Kandy HC Judge issues notice on AG, police

By L.B. Senaratne

Kandy High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke issued notice returnable December 6, 2011, on the Attorney General and the Peradeniya Police in connection with a bail application filed by Attorney-at-Law Sudath Karavita on behalf of four undergraduates of the University of Peradeniya who are in remand. Two of them who are members of the Sangha are in their final year.

The undergraduates were remanded for their alleged unruly behaviour when Minister of Higher Education, S.B. Dissanayake visited the University of Peradeniya in 2010, for the opening of an administrative building.

In his bail application, Counsel Karavita submitted to court that the undergraduates were remanded on a report submitted to the Kandy Magistrate by the University of Peradeniya, and later released on a bail application submitted to High Court Judge Padman Surasena.

Counsel Karavita submitted to court that a further report was filed in June 2011, where it was alleged that these four undergraduates, who are now in remand, had violated section 4 of the Anti Ragging Act. He submitted that, consequent to this report, the four undergraduates surrendered before Kandy Chief Magistrate Udaya Karaliyadde on September 29, when these suspect undergraduates were ordered to appear before the Peradeniya Police on October 30 and make a statement.

Police alleged that these undergraduates were on video footage, as having been at the scene of the incident, where a group of students had been unruly towards Minister of Higher Education, S.B. Dissanayake. However, Counsel stated that these undergraduates, having noticed a commotion, had gone to the spot through curiosity, but were not involved in any way in the unruly incident.

The Kandy Chief Magistrate remanded the four undergraduates who are now seeking enlargement on bail through their Counsel. Counsel Sudat Karavita also submitted to court that if these undergraduates remained in remand they would come under the influence of other criminals.

Temple trustee fails to appear in court in Sri Pada glass dagoba case

By L. B. Senaratne

A temple trustee charged with alleged fraud, amounting to Rs. 2.3 million, failed to appear in court this week, as ordered, because the investigating special police team had not received orders from above to arrest and remand the accused.

An officer of the Kandy Special Crimes Investigation Branch told court that an order from their superior officers was required as the case straddled two areas of police administration. The charge relates to the unauthorised collection of money for the construction of a glass dagoba on the sacred mountain Sri Pada. The monk charged is the Ven. Dhampala Seelananda Thera, Trustee of the Sacred Sri Pada (Samankuta).

The Kandy Police are acting on a complaint lodged by the Ven. Panditha Kollanawe Shri Shanthi Vijaya Thera, president of the Purana Samanagiri Surakeemaya Eksath Sanvidana, of Sabaragamuwa Province. The organisation oversees all religious and other activities relating to Samana Giri, or Sri Pada.

Ruk Ropana rehabilitates Puttalam’s mangroves

Text and pix by Padma Kumari Kankanamge

Puttalam district’s Ruk Ropana programme on the theme “Haritha Ratak-Deyata Kethak”, was launced on November 15, at Kalpitiya, on a grand scale. District Secretary Kingsley Fernando was the chief guest at this function, where over 300 students planted 15,000 plants, to celebrate the programme.

The mangrove area of Seththupitiwadiya, Kekawadiya and Monothkumarama were devastated, and with it, rare plants such as Avicennia, Rhizopora Excoe Caria and the like were gone. Though this had been brought to the notice of the authorities, nothing had been done about it.

To make up for the loss of mangroves, 15,000 new plants were introduced during this campaign under the Haritha Ratak programme.

JVP leader leaves for Europe

Janatha Vimukthi Perumana (JVP) leader Somawansa Amarasinghe left the country yesterday morning to attend several ‘Illwiruwa’ commemoration ceremonies being organized by the party committees in several countries.

Mr. Amarasinghe will participate in ‘Illwiruwa’ commemoration ceremonies in Copenhagen, Denmark today, Stockholm in Sweden on the 23rd, Nicosia in Cyprus on the 25th, London on the 26th and Birmingham on the 27th, a spokesperson for the party said.

JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva is already in Rome to participate in ‘Illwiruwa’ commemoration ceremonies organized by JVP party committees in Italy.

New President of the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians

The induction of the new President of the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians took place yesterday. In the picture the new President Prof Asvini D. Fernando (left) is seen with the outgoing President Prof Deepthi Samarage. Pic by Indika Handuwala

Earthquake had no impact on Lanka

The 4.7 magnitude earthquake reported yesterday evening in the Laccadive Sea, 341 kilometres southwest of Colombo and 260 km off Galle has had no impact on Sri Lanka, according to the Disaster Management Centre.

A spokesman said the earthquake occurred in the Laccadive Sea at a depth of 10 kilometres, near the Maldive Islands.

Pallai-Kankesanthurai rail track to be restored with Indian aid

Project to cost US $149.30 million

The Pallai-Kankesanthurai railway line a--stretch of 56 km-- in the Northern Province is to be restored with Indian assistance amounting to US $149.30. The track is expected to be completed within two years of commencement .

The project will be funded as part of the US $800 million Line of Credit provided by the Indian Government on concessional terms. The agreement An agreement for the restoration of the 56 km Pallai-Kankesanthurai railway line was signed last Friday.

The General Manager Sri Lanka Railways B.A.P. Ariyarathna, Managing Director IRCON ( a company incorporated by the Ministry of Railways, Government of India ), Railways Minister Kumara Welgama, the High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha, Secretary to the Ministry of Transport Dhammika Perera and A.P. Mishra, an official from the Ministry of Railways, Government of India participated at the ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony Minister Welgama thanked the Government of India for providing assistance to restore the northern line.

He said the re-laying of the line would enable the resumption of the Yal Devi express service and in this manner enhancing connectivity with northern Sri Lanka in addition to increasing economic opportunities.
The High Commissioner stressed work on implementation of the three contracts signed earlier between IRCON and Sri Lanka Railways, re the construction of rail-links on the Omanthai-Pallai, Medawachchiya-Madhu and Madhu-Talaimannar sectors were progressing smoothly.

He added other ongoing projects like repairs to the Kankesanthurai harbour and restoration of the ferry service between Rameswaram (India) and Talaimannar, would improve ties and bilateral trade between the two countries.

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