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President hopes to reach agreement this year to resolve ethnic issue 

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that he expects to reach an agreement this year to solve the country’s long-drawn ethnic issue with the Government’s commitment to policies that benefit all communities in Sri Lanka.

He has said he intends to address the ethnic problem in the country while implementing the agreement with the IMF, noting that it is important to move forward while respecting and protecting the rights of all communities.

He said this while joining the United National Party May Day celebrations held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo today (01) virtually.

In order to address the issues faced by the Tamil community in this country, it is futile for Tamil political parties to distance themselves & called on all parties to work together towards building a new, competitive, and sustainable economy that is inclusive and just for all communities in Sri Lanka, he added.

In his May Day address, the President said, “My motivation was not rooted in politics, but in properly managing the country’s economy and alleviating the burdens on its citizens. For this reason, I took on the role of the presidency, as I had faith in my ability to revive the economy and work alongside supportive ministers to achieve these outcomes.

President Wickremesinghe also noted that as the country approaches the centenary of independence in 2048, the goal should be to become a country with a developed economy, just like India aims to achieve in 2047 and China in 2049. “Let 2048 be the year of development for Sri Lanka. We are not only building this economy for the present generation but also for the youth and children of the future.” 

“We need to address the growing demand for change in our political and economic systems, particularly from the youth. As leaders, it is our responsibility to listen to their voices and take action,” he said.

Considering the growing demand for political & economic change, particularly from the youth, the President said it is the responsibility of political leaders to listen to their voices & take action. Additionally, the Government plans to submit the Jana Sabha draft to  Parliament, following former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s proposal.

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Anton’s TU life celebrated in Kusal’s ‘Humanist Without Borders’

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A book celebrating fifty years of Mr. Anton Marcus as a Trade Unionist will be held in Colombo next week.

Mr. Marcus is currently the Joint Secretary of the Free Trade Zones and Public Employees’ Union.

The book entitled ‘Humanist Without Borders’ alongside its Sinhala version, will be launched on June 17, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo from 3.30pm.

The books are penned by political columnist and analyst – Kusal Perera.

Emeritus Professor Jayadeva Uyangoda and the former president and general secretary of New Zealand’s ‘First Union’, Mr. Robert Reed, will deliver guest lectures.
Speaking to ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ in this regard, Mr. Kusal Perera said:

“My effort in profiling Anton in this book that traverses the fifty years of his trade union life is in the context of Sri Lankan politics. It’s because he himself is a political creature. Therefore my reading said, despite all rights, decency, dignity enshrined in the Constitution, in International law and for all that Anton fought for, it was no easy task in a world of the filthy rich whatever honourable labels one would tag them with.”

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Modi expected to visit SL?

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A high level delegation headed by the State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya is scheduled to visit Russia to arrange for the repatriation of Sri Lankan ex-military personnel deployed in Russia for military purposes and the related discussions will be held on June 26 and 27, said Minister of Foreign Affairs, President’s Counsel Ali Sabry.
The Minister also noted that a team of officials has been tasked with reviewing the Cabinet paper submitted to decide on Sri Lanka’s potential membership in the BRICS organization. Their report is anticipated later this month.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, President’s Counsel Ali Sabry, highlighted this during his participation in today’s (June 14) Press conference at the Presidential Media Centre, focusing on the theme ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’.

The minister elaborated further, stating that they are also anticipating a visit from the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs – S. Jaishankar followed by a visit by the Indian PM himself.

“President Ranil Wickremesinghe visited India to take part in the swearing-in ceremony of Sri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.  Consequently, we anticipate a visit from the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs to Sri Lanka later this month, with the Prime Minister of India expected to follow suit shortly,” Minister Sabry has said.

He further noted : 
Recently, I attended the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Conference in Russia, representing Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has submitted a Cabinet paper to explore the possibility of Sri Lanka joining the BRICS organization. A team comprising officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Treasury, Ministry of Finance, and Central Bank has been tasked with studying this proposal. The Cabinet is expected to receive their report later this month.

Furthermore, discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov focused on resolving the issue of Sri Lankan ex-military personnel serving in the Russian army. To address this, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, and a delegation including secretary to the Defence Ministry will visit Russia. These discussions are scheduled for June 26th and 27th. Concurrently, efforts have commenced to facilitate the safe return of Sri Lankans currently stranded in Myanmar.

(Excerpts : President’s Media Division) 

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Keheliya & 7 others further remanded

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Former Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella and 07 others have been further remanded until June 28 by the Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court over the import of substandard human Immunoglobulin vials.

This order was issued when the case was taken up before the Maligakanda Magistrate today (June 14).

Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s Department today informed the Supreme Court that it will not appear on behalf of former Health Minister Kehiliya Rambukwella and arrested NMRA officials over the case of purchasing medicines from two allegedly unregistered companies.

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