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Pavithra gets new post



Minister Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi was appointed recently (09) as the President of the Sri Lanka – European Union Parliamentary Friendship Association.

The special meeting to appoint the office bearers related to the Ninth Parliament of the Sri Lanka – European Union Parliamentary Friendship Association was held in Parliament and was chaired by the Speaker – Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana. Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka – Mr. Denis Chaibi was present as the guest of honor and the Secretary General of the Parliament Mr. Dhammika Dasanayake was also present at this event.

State Minister – Diana Gamage as well as MPs (Dr.) Upul Galappaththi, and Hector Appuhamy were appointed as the new Secretaries to the Sri Lanka – European Union Friendship Association.

Addressing the meeting, the Speaker stated that the European Union has provided grants to Sri Lanka to support and contribute to local efforts towards recovery and reform processes in a wide range of areas including poverty reduction, democratic governance, local development, agriculture, water and health and allocated financial grant for Development Assistance in Sri Lanka during period for 2014 to 2020. Furthermore, the Speaker stated that the European Union supported Sri Lanka during the COVID-19 crisis in the country.

Adding to the same the Speaker also highlighted that Sri Lanka is very much looking forward to welcome the Delegation for Relations with South Asia Countries (DSAS) of the European Parliament which is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in mid-May this year.

Mr. Denis Chaibi, Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka also stated that over the last 20 years, the European Union has allocated more than 8 billion Euros in grants to Sri Lanka with no repay and conditional laws. He further reiterated that the European Union has assisted Sri Lanka in rural development, reconciliation and is invested in assisting further in the establishment of a green economy as well as social cohesion.

The Ambassador further stated that they believe that Sri Lanka is a mother of democracy in Asia and commended the resilience Sri Lanka has showed in protecting democracy amidst various challenges highlighting how important democracy is for trade.

Speaking at the meeting, newly elected President of the Sri Lanka – European Union Friendship Association, Minister Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi stated that she wishes to work towards strengthening and building relations between the European Union and Sri Lanka further.

Ministers, State Ministers and Members of Parliament were also present at the event held.


19th Asian Games to kick off at Hangzhou in China Today




The 19th edition of the Asian Games is all set to kick off today in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.

Delayed by a year due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions, the 19th edition of the event is set to officially begin with a two-hour opening ceremony from 5.30pm.

The opening ceremony for the Asian Games will take place at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, which is capable of accommodating up to 80,000 people.

The stadium was completed in 2018 and is mostly used for soccer matches, features a retractable roof, a circular LED screen, and a natural grass field.

Dating back to 1951, the Games are bigger than the Olympics when it comes to the number of athletes and sports – and this year’s competition is billed as the biggest in history.

Nearly 12,500 athletes – more than ever – from 45 countries and territories will be competing across 40 sports. The Games will be held in 56 venues, 12 of which have been newly built.

The programme includes the more traditional events, such as athletics and swimming but also those which reflect Asia’s diverse sporting culture, such as sepak takraw, or kick volleyball, kabaddi, and wushu, a martial art.

China, as the host country, has the privilege of choosing which sports to include in the programme, with bridge, chess and Xiangqi (Chinese chess) being among the non-Olympic events featured in the schedule.

Meanwhile, e-sports, breakdancing and sport climbing will be making their Games debut, in an effort to attract the interest of younger people.

FIFA Online 4, Street Fighter V and League of Legends are among the seven e-sport medal events.

The Games will see participants competing for 481 gold medals across 15 days.

Sri Lanka is fielding a 96-member contingent with 62 male and 34 female athletes.

The closing ceremony on October 8 will include the handover to Japan before the 2026 Aichi-Nagoya Games.

Qatar will host the Asian Games in 2030.

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Minister of Agriculture explores opportunities to export eggs and chicken




Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera instructed the relevant officials to look into the opportunities of exporting eggs and chicken.

He says that chicken and eggs are already being exported to several countries including the Maldives.

Minister Amaraweera says that Sri Lanka will have to import eggs in the upcoming festive season.

However, he says says that steps have been taken to ensure that eggs and chicken will be produced within the country, by next year.

The Minister of Agriculture says that a surplus of eggs is expected to be created by August 2024, and that plans have already been made to look into the opportunities in the world market.


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Anura Kumara asks Pilleyan if he is still paid by intelligence services




Claiming that the group led by Parliamentarian Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pilleyan has been paid Rs.3.5 million per month by the intelligence services, NPP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake questioned whether the group is still being paid that amount. 

He told parliament that Pilleyan’s group has been maintained and paid from the account of the Intelligence Services.   

The MP said this during a cross-talk with Pilleyan after Dissanayake alleged that most of those who were accused of their failure to prevent the Easter attacks and those who were accused of committing the crime such as Pilleyan are with the government now. 

“You and your group were paid and maintained by the intelligence units Rs. 3.5 million per month. We want to know whether you are still being paid,” MP Dissanayake questioned Pilleyan.   

Speaking during the adjournment debate on the exposure by Channel 4 on the Easter Sunday attacks, Dissanayake said reasonable investigation into the Easter attacks cannot be expected as those who were accused of their failure to prevent the attacks and those who were accused of committing the crime such as Pilleyan are with the government now.   

“The faction that failed to prevent the attacks such as then President Maithripala Sirisena, then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, heads of intelligence units such as SIS are with the government. Those who are accused of committing the crime such as Pilleyan and Gotabaya Rajapaksa also represent the government. So, how can we expect a reasonable investigation,” he asked.

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