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Opposition alleges government plans to issue 200 wine store licenses

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Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa raised concerns in Parliament today, alleging that the government is planning to issue licenses for 200 wine stores, with 15 already granted under the FL4 category. 

He further claimed that six liquor manufacturing licenses have been issued targeting elections.

Premadasa called for transparency, urging the government to disclose whether such a decision has been made and emphasized the need to adhere to the legal framework. 

He criticized the move, particularly under the new Commissioner General of the Excise Department M.J. Gunasiri.

State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe responded, stating that the government has not acted outside the existing legal framework. 

He assured that a comprehensive response would be provided if the question was raised formally.

Premadasa reiterated the Opposition’s stance, promising action to revoke any illegal licenses in the future, emphasizing the need for accountability. 

He strongly condemned the issuance of liquor licenses targeting elections.

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Electricity tariffs reduced

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The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has approved a reduction of electricity tariffs by 22.5 per cent overall, PUCSL chairman Prof. Manjula Fernando said today (July 15).

The tariff revision, which will be effective from midnight today, is as follows :

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FR petition filed over Presidential Election dismissed with costs

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The Supreme Court has dismissed the Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed seeking an order to prevent holding of the Presidential Election as the 19th Amendment to the Constitution has not been properly passed in Parliament, subject to costs.

This verdict was issued when the relevant petition filed by Attorney-at-Law Aruna Laksiri was taken up for consideration today (15) before a Supreme Court judge bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justices Arjuna Obeysekara and Priyantha Fernando.

Accordingly, the court ordered the petition dismissed with costs of Rs 500,000 to be paid by the petitioner before July 31, 2024.

The petition argued that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was not properly passed in Parliament and therefore called for a referendum to ensure its proper passage.

The Election Commission and its members, the General Secretary of Parliament and the Attorney General had been named as respondents of this petition.

The petitioner claimed that through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, Article 70 of the Constitution has been amended to deprive the President of the power to dissolve an elected Parliament after one year has passed.

The petitioner asserted that the amendment has not been approved by a referendum, even though a Supreme Court bench ruled that the amendment should be referred to a referendum.

The petitioner pointed out that the amendment cannot be considered as a law because it has not been approved by a referendum and signed by the President.

Therefore, the petitioner had argued that it is wrong to continue to accept the 19th Amendment as a law.

(adaderana.lk)

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Sabry to visit Romania & Poland

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Foreign Minister Ali Sabry will pay official visits to Romania and Poland from 16 to 19 July 2024.  

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo, he will meet with his counterparts and other senior government ministers and officials.

Minister Sabry will also formally open the new Sri Lanka Embassy in Bucharest which commenced operation in 2023.

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