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I can bring proposals but only Parliament can approve them: President

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During the All-Party Conference at the Presidential Secretariat today (26), President Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed the significance of discussing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution with all parties, as it is a matter that affects the entire country. 

He highlighted that a decision on this matter should involve input from all relevant parties.

The conference was organized to update the Parliament’s party leaders on the National Reconciliation Program and the North-East Development Plan. 

President Wickremesinghe recalled that neither he nor the previous seven Executive Presidents had the authority to pass new laws to address existing problems; that power rested solely with the Parliament. He asserted that he was bringing forth relevant proposals for the betterment of the country, but the responsibility of implementing them lay with all the representatives in the Parliament, as he alone couldn’t achieve it with his single vote.

The President noted that seven out of the nine provincial councils were located in areas with a majority of Sinhalese. If the provincial council system were to be maintained, he emphasized the need to address the shortcomings that had already been experienced. He suggested granting provincial councils powers over subjects currently under the central government, including grassroots activities like agriculture and tourism.

According to President Wickremesinghe, the central government should formulate policies for the country, while provincial councils should provide the necessary facilities for the successful implementation of development activities in all fields. Collaboration between all parties and levels of government was crucial for progress and development.

In addition, President Ranil Wickremesinghe called for collective discussions among all parties to decide on granting police powers to the Provincial Councils as outlined in the 13th Amendment of the Constitution.

Furthermore, President Wickremesinghe proposed arrangements that would allow members of the Provincial Councils to concurrently hold positions and be appointed as Members of Parliament, while members of Parliament could also serve as members of the Provincial Councils.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, Former President Maithripala Sirisena, Tamil National Alliance Leader and Member of Parliament R. Sampanthan, M. A. Sumanthiran, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and Member of Parliament Sagara Kariyawasam, as well as other Members of Parliament such as Dallas Alahapperuma, Wimal Weerawansa, Gevidu Kumaratunga, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Udaya Gammanpila, Sarath Weerasekera, Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thero, Weerasumana Weerasinghe, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, C.V. Vigneswaran, and Lakshman Kiriella, participated and expressed their views during the event. Numerous party leaders and representatives from various parties were also present at the occasion.

(President’s Media Division)

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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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