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SL gets new Chief of Staff

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Ranil Wickremesinghe, the President and Commander – in – Chief of the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka appointed Rear Admiral Pradeep Rathnayake as the Chief of Staff of Sri Lanka Navy effective from 16th January 2024. Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera formally handed over the letter of appointment in this regard to Rear Admiral Pradeep Rathnayake at the Navy Headquarters today (Feb. 21) and expressed his best wishes

Rear Admiral Pradeep Rathnayake is a distinguished past pupil of St. Thomas’ College, Matale. He joined the Sri Lanka Navy in 1987 as an Officer Cadet of 17th intake, in the Executive branch. On successful completion of his basic training from the Naval and Maritime Academy, Trincomalee, he was commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant in 1989. The senior officer completed his Sub Lieutenant Technical Course at the Naval and Maritime Academy in 1992 and specialized in Marine Navigation from the Indian Navy in 1997. Advancing steadily in his professional journey, the senior officer reached the rank of Rear Admiral on 01st July 2021.

He followed his Staff Course at the prestigious US Naval War College in 2005 and obtained his Master’s Degree in Maritime Policy from the University of Wollongong, Australia in 2017. In addition, he followed the National Defence Course (NDC) in Military Science and Security Studies at the National Defence University of China and was conferred an MSc. Further, he followed the Regional Maritime Security Course at the Naval War College Goa, India in 2016.

In recognition of his noble service rendered to the motherland, Rear Admiral Rathnayake has been awarded Rana Wickrama Padakkama as well as Rana Sura Padakkama twice for his gallantry. Moreover, he has also been awarded the Uththama Sewa Padakkama (USP), for his unblemished character and devotion to the duty. Rear Admiral Rathnayake has been issued 04 Letters of Commendation by Commanders of the Navy for outstanding performance of the duty and exceptional contributions to the naval service.

Rear Admiral Pradeep Rathnayake has had the privilege of commanding various Fast Attack Craft, Ships and Establishments in the Sri Lanka Navy. Among some of the other appointments he held; Commodore Sea Training and Principal Merchant Marine Training School, Director Naval Policy and Plan, Commander Southeastern Naval Area, Commander North Central Naval Area and Director General Operations stood prominent.

Prior to being appointed as Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy, he was discharging duties as Deputy Chief of Staff at the Navy Headquarters. Further, the senior officer is a talented sportsman in Squash and a level 1 coach and an international referee in Squash as well.

(Source: Sri Lanka Navy)

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Tamil parties agree to field common Presidential candidate

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Several Tamil political parties and a group of representatives of civil organizations have reached an agreement to present a common Tamil candidate for the upcoming Presidential Election.

The agreement was signed in Jaffna today by seven parties including TELO led by MP Selvam Adaikkalanathan, PLOTE led by MP Dharmalingam Siddharthan, Tamil People’s Alliance led by MP C.V. Wigneswaran, Tamil National Party led by Attorney-At-Law N. Sri Kantha, and EPRLF led by Suresh Premachandran.

The Tamil People General Assembly, comprising of several Tamil civil organizations, also signed the agreement.

However, the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) comprising President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran and the Tamil National People’s Front comprising Attorney-At-Law Gajendra Kumar Ponnambalam did not sign the agreement today.

(News 1st)

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Club Wasantha’ murder: Tattoo studio owner makes confidential statement

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Dulan Sanjula, the owner of the tattoo studio in Athurugiriya, has made a confidential statement before the Kaduwela Magistrate over the recent shooting and killing of two individuals including Surendra Wasantha Perera alias ‘Club Wasantha’. 

Meanwhile, the seven suspects including Dulan Sanjula have been ordered to be remanded further until August 5, 2024. 

The suspect, who was arrested in connection with the incident, had requested permission to make a confidential statement to the Kaduwela Magistrate. He made this request when the seven suspects arrested in relation to the incident were produced before the court on July 10.

However, the Kaduwela Magistrate had advised the suspect in question to rethink the decision and make the request again during an upcoming court date.

Furthermore, the magistrate ordered the prison officers to provide additional security to the suspects, since there are accomplices of the criminal figure infamously known as “Loku Patee,” who is suspected to be involved in the incident, detained in the prison.

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AKD meets Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs

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National Peoples’ Power (NPP) Leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who is currently on a visit to Japan, has held discussions with the State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Tsuge Yoshifumi today (July 22).

The discussion, which took place at the Japanese Foreign Ministry, focussed on the current economic and political situation in Sri Lanka, the long-term friendship between the two countries and the next step in diplomatic and economic relations, while special attention was paid to Sri Lanka’s upcoming presidential election.

During the meeting, the Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs congratulated MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake on his visit to Japan.

The Southwest Asian Affairs Director Tsutsumi Taro, Deputy Director of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Iwase Kiichiro, and several members of the Japan Committee of the NPP were also present on the occasion. 

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