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President makes all govt. services essential



Issuing a Gazette Extraordinary on 17 June, the Presidential Secretariat has declared as essential the services delivered by any public corporation, government department, local authority, co-operative society, or any of their branches.

The gazette notification was published by the Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundera on the directives of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The services identified are given below:

* All services, works or labour of any description carried out or required to be carried out by or in connection with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority established by the Section 3 of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Act, No. 51 of 1979.

*  The supply and distribution of all fuels, including petroleum products and liquefied gas.

*  All services, works, labour of any description whatsoever, necessary or required to be carried out in connection with the discharge, carriage, landing, storage, delivery and removal of oil or fuel from vessels within any port, as defined as such, for the purposes of the Customs Ordinance.

*  Freight transport by Sri Lanka Railway Department and all public transport services carried out by the Sri Lanka Transport Board for passenger transport.

*  Maintenance, security, and operational aspects that are essential to carry out such public services in line with service requirements.

*  All type of services, works, or labour contributions which should be carried out or required to be carried out by District Secretariats, Divisional Secretariats, Grama Seva Officers, Samurdhi Development Officers, Agricultural Research Assistants including all field level officers of all District and Divisional Secretariats.

*  All state banking and insurance services including the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

*  Waste management services carried out by the Local Authorities.

*  All services, works or labour of any description necessary or required to be carried out in connection with supply, storage, distribution and regulatory activities of food, beverages including all other essential consumable items to public which performed by Lanka Sathosa Ltd, Co-operative Wholesale Establishment, Food Commissioner Department, Department of Co-operative Development and Co-operative Societies.

• All services, work, or labour of any description to be performed by or required by all government offices under the Provincial Councils.

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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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