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World Fisheries Day celebrations in Beruwala today!

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The World Fisheries Day celebrations will be held at the Beruwala Divisional Secretariat premises at 10.00 a.m. today (21) under the aegis of Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena .

Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda and State Minister Piyal Nishantha de Silva will also join in this event and introduce the new fisheries insurance scheme, a new pension scheme under the ‘Dola Rala Saviya’ programme implemented on a concept of the State Minister.

Introducing the ‘Diyawara Kekulu’ Children’s Savings Account, issuing a commemorative stamp, awarding scholarships to the children of the fisheries community who obtained excellent results, providing financial assistance to new entrepreneurs in the ornamental fish industry and a discourse on the Fisheries Charter will also be held today.

A new insurance policy called “Dheewara Rakuma” will be introduced to fishermen in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation. In case of death or incapacity while engaged in fishing due to an accident, the fisherman or the family members will be awarded compensation ranging from Rs. 1.2 million – 2 million.

If a fisherman goes missing due to an accident while engaged in fishing, the family will be given Rs.7,500 per month for up to 12 months.

Fishermen can receive these benefits by paying premiums ranging from Rs.1,865-2,000 annually.

A new pension scheme is being launched in association with the Agricultural and Agrarian Insurance Board, to which fishermen aged 18 to 59 years can contribute. This pension is available to fishermen from the age of 60.

This pension will be given to the spouse of the member and their children in case of a death.

The Ministry of Fisheries together with the Bank of Ceylon will introduce the ‘Diyawara Kekulu’ children’s savings account today, under which money will be given to fishermen’s children every month for educational activities. The amount in the children’s savings account will be increased tenfold in case of the sudden death of their father.

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SLFP to support no-confidence motion against the Speaker

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The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has announced its endorsement of the no-confidence motion to be brought against the Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.

Accordingly, the SLFP announced that it will support the motion being brought against the Speaker by the opposition, and will vote in favour of it.

On Monday (26 Feb.), several Opposition members, led by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Leader Sajith Premadasa, signed a motion of no confidence against the Speaker, claiming that he had violated the Constitution.

As such, a group of MPs belonging to the opposition in Parliament including M. A. Sumanthiran, Lakshman Kiriella, Prof. G. L. Pieris, Tissa Attanayake, Chandima Weerakkody and Shan Wijayalal de Silva, had inked the motion for approving the much-disputed Online Safety Bill amidst ‘irregular procedures’.

The no-confidence motion pointed out that the Speaker had ignored the Supreme Court’s recommendations pertaining to Sections 13, 17, 20, 33 (6), 34 (1), 35 (1), 21, 22 and 33 of the Online Safety Bill.

Earlier this month, Opposition Leader charged that the Speaker had ignored nine recommendations given by the Supreme Court while enacting the Online Safety Act, adding that they no longer have faith in him.

(adaderana.lk)

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School outdoor activities suspended over soaring temperatures

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The Education Ministry has instructed all respective school authorities to refrain from making students participate in strenuous outdoor activities until Friday (March 01) at schools as temperatures are expected to rise further.

Accordingly, Sports Day events, sports practices or any other scheduled outdoor activities are urged to be suspended for the time being.

Provincial and zonal authorities of education have been instructed to brief school principals about the matter, the ministry said in a press release.

In addition, school administrations are required to comply with the health guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and the Education Ministry.

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Court suspends divestiture process of SLT & Lanka Hospitals

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The Court of Appeal yesterday (27) issued an interim order preventing authorities from proceeding with the divestiture process of Sri Lanka Telecom and Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC, until March 12.

Three Petitions were filed for Sri Lanka Telecom PLC including by Lyca Mobiles, and S.M.R. M company, while two petitions were filed for Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC including by Lyca Leasing Holdings.

Upon the oral submissions made by President’s Counsel Kuvera De Zoysa, Court of Appeal Justice D.N. Samarakoon issued notices on respondents, returnable for March 12.

The petitioners named Minister of Finance Ranil Wickremesinghe, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe, the members of the special Cabinet-appointed negotiating committee for the purpose of selecting pre-qualified bidders for the strategic divestiture pertaining to 51.34% shares of Lanka Hospitals PLC and several others as respondents.

Kuvera De Zoysa, PC with Raslka Dissanayake, Sajana de Zoysa, Dinusha Pathirana and Shablr Huzalr instructed by Sanath Wijewardane appeared for the petitioners.

The petitioners had informed the court that they had submitted bids per the required criteria for the divestiture of the Sri Lankan Government’s shares of 50.23% in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and 51.34% in Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC.

The petitioners alleged that, however, the Cabinet of Ministers had rejected the bids without providing any clear explanations, adding that the decision was against the law.

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