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51 more CEB employees interdicted amidst protests

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A total of 51 more employees of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) have been interdicted for obstructing the services by refusing to accept bill payments from consumers during their three-day protests staged against the proposed restructuring of the state-owned electricity supplier.

CEB trade union members engaged in a series of protests for three days from January 03 – 05, challenging the government’s Bill to restructure the Board and the new Electricity Bill.

On Friday (Jan.15), the CEB suspended 15 clerical staff members in charge of the cash counters for inconveniencing the customers, who had come to pay their bills, by closing the windows of the counters and refraining from accepting payments.

Accordingly, 66 employees in total remain interdicted.

The CEB says further inquiries are underway to identify other employees who refrained from performing their duties and disrupted the services amidst the trade union action.

Ahead of the trade union action, the CEB management, by way of a circular, had cancelled the leave of all employees with effect from January 02. However, in case of an urgent matter, the employees were allowed to take a leave, with the approval of an executive officer attached to the respective division or branch.

Meanwhile, Extraordinary Gazette No.2363.02 published on December 18, 2023, on the instructions of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, had declared all services connected to the electricity supply as essential public services.

After the three-day trade union action was launched, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera instructed the CEB management to suspend and take appropriate disciplinary action against the employees disrupting the services, or acting in violation of the guidelines.

(adaderana.lk)

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Political parties urged to publish their National Socio-economic Recovery Programmes 

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A public appeal has been made to several mainstream political party leaders to  immediately publish their respective National Socio-economic Recovery Programmes for social discourse.

The request has been formally addressed to the political party leaders of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), the National People’s Power (NPP), United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC).

Click here for the full context of the public appeal

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Govt. to provide free fertilizer to all paddy farmers

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Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries – Mahinda Amaraweera has said that the government has decided to provide MOP fertilizer free of charge to all the paddy farmers in Sri Lanka during the 2024/25 Maha season and 2025/26 Maha season.

Sri Lanka will thus receive 55,000 metric tons of MOP fertilizer as requested by the government from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

The Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, expressed his views on this in a meeting held in Tissamaharama today (June 24).

(dailynews.lk)

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8 arrested over gang rape of teen, remanded

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Eight youths who were arrested in connection with the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in the Jalthara area of Hanwella, have been remanded until June 28.

The suspects were produced before the Homagama Acting Magistrate Padmasiri Jayawardena today (June 24).

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