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Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus meets fmr. NZ PMs

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Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus of Sri Lanka who are on a study visit to New Zealand, met the former Prime Ministers of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern and Helen Clark, recently (27).

Empowering women leadership in politics and promoting gender diversity were discussed at length with the Prime Ministers.  Jacinda Ardern, who held the position of Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2017 to 2023, shared her experience of leading her country in the face of the economic and political crises as well as the Covid-19 pandemic during her tenure. Especially the attention of women Parliamentarians was drawn to matters such as the policies created to provide opportunities for women who gave up work to take care of children to enter the job market again, measures taken to create wage equality, paid parental leave in case of childbirth, reducing child poverty etc.

Also, Helen Clark, the first female Prime Minister of New Zealand, spoke about her political experience to the Caucus. She expressed her views on the measures taken during her tenure to empower women, including civil marriage reforms and encouraging women to save money for retirement.

A cultural event was also organized here representing the ‘Maori’ community in New Zealand to welcome the Sri Lankan Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus.

Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, Dr. Seetha Arambepola, Rohini Kumari Wijeratne, Pavithradevi Vanniarachchi, Geetha Samanmalee Kumarasinghe, Thalatha Athukorala, Kokila Gunawardena, Mudita Prishanthi, Rajika Wickramasinghe, Manjula Dissanayake, Dr. Harini Amarasuriya as well as the Secretary General of Parliament Kushani Rohanadeera, Assistant Director (Administration) Indira Dissanayake and Media Manager of Parliament Nimmi Hathiyaldeniya were present on this occasion.

This study visit was organized by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with the aim of strengthening the measures taken by the Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus for the advancement of Sri Lankan women, including the empowerment of women’s leadership in the country’s politics and securing gender equality.

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Cabinet decision to suspend ‘Parate Executions’

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All Parate Executions have been suspended until Dec. 15, as per a Cabinet decision made today (26 Feb.).

The relevant proposal was furnished by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, following a request made by Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, and Minister of Industries Ramesh Pathirana.

Accordingly, the relevant amendments are due to be presented before the Parliament soon.

State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya had informed Parliament last week that steps will be taken to suspend the powers of the ‘Parate execution’ law for a certain period for the purpose of protecting the small and medium-scale entrepreneurs (SMEs).

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Parate execution law to be suspended: Siyambalapitiya

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Deshabandu Tennakoon appointed as IGP

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Deshabandu Tennakoon has been appointed as 36th Inspector General of Police in Sri Lanka.

President’s Secretary, Saman Ekanayake had handed over his appointment letter earlier today afternoon (Feb. 26).

Since Nov. 29, 2023, Tennakoon served as the Acting IGP. Deshabandu Tennakoon joined the police service in 1998 as an Assistant Superintendent of Police.

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Palestinian PM resigns

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Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has announced the resignation of his government, which rules parts of the occupied West Bank, due to the escalating violence in the occupied territory and the war on Gaza.

“The decision to resign came in light of the unprecedented escalation in the West Bank and Jerusalem and the war, genocide and starvation in the Gaza Strip,” said Shtayyeh, who submitted his resignation to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday.

“I see that the next stage and its challenges require new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the new reality in Gaza and the need for a Palestinian-Palestinian consensus based on Palestinian unity and the extension of unity of authority over the land of Palestine,” he said.

Shtayyeh’s comments come as US pressure grows on Abbas to shake up the PA and begin work on a political structure that can govern a Palestinian state following the war.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has on numerous occasions rejected calls for the PA under Abbas to take control of a Palestinian state and govern Gaza.

Last week, Israeli lawmakers backed Netanyahu’s rejection of any “unilateral” recognition of a Palestinian state.

“The Knesset came together in an overwhelming majority against the attempt to impose on us the establishment of a Palestinian state, which would not only fail to bring peace but would endanger the state of Israel,” said Netanyahu.

(Aljazeera)

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