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Pandu Karanda tree removed with Cabinet approval! (Video)

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Cabinet approval had been granted to remove the Pandu Karanda tree ( Crudia Zeylanica) located in Daraluwa, Veyangoda and was in the centre of a controversy as it stood in the way of the Central Expressway project, Transport and Highways Minister Bandula Gunawardena said today (11).

The tree was removed yesterday (10) despite campaigns by environmentalists earlier.

Minister Gunawardena said if they were to change the route of the expressway – Kadawatha – Mirigama section, it would have cost Rs 15 billion more.

He said he had done an indepth study and he received reports that 12 other trees which are over 40 years old as well as 25 trees with a height of 12 – 15 feet have been found in this area.

He also added that a programme is in place to grow 200 such plants instead of the tree that was felled.

After presenting these details to the Cabinet, approval was granted to remove it, the minister said.

The species, known as the Sri Lanka Legume (Crudia zelanica) has been listed as a Critically Endangered species in the National Red Data List published by the Ministry of Environment in 2021, environmentalists point out.

In a Facebook post, prominent environmentalist – Mr. Sajeewa Chamikara has stated that the Minister as well as officials of the Road Development Authority should be directly held responsible for the illegal felling of this tree.

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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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