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I was decrowned & shamed in front of world –  Pushpika

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Former Mrs. Sri Lanka Pushpika de Silva told Colombo Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis in court yesterday (11) that she was shamed in front of the world after the crown she won was forcibly removed at the Mrs. Sri Lanka beauty pageant.

Pushpika de Silva was announced the winner of the Mrs. Sri Lanka 2021 pageant held at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre on April 4.

However, when De Silva was about to take centre stage, reigning Mrs. World Caroline Jurie stripped the crown off of her and crowned the first runner-up saying de Silva had violated the pageant rules.
Pushpika de Silva was testifying in the court case filed over the incident.

The trial was held before Colombo Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis and Police Inspector Bandara of Cinnamon Gardens Police led the prosecution.

As the incident was not settled before the Conciliation Board, the court took steps to hear the case and the two defendants, including Caroline Jurie, also appeared before the court.

Pushpika de Silva testified and said that she participated in the interview to enter the Mrs. World 2021 pageant and submitted truthful information and passed the interview and participated in the pageant on April 4, 2021, when the final contest was held.

She said she greeted everyone after she was crowned, and the husbands of some contestants misbehaved by using obscene words and then Caroline took away her crown.

She said that she later went to the police and filed a complaint and then went to Nawaloka Hospital for treatment as she felt a pain on her head while taking a bath.

On behalf of the defence, Attorney-at-law Nalin de Silva cross-examined the witness.

He pointed out the contradictions in the testimony given by the witness in the court and accused her of using political power to gain publicity.

In response, the witness said that she endured the injustice in front of the world and took steps to go to court since the defendants did not agree to apologize and settle the matter outside of the court.

After considering the facts, the Magistrate adjourned the trial for September 24 and issued summons to the witnesses.

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SLFP to support no-confidence motion against the Speaker

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The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has announced its endorsement of the no-confidence motion to be brought against the Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.

Accordingly, the SLFP announced that it will support the motion being brought against the Speaker by the opposition, and will vote in favour of it.

On Monday (26 Feb.), several Opposition members, led by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Leader Sajith Premadasa, signed a motion of no confidence against the Speaker, claiming that he had violated the Constitution.

As such, a group of MPs belonging to the opposition in Parliament including M. A. Sumanthiran, Lakshman Kiriella, Prof. G. L. Pieris, Tissa Attanayake, Chandima Weerakkody and Shan Wijayalal de Silva, had inked the motion for approving the much-disputed Online Safety Bill amidst ‘irregular procedures’.

The no-confidence motion pointed out that the Speaker had ignored the Supreme Court’s recommendations pertaining to Sections 13, 17, 20, 33 (6), 34 (1), 35 (1), 21, 22 and 33 of the Online Safety Bill.

Earlier this month, Opposition Leader charged that the Speaker had ignored nine recommendations given by the Supreme Court while enacting the Online Safety Act, adding that they no longer have faith in him.

(adaderana.lk)

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School outdoor activities suspended over soaring temperatures

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The Education Ministry has instructed all respective school authorities to refrain from making students participate in strenuous outdoor activities until Friday (March 01) at schools as temperatures are expected to rise further.

Accordingly, Sports Day events, sports practices or any other scheduled outdoor activities are urged to be suspended for the time being.

Provincial and zonal authorities of education have been instructed to brief school principals about the matter, the ministry said in a press release.

In addition, school administrations are required to comply with the health guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and the Education Ministry.

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Court suspends divestiture process of SLT & Lanka Hospitals

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The Court of Appeal yesterday (27) issued an interim order preventing authorities from proceeding with the divestiture process of Sri Lanka Telecom and Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC, until March 12.

Three Petitions were filed for Sri Lanka Telecom PLC including by Lyca Mobiles, and S.M.R. M company, while two petitions were filed for Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC including by Lyca Leasing Holdings.

Upon the oral submissions made by President’s Counsel Kuvera De Zoysa, Court of Appeal Justice D.N. Samarakoon issued notices on respondents, returnable for March 12.

The petitioners named Minister of Finance Ranil Wickremesinghe, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe, the members of the special Cabinet-appointed negotiating committee for the purpose of selecting pre-qualified bidders for the strategic divestiture pertaining to 51.34% shares of Lanka Hospitals PLC and several others as respondents.

Kuvera De Zoysa, PC with Raslka Dissanayake, Sajana de Zoysa, Dinusha Pathirana and Shablr Huzalr instructed by Sanath Wijewardane appeared for the petitioners.

The petitioners had informed the court that they had submitted bids per the required criteria for the divestiture of the Sri Lankan Government’s shares of 50.23% in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and 51.34% in Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC.

The petitioners alleged that, however, the Cabinet of Ministers had rejected the bids without providing any clear explanations, adding that the decision was against the law.

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