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JVP leader claims university ragging allegations outrageous

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By Saman Indrajith

Some politicians hate university students because they played a major role in sending Gotabaya Rajapaksa home, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayaka has said.During the past few months, university students had won praise and admiration of the public, he said in Colomb yesterday.

“The students played a key role in ending the disastrous reign of Gotabaya. So, they hate students,” he said.

Most politicians who blamed university students for ragging were driven by hate and their past actions had shown that they did not care about the youth of the country, Dissanayaka said.The JVP leader said some people claimed that physical and mental harassment was used by some political parties for recruitment.

“Does anyone think that you can harass and torture someone, and convince him or her to join a political party? These are myths perpetuated by some people with ulterior motives,” he said.The JVP is a political party that supports the human rights of all Sri Lankans. Leftist movements across the world have fought for the betterment of the people. On the other hand, those in the right have been among the most severe violators of human rights, Dissanayaka said.

“Look at these people who are making these baseless accusations? They have a history of working with thugs. They are involved in various anti-social activities. Some of them have actually killed young people. They have played a role in destroying the economy of Sri Lanka. They have ruined the future of youth and children and you expect me to believe that they care about the rights of young people?” the JVP leader asked.The JVP as a political party and students aligned to it are opposed to physical or mental harassment, he said.Responding to a question posed by a journalist whether the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) is involved in ragging, Dissanayaka said that neither the FSP nor its students union is involved in ragging.

“No organised leftwing political party nor its students’ union is involved in ragging. They are against it. However, there are incidents of ragging, and we condemn them. Student union leaders have fought against this. We would like to remind students involved in ragging that their actions are providing ammunition to reactionary politicians,” he said.The JVP leader added that political parties had a right to engage in politics in universities and students had a right to engage in politics.

“Our political elites do not like university students engaging in politics. Most university students do not come from elitist backgrounds. Our political elites don’t like talented young politicians coming up from ordinary families. If they can stop young political leaders from universities form coming up, it allows them and their children to dominate politics. The JVP leader added that there were university administrators who were lackeys of politicians, and they were bent on harassing dissenting students. They had done nothing to develop universities and uplift student life or university rankings, he said.

“The Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) and university students in general played a leading role in ending Gota’s rule. And Rajapaksa affiliates hate them for this. That’s why they have arrested the IUSF convener under PTA. This young man fought for the rights of all Sri Lankans. He fought for our rights. Now, he has been in jail for 90 days under the PTA. His life is in danger. Recently, Suren Ragavan and Janaka Bandara Tennakoon’s son made ‘emotional statements’ about innocent youth affected by ragging. Shouldn’t Ragavan and Bandara care about Wasantha Mudalige, too?”



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Supreme Court Judge, President of the Appeal Court, Appeal Court Justice took oath before President

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(pic PMD)

Justice K. P. Fernando, President of the Court of Appeal took oath as a Supreme Court Judge before President Ranil Wickremesinghe this morning (06) at the President’s House in Fort.

Court of Appeal Justice Mr. Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne took oath as the President of the Court of Appeal while High Court Judge M.A.R. Marikkar was also sworn in as a Judge of the Court of Appeal before President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Minister of Justice Wijayadasa Rajapaksha, Secretary to the President Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Commanders of the Tri Forces and other officials attended this event.

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Strong earthquake hits south-eastern Turkey near Syria border

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BBC reported that a powerful earthquake has hit Gaziantep in south-eastern Turkey, near the border with Syria.

The US Geological Survey said the 7.8 magnitude tremor struck at 04:17 local time (01:17 GMT) at a depth of 17.9km (11 miles) near the city of Gaziantep.

The quake was felt in the capital Ankara and other Turkish cities, and also across the region.

Reports are coming in that several buildings have collapsed, and a number of people may be trapped.

A BBC Turkish correspondent in Diyarbakir reports that a shopping mall in the city collapsed.

Rushdi Abualouf, a BBC producer in the Gaza Strip, said there was about 45 seconds of shaking in the house he was staying in.

Turkish seismologists estimated the strength of the quake to be 7.4 magnitude.

They said that a second tremor hit the region just minutes later.

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13 A: Political parties miss Ranil’s Feb. 04 deadline for submitting their proposals

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Udaya compares constitutional threat with Indonesian crisis in late ’90s

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The government hasn’t received proposals from political parties regarding President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s decision to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution fully.

President Wickremesinghe, on January 26, requested party leaders to furnish their suggestions, if any, by Feb. 04 as he intended to brief Parliament on Feb. 08 as regards the implementation of land and police powers.

Political parties, represented in Parliament, had not responded to President Wickremesinghe’s request so far, authoritative sources told The Island. Responding to another query, sources said that the President’s Office hadn’t received proposals in support of President Wickremesinghe’s declaration or against it.

Several political parties, including the main Opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) spurned the President’s invitation.

Having declared his intention to fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, enacted in Nov. 1987, during Thai Pongal celebrations, in Jaffna, on January 15th, 2023, President Wickremesinghe warned party leaders on January 26 he would go ahead with plans unless the parliament repealed it. Both declarations were made in the presence of Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

Sources noted that though several political parties declared opposition and some issued statements supportive of the President’s move, they haven’t submitted proposals in writing.

President Wickremesinghe prorogued Parliament, on January 27, the day after setting Feb. 04 as the deadline for political parties to submit proposals. The new session of Parliament begins on Feb. 08.Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) General Secretary, Sagara Kariyawasam, MP, told The Island that the decision to fully implement the controversial amendment shouldn’t be taken hastily.

“We are certainly not opposed to the devolution of power. However, we cannot under any circumstances support an agenda that may cause chaos,” National List MP said.

The Attorney-at-Law said so when The Island asked him whether the ruling party submitted its proposals to President Wickremesinghe.The lawmaker said that there was no requirement to do so as he on behalf of the SLPP explained to the January 26 meeting chaired by President Wickremesinghe why 13th Amendment shouldn’t be fully implemented without examining the ground situation.

“Seven past Presidents didn’t do that. Why didn’t they do so? We’ll have to study why they refrained from granting police and land powers in spite of them being part of that Amendment. If the reasons that compelled them not to do so no longer exist, we can consider the proposals,” lawmaker Kariyawasam said.

Declaring SLPP’s commitment to maximum possible devolution, MP Kariyawasam warned of dire consequences if decisions were made on the basis of language and religion.The SLPP that secured 145 seats at the last general election remains the largest party in parliament though over two dozen MPs quit the government group.

MP Kariyawasam emphasized that they couldn’t act recklessly on the issue at hand.Those who quit the SLPP parliamentary group, too, have strongly opposed the full implementation of the 13th Amendment. Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) leader Udaya Gammanpila, MP, compared the developing crisis here with Western project that divided Indonesia in the late 90s.Attorney-at-Law Gammanpila explained how Western countries exploited the economic crisis in Indonesia to compel Jakarta to grant independence to East Timor.

Addressing a public rally at Dehiwela on Feb. 02  in support of Nidahas Janatha Sandhanaya contesting March 09 Local Government polls, former Power and Energy Minister said that the challenge faced by Sri Lanka owing to the continuing balance of payments and debt crises was very much similar to the circumstances leading to East Timor independence.

The 13th Amendment would split Sri Lanka on ethnic lines, the Colombo District MP warned.The MP recalled how external powers created an environment that compelled Indonesian President Suharto to resign in May 1998 to pave the way for Megawati Setiawati Sukarnoputri to win the next presidential election. The MP said that Sukarnoputri granted independence to East Timor.

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