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Biden close to projected victory; Trump confident

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Five States to decide their fates

Trump remains hopeful of comeback

Biden breaks Obama’s vote record

US media announce different results

Final outcome expected today

Bitter court battle looms large

Democrats prepare for celebrations

Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, was leading in the US presidential race with several key battleground states being balanced on a razor’s edge, at the time this edition went to press. The US media continued to announce different results based on information that was coming in and their analyses thereof.

According to the officially declared results, Biden had secured 243 electoral votes by yesterday evening as opposed to President Donald Trump’s 214.

Speculation was rife that Trump’s path to victory was narrowing with the number of Biden’s electoral votes rising steadily, but the Republicans were hoping for a comeback with the results in some of the Rust Belt states, where they were confident of victory.

Biden has broken Barack Obama’s polls record in 2008. Obama polled more than 69.5 million votes in the first presidential contest he faced, and Biden had already secured more than 73.3 million votes by yesterday afternoon.

A presidential candidate has to obtain at least 270 out of 538 electoral votes to secure the presidency in the first round. The outcome of the nationwide popular votes does not matter.

The race was tight in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona. Some media outlets had already called those states depending on their information, but the Federal Election Commission had not confirmed those results.

With the counting of delayed mail-in ballots still on, it is expected to take some more time for the final outcome of the presidential race is to be known. The Democrats were preparing for celebrations.

President Trump declared himself the winner prematurely though many states had not been called, and threatened to have the counting of mailing ballots that had arrived late stopped. He claimed a fraud was being perpetrated on the American voters. He announced his intention to take the election to the Supreme Court. Political observers said he had ‘an army of lawyers’ ready. He has drawn severe criticism from the Republicans as well as some Democrats for his action.

 



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Keheliya, seven others further remanded till 28th June

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The Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court today [14] ordered that former Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella and seven others be further remanded until June 28 by over the import of substandard human Immunoglobulin vials.

 

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President launches Public Learning and Education Platform for Sri Lankan Youth

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe officially launched www.publiclearn.lk a new education platform aimed at transforming Sri Lanka’s learning landscape at the Chamber Hall of the Presidential Secretariat, on Thursday [13]

Public Learn is a platform that guides users to free courses from the world’s top universities. .

Emphasizing the importance of adapting to a knowledge-intensive society, the President highlighted Sri Lanka’s strong educational results despite various systemic flaws. He noted that the new platform would enhance the education system’s effectiveness and stressed that Sri Lanka must swiftly advance in digitization to drive the new economic transformation.

President Wickremesinghe highlighted that the Public Learn platform serves as a crucial tool for enabling many Sri Lankans to advance personally and transform their nation. He reflected on Sri Lanka’s historical learning journey in three phases: first, during the era of Arahath Mahinda and the Pirivena system; second, with the introduction of the British public school system; and now, with the advent of digital education platforms like Public Learn, marking the third phase. He emphasized the importance of leveraging digital technology and knowledge to propel Sri Lanka forward in the digital economy, underscoring the need for continuous adaptation and innovation.

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Easter Sunday carnage: ‘Another probe nothing but an exercise in futility’

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Rev. Father Cyril Gamini

‘Implement PCoI recommendations at least now’

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Catholic Church yesterday (14) reiterated its longstanding demand that the recommendations made by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (P CoI) into 2019 Easter Sunday attacks be implemented.

Rev. Father Cyril Gamini Fernando said so when The Island sought the Catholic Church’s reaction to the appointment by President Ranil Wickremesinghe a new committee of inquiry to investigate the actions and responses of the country’s intelligence and security authorities following the intelligence warning received from India.

The committee is headed by retired Judge Ms. A. N. J. de Alwis. Rev. Fernando said that the government should implement the recommendations made by the PCoI headed by Supreme Court judge Janak de Silva. He said another inquiry would be nothing but an exercise in futility as the PCoI conducted an in-depth investigation into the Easter attacks, including the failure on the part of the intelligence apparatus to act on foreign intelligence as well neutralise the growing threat posed by extremist elements.

Rev. Fr. Fernando questioned the rationale behind re-examining the conduct of State Intelligence Service (SIS) and Chief of National Intelligence (CNI) as the Supreme Court in January last year ordered Senior DIG Nilantha Jayewardena and retired DIG Sisira Mendis, who headed the SIS and functioned as CNI, respectively, to pay compensation to the tune of Rs 75 mn and Rs 10 mn.

“What is there to investigate again?” Rev Fernando asked, urging the government to go through the PCoI recommendations in respect of politicians and security officials.

In addition to the PCoI report, the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee and a Special Investigation Committee of three members appointed by the then President Maithriapla Sirisena probed the Easter carnage, Rev Fernando said, adding that if those in parliament were still interested in justice and fair play should look into that matter.

Rev. Fernando urged the government to examine how successive leaders had responded to PCoI findings. When President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed a committee consisting of six MPs to look into the PCoI report and its findings soon after justice Janak de Silva handed over his report on Feb 1, 2021 it became clear that the powers that be would resort to old tactics. Nearly two years after President Rajapaksa’s ouster, the situation remained the same, Rev. Fernando said, adding that the Church wouldn’t give up its fight for justice.

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