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Lawyer Hizbulla, Madrasa principal remanded

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By A. J. A. Abeynayake

Lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah, accused of aiding and abetting the Easter Sunday bombers and engaging in activities deemed detrimental to the religious harmony, and Principal of Al-Zuhriya Arabic College in Puttalam, Mohommad Shakeel were remanded till 03 March by Fort Magistrate, Priyantha Liyanage.

Hizbullah was a board member of Shakeel’s school.Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris told the court that the suspects had lured 56 young boys from poor families by promising to make them moulavis; 26 of the children were from Colombo and its suburbs. The boys had been trained to become extremists in the mould of NTJ leader Zahran Hashim, the court was told.

Magistrate Liyanage remanded the two, based on the DSG’s statement.The Deputy Solicitor General told the court that the real intentions of the suspects had been revealed by the evidence given by the boys who studied at the madrasa. The boys were between the ages of five and 14. Sarah Jasmin, who fled the country after the attack, had also been involved in teaching extremism for the students, he said.Deputy Solicitor General told the court that a number of individuals who took part in the Easter Sunday attacks, including Zahran Hashim and his brother Rilwan had visited the school, brainwashed the boys and trained them as militants.The suicide bomber who blew himself up at Cinnamon Grand was a Treasurer of Save the Pearls Organization headed by Hizbullah. The suicide bomber had spent a large amount of money on the organisation and also bought it a land encompassing 108 perches at Madurankuliya, Peiris said.The Save the Pearls Organization had also received Rs. 27.6 million from a Qatar-based organization, linked to extremism, the Deputy Solicitor General said. A separate inquiry had already commenced under the Money Laundering Act, he said, adding that 16 boys who underwent military training and indoctrination classes at the school had already given statements to the court and investigation officers.Deputy Solicitor General added that an organised group had visited the majority of the children and taken affidavits claiming that their statements given to investigators had not been made voluntarily. He said that threats and inducements had been used to obtain the affidavits.

The AG had instructed investigators to arrest the suspects and produce them in court after studying over 1,200 pages of investigation documents, Peiris said. The AG also felt that a case could be charged against the suspects, Peiris said.Deputy Solicitor General said that attempting to create religious and ethnic animosity is a serious offense and urged the court to remand them.Attorney Niran Anketell who represented Hizbullah, denied the allegations leveled against his client and said that a magistrate has no power to give a verdict on suspects arrested under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) act. Anketell added that the detention order against Hizbullah is still valid and thus the magistrate could not remand him.Anketell said that the CID had recorded more than 50 statements from Hizbullah and nearly 116 persons were given statements about the operation of the Madrasa School.”The CID had only submitted selected statements to the Court and due to that matter, the Magistrate cannot give a fair conclusion about the remand order,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Magistrate said that the CID is obligated to submit everything related to the case and directed the CID to submit a summary containing every fact reported about the case on the next hearing date.



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Southern MP warns that Russian & Ukranian tourists working here are at risk

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“They may be knifed or their lives threatened”

ECONOMYNEXT – Tourists from Russia and Ukraine who are staying in houses in Sri Lanka for long periods are engaging in business activities and should be taxed to prevent them being knifed by competitors, SLPP MP Chandima Weerakkody told parliament on Friday.

“There are many tourists who are staying long term in houses,” he said. “Though they come here they cannot use their credit cards – especially Russian and Ukrainian tourists who cannot use their money through their cards. As a result they have been forced to work and earn something in Sri Lanka.”

He called on the government to have a system where they can use their money.

“In our areas many tourists are cutting hair, some are doing tinkering work, some are setting up pizza shops, some are selling cannabis – I think there is a new name now *for ganja),” Weerakkody said. “If we send the immigration behind the tourists who are coming, even those that are coming will not come.”

“No taxes are being charged from any of these tourists who are doing business. Our (local people’s) taxes are raised. I am asking at least to have a system for the government to collect some taxes

“I want to say in Parliament that in our areas, a knifing (pihi anumak), or some other threat to life (jeewitha tharjanayak) may happen if this situation continues.”

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Kidney sale racket unearthed in Colombo

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Five duped to sell their kidneys at Rs. 15 million each

By Norman Palihawadane

The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) has informed the Colombo Additional Magistrate Ranjindra Jayasuriya that an investigation has been launched to arrest the suspects involved in the organized racket of obtaining kidneys from poor people promising big money and selling them to local and foreign people.The CCD told the court on Thursday that four men and one woman have parted with their kidneys, and despite promising to pay Rs.15 million per kidney nothing was paid.

CCD reported to court that the victims were operated at a Hospital on Cotta Road in Borella and no money was paid. A mother who was nursing a one-and-a-half-year-old infant was among those cheated.

The police told court that a person from the Bloemendhal area had referred these people through another man and a woman. Required medical tests had been conducted at three private hospitals.

Evidence has been obtained that kidney surgeries had been performed at a private hospital in Borella and the CCD stated in court that this racket was organized targeting poor families in Colombo.

It informed court that they have already launched investigations and will arrest the suspects and produce them before court.After considering the relevant submissions, the Magistrate ordered the CCD to conduct investigations and arrest the suspects and present them to court.

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Record highest number of school students visit Parliament

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School children wave during their visit to Parliament on Thursday (1). Serjeant-at Arms Narendra Fernando said that the largest number of school students in the history of the Parliament visited the Parliament on Dec 1. Over 5,000 students from 32 schools from different provinces visited the Parliament on that day, he said. More than 25,000 students representing schools in different parts of the country had visited to observe the Parliamentary debates after the Public Gallery was reopened for school students from Sept 19.

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