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Ballot paper printing not yet started?



Although the distribution of postal ballots should commence on February 15, the Government Printing Department sources said that not a single ballot paper has been printed so far.

Meanwhile, an official of the Election Commission has informed a senior official of the Government Press that he will complain to the court if the ballot papers are not printed.

It is reported that there was an argument in this regard during a discussion held last Friday between Elections Commissioner General Saman Sri Ratnayake and the Government Printer.

The Election Commission has not made any payment for the printing work done so far to the Government Press.

It said the printing of ballot papers should be commenced since the Supreme Court has given an order to go ahead with the election.

Lies of the Election Commission

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has informed the divisional secretaries and politicians that the printing of ballot papers has commenced.

Stocks of paper have been allocated for printing of ballot papers, computer designs (artwork) have been completed but no ballot papers have been printed so far.

It has been the tradition for the election commission to settle the payments required for printing of ballot papers once the election has been held.

However, it is reported that only part of the money given by the Treasury and the candidate’s bail money has been sent to the government press.

“Rs.40mn given to print ballot papers which is enough only for 10 districts”

A trade union member of the government printing department has told the media that an inquiry has been made from the Attorney General asking if ballot papers should be printed on Friday.

“The press has still not received an answer. The printing will commence tomorrow once the Attorney General gives his opinion,” he said.

A number of government officials have been called by the Elections Commissioner General to discuss holding the election on credit terms, but none of them have attended the meeting.

It is against this backdrop that certain media have reported that the postal voting will not be held as planned on February 22, 23, 24 due to the lack of financial allocations for the poll.

Enough paper and ink for the election!

Meanwhile, it was reported that the reports published in some media that the government press does not have necessary paper and ink for the printing works related to the local government elections are false.

As ballot papers are printed using paper with security watermarks only in a presidential election and a general election, 80gsm normal white paper is used for the printing of provincial council and local government elections’ ballots papers. The government printing department has more than enough such paper and ink, it was reported.

In this situation, a printing department official emphasized that there is no need to buy paper and ink immediately for local government election activities.

Source – The Leader


19th Asian Games to kick off at Hangzhou in China Today




The 19th edition of the Asian Games is all set to kick off today in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.

Delayed by a year due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions, the 19th edition of the event is set to officially begin with a two-hour opening ceremony from 5.30pm.

The opening ceremony for the Asian Games will take place at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, which is capable of accommodating up to 80,000 people.

The stadium was completed in 2018 and is mostly used for soccer matches, features a retractable roof, a circular LED screen, and a natural grass field.

Dating back to 1951, the Games are bigger than the Olympics when it comes to the number of athletes and sports – and this year’s competition is billed as the biggest in history.

Nearly 12,500 athletes – more than ever – from 45 countries and territories will be competing across 40 sports. The Games will be held in 56 venues, 12 of which have been newly built.

The programme includes the more traditional events, such as athletics and swimming but also those which reflect Asia’s diverse sporting culture, such as sepak takraw, or kick volleyball, kabaddi, and wushu, a martial art.

China, as the host country, has the privilege of choosing which sports to include in the programme, with bridge, chess and Xiangqi (Chinese chess) being among the non-Olympic events featured in the schedule.

Meanwhile, e-sports, breakdancing and sport climbing will be making their Games debut, in an effort to attract the interest of younger people.

FIFA Online 4, Street Fighter V and League of Legends are among the seven e-sport medal events.

The Games will see participants competing for 481 gold medals across 15 days.

Sri Lanka is fielding a 96-member contingent with 62 male and 34 female athletes.

The closing ceremony on October 8 will include the handover to Japan before the 2026 Aichi-Nagoya Games.

Qatar will host the Asian Games in 2030.

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Minister of Agriculture explores opportunities to export eggs and chicken




Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera instructed the relevant officials to look into the opportunities of exporting eggs and chicken.

He says that chicken and eggs are already being exported to several countries including the Maldives.

Minister Amaraweera says that Sri Lanka will have to import eggs in the upcoming festive season.

However, he says says that steps have been taken to ensure that eggs and chicken will be produced within the country, by next year.

The Minister of Agriculture says that a surplus of eggs is expected to be created by August 2024, and that plans have already been made to look into the opportunities in the world market.


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Anura Kumara asks Pilleyan if he is still paid by intelligence services




Claiming that the group led by Parliamentarian Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pilleyan has been paid Rs.3.5 million per month by the intelligence services, NPP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake questioned whether the group is still being paid that amount. 

He told parliament that Pilleyan’s group has been maintained and paid from the account of the Intelligence Services.   

The MP said this during a cross-talk with Pilleyan after Dissanayake alleged that most of those who were accused of their failure to prevent the Easter attacks and those who were accused of committing the crime such as Pilleyan are with the government now. 

“You and your group were paid and maintained by the intelligence units Rs. 3.5 million per month. We want to know whether you are still being paid,” MP Dissanayake questioned Pilleyan.   

Speaking during the adjournment debate on the exposure by Channel 4 on the Easter Sunday attacks, Dissanayake said reasonable investigation into the Easter attacks cannot be expected as those who were accused of their failure to prevent the attacks and those who were accused of committing the crime such as Pilleyan are with the government now.   

“The faction that failed to prevent the attacks such as then President Maithripala Sirisena, then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, heads of intelligence units such as SIS are with the government. Those who are accused of committing the crime such as Pilleyan and Gotabaya Rajapaksa also represent the government. So, how can we expect a reasonable investigation,” he asked.

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