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Emergency Call Service to aid fishermen in distress

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The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Amendment) Bill submitted to amend the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act No. 2 of 1996 was approved by the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Food Security and Agriculture.

This approval was given when the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Food Security and Agriculture met in Parliament recently under the chairmanship of MP D. Weerasinghe.

The meeting was attended by a group of officials including the Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and youth representatives appointed for the Sectoral Oversight Committee.

In the case of illegal, unreported and informal fishing, only the license holder is found guilty under existing legal provisions. But the Fisheries Act has not interpreted who the license holder is. Due to this, obstacles have arisen in taking legal action.

Officials said that through the new amendments, in addition to the boat owner, skipper of the boat, any person onboard are also guilty of that offence. The officials added that fishermen associations have also requested to amend these provisions.

The Bill was challenged in the Supreme Court following the first reading in Parliament on July 5, 2023 by Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda.
Accordingly, according to the determination given by the Supreme Court, the amendments to be presented in the committee of the Bill were also discussed and approved.

Furthermore, when fishing boats are involved in accidents, there are no officials appointed by the ministry to provide immediate relief to the victims and take legal action, MP Weerasinghe pointed out.
Officials said that there are fisheries offices in 15 coastal districts for which fisheries inspectors and development officers have been appointed. Also, the officials pointed out that the support of the Navy will be obtained in all areas. However, since people coming from other areas may not know the fisheries inspectors of the respective area, the chairman of the committee recommended that steps be taken to introduce an Emergency Call Service that fishermen in any area can call immediately in case of accidents.

Apart from this, matters related to granting permission for temporary rest areas for fishermen built along the coast, quality of fishing boats, insurance for boats and fresh water fish farming were also discussed.

MPs Sudath Manjula, Kapila Athukorala, Kins Nelson and Lalith Waranakumara participated in the meeting.

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Cricket equipment distributed to 67 schools in the Gampaha district

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With the aim of developing cricket in the schools of the Gampaha district, cricket equipment was distributed to 67 schools yesterday (July 15) at the Presidential Secretariat. 

This event was held under the patronage of Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka, the Chief of Staff to the President and the President’s Senior Adviser on National Security.

The program was organized by the Youth Vision 2048 organization and the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, following the vision of President Ranil Wickremesinghe. It was carried out under the full guidance and supervision of Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka.

In his address, Mr. Ratnayaka emphasized the importance of school cricket in nurturing talented players for the national level. He also highlighted President Wickremesinghe’s commitment over the past two years to rebuilding the country’s economy. The President aims to implement an economic program that ensures a prosperous future for the country’s children within a corruption-free framework.

Mr. Ruwan Wijewardena, Presidential Adviser on Climate Change, also spoke at the event, expressing his appreciation for all those contributing to the development of future generations’ sports skills.

President of Youth Affairs and Sustainable Development Director Sachira Sarathchandra, Youth Vision 2048 Advisor Dr. Lasantha Gunawardena, Youth Vision 2048 President Dan Poddiwela, along with officials and principals from the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, sports instructors, and students, were present at the event.

(President’s Media Division)

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Maithri, Pujith, Nilantha given time till August 30 to finish payments

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The Supreme Court yesterday ordered former President Maithripala Sirisena, former IGP Pujith Jayasundara and former Chief of State Intelligence Service, DIG Nilantha Jayawardena to pay all the compensations stipulated by the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Easter Sunday terror attacks before August 30.

If they fail to pay the amount before that date, the Attorney General was ordered to take the necessary steps to prosecute them before September 20 for contempt of Court for not acting according to the judgement.

Also, according to the decision of the Supreme Court, the National Police Commission was ordered to take the necessary steps to conduct a disciplinary investigation against the former head of the State Intelligence Service Nilantha Jayawardena and report to the Court about its progress on September 20 through a motion.

Meanwhile, the Court was informed that out of the Rs. 75 million ordered by the Court, former IGP Pujith Jayasundera has paid only Rs. 1.9 million.

The Court was further informed that then Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando has paid the total amount of compensation ordered by the Supreme Court.

President’s Counsel Faizer Mustapha, appearing for Maithripala Sirisena, informed the Supreme Court that his client has already paid Rs. 58 million in compensation to the victims and further requested for six years to pay the remaining Rs. 42 million in equal installments.

(dailynews.lk)

(This story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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This week’s Cabinet decisions

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A number of decisions have been taken at the Cabinet meeting held yesterday (July 15).

The decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers are as follows :

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