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Pavithra gets new post

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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.

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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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