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JVP sounds buoyant after halting ECT deal with India

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Stopping the East Container Terminal deal with Adani Group of India had given a boost to public confidence that they could save national assets by agitating against government moves to sell them, the JVP said.

Addressing the media at the party headquarters in Pelawatte on Friday JVP politburo member and former MP Sunil Handunnetti said: “Saving the ECT is a victory for the people and trade unions. It has given a boost to public confidence that if they unite they can save the national assets for posterity from the opportunistic governments. This victory is also an inspiration for the next round of struggles to save the Kankesanthurai harbour, the Palali Airport, the Mattala Airport, the West Container Terminal of the Colombo Port, farmlands and forests. These assets belong to the next generation and it is our duty to see that they inherit them without allowing governments to sell them off.

“The discussion over the WCT surfaced after the government was forced to withdraw the ECT deal. Ten allied parties of the government say it is their victory to save the ECT.  Some sections trying to justify the selling of WCT point out that it is mentioned in the Vistas of Prosperity manifesto and people have given their consent by voting for it. If the government acted solely on the basis of what it promised then how come the questionable ECT deal came in the form of a Cabinet paper? It is not mentioned in the manifesto that the ECT would be sold. Now, the ministers of the government tell us that 85 percent of controlling stake of the WCT would be given to India. There is no such thing mentioned in their manifesto. That manifesto promises to develop the WCT with the participation of private investment. The term private investment does not mean India or Japan.”



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Embassy officer arrested at BIA remanded

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The Embassy official who was attached to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oman who is accused of being involved in a human trafficking racket was arrested by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and remanded till the 13th of December when he was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate

The official was arrested on his arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning (29 November).

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Easter Sunday terror attack suspect hacked to death

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By Norman Palihawadane

A 38-year-old Easter Sunday terror attack suspect was hacked to death yesterday morning (28) in Mattakkuliya.

The victim, Mohamed Badurdeen Mohamed Harnas, was a resident of Safiya Avenue, Mattakkuliya, police said.

A suspect in the Easter Sunday terror attacks, he had been released on bail.

The suspect was rushed to the National Hospital, Colombo, after three individuals, who arrived in a car around 10. 00 am, attacked him.

Two persons attacked the man while the other was keeping the car engine running, according to eyewitnesses. The attackers thereafter fled in the same car.

Harnas was pronounced dead on admission to hospital.

Further investigations in this regard are currently underway.

The victims family members said that Harnas had been taken into custody, following the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, but later released as there was no evidence of his involvement in terrorist activities.

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Rail service between Mahawa and Jaffna to be suspended for five months

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Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that the railway services between Mahawa and Jaffna will be suspended for a period of five months in 2023.

The Minister said that operations will be suspended from January 15, 2023.

The Minister said it was to repair work on the railway line.

He said so in response to a question raised by Vanni District MP Selvam Adaikalanathan.

“We are focusing our attention on the request made by you. We have to halt railway operations between Mahawa and Jaffna for five months from January 2023. Train services have been continuously operating to Jaffna, but now we have faced a situation as we have not been able to carry out any repair work thus far,” the Minister said.

Assuring that this issue can be rectified in five months, Minister Gunawardane said that, thereafter, a good railway service can be provided for this route.

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