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President to make Special Statement on 13A next week



President Ranil Wickremesinghe will present the Government proposals related to the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to Parliament next week, it was reported.

The President will do so while making a Special Statement where he will explain in detail, the proposals to Parliament except seperate police powers.

An All-Party Conference was held under the patronage of the President on July 26 to inform the party leaders representing Parliament about the programme of the Government in relation to national reconciliation.

It was said that President Wickremesinghe would also explain about introducing laws and regulations to strengthen the 13th Amendment.

The Party leaders during the discussion presented their views and suggestions. After the completion of the preliminary work on the devolution of powers, Bills are to be submitted to the Parliament regarding the conduct of affairs at the Provincial Councils.

Under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, when transferring powers to the Provincial Councils, the power to make decisions regarding certain subjects is vested with the Central Government and these subjects must be legally announced.

Earlier, the President said that he will present the best proposals related to solving the problems of the people of the North and East and added that the leaders of the Tamil parties should decide whether to take them forward or not.

The President stressed that there were no plans to merge the Northern and Eastern Provinces and that the aim of this programme is not to seek political mileage but to solve the problems of the Tamil people in the North and East.

The President has decided to fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution only if all the party leaders representing Parliament agree to a full devolution of powers, the Daily News reported.

The President is of the opinion that the consent of all the party leaders representing Parliament is necessary for granting the Police Powers mentioned in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and for that a two third majority in the Parliament is required.

The President during a recent discussion held with the members of Parliament representing North and East on July 18 said the draft of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR) has been referred to the Attorney General to determine whether it is compatible with the Constitution and will soon be presented to Parliament and the National Action Plan on Reconciliation drafted by the ONUR will also be presented to the Cabinet soon.

Source – Daily News


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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