Sri Lanka received humanitarian supplies worth around $22 million (LKR 3.4 billion) donated by the Government of Tamil Nadu.
The large humanitarian consignment included 16,594 MT of rice, 200 MT of milk powder and around 38 MT of medicines.
This was the third such consignment from the Government of Tamil Nadu, which has donated a total of 40,000 MT of rice, 500 MT of milk powder and more than 100 MT of medicines whose total worth is more than USD 22 million. Critical medicines like 25,000 doses of anti-rabies vaccine formed a part of these supplies.
These supplies will be distributed among the beneficiaries by the Government of Sri Lanka and the humanitarian supplies which were handed over on 26 July 2022 are also expected to reach the beneficiaries in different parts of Sri Lanka in the coming days.
"Multi-pronged support of over USD 3.8 billion by Government of India to the Sri Lankan people during the year was strengthened by independent initiatives of various hospitals, Indian community organisations in Sri Lanka and several other entities based in India who donated generously for their brethren in Sri Lanka. The coming together of the people and Government of India towards the cause underscores the abiding people to people connection between India and Sri Lanka and the mutual care and concern for each other," said the Indian High Commission in a release.
Indian High Commissioner Gopal Bagley handed over the supplies to Foreign Minister Ali Sabry. Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, parliamentarian Jeevan Thondaman and Ceylon Worker’s Congress leader Senthil Thondaman also attended the event.
Galle Face protestors expelled the Rajapaksa trio from power and paved the way for democracy, enabling MP Ranil Wickremesinghe to become the president, but what he did was to send the military and the police to wage a barbaric attack on those very same protestors, said MP Patali Champika Ranawaka.
At a media briefing, Ranawaka strongly denounced this dawn’s attack and demanded the Wickremesinghe government accept responsibility.
Wickremesinghe overnight lost his 45 years of credibility of being a democratic, liberal leader, earned the anger of all national and international friends of democracy and brought disgrace to the country, he charged.
This incident is the same as the attack unleashed by the Rajapaksa family thugs in May, said Ranawaka.
Urging the president to keep in mind as to why this struggle came to be, the MP remarked that there may have been minor differences and signs of violence amongst the protestors, but that attacking them was uncivilized and despicable at a time when the suffering masses should be shown sympathy.
It is wholly inappropriate to earn the wrath, instead of building consensus among the parties, forming an all-party government, extending democratic boundaries and extending the hands to international lenders, said Ranawaka.
Actually, most of the peaceful protestors had been planning to vacate the protest site and there was more than enough space to ensure their departure through a peaceful process of negotiation, he said.
Ranawaka asked if they had been brutally repressed in order to give wings to anti-democratic forces who dream of an armed revolution.
History has shown that every time such repressions were unleashed both in the North and the South, armed responses made matters worse, the MP pointed out, leaving thousands murdered, tens of thousands fleeing the country and the lives of many generations left in darkness.
Ranawaka said he was shocked to see the Rajapaksas using the president they brought to power to release the wicked repression they were unable to unleash.
Instead of using the military to attack the protestors or take them before courts, what should be done is to prosecute the political family that took the country to bankruptcy and the group that harboured them, including the former Central Bank governor and the former secretaries to the Treasury, and ensure justice.
Describing today as a day of darkness, he urged all democratic forces in the country, including professionals and religious leaders, to unite unconditionally and journey towards the next democratic revolution.
Senior journalist Dhanushka Ramanayake has been appointed as the Director General of the President’s Media Division (PMD).
Meanwhile Shanuka Karunarathne has been appointed as the President’s Media Director.
Sri Lanka Police in a clarification this evening on the raid on the GotaGoGama protest site in Galle Face said that attempts made by authorities to remove the protestors who were occupying the President's Office on multiple occasions were futile.
Sri Lanka Police said despite making repeated calls for the protestors to vacate the premises peacefully, the protestors refused to comply and behaved impulsively.
The statement said that after considering all other avenues and in the absence of an alternative method to remove the protestors, a decision was taken to remove them from the President's Office in such a manner.
Pointing out that the police officers are authorized under the general law to enter, search and make arrests, Sri Lanka Police said the same power is vested with the Army under the Emergency Regulations.
Former Minister Sagala Ratnayaka has been appointed as the new Chief of Staff of President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Mr. Ratnayaka has also been appointed as the senior presidential adviser on national security.
He served as the Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s Office during Ranil Wickremesinghe’s previous tenure as Prime Minister.
State intelligence had received information that Galle Face protestors had been planning to smuggle all state documents out of the Presidential Secretariat by this afternoon (22), Defence Ministry sources say.
The occupants had been told by the defence authorities to vacate the premises by 6.00 am, but they had sought time until 2.00 pm, for which agreement had been given.
However, state intelligence later reported the protestors had been planning to bring more crowds near the Presidential Secretariat and create trouble by the afternoon.
Defence authorities say the unlawful occupants were evicted in order for the protection of the building as well as the state documents being kept in it.
Furthermore, the main agitation site near Shangri-la was not taken down allowing for the peaceful protests to continue.
What happened at the Galle Face protest site at dawn?
Using force, defence authorities evicted the protestors from the Presidential Secretariat and its vicinity at dawn today.
Several journalists, including J. Samuel of the BBC Tamil Service, had come under attack by the armed forces as they had been giving the incident live coverage.
A soldier snatched Samuel’s mobile phone and deleted the visuals he had taken.
The police media spokesman has told the BBC that he was unaware of journalists being attacked, and said he would look into it.
Videos are in wide circulation online showing the armed forces members assaulting protestors, civilians and others, once again bringing international spotlight on Sri Lanka.
Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera said that the QR system was introduced since the daily fuel demand cannot be fulfilled.
Due to Forex issues, Fuel imports has to be restricted in the next 12 months, he said.
He said that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation or the CPC has never distributed Fuel daily to every single Fuel Station, adding that it is practically NOT Possible even when stocks are unlimited.
Newly appointed President Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued an Extraordinary Gazette calling on the tri-forces to maintain public order islandwide.
The Gazette was published yesterday (21) in terms of Section 12 of the Public Security Ordinance (Chapter 40).
Russian President Vladimir Putin extends his heartiest well wishes to the newly appointed President of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe.
President Wickremesinghe met with Russia’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Yury Materiy, this morning (25).
The Ambassador extended President Putin’s wishes on the Wickremesinghe’s election to the office of the Presidency.
“I am counting on your activities as Head of State to foster further development of the constructive bilateral cooperation in various spheres for the benefit of our peoples and in the interest of strengthening the regional stability and security,” Putin tells his Sri Lankan counterpart, while wishing him success as well as good health and prosperity.
Wickremesinghe was elected last week (21) by Parliament as the eighth Executive President of Sri Lanka.
The new Cabinet of Ministers was sworn in before President Ranil Wickremesinghe a short while ago (22).
The swearing-in ceremony took place at the Prime Minister’s Office on Flower Road, Colombo.
Listed below are the 18 new Cabinet Ministers;
- Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena – Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils, and Local Government
- Douglas Devananda – Fisheries
- Susil Premajayantha – Education
- Bandula Gunawardena – Transport & Highways, and Media
- Keheliya Rambukwella – Health and Water Supply
- Mahinda Amaraweera – Agriculture, Wildlife, and Forest Conservations
- Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe – Justice, Prisons, and Constitutional Reforms
- Harin Fernando – Tourism and Lands
- Ramesh Pathirana – Plantations and Industries
- Prasanna Ranatunga – Urban Development and Housing
- Ali Sabry – External Affairs
- Vidura Wickramanayake – Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs
- Kanchana Wijesekera – Power and Energy
- Naseer Ahamed – Environment
- Roshan Ranasinghe – Sports & Youth Affairs, and Irrigation
- Manusha Nanayakkara – Labour and Foreign Employment
- Tiran Alles – Public Security
- Nalin Fernando – Trade, Commerce and Food Security
President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed to streamline and expedite the fuel distribution process, during a meeting held at the Prime Minister’s office today (23).
The President had also instructed the Minister of Transport to enable school vans to obtain fuel from SLTB depots from 03:00 PM today, in view of the reopening of schools from 25th of July.
Moreover, the President also instructed to issue fuel from SLTB depots and Army camps for fisheries, tourism and agriculture sectors, while he also instructed authorities to take swift action against fuel hoarders.
Mr. Mayantha Dissanayake has resigned as chairman of the Samagi Youth Force.
Mr. Mayantha Dissanayake stated that the resignation letter was forwarded to the Samagi Jana Balavegaya leader, Mr. Sajith Premadasa, and the Samagi Jana Balavegaye general secretary, Mr. Ranjith Madduma Bandara.
Mr. Mayantha Dissanayake also stated that there will be a discussion about future collaboration with the party.
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