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Bus transporting garment workers attacked in Vavuniya

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Attackers demand temporary closure of all factories

By Dinasena Ratugamage

A bus transporting garment workers was attacked by a group of youth in Muruganur, Vavuniya on Saturday. They also assaulted the driver of the bus.

There were 28 garment workers in the bus at the time of the incident. The youth stopped the bus, got inside and assaulted the driver alleging that he was transporting those who had contracted COVID-19. The youth also warned him to stop transporting garment workers.

Vavuniya Police are conducting investigations.

Recently, a number of community organisations have requested the Provincial Department of Health Services – Northern Province to temporarily close down garment factories in the province for a few days.

These organisations state that several thousand garment workers in the province have contracted Covid-19. These organisations claim that most factory owners do not adhere to the health regulations.

The owners of garment factories in fact try to cover up cases and this is a crime according to the Auarantine Act, they complain.

 These organisations have told the Provincial Department of Health Services that they understand the need to keep the economy going. The government too is aware of this and has prepared guidelines that should be followed by the factory owners.

 “However, these guidelines are blatantly violated. We see this in other parts of the country too where thousands of garment workers were exposed to the virus due to the negligence of the owners. If the Provincial Department of Health Services cannot make these factories follow guidelines, they should be closed temporarily,” a spokesman for a community organisation said.



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Shocking 17,500 video clips of Lankan children being sexually abused

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By Norman Palihawadane

There were over 17,500 video clips of Sri Lankan children being sexually abused, on the Internet and action had been taken to arrest those responsible, Police Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said yesterday. The Sri Lanka Police had sought the assistance of international law enforcement agencies and the Internet service providers to track down the persons involved in uploading those video clips and child sex trafficking via internet, the SDIG said.

Crimes against children in Sri Lanka were rising at an alarming speed, the SDIG said.

The police would conduct a special awareness programme together with the National Child Protection Authority to curb the alarming trend, he said.

The first programme was held recently in Nuwara Eliya where it especially focused apprising police officers attached to that Division.

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Private buses to insist that inter-provincial commuters carry proof of vaccination?

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

A limited number of Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and National Transport Commission (NTC) buses and trains would maintain limited inter- provincial operation from 01 August, State Minister of Transport, Dilum Amunugma said.

The State Minister said that certified documents issued by the respective depot superintendents and the letters of approval by the NTC were mandatory, he added.

“The buses and trains will be permitted to operate only in the morning and in the evening for office workers,” Amunugma said.

The State Minister added that passengers should behave responsibly when using the inter-provincial transport services and understand that those services were only for commuters engaged in essential services.

“The Delta variant is spreading rapidly. If one infected passenger travels in a bus, all other commuters will contract it” he warned.

The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) has decided to make proof of vaccination compulsory for inter provincial travel from 01 August

LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said they had written to the President and Transport Minister asking for permission to enforce it.

Wijeratne said that all bus operators in the Western Province should ensure they were inoculated by August 15.

 

 

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TNA Leader complains against appointing Sinhala officers to Tamil areas

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By Dinasena Ratugamage

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader, R. Sampanthan had written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, objecting to the appointment of Sinhala government officers to the Northern Province, former TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah told journalists on Wednesday (28.)

The President and the Prime Minister are appointing officials violating democratic principles, Senathirajah said after a meeting of party activists at Karachchi Divisional Secretariat Office, Kilinochchi.

“A lot of Sinhalese are appointed to the North and the East. They must appoint Tamils. These appointments undermine our struggle for a just language policy,” he said.

Senathirajah said that it was customary to appoint Tamil officers to Tamil majority areas. However, this tradition was being violated increasingly in recent times, the former MP said.

“The TNA has nothing against Sinhala government officers. However, appointing Sinhala state officers to majority Tamil areas is a great injustice to the people. So, our leader has written to the President and the Prime Minister asking them to stop this practice,” he said.

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