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Dinesh says Yahapalana betrayal of country in Geneva resulted in US blacklisting SL Army Chief



By Saman Indrajith

The United States blacklisting and imposing a travel ban on Army chief, Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva, was one of the fallouts of the yahapalana government’s 2015 decision to co-sponsor the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution No: 30/1 against Sri Lanka, Parliament was told yesterday.

 “It was due to that betrayal of our war heroes that the US imposed sanctions on them,” Leader of the House Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament.

He said so when Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa had asked whether the government would ask US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to lift the ban when the latter visits Sri Lanka in the coming days.

 “There are media reports that US Secretary of State Pompeo is to visit Sri Lanka. During his stay here, he will meet Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. I request from the President, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister to ask Pompeo to lift the travel ban on our army commander. That should be done for the sake of all war heroes.”

 Minister Gunawardena: We have already made that request to relevant authorities. We made the request within 24 hours of imposition of the ban. We have informed the US State Department of our position and asked for the lifting of the ban. It was thanks to the great betrayal the previous government did by co-sponsoring a resolution at the UNCHRC against this country that these sanctions came.

Opposition Leader Premadasa: There is no need to write letters. You get an opportunity to meet Pompeo face to face, that request could be made there.

 Minister Gunawardena: You should have told that to your government’s foreign minister before he was leading the co-sponsoring. Your government committed a grave offence. These are the consequences of that betrayal.

 Opposition Leader Premadasa: You can ask former President Maithripla Sirisena he would confirm that it was I who pushed his name for the post of army commander. General Shavendra Silva too knows it. You, too, can ask him.

Minister Gunawardena said that the government had already commenced a campaign under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to withdraw the co-sponsorship to rectify the betrayal committed by the previous government and to standby the war heroes’ interests in the international front.  

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COPE meets online for first time in its history



by Saman Indrajith

The Parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) created a history by meeting online for the first time ever on Thursday.

The COPE had Secretaries of three Ministries joining in with its committee meeting through online (ZOOM) becoming the second parliamentary committee holding an online meeting in the country.

Thursday evening’s COPE meeting chaired by its chairman Prof. Charitha Herath connected online with Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Dr) H. S. Munasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Industries W. A. Chulananda Perera and, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government J. J. Ratnasiri via zoom technology.

The Environmental Audit Report on water pollution of the Kelani River was brought before the committee and the meeting held between the Chairman Prof. Herath, Ministers and Members of Parliament and secretaries and other officials continued without any technical hitches.

Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said that facilities have been provided to hold meetings and discussions using online technology in two committee rooms in Parliament.

He said that Parliamentary officials had been working relentlessly for months to install the requisite technological tools and that the efforts have borne fruit and future Parliamentary meetings could be held online as a result.

The Committee on High Posts under the chairmanship of Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena also held a discussion with the new Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Kenya, who was living in Kampala, using online technology recently.



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Legatum Prosperity Index highlights SL’s development of education and healthcare sectors



During the past decade

One of the key highlights of this year’s Legatum Prosperity Index was the improvement in Sri Lanka’s education and healthcare sectors over the past decade. These improvements were key to increase in prosperity within Sri Lanka, it was noted.

The London-based think-tank Legatum Institute launched the 14th Legatum Prosperity Index on November 17 2020.

The event commenced with the welcome address by the Chair of the Legatum Institute, Alan McCormick. 

Addressing the audience, the Chief Executive Officer of the Legatum Institute, The Baroness Stroud said that according to the Legatum Index, the global prosperity was at its highest level ever with 147 countries seeing their prosperity rise over the last decade.

Speaking at the launch, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK, Saroja Sirisena said that the end of the terrorist conflict in 2009 and the ensuing peace dividend, led Sri Lanka to achieve steady progress within the last decade.

She highlighted that the universal free education and healthcare policies of the country over seven decades are the pillars on which prosperity is built.

Director of Policy of the Legatum Institute, Dr. Stephen Brien explained to the audience as to how the Legatum Index is used to measure prosperity across the world.

The event was also addressed by the Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in Africa, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Biologist and Writer, Matt Ridley and Ambassador of Georgia in the UK Sophie Katsarava.

Legatum Prosperity Index is a global index that analyses the performance of 167 nations across 65 policy-focused elements, measured by almost 300 country level indicators and it is the only global index that measures national prosperity based on institutional, economic and social wellbeing.

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Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India with Sapna Mehra



The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), High Commission of India, Colombo, will be holding an online cookery demonstration on ‘Snack Time: Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India’ on December 5 at 11.00 am on its FACEBOOK page

This festival season, the Cultural Centre will present a virtual cookery demonstration by Sapna Mehra. Cooking has been a passionate hobby of Sapna since her childhood days. Growing up in a large family of 17 members, she was very keen on bringing variety to the dining table, and that’s when her cooking journey began, preparing simple wraps, and snacks.

She now specializes in cooking dishes from a variety of cuisines. Originally from Bangalore, she has lived in many cities across India and Sri Lanka, and at present resides in Delhi.

She has a Postgraduate degree in Marketing and has over 12 years work experience in the professional field.

All are cordially invited to attend. For more details, contact the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre on telephone No: 2684698 or Email:

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