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Legal action contemplated – HR activists



Death of Bathuideen’s maid


KANDY- Rev. Fr. Nandana Manathunga, head of the Human Rights Office of the Kandy Diocese said that they were also contemplating legal action to secure justice for J. Ilashini, the 16 -year-old girl, who died while working at SJB MP Rishad Bathuideen’s residence.

Fr. Manathunga told the media that lawyers attached to the office were preparing to take the case before courts, based on the statements of the parents of the deceased.

Fr. Manathunga said they took up the case of Ilashini at Bathuideen’s house as a serious issue as the MP is a suspect in the Easter Sunday attacks.

“The Catholic community of the country takes this death very seriously. Hence we urge for impartial and undelayed investigation.”

On Wednesday, Rajamanikkam Ranjani, the mother of Ilashini, met Fr. Manatunga and said she was compelled to send her daughter to the MP’s house because she had no way of paying back family debt.

Ranjani said her daughter had started working at the MP’s house at the age of 15.

“My daughter called me several times and said that she was being subjected to torture and that she could not stay there. Her death is suspicious,” Ranjani said.

The girl, who was a resident at Dayagama, in Hatton, was sent to the SJB MP’s house in November 2020.

“There are five girls and a boy in our family. Ilashini was the third. They said they would pay her Rs. 25,000 a month but only Rs. 20,000 was given,” she said.

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Shocking 17,500 video clips of Lankan children being sexually abused



By Norman Palihawadane

There were over 17,500 video clips of Sri Lankan children being sexually abused, on the Internet and action had been taken to arrest those responsible, Police Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said yesterday. The Sri Lanka Police had sought the assistance of international law enforcement agencies and the Internet service providers to track down the persons involved in uploading those video clips and child sex trafficking via internet, the SDIG said.

Crimes against children in Sri Lanka were rising at an alarming speed, the SDIG said.

The police would conduct a special awareness programme together with the National Child Protection Authority to curb the alarming trend, he said.

The first programme was held recently in Nuwara Eliya where it especially focused apprising police officers attached to that Division.

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Private buses to insist that inter-provincial commuters carry proof of vaccination?



By Rathindra Kuruwita

A limited number of Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and National Transport Commission (NTC) buses and trains would maintain limited inter- provincial operation from 01 August, State Minister of Transport, Dilum Amunugma said.

The State Minister said that certified documents issued by the respective depot superintendents and the letters of approval by the NTC were mandatory, he added.

“The buses and trains will be permitted to operate only in the morning and in the evening for office workers,” Amunugma said.

The State Minister added that passengers should behave responsibly when using the inter-provincial transport services and understand that those services were only for commuters engaged in essential services.

“The Delta variant is spreading rapidly. If one infected passenger travels in a bus, all other commuters will contract it” he warned.

The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) has decided to make proof of vaccination compulsory for inter provincial travel from 01 August

LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said they had written to the President and Transport Minister asking for permission to enforce it.

Wijeratne said that all bus operators in the Western Province should ensure they were inoculated by August 15.



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TNA Leader complains against appointing Sinhala officers to Tamil areas



By Dinasena Ratugamage

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader, R. Sampanthan had written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, objecting to the appointment of Sinhala government officers to the Northern Province, former TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah told journalists on Wednesday (28.)

The President and the Prime Minister are appointing officials violating democratic principles, Senathirajah said after a meeting of party activists at Karachchi Divisional Secretariat Office, Kilinochchi.

“A lot of Sinhalese are appointed to the North and the East. They must appoint Tamils. These appointments undermine our struggle for a just language policy,” he said.

Senathirajah said that it was customary to appoint Tamil officers to Tamil majority areas. However, this tradition was being violated increasingly in recent times, the former MP said.

“The TNA has nothing against Sinhala government officers. However, appointing Sinhala state officers to majority Tamil areas is a great injustice to the people. So, our leader has written to the President and the Prime Minister asking them to stop this practice,” he said.

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