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STATE NEWS

SUMATHIPALA REMAINS IN SEC.GEN SEAT
සුමතිපාල මහලේකම් අසුනේ දිගටම

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 31-01-2024 |

The Leader | Thilanga Sumathipala says he will step down as general secretary of the UPFA following a court ruling only.

When contacted by ‘The Leader’, he responded to media reports that together with Mahinda Amaraweera, he has agreed to vacate the position.

Sumathipala noted that Amaraweera has filed a court case challenging his appointment to the position.

He should first withdraw that petition, after which a decision can be taken, said Sumathipala.

The matter also came up at the PA’s working committee meeting yesterday (29), chaired by Maithripala Sirisena.

Participants decided to form an extensive alliance under the ‘chair’ symbol.

Following an amendment to its constitution, new office-bearers to the PA will be elected.





සුමතිපාල මහලේකම් අසුනේ දිගටම



අධිකරණ තීන්දුවකින් පමණක් තමා එක්සත් ජනතා නිදහස් සන්ධානයේ මහලේකම් ධුරයෙන් ඉවත් වන බව තිලංග සුමතිපාල මහතා පවසයි.

‘ද ලීඩර්’ කළ විමසීමකදී ඔහු ප්‍රතිචාර දැක්වූයේ මහින්ද අමරවීර මහතා සමඟ එක්ව එම ධූරයෙන් ඉවත් වීමට එකඟ වී ඇති බවට පළ වූ මාධ්‍ය වාර්තා පිළිබඳවයි.

තමන් එම තනතුරට පත් කිරීම අභියෝගයට ලක් කරමින් අමරවීර මහතා අධිකරණයේ නඩුවක් ගොනු කර ඇති බව සුමතිපාල සඳහන් කළේය.

ඔහු ප්‍රථමයෙන් එම පෙත්සම ඉල්ලා අස්කර ගත යුතු බවත් ඉන් පසුව තීරණයක් ගත හැකි බවත් සුමතිපාල මහතා පැවසීය.

මෛත්‍රීපාල සිරිසේන මහතාගේ ප්‍රධානත්වයෙන් ඊයේ (29දා) පැවැති පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ කෘත්‍යාධිකාරී මණ්ඩල රැස්වීමේදීද මෙම කරුණ මතුවිය.

'පුටුව' සංකේතය යටතේ පුළුල් සන්ධානයක් පිහිටුවීමට සහභාගිවන්නන් තීරණය කළහ.

එහි ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධනයකින් අනතුරුව පොදුජන පෙරමුණට නව නිලධාරී මණ්ඩලයක් තෝරා පත් කර ගැනේ.

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 15-12-2023 |
President Wickremesinghe highlights Global Shifts in Military Landscape at the DSCSC Award ceremony
In a compelling speech delivered at the Defence Services Command and staff College (DSCSC) Course 17 Award Ceremony today (14), President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized the need for a broader international perspective in military education and highlighted the evolving global landscape. The ceremony, held at Nelum Pokuna, with a diverse group of students, including participants from countries beyond Sri Lanka.

President Wickremesinghe expressed his commitment to providing more opportunities for officers from various countries in Sri Lankan courses and expressed pleasure in noting the diverse international representation among the students, extending beyond Sri Lanka’s borders. Acknowledging this, the President emphasized the need to provide opportunities to officers and cadets from various countries, reinforcing the importance of global collaboration among the three defence academies.

The president stressed the significance of idea exchange and international interactions, citing the profound changes occurring in the present decade. He outlined major geopolitical shifts, predicting new methods, strategies, technologies and global situations that armed forces worldwide would encounter by the decade’s end.

Addressing the rise of Asian armed forces, President Wickremesinghe noted their substantial capabilities compared to some Western counterparts. He discussed the implications of technological advancements, Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, and the transition from fossil fuels. The President underscored the importance of studying social, economic, and political issues alongside military strategies.

President Wickremesinghe then delved into the complex and changing nature of conflicts, citing on-going wars and insurgencies. He drew attention to the conflict in Gaza, emphasizing its aspects, such as the global sympathy shift from Israel to Palestine. The president highlighted the political nature of the conflict and its impact on public opinion globally.

President Wickremesinghe also discussed the unique nature of the war in Gaza, where political strategies and global media play a decisive role. He highlighted the changing face of warfare, with battles extending beyond traditional battlefields into homes through media coverage.

The evolving nature of warfare, with battles extending into the media and public discourse, was a focal point. President Wickremesinghe compared it to historical events like the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War. He noted the political manipulation of war, as seen in Hamas’s tactics, which transcend traditional military considerations.

Concluding his speech, President Wickremesinghe urged the audience to recognize the changing nature of war, where politics and military actions intertwine. He acknowledged the uncertainty of how these shifts would unfold in the future, leaving it to the next generation to navigate the evolving geopolitical and military landscape.

President Wickremesinghe expressed uncertainty about how these changes would unfold but emphasized the importance of understanding their implications on both military and civilian life.

A total of 148 officers off 72 officers from Sri Lanka Army, 26 officers from Sri Lanka Navy, 24 officers from Sri Lanka Air Force 01 officer from Sri Lanka Police, 02 officers from Bangladesh, 03 officers from India, 02 officers from Nepal, 02 officers from Pakistan, 10 officers from Saudi Arabia and an officer each from Indonesia, Maldives, Rwanda, Senegal, United States of America and Zambia consist of 25 foreign student officers have completed the course.

The first copy of the ‘Defence and Security Journal’ published by DSCSC and a special memento was presented to the President by Commandant, DSCSC, Major General B.K.G.M.L Rodrigo. The President presented special awards, the ‘Golden Owl’ to recognised the most outstanding Sri Lankan and Foreign student officers of each wing, the ‘Golden Pen’ to the student officer who produces the best commandant’s research paper out of the three wings.

In attendance at this significant occasion were several key figures in the defence and security apparatus, including Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff to the President, Sagala Ratnayaka, Secretary of Defence Ministry General Kamal Gunaratne (Retired), Chief of Staff of the Tri-forces, General Shavendra Silva, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Vikum Liyanage, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera and Air Force Commander Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa.

Nitin Gadkari Envisions India as the Global Leader in Construction Equipment Manufacturing by 2028

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 15-12-2023 |
Bengaluru, 12 December 2023 - Press Release | R Sivakumar | CII EXCON 2023, South Asia’s Largest Construction Equipment Exhibition Inaugurated by Mr Nitin Gadkari.

“The construction sector in India currently ranks as the world's third-largest. Yet, by fostering collaborative endeavors among stakeholders, and corporations, and through substantial government support, we have the potential to propel it to the top spot within the next five years,” said Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Government of India.
Delivering his Inaugural Address at the 12th edition of CII EXCON 2023, South Asia’s largest construction equipment trade fair organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here today, Gadkari said that the construction sector will have a significant contribution to the Prime Minister's vision to make India a carbon neutral economy. To achieve this goal, the government is embarking on major infrastructure and industrial projects that implement sustainable fuels.
“Construction and mining operations consume 400 crore liters of diesel, which is quite detrimental to the environment and the economy. By embracing alternative fuels such as ethanol, methanol, and hydrogen, the construction and mining sectors can effectively reduce emissions. Precast concrete emerges as a commendable substitute for traditional concrete. We advocate for industry collaboration to bolster the capabilities of construction through the use of sustainable materials and alternative fuels,” Gadkari added.

The Minister further highlighted substantial business prospects for the construction industry within the state, emphasizing significant opportunities arising from expansive infrastructure development initiatives. These encompass extensive projects encompassing roads, flyovers, industrial infrastructure, and power.
Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry, in the inaugural session said, “Currently, India's construction equipment industry is exporting to over 140 countries. To enhance sustainability and efficiency, private players in the construction sector should focus on automation, the adoption of advanced technologies, global best practices, the use of alternative fuels, and innovations in utilizing waste materials as raw materials for construction projects. This approach aims to reduce both the cost of construction and the rate of pollution.”

While speaking about EXCON, he added, “Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers' Association (ICEMA) is the Sector Partner and the National Highways Authority of India and Builders Association of India are supporting Partners for EXCON. The event spreads over 32,00,000 square feet of display area and attracted over 1000 exhibitors including more than 100 from overseas. The exhibition also attracted participation from 15 countries including 5 country pavilions from France, Germany, Italy, Turkey and UK.

While proposing the vote of thanks, Mr. Vivekanand Vanmeeganathan, President, Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association said, “We are grateful for the invaluable guidance provided by Shri Nitin Gadkari in steering India's construction sector. With confidence, we anticipate that in the coming years, the industry will continue to draw upon his insights, striving to become not only the most sustainable but also the world’s topmost innovator.”
EXCON underscores a dedicated commitment to sustainable power solutions, showcasing cutting-edge exhibits of electric and hybrid machinery tailored for low emissions and optimal energy efficiency. Furthermore, the event serves as a platform to spotlight the latest strides in artificial intelligence, IoT, and automation, actively contributing to the evolution of smart construction technologies and fostering a culture of innovation within the industry.

Public money wasted : Vat debate postponed due to lack of quorum

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 10-12-2023 |
Today’s special parliament session held to debate the second reading of the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill and the Finance Bill had to be postponed due to lack of Participation from MPs.

The Parliament had to be adjourned till 9.30 am tomorrow (Monday) due to the lack of a quorum during the debate.

The debate was scheduled to be held from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm today with the vote

A Lesson from Hambantota Port for 7 New Diplomats Who Came to Sri Lanka

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 10-12-2023 |
Seven Sri Lankan Heads of Mission/Ambassador designates to foreign embassies and high commissions, were given a detailed orientation by Hambantota International Port (HIP) on port operations and activities. Tissa Wickramasinghe, COO of the Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) briefed the group of diplomats on these aspects, covering the port’s progress over the last 5 years.

“From our perspective this interaction was very welcome as this gave us the platform to showcase the progress HIP has made in terms of milestones achieved and what we are planning for the future to benefit our region as well as the country’s economy, so that the port will be portrayed in the right light to an international audience. This will also help to dispel any disinformation that may be spread about the port internationally. The session was proactive, with active participation of the delegates from the foreign affairs office. The participants asked interested questions which were answered by the relevant port officials present at the session,” the COO said.

The participants were given a briefing on HIP’s service scope covering port services, Integrated Logistics, Marine Services, Port-related Industries development, Bunkering, and the role of Hambantota International Port Services. A brief overview was also given on integrated logistics, industrial park and port-based industries, marine services, energy hub, the port’s key business as well as achieved Standards, awards and accolades won by the port. The corporate social responsibility projects completed and undertaken over the 5 year period were also covered. They included the Hope Village Development project, fully-fledged PCR Testing Laboratory, Tissapura Junior School Development project, fact-finding project on Human-Elephant Conflict, Human-Elephant Peace Fund, Electric Fence project under the Human-Elephant Peace Fund, Beach clean-up programmes and installing Garbage Collection Bins. The port has invested over USD 1.1 Million in these projects.

The designates assigned to embassies and high commissions in the Republic of Italy, Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of Singapore, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, The Kingdom of Belgium and the European Union, Republic of Cuba and the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, were accompanied by Ms. E. A. S. Wijayanthi Edirisinghe, Director General, HRD, Research & Training, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Colombo and Kankasanturai Railway will be temporarily suspended.

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 10-12-2023 |
Train services between Colombo Fort and Jaffna to Kankasanturai will be temporarily suspended.
That is for a period of 6 months.

This step has been taken due to the modernization work of Northern Railways.

The Railway Department says that the modernization work will be started on 07.01.2024.

During the closure period, trains will run only from Colombo Fort to Mahawa and from Kankasanturaya to Anuradhapura.

Further inquiries regarding this can be made by contacting the number 1971.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Commends President’s Strategic Diplomacy

Lankapuvath | Colombo | 10-12-2023 |
In a press conference held today (08) at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) under the theme ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ali Sabry commended President Ranil Wickremesinghe for steering Sri Lanka’s foreign relations in the right direction, emphasizing a policy of non-alignment with all foreign countries while prioritizing national unity.

Minister Sabry highlighted the positive impact of President Wickremesinghe’s decisions on the country’s foreign relations, stating that Sri Lanka has successfully pursued a non-aligned policy by extending a hand of friendship to all nations without favouring any particular country. He credited these diplomatic efforts for securing support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Minister Ali Sabry further stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs played a pivotal role over the past year, acknowledging the diplomatic challenges faced and the subsequent positive outcomes achieved through President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s discerning decisions.

Minister Sabry acknowledged that certain diplomatic relations encountered strains in recent times, notably with countries in the Muslim world and Japan. However, he credited President Wickremesinghe’s judicious decisions for redirecting Sri Lanka’s foreign relations onto a more constructive trajectory. Emphasizing a commitment to a non-aligned policy, Minister Sabry highlighted the administration’s dedication to fostering amicable ties with all nations while safeguarding the unity of the country.

Addressing the intricacies of debt restructuring, Minister Sabry elaborated on Sri Lanka’s unique position as a nation above the low-income threshold, necessitating the development of an independent mechanism. He noted the collaborative efforts with the Paris Club, aided by the support of influential nations such as India, China and Japan outside the Paris Club, which contributed to the establishment of a viable restructuring plan.

Minister Sabry revealed that all countries involved have pledged support for Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring, providing the nation with a distinct advantage in expediting the process compared to other countries. The upcoming crucial discussion with the IMF on the 12th is anticipated to result in the disbursement of the second tranche, symbolizing international acknowledgment of Sri Lanka’s positive economic trajectory.

The Minister affirmed that, following successful debt restructuring, Sri Lanka will announce its financial independence to the world. Acknowledging the hardships faced by the people, Minister Sabry highlighted the government’s on-going efforts to steer the country away from the brink of bankruptcy. The strategic reduction in debt payments and interest rates, he noted, positions Sri Lanka to gain a substantial economic advantage of US$ 17 billion.

Looking forward, Minister Sabry expressed confidence in attracting new investors to propel economic growth. The government’s roadmap aims to elevate the country from its current economic situation by the first quarter of the next year, aligning with the broader vision of sustainable economic development under President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s leadership.