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Expert committee on memorialization hands over report 

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The Expert Committee appointed to make recommendations to commemorate those who died as a result of the armed conflict, political unrest, or civil disturbances in Sri Lanka during the period 1983-2009 handed over its report to the President recently, at the Presidential Secretariat. These recommendations are as a means of healing and promoting reconciliation among communities.

The Expert Committee that was appointed by the President on a Cabinet decision was chaired by Prof. Emeritus Jagath Weerasinghe, with members comprising Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara (University of Visual and Performing Arts), Prof. Farzana F Haniffa (University of Colombo), Prof. T Sanathanan (University of Jaffna), Thushari Suriyaarachchi (Acting Director General, Office of National Unity & Reconciliation – ONUR), and  Mahinda Withanaarachchi (Additional Director General, Urban Development Authority).

During the past few months, the Committee conducted public consultation sessions in the districts of Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, and Kurunegala and also consulted experts in the field of reconciliation. These public sessions were organized in coordination with the National Integration Coordinating Officers of ONUR representing the relevant Districts. The public sessions provided a free and open forum to express aspirations and grievances related to community healing and reconciliation.

The Expert Committee recognizes the right to memorialize and reveals in its Report that various groups and individuals have been engaging with the question of memorialization and reconciliation in different ways. This constitutes a rich body of work that should be made part of the attempt to record, comment, or otherwise engage with the country’s conflict related past.

The Committee has recommended, among others, a centrally located iconic building as a repository of artistic and cultural expressions associated with the conflict and reconciliation efforts in  Sri Lanka, with the aim of nurturing collective commitment for non-recurrence and promoting community healing and reconciliation among all Sri Lankans.

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Prasanna urges Ranil to declare candidacy promptly

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During a spirited rally in Kadawatha today, Minister Prasanna Ranatunga passionately urged President Ranil Wickremesinghe to promptly announce his candidacy for the presidency within the upcoming week.

“The people of Gampaha eagerly await your decision. Please do not delay any further in declaring your intention to contest,” Minister Ranatunga urged with conviction.

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Harin awards Rs. 1M to Olympic athletes

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Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Harin Fernando has awarded financial sponsorship cheques of Rs. 1 million each to six athletes participating in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. 

Additionally, prize money totaling Rs. 1280 lakh was distributed to athletes and coaches who secured medals and top-eight positions in the last Asian and Paralympic Games in Hangzhou, China.

Young sprinter Tharushi was among the highly rewarded, receiving Rs. 15 million for her Asian Games gold medal along with another Rs. 2.5 million for her relay medal.

Minister Fernando emphasized the significance of encouraging athletes even amidst the country’s financial crisis. 

He expressed his commitment to promoting sports and highlighted the importance of discipline in representing Sri Lanka. He urged athletes to dedicate themselves to achieving victory, meeting the high expectations of the nation.

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Former INSSSL Director General Asanka Abeygunasekara arrested

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The former Director General of the Institute of National Security Studies of Sri Lanka (INSSSL) Asanka Abeygunasekara has been arrested by police.

Abeygunasekara, against whom there was a pending open warrant over a case filed by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake this morning (21), police said.

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