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Preparations for G.C.E. O/L Exams: Security arrangements in place

COLOMBO (News 1st) – The Department of Examinations assures the public that comprehensive security arrangements have been meticulously put in place for the upcoming 2022 GCE OL Examination. Commissioner General of Examinations, Amith Jayasundara, confirms that the assistance of the armed forces, including the police, will play a crucial role in ensuring a secure environment for the examination.To address any unforeseen circumstances, the Commissioner General of Examinations assures that contingency plans have been established to handle emergencies throughout the examination period.Remarkably, this year, ten inmates will also be among the participants of the GCE OL examination.

Chandana Ekanayake, the Prison Spokesman, reveals that five inmates from Watareka Prison and five from Welikada Prison have been granted the opportunity to sit for the examination. Notably, one of the candidates from Welikada Prison is serving a life sentence.The GCE OL examination is scheduled to commence tomorrow, signaling a crucial milestone for the candidates involved.

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Ali Sabry - Will domestic debt restructuring put the EPF at risk? - - Usa - Sri Lanka
Will domestic debt restructuring put the EPF at risk?
COLOMBO (News 1st); Experts opine that a great deal of attention needs to be given to pension funds like the Employees' Provident Fund if any action is being taken concerning domestic debt, when implementing the agreements reached with the International Monetary Fund.They point out that if a large amount of the debt obtained from the EPF is slashed in the process of restructuring domestic debt, it would negatively impact the beneficiaries. A week ago, Sri Lanka's President told Parliament that the island nation's total debt was 83.6 billion US dollars, with foreign debt at 41.5 billion US dollars and domestic debt at 42.1 billion US dollars.On the 12th of April 2022, the Central Bank Governor and the Finance Secretary speaking to reporters said that Sri Lanka will temporarily suspend foreign debt payments to avoid a hard default.It's been over a year since Sri Lanka decided to suspend  foreign debt payments.According to the program implemented by Sri Lanka in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund, the ability to repay debt has become a key condition for restabilizing the country's economy.For that, it is expected that a significant part of the total amount of debt taken by Sri Lanka will be slashed, while a concessionary program will be introduced to for the repayment of another portion of debt,Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, PC said Sri Lanka hopes to reduce the debt obligation by USD 14 Billion.The necessary measures that will be taken, with regard to foreign debt, are still in the discussion stage.In the meantime, the government has now focused its attention towards domestic debt.According to the Governor of the Central Bank, domestic debt optimization is expected and the necessary measures that are required,
Love Is Blind - 'Love Is Blind' Star Nick Thompson Starts Nonprofit to Help Reality Stars With Mental Health - - Mexico
'Love Is Blind' Star Nick Thompson Starts Nonprofit to Help Reality Stars With Mental Health
's Nick Thompson announced he started a nonprofit to help reality TV stars in the wake of allegations of mistreatment on the hit Netflix show.Thompson, who appeared on season 2 of and married before divorcing co-star Danielle Ruhl, took to Instagram on Thursday and announced he's a founding board member and executive director of outreach for the UCAN Foundation, which aims to «provide mental health and legal support to past, current, and future reality TV contestants.»Thompson explained in a lengthy caption that, no, he and fellow reality TV stars didn't sign up to be food and water-deprived, allegations made by several of his co-stars, including his ex.  «I signed up for a 'psychologically-based' love experiment sold as 'different from other reality shows,'» he wrote in his caption. «Love is Blind S1 made a believer out of me, and I thought the experience could work for me if I went with good intentions and stayed true to myself.»Thompson went on to say that the «vetting» process «included psych tests and evaluations, background checks, and assurances the cast members selected is 'ready for marriage.'» He also claimed being told that the psychologist that conducted his evaluation spoke to his therapist to verity the ethics and conditions of the show out of concern it would diminish his progress.
Ranil Wickremesinghe - Sri Lanka will engage with creditors on the principles of comparable treatment – President - - Japan - India - Sri Lanka - France - Washington
Sri Lanka will engage with creditors on the principles of comparable treatment – President
COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday (14) said that the government remains committed to continue to engage with all creditor nations and other stakeholders in a transparent manner based on the principles of comparable treatment.He was speaking at the launch of the Debt Restructuring Negotiation Process on Sri Lanka by India, Japan, and France.The President joined the session in Washington, DC virtually and thanked the government of Japan for organizing this crucial meeting together with the government of India and France."This marks the beginning of the coordinated efforts of official bilateral creditor nations to make swift progress to resolving Sri Lanka's debt stress," said.President Wickremesinghe said that the IMF program was presented to the country's parliament for approval, and the government aims to introduce new legislations that would incorporate the main features of the IMF arrangement."We thank the authorities of Paris Club as well as non Paris club nations offering timely financing assurances that enabled the IMF for Sri Lanka's request for a fund supported comprehensive economic adjustment program," he added.The President said that he hopes other bilateral and multilateral partners as well as commercial creditors will also join in providing assistance for Sri Lanka to successfully complete the debt restructuring process at the earliest."At this critical juncture of our economy, we rely on your swift continued and unwavering support to reemerge from this crisis and establish a solid foundation enabling us to uplift the socio-economic well-being of our population", concluded the President.
Supreme Court suspends importing pharmaceuticals from two Indian companies - - India - Sri Lanka
Supreme Court suspends importing pharmaceuticals from two Indian companies
The Supreme Court on Thursday (6) granted leave-to proceed in the Fundamental Rights petition filed by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), stating that serious doubts have arisen regarding the quality, safety, and efficacy of the pharmaceuticals purchased under the Indian Credit Line from The Savorite Pharmaceuticals (Pvt) Limited.The petition was filed against the steps taken by the Cabinet of Ministers, the Minister of Health, the Ministry of Health, and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) to procure medical supplies from two Indian private companies.While noting that serious doubts have arisen regarding the lawfulness of the impugned procurement transaction, Court granted two interim reliefs;• Suspension of further importation of pharmaceuticals pertaining to the decision without obtaining a further order from the Court after proving that the quality and safety requirements are satisfied, and the procurement is lawful.• Release for use the two consignments that have already reached Sri Lanka only after the conducting necessary tests, and the NMRA expressing its independent decision assuring the safety, quality, and efficacy of the already imported pharmaceuticals.This case, filed in the public interest, challenged among other things, the non-compliance with procurement guidelines including the emergency procurement process and abuse of process by the Minister of Health and the Chief Executive Officer of the NMRA.In its petition, TISL alleges that the citizens' fundamental right to equality (Article 12(1)) and the right of access to information (Article 14A) have been violated, along with serious disregard for the health, safety and well-being of the people and in total abuse of public trust and
Ranil Wickremesinghe - Sri Lanka’s President seeks India’s help with Governance, Policy Reforms - - city New Delhi - India - Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s President seeks India’s help with Governance, Policy Reforms
New Delhi: Sri Lanka's President Ranil Wickremesinghe sought India's help in establishing policy reforms, governance, capacity building, digitalization, and public service delivery, according to the press statement released by India's Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.An Indian delegation led by the Director General of the National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), Bharat Lal met Sri Lanka's President on Saturday (1) in the island country and discussed topics like policy reforms, good governance, digitalization, capacity building and training, institution building, and assured public service delivery.The President had admired the way India has managed socioeconomic development and has ensured high economic growth.In the meeting, President Wickremesinghe shared his vision for Sri Lanka, a strategy to address the recent economic challenges and put the country on the path of high economic growth. He also urged the NCGG to help in establishing a University of Governance and Public Policy in Sri Lanka, according to the press release.Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's crisis management skills during the 2001 riot as Chief Minister, Director General said, "Upon assuming the role of Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001 amid a slew of crises and negative economic growth, was able to put the state on the path of high economic growth and sustained prosperity through his vision, strategy, and progressive policies.
Kristalina Georgieva - Julie Chung - US welcomes Sri Lanka’s IMF package; Ambassador says structural & lasting reforms are critical - - Usa - Sri Lanka - county Will
US welcomes Sri Lanka’s IMF package; Ambassador says structural & lasting reforms are critical
COLOMBO (News 1st); The United States of America has welcomed the approval of Sri Lanka’s IMF package."Great news & an important step on the road toward economic recovery," tweeted US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung on Monday (20).She said that the Sri Lankan government will need to continue reforms and conclude debt restructuring agreements to ensure the program – and the economy – stay on track.She noted that structural & lasting reforms that address good governance & transparency are critical to ensure all citizens of Sri Lanka can prosper.IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva also noted that she was very pleased the Executive Board of the IMF had approved about $3 bn of IMF support for Sri Lanka’s economic policies & reforms. She said that it was an important milestone with International Creditors coming together to help to restore debt sustainability. "Crucial to unlock Sri Lanka's growth potential," she added.The International Monetary Fund said that it will enable an immediate disbursement equivalent to about US $ 333 million for Sri Lanka under EFF program, following Executive Board approval on Monday (20).The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved today a 48‑month extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with an amount of SDR 2.286 billion (395 percent of quota or about US$3 billion).Sri Lanka has been hit hard by a catastrophic economic and humanitarian crisis.
Ranil Wickremesinghe - IMF approves Sri Lanka’s bailout package under EFF; Sri Lanka can access up to $ 7 Bn - - China - Usa - India - Sri Lanka
IMF approves Sri Lanka’s bailout package under EFF; Sri Lanka can access up to $ 7 Bn
COLOMBO (News 1st); The IMF Executive Board approved Sri Lanka’s program under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) that will enable Sri Lanka to access up to $7 billion in funding, reported the President's Media Division.President Ranil Wickremesinghe has expressed his gratitude for the support of the IMF and other international partners, said the PMD.It added that the President committed to full transparency in all discussions with financial institutions & creditors, & to achieve sustainable levels of debt through prudent fiscal management & an ambitious reform agenda.The IMF program is critical to achieving this vision & will help to improve Sri Lanka's standing in international capital markets, making it an attractive country for investors, talent, & tourists, said the President's Media Division.Earlier this month, Sri Lanka received IMF-compatible financing assurances from its official creditors, including Paris Club members, India and China, allowing the IMF to convene an Executive Board and consider Sri Lanka’s request for a loan.The program is expected to provide much-needed policy space to drive the economy out of the unprecedented challenges and instill confidence amongst all the stakeholders.President Ranil Wickremesinghe welcomed the announcement:“In the 75 years of Sri Lanka’s independence, there has never been a more critical period for ou economic future. Our official creditors have declared their support following continuous and positive engagements over the last few months, and we are pleased that the IMF Executive Board approved our program, enabling Sri Lanka to access up to US$ 7 billion in funding from the IMF and IFIs.
Marie Trevelyan - Ali Sabry - James Cleverly - Another four countries give assurances to IMF on Sri Lanka - - Sri Lanka - Kuwait - Britain - Pakistan - Scotland - city London - Hungary - Saudi Arabia
Another four countries give assurances to IMF on Sri Lanka
COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, PC said that four more countries have stepped forward to provide debt restructuring assurances to the International Monetary Fund.He tweeted that Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Hungary, and Kuwait have given debt restructuring assurances to IMF. The Foreign Minister is in the UK to attend the Commonwealth Day celebrations.Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Sabry will participate in the 22nd Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting (CFAMM) at the Commonwealth Headquarters, Marlborough House, London on 15 March 2023. This year’s CFAMM will engage the Foreign Ministers in discussing joint responses to shared challenges such as the need to build resilience for peaceful and sustainable societies, climate financing for environmental sustainability and leveraging intra -commonwealth trade and digital connectivity for economic recovery, food, and energy security.On the sidelines of these events, Minister Sabry will have a call on the Rt Hon James Cleverly, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth Development Affairs (FCDO), bilateral meetings with Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Ann Marie Trevelyan, Minister of State for Indo – Pacific FCDO and Lord Mervyn Davies of Abersoch, Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Sri Lanka. The Foreign Minister will also participate in an afternoon tea hosted by Rt Hon Lord Naseby at the House of Commons and deliver remarks on Sri Lanka’s relations with the UK to a cross section of British Parliamentarians organized by the Sri Lanka High Commission in London together with Sri Lanka Tea Board.