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Activist Nirmanli Liyanage has passed away

Young activist Nirmanli Liyanage has passed away.

She has reportedly died due to a sudden heart attack in a private hospital in Colombo.

Nirmanli Liyanage was in her mid thirties when she passed away shockingly.

She had also participated in a citizen talk discussion which was posted on her Facebook page yesterday

Nirmanli Liyanage played a key role in establishing the Citizens Forum at the historic GotaGoGama protest site and worked tirelessly to educate Citizens about their rights and the democratic processes earlier this year.

Many activists had posted on social media expressing their condolences over the sudden death of a young talented activist.

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CID to investigate incidents of ragging

Sri Lanka's Criminal Investigations Department will conduct investigations on all complaints related to ragging, announced Sri Lanka Police on Thursday (10).

Sri Lanka Police said that the Chief of Police had ordered the CID to conduct future investigations concerning three separate complaints on ragging as per the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Sri Lanka Police said that a second-year student from the University of Kelaniya was assaulted by three students from a union and the victim had filed a complaint with the Kiribathgoda Police.

In addition, six fellow students who are said to have instructed the aforementioned students to file the complaint had been detained at the student dormitory, questioned and beaten by another group of students, and a complaint on the matter was filed with the Kiribathgoda Police, said a statement from Sri Lanka Police.

Further, a complaint has been filed with the Peradeniya Police over committing ragging by directing pornographic material to a student at the University of Peradeniya via social media.

Sri Lanka Police said that the Inspector General of Police had instructed all senior officers that the CID will conduct investigations on future complaints on ragging, and police stations are required to forward such complaints to the CID.

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The 2023 budget aimed at long-term, stable economic growth to be presented to Parliament tomorrow

The 2023 budget aimed at long-term, stable economic growth to be presented to Parliament tomorrow

President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Minister of Finance will present the 2023 budget to Parliament tomorrow (14) aimed at creating long-term, stable economic growth.

The 2023 budget has given special attention to the sectors of capital market, export market, labour market and digital economy and it is expected to achieve the budget targets through the social market economy.

This year’s budget will focus more on providing social welfare benefits to the people who need them most and creating a policy environment to build the private sector as the driving force of the country’s economy.

Through the 2023 budget, the process of building a new economy tailored for the new world has been initiated aimed at creating a program to ensure a decent country for the youth.

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President’s vision for the country includes measures exceeding IMF/WB stipulations

Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayaka recalled that Faris Hadad-Zervos, the World Bank (WB) Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka was amazed with the action policy and the vision of President Ranil Wickremesinghe which was revealed during their meeting recently.

Ratnayaka said the President's vision for the country includes some measures that go beyond what the International Monetary Fund or World Bank has stipulated. "His vision is actually far ahead than this sphere," he said, adding that the WB Country Director also expressed his willingness to support the President’s vision.

He emphasized the importance of getting everyone together to work hard on developing the road map and sticking to the timelines to get the best final report at the end of the next two weeks.

He noted that this is the best opportunity for the country to stabilize economically, to have a solid policy framework and to go into the road map that is needed. “As a country, we have that potential and request everyone to make maximum use of it,” Ratnayaka added.

Ratnayaka made these remarks while speaking at the World Bank Budget support and Development Policy Operation (DPO) Preparatory Mission kick-off meeting between the government officials and the members of the World Bank which took place this morning (08) at the Presidential Secretariat.

While thanking the WB team, State Minister Semasinghe said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe is committed to ensure the stabilization of the country's economy and the President has taken very difficult decisions to revive the economy.

They discussed Development Policy Operations, which provides direct budget support to governments for policy and institutional reforms, and is aimed at achieving a set of specific development results. These operations were designed under three pillars such as transforming economic governance, enhancing growth & competitiveness and protecting the poor and vulnerable to provide rapid financial assistance to allow Sri Lanka to deal with actual or anticipated development financing requirements.

Lengthy discussions were held with WB team on the areas of debt management and transparency, fiscal oversight, tax administration policy, public procurement transparency and value for money, sever the sovereign-financial sector nexus, improve stewardship of the financial sector and reduce systemic risk, reform and enhance oversights of SOEs, reduce the anti-export bias of national tariff policy and elite capture, eliminate barriers to foreign investment, make energy and transport sector less dependent on imported fuels and more climate friendly, and strengthen social protection institutions, delivery systems, and targeting.

State Minister of Social Empowerment Women’s and Children Affairs Anupa Pasqual, Country Manager of the World Bank Chiyo Kanda and the members of the World Bank team and the officials of the line institutions of the relevant ministries were also present at this discussion.

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Manhandling of female officers: IGP orders Police Special Investigations Unit to conduct probe

The Director General of the Police Special Investigations Unit has been ordered by the Inspector General of Police to conduct a special probe regarding the activities of the Chief Police Inspector of Panadura South Police.

The IGP has ordered to conduct a special probe with regard to the incident in which a female Police officer was grabbed by the neck and manhandled by a male officer while enroute to arrest several female protestors involved in a mothers' protest march in Panadura on Saturday (12).

Police Media Spokesperson SSP Nihal Talduwa pointed out that the Police respects the rights enshrined in the Constitution, which ensures the right to freedom of assembly and the right to freedom of expression.

Moreover, he stressed that the Police continously emphasize on protecting the rights of women, and the special probe will also focus on whether the female Police officer was wronged in this regard.

Future action will be taken in accordance with the recommendations made by the Director of the Special Investigations Unit, SSP Thalduwa added.

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Passport services to resume on Wednesday (9)

The system failure at the Immigration and Emigration Department has been restored.

Passport services will re-commence as usual from Wednesday (9), said Immigration and Emigration spokesperson Piyumi Bandara.

The Department of Immigration and Emigration earlier announced that there is a delay in issuing passports on Tuesday (8) due to a system issue.

Immigration and Emigration spokesperson Piyumi Bandara told News 1st that the department has suspended accepting applications for passports, adding that the system is being restored.

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Police ordered to question Gotabaya Rajapaksa

The Fort Magistrate’s Court has issued an order to record a statement from former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the Rs. 18 million in cash that was found by anti-government protesters at the President’s House in Fort.

Following mass protests in July, several anti-government protesters stormed the President’s Official residence in Fort and found nearly Rs. 17.8 million in cash.

The cash was thereafter, counted and handed over to officers of the Fort Police Station by the protesters.

However, Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage today issued an order to the Police to record a statement from former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in this regard.

The magistrate also instructed the Police to conduct an investigation into the matter.

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Sri Lanka and Singapore exchange views on public security

Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles undertook an official visit to Singapore at the invitation of Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law of Singapore K Shanmugam from October 25-29.

The delegation participated in a briefing session, arranged by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) on Singapore’s legal frameworks in maintaining public order and combating drugs.

Minister Shanmugam who joined the briefing provided an overview of the legal frameworks and the amendments introduced in recent years in both these areas. The two sides also had useful exchanges on lessons learnt in the operational aspects of the related legislation and amendments in a separate session which was joined by Minister of State for Home Affairs Sun Xueling and senior officials from the Singapore side.

The Minister’s programme in Singapore also included an interaction with the officials of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) during which a briefing was provided on the transformation and digitalisation plans of ICA documentation and included a tour of the Identity Authentication and Documents Analysis (IADA) Lab.

The two sides exchanged views on current measures being adopted at immigration checkpoints in Singapore and the process that was undertaken during the establishment of the ICA in 2003 to merge the Singapore Immigration & Registration (SIR) and the checkpoint operations of the Customs & Excise Department (CED to meet emerging security challenges.

The Singapore Police Force officials provided a detailed overview of criminal investigation, intelligence, and operational aspects of their work including on the special operations command. A visit to Changi Airport was also conducted where a briefing was provided on Singapore’s latest border security measures.

Minister Shanmugam hosted Minister Alles and delegation to lunch at the conclusion of the visit where matters of mutual interest were discussed.

The delegation accompanying the Minister included the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration, senior officials from the Sri Lanka Police and Special Task Force and the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Singapore.

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Gnanasara Thera acquitted from case

Bodu Bala Sena general secretary Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera has been acquitted from a charge of disrupting duties of the police.

The Colombo magistrate’s court today (11) ended the hearing due to the continuing absence of the prosecuting side’s witness.

The case related to an incident that took place in front of the temple in Rajagiriya, where Gnanasara Thera reside

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Jeevan, Sherin, Sangeetha quizzed over Thilini Priyamali case

Actor-politician Jeevan Kumaratunga and his wife Sherin have been questioned in connection with their links with Thilini Priyamali who is in remand custody over massive financial fraud.

The CID obtained their statements on November 05.

Also, actress and businesswoman Sangeetha Weeraratne gave a statement to the CID during a seven-hour-long interrogation yesterday (07).

All three were questioned over their business and other dealings with Priyamali, including her funding of the film ‘Jeeva’ directed by Kumaratunga.

Social media has posted photographs taken at film festivals and other functions that show them together with the accused.

They were also interrogated about an actor and actress who are reportedly evading the CID after having invested millions of rupees in Priyamali’s businesses.

Earlier, actress Semini Iddamalgoda gave a four-hour long statement in connection with the case.

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Supreme Court orders to produce Wasantha Mudalige to a Magistrate & Karapitiya JMO

Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Thursday (10) ordered for the converner of the Inter-University Student's Federation Wasantha Mudalige to be produced to a Magistrate immediately.

In addition, the Supreme Court also ordered for Mudalige to be produced to the Judicial Medical Officer of the Karapitiya Hospital.

Wasantha Mudalige is being detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for 90-days, and the orders were made when a Fundamental Rights application challenging his detention was taken up on Thursday (10).

The application was called up in the presence of Justices Vijith Malalgoda, and S. Thurairajah who ordered for the examination of the FR petition to commence on the 31st of January 2023.

The petitioner in the application is Wasantha Mudalige, and President's Counsel Saliya Peiris appeared for him in the Supreme Court.

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Danushka Gunathilaka imposed with immediate national & international ban!

Batter Danushka Gunathilaka has been imposed with a national and international ban with immediate effect by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) over sexual assault allegations in Sydney.

Confirming the ban to ‘The Leader’, SLC president Shammi Silva said Gunathilaka’s cricketing future will be decided on the basis of an Australian court decision. Silva said SLC has intervened in the legal process and a ruling is expected. Gunathilaka faces sexual assault charges by a 29-year-old woman in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

He was arrested and charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent.

The Sri Lankan cricketer, aged 31 years, had met the woman victim via a dating app.

Following several days of communicating online, the pair had agreed to meet in person at the Opera Bar in Sydney, after which they proceeded to the victim’s residence located in Rose Bay.

Gunathilaka had allegedly refused to use protection and choked the victim prior to sexual intercourse.

Former SLC chief legal officer Chanaka Senanayake said a bail application was dismissed in court yesterday due to it being a Sunday.

Gunathilaka’s legal representative Ananda Amaranath is confident Gunathilaka will be bailed out at a second hearing this morning.

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