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SLPP to demand a General Election be held before April

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The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) will propose to hold a General Election before the Sinhala and Hindu New Year in April, reports say.

Reports cite that the SLPP is to table this proposal to Parliament this month if discussions with President Ranil Wickremesinghe to do so prove to be futile.

The measure follows the suggestion of several political bigwigs to seek the mandate of the public, reports say.

This mandate would be the decisive factor on whether the SLPP would contest the upcoming General Election alone or as an ally of President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

In a backdrop where the SLPP financial condition has deteriorated, an opinion has also been aired to select a presidential candidate that is a non-Rajapaksa who can fund a presidential campaign.

It is also reported that a strongman of the Rajapaksa family has already informed that he is against such a candidate, saying that the possibility of a Rajapakse becoming the president will be completely hindered in the face of someone who is going to run the presidential election using drug smuggling money.

Elections only after govt. is 100% successful – Nalin
Meanwhile, Minister of Trade – Nalin Fernando says that although some have claimed 2024 to be a year of elections, a Presidential election or a General election will be called only after the government has emerged 100% successful.

Speaking at a media briefing held at his office in Ja-Ela, the minister had pointed out that the government will not go for an election in a disadvantageous situation.

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Fuel price revision likely tonight?

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A fuel price revision is likely to take place tonight (04), as per sources.

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) stated that although the fuel price was slated to be revised at the end of February, the price revision will possibly take place today.

The CPC amends the fuel prices monthly as per the pricing formula. Accordingly, the prices were last revised on January 31, where the prices of octane 92 petrol, octane 95 petrol, super diesel and kerosene were increased.

Against this backdrop, President Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued an Extraordinary Gazette declaring all services connected to the supply of electricity and the supply or distribution of petroleum products and fuel as essential services with effect from 03 March 2024. 

Accordingly, the proclamation states that the services specified have been declared as Essential Public Service considering it necessary that the services provided by any Public Corporation or Government Department or Local Authority or Co-operative Society or any branch thereof being a Department or Corporation or Local Authority or Co-operative Society, which is engaged in provision of the services specified, is essential to the life of the community and is likely to be impeded or interrupted.

In the meantime, the Fuel Distributors’ Association alleges that the CPC has taken steps to incur a usage fee of 35% of the monthly rebate amount received by the fuel distributors. President of the association Shelton Fernando claimed that through this action, it will not be possible for them to even meet the daily expenses for the distribution activities.(adaderana.lk)

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94th Battle of the Maroons ends in a draw (Pics)

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The 94th Battle of the Maroons between Ananda and Nalanda concluded in a draw at SSC grounds. 

Despite the draw, Ananda secured a first innings lead, having declared their first innings at 286 for 9 wickets in response to Nalanda’s first innings total of 277 for 8 wickets, which was declared on the first day.

In the second innings, Nalanda, batting at 120 for 3 wickets, maintained a cautious approach, and the match ended without either team pursuing a more aggressive strategy in their first innings.

Ananda’s all-rounder Kithma Withanaparhirana played a notable innings, scoring 76 runs in 92 balls with 11 fours and a six on the second day. 

However, the team fell short of a century, with number three batter Dinada Athalage contributing a significant knock of 71 runs in 165 balls with 9 fours.

Despite the draw, the match witnessed commendable performances from key players, with Nalanda skipper Sajitha Vithanage earning the Man of the Match award for his unbeaten century.

Both teams showcased sportsmanship in the annual encounter, and Nalanda retained the N.M. Perera Trophy, presented by former Nalandian legend Stanley Jayasinghe. 

The trophy has been a symbol of the prestigious Battle of the Maroons series.

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Term tests for Western province suspended

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The term tests for grade 10 and 11 in the Western province schools has been postponed after some of the question papers were shared on social media ahead of the examination.

A senior official said that the decision had been taken after complaints that several question papers had been leaked out before the examinations.

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