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Stop extravagant Christmas celebrations this year – Cardinal

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Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith today called on Catholics to celebrate Christmas on a low key this year and avoid spending lavishly on decorations.  

Speaking during a religious service held to mark the 75th jubilee of St. Theresa’s Church, Batapattala, Negombo, Cardinal Ranjith said Christmas this year should be confined to feeding the hungry.

“One must not waste funds on decorating churches and other places this Christmas considering the situation of the country. There are many who live in hunger. Therefore the only thing that should be done during Christmas this year is to provide a meal to the poor,” he said.

He also said one cannot expect justice for Easter Sunday victims from the incumbent President and the government.

“The incumbent President does not have the consent of the people to hold the post he is holding now, since he came from the back door. Parliament select committee appointed to look into the Easter Sunday attacks, said there could be a political hand behind the attack. The incumbent President had pledged to bring in Scotland Yard to carry out an investigation. However, nothing has been done as yet. Besides, I am criticized for talking about politics. I am doing so in line with the statement made by the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka some years ago, and the recent statement made by Pope Francis that the Church cannot afford be silent where there is social injustice,” he added.

(dailymirror.lk)

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Armed gang robs Police OIC’s house

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An armed gang came in motorcycles ransacked a residence of an Officer In-Charge (OIC) of the Kalutara North Police this afternoon.

Police said the armed gang which broke into the house of the OIC, inspector Nishan Kumara of the minor complaints unit of Kalutara North at Welipenna reportedly stole two mobile phones and gold jewelry and fled.

The IP was not at home at the time of the robbery, but his wife who was at home was attacked by the robbers.  She was injured in the attack.

It was reported that robbers were carrying T-56 firearm.

Several police teams are investigating the incident.

(dailymirror.lk)

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Schoolboy dies after drowning in swimming pool

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A 14-year-old schoolboy who was swimming in the swimming pool in a hotel at Boralassa, Wennappuwa had drowned.

Police said the victim, a grade 10 schoolboy from Galagedara and was studying in a school in Sandalankawa.

It has been revealed that the schoolboy was swimming in the pool with fellow students while on an excursion with a group of 80 schoolchildren from a tution class in Makandura.

The Wennappuwa Police are conducting further investigations.

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Applying for passports online from next year

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The Immigration and Emigration Department has planned to accept applications to issue passports online starting in January next year, the department’s IT controller Champika Ramawickrama said.

Through the program, an applicant will be able to submit his/her application to the department from the comfort of his home.

He went on to say that the applicant only needs to come to the department to attend to biometric formalities, such as finger prints.

For that, the department has decided to establish 50 front offices counters in each district to obtain fingerprints, Ramawickrama said.

He stated that 50 Divisional Secretariat Offices were chosen from each district for this purpose.

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