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Vigneswaran backs president, wants monks not to interfere

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Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has a clear vision for the country which must be supported and the Buddhist clergy must stay out of the reconciliation process, Jaffna district MP and former Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister C V Vigenswaran said.

Responding to questions by reporters on his way out of parliament on Wednesday February 08, Vigneswaran said the president’s throne speech delivered that morning was good.

“I welcome it,” he said.

In his speech, President Wickremesinghe reiterated a pledge to fully implement the 13th amendment to the constitution, which has drawn fiery opposition from nationalist Buddhist monks.

A group of monks, some of whom are known to hold hardline positions, had gathered outside the parliament complex Wednesday morning protesting the proposed implementation of the 13th amendment.

A video of one of the monks setting fire to a copy of the amendment was widely circulated.

Asked to comment on the monks’ protest, Vigenswaran likened it to a similar intervention in 1958 when a group of monks forced then Prime Minister S W R D Bandaranaike to abrogate an agreement reached with Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) leader S J V Chelvanayagam. The pact was on the creation of a series of regional councils to provide some level of autonomy to the Tamil minority.

Bandaranaike famously tore the agreement to pieces after vehement protest by the monks.

“Aiyo, it was the monks that in 1958 did the same thing and created a problem,” said Vigneswaran.

“Monks must not interfere with these things. They think they alone can save the country and give good [unclear] to the country,” said the MP.

President Wickremesinghe has repeatedly stated that he plans a full implementation of the amendment.

The 13th amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution emerged from the controversial Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987 as a purported solution to the worsening ethnic conflict, four years after war broke out. Provincial councils came in the wake of this amendment, though land and police powers have yet to be devolved to the provinces as originally envisioned. Both Sinhalese and Tamil nationalists have historically opposed the amendment, the former claiming it devolved too much, the latter complaining it didn’t devolve enough.

A full implementation of the amendment will see land and police powers devolved to the provinces, a development that is not likely to garner support from Sri Lanka’s more nationalist-oriented parties including sections of the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).

(economynext.com)

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Sri Lanka Mirror wishes everyone a happy Sinhala and Tamil New Year!

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The 2024 Sinhala and Tamil New Year dawned at 09.05 pm last night (April 13).

‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ extends heartfelt New Year greetings to all our readers. May this upcoming year be filled with boundless happiness, prosperity, and success for each and everyone of you.

–  Sri Lanka Mirror team

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Derailed train causes delays on coastal line

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A train has derailed at the Kalutara South railway station on Saturday morning (13).

Trains operating on the Coastal Line are thus experiencing delays, Sri Lanka Railways said.

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Kristalina Georgieva to head IMF for a 2nd term

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The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has selected Kristalina Georgieva to serve as IMF Managing Director for a second five-year term starting on October 1, 2024.

The appointment comes ahead of the start of the fund’s spring meetings in Washington next week.

Georgieva, who has been in the role since the autumn of 2019, was the sole candidate for the position. However, it was only after European leaders signalled that they would endorse her last month that her candidacy was assured.

In a statement, the coordinators of the Executive Board, Mr. Afonso S. Bevilaqua and Mr. Abdullah F. BinZarah has said, “Looking ahead, the Board welcomes Ms. Georgieva’s ongoing emphasis on issues of macroeconomic and financial stability, while also ensuring that the Fund continues to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of its entire membership. It recognizes her focus on strengthening the Fund’s support to its members through effective policy advice, capacity development and financing. The Board looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Managing Director.”

“I am deeply grateful for the trust and support of the Fund’s Executive Board, representing our 190 members, and honored to continue to lead the IMF as Managing Director for a second five-year term,” Ms. Georgieva has said.

The Bulgarian national has served as Managing Director since October 1, 2019. The Managing Director is the chief of the IMF’s operating staff and Chair of the Executive Board. The Managing Director is assisted by four Deputy Managing Directors in overseeing the Fund’s operations, which serve its membership through about 3,100 staff.

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