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Bills on transgenders, disabled will be introduced in the Parliament: Social Justice and Empowerment Minister

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New Delhi : The Government is working on an umbrella policy for transgenders and a bill on their rights would be introduced in parliament in the coming monsoon session, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot said on Thursday.

Two bills on the rights of disabled people and atrocities on Dalits would also be taken up, Gehlot said at a press conference organised to list the achievements of his ministry in the last one year.

He said. “We want to provide all facilities to transgenders that are given to Scheduled Castes and Tribes.”

“A committee formed under the chairmanship of a senior official to make an in-depth study of the problems faced by the transgenders submitted its report on January 27 last year. An inter-ministerial committee has been constituted for the implementation of its recommendations.”, he added.

Two bills on rights of disabled people and atrocities against Dalits were pending with parliamentary committees and would also be taken up in the monsoon session. Loans are being provided to the disabled to make them self-sufficient.

The ministry had formulated a draft bill to prevent begging. ” ‘The Persons in Destitution (Protection, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill of 2015’ was sent to State Governments on April 17 for their comments,” Gehlot said.

“At least four to five of the 81 NGOs working with his ministry have been found guilty of misusing funds. The Modi Government also planned large-scale celebrations of Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary. The year-long celebrations will end on April 14 next year.Plans were also afoot to buy the residential property in London where Ambedkar lived while studying in the London School of Economics during 1921-22.”, he further added. (IANS)

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President’s Dissolution of Parliament Unconstitutional: Sri Lanka’s Court

The push to oust Rajapaksa dragged Sri Lanka's parliament into chaos.

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Supporters of ousted Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe celebrate outside the supreme court complex in Colombo. VOA

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has ruled that President Maithripala Sirisena’s move to dissolve parliament last month was illegal.

In a unanimous decision announced Thursday, the seven-member court said that Sirisena violated the constitution when he called a snap election nearly two years before the parliamentary session was due to end.

The decision adds another chapter to a political crisis that began on on October 26, when President Sirisena fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, claiming that an informant told police that a Cabinet minister was part of a plot to assassinate him.

Sri Lanka, parliament
Ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe holds a copy of the constitution of Sri Lanka as he attends a media briefing at his official residence in Colombo, Oct. 29, 2018. VOA

He replaced Wickremesinghe with Mahinda Rajapaksa, the country’s former president and strongman, then suspended parliament the next day. In an apparent bow to international pressure, Sirisena summoned lawmakers back to work last Monday.

But when it became apparent that Rajapaksa would not survive a no-confidence vote, Sirisena dissolved parliament on November 9 and called for snap elections. The Supreme Court overruled the president’s decree in a ruling issued just days later.

Wickremesinghe has remained in the prime minister’s official residence in Colombo in defiance of Sirisena’s actions.

Sri Lanka, Parliament
Newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa speaks during the parliament session in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Nov. 15, 2018. VOA

The push to oust Rajapaksa dragged Sri Lanka’s parliament into chaos. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya held a voice vote on November 14 on the no-confidence motion after Rajapaksa’s supporters staged an noisy, impromptu protest in the chamber before debate began.

Also Read: Sri Lanka On The Brink of ‘Economic Anarchy’

The next day, rival lawmakers exchanged blows after Jayasuriya declared that Sri Lanka had no prime minister or a cabinet, with some of Rajapaksa’s supporters hurling water bottles and other objects at Jayasuriya. (VOA)