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Prez gets tough with anti-govt. protesters, issues dire warning

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By Saman Indrajith

President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday announced in Parliament a moratorium on public protests and vowed to use the military to crush any future anti-government protests aimed at regime change.

“They can call me a dictator. They must obtain police permission to stage street protests and not cause traffic chaos. There is a plan to stage another Aragalaya (mass public protest) to oust the government. I will not allow that. I will deploy the military and use emergency laws to stop them if they try it again”, Wickremesinghe said.

The President also warned that the military would be deployed and a State of Emergency declared in the event of such actions.

The President added that people and political parties were allowed to stage rallies and protest marches but it is mandatory to obtain permission from the police for such events.

He said any protest or rallies held without police permission would be stopped and the police had been ordered to do so.

Stating that several religious leaders had openly condemned protests, President Wickremesinghe said there were reports of such religious leaders being threatened by certain groups.

The President rejected the Opposition’s demand for early parliamentary elections. “I will not dissolve parliament early until the economic crisis is resolved,” he said.

President Wickremesinghe also condemned the media for inciting violence and promoting such protests; he said he would consider appointing a Commission pertaining to media after holding the necessary discussions on the matter.

The President said it was essential to protect the current progress of the incumbent government and several matters have been addressed such as the passage of the 21st Amendment, and the establishment of Parliament Committees while a budget office is also to be established.



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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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