The 20th amendment to the Constitution must be abolished and a new Constitution acceptable to all Sri Lankan citizens introduced expeditiously, Chairman of the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) and former Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday (20) at a press conference.
Jaysuriya said: “We do not constantly draw attention to these issues without a valid cause. Our sole and sincere objective is to at least, after 73 years of independence, restore the long lost justice, fairness, unity and quality of life of our people. It is a responsibility that must be undertaken by the existing government.
“When President Gotabaya Rajapaksa inaugurated the Second Session of the 9th Parliament last Tuesday, he stated that steps have been taken to introduce a new Constitution. Therefore, we once again stress to the government that the proposed Constitution should be one presented by the people and Parliament. It should not be a Constitution drafted by government-appointed representatives as a majority in the country is not agreeable to the formation of a new Constitution through this process.
“Last week, we requested the President to inform the public of the government’s plans relating to this endeavour. I urge the government to take steps to make the public aware of the planned constitutional reform process prior to February 4 while pointing out that further delays would be unfavourable. We are speaking on behalf of the people to ensure that the promises made to them are fulfilled.
“We as a country today have a number of issues that need to be addressed urgently. It must be understood that the everyday lives of the people have been disrupted due to the lack of foreign exchange. This should not be taken as a criticism and instead be understood as a pertinent issue that must be addressed and resolved.
“However, the government has failed to take necessary action to resolve the matter and this is causing great harm. Instead of allowing two ministries to engage in a game of tug of war to secure foreign exchange, the government must take the lead to bring about a solution to the issue. The government cannot leave it to the ministries and wash their hands off the matter. The Minister of Finance in particular has a great responsibility to bear in this situation.
“If we are not able to solve this dilemma within the next few days, it must be pointed out that public life, the economy and the production process will collapse.
“As an independent civil society organisation, the National Movement for Social Justice constantly monitors parliamentary proceedings with great interest. With the commencement of the Second Session of the 9th Parliament, we urge the government to appoint the parliamentary committees that were dissolved following the prorogation of Parliament.
“We make this request not for political reasons but because we sincerely appreciate the dedicated, impartial and exemplary manner in which the parliamentary watchdog committees, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) and the Committee on Public Finance (COPF) have acted in the recent past.
“We strongly believe that the services of Prof. Charitha Herath, Prof. Tissa Vitharana and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, who served as Chairs of these Committees, should be further utilised in the future to better serve the interests of our people.
“It also must be noted that we sincerely hoped for a presidential pardon to be granted to veteran artiste Ranjan Ramanayake, especially at a time when the conversation on ‘One Country, One Law’ policy has come to the fore. However, the National Movement for Social Justice declares that our country is still not governed by ‘One Law’ but by unjust decisions that have been made based on political reasons.Therefore, it can only be said that the discriminatory treatment meted out to certain individuals solely based on political reasons is an inhumane form of hypocritical revenge.”
President orders probe into judge’s resignation
By Saman Indrajith
President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is currently in Berlin, yesterday ordered his Secretary Saman Ekanayake to launch a probe into the resignation of Mullaitivu District Judge and Magistrate, T. Saravanarajah, who heard the controversial Kurundimale temple case. The judge has cited receiving death threats as the reason for his resignation.
Judge Saravanarajah had not informed either the police or the Judicial Service Commission of the alleged death threats to him, sources said.
In a letter dated 23 September, 2023, addressed to the Judicial Services Commission, Judge T. Saravanarajah conveyed his decision to step down from various judicial roles including District Judge, Magistrate, Family Court Judge,
Primary Court Judge, Small Claims Court Judge, and Juvenile Court Judge.President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake held discussions on the judge’s resignation with Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles. It was revealed that the judge had not lodged any formal complaint of the alleged death threats prior to his resignation.
China pledges steadfast support to Sri Lanka
China will continue to firmly support Sri Lanka in pursuing a development path that suits its own national conditions, getting rid of the “poverty trap” and the “trap of non-development”, and safeguarding its independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity, Ambassador Qi Zhenhong said at the 74th National Day Reception of the People’s Republic of China on Thursday.
Given below are excerpts of the Chinese Ambassador’s speech: “Right now, changes of the world, of our times and of history are unfolding in ways like never before, which leads to rapidly growing uncertainty, instability and unpredictability.
In view of these global challenges, President Xi Jinping has put forward three crucial global initiatives, namely the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative. We urge all countries to respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, and work together to meet the challenges of our times and build a community with a shared future for mankind.
“This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping. Over the past 10 years under the BRI cooperation, more than 150 countries, including Sri Lanka, and 32 international organizations, have made great progress in connectivity, infrastructure, trade, and investment, with about 3,100 joint projects bringing tangible benefits to the world. As the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, I am more than happy to highlight the major projects between our two countries, such as the Katunayake Expressway, the Southern Expressway, the CICT, the Hambantota Port and the Port City Colombo, etc.
“No matter how the world changes, China and Sri Lanka are good neighbours with mutual respect and trust, good partners with mutual benefit, and good friends who help each other. China’s friendly policy towards Sri Lanka is for all political parties and all people of Sri Lanka and maintains continuity and stability. In the past decades, many landmarks, such as the BMICH, the Supreme Court Complex, the Nelum Pokuna Theatre, the Polonnaruwa Kidney Disease Hospital and the National Hospital Out-Patient Department Building, have been gifted by the Chinese people to the Sri Lankan people.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, especially when Sri Lanka was faced with the economic challenges last year, China has been supporting Sri Lanka to the best of its ability. It includes not only providing emergency assistance from all walks of life in China, but also being the first to reach out to Sri Lanka to properly deal with its debt issues.
More importantly, China will continue to firmly support Sri Lanka in pursuing a development path that suits its own national conditions, getting rid of the “poverty trap” and the “trap of non-development”, and safeguarding its independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity.”
Justice Minister sees police, judiciary and lawyers coming short on ensuring justice for all
The way the police, judiciary and lawyers operate had left much to be desired in ensuring justice for all, Minister of Justice Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said at the National Law Week – 2023 celebrations yesterday.
Dr. Rajapakshe said that in a country with the rule of law, all citizens felt they had access to justice. The Minister said that the country faced a severe economic crisis in 2022. The breakdown of the rule of law was a major reason for the economic crisis, the Justice Minister said.
Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya said at the same event that people needed to understand the roles and functions of the judiciary, police, mediation boards and other institutions of justice in order to obtain a satisfactory service.
“These institutions are there to ensure everyone has equal access to justice. If these institutions were not there, the rich and the powerful would always get their way,” the CJ said.
Scott Hall, Trump ally indicted in Georgia election case, pleads guilty
75mm of rain expected in Western and Sabaragamuwa provinces and in Galle, Matara and Puttalam districts
President orders probe into judge’s resignation
‘Dates have the highest sugar content to fight Coronavirus’
Sunday Island 27 December – Headlines
#Sundayisland Sunday Island- 31 January- Headlines
Features6 days ago
PAMANKADE -THE TOWN THAT VANISHED !
News6 days ago
Business focus shifting in a more favorable direction
Business6 days ago
SLT-DIGITAL Services and Surge Global forge strategic partnership to propel growth marketing and develop enterprise software solutions
News6 days ago
No new date yet for AL exam, postponement to have knock on effect
News5 days ago
US delaying visa for Security Oversight Committee head
Business6 days ago
Nirmal Saverimuttu Chief Executive Officer Virgin Voyages
News6 days ago
Expect more Easter Sunday type attacks: minister
Editorial5 days ago
C4, Grease Yaka and Trojan horse