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SL’s first-ever National Action Plan on WPS presented

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Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka – Mr. Mizukoshi Hideaki, and the Head of UN Women in Sri Lanka – Ramaaya Salgado presented Sri Lanka’s first-ever National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) to State Minister of Women and Child Affairs – Geetha Samanmalee Kumarasinghe.

The Action plan was presented on Dec. 06.

“This action plan provides a clear roadmap to provide targeted support for women who have been affected by conflict and crises. Its adoption is a critical step forward in ensuring that no woman or girl is left behind in recovery efforts”, said Hon. Geetha Samanmalee Kumarasinghe, State Minister of Women and Child Affairs.

As the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security goes into its twenty second year, its reach – both globally and regionally – has grown significantly, with an increasing number of countries formulating and implementing National Action Plans developed in consultation with G7 countries’ representatives in Sri Lanka including Japan, women’s groups and civil society.

With its own National Action Plan now ready for Cabinet adoption, Sri Lanka stands poised to join the number of states committed to implement the Women, Peace and Security Agenda which calls for greater participation of women in peacebuilding and recovery efforts.

Emphasizing this, Ramaaya Salgado, Head of Office at UN Women Sri Lanka noted, “peace and development can only be sustainable when women have an equal seat at the table and when their voices are included in decisions that affect their lives”.

The National Action Plan is based on consultations in each of the 25 districts with women who were directly and indirectly affected by conflict, local government officials, and representatives from civil society and local activists. It was developed with technical support from UN Women as part of a 3-year joint partnership between the Government of Japan, the Government of Sri Lanka and UN Women on the ‘Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Sri Lanka’ funded by the Government of Japan.

Mr. Mizukoshi Hideaki emphasized; “the Government of Japan encourages the timely adoption of this National Action Plan by the Cabinet and hopes its implementation to ensure practical measures for protection and empowerment of women in Sri Lanka”.

The adoption of the National Action Plan will provide a key framework to address issues affecting women and girls in Sri Lanka, as it is very much relevant to how Sri Lanka adapts and responds to the crisis and its challenges.

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Presidential poll will be held first as scheduled: President affirms

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe affirmed that the Presidential election will be held as scheduled with the General Elections anticipated to be held early next year, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

The President gave this assurance during a meeting with the representatives of the United Republic Front headed by by its leader Parliamentarian Patali Champika Ranawaka at Sirikotha today.

The United Republic Front presented a proposal titled “A United Step for the Country” to President Ranil Wickremesinghe this morning (24), at ‘Srikotha’, the United National Party headquarters in Colombo.

After engaging in discussions with the President, the leader of the United Republic Front, Member of Parliament Patali Champika Ranawaka, along with his delegation, presented this proposal to the President.

Speaking at the event, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, highlighted the government’s concerted efforts over the past two years to stabilize the country’s economy, which had faced significant challenges. 

Stressing the government’s commitment to steering the economy towards recovery through strategic reforms, the President expressed his determination to continue these initiatives with the collective support of everyone.

Recalling his open invitation to all political parties to unite under a common agenda on behalf of the country, regardless of political differences, the President reiterated his willingness to embrace constructive proposals from all political parties as part of the nation-building efforts.

The President responded positively to the request made by MP Patali Champika Ranawaka to allow other political parties to participate in the upcoming negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month concerning the restructuring of foreign debts.

United National Party Deputy Leader and President’s Senior Adviser on Climate Change, Ruwan Wijewardena, along with Secretary General of the United National Party Palitha Range Bandara were also in attendance at the event. 

Representing the United Republic Front were Karu Paranavithana, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe and Attorney-at-Law, Shiral Lakthilaka.

(dailymirror.lk)

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Dedicated SLBFE office to be established in Kegalle district

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In response to a joint request from the Kegalle Migrant Workers Committee and the Kegalle District political authority, Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara has assured the establishment of a dedicated Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) office in Kegalle District.

The request was presented during the Jayagamu Sri Lanka program organized by the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment in Kegalle. 

The Committee emphasized the need for an SLBFE office in the district, which has the highest number of migrant workers in Sabaragamuwa Province.

Commending the Minister for his prompt action in establishing a new SLBFE office in Nuwara Eliya District following a similar request, the Committee expressed confidence in his swift response to their current appeal. 

Minister Nanayakkara pledged immediate steps to open an SLBFE office in Kegalle and instructed officials from the Ministry and SLBFE to take the necessary actions for its swift establishment. 

This move aims to enhance support and services for migrant workers in the district.

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Parliamentary committee demands CBSL report on salary hike amid criticism

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Amidst growing criticism over the substantial salary hike for Central Bank employees, a key parliamentary committee has taken action, demanding a report from the Central Bank regarding the legal basis for such an increment without parliamentary approval.

Chairman of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Alleviating the Impact of the Economic Crisis, MP Gamini Waleboda, disclosed that the issue was raised during a committee meeting where Central Bank officials were present.

The Central Bank is now expected to submit a comprehensive report on the salary increment in the coming week. Following the submission, the Sectoral Oversight Committee intends to summon the Central Bank and its Monetary Board for further examination.

MP Waleboda highlighted that the committee expressed strong criticism of the 70% salary increase for Central Bank employees, especially given the ongoing economic crisis, deeming it an immoral act.

“We instructed the Central Bank to provide a report by next week to justify the salary increase. They will need to provide the legal provisions that empower them to effect such an increment. We will summon the Central Bank and its Monetary Board after receiving the report,” stated MP Waleboda.

Both government and opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) have voiced objections to the Central Bank’s decision to raise the salary scales by 70%, with Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella asserting that the Central Bank Act lacks provisions for such salary increases without parliamentary approval, deeming it illegal.

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