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Geoffrey Bawa exhibition opens in New Delhi

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Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar at the exhibition “Geoffrey Bawa; It is Essential To be There”, at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi. Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture of India, Meenakshi Lekhi, and Lanka’s High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda also present.

Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar Friday inaugurated the exhibition “Geoffrey Bawa; It is Essential To be There”, at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi. Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture of India, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi was also present on this occasion.

The historic exhibition which features the works of Sri Lanka’s iconic architect, the late Geoffrey Bawa, is jointly organized by the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, the High Commission of Sri Lanka in New Delhi and the Geoffrey Bawa Trust to mark the 75th anniversary of Indo-Lanka diplomatic relations, which falls this year.

A large number of invitees including diplomats, senior officials of the Government of India, academics, journalists, art lovers and the general public attended the ceremonial opening of the exhibition. Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda, Director of the National Gallery of Modern Art, Temsunaro Tripati, and Trustee of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust Sanjay Kulatunga joined External Affairs Minister Jaishankar in inaugurating the exhibition.

“Geoffrey Bawa; It is Essential To be There”, the first major exhibition that draws from the archives to look at the Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa’s practice, is the first retrospective exhibition of Bawa’s works to be shown internationally since 2004. Earlier, his work had been exhibited at multiple venues in Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, North America, Australia, India, Brazil, Singapore, and Germany.

Over 120 documents from the Bawa archives are on view in the exhibition, including a section on unbuilt work and Bawa’s own photographs from his travels. It explores relationships between ideas, drawings, buildings and places, and the different ways in which images were used in Bawa’s practice.

Geoffrey Bawa has designed several iconic buildings in India, including Madurai Boys’ Town, Madurai Club, Hotel Connemara Remodelling in Chennai, Hotel at Pondicherry in Puducherry, Candoline Hotel in Goa, Sarabhai House in Ahmedabad, and Poddar House in Bangalore.The exhibition organized under the Sri Lanka-India Cultural Exchange Programme, will run till May 7.



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Enter correct age of children when setting up email accounts for them- Police Crimes Division

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Officials of the Police Crime Division told the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Reconciliation and National Unity that email accounts for school children should not be set up giving parents details but by entering the correct age of the children.

The officials pointed out that as online education has become a necessity it was necessary to provide the children with mobile phones (Smart Phone active) to access computer devices. However, they pointed out that by providing the parents’ data for this purpose when giving smart phones and setting up email accounts, the children will have the opportunity to access any website. But, if the information including the correct age of the children are provided, the internet system itself will control the ability and access of the children to view inappropriate videos and websites.

The Sectoral Oversight Committee on Reconciliation and National Unity met under the Chairmanship of Member of Parliament Dilan Perera in order to discuss the program to be carried out in collaboration with the National Reconciliation and Children and Women Bureau .

 

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New legislation being drafted to address land, labour, capital and technology laws – Presidential Advisor

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Addressing the Panel Discussion of the National Law Conference 2023, Presidential Advisor Dr. R.H.S Samaratunga, emphasized the need for a comprehensive review of land laws, labour laws, capital laws, and technology laws in order to meet the requirements of a competitive economy. He noted that the Presidential Secretariat is currently examining a series of new legislation drafts that address these four crucial sectors.

The National Law Conference 2023/24 was held from June 02 to June 04, 2023 at The Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya. The 2nd segment of the conference focused on sectoral views on strengthening the economy and a number of local and foreign key stakeholders gave their comments. They also commended the effort of the BASL in organizing such a conference and appreciated the government’s genuine efforts to recover the country from the crisis and extended their support in rebuilding the country focusing on areas in which they could contribute to.

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March 12 Movement, MP Rajakaruna ask Prez to sack gold-smuggling MP

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By Shamindra Ferdinando

Declaring that Muslim National Alliance (MNA) MP Ali Sabri Raheem couldn’t continue to be an MP after being fined for an abortive attempt to smuggle in Rs 78.2 mn worth of gold and smartphones, the March 12 Movement has appealed to the executive, legislature and the judiciary to sack the MP, who, they say, has brought Parliament into disrepute.

Civil society activist Rohana Hettiarachchi, on behalf of the March 12 Movement, told The Island that MP Raheem should be dealt with the way the late President J.R. Jayewardene had handled the case of Kandy District UNP MP Anura Daniel. Jayewardene had removed MP Daniel, who was nabbed for a similar smuggling offence, Hettiarachchi said, urging President Ranil Wickremesinghe to take the initiative.

Pointing out that Customs had fined MP Raheem Rs 7.4 mn over two weeks back, Hettiarachchi found fault with the President and Parliament for failing to take tangible measures in that regard. The All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC), which fielded Raheem from the Puttalam District at the last parliamentary election (2020), couldn’t absolve itself of the responsibility for the MP’s despicable action, Hettiarachchi said.

Vanni District MP Rishad Bathiudeen, who entered Parliament on the SJB ticket, is the leader of ACMC.

Hettiarachchi, who is also the Executive Director of PAFFREL (People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections), said that the government conveniently forgot to investigate whether MP Raheem smuggled in gold, smartphones or any other items on earlier occasions, since he entered Parliament. Since 01 March this year MP Raheem had gone abroad (to Dubai) on five occasions before he was caught, Hettiarachchi said, finding fault with Parliament for not going the whole hog.

There should have been no holds barred investigation, Hettiarachchi pointed out and said Customs owed an explanation why a maximum fine was not imposed on the gold smuggling MP. Instead, the MP was fined Rs 7.4 mn and allowed to proceed to Parliament where he voted against a government motion.

Hettiarachchi said that the Customs response to the detection should be examined taking into consideration Customs (Amendment) Act (No 83 of 1988).

Responding to another query, Hettiarachchi said that in spite of leaders of several political parties requesting the Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to take up this issue, the Speaker seemed to be determined not to get involved.

SJB MP Harshana Rajakaruna yesterday told The Island that though ACMC nominee Raheem entered Parliament on the MNA ticket, only President Ranil Wickremesinghe could compel the offending MP to quit Parliament. “That is the reality,” the Gampaha District MP said, pointing out that MP Raheem served the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa administration.

Recalling how MP Raheem voted for the 21 Amendment to the Constitution in October 2020, MP Rajakaruna said that the MP also voted for Ranil Wickremesinghe at the House vote to elect an MP to complete the remainder of ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s five-year term.

MP Raheem voting with the Opposition on the motion to remove Janaka Ratnayake as the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission hadn’t changed the relationship between the two parties (the government and the MNA), MP Rajakaruna said. According to him, those responsible turned a blind eye to the incident.

Civil society member Hettiarachchi said that they sought information relating to MP Raheem’s case from Customs in terms of the RTI (Right to Information) Act as the crux of the matter is the imposition of a lower fine regardless of the provision to declare harshest fine in terms of Customs law.

Hettiarachchi raised the possibility of the government interfering with MP Raheem’s case as there couldn’t be any other reason for Customs to impose a relatively lower fine.

MP Raheem is on record as having claimed that Customs fined him Rs 7.4 mn whereas a close associate of him who smuggled the undisclosed gold and smartphones was fined just Rs 100,000.

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