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Why are dead turtles piling up on Colombo beaches?



Many turtle carcasses have been washed ashore along the coastline in Colombo for about two days, environmentalists said.

On the 22nd, nearly 10 turtle bodies were found from the coast spanning from Wellawatte to the Galle Face Green while a large number of turtle bodies were seen piled up on the beaches of Pamunugama, Uswetakeiyawa and Mt.Lavinia yesterday (23).

The eyes of some of these turtle corpses were swollen, some were bleeding, while some dead fish were also seen piled up on the beach.

The Navy has informed the Department of Wildlife Conservation and the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) in this regard. They have together launched an investigation along with the Police.

Accordingly, the Wildlife Conservation Department filed a motion in the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court and presented four turtle carcasses piled up on the shore of the Galle Face Green in the court. 

Subsequently, Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage ordered the Bellanwila Veterinary Officer to carry out post-mortem examinations of these turtles and to handover a report regarding the cause of death to the court.

Why do turtles’ shells burst and die?

Although the exact reason for the unusual death of the turtles has not yet been revealed, Environmentalist Nayanaka Ranwella said that an explosion caused by human activity in the deep sea may be the reason for the unusual death of the turtles.

He also suspects that a destructive fishing method like ‘Laila’ or any leakage from the X-Press Pearl vessel could also be the reason for this.

Meanwhile, Colombo Range Forest Officer Saman Liyangama said that there are several ways in which turtles’ shells can burst.

Mr. Liyangama pointed out that a dynamite-like explosion can cause damages to the lungs due to a rapid pressure condition.

He said that after a few days of death, the shells can still burst.


SLPP MP temporarily ordained as monk




SLPP Kandy District MP – Gunatileke Rajapaksa has been temporarily ordained as a Buddhist monk at the historical Isipathanarama Temple in India.

He is now known as Ven. Harispathuwe Dhammarathana Thera.
His son – Sandakelum Rajapaksa, who is an engineer by profession, has also been ordained as Ven. Ampare Dhammaloka Thera.

The MP had reportedly decided to enter into the religious order after the recent death of his wife. He too, was recently hospitalised after falling ill.

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Court delays ruling on Online Safety Act challenge




The Sri Lankan Supreme Court today indefinitely postponed its decision on whether to hear a fundamental rights petition challenging the Online SafetyAct No. 9 of 2024.

President’s Counsel and Jaffna District Member of Parliament M A Sumanthiran filed a fundamental rights application in the Supreme Court on 14th Feb., challenging the Speaker’s certification of the Online Safety Bill as having been enacted into law.

During the hearing, Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam presented five preliminary objections, arguing that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case since the Speaker has already signed the bill into law. 

He further emphasized that the legislature holds the sole authority to pass bills, and the court cannot intervene in that process.

Countering these arguments, Attorney-at-Law Suren Fernando, representing Sumanthiran, asserted that the petition aimed solely at the Speaker’s signing of the Act, which he claimed contravened previous Supreme Court pronouncements on related petitions. 

He emphasized the petitioner’s intention to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.

The three-judge bench, comprising Justices Priyantha Jayawardene, Shiran Gunaratne, and Achala Vengappuli, decided to postpone their decision on hearing the petition indefinitely. 

In his Petition, MP Sumanthiran claims that the government was seeking to enact the Bill without fully adhering the Supreme Court Determination, and that he had pointed out that the draft committee stage amendments would not sufficiently rectify the shortcomings, and provided his concerns in writing to the Speaker.

However, the Parliament had voted on the Bill prior to ensuring full compliance with the Determination, according to Sumanthiran.

The Petitioner claims that the Bill could have been passed by simple majority only if all the changes required by the Supreme Court were incorporated. If these were not incorporated, the Bill could only have been enacted if 2/3 of the whole number of MPs voted in favour of the Bill.

MP Sumanthiran states that the Bill was approved only by a simple majority of members present, and that therefore the Bill could not have become law.

Therefore he states that the Speaker, by certifying that the Bill was enacted into law, has violated the public trust and the fundamental rights guaranteed to Sumanthiran and the citizenry.

Sumanthiran also states that according to the Speaker, he had acted in accordance with advise given by the Attorney General, and if so, the Attorney General is also responsible for the violation of fundamental rights occasioned by the purported certification of the Bill.

The Speaker of Parliament and the Attorney General are named as Respondents to the Application.

(News 1st)

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English considered for legal proceedings in selected courts




English language is to be considered for conducting legal proceedings and maintaining records in certain courts, according to a Cabinet decision.

The Cabinet has noted that particularly in the commerce sphere related to commercial activities are mainly used in the English language and require a considerable cost and time in translating those contents into Sinhala language.

Due to that, an extended period to settle commercial disputes takes place which leads to disadvantage when obtaining entrepreneurs, the cabinet has noted.

This situation also affected the position of Sri Lanka to be in a lower place the Ease of Doing Business ratings which envisage the ability of conducting enterprises in a country.

As a remedy to this, it has been recognized as appropriate to issue an order by the subject Minister of Justice with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers and in par with the provisions of the statute 24 (4) of the Constitution permitting to use English language in relation to all the activities in recognized courts or legal records and proceedings precisely mentioned thereupon.

Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal submitted by the Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms to take necessary actions in this regard.

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