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Public Security Minister’s directive for speedy police probe ignored

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Lohan Ratwatte’s raids on prisons:

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Contrary to specific instructions issued by Public Security Minister Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera on 17 Sept., the police haven’t initiated an investigation into a complaint received from the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners into the then Prison Management and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation State Minister Lohan Ratwatte allegedly threatening ex-LTTE cadres held at the Anuradhapura prison.

The Police Headquarters yesterday (3) acknowledged that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) hadn’t commenced an inquiry.

Although Ratwatte gave up the Prisons Management and Prisons’ Rehabilitation portfolio on 15 Sept. taking responsibility for incidents at the Welikada and the Anuradhapura prisons on Sept 6 and Sept 12, respectively, he retained the State Minister for Gem and Jewellery related Industries portfolio.

Weerasekera on 17 Sept. issued a special statement to the media that he had issued instructions to IGP C.D. Wickremaratne to initiate an inquiry immediately into the complaint received the previous day.

Chairman of the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera told The Island that the civil society group had lodged a complaint with the CID. The complaint hasn’t referred to the State Minister’s entry into the Welikada prison.

The Island sought an explanation from Senaka Perera yesterday as regards their failure to refer to the Welikada incident. The lawyer said that they lacked specific information pertaining to the Sept. 6 incident and hence their decision to leave it out.

The civil society group in a statement urged the police to arrest the Commissioner General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya and Commissioner General of Prisons (Administration and Rehabilitation) Chandana Ekanayake, in addition to State Minister Ratwatte because they tried to suppress the Anuradhapura incident.

On both occasions, the State Minister, under the influence of liquor, allegedly displayed a weapon and threatened some of those held there.

Ratwatte, in a series of interviews and statements, subsequently denied allegations against him.



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Navy intercept multi-day fishing trawler carrying 200kg of narcotics

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It has been reported that the Sri Lanka Navy has intercepted a multi-day fishing trawler carrying around 200kg of narcotics suspected to be heroin and crystal methamphetamine (‘Ice’) off the southern coast of the island.

The boat and crew  were to be brought to the Galle Harbour,

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Advisory for Severe Lightning issued to Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Northern and North-western provinces and in Monaragala district today (12)

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Advisory for Severe Lightning issued by the natural hazards early warning center at 01.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. on 12 April 2024

Thundershowers accompanied by severe lightning are likely to occur at several places in Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Northern and North-western provinces and in Monaragala district.

There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers.

General public is kindly requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by lightning activity.

ACTION REQUIRED:

The Department of Meteorology advises that people should:
• Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.

• Avoid open areas such as paddy fields, tea plantations and open water bodies during thunderstorms.

• Avoid using wired telephones and connected electric appliances during thunderstorms.

• Avoid using open vehicles, such as bicycles, tractors and boats etc.

• Beware of fallen trees and power lines.

• For emergency assistance contact the local disaster management authorities.
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Rear Admiral Princely Liyanage (Retd) sets Serendib World Record climbing Adam’s Peak in record time

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Rear Admiral Princely Liyanage (Retd) of the Sri Lanka Navy achieved a remarkable feat, setting a Serendib World Record for climbing Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) in an impressive time of 23 hours and 46 minutes, using four different routes  (Nallathanniya, Erathna, Palabaddala, and Malingboda.)  as well as becoming the first person to complete the most ascents of Adam’s Peak within 24 hours.

He began his quest to set this record on 08th April, starting from the Nallathanniya Sri Pada entrance at 3:00 a.m all the way to the peak. His journey continued with climbs up and down the Erathna, Palabaddala, and Malingboda routes, ultimately concluding with the challenging trek from Adam’s Peak to Nallathanniya.

The Serendib World Records Committee officially acknowledged Rear Admiral Princely Liyanage’s (Retd) achievement and awarded him the Serendib World Record certificate on 09th April.

(Navy Media)

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