mayor.

True to form, the leader of the independent group that won the Colombo municipality elections with the backing of the UNP has nominated his brother-in-law Uvais Mohamed Imthiyaz, hailing from Modera and Kankanamge Chandrasena, 65, as mayor and deputy mayor. The names are due to be gazetted by the Elections Department next week.

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Mr. Imthiyaz, brother-in-law of independent group leader Annapillai Rajendran and his deputy will be sworn in soon after the gazette notification is issued. Thereafter they are expected to tender their resignation enabling the UNP members to replace them in the council.

However until the resignations are given, Mr. Imthiyaz and Mr. Chandrasena will serve as mayor and deputy mayor. The battle between the UNP and the UPFA over the controversy of replacing the winning candidates has already begun with the UPFA’s unsuccessful mayoral candidate, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, declaring that the UNP will not be able to make substitutions.

He said the Commissioner of Elections would have to decide whether the substitutions were legally valid, but as far as the UPFA was concerned it was against such a move as it was against the law.

“A special commissioner may have to be appointed if a complicated situation arises and the Minister of Local Government believes that the council cannot carry on with its functions,” Mr. Nanayakkara said.

But, UNP’s Assistant General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told The Sunday Times the UPFA should allow the will of the people to prevail and it was clear the people had elected the independent group backed by the UNP.

“The UPFA, before the elections made a series of attempts to scuttle our victory and now it should not try to prevent the UNP from taking over the council as the people of the city want the UNP to run the council,” he said.
Independent group leader Rajendran told The Sunday Times all his party members, except two had agreed to resign and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would have the authority to name replacements.

“It is very clear that it is because of the backing of the UNP that our members were elected. Therefore the opposition must respect the will of the people and allow the UNP to take office in the council,” he said.

The Sunday Times learns Mr. Rajendran, Mr. Imthiyaz and other members of the independent group are virtually in hiding to avoid pressure from various sections including the UPFA to change their position.




Colombo voted for these faceless names

By Kumudu Amarasingham
@ SL/28May2006


Sometimes genies disguise themselves as real people. They're not always spirits out of enchanted lamps. They're humans who wade into lives, wave a wand, and voila! Magic happens. Sadness, poverty and want disappear; and indeed dreams come true.

For Anthonypillai Harischandra, U.K Chandrasena and Uvais Mohamed Imtiaz, this magic happened. For them however the genie was neither a man nor a ghost.

It came in the form of an elephant. Though of course, the messenger for the elephant was a man, named Anna Pillai K.N.S Rajendran.

Independent Group 3

Rajendran was the leader of the independent group symbolised by the spectacles, which was fielded by the UNP at the just concluded Municipal Council elections in Colombo. He designated seven people in place of the candidates in the rejected UNP list, from his group.

Among those selected was Harischandra whose number was one, in place of UNP MP Sirisena Cooray, who received the highest preferential votes at the last election.

A painter by profession, 21-year-old Anthonypillai Harischandra was just going about his usual business when Rajendran walked into his home and asked him to 'contest.' "I have never contested before," he told us. He received 31,775 votes. "I took part because the leader wanted me to," he said. A simple man with simple dreams, he has no political aspirations for himself.

"My mother and siblings don't like me being in politics, they think I should just do what I'm doing and be happy with it," Harischandra said.

Contended man

A man from Colombo, he knows something of the problems faced by his people and in his simple way, hopes he could help. Harischandra studied at the Mutwal Hindu College. His grasp of politics is by no means wide however, and neither does he seem to want it to be. If ever there was a contended man with little or no ambition, Harischandra is the one. He flows with the tide, and is generally happy with where it takes him.

U. K Chandrasena on the other hand is very passionate about his politics. "I will do anything for the UNP," he emphatically stated, looking both grand and uncomfortable in a costume befitting his new status as deputy mayor (designate) of Colombo. He is a retired kankani (supervisor) at the harbour, and was once vice president of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS).

"I joined politics in 1960 and helped former President Ranasinghe Premadasa with his first election when I was just 20 years old," Chandrasena said. Since then, Chandrasena has worked tirelessly for the UNP, and says he will as long as there is any life left in him. "I felt president Premadasa served the country well, and I took part in this election hoping to do the same," Chandrasena said.

Thanks UNP

He said he was happy to win 'for the sake of the party,' and thanked everyone who voted for him. A widower with seven children, Chandrasena's offsprings are very happy with their father's success. "They told me I got this because I help other people as much as I can," Chandrasena said. He thanked UNP member Ranjit Seneviratne, for whose seat he had contested. "We will go from house to house and see the problems people have and help solve with the help ofSirisena Cooray," Chandrasena excitedly declared.

There was no doubt winning the election and becoming deputy mayor, even if for a brief period, was the most exciting thing that had happened in the life of this elderly man. Twenty-six-year-old Uvais Mohamed Imtiaz, the mayor designate of Colombo, was in contrast about as calm as he possibly could be given his new responsibilities. Whatever he may be, Imtiaz is no talker. Then again, those who talk less do more. He polled 30,308 votes.

"There were threats before the election, but none of us got scared," Imtiaz said. He too, like Chandrasena, intends to find out what the people need, what their problems are, and help solve them "with the help of Sirisena Cooray."

Favourite politician

His favourite politician is Sirisena Cooray because he said Cooray had "done a lot for the people of Colombo." Imtiaz too is from Colombo. He studied at the Al Nazar Maha Vidyalaya in Mutwal.

A three-wheel driver by profession, he is the father of one little girl. Imtiaz' wife is abroad and so far, does not know of her husband's dalliance in politics. His parents however were very happy with his new role.

The new mayor is Rajendran's nephew. "I am a little nervous about my duties, but also confidant that with Sirisena Cooray's help I can do it," he said. He has no big hopes or dreams and said he lives for the day and leaves all things to chance. His political affiliations have always been with the UNP because 'they're for the people' he said. Imtiaz ended with a heartfelt thank you to all those who voted for him.

These, in brief, were the faceless names for which the people of Colombo voted, without question. Common sense must decree whom they really put their trust in, and which party they voted for.

These people, who have so far had to fight for the most basic facilities and 'conveniences,' were from the point of assuming duties entitled to all the services and perks that go with their posts, including the mayor's bungalow and brand new chauffeur driven limousines. Yet, Harischandra, Chandrasena and Imtiaz seemed by and large, unmoved.

Know the people's pulse

All these three individuals are people who had truly known the pulse of life in the heart of Colombo, where the masses live. None of them had big dreams. They were not strategists, and while their knowledge of life may be noteworthy, they obviously did not have much notion of what it was to taste power, or solve big problems.

If they were to stay in their posts in the council, they would evidently need much guidance and advice in their work.

None of them wanted to stay however. They were all more than willing to resign, to give up the borrowed glory that, for some moments in time, had entered their otherwise extremely normal, perhaps even dreary, existences.

To them, contesting the election was just a duty they had willingly done for the sake of something, or someone, they believed in.


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 Post subject: Horoscope prediction came true
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:57 am 
Mayor’s mother happy son’s horoscope prediction came true

by Nilanyha Ilangamuwa Chamilla Karawita and Jayantha de Silva
@ The Island / 05June2006


The jubilant mother of the newly appointed Mayor of Colombo Uvais Mohamed Imtiyas said her son’s horoscope predicted that one day he would become a person to reckon with.

Mohamed Sally Warsana, the Mayor’s mother, who lives in Modera Ekamuthupura Kadiranawatte popularly known as Kumbi Kelle declared to the Island. I have two children, my daughter is Fatima Ayesha and my son is Imitiyas who is 24 years old the eldest. My husband is an employee of the Colombo Municipal Council.

Imtiyas studied at Al Nasar and at St. Mary’s Colleges. He studied upto Grade 9. Though we urged him to study further, he did not listen. Imtiyas is married and is a father of a child. I bought him five three wheelers which are parked at the Crow Islandthree wheeler park, Before his name was nominated for the recent local government elections the political party with the spectacle symbol told him that he would be offered a job. The residents of Kumbikelle too are happy about Imtiya’s appointment as the Mayor. Frequently we have to answer telephone calls inquiring whether the Mayor is at home. If he is the Mayor for even one day we will be very happy. Although he is the Mayor, we live in fear. Sirisena Cooray will protect us, she concluded.


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 Post subject: Imtiyaz at Town Hall: Waiting or going
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2006 5:53 am 
Imtiyaz at Town Hall: Waiting or going

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By Yohan Perera
@ DM / 23June2006


Ending weeks of spectacular confusion and speculation, Colombo’s newly elected Mayor Mohammed U. Imtiyaz assumed duties amidst a large gathering at the Town Hall yesterday.

Mr. Imtiyaz - the youngest City Father in the history of the CMC - clad in a plain white shirt instead of the traditional Mayoral robe came to the Town Hall with a large number of former UNP Municipal councillors and several others including his family members.

Having placed his signature in the traditional Golden Book at the CMC, Mr. Imtiyaz later told journalists that he was seeking the support of the CMC staff since he was new to the job but pledged to work for the betterment of the city.

He said his office would be open for the people and invited the people of Colombo to come to him with their problems.

Mr. Imtiyaz also thanked President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and UNP Mayoral candidate Sirisena Cooray for providing him the opportunity to work for the people.

Mr. Imtiyaz later visited his official residence on Marcus Fernando Mawatha where he would be moving into soon.

However there was speculation over the undated letter of resignation given by Mr. Imtiyaz to the Independent Group 3 leader while sources close to the Spectacle group said Mr. Imtiyaz was likely to serve the full term.


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