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Japan extends grant assistance for demining

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The Government of Japan has provided a total sum of US$ 648,148 (approx. Rs. 232 million) to the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) for humanitarian demining activities in the North and East Sri Lanka.

The grant contract was signed on the 30th of November 2022 between His Excellency Mr. MIZUKOSHI Hideaki, Ambassador of Japan, and Ms. Cristy McLennan, Country Director of MAG.
Through Japanese assistance, this is the 14th demining project implemented by MAG. The previous 13 projects have released over 2,965,949 square metres of land and removed more than 15,831 landmines and other explosive ordnance. This new project is expected to clear an additional 259,464 square metres of land in Mannar, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Trincomalee Districts, making mine contaminated areas safe lands for internally displaced people and directly or indirectly enhancing the livelihoods of 7,424 people.

This year, MAG marked its 20th anniversary of launching the demining activities in Sri Lanka. Since the beginning of Sri Lanka Mine Action programme in 2002, Japan has been a major donor in the area of mine clearance. More than US$ 43.3 million in assistance was rendered towards this cause through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP).  Japan is committed to continue to support this programme for achieving a ‘Mine Free Sri Lanka’

Commenting on the provision of this grant, Ms. Cristy McLennan stated;
“MAG is honored to accept this grant from the Government of Japan, an esteemed donor for Humanitarian Mine Action projects both within Sri Lanka and around the world. In the last eight years alone, the partnership between MAG Sri Lanka and the Government of Japan has enabled the removal and destruction of nearly 16,000 landmines. It has helped many people resettle and rebuild their lives and livelihoods in Mannar, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee and Vavuniya districts through its clearance operations. The funding from the People of Japan will not only contribute to saving lives but also building safer futures for the mine-affected and poorest communities in the country. With this continued Japanese support, MAG is looking forward to continuing clearance activities towards the final stage of landmine release in the country in support of the Government of Sri Lanka’s commitment to being mine free.”

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No COVID-19 deaths yesterday

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No COVID-19 deaths have been confirmed yesterday (29) by the Director-General of Health Services.

Accordingly, the current COVID-19 death toll remains at 16,828.

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Racecourse murder : Boyfriend further remanded

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The university student who was held in remand custody for allegedly murdering his girlfriend with a sharp weapon at Race Course grounds in Colombo has been remanded further.

Taking up the case today (30) Colombo Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis ordered him to be further remanded till February 13.

The magisterial inquest into the death was held today before Colombo Chief Magistrate and

A testimony of the deceased’s father was recorded before Chief Magistrate and further magisterial inquiry was fixed for February 13.

The suspect was not produced before Court by prison authorities since he is currently receiving treatment at the Mental Health Unit of prison hospital.

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Constitutional Council approves several judicial appointments

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The Constitutional Council met today (30) in Parliament presided by Speaker and the Chairman of the Constitutional Council – Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Sajith Premadasa, Leader of the Opposition, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, MPs Sagara Kariyawasam, other council members Dr. Prathap Ramanujam, Dr. (Mrs) Dilkushi Anula Wijesundere, Dr. (Mrs) Dinesha Samararatne were present at the Council meeting held.

MP Kabir Hashim, had informed his inability to attend this meeting due to unavoidable circumstances.

The Constitutional Council considered the recommendation of the President to appoint K.P. Fernando, President of the Court of Appeal as a Judge of the Supreme Court, to the post which fell vacant with the retirement of L.T.B. Dehideniya, Judge of the Supreme Court. The Constitutional Council unanimously approved the above recommendation.

Further the Constitutional Council unanimously approved the nomination of N.B.P.D.S. Karunarathna, Judge of the Court of Appeal to be appointed as the President of the Court of Appeal, and the nomination of Mr M.A.R. Marikkar, High Court Judge to be appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal to the resultant vacancies.  

The Constitutional Council further decided to publish the advertisement on newspapers of 1st February 2023, calling for applications for the appointment as Members of the Commissions specified in Schedule to Article 41B of the Constitution. Draft format of the application would be published on the Official Parliament website. The deadline to submit applications is 15th February 2023.

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