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Rs. 28.8 mn. already allocated for Poson festival – PMD

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The government has refuted claims raised by various parties over the lack of state sponsored funding for the Poson Program being held in Anuradhapura this year.

In a media release, the President’s Media Division states that 02 State Ministries and one Department has already allocated Rs. 28.8 million for the purpose.

According to the PMD media release, Ven. Valahangunawewe Dhammarathana Thera, the Chief Incumbent of the Mihintale Rajamaha Viharaya, has forwarded an estimate of Rs.17 million to the Secretary of the Ministry of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs, specifically for the Mihintale Poson Perahara.

It adds that the Secretary of the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs – Mr. Somaratne Widanapathirana has informed allocating such a large sum of money is not possible within the financial regulations imposed by Parliament and that the ministry has approved a sum of Rs. 3.1 million from its budget head allocations for the 2023 National Poson Festival. 

“Secretary of the Public Administration Ministry K.D.N. Ranjith Asoka also said that an additional Rs.10 million has also been disbursed to the District Secretariats under the approval of the Anuradhapura District Secretary,” it adds.

“The National Water Supply and Drainage Board have agreed to supply 30,000 cubic meters of water for the drinking water and sanitary needs during the National Poson Festival… The Water Supply and Drainage Board Chairman, Mr. Nishantha Ranatunga, stated that the cost of these water-related services, including the installation of water tanks and tap systems at gathering places and providing water to the tanks along the Perahara route for the elephants, amounts to Rs. 15.7 million (excluding VAT), which will be covered corporately,” the media release further notes.

The complete media release issued by the PMD in this regard is as follows :

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Presidential Poll can be held with Acting IGP – Fmr. Election Chief

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Former Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said there is no obstacle to holding the Presidential Election with an Acting Inspector General of Police.

He said he believes the current IGP can hold the position he held before until the court hearing concludes.

He said he believes a suitable person should be appointed as Acting IGP tomorrow, adding that there may be no IGP until the hearing concludes, but the election can be held under an Acting IGP.

He added that there is no issue because if the country is governed under an appointed President, it is not a big deal to conduct the election under an Acting IGP.

(News1st) 

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Japan officially notifies SL to resume disbursement to Yen loan projects

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Following the completion of the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Official Creditor Committee (OCC) and Sri Lanka on 23 July and the expression of the willingness by the Government of Sri Lanka to swiftly conclude a bilateral agreement on debt restructuring, the Government of Japan has officially decided to resume disbursement to Yen Loan Projects, which had been suspended since the default of Sri Lanka in 2022.

On 24 July, the Government of Sri Lanka, the Embassy of Japan and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sri Lanka Office held a joint press conference to inaugurate this milestone decision at Ministry of Finance.

While congratulating the completion of the MOU on debt restructuring between Sri Lanka and the OCC, Ambassador MIZUKOSHI Hideaki highlighted the unprecedented initiative and outstanding contribution by the Government of Japan, as a co-chair of the OCC, in leading and concluding the public debt restructuring.

Ambassador Mizukoshi also commended Sri Lankan authorities for their ongoing efforts in implementing the comprehensive economic and social reforms essential to guide the country back to a sustainable path. He stated that all the suspended yen loan projects are crucial infrastructures that promote Sri Lanka’s economic growth and further reaffirmed Japan’s continuous and unwavering commitment to supporting Sri Lanka.

On behalf of Mr. Yamada Tetsuya, Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka Office, Ms. Ide Yuri, Senior Representative, handed over the official letter on this decision to Mr. Mahinda Siriwardana, Secretary to the Treasury, which is addressed to President Wickremesinghe from Dr. Tanaka Akihiko, President of JICA.

Ms. Ide Yuri expressed her hope that the resumption of Yen loan projects will contribute to stabilizing the economy and society of Sri Lanka and help gain momentum toward long-term sustainable growth, thus paving the way for Sri Lanka to recover trust and confidence from the people and private businesses of both Sri Lanka and the world.

Secretary Siriwardana expressed his profound gratitude for this decision and sincere appreciation for Japan’s excellent initiative and long-term dedication in the debt restructuring.

It is hoped that the resumption of disbursement to Yen loan projects would further strengthen the bond between Japan and Sri Lanka, as well as help this island nation bring itself back on track for further economic development, serving as a hub in the Indian Ocean.

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Cabinet takes decision following SC order on IGP

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During a special Cabinet briefing today (July 24), it has been decided to announce its response to the decision of the Supreme Court regarding the Inspector General of Police (IGP) within the next two days after studying in depth the legal aspects of the matter.

The special cabinet meeting chaired by President Ranil Wickramasinghe was held this evening at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo.

The Cabinet of Ministers had been of the opinion that since the decision of the Supreme Court regarding the IGP was received only this afternoon, adequate time is needed to conduct an in-depth study of the related legal issues.

Accordingly, it was unanimously decided that it would be most suitable to announce the response of the Cabinet in the next two days.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued an interim order preventing Deshabandu Tennakoon from performing duties and functioning in the position of the IGP.

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