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Conspiracy to provoke Buddhists? Dilith also accused

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Police have launched a special investigation to find out whether there is a planned conspiracy to provoke Buddhists by insulting the Buddha, the “Aruna” newspaper reported.

The newspaper said that this investigation has been initiated following the alleged insulting statement made by Pastor Jerome Fernando and Natasha Edrisooriya.

Government sources said that the government led by President Ranil Wickremesinghe is paying special attention to this matter and that a special discussion will be held in this regard under the chairmanship of the President today (29).

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandana Wickramaratne has instructed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to carry out an impartial investigation regarding the two incidents related to the statements made by Fernando and Edirisooriya.

There was great uproar among the Buddhists following the statement made by Pastor Fernando who has fled the country since.

When the CID was investigating this incident, a standup comedian by the name Natasha Edirisooriya, who hosted a comedy programme called ‘Modabhimanaya’ at a popular school in Colombo, had made several statements allegedly insulting the Buddha.

The woman in question was arrested by the CID on Saturday night at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayake when she was about to travel to Singapore.

Edirisooriya, who is under the CID custody, was ordered to be remanded until June 7 after being produced in the Fort Magistrate’s Court yesterday (28).

However, she has told the CID that her statement was not a deliberate one. She has also apologized if her remarks had offended any Buddhist.

Dilith also accused

Meanwhile, people have expressed their opinions on social media platforms saying that an independent investigation should be launched into Derana TV and Aruna Newspapers Chairman Dilith Jayaweera and Samantabhadra Thera as well for making similar statements some time ago.

However, opposing views have been raised whether this is a plot to arrest Jayaweera since he has expressed willingness to contest the upcoming presidential election.

Facebook posts posted against Mr. Jayaweera.

Meanwhile, Derana TV presenter Sankha Amarjit Perera has also been blamed for criticizing Natasha by highlighting her arrest without saying a word about Derana Chairman who had allegedly made similar statements insulting Buddhism.

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“14.3% Surge in new HIV infections in 2023, reveals national program”

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The National Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS Prevention Program states that the reporting of new HIV infections has increased by 14.3 percent.

This is higher in 2023 compared to 2022, director, Dr. Janaki Vidanapathirana, community medicine specialist said.
She said that last year, 694 new HIV infected people were identified, most of them were men, and the number is 611, which as percentage is 88%. Last year, 81 HIV infected women were reported, which is 11.7 percent as a percentage. It is also
reported that there are 4100 infected people in society.

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Sri Lanka to Host Digital Economy Summit in July

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The State Minister for Technology, Mr. Kanaka Herath, announced that the anticipated National Cyber Security Act will be introduced this year, followed by the establishment of the Cyber Security Authority.

Additionally, the State Minister underscored the preparations made for the Digital Economy Summit scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka by the end of July. The summit serves as a platform for fostering innovation, collaboration, and investment in digital technologies, thus propelling the country towards a more resilient and prosperous digital economy.

Speaking at a press briefing titled “Collective Path to a Stable Country” held at the President Media Centre (PMC) today (29),

State Minister Herath further said;

The digital economy, which previously stood at 4.73%, has now surpassed the 5% mark, indicating significant growth.

This expansion has notably bolstered the country’s overall economic resilience. To further enhance this momentum, preparations are underway for the Digital Economy Summit scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka at the end of July. The summit aims to attract both local and foreign investors, with collaborative efforts from foreign embassies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Investment Promotion facilitating this initiative.

Furthermore, a sum of Rs. 50 million derived from the profits of Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) was allocated to the treasury in the previous year. In line with President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s proposal, a new initiative has been launched to uplift small and medium-sized industrialists, who constitute 52% of the country’s economy. This endeavour seeks to empower such enterprises technologically, offering them Good manufacturing practice (GMP) and SLSI certifications. Additionally, plans are underway to facilitate access to low-interest loans through the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with the ultimate goal of guiding these small and medium-sized industrialists into the market.

(dailynews.lk)

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SC quashes Cabinet decision granting Paget Road residence to Maithripala

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The Supreme Court on Thursday (29 Feb.) quashed the Cabinet decision allowing former President Maithripala Sirisena to occupy his official residence at Paget Road in Colombo 07 even after he left office.

Accordingly, the court stated that an order will be issued invalidating the Cabinet decision taken on 15 October 2019 in this regard.

The relevant court order was issued by Supreme Court Justice Priyantha Jayawardena, with the concurrence of Justices Gamini Amarasekera and Kumudini Wickremasinghe, upon consideration of a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu.

The petition further sought a court order stating that former President Sirisena had violated several fundamental rights of the public by taking decisions pertaining to his own privileges and rights during his tenure as the President, thereby making him the head of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Announcing the verdict, Supreme Court Justice Priyantha Jayawardena highlighted that the relevant Cabinet decision made by Sirisena was, in fact, unlawful, given that he was both, the President and the head of the Cabinet of Ministers at the time the decision in question was taken.

In their petition, the CPA and Dr. Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu claimed that the residence in question is of great financial value to the country, and thereby stated that such an allocation for a former President was irrational, illegal and arbitrary, and also violated several fundamental rights of the country’s citizens including that of the right to equality.

(adaderana.lk)

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