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Cardinal to boycott independence day celebrations

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The Catholic Church has declared that it will not be represented by the Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith at Independence day celebrations today (4) against the failure on the part of the government to punish those responsible for 2019 Easter Sunday attacks and the recent recovery of a hand grenade from All Saints Church, Borella. Archdiocese Communication Unit spokesperson Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando briefed the media regarding their action at a briefing yesterday.

Fr. Fernando said Cardinal Ranjith had decided to cancel the service he usually holds on Independence Day.

“We are disturbed as to why the caretaker of the church is being continuously detained despite the proof that he has nothing to do with the All Saints’ Church grenade issue. CCTV Camera footage has made it clear that this person has nothing to do with the grenade episode,” Fr. Fernando said.

All the other suspects except for the caretaker of the church were released recently.



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President orders probe into judge’s resignation

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By Saman Indrajith

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is currently in Berlin, yesterday ordered his Secretary Saman Ekanayake to launch a probe into the resignation of Mullaitivu District Judge and Magistrate, T. Saravanarajah, who heard the controversial Kurundimale temple case. The judge has cited receiving death threats as the reason for his resignation.

Judge Saravanarajah had not informed either the police or the Judicial Service Commission of the alleged death threats to him, sources said.

In a letter dated 23 September, 2023, addressed to the Judicial Services Commission, Judge T. Saravanarajah conveyed his decision to step down from various judicial roles including District Judge, Magistrate, Family Court Judge,

Primary Court Judge, Small Claims Court Judge, and Juvenile Court Judge.President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake held discussions on the judge’s resignation with Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles. It was revealed that the judge had not lodged any formal complaint of the alleged death threats prior to his resignation.

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China pledges steadfast support to Sri Lanka

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Ambassador Qi Zhenhong

China will continue to firmly support Sri Lanka in pursuing a development path that suits its own national conditions, getting rid of the “poverty trap” and the “trap of non-development”, and safeguarding its independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity, Ambassador Qi Zhenhong said at the 74th National Day Reception of the People’s Republic of China on Thursday.

Given below are excerpts of the Chinese Ambassador’s speech: “Right now, changes of the world, of our times and of history are unfolding in ways like never before, which leads to rapidly growing uncertainty, instability and unpredictability.

In view of these global challenges, President Xi Jinping has put forward three crucial global initiatives, namely the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative. We urge all countries to respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, and work together to meet the challenges of our times and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

“This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping. Over the past 10 years under the BRI cooperation, more than 150 countries, including Sri Lanka, and 32 international organizations, have made great progress in connectivity, infrastructure, trade, and investment, with about 3,100 joint projects bringing tangible benefits to the world. As the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, I am more than happy to highlight the major projects between our two countries, such as the Katunayake Expressway, the Southern Expressway, the CICT, the Hambantota Port and the Port City Colombo, etc.

“No matter how the world changes, China and Sri Lanka are good neighbours with mutual respect and trust, good partners with mutual benefit, and good friends who help each other. China’s friendly policy towards Sri Lanka is for all political parties and all people of Sri Lanka and maintains continuity and stability. In the past decades, many landmarks, such as the BMICH, the Supreme Court Complex, the Nelum Pokuna Theatre, the Polonnaruwa Kidney Disease Hospital and the National Hospital Out-Patient Department Building, have been gifted by the Chinese people to the Sri Lankan people.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, especially when Sri Lanka was faced with the economic challenges last year, China has been supporting Sri Lanka to the best of its ability. It includes not only providing emergency assistance from all walks of life in China, but also being the first to reach out to Sri Lanka to properly deal with its debt issues.

More importantly, China will continue to firmly support Sri Lanka in pursuing a development path that suits its own national conditions, getting rid of the “poverty trap” and the “trap of non-development”, and safeguarding its independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity.”

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Justice Minister sees police, judiciary and lawyers coming short on ensuring justice for all

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The way the police, judiciary and lawyers operate had left much to be desired in ensuring justice for all, Minister of Justice Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said at the National Law Week – 2023 celebrations yesterday.

Dr. Rajapakshe said that in a country with the rule of law, all citizens felt they had access to justice. The Minister said that the country faced a severe economic crisis in 2022. The breakdown of the rule of law was a major reason for the economic crisis, the Justice Minister said.

Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya said at the same event that people needed to understand the roles and functions of the judiciary, police, mediation boards and other institutions of justice in order to obtain a satisfactory service.

“These institutions are there to ensure everyone has equal access to justice. If these institutions were not there, the rich and the powerful would always get their way,” the CJ said.

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