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JVP lambastes Foreign Minister’s positive evaluation of negative Geneva result

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By Saman Indrajith

JVP National Organiser and former MP Bimal Ratnayake yesterday said that if the results of the last presidential elections were evaluated according to the math theory used by Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to calculate the Geneva UNHRC vote result, President Gotabaya Rajapakasa would have been defeated by 9.5 million votes.

“It is a joke when the Foreign Minister says that the majority of countries, out of 47 nations, with voting powers, supported Sri Lanka. The resolution against us was passed with 22 nations voting for, 11 opposing while 14 others abstaining. That is a different issue. Calculating the 11 and 14 together, counting them as a single block, despite the latter expressively having shown their displeasure at us, to arrive at a total figure of 25 and to state that we have 25 against 22 is hilarious,.”

 He said that the results of the last presidential election, calculated according to the same theory would show a result of President Rajapaksa, who won with 6.9 million votes, was rejected by 9.5 million electors. “That way we can count all votes received by all Opposition candidates and all the registered voters who abstained from voting as a single unit to show that those who rejected President Rajapaksa have numerical supremacy. Isn’t it actually a joke to describe those who abstained from voting in Geneva as a group supporting Sri Lanka?”

He said that a considerable number of 11 nations who had voted with Sri Lanka against the resolution were with the government’s leftist orientation. “As a policy they would not support a resolution by neo-imperialists countries such as the UK. Many countries who voted with us in the past, including Nepal and Indonesia no longer do so. How could the government make this out to be a victory?”

The former MP said that the resolution against Sri Lanka contained charges such as harassing minorities and suppressing media freedom by the government. It is in such a context the President stated that he knew how to teach lessons to the press. His statement reminded the world of assaulting, abducting and killing journalists, attacking media institutions, bombing Siyatha and Sirasa TV stations and the white van culture. Can anyone expect a different result?”

Of the 47 nations represented at the UNHRC, 15 are Islamic countries, he said. “Chief of Islamic block during his statement to the Council, raised the Muslim Covid-19 victims’ cremation issue in Sri Lanka. According to him, Sri Lanka is one of the four places where Muslims are harassed in the world. Others are Palestine, Kashmir and Burma. So, we lost 11 out of the 15 Islamic nations. It is the first time Sri Lanka came down to 11 votes in support of her. In 2009, while this country was bleeding with war and over 350,000 languishing in relief camps we had votes of 29 countries only 12 opposed. In 2012, we had 15 supporting and 23 opposing us. In 2013 we had 13 supporting us while 25 opposing. In 2014, 12 countries supported us while 23 opposed. Since 2015, there have been no votes. Now, we have 22 opposing and only 11 supporting us. This gradual decrease is an indication of how our government handled foreign affairs of this country.”

 

 



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Sagala Ratnayaka leads Sri Lanka delegation to 20th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue

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Chief of Staff to the President and National Security Advisor (NSA) Sagala Ratnayaka led the Sri Lanka delegation to the 20th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s premier Security Summit held in Singapore from 2 – 4 June 2023.

The highly anticipated summit commenced on 2 June with a powerful Keynote address delivered by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Throughout the event, a series of plenary sessions delved into various crucial geo-political issues, encompassing the establishment of a stable and balanced Asia Pacific, the resolution of regional tensions, the evolution of maritime security in Asia, US leadership in the Indo-Pacific, and China’s latest security initiatives, among other topics.

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Prices of sixty essential drugs to be reduced from 15th June

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The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal raised by the Minister of Health to reduce the maximum retail price of 60 medicines by 16% with effect from 15.06.2023 and review the price of medicines every three months

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Cabinet approval to publish draft bill on contempt of a court, a tribunal or an institution

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The Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the proposal submitted by the Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms for publishing the draft bill prepared by the Legal Draftsman which includes the clear and precise provisions and situational circumstances regarding the offense of ‘contempt of court’ , defense and easing the penalty as well as the procedure to follow when easing the penalty,  in the government gazette and subsequently to be tabled in the Parliament for its concurrence.

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