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Harak Kata, Kudu Salindu & 6 others arrested in Madagascar!

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Eight people including two of the top underworld criminals in the country’s drug trafficking trade Nadun Chinthaka Wickratamaratne alias Harak Kata and Salindu Malshitha Gunaratne alias Kudu Salindu have been arrested by security authorities in Madagascar on March 1.

According to a report published on Madagascar’s L’EXPRESS website on March 6, the suspects were arrested at Ivato International Airport in Madagascar.

Among them is a woman who claims to be Harak Kata’s wife, a Malagasy national.

According to the website, it is said that Harak Kata and others were arrested on March 1. Five others arrived at the country’s Nosy Be International Airport on February 12 in a private jet. 

According to local media reports, they were arrested on March 1 when they were leaving Madagascar.

At the time of arrest, Harak Kata had posed as a rich businessman on a business trip. The rest of the group including Kudu Salindu had appeared as bodyguards of Harak Kata.

According to the orders and police reports obtained by the courts of Sri Lanka, the Interpol have issued red notices against the underworld criminals including Harak Kata over murders, drug trafficking and weapon smuggling.

According to the red notice of the International Police, only Hark Kata has been clearly identified by the Madagascar security forces. Kudu Salindu has been identified through investigations.

According to local media reports, Harak Kata and others arrived at Ivato Airport in two luxury cars from the hotel they were staying in. Authorities had found more than 38 million in that country’s local currency in the possession of the woman who pretended to be Harak Kata’s wife. The amount has been confiscated.

Harak Kata distributes drugs in Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, Seychelles, Maldives and Madagascar. It is stated in the media reports that Harak Kata and others will be deported to Sri Lanka.

It has been learned through unofficial sources in Sri Lanka that there are other people involved in the drug network among the rest of the suspects.

However, the International Police Branch of the Criminal Investigation Department has not officially received information about this arrest.

Even the Police Narcotics Bureau, which had arranged to obtain red notices from the International Police against the suspects, had not received information about this.

A senior police officer stated that they would check information from Madagascar about this arrest through the International Police and confirm the facts about this arrest. The officer said that after confirming the facts, official discussions will be held with the country and necessary steps will be taken to bring the suspects to Sri Lanka.

The official added that a team from the CID may be sent to Madagascar to interrogate them and bring them back.

Earlier, Harak Kata was arrested by the Dubai Police according to an International Police Red Notice on August 11, 2022. 

At that time too, Kudu Salindu was with him and they had fake passports. 

They was released by the Dubai Police on October 3 since the legal documents required to deport him to Sri Lanka could not be properly completed on time.

Source: Daily News

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SLPP MP temporarily ordained as monk

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SLPP Kandy District MP – Gunatileke Rajapaksa has been temporarily ordained as a Buddhist monk at the historical Isipathanarama Temple in India.

He is now known as Ven. Harispathuwe Dhammarathana Thera.
His son – Sandakelum Rajapaksa, who is an engineer by profession, has also been ordained as Ven. Ampare Dhammaloka Thera.

The MP had reportedly decided to enter into the religious order after the recent death of his wife. He too, was recently hospitalised after falling ill.

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Court delays ruling on Online Safety Act challenge

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The Sri Lankan Supreme Court today indefinitely postponed its decision on whether to hear a fundamental rights petition challenging the Online SafetyAct No. 9 of 2024.

President’s Counsel and Jaffna District Member of Parliament M A Sumanthiran filed a fundamental rights application in the Supreme Court on 14th Feb., challenging the Speaker’s certification of the Online Safety Bill as having been enacted into law.

During the hearing, Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam presented five preliminary objections, arguing that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case since the Speaker has already signed the bill into law. 

He further emphasized that the legislature holds the sole authority to pass bills, and the court cannot intervene in that process.

Countering these arguments, Attorney-at-Law Suren Fernando, representing Sumanthiran, asserted that the petition aimed solely at the Speaker’s signing of the Act, which he claimed contravened previous Supreme Court pronouncements on related petitions. 

He emphasized the petitioner’s intention to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.

The three-judge bench, comprising Justices Priyantha Jayawardene, Shiran Gunaratne, and Achala Vengappuli, decided to postpone their decision on hearing the petition indefinitely. 

In his Petition, MP Sumanthiran claims that the government was seeking to enact the Bill without fully adhering the Supreme Court Determination, and that he had pointed out that the draft committee stage amendments would not sufficiently rectify the shortcomings, and provided his concerns in writing to the Speaker.

However, the Parliament had voted on the Bill prior to ensuring full compliance with the Determination, according to Sumanthiran.

The Petitioner claims that the Bill could have been passed by simple majority only if all the changes required by the Supreme Court were incorporated. If these were not incorporated, the Bill could only have been enacted if 2/3 of the whole number of MPs voted in favour of the Bill.

MP Sumanthiran states that the Bill was approved only by a simple majority of members present, and that therefore the Bill could not have become law.

Therefore he states that the Speaker, by certifying that the Bill was enacted into law, has violated the public trust and the fundamental rights guaranteed to Sumanthiran and the citizenry.

Sumanthiran also states that according to the Speaker, he had acted in accordance with advise given by the Attorney General, and if so, the Attorney General is also responsible for the violation of fundamental rights occasioned by the purported certification of the Bill.

The Speaker of Parliament and the Attorney General are named as Respondents to the Application.

(News 1st)

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English considered for legal proceedings in selected courts

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English language is to be considered for conducting legal proceedings and maintaining records in certain courts, according to a Cabinet decision.

The Cabinet has noted that particularly in the commerce sphere related to commercial activities are mainly used in the English language and require a considerable cost and time in translating those contents into Sinhala language.

Due to that, an extended period to settle commercial disputes takes place which leads to disadvantage when obtaining entrepreneurs, the cabinet has noted.

This situation also affected the position of Sri Lanka to be in a lower place the Ease of Doing Business ratings which envisage the ability of conducting enterprises in a country.

As a remedy to this, it has been recognized as appropriate to issue an order by the subject Minister of Justice with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers and in par with the provisions of the statute 24 (4) of the Constitution permitting to use English language in relation to all the activities in recognized courts or legal records and proceedings precisely mentioned thereupon.

Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal submitted by the Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms to take necessary actions in this regard.

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