With Somali pirates seizing a Comoros-flagged oil tanker which had eight Sri Lankan crew members
on board, the first hijacking since 2012 has once again revived the necessity in ensuring maritime security in the Indian Ocean, and other regions.
Columns News - CEYLON POLITICS
With Somali pirates seizing a Comoros-flagged oil tanker which had eight Sri Lankan crew members
President Maithripala Sirisena returned to the island after completing a successful State visit to Indonesia. Prior to the State visit, he attended the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Leaders' Summit at the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widoda. The visit helped strengthening the foreign relations and bringing many developmental benefits to the country.
This year's Leaders' Summit was held on a grand scale in parallel to celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).The world leaders during the Summit signed an agreement aimed at strengthening the cooperation between the countries in the Indian Ocean.
The Executive Committee meeting of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) which met last week was not an ordinary meeting as it was convened under the auspices of President Maithripala Sirisena, at a time the unity government is facing mounting pressure from local and international fronts for completely different reasons.
Amidst continuous agitations over the continuity of the Malabe private medical college, SAITM, President Maithripala Sirisena last week said he would take a decision on the issue regarding the private universities in the country, including the SAITM for the best interests and the productivity of the country.
President Maithripala Sirisena instructed officials to provide an allowance of Rs 10,000 per month for all farmers who are affected by the prevailing dry weather and also instructed relevant authorities to appoint a committee comprising District Secretaries, Grama Niladharis and Samurdhi Officials to collect comprehensive information on affected families.
As government is planning on going for a referendum to approve new Constitution, Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa who was holidaying in Puttalam and Kalpitiya met several of his former Cabinet colleagues who left him and joined President Sirisena's camp over the week.
Sri Lanka yesterday celebrated the 69th anniversary of gaining independence from Britain, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of Independence Day sent the following message: "It gives me great pleasure to send Your Excellency Maithripala Sirisena my congratulations on the celebration of your National Day, together with my best wishes for the good fortune and happiness of the people of Sri Lanka in the coming year --- Elizabeth R".
As stakeholders of the unity government are struggling to reach a consensus on the majority of issues and put bigger emphasis on such matters, the need of addressing immediate issues that would lead to healing wounds of two and half decades long war, must have got abandoned.
The so-called beginning of the change of world's political geography started last Friday with business tycoon Donald John Trump swearing-in as the 45th President of the United States.
His inauguration featured smaller crowds and more subdued ceremony than previous inaugurations – but still ushers in a transformative shift in the country's leadership.
European Commission (EC) last Thursday proposed to restore the special concessions under the Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP Plus) facility to Sri Lanka, probably the only silver line in sight amongst many dark clouds that are looming over the current Unity Government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
However, the removal of customs duties would be accompanied by rigorous monitoring and conditional on continued commitment to sustainable development, human rights and good governance.
Just one week into the newly dawned year, Yahapalana Government, and its stakeholders appear to be in a swamp without being able to proceed in any direction.
The year 2017 dawns with new hopes of prosperity, coexistence and reconciliation in our hearts. The twenty two million people of Sri Lanka look forward to an era of sustainability with a determination to alleviate poverty in all its forms, President Maithripala Sirisena said in his New Year message to the people.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday (21), left for Chennai to visit the Tirupati Kovil, a sacred place where almost all rulers of this country pay homage to. Wickremesinghe was visiting the shrine after a lapse of 16 years. The last time he visited the sacred shrine was when he was in office as the Prime Minister of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Interestingly, his visit to the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala to offer prayers comes at a time he is holding the same position when a President who is from the main opponent party is heading the country – a scenario similar to that in 2002.
President Maithripala Srisena arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Thursday (15) afternoon kicking-off his three-day State visit to Malaysia.
Rescinding a colonial-era British order naming 19 Kandyan chiefs as traitors did little to help momentary suppression of public outcry against the current government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for its failure to live up to the expectations of the people in it, soon after 8 January 2015.
Back to back protests that rocked Colombo made last week tearful, with Police using tear gas and water cannons to disperse hundreds of protesters who blocked predominantly the Parliament Road, at the beginning of the week followed by university students and labour officers.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundara was on his way to attend the passing out ceremony of the 73rd Batch of Special Task Force (STF) Probationary Sub Inspectors of Police at the STF Training College, Katukurunda on 23 November afternoon when he got the news of former STF Commandant retired DIG K.M.L. Sarathchandra being remanded over an allegation of misusing a State vehicle.
President Maithripala Sirisena participating at the 47th Anniversary of the Public Services United Nurses' Union (PSUNU) held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo on Wednesday (16) said the use of given freedom and democracy, to achieve narrow political gains or to spread racism and religious differences, is an obstacle to the future development of the country.
He added that the government is moving forward step by step, towards good governance, meeting the aspirations of the people. He also said that the government is committed to fulfil the aspiration of the people to the maximum level through comprehensive plans, even though it could not provide instant solutions as some sections of the society expected.
Prior to the 71st National Budget being presented last week, government came under severe criticism by opponents as well as those who openly supported the consensus government alike for allegedly assaulting disabled war veterans, who were agitating for pension entitlements with tear gas and water cannons in Colombo.
The entire nation was saddened and silenced by the death of legendary music maestro W. D. Amaradeva, giving a fleeting break to all heated political battles and arguments that prevailed for the past few days.
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