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Ballot paper printing not yet started?

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Although the distribution of postal ballots should commence on February 15, the Government Printing Department sources said that not a single ballot paper has been printed so far.

Meanwhile, an official of the Election Commission has informed a senior official of the Government Press that he will complain to the court if the ballot papers are not printed.

It is reported that there was an argument in this regard during a discussion held last Friday between Elections Commissioner General Saman Sri Ratnayake and the Government Printer.

The Election Commission has not made any payment for the printing work done so far to the Government Press.

It said the printing of ballot papers should be commenced since the Supreme Court has given an order to go ahead with the election.

Lies of the Election Commission

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has informed the divisional secretaries and politicians that the printing of ballot papers has commenced.

Stocks of paper have been allocated for printing of ballot papers, computer designs (artwork) have been completed but no ballot papers have been printed so far.

It has been the tradition for the election commission to settle the payments required for printing of ballot papers once the election has been held.

However, it is reported that only part of the money given by the Treasury and the candidate’s bail money has been sent to the government press.

“Rs.40mn given to print ballot papers which is enough only for 10 districts”

A trade union member of the government printing department has told the media that an inquiry has been made from the Attorney General asking if ballot papers should be printed on Friday.

“The press has still not received an answer. The printing will commence tomorrow once the Attorney General gives his opinion,” he said.

A number of government officials have been called by the Elections Commissioner General to discuss holding the election on credit terms, but none of them have attended the meeting.

It is against this backdrop that certain media have reported that the postal voting will not be held as planned on February 22, 23, 24 due to the lack of financial allocations for the poll.

Enough paper and ink for the election!

Meanwhile, it was reported that the reports published in some media that the government press does not have necessary paper and ink for the printing works related to the local government elections are false.

As ballot papers are printed using paper with security watermarks only in a presidential election and a general election, 80gsm normal white paper is used for the printing of provincial council and local government elections’ ballots papers. The government printing department has more than enough such paper and ink, it was reported.

In this situation, a printing department official emphasized that there is no need to buy paper and ink immediately for local government election activities.

Source – The Leader

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Expressways generate whopping income during Avurudu season

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The expressways have generated an income of Rs. 159,802,950 from April 10 – 13, Road Development Authority (RDA) says.

According to the Director of Expressway Operation Maintenance and Management Division – R.A.D. Kahatapitiya.

Over 4,350,000 vehicles have used the expressways during this period, he has added.
As many as 366,000 vehicles have used the expressways during this three-day period.

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Special transport arrangements to those returning to Colombo

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Special train services are in operation from this evening (April 14) for people to return to Colombo after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year holidays, the Railways Department said.

Deputy General Manager of Sri Lanka Railways –  N.J. Indipolage stated that accordingly, eight additional train journeys will be in operation from Badulla, Galle and Beliatta railway stations to Colombo Fort.

The Department of Railways also mentioned that the office trains will be operational as per usual from April 16.

Meanwhile, the National Transport Commission has said that special buses will be deployed to transport those who had gone to their hometowns during the New Year.
Bus associations have also stated that buses to Colombo will be operational.

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Local multi-day fishing trawler seized with ICE & heroin worth over Rs. 3798 Mn.

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In another successful intelligence operation of the Sri Lanka Navy, a local multi-day fishing trawler (01) carrying a large haul of narcotics, with 06 suspects aboard, were intercepted about 133 nautical miles (about 246 km) off Dondra, south of Sri Lanka. 

The operation also resulted in the seizure of another local one-day fishing trawler (01) with 04 suspects, believed to have been there to fetch the consignment of narcotics mid-sea. The operation was mounted by deploying Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship (SLCG) Samudraraksha which made the apprehension on 12th April 2024.

 The haul of narcotics included about 179kg and 906g of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) and about 83kg and 582g of heroin (with their packages). The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera arrived at the Galle Harbour on 13th April to inspect the consignment of narcotics held in this operation.
The Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard regularly patrol and conduct search operations along the island’s coast to prevent illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, stemming via sea routes.

During this dedicated operation based on naval intelligence, a suspicious multi-day fishing trawler, which was about 133 nautical miles (246 km) off the south coast of the island, was intercepted and searched by SLCG Samudraraksha. As the fishing trawler was suspected of smuggling a haul of crystal methamphetamine and heroin in 17 sacks, during the search, the narcotic-carrying trawler was held on 12th April, with 06 suspects aboard.

Additionally, SLCG Samudraraksha inspected another local one-day fishing trawler, which was plying suspiciously in the sea area. During the inspection, 04 suspects were apprehended, along with the trawler, on suspicion of attempting to exchange narcotics with the multi-day trawler previously seized.

Following a thorough search of the suspicious multi-day fishing trawler at the Galle Harbour on 13th April, authorities recovered 17 sacks containing crystal methamphetamine and heroin. The haul of crystal methamphetamine, weighing about 179kg and 906g (including packages), were in 129 packages, stuffed in 13 sacks and the stash of heroin, weighing about 83kg and 582g (including packages), were in 76 packages, contained in 04 sacks. The consignment of narcotics, along with the 06 suspects and the multi-day fishing trawler was handed over to the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) for onward legal action.

Moreover, the 04 individuals, along with the one-day fishing trawler, which were seized on suspicion of being involved in a drug exchange at sea, were also handed over to PNB for further legal action.

The individuals held in the operation are known to reside in the Weligama, Imaduwa, and Galle areas, ranging in age from 23 to 54 years old. Meanwhile, the gross street value of the consignment of drugs seized during this operation is believed to be more than Rs. 3798 million.

Including the recent confiscation, the Sri Lanka Navy has held drugs with a gross street value of over Rs. 9300 million during operations mounted so far in 2024. The Sri Lanka Navy – the country’s first line of defence is committed to coordinating with other law enforcement authorities, to carry out anti-drug operations of this nature in order to foil drug smuggling attempts being made in the guise of fishing.

(navy.lk)

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