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JVP announces support for Church’s demand for full justice 

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The JVP on Friday announced that they would fully support the Church’s campaign to have justice served for the Easter Sunday victims.

Addressing the media at the JVP headquarters in Pelawatte on Friday (20), JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that everybody who valued justice had a right to know the truth behind the Easter Sunday terror attacks.

 “This is not an issue limited only to the Catholic people, and all of us have a right to know the truth. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has called for a protest on the 21st day of every month until the government comes up with the truth. We have decided to support that call,” he said.

Silva said that 28 months had elapsed since the terror attacks but the government had failed to identify the real culprits. “Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his team made use of the terror attacks to garner votes for their party promising people justice. The President, who ruled the country when the attack took place, is now a member of incumbent government. The investigations do not progress and the government, from time to time, makes lukewarm statements. Where is the justice that they promised to people?

“The former government should take the responsibility for not preventing the terror attacks. The incumbent should take the responsibility for not investigating the matter. The government for its political survival is marking the time without punishing the real culprits,” Silva said.

Operational Committee Member of the National People’s Power, Aruna Shantha Nonis, said that the Catholic Church had rejected every report furnished by the government on the Easter Sunday carnage by pointing out various lapses in them. Those reports had selectively addressed the issue and left out many important points and had limited themselves to naming some of those responsible.

“There is a serious doubt on the government’s conduct in this affair. It seems the government wants to protect some of the culprits. Who are the culprits that our intelligence units fail to identify? Or is it that our intelligence units cannot find the real culprits responsible for the Easter Sunday terror attacks,” he queried.

Prof Chrishantha Abeysena said that the government had succumbed to the pressures of deal politics and it could not deliver justice to the victims and their family members. “We have information that many policemen who are responsible for not preventing the terror attacks have been granted promotions. Where in the world such officers under a cloud get promotions,” Prof Abeysena queried.



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Central Bank urged to save collapsing local industries

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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.

(SF)

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

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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.

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Govt. approves prohibition of cattle slaughter

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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.

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