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JVP accuses govt. of letting profiteers fleece public

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By Saman Indrajith

The government has let profiteers fleece the pandemic-hit people, says JVP women’s wing, ‘Women for Rights’.

Addressing the media at the JVP headquarters, Secretary of the WfR, Samanmalee Gunasinghe said: “Now the country is literally run by businessmen. It is not the government that decides the prices of essential commodities such as rice, sugar, milk powder, cement and gas. The government no longer wields power against large scale businessmen and importers, who dictate terms. People are questioning what the use of a government is if the country is run by businessmen, importers and black marketeers.

The government comprises politicians who line their pockets with the support of big time businessmen. For the commissions they receive from the businessmen the ministers have allowed them to exploit people. All our economic problems are due to corruption and theft of public funds. There was one exposure by Pandora Papers of a sum of Rs 35 billion unexplained assets. This is only a faction of what they have taken from people of this country. People are in debt, the country is in debt while mothers lament that they cannot find milk for their children but the rulers are getting richer and richer.”

Gunasinghe said that the majority of housewives used gas for cooking. “We cannot go back to firewood because there isn’t sufficient firewood as the country has been taken to the age of concrete after clearing jungles. Now, the price of gas cylinders has been increased by 84 percent. There is a new queue of women to purchase kerosene cookers. The price of a kerosene cooker was at Rs 500 yesterday morning. By evening the traders jacked up the price to Rs 950 seeing the demand. The kerosene cooker that was at Rs 1,500 has been increased to Rs 4,500”, she said. President of the WfR, Sarojini Savithri Paulraj said that the Trade Ministry and the Consumer Affairs Authority should be disbanded as

the economy was controlled by the rice millers and import companies. All recent governments ruling this country had deals with the rice millers.

Bread and other flour-based products are the staple food for many families in the plantation sector. Now a loaf of bread has gone up to Rs 65, a bun to Rs 50 and a cup of tea Rs 30. When people spend that much of their earnings on food, how can they spend on the education and other needs of their children? Are we supposed to stop children being sent to school because we have to spend everything we earn on food?

WFR Executive committee member Prabhashini Wickramasinghe also addressed the press.



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Keheliya, seven others further remanded till 28th June

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The Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court today [14] ordered that former Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella and seven others be further remanded until June 28 by over the import of substandard human Immunoglobulin vials.

 

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President launches Public Learning and Education Platform for Sri Lankan Youth

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe officially launched www.publiclearn.lk a new education platform aimed at transforming Sri Lanka’s learning landscape at the Chamber Hall of the Presidential Secretariat, on Thursday [13]

Public Learn is a platform that guides users to free courses from the world’s top universities. .

Emphasizing the importance of adapting to a knowledge-intensive society, the President highlighted Sri Lanka’s strong educational results despite various systemic flaws. He noted that the new platform would enhance the education system’s effectiveness and stressed that Sri Lanka must swiftly advance in digitization to drive the new economic transformation.

President Wickremesinghe highlighted that the Public Learn platform serves as a crucial tool for enabling many Sri Lankans to advance personally and transform their nation. He reflected on Sri Lanka’s historical learning journey in three phases: first, during the era of Arahath Mahinda and the Pirivena system; second, with the introduction of the British public school system; and now, with the advent of digital education platforms like Public Learn, marking the third phase. He emphasized the importance of leveraging digital technology and knowledge to propel Sri Lanka forward in the digital economy, underscoring the need for continuous adaptation and innovation.

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Easter Sunday carnage: ‘Another probe nothing but an exercise in futility’

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Rev. Father Cyril Gamini

‘Implement PCoI recommendations at least now’

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Catholic Church yesterday (14) reiterated its longstanding demand that the recommendations made by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (P CoI) into 2019 Easter Sunday attacks be implemented.

Rev. Father Cyril Gamini Fernando said so when The Island sought the Catholic Church’s reaction to the appointment by President Ranil Wickremesinghe a new committee of inquiry to investigate the actions and responses of the country’s intelligence and security authorities following the intelligence warning received from India.

The committee is headed by retired Judge Ms. A. N. J. de Alwis. Rev. Fernando said that the government should implement the recommendations made by the PCoI headed by Supreme Court judge Janak de Silva. He said another inquiry would be nothing but an exercise in futility as the PCoI conducted an in-depth investigation into the Easter attacks, including the failure on the part of the intelligence apparatus to act on foreign intelligence as well neutralise the growing threat posed by extremist elements.

Rev. Fr. Fernando questioned the rationale behind re-examining the conduct of State Intelligence Service (SIS) and Chief of National Intelligence (CNI) as the Supreme Court in January last year ordered Senior DIG Nilantha Jayewardena and retired DIG Sisira Mendis, who headed the SIS and functioned as CNI, respectively, to pay compensation to the tune of Rs 75 mn and Rs 10 mn.

“What is there to investigate again?” Rev Fernando asked, urging the government to go through the PCoI recommendations in respect of politicians and security officials.

In addition to the PCoI report, the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee and a Special Investigation Committee of three members appointed by the then President Maithriapla Sirisena probed the Easter carnage, Rev Fernando said, adding that if those in parliament were still interested in justice and fair play should look into that matter.

Rev. Fernando urged the government to examine how successive leaders had responded to PCoI findings. When President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed a committee consisting of six MPs to look into the PCoI report and its findings soon after justice Janak de Silva handed over his report on Feb 1, 2021 it became clear that the powers that be would resort to old tactics. Nearly two years after President Rajapaksa’s ouster, the situation remained the same, Rev. Fernando said, adding that the Church wouldn’t give up its fight for justice.

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