Connect with us


Justice Minister asks monolingual MPs to seek redress from SC over delivering judgments only in English



By Saman Indrajith

Justice Minister Ali Sabry told Parliament that anyone who felt that his or her rights were violated because the Supreme Court gave its verdicts in English language could seek redress by going before the apex court.

Following the government and Opposition MPs raising concerns on the availability of the Supreme Court judgement on the Finance Amendment Bill only in English, the Minister said: “The Supreme Court gives its rulings in English language. If there is a mechanism to translate such texts into Sinhala and Tamil, then that would be better. If anyone including MPs here feels that action amounts to deprivation of their rights they could go before the court.”

After Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced the Supreme Court decision on the Finance Amendment Bill, SLPP MP Gevindu Kumaratunga, raising a point of order, said that the judgment of the Supreme Court was available only in the English language. “I have raised this issue several times here. Even MP Yadamini Gunawardena raised the same issue in December, last year. Yet we continue to receive the Supreme Court judgments only in the English language. The judgment on the 20th amendment bill was given in English. The Judgment on Port City Economic Commission too was given only in the English language. This is against the Constitution of this country and also amounts to breach of privileges of MPs. If the Minister of Justice does not that we call on the Speaker to provide us with Sinhala translation of these judgments. But such Sinhala translations should not be attached with a disclaimer at the end that translators would not take responsibility for the Sinhala translation. Such disclaimer was included in the Sinhala version of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry report on the Easter Sunday carnage.

 Speaker Abeywardena: We present to you that exact judgment sent to us by the Supreme Court without any changes.

Leader of the House Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena: The Justice Minister has given a response to this House on the matter raised by the MP. We have paid our attention to this. We can discuss this to find a solution.

Ratnapura District SJB MP Hesha Withanage: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) (Temporary Provisions) Bill was tabled in this House on July 26. It is only in the English language. We do not know its content. This is an attempt to hide facts. Section 13 of the Standing Orders says that it is a privilege of an MP to obtain documents in a language that he prefers. Why does the government want to hide important provisions using the English language? Most of us speak Sinhala only.

Badulla District SJB MP Chaminda Wijesiri: As per parliament tradition this bill should be provided in all three languages. This is an attempt to hide facts.

 Minister Ali Sabry: There is no hiding of any facts or provisions. The MP should realise that when a bill is gazetted it is gazetted in all three languages. How could one hide something in a bill as these MPs allege. The gazette contains official versions of any bill in Sinhala, Tamil and English.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Central Bank urged to save collapsing local industries



The National Freedom Front (NFF) has requested the immediate intervention of the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal to save micro, small and medium scale industries badly affected by the current economic downturn caused by the Covid-19.

The NFF parliamentary group comprises six members, including one National List.

Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa, on behalf of the SLPP constituent parties, has warned of steep increase in unemployment, drop in the contribution made by small and medium scale industries to the national economy and the further widening of the gap between the rich and poor.

Party sources told The Island that the NFF had decided to take up the urgent matter because, in spite of repeated promises, those who had been severely affected were yet to receive assistance. Minister Weerawansa has urged the Central Bank to restructure loans obtained by affected industries and also extend the moratorium.

Weerawansa has in a letter dated Oct.18, told Cabraal that according to a survey conducted by the Industrial Development Board, micro, small and medium enterprises suffered serious setbacks. However, of the loans made available through the banking sector, a substantial segment had been disbursed among major players, the Minister said, while pointing out that in other countries in the region more than 50 percent of total loans were made available to micro, small and medium industries.

Unfortunately, here in Sri Lanka they received approximately 15 percent of the total given as loans, the minister said.

Minister Weerawansa said that though industries suffered, almost all state and private banks had recorded much improved performances with significant profits.

The Minister said that following his intervention with the cabinet of ministers, the government agreed on a plan of action to deal with the situation. It would be the responsibility of the Central Bank to implement the agreed proposals, he said.


Continue Reading


So far no side effects among Pfizer vaccinated 15,000 A/L students



By Rathindra Kuruwita

Over 15,000 GCE AL students had been vaccinated with Pfizer and there had not been any side effects, Colombo District Director of Health Dr. Dilip Liyanage told the media yesterday.

He said that the Ministry of Education had given them a list of 20,688 that needed to be vaccinated.

“We would like to assure parents that there is no need to worry. Over 15,000 children have been vaccinated and there have been no problems so far. Trust the health professionals and vaccinate your child at the first opportunity you get,” he said.

Dr. Liyanage added that children who missed their chance to get vaccinated on weekdays, can get vaccinated at the MOH office near their home.

Continue Reading


Govt. approves prohibition of cattle slaughter



The government has approved the prohibition of cattle slaughter. The decision was announced at the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Information Department yesterday (19). The government said the relevant laws and regulations, including those passed by Local Government authorities would be amended for that purpse.

The Legal Draftsman has drafted Bills to amend the following acts and ordinances.

• Authority 272 of the Cattle Slaughter Ordinance No. 9 of 1893

• Act No. 29 of 1958 Concerning Animals

• Municipal Councils Ordinance – Section 252

• Section 255 of the Municipal Councils Ordinance

• Ordinance No. 15 of the Urban Council Act of 1987

The Attorney General has certified that the said Bills do not clash with the provisions of the Constitution.

Continue Reading