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Karu urges President to seize opportunity to rebuild the country together with Opposition

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Mr. Karu Jayasuriya, the Chairman of the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ), last week said in a statement that an environment conducive to rebuilding the country is emerging after 72 years and urged that this opportunity be seized.

Sincerely wishing for the success of that effort he declared: “We owe it to future generations ….. to make this a reality and our fullest commitment is always there to achieve this noble goal.”

Urging the president as Head of State to handle national leadership, he said the government and opposition can establish a conducive environment for the country to move forward. The support of the opposition is essential for this purpose.

The opposition offer to extend support for the development of the country should be taken seriously, he said.

Following are excerpts from the statement:

The President’s attendance at the UN General Assembly will be an opportunity to explain different attitudes towards Sri Lanka. It is also a relief to know that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is holding successful discussions to resolve existing issues.

It is timely to appoint a special committee headed by a former Chief Justice to report on persons involved in terrorist activities. Although the names of the committee members were submitted the process has not been completed officially. Global trust for Sri Lanka will only be ensured once this process is properly completed. NMSJ urged the president to take immediate action in this regard.

The prime minister’s reported meeting with the European Union is very important to address all unresolved issues related to GSP+ etc. Undermining the importance of GSP+ by some politicians is harmful to the country, he said.

The finance minister’s remarks that the government is hoping to build relationships with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the future was welcome. Taking this decision even late is useful and beneficial to the country.

“As a country, we can move forward by adhering to democratic principles, gaining world respect while not aligning with any power block. When 600 votes were cast against Sri Lanka, all countries explained that they were very fond of Sri Lanka and that they had to vote against it due to policy reasons,” he said.

“We have publicly commented over the processes that have been detrimental to democracy since this government came to power. We have been continuously expressing this view through discussion held via ZOOM, seminars and technical consultations with expert teams.”

Jayasuriya noted from surveys that about 82% of the people of this country have rejected the 20th amendment which destroyed democracy in the country. The recommendations of the Upali Abeyrathne Commission which was created with the intention of getting political revenge is an insult to the whole country, an insult to the judiciary and something that does not happen in any other democratic country in the world.

“It should be noted with regret that since the Hon. Prime Minister tabled this Bill to Parliament, it caused damage to his reputation. It is stored in the parliamentary archive in his name. Elections, held in a democratic country should be free and fair. We continued to make the country aware of this requirement,” Jayasuriya said.

“………our main allegation is that there are several serious (very) political appointments in so called “independent commissions”. We hope that the president will take steps to rectify this with the consent of the two representatives of the opposition, which was the practice in the past.”

Without that, an independent commission is fruitless and its (recommendations) difficult to accept.

National appeal on behalf of the coutry

We extend our deepest condolences to all the families who died in the Covid- 19 pandemic. We would also like to take this opportunity to highlight several issues of national importance affecting the country, which is to be brought to the attention of His Excellency, the President and the people of the country.

We are relieved to hear from the press that His Excellency, the President is attending the United Nations General Assembly which is an opportunity to explain different attitudes towards Sri Lanka. It was mentioned in a leading newspaper last weekend that he would be committed to protect democracy. That’s a promising message if it goes well. It is also a relief to know that the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs is holding successful discussions to resolve the existing issues.

It is timely to appoint a special committee headed by a former Chief Justice to furnish a report on persons who were involved in terrorist activities. Although the names of the committee members were submitted the process has not been completed officially. Global trust for Sri Lanka will only be ensured once this process is properly completed.

We propose to His Excellency the President to take immediate action in this regard. The Hon. Prime Minister’s meeting of the European Union as reported is very important to address all unresolved issues related to GSP+ etc. Undermining the importance of GSP+ by some politicians is harmful to the country. Hon Finance Minister yesterday stated in the parliament that the government is hoping to build relationships with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in the future. Taking this decision even late is useful as well as beneficial to the country.

As a country, we can move forward by adhering to democratic principles, gaining world respect while not aligning with any power block. When 600 votes were cast against Sri Lanka, all countries explained that they were very fond of Sri Lanka and that they had to vote against it due to policy reasons. We have publicly commented over the processes that have been detrimental to democracy since this government came to power. We have been continuously expressing this view through discussion held via ZOOM, seminars and technical consultations with expert teams

We noticed from surveys that about 82% of the people of this country have rejected the 20th amendment, which destroyed democracy in the country. The recommendations of the Upali Abeyrathne Commission which was created with the intention of getting political revenge, is an insult to the whole country, an insult to the Judiciary and something that does not happen in any other democratic country in the world.

It should be noted with regret that since the Hon. Prime Minister tabled this Bill to parliament, it caused damage to his reputation. It is stored in the parliamentary archive in his name. Elections, held in a democratic country should be free and fair. We continued to make the country aware of this requirement.

Sri Lankans do not have that independence. Our main allegation is that there are several serious political appointments in so called “independent commissions”. We hope that His Excellency the President will take steps to rectify this with the consent of the two representatives of the opposition, which was the practice in the past.

Without that, an independent commission is fruitless and difficult to accept.

The National Movement for Social Justice stands for the betterment of the country and “we are committed to uphold the vision of Ven. Sri Sobhitha Thera to move forward” We are not a political party. We would like to mention it again and again. As Ven. Sobhitha Thera had repeatedly stated, “We want to be buried in a Independent, democratic and free country.”

Through the ideas and proposals we have mentioned in good faith, the government and the opposition can establish a conducive environment for the country to move forward. We must note that the support of the Opposition is essential for this. The Opposition has stated several times that it will extend its support to the development of the country and this offer should be taken seriously.

We have repeatedly stated that His Excellency the President as the Head of State should handle the national leadership. It should be mentioned that the people of this country do not approve of any obstruction to the independence of the Judiciary. Conducting seminars publicly and giving instructions to Top Officials of the Judiciary recently, had been subject of concern to democracy.

Since an environment, which is conducive of rebuilding the country, is emerging after 72 years, we sincerely wish all the success for that effort! We owe it future generations of this country to make this a reality and our fullest commitment is always there to achieve this noble goal.

Deshabandu Karu Jayasuriya President



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Bandula undertakes to take over SLIIT

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Bandula Gunawardane has, in his capacity, as the trade minister, assured the SLPP Parliamentary group that action would be taken to take over the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) divested through fraudulent means.

Political sources said that the assurance had been given at this week’s meeting chaired by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House. Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa, too, was present. Minister Gunawardane said so when lawmakers Premanath C. Dolawatta and Weerasumana Weerasinghe raised the issue.

Chairman of COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) Prof. Charitha Herath, who called for taking over of SLIIT, too, was present at the meeting. Communist Party MP Weerasinghe said that they were really happy to receive such an assurance from Minister Gunawardane. Appreciating the manner in which the COPE under Prof. Herath’s leadership had handled the inquiry into the SLIIT acquisition, Matara District lawmaker Weerasinghe said the onus was on the government to take remedial measures immediately.

MP Weerasinghe said that denial of SLIIT ownership to the government was certainly not an isolated case. The way some officials and governments cooperated in daylight robbery of state property couldn’t have happened without the tacit understanding at the highest levels, lawmaker Weerasinghe said. (SF)

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SJB too demands prosecution of ex-President Sirisena and others over Easter carnage

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By Saman Indrajith

The SJB yesterday demanded that the government allow the Attorney General to prosecute all those against whom the Presidential Commission of inquiry on Easter Sunday carnage wanted criminal proceedings instituted.

Addressing the media at the Opposition Leader’s Office in Colombo, Chief Opposition Whip and Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella said that the Attorney General could not be forced by the government to spare certain individuals. “The report of the Presidential Commission recommends that legal action be taken against the former head of State Intelligence Service, senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena and the former President Maithripala Sirisena. But the government does not implement those recommendations.

“The Cardinal says that before the election, Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised to prosecute all those responsible for the carnage. After release of the PCoI report the Cardinal has been told by the President that he could not implement some recommendations therein because he would lose his popularity. That is wrong. He cannot do so, it is the job of the Attorney General. It is not the President who implements the law of this country but the Attorney General. The President has no powers to that. “Upon the receipt of the PCoI report the government appointed a cabinet subcommittee under Minister Chamal Rajapaksa to study the report. Now, the government implements the recommendations of that sub-committee which has recommended to select whom should be prosecuted and who should be left out from the original list of persons identified by the PCoI as responsible for the terror attacks.

“The PCoI recommendations are not being properly implemented. We demand that the government should implement all recommendations of the PCoI. Victims demand the same. The Church and the Cardinal demand the same. The AG should prosecute all identified by the PCoI and let the judiciary decide who is guilty and who is not. The President cannot interfere in selecting the list to be prosecuted. That amounts to the Executive interfering in the matters of the judiciary.”

MP Kiriella said that consequences of the October 2018 constitutional crisis and 52-day government had paved the way for the Easter Sunday terror attacks. “That crisis started on 26 Oct., 2018. Thereafter, the then President Sirisena sidelined the UNP, which was the main party in the Yahapalana government. The National Security Council met without anyone representing the UNF government. The NSC was even attended by some SLFP MPs. President Sirisena took over the Ministry of Law and Order under him in addition to the Defence Ministry. The first move against the Yahapalana government was the 52-day government; the second was the Easter Sunday attack. Nilantha Jayawardena received all information and intelligence from India with exact dates, places and even the names of the attackers. He says that he did not pass that intelligence on to President Sirisena, who was the Minister of Defence. That was an offence. When the PCoI asked Jayawardena to surrender his mobile phone, he did so after deleting all its records. That too is an offence. Former President Sirisena says that he did not know anything about the matter because he had not been informed of it. Yet, the PCoI determined that he was responsible. The government should let the Attorney General implement the recommendations of the PCoI by prosecuting all who have been identified as persons responsible for the Easter Sunday carnage.”

SJB Kurunegala District MP JC Alawathuwala also addressed the press.

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BIA rapid testing PCR lab back in action

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

The rapid testing PCR lab at the Bandaranaike International Airport, which was non-operational for several weeks, resumed accepting samples yesterday (27.)

Earlier, the Director General of Health Services authorised the PCR lab, SASL Hospinorm, to operate.

The lab can provide a PCR test report within three hours.

Those who test positive for COVID will be sent to quarantine centres.

Since passengers can get PCR report in three hours, they need to arrive at the airport six hours before departure. Passengers are provided with all facilities until the reports are issued.

The first passengers to benefit from the lab were those who arrived in QR 668 of Qatar Airways. The flight landed at 2.15 am yesterday (27).

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