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Catholic Church to boycott Independence Day celebrations

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The Catholic Church has decided not to attend the 75th National Independence Day celebrations, Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando says.

Speaking at a media briefing today (01), he said that they question what kind of independence can be celebrated with dignity in a country where many burning issues prevail.

“We question what is the kind of independence can be celebrated with dignity in a country with debt defaults, where 30% of the population goes hungry, where 33.4% of children under 5 years of age are suffering from malnutrition, where many are losing jobs and small industries are collapsing, where the rule of law is severely shattered, where the freedom of expression is hindered, where uninterrupted power supply cannot be given during the GCE A/L exam and where there is no sufficient medicine,” Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando added.

Spending Rs. 200 million for this kind of ’empty’ kind of celebration is a sheer waste and crime against the people. We strongly condemn wasting such a staggering amount of funds to hold the 75th Independence Day. What really should have been done when celebrating the 75th independence Day, was a public apology by political parties and leaders who have ruined this country in the past 75 years.

We refuse to celebrate this Independence Day in this manner. No one representing the Catholic Church will participate,” Fr. Cyril Gamini further said.

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Cabinet decision to suspend ‘Parate Executions’

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All Parate Executions have been suspended until Dec. 15, as per a Cabinet decision made today (26 Feb.).

The relevant proposal was furnished by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, following a request made by Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, and Minister of Industries Ramesh Pathirana.

Accordingly, the relevant amendments are due to be presented before the Parliament soon.

State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya had informed Parliament last week that steps will be taken to suspend the powers of the ‘Parate execution’ law for a certain period for the purpose of protecting the small and medium-scale entrepreneurs (SMEs).

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Parate execution law to be suspended: Siyambalapitiya

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Deshabandu Tennakoon appointed as IGP

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Deshabandu Tennakoon has been appointed as 36th Inspector General of Police in Sri Lanka.

President’s Secretary, Saman Ekanayake had handed over his appointment letter earlier today afternoon (Feb. 26).

Since Nov. 29, 2023, Tennakoon served as the Acting IGP. Deshabandu Tennakoon joined the police service in 1998 as an Assistant Superintendent of Police.

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Palestinian PM resigns

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Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has announced the resignation of his government, which rules parts of the occupied West Bank, due to the escalating violence in the occupied territory and the war on Gaza.

“The decision to resign came in light of the unprecedented escalation in the West Bank and Jerusalem and the war, genocide and starvation in the Gaza Strip,” said Shtayyeh, who submitted his resignation to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday.

“I see that the next stage and its challenges require new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the new reality in Gaza and the need for a Palestinian-Palestinian consensus based on Palestinian unity and the extension of unity of authority over the land of Palestine,” he said.

Shtayyeh’s comments come as US pressure grows on Abbas to shake up the PA and begin work on a political structure that can govern a Palestinian state following the war.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has on numerous occasions rejected calls for the PA under Abbas to take control of a Palestinian state and govern Gaza.

Last week, Israeli lawmakers backed Netanyahu’s rejection of any “unilateral” recognition of a Palestinian state.

“The Knesset came together in an overwhelming majority against the attempt to impose on us the establishment of a Palestinian state, which would not only fail to bring peace but would endanger the state of Israel,” said Netanyahu.

(Aljazeera)

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