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Ferry service to be launched between India & SL

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Steps have been taken to launch a passenger ferry service between South India and Kankesanthurai, Trincomalee and Colombo Ports in Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation said.

A special discussion was held at the ministry’s auditorium yesterday (13) under the chairmanship of Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva in this regard.

Minister de Silva said that passenger ferry services between Kankesanthurai and Pondicherry would be commenced in January as the first step of this programme and the approval of the Indian Government has already been received.

The minister said that since a large number of Indians are engaged in business activities in the Jaffna peninsula, the country will be able to earn foreign exchange by launching the passenger ferry services, and it will also be a great relief to the Sri Lankan pilgrims visiting Bodh Gaya.

The ship owners have meanwhile pointed out that the existing infrastructure facilities at the ports should be improved before launching the ferry services.

Accordingly, Minister de Silva has instructed the Ministry Secretary to take necessary steps to improve infrastructure facilities at the ports related to Customs, Immigration and Emigration activities and to proceed according to the government’s approved procurement process.

The ship owners who participated in the discussion had said that ferries, which can carry 300 or 400 passengers at a time, take about 3 and half hours to complete one journey.

The ferry owners have said US$ 60 would be charged per passenger for one journey and they can carry 100 kg of luggage.

Meanwhile, those who were present at the meeting had commented how this ferry service will take less time to complete its journey than the time it takes to visit Badulla, which is Minister de Silva’s constituency, from Colombo.

Generally it takes around 8 hours to travel from Colombo to Badulla by bus.

Secretary of the Ministry K.D.S. Ruwanchandra, Controller General of Immigration Department I.S.H.J. Ilukpitiya, Commander Senaka Wahala representing the Navy and a group of passenger vessel owners also participated in the meeting.

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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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