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Parliamentary sessions extended to accommodate govt. rebels in debates

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Parliamentary sessions would be extended by 30 minutes to allocate time for the SLPP dissident group MPs to participate in debates, a media statement issued by the Chief Opposition Whip’s office said.

It said that there had been a critical issue in allocating time to participate in debates for the SLPP dissident groups. There are four groups of MPs under the leaderships of MPs Dullas Alahapperuma, Wimal Weerawansa, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Maithripala Sirisena. None of these groups had been given time to participate in debates as neither opposition nor government was willing to spare time for them from the time allocated for each side. The dissident MP groups also stated that they would act independently even though they sat in the Opposition side of the Chamber. Following a proposal by Chief Opposition Whip Kiriella, the recent party leaders’ meeting decided to prolong the sitting time by 30 more minutes from 4.30 pm to 5 pm to accommodate the dissident MPs in the debates. The decision would be implemented with effect from this sitting week, said the office of the Chief Opposition Whip. (SI)



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Embassy officer arrested at BIA remanded

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The Embassy official who was attached to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oman who is accused of being involved in a human trafficking racket was arrested by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and remanded till the 13th of December when he was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate

The official was arrested on his arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning (29 November).

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Easter Sunday terror attack suspect hacked to death

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By Norman Palihawadane

A 38-year-old Easter Sunday terror attack suspect was hacked to death yesterday morning (28) in Mattakkuliya.

The victim, Mohamed Badurdeen Mohamed Harnas, was a resident of Safiya Avenue, Mattakkuliya, police said.

A suspect in the Easter Sunday terror attacks, he had been released on bail.

The suspect was rushed to the National Hospital, Colombo, after three individuals, who arrived in a car around 10. 00 am, attacked him.

Two persons attacked the man while the other was keeping the car engine running, according to eyewitnesses. The attackers thereafter fled in the same car.

Harnas was pronounced dead on admission to hospital.

Further investigations in this regard are currently underway.

The victims family members said that Harnas had been taken into custody, following the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, but later released as there was no evidence of his involvement in terrorist activities.

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Rail service between Mahawa and Jaffna to be suspended for five months

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Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that the railway services between Mahawa and Jaffna will be suspended for a period of five months in 2023.

The Minister said that operations will be suspended from January 15, 2023.

The Minister said it was to repair work on the railway line.

He said so in response to a question raised by Vanni District MP Selvam Adaikalanathan.

“We are focusing our attention on the request made by you. We have to halt railway operations between Mahawa and Jaffna for five months from January 2023. Train services have been continuously operating to Jaffna, but now we have faced a situation as we have not been able to carry out any repair work thus far,” the Minister said.

Assuring that this issue can be rectified in five months, Minister Gunawardane said that, thereafter, a good railway service can be provided for this route.

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