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Won’t allow students to be held hostage by different groups – President

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The President emphasizes that students will not be allowed to be held hostage by different groups.

A Bill to make schools an essential service will be submitted to Parliament if the issues are not resolved quickly.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that he will not allow the school children of Sri Lanka to be held hostage by various groups.

The President said that he believes that the problems in the education sector can be resolved quickly through discussions; failing which he will have to submit a Bill to Parliament to make schools an essential service.

The President made this statement during the National Ceremony where free textbooks and uniforms were distributed to students and student monks, by the Ministry of Education which was held at Sanghamitta Balika Vidyalaya in Colombo this morning (23).

In this event organized by the Ministry of Education, the President symbolically awarded textbooks and uniforms to 40 student monks, sil mātā and students.

Education Minister Dr. Susil Premajayantha, Acting Education Secretary Hemantha Premathilaka and Principal of Sanghamitta Balika Vidyalaya Thushari De Silva also presented a commemorative gift to President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

70% of the school uniforms related to the year 2023 have been received as a grant from the Chinese Government and all of them have been distributed throughout the islands by now. The rest of the uniforms are provided by local businesses. School textbooks printed by the Department of Government Printing and local suppliers using raw materials obtained with Indian assistance were officially distributed here.

These uniforms and textbooks are provided to students of Government schools and Government-aided schools and student monks who are studying in Pirivenas.

Minister of Education Dr. Susil Premajayantha, State Minister of Piriven Education Vijitha Berugoda, State Minister of Education Arvindh Kumar, State Minister of Higher Education Suren Raghavan, Governor of the Western Province Marshal of the Air Force Roshan Gunathilake, Member of Parliament Yadamini Gunawardena, Secretary of the Western Province Pradeep Yasaratne, Acting Secretary of the Ministry of Education Hemantha Premathilaka, Commissioner of Education – Publications Mr. Z. Thajudeen and officials of the Education and Line Ministries, Principals and Teachers of numerous schools took part in this event.

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Indian-owned ship held in Colombo after oil spill; travel ban imposed on captain

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The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) has taken custody of a ship which had caused an oil spill while anchored at the Colombo Port.

A spokesperson of the MEPA stated that legal action has been initiated against the company that owns the ship and the relevant insurance company regarding the oil spill. Under the Marine Environment Protection Authority Act, the MEPA is seeking compensation for the incident, the authority revealed.

The ship, owned by an Indian company, had recently arrived at the Port of Colombo for maintenance activities. A special investigation conducted by MEPA had revealed a leak of hydraulic oil from the ship. The company’s owner has admitted to the incident and agreed to provide compensation, according to the MEPA.

Furthermore, the Colombo Magistrate Court has imposed a travel ban on the captain of the ship preventing him from leaving the country, as per a request made by the Colombo Port Police.

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

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5 companies fined Rs. 1,243 Mn. for illegal gold imports

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State Finance Minister Dr. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that five companies have been identified for illegally importing gold into Sri Lanka during the past few years, and fines of Rs.1,243 million have been imposed on those companies.

The Minister said that one of the related companies was ordered to pay Rs.179 million as fines.

Emphasising that from now on, all licensed institutions carrying out import of gold goods should avoid these illegal acts, the Minister said that the relevant institutions will also be charged fines for the gold purchased by even third parties considering the production reports.

He said the efforts to stabilise the state revenue of the country are currently being carried out by closing all the loopholes related to the loss of state revenue gradually.

Certain parties who import gold goods have turned this into a big racket and therefore there is a mafia around it.There were various challenges and threats when the government tried to curb this mafia initially.

The Minister further said that there were various levels of threats, pressure and intimidation, and the government did not waver in the face of all these challenges and moved to the second step.

(dailynews.lk)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Teachers & Principals launch TU action

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Teachers and principals in schools across the island will engage in trade union action today.

Convenor of the National Collective Against Teachers’ and Principals’ Salary Disparities Venerable Ulapane Sumangala Thero, says teachers and principals will report sick today.

The decision has been made due to the lack of solutions provided to issues related to salary anomalies.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Education confirmed that schools will operate as usual today and tomorrow.

Meanwhile, The strike initiated by non-academic employees of state universities continues for the 29th consecutive day.

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