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What we need now is national harmony not racist struggles – Karu (Pics)



Former Speaker and renowned politician, Mr. Karu Jayasuriya received the “Sri Lankabhimanya” Honorary Award, at a ceremony held at the President’s House in Colombo under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, this morning (03).

This honour was bestowed on Mr. Karu Jayasuriya in recognition of the services rendered to the country by him.

Mr. Karu Jayasuriya was presented with the medal and award by President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

During the ceremony, Mr. Karu Jayasuriya presented the President with a commemorative book containing a collection of photographs, a retrospective of his life’s journey.

This event was organized in line with the 75th Anniversary of Independence.

The once-in-a-lifetime “Sri Lankabhimanya” Honorary Award is the highest national award given by the Government of Sri Lanka to a Sri Lankan citizen or non-Sri Lankan individual.

Only five Sri Lankans can hold this honor at the same time, which means that if five recipients of the award are alive, the award cannot be given to a sixth person. However, the award can also be given posthumously.

The award was presented most recently in 2017 to W.D. Amaradeva for his contribution to the Sri Lankan music industry. In addition, the Sri Lankabhimanya award was also bestowed on former presidents Ranasinghe Premadasa and D.B. Wijetunga, scientist Arthur C. Clarke, Laxman Kadirgamar, A.T. Ariyaratne, Lester James Peiris and Christopher Weeramantri.

Addressing the ceremony, Mr. Jayasuriya said that what should be done at this point of time is not the struggle of racism, but to work to create national harmony.

He also requested all parties and opposition parties to join hands to ensure that the next generation would be handed over the country after having rectified the shortcomings that have occurred over the past 75 years.

Mr Jayasuriya also pointed out that in his political career, he had never criticized or offended anyone and neither has he ever engaged in any illegal activities.

He said that as a result of an effort to create a new political culture, on the advice of the Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera, he had dedicated his political career for justice and fairness and this National Award is a tribute to the policies he followed.

Mr. Jayasuriya recalled that he entered politics on the invitation of the current President Ranil Wickremesinghe after he became the leader of the United National Party and said that he is happy to work in close contact with the people.

He also stated that during his tenure as the Mayor, he was able to create a new culture in the Colombo Municipal Council and its success was even recognized internationally.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Former Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President Mr Saman Ekanayake, Presidential Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Mr Sagala Ratnayake, Government and Opposition Ministers and Mr. Karu Jayasuriya’s family members participated in this event.

(Pics : President’s Media Division)


02 suspects nabbed with 1236kg of smuggled Tendu leaves




A special operation conducted by the Navy in Daluwa Beach area of Puttalam led to the apprehension of 02suspects with about 1236kg of smuggled Tendu leaves on 26th September 2023. The smuggled consignment of Tendu leaves has been prepared for distribution, when they were held by the Navy. Along with the suspects, the Navy also held a cab and a lorry from the location.

The Sri Lanka Navy conducts regular search operations and patrols in the coastal areas of the island, with a view to prevent the influx of smuggled and illegal items into the island.

As an extension of these efforts, SLNS Thambapanni in the Northwestern Naval Command made this apprehension during a search operation carried out in the dark hours of 26th September in Daluwa Beach area. The consignment of smuggled Tendu leaves was recovered upon searching a cab and a lorry at the beach on suspicion. The 40 packages loaded in the vehicles contained Tendu leaves weighing around 1236kg. Thus, the stock of smuggled Tendu leaves, 02 suspects and the vehicles were taken into the naval custody.

The suspects apprehended in this operation were identified as residents of Kalpitiya, aged 24. The suspects together with the stock of Tendu leaves and vehicles will be handed over to the Madurankuliya Police for onward legal action.


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Early childhood education compulsory for children at age 4: Minister




While Sri Lanka becomes one of the few countries in the world with free education and further expands free educational opportunities from the first-year to university, early childhood education will be made compulsory for all children who reach the age of four, Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said.

The government will intervene on behalf of children who cannot pay for it, and based on the need, early childhood development centres can be held in primary schools where space is available.

This will also be a solution for schools facing the challenge of closure, he said.

He also said that the most fundamental step to success in educational transformational reforms is the formal early childhood development of children in this country.

The Minister said this while attending a programme at ‘Suwa Diviyai Sathutu Sithai’ in Battaramulla for the school health promotion month.

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President leaves for Germany ; 5 Acting ministers appointed




President Ranil Wickremesinghe has left for Germany on an official visit.

The President and the 12-member delegation left the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake early this morning.

President Wickremesinghe during the four-day visit is scheduled to hold discussions with several political and business leaders.

The President will hold talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on a number of topics.

Meanwhile, President Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to make the opening remarks at the Leaders Dialogue session on the first day of the ‘Berlin Global Dialogue’.

The inaugural Berlin Global Dialogue is a German high-level global initiative to address current geopolitical and economic challenges.

During his absence, the responsibilities of the ministries falling under the purview of the President have been assigned to the respective state ministers.

Accordingly, the following state ministers have been appointed as acting ministers :

  • Pramita Bandara Thennakoon – Acting Minister of Defense
  • Shehan Semasinghe – Acting Minister of Finance
  • Kanaka Herath – Acting Minister of Technology
  • Anupa Paskuval – Acting Minister of Women, Children Affairs and Social Empowerment
  • Ranjith Siambalapitiya – Acting Minister of Investment Promotion

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