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Committee to seek how best to integrate Hill Country Tamils into society

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The government will appoint a committee to seek how best to integrate the Tamils of Hill Country Origin further into the Sri Lankan Society, said President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

He said further that although some of the Tamils of Hill Country Origin had integrated successfully into the Sri Lankan society, some have failed and measures would be taken to assist them to do so.  

President Ranil Wickremesinghe made these observations addressing at the occasion of accepting a consignment of medicines donated by the Pondicherry Union Territory and people of India on the request of Ceylon Worker’s Congress (CWC) at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (30).  

The consignment of medicines was officially handed over to the President by Secretary General of the Ceylon Worker’s Congress (CWC) and Parliamentarian Jeewan Thondaman in memory of the late Mr. Saumyamoorthi Thondaman who passed away 23 years ago on October 30th. The consignment of medicines was subsequently handed over to Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella.

The President said that he would attend to ensure the development of schools in the plantation sector while the Ministry of Health would take over the hospitals in the plantation sector. He assured development in both these areas very soon.

Now the government is also encouraging building of houses and issuing lands to the people of Tamil origin in the Hill Country because they must have their own lands and a place to live in just like other groups in the hill country, the President added.

He said further, steps would be taken to review the plantation economy that could be affected by people leaving the plantation areas after being educated.  As people are being educated, more and more are leaving the plantation sector.  The government has to find jobs for them as well as for other Sinhalese and Muslims who leave their areas to settle elsewhere. So, the government has to look at the future of the groups that would continue to live in the plantation sector and on how to improve the plantation economy as they cannot be allowed to live in a subsistence level.

He said further that these issues would be gradually resolved in the coming years as the government resolves the whole ethnic problem in Sri Lanka.

He assured that the government would take further measures to ensure that Tamil people of Hill Country Origin would have the same facilities as other people in the country as realized and worked on under late President J R Jayawardena’s tenure.  

He also requested all leaders of the Hill Country Tamils to join in this endeavor to ensure that all benefits of Sri Lankan citizenship is enjoyed by the people in the Hill Country of Tamil Origin.

The President also appreciated the service rendered by late Thondaman and said he was one of the most outstanding leaders of the 20th century in Sri Lanka as through nonviolence he achieved citizenship for all the people of Indian Origin who stayed back after the Srima-Shasthri Pact. The President said that he got citizenship for some people who should have gone under Srima-Shastri Pact but decided to stay back in Sri Lanka.

Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake, a representative from the Indian High Commission, several members of CWC including Senthil Thondaman were present at the occasion.

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Armed gang robs Police OIC’s house

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An armed gang came in motorcycles ransacked a residence of an Officer In-Charge (OIC) of the Kalutara North Police this afternoon.

Police said the armed gang which broke into the house of the OIC, inspector Nishan Kumara of the minor complaints unit of Kalutara North at Welipenna reportedly stole two mobile phones and gold jewelry and fled.

The IP was not at home at the time of the robbery, but his wife who was at home was attacked by the robbers.  She was injured in the attack.

It was reported that robbers were carrying T-56 firearm.

Several police teams are investigating the incident.

(dailymirror.lk)

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Schoolboy dies after drowning in swimming pool

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A 14-year-old schoolboy who was swimming in the swimming pool in a hotel at Boralassa, Wennappuwa had drowned.

Police said the victim, a grade 10 schoolboy from Galagedara and was studying in a school in Sandalankawa.

It has been revealed that the schoolboy was swimming in the pool with fellow students while on an excursion with a group of 80 schoolchildren from a tution class in Makandura.

The Wennappuwa Police are conducting further investigations.

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Applying for passports online from next year

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The Immigration and Emigration Department has planned to accept applications to issue passports online starting in January next year, the department’s IT controller Champika Ramawickrama said.

Through the program, an applicant will be able to submit his/her application to the department from the comfort of his home.

He went on to say that the applicant only needs to come to the department to attend to biometric formalities, such as finger prints.

For that, the department has decided to establish 50 front offices counters in each district to obtain fingerprints, Ramawickrama said.

He stated that 50 Divisional Secretariat Offices were chosen from each district for this purpose.

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