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Sabry promises parliament will get copies PC0I reports



Opposition asks why PM and Speaker have not been summoned before Easter Sunday probe commission

By Saman Indrajith

Justice Minister Ali Sabry yesterday promised to put in place a mechanism soon to ensure that Parliament would receive all presidential commission reports.

He gave that pledge in response to a question raised by Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella, who pointed out that there had been many presidential commissions of inquiry in the past, but none of their reports were available in the Parliament library.

Kiriella said: “There have been presidential commissions under successive governments but none of their reports were made available to the MPs. Will we be getting the reports of the presidential commission of inquiry?’

Justice Minister Sabry

: Are you asking for the commission report that found the Opposition leader guilty? The presidential commission of inquiry on the Easter Sunday incident is not released. Once it is released we’ll introduce a mechanism to ensure that MPs will have access to it.

SJB Colombo District MP Mujibur Rahman

: The Chief Opposition Whip was referring to the report of the presidential commission of inquiry on political victimisation. The MPs have to read those reports.

SJB Ratnapura District MP Hesha Withanage:

There were several commissions of inquiry and we have no access to their reports. It seems that there is a new situation where some important facts pertaining to the Easter Sunday attacks are being covered up. On the other hand, it is doubtful whether the commission of inquiry has investigated all facts. For example, the incumbent speaker as an MP then made a statement that he had received a prior warning that there would be a terror attack on Easter Sunday. Similarly, the security contingent of the then Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa too had received that warning. They have not given evidence before the commission. This is a serious situation and there are growing concerns that the investigation has veered off the track.

Justice Minister Sabry: We have assured you several times in this House and elsewhere there will nothing untowards as regards such investigations. As we stated yesterday the police have completed their investigations by November last year and submitted their findings to the Attorney General’s Department for legal action. The Attorney General has said that he would await the release of the report of the presidential commission of inquiry and then institute legal action against those responsible.

The Attorney General has assured me that there would be no influence on the commission of inquiry and due process would be followed with regard to those responsible for the Easter Sunday carnage. The We assure you that justice would be served. 268 persons were killed in the attacks. As per the applications for compensation, 506 persons were wounded. We have no intention of turning this investigation into a political circus.


U.S. Ambassador to UN Agencies in Rome Cindy McCain to visit Lanka



Colombo, September 23, 2022: United States Permanent Representative to the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome Ambassador Cindy McCain will visit Sri Lanka from September 25-28 to highlight U.S. food assistance programs in Sri Lanka and reinforce the U.S. commitment and lasting partnership with the island nation.

In addition to meeting with senior government officials and aid organizations in Colombo, Ambassador McCain will join U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung to travel to Central Province to visit schools, agricultural research facilities, and community organizations and meet with recipients and implementers of relief provided through U.S. government-funded humanitarian assistance programs.

The United States is the single largest country donor to the three United Nations food and agriculture agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Program (WFP).  U.S.-funded UN projects showcase how the U.S. government, the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies, and the government of Sri Lanka collaborate to reduce food insecurity and advance humanitarian relief, livelihood protection, and agriculture-led economic growth, especially at this critical time of increased global hunger.

The United States has provided partnership and assistance to the people and government of Sri Lanka for more than 70 years.  Since June, Ambassador Chung has overseen the announcement of nearly $240 million in new U.S. government assistance to Sri Lanka, including U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power’s September 2022 announcements of an additional $40 million to provide Sri Lankan farmers with fertilizer and $20 million to meet immediate humanitarian needs in the country.

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President urges SL diaspora in the UK to invest in their motherland



By Sujeeva Nivunhella
reporting from London

President Ranil Wickremesinghe last week urged the Sri Lanka diaspora in the United Kingdom to invest in Sri Lanka projects to revive the economy. Addressing a gathering at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London, he said that he is proud that the British Sri Lankan community for making a mark in every field of the UK economy such as trading, services, business, and requested them to come together as Sri Lankans and people of Sri Lankan origin to help build the motherland.

The President added that Sri Lanka is looking at transforming its economy to a competitive export-oriented one to meet the current challenges and build social systems and modernize the education system.

He remarked on the special affection Queen Elizabeth II had towards Sri Lanka as the Head of the Commonwealth and the longest serving Head of State of Ceylon for 20 years prior to the nation becoming a Republic and stated that her passing is the end of an era.

The president, first lady and party arrived in London on Sept. 17 via Dubai by an Emirates flight to attend the State Funeral Service of Queen Elizabeth II.They were received at the Heathrow airport by High Commissioner Saroja Sirisena and were driven to the Intercontinental Hotel in Park Lane, London where they stayed.

On Sunday (Sept. 18), the President accompanied by the First Lady and High Commissioner attended the Lying-in-State of the late Queen at the Palace of Westminster which was followed by a Reception hosted by His Majesty King Charles III at Buckingham Palace.The President and the First Lady attended the State Funeral Service held at the Westminster Abbey on Monday (Sept. 19).  On the same day, he signed the Book of Condolence. The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly MP hosted a reception for the visiting world leaders at Church House.

On 20th September, the President met the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland QC. They discussed Sri Lanka’s engagement with the Commonwealth Secretariat and matters of mutual interest. He also visited the London Buddhist Vihara during which Ven Dr Bogoda Seelawimala, Chief Incumbent of the Vihara and the Chief Sanga Nayaka of Great Britain invoked blessings on the President and the people of Sri Lanka.

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Families countrywide facing malnutrition, says Cardinal



By Norman Palihawadane

Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has warned that the prevailing economic crisis and increasing unemployment and food prices are accelerating malnutrition among hundred thousands of families countrywide.

Addressing a ceremony at the annual get-together of the Archdiocesan Family Apostolate Service held at St Peter’s College Auditorium in Colombo, the Archbishop said that it was a shame that responsible local officials keep denying the prevailing status quo when world humanitarian organizations such as UNICEF continue to warn of the increasing malnutrition levels among children.

Many international organizations have pointed out that malnutrition in Sri Lanka was increasing at an alarming rate but the authorities responsible are hiding the truth and go to the extent of rejecting such reports.

“If they reject the reports of international organizations, then it is their paramount duty of conduct proper surveys to understand the situation. It is no secret that large numbers of Lankan families are starving due to the high prices of food. According to the UNICEF more than six million people consume only a single meal a day. It is so unfortunate that Health Ministry officials who spend their times in the air conditioned rooms in Colombo do not know the plight of the poor in rural areas,” the Cardinal said.He said that 225 MPs were concerned only of their well-being while continuing to ignore the actual and pressing issues of people.

“This country is in dire situation today mainly due to inefficient and corrupt political leaders. It is sad that these so-called people’s representatives are not concerned of the situation of people who are experiencing the worst ever economic and political crisis this country has ever faced,” the Cardinal said.

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