A night brawl erupted between lawyers and hotel management official at a well-known hotel in Kandy, leaving many injured and property damaged. The incident took place when the lawyers were having a get-together to mark the end of their term. The brawl had erupted in the midnight hours when some hotel management officials and the [...]

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Brawl at heritage hotel: Lawyers argued, but management officials cited the law

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Police are now getting a valuation report for the damages as the hotel is a heritage site in the hill-capital of Kandy.

A night brawl erupted between lawyers and hotel management official at a well-known hotel in Kandy, leaving many injured and property damaged.

The incident took place when the lawyers were having a get-together to mark the end of their term. The brawl had erupted in the midnight hours when some hotel management officials and the lawyers engaged in an argument.

The lawyers argued their case, but the management officials cited the law on closing hours.

Following the heated exchange of words, the incident escalated to an exchange of fists resulting in four people being admitted to the Kandy hospital for treatment.

Kandy Police were called in and officers say the hotel building which has stood the test of time was unable to bear the damage caused by the conflicting parties. They have said valuation institutes will have to determine the damage while the Police will take action against the people who were involved in the brawl.

According to Senior Superintendent C. K. Ratnayake, the Police is now getting a valuation report for the damages as the hotel is a heritage site in the hill-capital of Kandy.

 


 

Ashan M. Benedict

Lankan gets top post as second in command of Washington DC Police

Ashan M. Benedict, a US citizen of Sri Lankan ancestry, has been appointed as the Executive Assistant Chief of Police at the Metropolitan Police Department in the United States capital of Washington DC. In this role, he will be responsible for assisting the Chief of Police in directing and providing long-range planning, development and coordination of operations and procedures for the department.

Before joining the Metropolitan Police Department, Mr Benedict served the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in several major posts of duty, most recently serving as the Special Agent in Charge of the Washington DC Field Division. He began his ATF career in 1998 as a special agent assigned to the ATF’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force in Washington DC. As a street agent, he investigated violent drug trafficking organisations, armed robberies of commercial businesses, armed car-jackings, gang-related racketeering murders and firearms trafficking offences.

Mr Benedict was also involved in the ATF’s response and investigation of several notable events and incidents, including the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon; the Beltway Sniper investigation; the ATF’s response and support to New Orleans in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina; the Washington DC Navy Yard active shooter; the San Bernardino, California, mass shooting terrorist attack in December 2015 and the mass mailing of pipe bombs in New York City in October 2018. Mr Benedict also was the on-scene Incident Commander for the ATF’s deployment in response to the riots at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Fordham University and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from Syracuse University, Maxwell School in Washington DC. He is also a graduate of the Asian American Government Executive Network’s Senior Executive Service Development Programme (SESDP). In 2017, Mr. Benedict received the Federal Drug Agent Foundation’s (FDAF) Lifetime Achievement Award.

He and his family now reside in Washington DC. He is the son of the late Edward Benedict, a Sri Lankan Lecturer at Fordham University, and Chitra Benedict.

Meanwhile, in the US capital, the Capitol complex went into lockdown on Friday after a driver crashed a vehicle into a barricade outside the building, resulting in the deaths of one Capitol Police officer and the suspect.

The Capitol Police said a suspect was in custody following reports of the car crash into two officers on Constitution Avenue. After ramming the car into a barricade, the driver exited the vehicle and brandished a sharp object, prompting Capitol Police officers to shoot the driver, according to a person briefed on the incident.

Both the injured officers and the suspect were transported to a nearby hospital, and Capitol Police officials told reporters at a news conference later on Friday afternoon that one of the officers and the suspect had died.


Adding insult to injury: Trump as Buddha

The Sri Lanka national flag on household door mats–made in China and marketed by Amazon in the United States–sparked widespread condemnation. But the US law on the desecration of its national flag is clear: “Whoever knowingly casts contempt upon any flag of the United States by publicly mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning or trampling upon it, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.”

And, now comes, what amounts to a desecration of a religious leader: the Trump Buddha. According to the New York Times, a furniture maker and decorator in southern China has cast a sculpture of former US President Donald Trump in ceramic whiteware, “legs crossed and hands serenely resting in his lap.” To add insult to injury, Trump is draped in a Buddhist monk’s robe, his head lowered and his eyes closed in a meditative pose. But the Times adds, rather sarcastically, “this is not an emotional state” associated with the erratic Trump. The artist has called his piece of sculpture “Trump, the Buddha of Knowing of the Western Paradise”.

The sculpture is the brainchild of Hong Jinshi, who works in an old cement factory turned workshop in the coastal city of Xiamen. The mini statue is available online for the price of around US$153 to US$615 dollars each depending on the size and height of the sculpture.


Pillayan’s move?disturbs Batticaloa rural development meeting

A rural economic development meeting was recently held at the Batticaloa District Secretariat. Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa was due to chair the meeting.

The Batticaloa District Secretary K. Karunkaran had sent out invitations to all members of Parliament in the district. Two Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarians–Govindan Karunakaran and Sanikkayan Rasaputhram Rasamanikkam–were among them.

On the following day they were informed by the District Secretary not to attend the meeting. They were told that on instructions of “higher authorities” the invitations had been cancelled.

However, both MPs attended the meeting and questioned the Sports Minister as to why the invitations were cancelled.

The MPs asked whether their presence disturb Parliamentarian Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan (Pillayan).

The MPs had made their inquiries and found that it was Pillayan who had wanted the invitations cancelled.

 

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