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Funds only for essential govt expenses

President Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policy has instructed the Treasury Secretary to only provide provisions for essential government expenses in order to maintain public services until the state revenue situation improves.The list of expenditure to be funded include salaries, debt servicing, pensions, medical supplies for hospitals, subsidies for low-income groups, scholarships, farmers’ pensions, school nutrition programs, payments for war heroes and disabled soldiers, utility payments, food supplies for hospitals and prisons, among others.This move is expected to have a significant impact on the economy, as it will prioritize the most important needs of the people and prevent funds from being misused. The Treasury has stressed the importance of sticking to the list of essential expenditure, as releasing funds for any other purpose could negatively impact the people and slow down the country’s economic recovery.

 

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Sri Lankans - Ali Sabry - Sri Lanka ready to support Search and Rescue in Turkiye - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka
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Sri Lanka ready to support Search and Rescue in Turkiye
COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, PC said that the country is ready to deploy a contingent of 300 military personnel for relief efforts in Turkiye.The contingent will include personnel from the Sri Lanka Engineers Corps and the Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps.Minister Ali Sabry said that on the instructions of the President he contacted the Foreign Minister of Turkiye and offered assistance for search & rescue"We recall when the Tsunami struck us in 2004,Türkiye provided immediate humanitarian assistance & built a housing complex for those who lost their houses," tweeted the Minister.The Sri Lankan Embassy in Turkiye said that it has not been able to access information with regard to the Sri Lankan woman who was reported missing following the devastating earthquakes.A Senior Officer attached to the mission said that the mobile device of the Sri Lankan woman was traced.The Officer also noted that earlier it was reported that the building in which was living had collapsed, however, reports later suggested that she had vacated the premises before the earthquakes.Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, PC said that a contingent of 300 military personnel are ready to be deployed to Turkiye, as soon as a request for help is made.The contingent will include Sri Lanka Army Engineers and personnel from the Medical Corps.On Monday (6)  Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said 9 Sri Lankans were residing in the region. 8 people have been contacted.
Sajith Premadasa - Ranil Wickremesinghe - Dinesh Gunawardena - Sri Lanka’s President and PM issues statements to mark the 75th Independence Day - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka
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Sri Lanka’s President and PM issues statements to mark the 75th Independence Day
Sri Lanka's President and Prime Minister issued statements to mark the 75th Independence Day.In his message, President Ranil Wickremesinghe says there is a new economic and social reform agenda before the country with the objectives focusing first on recovery and then on renewed development. The Head of State stated it is imperative for us to unite in its implementation so that we can emerge with a high level of economic prosperity. He pledged to make the extremely difficult though vital decisions to achieve this goal with courage and determination. Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in his message to mark the 75th Independence Day said "today, we not only celebrate our freedom, but also pay tribute to the ones who fought for it, to the ones who held a vision for our country, and to the ones who sacrificed themselves for the same." The Premier says the bravery, heroic acts as well as untold miseries suffered by our forefathers during their struggle for freedom of the Motherland must not be allowed to fade away from our memories.The Prime Minister adds the government has taken a series of measures to ensure recovery of the economy, and increase agricultural production to attain self-sufficiency and food security. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa also issued a statement to mark the 75th Independence Day. He stated "despite the fact that Sri Lanka has been independent for 75 years, we have failed to make that independence meaningful on national, social, educational, and religious levels."The Opposition Leader stated being trapped in "narrow chauvinism and communalism" is not the way to experience true freedom.
Two PUCSL members submit resignation letters to the President - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka
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Two PUCSL members submit resignation letters to the President
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Udeni Wickramasinghe & Mohan Samaranayake have informed the President that they would be resigning from the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka.Mohan Samaranayake in his letter of resignation had noted that the work environment, and the work style of the PUCSL has become highly unprofessional, unpleasant, and intolerable.He added that the situation has degenerated to such an extent that on 20th January 2023 when a special meeting of the commission was held, a group of thugs was organized and allowed inside the commission premises who indirectly threatened him with physical assault and destruction of property.He noted that the act of hooliganism was justified by the insinuation by the PUCSL Chairman at the National Council meeting on 24th January 2023 with the participation of the members of the commission.Samaranayake noted that the justification of threats against him indicated he run the risk of being threatened and even assaulted in the future.He also noted that the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka by violating Section 9 (5) of the PUCSL Act continues to make decision and statements purported to be that of the commission without the concurrence of the rest of the members, thereby making other members redundant.Mohan Samaranayake said that he had been humiliated and painted the villain before the society.He also noted that the failure on the part of the government authorities to counter legal and other arguments against the proposed electricity tariff hike with irrefutable facts, leave the people in a quandary.Udeni Wickramasinghe noted that he decided to resign from the PUCSL due to personal reasons. 
CEB takes back assurance on suspending power cuts - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka
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CEB takes back assurance on suspending power cuts
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The Ceylon Electricity Board informed the Supreme Court on Friday (3) that it would be withdrawing the assurance that it gave to refrain from imposing power cuts until the Contempt of Court application filed by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka is taken up for consideration, and the matter is concluded.President's Counsel Romesh De Silva appearing for the CEB made the announcement to the court.The matter was taken up in the presence of Justices Gamini Amarasekera, Kumuduni Wickremesinghe, and Shiran Gunaratne for consideration.Thereafter, the President's Counsel noted that the assurance will be withdrawn with effect from Friday (3).President's Counsel Upul Jayasuriya appearing for the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka requested for an interim order to prevent the CEB from imposing Power Cuts during the period of the Advanced Level Examination is over, if the respondent is withdrawing the assurance that it gave to the Supreme Court on Thursday (2).However, the Supreme Court rejected the request and fixed the matter to be taken up again on the 7th of February at 1:30 PM.The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka had moved to the Supreme Court against the Ceylon Electricity Board for failing to follow the directive to provide an uninterrupted supply of electricity until the end of the G. C.
Joe Biden - Ranil Wickremesinghe - Sri Lanka and US have always been strong together – Joe Biden in letter to President - newsfirst.lk - Usa - Sri Lanka
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Sri Lanka and US have always been strong together – Joe Biden in letter to President
COLOMBO (News 1st); US President Joe Biden has conveyed his best wishes to President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the people of Sri Lanka on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of Sri Lankan Independence.The communication from President Biden was handed over to President Wickremesinghe by the US Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland when she called on President Wickremesinghe on Wednesday (01), at the President's Office.US President Joe Biden had stated that he looks forward to strengthening and deepening the bilateral friendship even further and, together, continuing to advance the shared values and vision for a peaceful, prosperous and secure future for the people of the two countries.He pointed out that this milestone independence anniversary, coincides with the 75 years of diplomatic relations between the US and Sri Lanka.President Biden acknowledged that the longstanding partnership has helped to advance peace and prosperity across the region and globally. The US President recalled that both nations – throughout their shared history – “have tackled formidable global challenges, including the combatting of climate change, addressing the scourge of human trafficking and maintaining a secure, free and open Indo-Pacific”.President Biden pointed out that bilateral trade and economic ties have been strengthened and deepened, and that Sri Lanka and the U.S., as democracies, have always been stronger when standing together, while being united in a shared commitment to freedom, opportunity and equality, said the President's Media Division.Source: PMD
Sri Lankans - Ranil Wickremesinghe - Julie Chung - US pledges support for Sri Lanka’s recovery efforts - newsfirst.lk - Usa - Sri Lanka
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US pledges support for Sri Lanka’s recovery efforts
COLOMBO (News 1st) –  Victoria Nuland, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States, called on President Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo on Wednesday (1).She is on an official visit to the country, and she discussed the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, and the ongoing US assistance to the Sri Lankan people.US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung accompanied Nuland for the meeting, where both sides further discussed ways both the United States of America and Sri Lanka are working together toward an inclusive, prosperous and secure future for all Sri Lankans.According to the President's Media Division, the President in his meeting with Victoria Nuland, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States, thanked the US Government for their support during difficult times. Under-Secretary Nuland had pledged the US Government’s support for Sri Lanka's ongoing recovery efforts.The discussion also focussed on the on-going discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), while the U.S. pledged to continue to support the negotiations with the aim of swiftly resolving the issues.The President outlined the measures being taken in regard to the reconciliation talks with the minority parties in Sri Lanka, including the full implementation of the 13th Amendment.Discussions also focussed on the on-going efforts to combat the growing narcotics trade, with the U.S.
Bandula Gunawardena - Ranil Wickremesinghe - President orders to further curtail government expenditure - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka
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President orders to further curtail government expenditure
COLOMBO (News 1st); In a note to the Cabinet, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, had stated that the Government revenue at present is far below the monthly expenditure for the month of January 2023.The President's Media Division, and Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Bandula Gunawardena confirmed that the President had instructed on further curtailing government expenses.The President had noted that the Treasury finds it challenging to meet all expenditures at this moment, except for payments for salaries, pensions, welfare, pharmaceuticals and debt servicing.Therefore, President Wickremesinghe had pointed out that the Government expenditure will have to be curtailed further / postponed until planned revenue to be raised on the recent tax revisions is realized, reported the President's Media Division.He had noted that the Treasury will formulate a priority criterion for this purpose.Furthermore, the President had pointed out that public officers should refrain from obtaining goods/services on credit basis, and any officer who violates this will be held personally responsible for such expenditure, said the PMD."The President informed the Cabinet of Ministers that the revenue for January collected from the Inland Revenue Department, Sri Lanka Customs and the Excise Department was Rs. 158.7 Billion.
Threatening calls to NEC members originated from Dubai – CID - newsfirst.lk - city Dubai
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Threatening calls to NEC members originated from Dubai – CID
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The National Election Commission said that it cannot be satisfied with the status of investigations taking place with regard to the death threats made to three members of the NEC.A senior official at the National Election Commission speaking to News 1st said that various factions are continuing to make undue influence on the NEC in order to delay the Local Government Elections.He added that certain state officials, attached to several State Institutions that should be involved in ensuring a Free & Fair election takes place, are neglecting their duties.The Senior Official said that those who appointed the state officials who are neglecting their duties must be held accountable for the dereliction of duty.The Chairman of the National Election Commission, Attorney Nimal Punshihewa has requested the President to intervene over the death threats made to the members of the National Election Commission.The NEC Chairman in a letter to the President requested that an environment favourable to conduct a free and fair election be created.News 1st also inquired from the Criminal Investigations Department on the progress made with regard to the investigations on the death threats made to members of the National Election Commission.A Senior Official at the CID said that investigations revealed that the threatening phone calls were made from Dubai.He said that a telecommunication analysis reports has been called for from the service providers.
Kanchana Wijesekera - ‘My officials were threatened to sign’ – Kanchana on No-Power Cut agreement - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka
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‘My officials were threatened to sign’ – Kanchana on No-Power Cut agreement
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Sri Lanka's Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera said that the officials from the Ministry of Power and Energy who attended a recent meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka had disclosed that they were pressurized to sign two documents that they did not agree do.The Minister tweeted on Friday (27) that the officials were pressurized by two members of the Human Rights Commission, and that they were threatened with jail sentences.On Wednesday (25), the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka revealed that all the  necessary stakeholders including Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) agreed to provide uninterrupted power supply during the advanced level examination period until February 17th.However, despite the statement from the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, power outages were experienced on Wednesday (25) and Thursday (26).The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka on Friday (27) said it will elaborate facts to the Supreme Court against officials including the Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board and the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy for breaching an agreement by suspending the supply of power. Speaking further, an official from the HRCS said it has been observed that the CEB and the Ministry of Power and Energy are operating arbitrarily, going against the laws of the land. Meanwhile, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka directing a letter to the Chairman of the HRCSL said that it will not approve power outages occurring during the period between the 26th of January and 17th of February. The Human Rights Commission emphasized that if the CEB does not act according to the directive, the HRCSL has the ability to act according to Section 21 of the Sri
Parliament to be prorogued from Friday (27); New Session on 8th February - newsfirst.lk
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Parliament to be prorogued from Friday (27); New Session on 8th February
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The President's Office has reserved a slot with the Government Printer to issue the Proclamation to Prorogue Parliament with effect from midnight on Friday (27).President's Secretary Saman Ekanayake confirmed to News 1st that the respective gazette was sent to the Government Printer as per a decision taken by the President to prorogue parliament with effect from midnight on Friday (27).He said that the new session of Parliament will take place on the 8th of February 2023 at 10 AM.A Senior Official at the Government Printer confirmed to News 1st that the respective gazette was received to go ahead with printing.What is prorogation?To prorogue Parliament means to prolong it,or toput it off for a later day.It is basically a temporary recess of Parliament.Parliament ordinarily functions over a series of sitting days which make up what is called a session; when Parliament is prorogued, a session comes to an end.Effect of Prorogation in Our Parliament:Constitutional ProvisionsDuring the prorogation the Speaker continues to function and the Members retain their membership even though they do not attend meetings of Parliament. The effect of a prorogation is to suspend all current Business before the House and all proceedings pending at the time are quashed except impeachments.  A Bill, motion or question of the same substance cannot be introduced for a second time during the same Session.
Ranil Wickremesinghe - 75th Independence Day at minimal cost – President - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka - county Centre
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75th Independence Day at minimal cost – President
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has given out instruction to celebrate the 75th Independence Day with pride, at minimal cost.A pre-discussion was held on Thursday (26) at the President's Office chaired by President Ranil Wickremesinghe regarding the Independence Day celebration being held in a grand and proud manner, but maintaining minimum cost.Accordingly, in conjunction with the 75th Independence Day celebration, many special programs are scheduled to be implemented from February 2nd to the 19th. According to the President's Media Division the following events have been planned:Special Dalada Pooja and Pirith chanting Religious ceremonies of all faiths Cultural show held at Independence Square Traditional Independence Day celebration main event held at Galle Face Green National parks and Zoo's will be open to the public free of charge Opening of the Jaffna Cultural Centre Kandy republic parade Cycle race from Dondra Head to Point PedroThe President advised the officials that it is their responsibility as well as that of the political authority, to pay attention to the current financial situation of the country while estimating the expenses required for these activities.The President had advised that spending must be practical, and minimal.While pointing out that there is huge opposition among the people regarding the allocation of funds for the 75th Independence Day celebration, the President emphasized that efforts should be made to minimize the related expenses.Expressing his views further, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said, “We must celebrate the 75th Independence Anniversary, otherwise, the world will say that we are not capable of celebrating even our independence.
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