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Govt. won’t sack anyone, after being pressured by protests – President

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Addressing the launching of the Centre for Governance and Public Policy (C-GaPP) at the Sri Lanka Technological Campus (SLTC) Research University at the Trace City in Colombo this morning (15), President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the government will not give into the demands of protestors.

He noted that just, because certain groups strike demanding the removal of certain officials, the government will not remove anyone arbitrarily as there is a procedure that has to be followed and the government will follow the rules and act accordingly.

He said that the responsibility to address such issues rests to a large extent with the Universities. The President noted that even at the point of the new Centre for Governance and Public Policy (C-GaPP) being inaugurated at the Sri Lanka Technological Campus (SLTC) Research University, two strikes were in progress. One was staged at the Ruhuna University demanding the removal of the Vice Chancellor and another one demanded the removal of the General Manager of a state Corporation.

President Wickremesinghe further stated that the removal of the General Manager is a matter of the government. “Just, because there is a strike we will not remove him. There’s a procedure that has to be followed if they think there are any shortcomings of serious nature against him. As far as the Vice Chancellors are concerned, there is a procedure that has to be followed. Just because people go on strike, whether it’s in a corporation or in a university, this government will not change. We will follow the rules and we will act accordingly, because if I give into this now, next time they will want to remove the Deans and thereafter the heads of department. And then we will be told that we can’t appoint a professor without their consent.

I think we have to seriously look at what is going to happen in the universities. The country has a right to know what is happening. We are paying money to educate our people. So we want the universities to function properly. And I am sad that this strike is taking place at the Ruhuna University,” the President said.

The Vice Chancellor of the SLTC Research University Ranjith G. Rubasinghe presented a memento to the President.

State Minister of Higher Education Dr. Suren Raghavan, Associate Professor at the Social Studies, The Hague Prof. Howard Nicolas, the Vice Chancellor and the President of the SLTC Research University Ranjith G. Rubasinghe, scholars and other officials attended at this event.

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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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