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In the upcoming presidential election, it is not my personal victory or defeat that is at stake, but rather the triumph or failure of the entire country

President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that the upcoming presidential election will not be about his personal victory or defeat, but that of the country’s success or failure.

The President noted that if the people are satisfied with the government’s program, they can support it. Otherwise, they will face the consequences of living in a country with a collapsed economy, struggling to supply essential items like medicines and fertilizer, and experience long queues for fuel and gas.

President Wickremesinghe made these remarks during a Dialogue on Policy Reforms held at the Water’s Edge Hotel in Battaramulla yesterday (11), with Youth Representatives of the Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committees.

The President highlighted that those making various promises on platforms today lack a concrete program to move the country’s economy forward. He also emphasized the need to avoid past mistakes by making decisions during elections, focusing on individuals.

To advance the nation’s economy, the President urged all political parties to support the Economic Transformation Bill presented by the government. He also invited them to present any alternative proposals they might have for the country.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe further stated,

“Today, you are gathered here as members of the Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committees. Since assuming the presidency, an idea was imparted to me during a discussion with Mr. Karu Jayasuriya, which has evolved into what we witness today. We have provided young leaders with a platform to contribute to governmental initiatives by offering their insights and recommendations for the nation’s future plans. Consequently, we carefully consider all viewpoints presented.

There is prevalent discourse regarding the economic bankruptcy of our country today. However, I do not fully concur with this assessment. Our country is not only facing economic challenges but also political ones. These intertwined issues have become a formidable challenge that demands our attention.

The absence of a formalized economic structure has left our country vulnerable to significant challenges. Historically, our economy has relied heavily on imports, creating a situation where our expenditure exceeded our financial resources. Compounded by the financial burdens of war, our fiscal situation deteriorated further. Despite hopes for rapid economic growth following the end of the war, progress has been limited. Fifteen years on from the end of the war, we find ourselves still grappling with economic stagnation. We persisted in employing outdated methods, resorting to borrowing when faced with financial constraints, ultimately leading to unsustainable debt levels.

During this period, there was a reluctance to acknowledge the reality of our economic situation. However, we recognized the urgent need for economic reform and made commitments to that effect during electoral campaigns. Regrettably, amidst these efforts, certain elements within the country propagated unfounded fears of national sovereignty compromise. Despite such assertions, we find ourselves in a state of financial crisis.

In 2015, during my tenure as Prime Minister, I had to implement tax increases to address the country’s revenue needs. However, in 2019, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa assumed leadership and initiated tax reductions, resulting in a decline in revenue. This reduction coincided with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, exacerbating our financial challenges. Despite the pressing need for foreign exchange reserves amounting to US$3 billion, this critical issue received little attention during the parliamentary elections. While our party, the United National Party, highlighted this concern in our policy statement, other parties focused on making unrealistic promises to voters. Consequently, our party suffered significant losses in the election, winning only one seat.

It is unprecedented for a party with just one seat to appoint a Prime Minister or President. This situation underscores the political turmoil and lack of leadership in our country. Faced with this crisis, I assumed the presidency to address the economic challenges.

Recognizing the importance of empowering the youth, we have initiated programs to foster their understanding and involvement in shaping the country’s economic future. It is imperative to equip the younger generation with the necessary skills and knowledge to lead our nation forward.

Today, certain politicians are making extensive promises without presenting any concrete policies to drive the country’s economic growth. Despite prolonged discussions between the opposition leader and Mr. Anura Dissanayake regarding debate formats and venues, no agreement was reached. Regrettably, none of these individuals have put forth a viable economic agenda.

In light of this, it is essential for them to articulate whether they offer alternative approaches beyond the government’s initiatives. However, no such proposals have been forthcoming. If they are unwilling to engage constructively, it is imperative to consider alternative avenues for progress. Engaging in such programs facilitates valuable interactions with officials and the private sector, fostering knowledge enhancement and the generation of new ideas. I extend an invitation to all stakeholders to break free from conventional paradigms and propel the nation forward collectively.

Below are the questions posed by the youth, along with President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s responses.

Q: The draft bill aimed at transforming the National Youth Parliament from a mere concept into a constitutional institution has been presented. What are your thoughts on this development?

A: The National Youth Parliament has been functioning for quite some time now, and it’s high time to formalize its status through legislation. One of the key challenges we face is determining the criteria for selecting its members. Should it be limited to certain youth organizations or open to all? If it’s open, how do we compile the participant lists? These are some of the critical questions that need resolution. I’ve urged the concerned parties to come up with viable solutions, and we’ll proceed accordingly.

Furthermore, there’s a pressing need to address the issue of female representation in provincial and divisional councils. The idea of youth representation was initially proposed during President Premadasa’s tenure, but it was confined to mere nominations. As part of our policy agenda, I’m committed to implementing measures to enhance youth representation within the next two to three years. It’s time to initiate discussions on this matter. Additionally, when it comes to ‘Janasabha,’ we must consider the necessity and form of representation for women and youth. I believe it’s imperative to engage the youth in this dialogue and work towards finding suitable solutions.

Q: Is there a possibility to establish a youth leadership task force to collaborate with ministry secretaries? There seems to be a lack of grassroots understanding in activities related to smart technology. What are your thoughts on this?

A: It’s indeed crucial to integrate youth perspectives into ministries and administrative processes. I encourage you to deliberate on how this integration can be effectively achieved and provide your recommendations. The significance of engaging with Parliament lies in its role in policy formulation, while involvement in ministries or provincial councils entails contributing to policy implementation. Together, let’s explore the most suitable approach for connectivity and present your proposals. I refrain from dictating specifics because this pertains to your future, not mine. By 2048, I won’t be in office, but you will.

Q: When the country’s economy collapsed, you accepted the challenge and successfully faced it. But if you somehow lose the next election, will there be anyone to take the lead to continue the current program?

A: The outcome of the upcoming election is not solely about my personal victory or defeat; it will determine whether the country succeeds or fails. We’ve engaged in discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and formulated an economic program, supported by the Economic Transformation Law. Should this program falter, we risk losing foreign exchange reserves, leading to shortages of essential items like medicines, fuel and gas. Hence, the decision to continue with the government’s program is critical.

I call upon all party leaders to support this economic transformation law or propose a viable alternative. This election isn’t merely about selecting individuals but about choosing the most effective system for our country’s progress. If you believe in the merits of the current approach, let us proceed accordingly.

Conversely, opting for a scenario where our economy collapses, devoid of essential resources, is another option. If the government’s program lacks merit, an alternative must be presented. However, to date, no such alternative has been forthcoming. While some suggest renegotiating agreements with the IMF, the IMF has indicated their inflexibility. Can we afford to default on our national debts next month?

Hence, it is imperative to consider the future of our nation carefully and make informed decisions accordingly.

Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayaka,

During both the war and the recent economic crisis, we all experienced significant hardships. The repercussions were far-reaching, plunging us into energy insecurity with prolonged power outages and fuel shortages. Misguided policies on food and fertilizers exacerbated food insecurity, leading to the collapse of the agricultural sector. This, coupled with challenges in healthcare and other vital sectors, inflicted severe economic hardships on us. As a nation, we found ourselves stripped of even the most basic necessities like food and gas.

As such, national security encompasses more than just safeguarding territorial integrity. Recognizing this, a new role has been proposed for the President, complete with a National Security Advisor and a dedicated National Security Secretariat. While the bill outlining these changes has yet to be introduced, it will form part of a comprehensive legislation covering various critical areas, including the National Security Secretariat, the newly-established Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Act, and the National Institute for Strategic Studies.

The scope of the National Security Secretariat extends beyond traditional security to encompass economic and energy security, among other sectors. National security is a multifaceted concept that defies precise definition, spanning a wide array of fields. There is a pressing need for reform within our intelligence agencies, recognizing the distinct operational requirements during peacetime and wartime, both of which are integral to safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country. Efforts are underway to modernize these agencies with the assistance of our friendly nations. Additionally, we are incorporating an overseas division, formerly under the purview of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but typically overseen by the Ministry of Defence.

The event was attended by distinguished figures including Senior Advisor to the President on Economic Affairs Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga, Parliamentary Deputy General Secretary Chaminda Kularatne, President’s Counsel Eraj De Silva, and other officials.

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IMF Agreement: Mandatory Compliance for whoever comes to power – Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena

Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena stressed the necessity of adhering to the loan agreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) until 2028 while formulating the budget for the upcoming year 2025, regardless of the governing administration.

He also highlighted the obligation for parties aspiring to assume state power to disclose their compliance with these agreements to the country.

Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, made these remarks during his participation in a Media briefing held at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) today (10), under the theme ‘Collective path to a stable country’

Addressing the media personnel the minister further stated that;

Several political parties have initiated protests and strikes. Consequently, a committee comprising the Secretary to the President and the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance has been established to address issues concerning salaries, including discrepancies across government departments, corporations, and statutory bodies. The cabinet has also made a decision to propose solutions and incorporate them into the 2025 budget document.

Despite the government’s various needs, the 2024 budget cannot accommodate additional financial allocations. It is essential to note that over the past four decades, there has not been sufficient income to cover day-to-day operational expenses of the government.

In 2023, the Inland Revenue Department collected Rs.1550 billion by raising all tax types, while the Department of Customs garnered Rs.923 billion from import and export duties. The Excise Department gathered Rs.169 billion, and the Department of Motor Traffic obtained Rs.20 billion. Non-tax income amounted to Rs.219 billion.

Additionally, Rs.16 billion came as aid and Rs.304 billion through various deposits, summing up to a total income of Rs.3201 billion.

However, these revenues must cover the day-to-day operations of the government, including salaries, pensions, and subsidies like “Samurdhi” and “Aswasuma”, as well as loan interest. Consequently, a total expenditure of Rs.4.3 trillion was incurred solely in 2023.

In drafting the budget for the upcoming year 2025, irrespective of the ruling government, it is imperative to address the loan agreements established with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) until 2028. By 2025, it is anticipated that the external foreign resource gap will not adequately cover international transactions. Past trends suggest a projected need of USD 5018 billion for this purpose.

Any government formulating the forthcoming budget must secure this funding. To facilitate this, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has consented to provide USD 663 million under the extended credit facility.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has consented to furnish USD 700 million to address the budget deficit. Additionally, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have pledged USD 400 million and USD 300 million, respectively. It is anticipated that there will be a loan relief of USD 3655 million through the restructuring of foreign debt.

Furthermore, parties aspiring to assume state power must inform the country if they are abiding by the agreements outlined by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is also the Finance Minister. It is emphasized that there is no alternative for the future budget of the country, even if pursued without expecting international cooperation.

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Expert Committee on Memorialization Hands Over Report to President

The Expert Committee to make recommendations to commemorate those who died as a result of the armed conflict, political unrest, or civil disturbances in Sri Lanka during the period 1983-2009 as a means of healing and reconciliation among communities, handed over its report to the Hon. President on May 31, 2024, at the Presidential Secretariat.

The Expert Committee that was appointed by the Hon. President on a Cabinet decision was chaired by Prof. Emeritus Jagath Weerasinghe, with members comprising Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara (University of Visual and Performing Arts), Prof. Farzana F Haniffa (University of Colombo), Prof. T Sanathanan (University of Jaffna), Ms. Thushari Suriyaarachchi (Acting Director General, Office of National Unity & Reconciliation – ONUR), and Mr. Mahinda Withanaarachchi (Additional Director General, Urban Development Authority).

During the past few months, the Committee conducted public consultation sessions in the districts of Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, and Kurunegala and also consulted experts in the field of reconciliation. These public sessions were organized in coordination with the National Integration Coordinating Officers of ONUR representing the relevant Districts. The public sessions provided a free and open forum to express aspirations and grievances related to community healing and reconciliation.

The Expert Committee recognizes the right to memorialize and reveals in its Report that various groups and individuals have been engaging with the question of memorialization and reconciliation in different ways. This constitutes a rich body of work that should be made part of the attempt to record, comment, or otherwise engage with the country’s conflict related past.

The Committee has recommended, among others, a centrally located iconic building as a repository of artistic and cultural expressions associated with the conflict and reconciliation efforts in Sri Lanka with the aim of nurturing collective commitment for non-recurrence and promote community healing and reconciliation among all Sri Lankans.

President’s Secretary Mr. Saman Ekanayake was also present at the handover of the committee’s report.

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Bangladesh Pledges Support for Sri Lanka’s Agricultural Modernization Program

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has assured President Ranil Wickremesinghe of Bangladesh’s commitment to support Sri Lanka’s agricultural modernization program.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina are currently in New Delhi to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two leaders engaged in bilateral discussions this morning (10), where Prime Minister Hasina assured her country’s commitment to assist Sri Lanka to modernised agriculture.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe also affirmed his commitment to dispatch a delegation of Sri Lankan agricultural experts to Bangladesh. Their objective is to study Bangladesh’s agricultural modernization program through cooperative methods and gather valuable insights to enhance Sri Lanka’s own agricultural modernization efforts.

The leaders also deliberated on the prospect of signing a free trade agreement between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. President Ranil Wickremesinghe highlighted the potential for such an agreement following the conclusion of the India Free Trade Agreement.

Additionally, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh pledged to direct private investors from Bangladesh towards investment opportunities in Sri Lanka, further fostering economic cooperation between the two countries. Consideration was given to the initiation of a passenger ferry service connecting Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh Prime Minister extended an invitation to President Ranil Wickremesinghe to attend the BIMSTEC Summit in Bangladesh. President Ranil Wickremesinghe conveyed to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh that, as the conference will be held during the election period in Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and Foreign Minister Ali Sabri will represent Sri Lanka at the upcoming BIMSTEC Summit held in Bangladesh.

The President also assured the Prime Minister of Bangladesh that he would visit Bangladesh after the election. In response, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her satisfaction with the progress of Sri Lanka’s economy under the leadership of President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Recalling the support received from both, Bangladesh and India, President Wickremesinghe expressed gratitude for their assistance.

The event was attended by Secretary to the President Saman Ekanayake, Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Aruni Wijewardene, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Kshenuka Senaviratne, Private Secretary to the President Sandra Perera, and delegations from both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

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National Tariff Policy to be implemented from January 2025

The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the proposal presented by the President to implement the National Tariff Policy of Sri Lanka in three phases from January 2025.

It has also been approved to publish the said policy through a gazette notification under section 101 of the Customs Ordinance for the purpose of ensuring awareness and compliance of the concerned stakeholders.

The government states a clear, simple, coherent and predictable tariff system is a critical factor in maintaining a competitive environment for trade and investment within a country.

The competitive environment for investment in Sri Lanka has been adversely affected due to the revision of the tariff policy in accordance with the various policies introduced from time to time by the existing governments.

Considering the situation, a technical committee headed by the Director General of the Department of Trade and Investment Policy of the Treasury and members of relevant agencies has been appointed on the advice of the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policy to formulate a national tariff policy.

The committee has prepared a national tariff policy in consultation with the business and industry community under the guidance of trade experts and secretaries of ministries related to this subject.

Accordingly, the Cabinet approved the proposal presented by the President in his capacity as the Minister of Finance to implement the National Tariff Policy from January 2025. (Newswire)

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Railway strike called off

The four-day strike by the Locomotive Operating Engineers’ Union has been called off following discussions with the Minister of Transport.

At least twenty office trains were cancelled this morning due to the trade union action launched on Thursday.

The Union launched the strike action over several key demands, including solutions to the delays in second-class promotions of locomotive drivers.

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Colombo District Scholarship Award Ceremony for Presidential Scholarship Program on June 19

The Colombo district scholarships awarding ceremony for the ‘Presidential Scholarship Program 2024/25,’ aimed at supporting students facing economic challenges while excelling in academics and co-curricular pursuits, ensuring unhindered access to education, will take place on June 19th, 2024, at the Temple Trees, under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Two hundred and forty two (242) scholarships out of the 6000 allocated for duration of 24 months to students pursuing G.E.C Advanced Level, each receiving Rs.6000 per month, have been designated for the Colombo district. Consequently, all scholarship recipients, including their outstanding payments, will be paid on the same day.

Furthermore, as part of the Presidential Scholarship Program’s initiative to extend scholarships to 100,000 students from grades 1 to 11, the Colombo District is expected to receive approximately 5,000 scholarships. Based on the submissions of scholarship winners’ lists from Regional Education Offices to the Presidential Fund, 1758 selected recipients from 396 schools in the Colombo District are set to receive their scholarships, along with any outstanding payments.

Scholarship recipients will receive notifications via phone calls and text messages using the contact information provided in their scholarship applications. Further updates will be shared on the official Facebook page of the President’s Fund in the coming days.

Additionally, arrangements are underway to deposit the scholarship instalment payments, along with any outstanding amounts, into the bank accounts of all scholarship winners in the Colombo district in the near future. Once the transactions are completed, recipients will be informed via text message (SMS).

Furthermore, plans are in place to extend scholarship award ceremonies to the district level for recipients selected from other districts in the future.

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President receives warm welcome in India

President Ranil Wickremesinghe arrived in India this morning (09) via Indira Gandhi Airport to attend the swearing-in ceremony of H.E. Narendra Modi, who has been elected as the Prime Minister of India for the third consecutive term.

President Wickremesinghe was warmly welcomed at the airport by Additional Secretary P. Kumaran on behalf of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka H.E. Santosh Jha, Indian Ocean Region Additional Secretary Mr. Puneeth Agrawal and H.E. Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne. The reception also featured a dance performance showcasing Indian culture.

The swearing-in ceremony, presided over by the President of India H.E. Draupadi Murmu, will take place this afternoon (09) at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. President Wickremesinghe’s arrival received significant media coverage in India, with billboards featuring his and Prime Minister Modi’s images displayed around key locations in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party alliance secured victory in the Indian general election, which was conducted over seven phases spanning 44 days. Following the confirmation of this victory, Modi was officially appointed as the leader of the National Democratic Alliance.

Accompanying President Wickremesinghe on this visit are President’s Secretary Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Foreign Affairs Ministry Secretary Ms Aruni Wijewardene, Government Information Director General Mr. Dinith Chinthaka Karunaratne, and President’s Private Ms Secretary Sandra Perera.

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President Forms Expert Committee to Address Public Service Salary Disparities

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed a specialist committee to address salary anomalies in the government service.

This committee, chaired by a former presidential secretary Mr. Udaya Seneviratne, comprises various distinguished members including Director General of the National Budget Department S.D.J. Nilukshan, Director General of the Management Services Department Hiransa Kaluthantri, Director General of Combined Services S. Aloka Bandara, Director General of Institutions H.A. Chandana Kumarasinghe, Dr. Terence Gamini de Silva, Duminda Hulangamuwa, Chandi H. Dharmaratne and Isuru Thilakawardena.

Presidential Additional Secretary Vernon Perera serves as the secretary of the said committee.

With careful consideration of the prevailing salary anomalies among various employee groups within the public service, measures will be taken in the 2025 budget to review and potentially revise salaries, wages, and other provisions across all sectors. This task has been delegated to the Expert Committee.

Additionally, the President has instructed that the committee submit its recommendations report within three months.

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Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka Steps in to Assess Health and Aid Needs of Kaduwela Flood Victims

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka, the President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff said that the officials have been instructed to act according to the new circulars, apart from the old circulars, in providing relief to the people affected by the inclement weather.

He mentioned this while joining an observation tour today (08) to investigate the well-being of the people of the Kaduwela area affected by the flood and to look into the relief program being carried out for those people.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka looked into the program to restore the people’s lives after the flood subsided and instructed the officials to provide all necessary facilities to facilitate the resettlement of the people.

He also visited the houses in the flood-affected area, engaged in conversation with the house owners and discussed with them the measures needed to be taken to control the flood situation in the future.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka, who joined to inspect the medical clinic at the historical Sri Rankadu Pattini Temple premises in Kaduwela with the participation of a foreign medical team, did not forget to look into the affairs of the Rankadu Pattini Temple.

Expressing his views to the media Mr. Ratnayaka noted,

The President has instructed to provide all the necessary support for the restoration of the lives of the people affected by the disaster. We visit these areas from time to time according to the instructions given by him. We have given the authority to the officials to take the necessary decisions to make the work of providing relief to the people more efficient.

In cases where such decisions cannot be made, they have been submitted to an appeals committee to take the final decision. All these activities are expected to provide the necessary background for the affected people to restore their lives as soon as possible.

There have been many wage disparities in our country. This situation has arisen due to not arranging salaries in an orderly manner and providing immediate answers at various times. It was approved in the last cabinet to conduct a proper study on the wage disparity and prepare a report.

Those activities will take place in the future. But this is an occasion where people are facing a disaster. And this is also an instance when the country is facing a big economic problem.

The country’s economy has stabilized but the country is facing a financial problem, so we are going through a time where everyone should be careful. Therefore, this is not the right time to strike. I request all government officials to understand these facts and act accordingly. We will never ignore your questions. It must be said that we have an understanding regarding that and have prepared the necessary program to solve them.

Member of Parliament Premanath C. Dolawatta and former members of the Kaduwela Provincial Council and government officials attended the event.

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President meets Dr. S Jaishankar in New Delhi

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, currently in New Delhi, held a meeting today (10) with Indian Senior Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar. During the meeting, Mr. Jaishankar addressed the swift resumption of development projects initiated in Sri Lanka with Indian investments, which had been halted midway.

He expressed his intent to visit Sri Lanka in the near future to oversee the progress of these activities.

Senior Minister Jaishankar assured that he would visit Sri Lanka soon to coordinate the Prime Minister’s visit and expedite the commencement of development projects funded by Indian investments.

The discussions also covered India’s “Neighborhood First” policy. Minister Jaishankar highlighted plans for an industrial zone in Trincomalee, to be established by the Indian government, which will attract numerous Indian investors and potentially investors from other countries.

President Wickremesinghe noted that the new Economic Transformation Act will devolve powers in agriculture, health, education, and economic management to the Provincial Councils.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe also mentioned that the Truth and Reconciliation Bill will be submitted to Parliament by next July. The meeting also covered the agricultural modernization program being implemented in the country and addressed the ongoing issues between the fishermen of both nations, aiming for a swift resolution.

President Wickremesinghe announced that estate line rooms will be designated as estate villages through a gazette notification, allowing for their development under the Ministry of Home Affairs. He also extended warm congratulations to Minister S. Jaishankar on his reappointment. The President also recalled his invitation to the Indian Prime Minister to visit Sri Lanka in the near future.

In attendance were President’s Secretary Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Foreign Ministry Secretary Ms Aruni Wijewardene, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Ms Kshenuka Senewiratne, and President’s Private Secretary Ms Sandra Perera.

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President re-appoints Shavendra Silva as Chief of Defence Staff

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has re-appointed General Shavendra Silva as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) until December 31st.

An extraordinary gazette has been issued, extending General Silva’s term as CDS under Section 3 of the Chief of Defence Staff Act, No. 35 of 2009.

General Silva’s new term will run from June 1, 2024, to December 31, 2024.

He was first appointed as Chief of Defence Staff on June 1, 2022.

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