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Eran: Online Safety Bill will pave way for dictatorship

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The main opposition SJB says that the Online Safety Bill, scheduled to be taken for debate in Parliament today, and tomorrow, will become a major blow to the people’s freedom of speech, if it becomes the law.

Addressing the media at the Opposition Leader’s office in Colombo, SJB MP Eran Wickremeratne said that the government had stated that the protection of the rights of women and children on social media platforms as one of the objectives of the proposed Bill. “However, the Bill does not even contain the words women and children. If it becomes law, it will enable the police, and other authorities, to take over the mobile phones of journalists and social media activists without a court order. This is paving the way for a dictatorship,” the MP said.

The Bill contained anti-democratic features, Wickremeratne said. “This will curb the freedom of the people. It is going to be passed as a criminal law. The Bill proposes the setting up of a Commission which would be under the direct control of the President. This Commission is going to be vested with many powers that had been hitherto enjoyed by the courts of law. This Bill would certainly make the government more authoritarian and that would alone be a threat to people’s rights. We oppose this Bill in Parliament and call on the people to line up with us to defeat this undemocratic move.”



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123rd Birth anniversary of Dr S A Wickramasinghe commemorated

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The 123rd Birth anniversary of Dr S A Wickramasinghe, the founder of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka was commemorated in Matara today (13).

Dr Sugiswara Abeywardena Wickramasinghe co-founded the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) and was elected to the Ceylon State Council in 1931 and 1946. He founded the Communist Party of Sri Lanka in 1943 and represented the Akuressa Electorate in parliament from 1956 to 1977.

Members of Parliament Dullas Alahapperuma, Weerasumana Weerasinghe and members of  the Communist Party of Sri Lanka and family placed floral tributes at his monument in Matara.

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Social relations and solidarity emerge as fundamental pillars essential for steering our nation forward along the path of progress and prosperity – President

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President Rani Wickremesinghe in his New Year Message stressed that social relations and solidarity emerge as fundamental pillars essential for steering our nation forward along the path of progress and prosperity

The full text of the President’s message follows:

“The progression of nations, countries and the global community is propelled by the perpetual cycle of renewal, where innovative ideas are nurtured and novel creations come to fruition.

Embracing renewal in accordance with the traditional New Year, the calendar year, or the changing seasons, individuals across the globe find themselves revitalized, endowed with fresh opportunities for growth and advancement. Beneath the surface of these myriad renewals lies a fundamental truth; the paramount importance of social relationships and collective unity.

During the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, we engage in a profound renewal of self, centering our focus on nurturing bonds and fostering a sense of gregariousness. This emphasis on interpersonal bonds is the cornerstone of traditional New Year rituals observed across diverse cultures worldwide.

It is important to emphasize the significance of this pivotal point, particularly during the New Year festivities, as it serves as a poignant reminder of the essence of human connection and communal solidarity.

In the dawn of the New Year, social relations and solidarity emerge as fundamental pillars essential for steering our nation forward along the path of progress and prosperity. With this understanding in mind, I extend my heartfelt wishes for a joyous and fulfilling Sinhala and Tamil New Year.”

 

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Sinhala and Tamil New Year auspicious times

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The Auspicious times for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year 2024 are as follows

13th April
02:41pm –  Punya Kalaya
09:05pm  – Dawn of the New Year
11:06pm –  Lighting of the Hearth

14th April 
00:06am – Starting work, Partaking of meals and transactions

15th April
10:17am – Anointing

17th April
06:52am – Leaving for work

18th April 
10:16am – Planting trees

 

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