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Submit all ‘Aswesuma’ appeals before July 10 – Shehan

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State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe advised all applicants whose names were not included in the list of ‘Aswesuma’ beneficiaries to file appeals before July 10; following the close of the appeal process, a final list of deserving applicants will be compiled.

Minister of State for Finance Mr. Shehan Semasinghe mentioned this while joining the press conference held at the Presidential Media Center (PMC) today (27) on the ‘Aswesuma’ social welfare benefits program.

The State Minister pointed out that this problematic situation has arisen as certain parties attempt to satisfy their political needs by giving the ‘Aswasuma’ program, which was created to aid those in need of economic stability, a political façade. The list of names that has been made public is by no means the final list, the State Minister emphasized.

State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe further said;

As a nation, we had to endure a massive economic depression in the recent past. As a main part of recovering the country from that situation, the ‘Aswesuma’ social welfare benefit program was initiated with the aim of providing the necessary contribution to the people who need economic stability, while protecting the poor and vulnerable groups of the population.

In general, there has always been a tendency in our country to rely on those benefits rather than empowering those who sign up for social welfare programs and boosting the economy. However, it must be noted that this program is one that goes above and beyond that.

The relevant candidates were selected in accordance with the Welfare Benefits Act No. 24 of 2001. The selection of these deserving candidates was done under six sections and related indicators. According to this, a list of the eligible beneficiaries was drafted. However, it should be noted that it is not the final list.

I ask any individual or family who believes they should be eligible for this benefit but whose name is not included in the list that has been published so far, to submit an appeal to the appropriate Divisional Secretariat Offices within the allotted time frame. Additionally, enquiries can be made if it contains the name of an ineligible person.

We request the people not to panic as a result of yielding to political instigation or external influences and not to join the agitation actions to fulfill the interests of certain political groups. Also, I request everyone to work accordingly with the system implemented by the Government.

However, we expect to prepare the final list of social welfare benefits candidates after the appeal period ends. President Ranil Wickremesinghe has advised us to prevent any injustice towards the ‘Aswesuma’ beneficiaries.

Among these, the list of beneficiaries receiving differently-abled, elderly, and kidney support allowances is also expected to be released in the near future.

(President’s Media Division)

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EU refutes claims of conducting election polls survey in SL

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The European Union mission in Sri Lanka has refuted claims stating that they had conducted an election poll survey in Sri Lanka.

The diplomatic mission had stated this on a X post.

Social media posts based on such a report had claimed that the National People’s Power (NPP) was leading the polls.

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Have no any fear about the constitutional amendment – President

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe urged that there should be no fear regarding the constitutional amendment.

He emphasized that when making constitutional amendments, he entrusts the responsibility to experienced professionals. He mentioned that in the past, lawyers like K. N. Choksi were involved in such matters.

However, since Mr. Choksi had passed away by the time of the new constitutional amendment in 2015, the task was assigned to lawyer Jayampathi Wickramaratne.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe acknowledged that the current issues have resulted from an oversight on his part and expressed his apology to the public for it. 

He made this statement today (19) during the opening of the new court complex in Beligaha, Galle.

To enhance the efficiency of justice administration for the people of Galle, a new court complex was constructed at a cost of LKR 1600 million. The complex houses a Civil Appeal High Court, two High Courts, three District Courts, two Magistrate Courts, a Legal Aid Centre, a Community Corrections Office, a Probation Office, and a Debt Relief Board. It is fully equipped with necessary facilities for court proceedings, including administrative offices.

After unveiling the plaque and officially opening the new court complex, the President took an observation tour of the premises. 

The Galle Bar Association also presented a commemorative gift to the President.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe further stated:“I would like to extend my gratitude to Minister Wijayadasa Rajapakshe for overseeing the completion of this Judicial Complex. With plans to develop the area as a tourist destination, it was crucial to relocate the existing Court Complex, and I am pleased to say that this has been accomplished.

As we work to transform the Galle area into a tourist hub, we have identified locations outside the province for large hotel developments. Additionally, there are plans to move the Transport Board, Timber Corporation, Mahamodara Hospital, Nursing College, Prison and Post Office to the city centre. We also plan to build a similar court complex in the Hikkaduwa area.

The Galle District Court Complex holds historical significance. After Dutch rule, the Batavian Statutes introduced Roman-Dutch law to Ceylon, making Galle a jurisdictional centre with a judicial board, a civil board, and a land board. This marked the beginning of our judicial system. While the Galle judicial area was originally divided into the Matara and Galle districts, only the Galle district continues to operate as a judicial region.

During the Dutch period, the majority of the Land Board members were Dutch, while the minority were Sri Lankans from Ruhuna. The Sri Lankans learned the law from the Dutch and later emerged as lawyers during the English colonial period.

Over time, many Sri Lankans pursued careers in law and entered the Legislative Assembly. Lawyers became a cornerstone of the legislative system. Under the Donoughmore Constitution, they served in the State Council with significant voting power. The English system of governance was established through the Soulbury Constitution, and when India adopted a republican constitution, Sri Lanka followed suit with the English system. 

Colvin R. de Silva introduced the first Republican Constitution, while J.R. Jayewardene presented the Second Republican Constitution. Sri Lanka has a rich constitutional history and a strong commitment to the rule of law.

In 1931, Sri Lanka became the first country in Asia and Africa to grant universal suffrage. Unlike in the United States, where some states did not extend voting rights to Black people, Sri Lanka is unique for maintaining democracy continuously since then. We should take pride in this achievement. Despite facing wars and rebellions, Sri Lanka has preserved its democratic system, and democracy has remained intact despite numerous challenges.

In Sri Lanka, power transitions smoothly and without conflict after elections, a testament to the strength of our democratic process. Despite various debates and issues, democracy has never been compromised.

Some critics argue that democracy is at risk during certain crises. However, our constitution, judiciary, and political system have worked to advance and protect it. The most significant threat to our democracy occurred in 2022, yet we have continued to progress through consensus.

While Parliament remains a venue for debate, protecting democracy is crucial. The upcoming election is on schedule, with the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court confirming that it should be held within the specified timeframe, and we support this directive.

In 2015, we proposed a new constitutional amendment. Typically, I would have assigned this task to K. N. Choksi, a lawyer. However, since he had passed away, the responsibility fell to lawyer Jayampathi Wickramaratne. He was unable to make the necessary revisions. This oversight is regrettable, and I apologize to the nation for it. There is no need for further discussion on this matter; our country has upheld democracy since 1931.

Additionally, the government will fund the compilation of a book on the heritage of Galle’s history”.

Mr. Wijayadasa Rajapakshe, Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reform;

As a citizen of Ruhuna, I am very pleased to celebrate the opening of the new modern court complex in the southern province. The lawyers in the Galle area have faced many challenges, and it took approximately 12 years to complete this project due to various obstacles. Thanks to the President’s intervention, we have successfully built this impressive facility.

Despite the national crisis over the past two years, the President ensured that the judicial process continued smoothly. The new court complex has faced some political accusations, but it is important to clarify that this facility was not constructed for political purposes. Our goal is to provide better access to justice and relief to the people, as we view the court as a temple of the people.

Minister of Health and Industries Dr. Ramesh Pathirana;
Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this court complex a reality. During the country’s economic crisis, continuing the construction was challenging, but President Ranil Wickremesinghe provided the necessary financial support to complete the project. Without his assistance, this achievement would not have been possible.

State Ministers Anuradha Jayaratne, Geetha Kumarasinghe, and Mohan Priyadarshana Silva, along with Members of Parliament Vajira Abeywardena and Sampath Athukorala, attended the event. Also present were Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Attorney General Parinda Ranasinghe, Galle District Secretary W. Dharmasiri, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Justice R. S. Hapugaswatta, High Court Judges, District Judges, Magistrates, Galle Bar Association President Ruwan Asiri De Silva, and other lawyers and government officials.

(President’s Media Division)

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Lanka Sathosa reduces prices of six essentials

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The prices of some essential consumer goods sold by Lanka Sathosa have been reduced.

Lanka Sathosa, the only state owned supermarket chain in the country, has reduced prices of six essential food items effective 19 July in order to provide relief to the public on the directives by the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Food Security.

Accordingly, 1 Kg of Undu (bulk) which was sold at Rs. 1,500 has been brought down to Rs. 1,400 with a saving of Rs. 100. The new price of Sathosa milk powder 400 gram pack has been reduced to Rs. 910 from its previous price of Rs. 950 providing a saving of Rs. 40.

Wheat flour 1 Kg (bulk) is now sold at Rs. 180 with a price reduction of Rs. 10 from its previous price of Rs. 190. Price of White Sugar (bulk) 1 Kg has been reduced by Rs. 5 from its previous price of Rs. 265 and is now sold at Rs. 260.

The new price of 1 Kg of White Kekulu Rice (bulk) is Rs. 200 reduced from its previous price of Rs. 204 with a saving of Rs. 4. Keeri Samba Rice (bulk) 1 Kg which was sold at Rs. 260 has been reduced by Rs. 2 and now sold at Rs. 258.

(dailynews.lk)

 (This story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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