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Gota re-summoned in Lalith-Kugan case

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The Supreme Court today (19) informed the petitioner’s counsel to re-issue notices to former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the kidnapping of two human rights activists Lalith Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganandan in 2011.

A fresh petition has been filed requesting to annul the Court of Appeal’s decision that former President Rajapaksa cannot be called to testify in the trial before the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court. It was taken up before the Supreme Court Judge-bench comprising of Justices Gamini Amarasekara, Yasantha Kodagoda and A. H. M. D. Nawaz. 

Mr. Nuwan Bopage, the counsel who appeared for the petitioners, presented the facts in the court and informed that a notice has been sent to Mr. Rajapaksa, who is named as a respondent in the petition.

However, no lawyer appeared for Mr. Rajapaksa.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court informed the counsel of the petitioner to issue a notice to Mr. Rajapaksa again and ordered that the petition be called on December 15th.

The Jaffna Magistrate’s Court issued a notice to Mr. Rajapaksa, to appear on September 27, 2019 to testify in connection with a habeas corpus complaint filed by the relatives of Mr.Weeraraj and Mr. Muruganandan over their disappearance on December 10, 2011. Mr. Rajapaksa was the Defence Secretary in 2011. 

Mr.  Rajapaksa filed a motion in the Court of Appeal requesting an order suspending the Jaffna Magistrate’s decision citing that he could not visit the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court and give evidence due to threats to his life. 

The Appeal Court which heard the case at that time ruled that Mr. Rajapaksa could not be summoned to testify since he had been elected the President.

The appeal petition has been submitted to the Supreme Court by the relatives of the disappeared requesting that the decision of the Court of Appeal is against the law. They said that Mr. Rajapaksa has now relinquished the office as the President and therefore sought an order directing him to testify.

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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 (June 24).

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

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GoSL pledges to support upcoming Bora Conference

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The Sri Lankan government has pledged full support for the Bora community’s upcoming spiritual conference and annual convention.

Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, Sagala Ratnayaka, directed officials to ensure the event’s success during a meeting at the Presidential Secretariat.

The conference will be held at the Bambalapitiya Bora Mosque and the Sri Lanka Convention and Exhibition Centre from July 07 – 16.

This event will coincide with the Bora community’s spiritual conference in Karachi, Pakistan, and is expected to attract around fifteen thousand participants from various countries, including India.

The meeting highlighted the need for necessary infrastructure and facilities, particularly at the airport, to accommodate the large influx of attendees.

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8,000 UDA flat dwellers to get title deeds

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Urban Development and Housing Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said yesterday that arrangements have been made to provide title deeds to 8,000 residents of the apartments owned by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) next month, under the Government’s programme to provide title deeds to dwellers in such apartments in Colombo.

In addition, the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) has also planned to give 1,070 title deeds to dwellers living in apartments in Colombo.

He said that this programme will be implemented according to the pledge given by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in the last Budget that 50,000 Colombo flat owners will be given their title deeds.

According to the UDA, 14,559 units of the 22 housing complexes have been given to low-income people.

Accordingly, the granting of title deeds will be made focusing on UDA housing projects of Mihindu Senpura, Sirisara Garden, Methsara Garden, Lakmuthu Sewana, and Sirimuthu Garden under the first phase.

In addition, title deeds of Laksandha Sevana, Randiya Uyana, Lakmuthu Uyana, Muwadora Uyana, Siyapath Sevana, Puradora Sevana, Jayamaga Sevana, Mihijaya Sevana, Helamuthu Sevana, Laksetha Sevana and Lakhiru Sevana housing projects are to be given to its dwellers before the end of this year.

The NHDA will first issue the title deeds for the apartments that have been built in the Colombo Municipal Council areas.

Transferring of ownerships of these houses to dwellers has been delayed due to the problematic situation arising from certain related rules and regulations. The Minister emphasised that he has already discussed with the Attorney General and obtained the necessary advice in this regard.

Minister Ranatunga further stated that all Colombo flat owners will be given their title deeds before the end of this year.

After giving the deeds to the owners of these houses, it is expected to carry out maintenance and management of these houses by a joint management corporation which will be established with the representation of the resident population.

An amount of Rs. 2 billion has been allocated in the 2024 Budget for providing ‘Urumaya’ freehold deeds to all who are eligible to receive and confirm landownership in the next two months.

(dailynews.lk)

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

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