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SJB to challenge 20A in Supreme Court

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By Akitha Perera

The Samagi Jana Balawegaya was planning to move the Supreme Court against the 20th Amendment (20A) ‘to safeguard the mechanisms introduced by the 19th Amendment to ensure independence of the judiciary and the public service”, Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella said yesterday.

Addressing the media at the SJB head office, in Pitakotte, MP Kiriella said the proposed 20A would deprive the people of their democratic rights and they would to all out to obstruct what he called the government’s march towards dictatorship. The first step in that battle would be going before the Supreme Court against the proposed amendment, Kiriella said.

Kiriella said: “People have not forgotten how they held elections to the Wayamba Provincial Council. There were numerous malpractices and irregularities including the mobilising of police and public service officials to support the ruling party rig that election. The judiciary was also influenced. Those actions paved the way for a public debate and it was agreed that the police, judiciary and public service be made independent.

“It was as a result of that discussion, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution was introduced with independent commissions.

All parties voted for it. That amendment introduced independent commissions and a Constitutional Council was set up to make appointments to those commissions. That council had the powers even to reject a name sent by the President.

“What happened thereafter? They brought in the 18th Amendment which concentrated all powers in the hands of the President again. The 17th Amendment was abolished. People asked for strengthening the state institutions and making them independent. As a result we introduced the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to prune down some draconian powers vested of the executive presidency. We re-established independent commissions which ensured democracy. Now, the incumbent government has brought in another amendment to do away with those democratic mechanisms and to consolidate powers in the hands of the president.

The proposed 20th Amendment will vest some powers in the hands of the executive presidency including that to appoint judges. This will pave way for a dictatorship.

One of the excuses they give is that they introduced this amendment to ensure stability of the government. That is a blatant lie. As per the provisions of the proposed amendment, the president could dissolve parliament one year after the formation of a government. Does it ensure stability?

We will go before the Supreme Court and hope that the court will help save democracy in this country,” MP Kiriella said.

SJB MP Dr. Harsha de Silva also addressed the press.



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Navy intercept multi-day fishing trawler carrying 200kg of narcotics

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It has been reported that the Sri Lanka Navy has intercepted a multi-day fishing trawler carrying around 200kg of narcotics suspected to be heroin and crystal methamphetamine (‘Ice’) off the southern coast of the island.

The boat and crew  were to be brought to the Galle Harbour,

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Advisory for Severe Lightning issued to Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Northern and North-western provinces and in Monaragala district today (12)

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Advisory for Severe Lightning issued by the natural hazards early warning center at 01.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. on 12 April 2024

Thundershowers accompanied by severe lightning are likely to occur at several places in Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Northern and North-western provinces and in Monaragala district.

There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers.

General public is kindly requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by lightning activity.

ACTION REQUIRED:

The Department of Meteorology advises that people should:
• Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.

• Avoid open areas such as paddy fields, tea plantations and open water bodies during thunderstorms.

• Avoid using wired telephones and connected electric appliances during thunderstorms.

• Avoid using open vehicles, such as bicycles, tractors and boats etc.

• Beware of fallen trees and power lines.

• For emergency assistance contact the local disaster management authorities.
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Rear Admiral Princely Liyanage (Retd) sets Serendib World Record climbing Adam’s Peak in record time

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Rear Admiral Princely Liyanage (Retd) of the Sri Lanka Navy achieved a remarkable feat, setting a Serendib World Record for climbing Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada) in an impressive time of 23 hours and 46 minutes, using four different routes  (Nallathanniya, Erathna, Palabaddala, and Malingboda.)  as well as becoming the first person to complete the most ascents of Adam’s Peak within 24 hours.

He began his quest to set this record on 08th April, starting from the Nallathanniya Sri Pada entrance at 3:00 a.m all the way to the peak. His journey continued with climbs up and down the Erathna, Palabaddala, and Malingboda routes, ultimately concluding with the challenging trek from Adam’s Peak to Nallathanniya.

The Serendib World Records Committee officially acknowledged Rear Admiral Princely Liyanage’s (Retd) achievement and awarded him the Serendib World Record certificate on 09th April.

(Navy Media)

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