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PM meets EU delegation

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Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena held a discussion with the European Union Exploratory Mission (ExM) of the EU Election Observatory Mission (EOM) at the Temple Trees today (June 7).
The delegation discussed issues pertaining to forthcoming elections in Sri Lanka and explained the EU’s methods of election monitoring after entering into an agreement with the government and the Election Commission.

When they said that there were rumours regarding the next election, the Prime Minister stated that the Constitutional Provision was very clear on the Presidential Election and already the Election Commission has made an announcement with this regard. He assured that elections will be held in accordance with the constitution and the elections will be free and fair.

The team leader of the delegation Mette Bakken said that observers will be deployed across the country to all nine provinces and meet with election officials, candidates, political parties, media representatives, domestic observers and voters.

Legal Director Jayatissa de Costa explained the proposed electoral reforms to the EU delegation.

Deputy Head of EU Mission Lars Bredal said the EU Election Observation Mission will submit a preliminary report 2 days after the election and a comprehensive report within two weeks’ time.

The EU is a globally recognised and credible actor in international election observation. Since 2000, the EU has deployed over 180 Election Observation Missions (EOMs) to more than 65 countries.

The delegation included European Union Deputy Head of Delegation Lars Bredal, Team Leader Mette Bakken, Sector Head Kari Kasmann, Policy Officer Laure Philippe-Kagan and Political Expert, Inta Lase.

MP Yadamini Gunawardena, Secretary to the Prime Minister Anura Dissanayake, Secretary to Ministry of Local Government & Home Affairs, Pradeep Yasaratne, Legal Director, Dr Jayatissa de Costa, Advisor on International Affairs and Media, Sugeeswara Senadhira and Legal Officer Gayani Premathilake also attended the meeting.

(dailynews.lk)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Fresh protest in Jaffna over poaching by Indian fishermen

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Associations representing fishermen in the north today  staged a protest in front of the Indian Consulate in Jaffna demanding to stop the Indian trawler that were trespassing in the Sri Lankan waters.

They also met the Indian Consul General Sai Murali and handed over a letter.

The move came as the  government was planning to  take up the issue of poaching with the visiting Indian Foreign Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishnakar  who is due on June 20 in Colombo.

When President Ranil Wickremesinghe visited New Delhi on June 9 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the matter was also raised in a separate meeting with Minister Dr Jaishnakar as well.

Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda earlier told the Sunday Times that the government will take up the matter with the visiting Indian Foreign Minister this week as the government is consistent with its policy of preventing Indian fishermen from robbing billions worth of fisheries resources from the Northern Sea.

“As a nation, we have to protect our resources, interests and the livelihood of our fisherfolks. I hope to raise the issue in the next Cabinet meeting (June 19) as well,” Minister Devananda said.

Days before the annual breeding ban was lifted, a group of fishermen’s unions based in North handed over a petition on Tuesday to officials at the Indian Consulate General office in Jaffna requesting them to make immediate steps to prevent Indian fishermen coming into Sri Lankan waters at the expense of their livelihood.

The fishermen unions which formed a collective outfit as Northen Fishermen’s Allaince requested President Wickremesinghe in a petition urged authorities to “expedite their maximum efforts to monitoring and preventing the daily incursion of thousands of Tamil Nadu trawlers every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings,”

The two-month-long ban came into effect from April 14 onwards and was lifted on Friday is enforced to facilitate the breeding of fish banks in the ocean and maintain the equilibrium of marine sources for sustainability.

Currently, Indian fishermen who engage in fishing in Sri Lankan territorial waters are arrested by the Navy and Coast Guard and subjected to legal action after their trawlers are seized.

Following the legal action in which the Magistrate courts hand in a suspended sentence of eighteen months for engaging in fishing without a license, fishermen are released and repatriated through the assistance of Indian diplomatic missions.

(sundaytimes.lk)

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

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President tells Minister Wijeyadasa to quit?

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The Senior Vice Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa has claimed that President Ranil Wickremesinghe has pressured Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, to resign from the government.

He alleged that Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe revealed this during a politburo meeting.

However, ‘Ada Derana’ reports that upon contacting Minister Rajapakshe, he said that the statement made by Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa is untrue.  

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 Railways TU action called off

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The Sri Lanka Railways Station Masters’ Union (SLRSMU) has decided to call off their planned trade union action as their demands are being reviewed by the Public Service Commission. 

The Commission is expected to announce its decision by Thursday (20). Meanwhile, train operations are continuing as usual today, according to the SLRSMU.

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