Indian woman files case to bring father back from Sri Lanka

After a woman, in her habeas corpus petition filed before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday, claimed that her long missing father was identified among vagabonds in Sri Lanka through a Youtube video, the court ordered notice to the Centre and State, The Hindu newspaper reported.A Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and B. Pugalendhi ordered notice to the respondents and adjourned the case till August 14. However, after a lapse of 21 years, in March 2019, one of the family members, while viewing a video on Youtube about an Indian vagabond living in Colombo, identified him to be Barathan.Claiming the man to be her father, the petitioner sought a direction to the Centre and State to take appropriate steps to bring him back. She said the family later learnt that the owner of the vessel had made a representation to the State government stating that four members of his crew were held captive in Sri Lanka. In 1998, a communication was received by the owner of the boat that necessary steps were being taken to bring them back. The petitioner, Saravanasundari Ramesh of Rameswaram, said her father S. Barathan went missing in 1996 after the boat in which he set sail went missing. The family was informed that the boat had sunk and her father was dead. read more

No evidence to back any allegation against Dr Shafi

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) informed the Parliament Select Committee on the Easter Sunday attacks today that there is no evidence to back the allegations against Dr. Mohamed Shafi.Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Director Shani Abeysekera told the PSC that there is no evidence to prove that the Kurunegala doctor performed illegal sterilization surgeries or has links to terrorist activities. Abeysekera said that the CID had recorded statements from nurses and doctors who had assisted Dr. Shafi during cesarean operations he had carried out. Dr. Mohamed Shafi was arrested and remanded over the allegations against him. However non of them claimed that he had done anything illegal during the cesarean operations.The CID has already informed court that there is no evidence to prove the allegations against Dr. Shafi. Meanwhile, Abeysekera said that his image and that of his family had been tarnished by some people, including lawyers and monks as a result of the investigations being carried out by the CID in the case. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Close associate of Makandure Madush arrested

The suspect was identified as Lantuwahandi Sanjeewa Pushpa Kumara. A close associate of Makandure Madush and Kanjipani Imran has been arrested.The Colombo Crimes Division arrested the suspect in Aluthgama, the Police said.

Foreign Minister rejects concerns over visit by Special Rapporteur

“The idea of welcoming such visits is to have a transparent process in place whereby the Government of Sri Lanka hopes to engage with the international community, including the UN, in a spirit of openness and dialogue,” the Foreign Minister said. He said that it was in this backdrop that the Actg. Secretary/ Foreign Affairs, addressed the letter to Secretary/ Ministry of Justice, Secretary/ Ministry of Defence and Attorney General, mentioning the cases. The purpose was to alert these institutions on the possibility of the Special Rapporteur raising issues regarding the particular cases.“It would be noted from the letter from Actg. Secretary/ Foreign Affairs that nowhere has it been recommended that the appointment sought with Hon. Chief Justice and Hon. Judges of the High Court in Colombo be granted. The letter only conveyed the wish of the Special Rapporteur for these appointments,” Marapana said.Similarly, he said nowhere in the Foreign Ministry letter it is stated that the cases will be discussed, but only alerted the institutions concerned that it may be discussed. This was consequent to the stakeholder meeting held on 5 July before the visit took place. Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana today rejected concerns raised over the visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on the freedom of assembly and of association, Clément Nyaletsossi Voulé.Marapana specifically rejected the concerns raised over the action taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in conveying a request for a meeting for the Special Rapporteur with the Chief Justice and Judges of the Colombo High Court. “At the above mentioned preparatory meeting,representatives from the Department of Police and Attorney General’s Department highlighted the possibility of the visiting Special Rapporteur bringing up issues mentioned in the Foreign Ministry letter addressed to Secretary/ Ministry of Justice. The Attorney General’s Department undertook the task of providing updates on such cases,” the Foreign Minister said. The Foreign Minister said that the visit of the Special Rapporteur on the freedom of assembly and of association which is currently underway is part of similar visits undertaken by UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders at the invitation of the Government of Sri Lanka. With respect to the current visit by the Special Rapporteur which is in question, Marapana said that it is important to note that as with other such visits, the Ministry convened a preparatory meeting of stakeholders to discuss arrangements.Thereafter, the Ministry writes to the relevant institutions, conveying the request for formal appointments by the Special Rapporteur.In this instance, the same procedure was followed, including with respect to over 20 meetings sought, including with the Chief Justice and Judges of the Colombo High Court. The Minister asserted that the Foreign Ministry has followed proper procedure by communicating the requests for meetings by the Special Rapporteur through the Ministry of Justice and the Judicial Services Commission. The Judicial Services Commission having considered the Ministry letter consulted the Chief Justice who granted the appointment. He also said that this is not the first time that Sri Lanka has had a visit of a Special Rapporteur.“There have been 08 such visits which have taken place since 8 January 2015. In all such occasions, it has been the regular practice for the Foreign Ministry to coordinate the activities of the SR in Sri Lanka and to arrange meetings with the Government sector. Before each such visit is undertaken, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs routinely receives from the UN, a list of persons that the visiting Special Rapporteur wishes to meet,” he said. read more

Army Commander tells PSC Sri Lanka far behind in technology

Senanayake appeared before the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) on the Easter Sunday attacks for a second time today. Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake today noted that Sri Lanka was technologically far behind and needs to be more advanced.He particularly raised concerns over the technology available at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). He also said that there needs to be a system where anyone entering the country can be easily located using computer technology as opposed to having to refer to files.Senanayake said that even 10 years after the war the country has still not improved its security systems. On being questioned over the security at the BIA, the Commander said that there needs to be biometrics authentication at the airport. Former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Kapila Waidyaratne also appeared before the PSC today. read more

SC orders SLMC to register 82 SAITM medical graduates

The SLMC was recently ordered to register students with medical degrees from recognised foreign universities.The Supreme Court had last month ordered the SLMC to also register students who have passed the SLMC examination, for the medical profession in Sri Lanka. The Supreme Court today (30) ordered the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to register 82 SAITM medical graduates as medical practitioners within three weeks.The order was given after considering a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition submitted by three SAITM graduates. read more

Controversial Kurunegala DIG transferred

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had launched an investigation on the DIG over matters related to the ongoing investigation against Dr. Mohamad Shafi who was arrested by the Kurunegala Police over allegations of acquiring assets in a suspicious manner. Controversial Kurunegala Deputy Inspector of Police (DIG) Kithsiri Jayalath is to be transfered to Trincomalee.The National Police Commission (NPC) has approved the transfer of Jayalath to Trincomalee.

Ali Roshan granted bail in elephant racketeering case

When the case was heard today the court granted them bail. Samarappulige Niraj Roshan alias ‘Ali Roshan’ and seven others who were in remand over the alleged illegal possession of elephants, were today granted bail.The Attorney General had filed charges against ‘Ali Roshan’ and the other accused under the Offences against Public Property Act, with regard to the possession of four elephants without licenses and racketeering.

Singapore relaxes travel advise on Sri Lanka

“There is still the risk of terrorist cells existing and the State of Emergency remains in force. Security has been tightened at key installations including places of worship, tourist locations and airports,” the Singapore Government said. Singapore has relaxed its Travel Advisory on Sri Lanka from defer all non-essential travels to exercise caution, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said today.Meanwhile, the Singapore Government noted that since the Easter Sunday bomb attacks on 21 April 2019, there have been no further major security incidents in Sri Lanka. “You should avoid public places where there are large gatherings of people. Do stay in touch with your family and friends so that they know you are safe. You should also purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage,” the Singapore Government said. (Colombo Gazette) Singaporeans travelling to Sri Lanka have been advised to exercise caution and if they are already in Sri Lanka, they have been strongly advised to stay vigilant and take all necessary precautions for their personal safety, including to monitor the news closely and heed the instructions of the local authorities. read more

President told Bill against death penalty not legal

The President said that campaigning against the death penalty will only help drug dealers and criminal. (Colombo Gazette) He said that he was happy to note the legal advise he had received and that it will strengthen the campaign against drugs. The President said that the Attorney General had informed him that a private member’s Bill submitted to Parliament by a Government member is not legal. President Maithripala Sirisena says he has been told that the Bill against the death penalty is not legal.Speaking at an event today, the President said that he had obtained legal advise on the Bill and he was informed that the Bill was not legal. read more

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