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AG and CJ asked to expedite cases against those detained under PTA – Justice Minister

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By Saman Indrajith

Justice Minister Ali Sabry said that he has been in consultation with the Attorney General and the Chief Justice to expedite cases against those being detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

“I have asked the Attorney General to look into each case individually”, he told Parliament last week.

Those facing charges under the Penal Code or the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) cannot be described as ‘political prisoners’, the Minister said in response to a question raised by TNA Batticaloa District MP, Shanakiyan Rajaputhiran Rasamanickam.

“On the instructions of the President, Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Security, I had discussions with the AG and the CJ on how to expedite these cases. We believe these cases must be expedited and disposed of”, Minister Sabry said.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said that there are no ‘political prisoners’ in the country and those who are in remand are facing different charges under the Penal Code.

Justice Minister Sabry said that immediately after the defeat of the LTTE in 2009, there were around 12,843 LTTE suspects who surrendered to the government. They were rehabilitated and have assimilated to society. They included 600 child soldiers.

“There are no ‘political prisoners’ detained in the country, but there are a few held under the PTA. There are grievous charges against them,” he said.

TNA MP Rasamanickam said that around 50 youth are being held in connection with various Facebook posts, and queried whether these were also considered grievous crimes.



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Southern MP warns that Russian & Ukranian tourists working here are at risk

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“They may be knifed or their lives threatened”

ECONOMYNEXT – Tourists from Russia and Ukraine who are staying in houses in Sri Lanka for long periods are engaging in business activities and should be taxed to prevent them being knifed by competitors, SLPP MP Chandima Weerakkody told parliament on Friday.

“There are many tourists who are staying long term in houses,” he said. “Though they come here they cannot use their credit cards – especially Russian and Ukrainian tourists who cannot use their money through their cards. As a result they have been forced to work and earn something in Sri Lanka.”

He called on the government to have a system where they can use their money.

“In our areas many tourists are cutting hair, some are doing tinkering work, some are setting up pizza shops, some are selling cannabis – I think there is a new name now *for ganja),” Weerakkody said. “If we send the immigration behind the tourists who are coming, even those that are coming will not come.”

“No taxes are being charged from any of these tourists who are doing business. Our (local people’s) taxes are raised. I am asking at least to have a system for the government to collect some taxes

“I want to say in Parliament that in our areas, a knifing (pihi anumak), or some other threat to life (jeewitha tharjanayak) may happen if this situation continues.”

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Kidney sale racket unearthed in Colombo

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Five duped to sell their kidneys at Rs. 15 million each

By Norman Palihawadane

The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) has informed the Colombo Additional Magistrate Ranjindra Jayasuriya that an investigation has been launched to arrest the suspects involved in the organized racket of obtaining kidneys from poor people promising big money and selling them to local and foreign people.The CCD told the court on Thursday that four men and one woman have parted with their kidneys, and despite promising to pay Rs.15 million per kidney nothing was paid.

CCD reported to court that the victims were operated at a Hospital on Cotta Road in Borella and no money was paid. A mother who was nursing a one-and-a-half-year-old infant was among those cheated.

The police told court that a person from the Bloemendhal area had referred these people through another man and a woman. Required medical tests had been conducted at three private hospitals.

Evidence has been obtained that kidney surgeries had been performed at a private hospital in Borella and the CCD stated in court that this racket was organized targeting poor families in Colombo.

It informed court that they have already launched investigations and will arrest the suspects and produce them before court.After considering the relevant submissions, the Magistrate ordered the CCD to conduct investigations and arrest the suspects and present them to court.

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Record highest number of school students visit Parliament

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School children wave during their visit to Parliament on Thursday (1). Serjeant-at Arms Narendra Fernando said that the largest number of school students in the history of the Parliament visited the Parliament on Dec 1. Over 5,000 students from 32 schools from different provinces visited the Parliament on that day, he said. More than 25,000 students representing schools in different parts of the country had visited to observe the Parliamentary debates after the Public Gallery was reopened for school students from Sept 19.

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