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Lawyers’ Collective urges President to terminate Deshabandu’s appointment

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The Lawyers’ Collective, a prominent legal advocacy group in Sri Lanka has urged President Ranil Wickremesinghe to immediately terminate the appointment of Deshabandu Tennakoon as Acting IGP in view of the recently delivered Supreme Court judgment.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court in Sumangala v Bandara and Others, unanimously held that respondents, including the incumbent Acting IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon, have violated the fundamental rights of a former army soldier to freedom from torture, unlawful arrest, and arbitrary administrative action that denied equal protection of the law. Subsequently, the Supreme Court ordered the National Police Commission (NPC) and other relevant authorities to take appropriate disciplinary action against newly appointed Acting IGP Deshabandu Tennakoon and other police officers.

In an open letter to President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Lawyers’ Collective draws his attention to the fact that these officers including Deshabandu Tennakoon, have been found liable of acts which in our law amount to a criminal offence under the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Act, No. 22 of 1994.

The Lawyers’ Collective is of the view that all police officers found responsible must be formally charged with the serious crime of torture with immediate effect and they must be suspended from service.

“The office of IGP, and thereby the powers of Acting IGP, can only be directly held accountable by your office as President. Your duty to the people of Sri Lanka is clear, and the only responsible course of action is to terminate the appointment of the said Deshabandu Tennakoon to Acting IGP, refer the judgement to the Attorney General for urgent consideration of serving charges on all found liable, and refer the judgement to the National Police Commission for disciplinary action” the letter added.

The Lawyers’ Collective observed that a failure to act amounts to a daily reminder to the public that the President would not implement a judgement of the highest court of the country which has exercised the judicial power of the people under our constitution.

“It is shocking that within days of the judgement that found Deshabandu Tennakoon liable for torture, Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles publicly endorsed Tennakoon’s leadership of the police and even insinuated support for police killings in enforcing Sri Lankas laws on illegal drugs”, the letter further added.

On behalf of the Lawyers’ Collective, a group of President’s Counsels including Rienzie Arsecularatne, Upul Jayasuriya, Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, Geoffrey Alagaratnam, M.A. Sumanthiran, Dinal Phillips, Saliya Pieris, S.T. Jayanaga, Nalin Dissanayake, Prof. Savitri Goonesekere, Prof. Deepika Udagama, Prof. Camena Gunaratne, Attorneys-at-law, Upul Kumarapperuma and seven others signed the letter.

(dailymirror.lk)

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94th Battle of the Maroons ends in a draw (Pics)

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The 94th Battle of the Maroons between Ananda and Nalanda concluded in a draw at SSC grounds. 

Despite the draw, Ananda secured a first innings lead, having declared their first innings at 286 for 9 wickets in response to Nalanda’s first innings total of 277 for 8 wickets, which was declared on the first day.

In the second innings, Nalanda, batting at 120 for 3 wickets, maintained a cautious approach, and the match ended without either team pursuing a more aggressive strategy in their first innings.

Ananda’s all-rounder Kithma Withanaparhirana played a notable innings, scoring 76 runs in 92 balls with 11 fours and a six on the second day. 

However, the team fell short of a century, with number three batter Dinada Athalage contributing a significant knock of 71 runs in 165 balls with 9 fours.

Despite the draw, the match witnessed commendable performances from key players, with Nalanda skipper Sajitha Vithanage earning the Man of the Match award for his unbeaten century.

Both teams showcased sportsmanship in the annual encounter, and Nalanda retained the N.M. Perera Trophy, presented by former Nalandian legend Stanley Jayasinghe. 

The trophy has been a symbol of the prestigious Battle of the Maroons series.

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Term tests for Western province suspended

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The term tests for grade 10 and 11 in the Western province schools has been postponed after some of the question papers were shared on social media ahead of the examination.

A senior official said that the decision had been taken after complaints that several question papers had been leaked out before the examinations.

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Russian Naval Ship Varyag Visits Colombo

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The Russian Naval Ship Varyag has arrived at the port of Colombo on a formal visit. 

This 187m long Missile Cruiser, manned by a crew of 529, is led by Flag Officer Captain 1st Rank Velichko Anatoly Vasicievich, with Captain 2nd Rank Glushakov Roman Nikolaevich serving as the Commanding Officer.

During their stay in Sri Lanka, the ship’s crew is expected to participate in various programs organized by the Sri Lanka Navy, fostering camaraderie and exploring tourist attractions in the country. 

The official visit will conclude, and Varyag is set to depart from the island tomorrow.

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