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SJB calls on Govt. to learn from lessons of the past

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SJB MP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar has questioned President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s image of a liberal leader in view of the Government’s proposed Rehabilitation bill.

Addressing a press conference held at the Opposition Leader’s Office in Colombo on Wednesday, MP Markar said: “This bill not only proposes the rehabilitation of those addicted to drugs but also suggests protestors, extremists and those involved in destructive acts. We have a President and a Prime Minister who admitted their wrongs and vacated their posts. Is it them or youth who are fighting on the street for the people of this country who should be rehabilitated?

Pointing out that there have been instances in the country’s history where youth were sent to rehabilitation camps such as following the 1971 JVP resurrection and following the war according to orders given by the courts, Markar questioned who will now decide as to who should be rehabilitated. “Is it the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence? Or the President who is heading the Ministry of Defence?” he queried.

“While the UN has accused us of economic crimes and called on us to be accountable, what has become of our President’s liberal persona as depicted by the media? The Government is misusing the Prevention of Terrorism Act to detain student activists and harass them,” he said.The SJB MP stressed the Government must learn lessons from the country’s past and the recent events that unfolded in Sri Lanka. “The Government cannot use repression to suppress the issues faced by the people. History has taught many lessons to rulers who attempted to do this,” he noted.

Highlighting the dangers of the proposed bill, Markar said it does provide an accurate interpretation of who should be rehabilitated. “The bureau seems to seek the rehabilitation of violent protestors and certain groups that need to be rehabilitated. This could even include various political groups in this sense,” he pointed out. Markar said such proposals will only further isolate us from the international community. He called on the Government to stop its repression of the people and to allow for their democratic rights to be exercised freely.SJB Kurunegala District MP Ashok Abeysinghe also addressed the press.



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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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