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Ex-Maldivian minister arrested over rape of underage Lankan girl

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By Norman Palihawadane

A former Maldivian Minister is among 32 suspects arrested over the exploitation and rape of an underage Sri Lankan teen.

Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said that the ex-Maldivian Minister had reached the girl via the Internet. He said that a hotel manager had also been arrested in connection with the incident.

The mother of the child, the Deputy Chairman of the Mihintale Pradeshiya Sabha and a captain of a ship are among the other suspects arrested over the sex scam.

The suspects now in custody also include the main accused.

A three-wheel driver, a car driver and the suspect involved in designing the website used to sell the child for sex, were also arrested earlier.

The 15-year-old girl had been sold for sex via the internet to multiple customers for sums ranging from Rs. 10,000, to Rs. 30,000 over a period of three months. She had been first marketed as a virgin.

The Police Spokesman said that another 12 suspects had also been identified and are to be arrested.

Preliminary investigations had revealed that the suspect had rented an apartment in Mount Lavinia to conduct his operations.

The suspect, who is reported to have sold the girl to several people on a daily basis, is said to have bought the girl from her mother, who is a resident of Delgoda.

Later in the evening four of the suspects including the Maldives’ former state minister of finance Mohamed Ashmalee (38) were produced before Colombo Additional Magistrate Lochani Abeywickrama and were ordered to be remanded till July 16. Others were a cashier of a Colombo-based hotel Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Malinga, owner of the Lankaads.com Ranasinghe Arachchige Duminda Sampath Perera of Panadura and Finance Manager of the website Makewelagedara Dhanuka Kaushalya of Bandaragama.

 

 



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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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