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New post for Chandima Weerakkody

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MP Chandima Weerakkody has been appointed as the President of the Sri Lanka-United Kingdom Parliamentary Friendship Association on Aug. 08.

The meeting to elect office bearers for the Sri Lanka – United Kingdom Parliamentary Friendship Association of the Ninth Parliament was held at the Parliament under the chairmanship of Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana.

Acting High Commissioner of United Kingdom in Sri Lanka Mrs. Lisa Whanstall was present at the meeting as the Chief Guest. The Deputy Speaker – Ajith Rajapakse, Ministers and Members of Parliament and the Secretary General of the Parliament Ms. Kushani Rohanadeera were also present.

State Minister – Diana Gamage as well as  MPs Muszhaaraff and Ashok Abeysinghe were appointed as the Vice Presidents of the Friendship Association. MP M. A. Sumanthiran and MP Harshana Rajakaruna, were appointed as Secretary and Assistant Secretary respectively, while MP Sagara Kariyawasam was appointed as Treasurer.

Speaking at this occasion, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana said that he would like to express his gratitude for all the support given to Sri Lanka through the bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom for seven decades. Furthermore, he also expressed gratitude for providing opportunities for Members of Parliament and Parliamentary staff through seminars, workshops and study tours through the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).

Addressing those present the Acting High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Sri Lanka, Mrs. Lisa Whanstall said that the United Kingdom is happy to support Sri Lanka through multilateral organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the United Nations to overcome the economic crisis.

Also, she added that she is ready to work with other lenders and the Government of Sri Lanka to restore debt sustainability.

Speaking, MP Chandima Weerakkody expressed his gratitude for appointing him as president. He also stated that through this he hopes to further strengthen and develop the relations between the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka.

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SLFP to support no-confidence motion against the Speaker

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The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has announced its endorsement of the no-confidence motion to be brought against the Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.

Accordingly, the SLFP announced that it will support the motion being brought against the Speaker by the opposition, and will vote in favour of it.

On Monday (26 Feb.), several Opposition members, led by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Leader Sajith Premadasa, signed a motion of no confidence against the Speaker, claiming that he had violated the Constitution.

As such, a group of MPs belonging to the opposition in Parliament including M. A. Sumanthiran, Lakshman Kiriella, Prof. G. L. Pieris, Tissa Attanayake, Chandima Weerakkody and Shan Wijayalal de Silva, had inked the motion for approving the much-disputed Online Safety Bill amidst ‘irregular procedures’.

The no-confidence motion pointed out that the Speaker had ignored the Supreme Court’s recommendations pertaining to Sections 13, 17, 20, 33 (6), 34 (1), 35 (1), 21, 22 and 33 of the Online Safety Bill.

Earlier this month, Opposition Leader charged that the Speaker had ignored nine recommendations given by the Supreme Court while enacting the Online Safety Act, adding that they no longer have faith in him.

(adaderana.lk)

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School outdoor activities suspended over soaring temperatures

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The Education Ministry has instructed all respective school authorities to refrain from making students participate in strenuous outdoor activities until Friday (March 01) at schools as temperatures are expected to rise further.

Accordingly, Sports Day events, sports practices or any other scheduled outdoor activities are urged to be suspended for the time being.

Provincial and zonal authorities of education have been instructed to brief school principals about the matter, the ministry said in a press release.

In addition, school administrations are required to comply with the health guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and the Education Ministry.

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Court suspends divestiture process of SLT & Lanka Hospitals

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The Court of Appeal yesterday (27) issued an interim order preventing authorities from proceeding with the divestiture process of Sri Lanka Telecom and Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC, until March 12.

Three Petitions were filed for Sri Lanka Telecom PLC including by Lyca Mobiles, and S.M.R. M company, while two petitions were filed for Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC including by Lyca Leasing Holdings.

Upon the oral submissions made by President’s Counsel Kuvera De Zoysa, Court of Appeal Justice D.N. Samarakoon issued notices on respondents, returnable for March 12.

The petitioners named Minister of Finance Ranil Wickremesinghe, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe, the members of the special Cabinet-appointed negotiating committee for the purpose of selecting pre-qualified bidders for the strategic divestiture pertaining to 51.34% shares of Lanka Hospitals PLC and several others as respondents.

Kuvera De Zoysa, PC with Raslka Dissanayake, Sajana de Zoysa, Dinusha Pathirana and Shablr Huzalr instructed by Sanath Wijewardane appeared for the petitioners.

The petitioners had informed the court that they had submitted bids per the required criteria for the divestiture of the Sri Lankan Government’s shares of 50.23% in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and 51.34% in Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC.

The petitioners alleged that, however, the Cabinet of Ministers had rejected the bids without providing any clear explanations, adding that the decision was against the law.

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