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SLPP MPs go berserk as Sajith flays Rajapaksas for ruining economy

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By Saman Indrajith

Yesterday’s parliamentary session was marred by aggressive protests by government MPs against Opposition and SJB leader Sajith Premadasa, who demanded that those whom the Supreme Court had held responsible for the collapse of the national economy be stripped of their privileges.

Protests erupted as Opposition leader Premadasa commenced his special statement on the matter to the House and SLPP MPs started shouting against him. Premadasa maintained that former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, former Central Bank Governors Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Prof. W.D. Lakshman, former Finance Secretary S.R. Attygalle, former Presidential Secretary P.B. Jayasundara and the Central Bank’s Monetary Board members continued to enjoy privileges despite the Supreme Court judgment holding them accountable for the economic crisis. Those persons had no respect for the Supreme Court’s judgment, Premadasa said, adding that all Lankan citizens continued to pay for the wrong decisions made by them.

As Premadasa demanded to know whether legal action would be taken against them and if the government would recover the losses incurred by the state due to those mentioned in the court’s judgment, the SLPP MPs went berserk and approached the Opposition leader’s seat.

As SLPP MPs started to walk across the Well of the House, Serjeant-at-Arms Narendra Fernando and his deputy Kushan Jayaratne positioned them between the protesters and the Opposition Leader, who continued to speak. Premadasa said that schoolchildren were there in the gallery and it was now time for them to make note of those who had assisted and aided the Rajapaksas to ruin their future.

SLPP MP Sanath Nishantha snatched the statement from the hands of the Opposition Leader while the former’s colleagues continued to shout. SJB MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha was seen videoing the scene.

As the uproar continued, the SJB MPs ran to their leader and stood around him, demanding the Speaker to bring the situation under control.

Schoolchildren were removed from the galleries as the MPs hurled verbal tirades at each other.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena suspended the parliamentary session and walked out of the Chamber.

Some 40 minutes later when sittings resumed, Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella requested the Speaker to take disciplinary action against SLPP MPs, including MP Sanath Nishantha, for snatching the statement being read to the House by the Opposition Leader.

Kiriella said that Premadasa had raised the question in concern with the prior permission of the Speaker as such an interruption was uncalled for. “I have never seen something similar to this in my 35-year long parliamentary career. MP Sanath Nishantha took away by force the documents of the Opposition Leader. The Speaker, if he has any doubt, can watch the CCTV footage. The Speaker should punish those who harassed the Opposition leader,”Kiriella said.

Promising to have the matter probed, Speaker Abeywardena said disciplinary action would be taken against the MPs who would do live telecast in future.



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“Operation ‘Yukthiya’ will persist despite pressure” – Minister of Public Security

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Minister of Public Security, Mr. Tiran Alles, attending a news conference held at the Presidential Media Centre today (21) under the theme ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’.emphasized his unwavering commitment to continue operations aimed at suppressing drugs, tackling the underworld and preventing violence against women and children, regardless of any pressure encountered.

Furthermore, Minister Alles disclosed that operation ‘Yukthiya’, which commenced on December 17, has resulted in the seizure of narcotics valued at Rs. 7.8 billion and assets including vehicles and buildings confiscated by law enforcement amount to Rs. 725 million. . A total of 58,562 raids have been conducted, leading to the arrest of 58,234 individuals involved in illicit activities.

 

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SLNS Samudura leaves for Maldives to take part in Exercise Dosti – XVI

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Sri Lanka Naval Ship (SLNS) Samudura left for the Maldives from the port of Colombo on Tuesday (20)  to take part in Exercise Dosti – XVI. The trilateral exercise ‘Dosti’ is scheduled to be held in Male from 22nd to 25th February.

The trilateral exercise ‘Dosti’ aims to enhance cooperation, strengthen friendship, improve mutual operational capability, and develop interoperability among the Coast Guard personnel of India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

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“Sri Lankan unity paves the way for rapid national development” – President

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Sri Lanka’s Chief Scout, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his address at the 10th National Scout Jamboree held at the Koneswara Hindu Vidyalaya Stadium in Trincomalee this morning (21), underscored the potential of Sri Lankans to steer the nation towards rapid development and fortify its security for future generations through unified efforts.

The President highlighted that participation in the National Scout Jamboree transcends divisions of caste and religion. He articulated that unity among Sri Lankans, spanning from the North to the South and from Colombo to Trincomalee, is pivotal in accomplishing shared objectives.

President Wickremesinghe pledged his support for the expansion of the Scout Association, noting its role in nurturing responsible citizens essential for the country. Furthermore, he announced the plans to facilitate collaboration between the Scout Association and the Ministry of Technology, underscoring the importance of leveraging interactions across sectors for national development.

(PMD)

 

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