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President meets King Charles III (Pics)

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A meeting of the heads of state of the Commonwealth of Nations was convened in London yesterday (05), with the presence of King Charles III and President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

During the event, President Wickremesinghe extended his congratulations to King Charles III and engaged in a cordial conversation. Prof. Maithrie Wickramasinghe was also in attendance.

During the gathering, President Wickremesinghe emphasized the importance of the Commonwealth playing a more significant role in supporting education reforms that encourage youth involvement. He also called on the Commonwealth to bolster connectivity through digitization.

In addition to this, President Wickremesinghe held a bilateral meeting with H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, to discuss ways of strengthening relations between their countries.

Meanwhile, Prof. Wickramasinghe participated in the Fireside Chat program, which was organized as a parallel event to the Leaders Meeting. The Fireside Chat program provided a platform for discussions on various topics and issues related to the Commonwealth and its members.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe also met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame in London to discuss potential areas of cooperation between their countries. The meeting was held yesterday (05), and both presidents expressed their interest in exploring opportunities for collaboration, particularly in the agriculture and healthcare sectors.

President Wickremesinghe proposed an exchange of visits by relevant ministers, which would enable officials from both countries to explore potential avenues for cooperation. The two leaders also discussed the possibility of further military cooperation, with President Wickremesinghe offering to provide training by Sri Lanka’s defence forces for rapid responses to natural disasters.

The meeting was attended by Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to London, Ms. Saroja Sirisena, and the President’s Director of International Affairs, Mr. Dinouk Colombage.

(President’s Media Unit)

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SLFP to support no-confidence motion against the Speaker

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The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has announced its endorsement of the no-confidence motion to be brought against the Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.

Accordingly, the SLFP announced that it will support the motion being brought against the Speaker by the opposition, and will vote in favour of it.

On Monday (26 Feb.), several Opposition members, led by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Leader Sajith Premadasa, signed a motion of no confidence against the Speaker, claiming that he had violated the Constitution.

As such, a group of MPs belonging to the opposition in Parliament including M. A. Sumanthiran, Lakshman Kiriella, Prof. G. L. Pieris, Tissa Attanayake, Chandima Weerakkody and Shan Wijayalal de Silva, had inked the motion for approving the much-disputed Online Safety Bill amidst ‘irregular procedures’.

The no-confidence motion pointed out that the Speaker had ignored the Supreme Court’s recommendations pertaining to Sections 13, 17, 20, 33 (6), 34 (1), 35 (1), 21, 22 and 33 of the Online Safety Bill.

Earlier this month, Opposition Leader charged that the Speaker had ignored nine recommendations given by the Supreme Court while enacting the Online Safety Act, adding that they no longer have faith in him.

(adaderana.lk)

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School outdoor activities suspended over soaring temperatures

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The Education Ministry has instructed all respective school authorities to refrain from making students participate in strenuous outdoor activities until Friday (March 01) at schools as temperatures are expected to rise further.

Accordingly, Sports Day events, sports practices or any other scheduled outdoor activities are urged to be suspended for the time being.

Provincial and zonal authorities of education have been instructed to brief school principals about the matter, the ministry said in a press release.

In addition, school administrations are required to comply with the health guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and the Education Ministry.

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Court suspends divestiture process of SLT & Lanka Hospitals

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The Court of Appeal yesterday (27) issued an interim order preventing authorities from proceeding with the divestiture process of Sri Lanka Telecom and Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC, until March 12.

Three Petitions were filed for Sri Lanka Telecom PLC including by Lyca Mobiles, and S.M.R. M company, while two petitions were filed for Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC including by Lyca Leasing Holdings.

Upon the oral submissions made by President’s Counsel Kuvera De Zoysa, Court of Appeal Justice D.N. Samarakoon issued notices on respondents, returnable for March 12.

The petitioners named Minister of Finance Ranil Wickremesinghe, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe, the members of the special Cabinet-appointed negotiating committee for the purpose of selecting pre-qualified bidders for the strategic divestiture pertaining to 51.34% shares of Lanka Hospitals PLC and several others as respondents.

Kuvera De Zoysa, PC with Raslka Dissanayake, Sajana de Zoysa, Dinusha Pathirana and Shablr Huzalr instructed by Sanath Wijewardane appeared for the petitioners.

The petitioners had informed the court that they had submitted bids per the required criteria for the divestiture of the Sri Lankan Government’s shares of 50.23% in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and 51.34% in Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC.

The petitioners alleged that, however, the Cabinet of Ministers had rejected the bids without providing any clear explanations, adding that the decision was against the law.

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