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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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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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