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Not even President has power to hold General Election till March: EC

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It is not possible to hold a Parliamentary Election constitutionally before March next year, the Elections Commission said.

Its Chairman and lawyer Nimal G. Punchihewa said Parliament can only be dissolved two and a half years after the first parliamentary session has been held.

Speaking at a ceremony held in Kegalle, Mr. Punchiheva said Parliament must be dissolved if a general election is to be held.

“Only the President can dissolve Parliament. However, not even the President has the power to dissolve Parliament until March next year according to our Constitution. Parliament cannot be dissolved for two and a half years. Otherwise, a request must be made to dissolve Parliament with a majority vote. The President has full and absolute discretion whether to accept this request or not. Therefore, we have to think about going for a future General Election within these limitations,” he said.

Mr. Punchiheva also said that it is essential to pass the necessary legal provisions in Parliament to hold the Provincial Councils elections under the old electoral system.

Meanwhile, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya has decided to sign a public petition against the government’s alleged attempts to postpone elections.

MP Tissa Attanayake said the signing of the petition will be commenced in Parliament today.

(Ada Derana)

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Tourists nowadays aren’t fools – Diana

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State Minister of Tourism Diana Gamage has warned that stern action will be taken promptly against those who are hostile to tourists visiting Sri Lanka.

She was responding to the media over the recent incident where a vendor had been hostile to a tourist over an overpriced Kottu.

Noting that tourists nowadays are not idiots and cannot be fooled, the State Minister urged such persons to refrain from such behaviour without harming the reputation of Sri Lanka as a hospitable, friendly tourist destination as well the livelihood of other such fellow businessmen as well.

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Hostile street food owner bailed (Update)

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Complaint lodged over Piumi Hansamali’s possession of Gota’s Range Rover

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Mage Rata organization president Sanjaya Mahawatta today, lodged a complaint with the Illegal Assets Investigations Division, calling for an inquiry into model Piumi Hansamali using the Range Rover vehicle previously used  by former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“It is clear that an election is near and politicians tend to inject all their saved black money into the upcoming election campaigns and it has become a good time for the people who engage with money laundering activities. 

“Accordingly, we have some doubts on how Piumi Hansamal managed to get the Range Rover vehicle (CBH 1949) which was used by former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

“The question arises whether the Range Rover vehicle was given to the former president or if Gotabaya has given it to Piyumi,” said Mahawatta and further alleged that the model currently resides in a super luxury apartment, owns other properties and leads an exceedingly luxurious lifestyle.

Therefore, there are suspicions that Piumi Hansamali is being utilized for money laundering activities involving politicians’ black money, he charged.

“Therefore, we have lodged a complaint with the Illegal Assets Investigations Division. The initial complaint pertains to the Range Rover vehicle previously associated with former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and its transfer to Piumi Hansamali. This vehicle is estimated to be worth Rs. 100 million. Questions arise regarding how the vehicle came into Piumi Hansamali’s possession, the reasons behind its transfer and how she could afford such a valuable asset while primarily engaged in selling cosmetics. Additionally, it is noted that Piumi Hansamali’s has not made any television appearances lately.

“I personally know several individuals who rely on selling cosmetics for their livelihoods. But they struggle to cover their daily expenses with their modest incomes. However, Piumi Hansamali reportedly spends lakhs of rupees daily and leads a lavish lifestyle. 

“The Mage Rata organization is vigilant over the extravagant spending of politicians during election campaigns and their potential involvement in money laundering activities,” he stated.

“Hence, we anticipate an immediate investigation into this complaint,” he added.

(dailymirror.lk)

(This story, originally published by dailymirror.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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SL hopes to continue discussion with bondholders

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State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe has said today (April 17) that Sri Lanka hopes to continue discussion with the bondholders with a view to reaching common ground ahead of the IMF board consideration of the second review of Sri Lanka’s EFF program.

Sri Lankan authorities continue to engage all debt restructuring negotiations in good faith, within principles of equitable treatment among creditors, and with maximum transparency within the norms of such negotiations, he has said.

The full statement of the State Minister is as follows :

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