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Kiriella says govt. ignores Opposition’s requests at party leaders’ meetings

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By Saman Indrajith

Chief Opposition Whip and Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella yesterday said in Parliament that Opposition’s requests were not heeded by government at the party leaders’ meeting.

MP Kiriella said that he had asked for tabling of the reports of the Presidential Commissions of Inquiry on the Easter Sunday carnage and Political Victimisation at the last party leaders’ meeting and for a debate on them too. “I also asked for advancing the sitting time to 9.30 am from 10 am to allow more time for MP’s questions but the government representatives have the majority in the party leaders meeting therefore our requests are not listened to. We can only make requests there,” he said in response to a remark made by Chief Government Whip and Highways Minister Johnston Fernando, who said that the matter of allocation of time for questions and private members’ motions should be taken up at the party leaders’ meeting.

JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake:

We too have called for the tabling of these reports. We expected the government to have done so within this sitting week. But today is the last date. The government has failed to table those reports. These presidential commissions have met and published reports using public funds. Therefore people have the right to know of the content of the reports made using their money. We have seen newspaper reports carrying certain parts of those reports. The reports are not made public but parts of them are leaked to certain newspapers. More than the political victimization commission report, people need to know about the report on the Easter Sunday terror attacks where over 250 were killed and around 500 wounded.

Leader of the House Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena:

“We have agreed to table the reports as soon as we get them and also promised to give a date for the debate on their content. We have given that assurance to the House and it will be so. There is no need for you to raise the matter every single day. There is a history of reports of presidential commissions. You know that there have been many presidential commissions whose reports are still not released to the public even after years and decades. We will not behave in that manner.”



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At least 17 killed after explosion in Peshawar mosque

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(picture from twitter)

BBC reported that at least 17 people have been killed in an explosion at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

The blast happened when the mosque was packed with worshippers and more than 90 people were injured.

A section of the building was destroyed, and officials say people are buried under the rubble. Several others are being taken to local hospitals.

The cause of the explosion is unclear.

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More heavy rain ahead for New Zealand’s largest city

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Auckland experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall on Friday (picture BBC)

BBC reported that residents in flood-hit northern New Zealand are bracing for more heavy rains as officials issued severe weather alerts.

At least four people have died and a state of emergency was declared in Auckland, which on Friday experienced its worst downpour on record.

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Information Dept. media release: EC Chief asks public not to be misled

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by Priyan de Silva

Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Nimal Punchihewa, asked to comment on a special news release, purportedly issued by the Director General of the Department of Government Information, on Sunday (29), told  The Island  that preparations for the 09 March local government elections were going ahead, as planned, and that the media statement at issue was misleading.

The media statement says: “The gazette notice with signatures of the Chairman and other members of the Election Commission required for the commencement of the Local Government election process has not been sent to the Government Press for printing.”

Punchihewa requested the public not to be misled by any misinformation being spread in an attempt to create doubts in their minds.He also  reiterated that the EC would not be deterred by any acts of intimidation.

Three of the EC members have been threatened with death by an unidentified caller to resign from their posts. They are S. B. Divaratne, M. M. Mohamed and K. P. P. Pathirana. The Opposition has accused the government of trying to sabotage the LG polls.

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