Connect with us

news

Raghavan alerts parliament to resolution about to be passed in Ontario against Lanka

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

SLPP MP Dr Suren Raghavan yesterday called on the Speaker and other MPs to take immediate action to prevent a wrong being committed against Sri Lanka at Canada’s Legislative Assembly in Ontario.

MP Raghavan said that a Bill was being debated in the Ontario Legislative Assembly to name a week in May as the Tamil Genocide Education Week in that province.

“That Bill has passed its first reading stage and is being debated now in the second reading stage. If this is passed that week would be used to highlight what is called Tamil genocide here. That would also be taught in 4,800 schools in that province. We must protest and stop this.”

He said that particular Bill had been moved by Vijay Thanigasalam, who was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from the Progressive Conservative Party. “He is originally from Velvetithurai. His Bill is factually wrong because no genocide took place here. Five years after the war in 2014, the then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights too stated that there was no evidence to investigate genocide claims but only the war crimes charges would be investigated. Now, there is this Bill in the Ontario Legislative Assembly. It was moved on April 13, 2019. The Progressive Conservative Party is the ruling party in the Assembly. It has a strong majority and the support of the Tamil community there. Ontario’s Toronto has the highest Tamil diaspora concentration in a city. I know this since I used to have Canadian citizenship and taught at the University of Ottawa.”

Dr Raghavan urged Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and MPs to form a Sri Lanka-Canada Parliamentary group so that Lankan MPs could discuss the matter with Canadian counterparts and prevent that wrong against this country being committed there. “Passing of this Bill will be inimical to whatever reconciliation processes we have here. I urge the Canadian politicians including Doug Ford, who is the Premier of Ontario to take the real situation and facts into consideration and throw this Bill away. I also urge fellow MPs in this House to take this threat against the motherland into consideration and take whatever action they can to prevent our motherland’s name being tarnished for political gains by several individuals.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

news

Covid-19 vaccination programme: MPs not in priority group; President, armed forces chiefs in ‘third category’ 

Published

on

By Shamindra Ferdinando

State Minister for Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control, Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle yesterday (25) said that members of Parliament were not among those categorised as priority groups expected to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Fernandopulle said so in response to The Island query whether parliamentarians would receive the vaccine scheduled to be delivered by India this week. Asked to explain, Dr. Fernandopulle said that health workers, armed forces and law enforcement personnel engaged in Covid-19 prevention operations would be given priority.

“Lawmakers haven’t been listed under priority groups. However, some members may get the vaccine if they are accommodated in the over 60 years category and those suffering from diabetes, heart disease, cancer et al,” the State minister said.

In addition to State Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera, several lawmakers, representing both the government and the Opposition had been afflicted over the past several weeks. SLPP lawmaker Wasantha Yapa Bandara (Kandy district) is the latest victim. Health minister Pavitradevi Wanniarachchi was among over half a dozen lawmakers tested positive.

Army Commander General Shavendra Silva told Derana yesterday morning Sri Lanka would receive approximately 500,000 to 600,000 doses from India. Responding to a spate of questions from Derana anchor Sanka Amarjith, Gen. Silva explained the measures taken by the government to ensure a smooth vaccination programme. The Army Chief who also functions as the Chief of Defence Staff revealed India had paid for the consignment obtained from the UK.

Later in the day, The Island sought an explanation from the Army Chief regarding the President, Service Commanders, Secretary Defence given the vaccination along with frontline health workers et al, the celebrated battlefield commander said: “Will be in third priority group.”

Asked whether the student population would be accommodated at an early stage of the vaccination programme, Dr. Fernandopulle said that those under 18 years of age, pregnant and lactating mothers wouldn’t be included at all as such groups hadn’t been subjected to trials. Education Secretary Prof. Kapila Perera wasn’t available for comment.

Dr. Fernandopulle emphasized the pivotal importance of following health guidelines strictly in spite of the launch of the vaccination programme. “We shouldn’t lower our guard under any circumstances,” Dr. Fernandopulle said, urging the population to be mindful of those unable to receive the vaccination due to no fault of theirs. As those under 18 years of age had been left out of the vaccination programme, a substantial section of the population would be denied the protection, the State Minister said.

Sri Lanka is also expected to procure vaccines from China and Russia in addition to the doses from India. Health Secretary Maj. Gen. Sanjeewa Munasinghe wasn’t available for comment.

Sri Lanka launches the vaccination programme with the total number of positive cases nearing 60,000 with nearly 50,000 recoveries. The government recently re-opened the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) following a pilot programme that brought over 1,200 Ukrainians in dozen flights through the Mattala International Airport.

Dr. Fernandopulle said that the government was ready to launch the vaccination programme as soon as the first consignment arrived from India.

Continue Reading

news

Tennis balls filled with drugs thrown into Kandakadu Covid-19 treatment centre

Published

on

By Norman Palihawadane

Two tennis balls filled with drugs had been thrown into the Covid-19 treatment centre at Kandakadu, Police Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana said.

The contraband was found on Saturday by the Army officers attached to the facility.

DIG Rohana said the two tennis balls containing cannabis, heroin and tobacco, had been handed over to the Welikanda Police.

A special investigation has been launched into the incident, the Police Spokesperson said. Such incidents had been previously reported from Welikada, Negombo and other prisons, but it was the first time contraband containing narcotics had been thrown into a Covid-19 treatment centre, he added.

Continue Reading

news

All cargo clearances at Colombo port now through electronic payments

Published

on

 

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has introduced a system where payment for imports could be made via the Internet. This allows port users to make payments from their homes or offices to clear goods from the Port of Colombo.

The SLPA has said in a media statement that the new special facility will enable port users to make their port payments easily without hassle.

At present, all terminals of the Port of Colombo are run according to a strategic crisis management plan.

 

Continue Reading

Trending