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Crush at Madagascar’s national stadium kills 13

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At least 13 people, including seven children, were killed in a crowd crush on Friday at a stadium in Madagascar’s capital of Antananarivo.

The crowd crush occurred at the entrance to the Barea stadium, where about 50,000 spectators had arrived to attend the opening ceremony of the Indian Ocean Island Games.

“So far, 13 people have been killed and 107 injured,” opposition MP Hanitra Razafimanantsoa said.

The Red Cross, which sent teams to the scene of the incident, added: “We don’t yet have the final list. Seven minors died.”

Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina, who was present at the opening ceremony, called for a minute’s silence.

“A tragic event occurred because there was pushing. There were injuries and deaths at the entrance,” he said in a televised speech.

TV images showed dazed and shocked people trying to locate their shoes piled among the objects lost in the crush. Other images from inside the stadium, shared on social media, showed the stands packed with spectators.

Prime Minister Christian Ntsay visited a hospital in Antananarivo where victims were taken.

The cause of the tragedy was not immediately known.

The Indian Ocean Island Games are a multidisciplinary competition that will be held in Madagascar until September 3.

They have been staged every four years in different islands in the south-west Indian Ocean for about 40 years. The previous event took place in Mauritius.

The Barea stadium, the largest on the island, suffered a similar disaster in 2019, when at least 16 people were killed and dozens injured during a concert marking the country’s national holiday. 

(The National News)

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Electricity tariffs reduced

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The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has approved a reduction of electricity tariffs by 22.5 per cent overall, PUCSL chairman Prof. Manjula Fernando said today (July 15).

The tariff revision, which will be effective from midnight today, is as follows :

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FR petition filed over Presidential Election dismissed with costs

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The Supreme Court has dismissed the Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed seeking an order to prevent holding of the Presidential Election as the 19th Amendment to the Constitution has not been properly passed in Parliament, subject to costs.

This verdict was issued when the relevant petition filed by Attorney-at-Law Aruna Laksiri was taken up for consideration today (15) before a Supreme Court judge bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justices Arjuna Obeysekara and Priyantha Fernando.

Accordingly, the court ordered the petition dismissed with costs of Rs 500,000 to be paid by the petitioner before July 31, 2024.

The petition argued that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was not properly passed in Parliament and therefore called for a referendum to ensure its proper passage.

The Election Commission and its members, the General Secretary of Parliament and the Attorney General had been named as respondents of this petition.

The petitioner claimed that through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, Article 70 of the Constitution has been amended to deprive the President of the power to dissolve an elected Parliament after one year has passed.

The petitioner asserted that the amendment has not been approved by a referendum, even though a Supreme Court bench ruled that the amendment should be referred to a referendum.

The petitioner pointed out that the amendment cannot be considered as a law because it has not been approved by a referendum and signed by the President.

Therefore, the petitioner had argued that it is wrong to continue to accept the 19th Amendment as a law.

(adaderana.lk)

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Sabry to visit Romania & Poland

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Foreign Minister Ali Sabry will pay official visits to Romania and Poland from 16 to 19 July 2024.  

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo, he will meet with his counterparts and other senior government ministers and officials.

Minister Sabry will also formally open the new Sri Lanka Embassy in Bucharest which commenced operation in 2023.

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