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SC extends stay order on ex-President Sirisena’s decision to hang death row drug lords

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By Chitra Weerarathne

The Supreme Court yesterday extended, till September 7, the stay order on the decision by former President Maithripala Sirisena to implement the death penalty on four convicted drug barons.

In 2019, former President Sirisena announced that the death penalty should be imposed against four convicted drug dealers who were operating from within prisons to tackle the increasing drug related issues in Sri Lanka.

Several public interest litigants filed cases saying that the imposition of the death penalty is in violation of the right to life of the citizens. It is the most basic right, the petitioners have complained.

M. A. Sumanthiran, PC appeared with Sanjeewa Jayawardena, PC for the public interest civil rights activists who challenged the decision of retired President Sirisena.

The Supreme Court bench comprised Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda, Justice S. Thurairajah, Justice Murdhu Fernando and Justice Gamini Amerasekera.

The petition will be called before the Court again on September 6.



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Embassy officer arrested at BIA remanded

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The Embassy official who was attached to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oman who is accused of being involved in a human trafficking racket was arrested by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and remanded till the 13th of December when he was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate

The official was arrested on his arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning (29 November).

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Easter Sunday terror attack suspect hacked to death

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By Norman Palihawadane

A 38-year-old Easter Sunday terror attack suspect was hacked to death yesterday morning (28) in Mattakkuliya.

The victim, Mohamed Badurdeen Mohamed Harnas, was a resident of Safiya Avenue, Mattakkuliya, police said.

A suspect in the Easter Sunday terror attacks, he had been released on bail.

The suspect was rushed to the National Hospital, Colombo, after three individuals, who arrived in a car around 10. 00 am, attacked him.

Two persons attacked the man while the other was keeping the car engine running, according to eyewitnesses. The attackers thereafter fled in the same car.

Harnas was pronounced dead on admission to hospital.

Further investigations in this regard are currently underway.

The victims family members said that Harnas had been taken into custody, following the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, but later released as there was no evidence of his involvement in terrorist activities.

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Rail service between Mahawa and Jaffna to be suspended for five months

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Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that the railway services between Mahawa and Jaffna will be suspended for a period of five months in 2023.

The Minister said that operations will be suspended from January 15, 2023.

The Minister said it was to repair work on the railway line.

He said so in response to a question raised by Vanni District MP Selvam Adaikalanathan.

“We are focusing our attention on the request made by you. We have to halt railway operations between Mahawa and Jaffna for five months from January 2023. Train services have been continuously operating to Jaffna, but now we have faced a situation as we have not been able to carry out any repair work thus far,” the Minister said.

Assuring that this issue can be rectified in five months, Minister Gunawardane said that, thereafter, a good railway service can be provided for this route.

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