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Lotus Tower to be opened to public three years after opening

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The Lotus Tower, built at a cost of USD 113 mn will be opened to the public on 15 Sept. Former President Maithripala Sirisena declared open the tallest self-supported structure in South Asia on 16 Sept 2019, though it was not opened to the public.

The Presidential Media Division (PMD) yesterday said that a Chinese company had provided US$ 88.65 mn. “The loan installments are due to be completed by 2024. Already, USD 66.3936 mn of the loan has been paid.

“The Colombo Lotus Tower Private Company is a company established in March, this year, under the Treasury, and all its transactions are audited by the Auditor General’s Department. The loan agreement between the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and China was initiated and the work on the Lotus Tower commenced in 2012.

Although its construction was planned to be completed in 2015, the planned date of completion could not be met. The Chinese company completed the construction work and handed over the Lotus Tower to the Government of Sri Lanka on February 28, 2022. Thereafter, Colombo Lotus Tower Pvt. Ltd. was established and its operations were entrusted to the company.

The Chief Administrative Officer of Colombo Lotus Tower Pvt. Ltd Major General (Ret.) Prasad Samarasinghe, said that the Lotus Tower is planned to avail new technological experiences along with entertainment similar to those found in wealthy countries around the world.

Among the attractions offered at Lotus Tower are adventure sports such as sky diving and

bungee jumping. Samarasinghe explained that so far 80 percent of local investors and 20 percent of foreign investors have joined the investment opportunities at the Lotus Tower.

Dialog Telecom Company and Sri Lanka Telecom Company have already reached agreements for investments of Rs. 200 million each.”



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Three people dead after torrential rain in New Zealand

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At least three people have died due to flash flodding in Auckland (picture BBC)

BBC reported that at least three people have died and one is missing after New Zealand’s largest city experienced its “wettest day on record” on Friday.

Auckland is said to have received 75% of its usual summer rainfall in just 15 hours.

A local state of emergency was declared as authorities managed evacuations and widespread flooding.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Chris Hipkins thanked emergency services for their swift response to the disaster.The new prime minister travelled to Auckland, where he also expressed his condolences to the loved ones of those who died in the floods.

“The loss of life underscores the sheer scale of this weather event and how quickly it turned tragic”, he said in a news conference on Saturday afternoon.

The downpour flooded the airport, shifted houses and resulted in power cuts to homes for hours.

New Zealand’s defence forces were mobilised to assist with evacuations and emergency shelters were set up across the city.

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Parliament prorogued on Friday night

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President says cabinet agreeable to fully implementing 13 A until party leaders decide whether or not to abolish the Amendment

Parliament was prorogued from midnight Friday (27) by President Ranil Wickremesinghe under powers vested in him by Article 70 of the Constitution, parliamentary sources said on Friday.

The Department of Government Printing was due to issue the relevant notification on Friday night but it was not out as this edition went to print.However the President’ Media Division (PMD) confirmed the prorogation on Friday evening saying that President Wickremesinghe “is expected” to make a policy statement based on the decisions taken after the 75th Independence anniversary when parliament recommences on Feb.8.

A separate bulletin said that the president had informed the party leaders Conference on Reconciliation that the cabinet was agreeable to “fully implementing (the) 13th Amendment until party leaders decide whether or not to abolish the Amendment.”

Parliamentary sources explained that a prorogation which is a temporary recess of parliament, should not extend to a period of more than two months, However, such date for summoning parliament may be advanced by another presidential proclamation provided it is summoned for a date not less than three days from the date of such fresh proclamation.

Political observers believe that the prorogation is related to the president’s effort to secure as wide a consensus as possible on the National Question. They dismissed speculation that it is related to the scheduled local elections. This issue was clarified by the PMD bulletin.

When parliament is prorogued, the proclamation should notify the date of the commencement of the new session of parliament under Article 70 of the Constitution.During the prorogation the speaker continues to function and MPs retain their membership of the legislature even though they do not attend meetings of the House.

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. However, it could be carried forward at a subsequent session after a prorogation.

“All matters which having been duly brought before parliament, have not been disposed of at the time of the prorogation, may be proceeded with during the next session,” states the paragraph (4) of article 70 of the constitution.

In the light of this constitutional provision, a prorogation does not result in an end to pending business. Thus, a pending matter may be proceeded with from that stage onwards after the commencement of the new session.

At the beginning of a new session all items of business which were in the order paper need to be re-listed, if it is desired to continue with them.At the end of a prorogation a new session begins and is ceremonially declared open by the president.

He is empowered under the constitution to make a statement of government policy at the commencement of each session of parliament and to preside at ceremonial sittings of parliament in terms of the provisions of paragraph (2) of article 33 of the constitution.The president is empowered to make a statement of government policy at the commencement of each new session. In the past, it was known as the Throne Speech which was delivered by the Governor-General.

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Remembering Upali Wijewardene, the founder of the Upali Group of Companies

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The Upali Group of Companies, its employees and sales agents countrywide, have made arrangements to invoke blessings on its founder, Upali Wijewardene, who disappeared in his Lear jet 40 years ago. Bodhi Pooja, Pahan Pooja and an alms-giving will be held, in his memory, on Feb. 13 (Monday).

A special Bodhi Pooja will be held at the Kelani Raja Maha Viharaya at 6 p.m. on February 13,With the blessings of Prof. Ven. Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangarakkhitha Thera, the Chief Incumbent of Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya.

Arrangements have been made to offer alms to the Maha Sangha at Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya and scholarships to 10 needy children from the Helena Wijewardene Maha Vidyalaya, Kelaniya.Alms-giving to the inmates of the Home for the Elders at Mulgampola, Kandy, Pinkama from 4.30 p.m. onwards at the Ceylon Chocolates factory premises.

Bodhipooja, Pahan Pooja and Kavibana deshana will be held at Vidya Niketha Piriven Viharaya, Sapugoda Kamburupitiya.The employees of Upali Consumer Products have arranged an alms-giving lunch at the ‘Children’s Home’ at Ja-Ela.

Founder’s Day Program on February 13, 2023.

10.00 a.m. – Offering of Buddhapooja at the ‘Dhathumandiriya’.

10.30 a.m. – Scholarships to 10 needy children from Helena Wijewardene Maha Vidyalaya, Kelaniya.

11.30 a.m. – Alms-giving for the Maha Sangha at Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya.

12 noon – Providing lunch for the Children’s Home, Ja-Ela, organized by the employees of the Upali Trading Co. Ltd.

5.15 p.m. – Offering Gilanpasapooja (permissible drinks) for Dhathumandiraya.

6.00 p.m. – Bodhi Pooja and Pahan Pooja at Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya.

All these pinkamas (meritorious acts) are organized by Upali Group employees and newspaper, Kandos/Delta and soap agents.

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