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Qatar launches Sinhala and Tamil radio channels from Doha



Two radio channels namely, QFM 95.3 Sithula and QFM Tamil, were recently launched in Doha. Ratnasingam Kohularangan, charge d’affaires at Sri Lankan Embassy in Doha, was the chief guest at the event.

Also present on the occasion were QFM’s Vice Chairman K.C. Abdul Latheef and Chief Executive Officer Anvar Hussain; second secretary, Sri Lankan Embassy Sumudu Wilpatha, Consular Employment and Welfare Rasika Jayasinghe as well as Sri Lankan business and community leaders.

Both the radios function under Qatar’s Ministry of Culture & Sports, using Qatar Media Corporation’s transmission facilities. QFM Sithula and QFM Tamil are broadcast in Sinhala and Tamil languages respectively. Both stations target the Sri Lankan expatriate community in Qatar. Speaking on the occasion, Ratnasingam Kohularangan said: “It’s like a dream come true. We had been waiting for our own language FM for long. In addition to providing education and entertainment to the community members, it will also be helpful in connecting and keeping them abreast of the latest local news.”

KC Abdul Latheef, in his address, thanked the guests for their presence and expressed his gratitude to the Sri Lankan Embassy and the Ministry of Culture and Sports for their support and cooperation. He said that QFM serves as an effective communication platform for Qatar’s ministries and authorities, as well as the Sri Lankan Embassy. Both infotainment radios, he noted, feature an array of interesting and useful programmes presented by reputed Doha-based RJs, both on-air and online.

Meanwhile, the Station Jingle, Websites, Marketing Video and Social Media pages were launched by Sumuda Wilpatha. The speakers also included Pantalion Perera, chairman, Sri Lankan Coordination Committee Qatar, Hazim Hamza, Sanjeevan Vimalraj, Tenison de Silva and Rajeev Fernando. The event was conducted by RJs Akalanka, Samadhi, Sandy and Ashik.


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EC member Hoole moves SC against 20A



Petitions challenging 20A before five-judge bench of SC today 

By Chitra Weerarathne

Petitions filed in the Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka, will be called before a five-judge bench today.

These petitions have said that people’s approval at a referendum as well as a two-thirds majority in Parliament will be needed to enact the Bill.

All the petitions have basically said that the Bill has a section, which says a dual citizen can contest to enter the Parliament of Sri Lanka and run for President threatened national security.

The petitions challenge the powers vested in the President. The President could sack the Prime Minister and the Ministers. Once the Bill becomes law, fundamental rights petitions could not be filed to challenge an act of the President, the petitions have pointed out.

The investigating powers of the Auditor General have been curtailed. The powers vested in the Elections Commission when an election is on is also limited, the petitioners have argued.

The petitions have requested the Supreme Court to declare that a two-thirds majority in Parliament and people’s approval at a referendum will be needed to enact the proposed amendment.

Among the petitioners are Elections Commission member Ratnajeevan Hoole, the Samagi Jana Balavegaya, Attorney-at-Law Indika Gallage, Mayantha Dissanayake, S. J. B. Member of Parliament for the Kandy District and also the President of the Youth League of the Samagi Jana Balavegaya.

The Supreme Court bench will comprise the Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare, Justice Sisira de Abrew, Justice S. Thurairajah and Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda.

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Senasinghe announces quitting politics



By Akitha Perera

Former non-cabinet minister of the yahapalana government Sujeewa Senasinghe announced yesterday that he would quit politics. 

He had also stepped down as the SJB Deputy Secretary, Senasinghe said. 

Senasinghe said that he intended to focus on his business in the future and that he would commence work on his PhD from January 2021. 

He unsuccessfully contested the Aug 05 general election from the Colombo district on SJB ticket.

Senasinghe commenced his political career as a member of the Western Provincial Council of the UNP. He was elected to Parliament twice from the same party. 

He earned notoriety by publishing a book denying the bond scam ever took place.

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Pujith insists his hands were tied during crucial period 



By Rathindra Kuruwita

He had been aware that the activities and preaching of Islamists would have an impact on reconciliation, but those in higher positions were convinced otherwise, former IGP Pujith Jayasundara, yesterday, told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) investigating the Easter Sunday attacks.

The ex-IGP said that although he too had received information about activities of Islamic extremists by late 2018, he had been barred from the National Security Council (NSC) by then.

“I couldn’t share the information I had and I didn’t know what was discussed there. I couldn’t even assign a senior officer to represent me there.”

Jayasundara added that after he had received, on April 09, a report from State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director Nilantha Jayawardena about a possible terrorist attack, he forwarded the report to SDIG of Western Province, Nandana Munasinghe, SDIG crimes and STF M.R. Latheef, DIG special protection range Priyalal Dasanayake and Director of the Terrorism Investigation Division, Waruna Jayasundara and spoke to them over the phone.

Jayasundara said that he had also phoned all SDIGs in charge of provinces. The witness added that he had wanted to ensure that there would not be a leak, causing unnecessary problems in society.

“For example, the letter I sent to the Special Protection Range (SPR) was leaked to the media after the attacks.”

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