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SC dismisses another FR petition against DDR



The Supreme Court today dismissed another Fundamental Rights petition that was filed against the inclusion of the EPF and ETF in the scope of domestic debt restructuring.

The Supreme Court three-judge-bench comprising Justices Vijith Malalgoda, Janak de Silva and Gamini Amarasekara, refused to grant leave to proceed with the petition after hearing all parties for two days.

M.A. Sumanthiran PC, who appeared for the petitioner told court that the invitation to extend the time period of the Bonds (loans) acquired by the State from superannuation funds (EPF and ETF) violates the Fundamental Rights of the members of the Funds as it is unequal, unreasonable and arbitrary and against the Constitution.

The petitioner had named the EPF, ETF, Monetary Board and Public Debt Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka as respondents in this application.

Counsel appearing for the respondents submitted to court that the court has no jurisdiction to hear the matter according to the Constitution.

Senior Counsel Eraj de Silva, representing the ETF, argued that in accordance with Articles 4 and 148 of the Constitution, Parliament wields complete control over the nation’s public finances. Hence, the judiciary should not intervene in decisions sanctioned by Parliament.

De Silva also highlighted to court that the Domestic Debt Restructuring regarding the EPF and ETF is ultimately designed to safeguard the funds of the people. If the State were to default on repaying the Bonds, it would result in turmoil, leaving nothing for the Fund’s members. He emphasized that the evaluation should not solely consider the current circumstances, but rather the potential outcomes in the event of default or increased money printing leading to inflation.

De Silva further brought to the court’s attention that the petitioner failed to disclose his affiliation with the NPP (National People’s Power) and his previous candidacy in an election on behalf of the NPP. He argued that the NPP’s stance against the Domestic Debt Restructuring process was pertinent information that the petitioner should have divulged.

“It is evident that the petitioner’s affiliated party aims solely to derail the debt restructuring process without providing a viable alternative,” De Silva remarked.

Eraj de Silva, with N.K. Ashokbharan, Daminda Wijeratne, Janagan Sundramoorthi, Shehan Chamika Silva, Zul Luthufi, and Naveed Ahamed, instructed by Dinesh Vidanapathirana, appeared on behalf of the ETF.



Russian Embassy issues statement on controversial night event in Unawatuna




The Russian Embassy in Colombo has issued a statement condemning all forms of racial discrimination and nationalism in response to the recent controversy surrounding a planned night event in Unawatuna.

The statement clarified that the event, organized with a “dress-code: white” theme, was planned by a group of entrepreneurs.

The Embassy acknowledged that, according to unconfirmed data, the main promoter and the bar owners who agreed to host the party have been identified as Russian citizens.

However, amidst confusion and concerns over entry conditions, the organizers issued apologies, clarifying that their intentions were not to cause harm, and subsequently called off the event.

The Russian Embassy emphasized Russia’s firm stance against such injustices and expressed a commitment to combating them.

Additionally, the embassy urged all Russian citizens visiting or residing in Sri Lanka to strictly adhere to the country’s laws and respect local customs.

The statement aimed to address the controversy and reinforce the importance of promoting inclusivity and cultural sensitivity.

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TM Dilshan granted Australian citizenship




Former Sri Lankan cricketer Tillakaratne Dilshan has been granted Australian citizenship, confirmed by Australian MP Jason Wood in a social media post.

Dilshan, renowned for his explosive batting style, played a pivotal role in numerous victories for the Sri Lankan cricket team throughout his career. 

The 47-year-old’s acquisition of Australian citizenship marks a new chapter in his life post-retirement from professional cricket.

“Today’s citizenship ceremony was made even more special with the attendance of Tillakaratne Dilshan, a former Sri Lankan cricketer and captain of the Sri Lanka national cricket team.

“Dilshan is regarded as the best Sri Lankan player in run-chases in ODI history. 

He also holds the record for being the top run-scorer in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup with 500 runs and scored a century against England in the semi-final. 

Additionally, he was part of the Sri Lankan team that won the 2014 ICC World Twenty20,” posted MP Jason Wood on social media.

MP Jason Wood, welcoming Dilshan as a new Australian citizen and local resident, expressed hope that the veteran would consider joining a local team.

“It was great to hear that his daughter Resandi is following in her father’s footsteps,” he added.

Tillakaratne Dilshan amassed over 10,000 runs from 330 ODIs since his one-day international debut in 1999 against Zimbabwe. 

His Test career spanned 87 matches, during which he accumulated 5492 runs, including a high-score of 193. 

In 80 T20I matches, Dilshan made 1889 runs, featuring one century and 13 half-centuries.

Renowned for his unorthodox style, including the innovative scoop shot, Dilshan proved to be an extremely effective and versatile batsman across formats throughout his career.

Source: ABP News Bureau

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Chinese woman arrested for Financial Fraud




A 52-year-old Chinese women has been arrested by the police for her alleged involvement in financial fraud amounting to nearly Rs. 8.4 million.

The female suspect was apprehended in the Kollupitiya police division on Saturday, following investigations initiated based on a complaint received by the Colombo Fraud Investigation Bureau on January 31.

According to the police, the arrested individual had reportedly obtained Rs. 8.4 million in total from multiple persons. 

She allegedly claimed that the funds were for a business venture and assured the amount would be returned.

The Colombo Fraud Investigation Bureau is conducting further investigations into the case to gather more details about the nature of the fraud and the individuals affected by it. 

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