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Court rejects Keheliya’s intervention plea

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The Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court dismissed a request by former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella to intervene in the ongoing case related to the controversial Human Immunoglobulin procurement deal as an aggrieved party.

Magistrate Lochani Abeywickrema, in her decision, stated that the court and the Attorney General stands by the people.

The case filed over the controversial Human Immunoglobulin procurement deal was taken up at the Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court, and President’s Counsel U. R. De Silva appearing for Ex-Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella requested to intervene in the matter as an aggrieved party, or an unsatisfied party.

Deputy Solicitor General Lakmini Girihagama appearing for the Attorney General’s Department, objected to this request and noted that there is no reason for the Ex-Health Minister to be named as an aggrieved party or an unsatisfied party.

She pointed out that the aggrieved party or an unsatisfied party, in this case in the people of the Sri Lankan Republic.

Magistrate Lochani Abeywickrema pointed out that the court and the Attorney General appear for the unsatisfied people, and noted that counsel appearing for Keheliya Rambukwella can be seated in the court to observe the proceedings. 

Deputy Solicitor General Lakmini Girihagama pointed out that, given that several top officials from the Health Ministry are in the court dock, the responsibility in this matter directly falls on the Ex-Health Minister.

Therefore, she noted that allowing Keheliya Rambukwella to intervene as an aggrieved party in the maater, would raise concerns among the people with regard to the process of serving justice.

Deputy Solicitor General Lakmini Girihagama also appearing for the Criminal Investigations Department, made several startling revelations to the court. 

Among them was that the Medical Supplies Division maintained a stock of 9,500 Human Immunoglobulin sufficient for a month when the tender for 22,500 Human Immunoglobulin vials was awarded to the supplier in question. 

She also pointed out that the tender was awarded for Rs. 1 Billion, at a time when measures underway to obtain 75,000 Human Immunoglobulin vials from the World Health Organization.

Upon considering the submissions that were made, Former health Secretary Janaka Sri Chandragupta and six other suspects who are held in remand custody, were returned to remand custody until the 17th of January 2024. 

(News 1st)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by News 1st has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Fuel price revision likely tonight?

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A fuel price revision is likely to take place tonight (04), as per sources.

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) stated that although the fuel price was slated to be revised at the end of February, the price revision will possibly take place today.

The CPC amends the fuel prices monthly as per the pricing formula. Accordingly, the prices were last revised on January 31, where the prices of octane 92 petrol, octane 95 petrol, super diesel and kerosene were increased.

Against this backdrop, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued an Extraordinary Gazette declaring all services connected to the supply of electricity and the supply or distribution of petroleum products and fuel as essential services with effect from 03 March 2024. 

Accordingly, the proclamation states that the services specified have been declared as Essential Public Service considering it necessary that the services provided by any Public Corporation or Government Department or Local Authority or Co-operative Society or any branch thereof being a Department or Corporation or Local Authority or Co-operative Society, which is engaged in provision of the services specified, is essential to the life of the community and is likely to be impeded or interrupted.

In the meantime, the Fuel Distributors’ Association alleges that the CPC has taken steps to incur a usage fee of 35% of the monthly rebate amount received by the fuel distributors. President of the association Shelton Fernando claimed that through this action, it will not be possible for them to even meet the daily expenses for the distribution activities.(adaderana.lk)

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94th Battle of the Maroons ends in a draw (Pics)

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The 94th Battle of the Maroons between Ananda and Nalanda concluded in a draw at SSC grounds. 

Despite the draw, Ananda secured a first innings lead, having declared their first innings at 286 for 9 wickets in response to Nalanda’s first innings total of 277 for 8 wickets, which was declared on the first day.

In the second innings, Nalanda, batting at 120 for 3 wickets, maintained a cautious approach, and the match ended without either team pursuing a more aggressive strategy in their first innings.

Ananda’s all-rounder Kithma Withanaparhirana played a notable innings, scoring 76 runs in 92 balls with 11 fours and a six on the second day. 

However, the team fell short of a century, with number three batter Dinada Athalage contributing a significant knock of 71 runs in 165 balls with 9 fours.

Despite the draw, the match witnessed commendable performances from key players, with Nalanda skipper Sajitha Vithanage earning the Man of the Match award for his unbeaten century.

Both teams showcased sportsmanship in the annual encounter, and Nalanda retained the N.M. Perera Trophy, presented by former Nalandian legend Stanley Jayasinghe. 

The trophy has been a symbol of the prestigious Battle of the Maroons series.

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Term tests for Western province suspended

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The term tests for grade 10 and 11 in the Western province schools has been postponed after some of the question papers were shared on social media ahead of the examination.

A senior official said that the decision had been taken after complaints that several question papers had been leaked out before the examinations.

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