Connect with us

News

Ranil likely to go for presidential poll first – sources

Published

on

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is likely to hold presidential election before any other polls after November 16 2023, three sources close to him said, as he seeks a $2.9 billion IMF loan to consolidate the economy which is on a slow recovery path from a crisis.

Wickremesinghe was elected as the president in the 225-member parliament on July 19, days after former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country fearing for his life following tens of thousands of protesters stormed into the presidential palace, demanding his resignation after his failed economic policies. He quit after reaching Singapore.

Sri Lanka’s opposition parties and many protestors who led the ousting of Rajapaksa are now demanding both local government and parliamentary polls citing that the current government has no mandate to be in power as its failed economic policies have forced the people to oust them.Presidency of Wickremesinghe, a six-time prime minister, has been criticized by the opposition and protestors as he was not elected by the public.

Wickremesinghe became the president when he entered the parliament through a national list after his center-right United National Party (UNP) failed to win a single parliament seat in the 2020 parliamentary polls.

“The president is considering the presidential poll first and it will give him a legitimate mandate to push for reforms that are now formulated,” a source close to Wickremesinghe told EconomyNext.

“He can be the president for two more years. But the reforms need more time to see the country economically recovered and is on a strong foot.”

Another source close to Wickremesinghe said there could be division among the current parliament composition if he goes for any other elections other than presidential.

“We see a slight recovery though the worst is yet to come after the implementation of tax policies and IMF reforms. Doing party politics in the next one year will reverse all the reforms,” the second source said.

Focus is on crisis

The President’s office did not comment on a possible presidential poll before both local government and parliamentary elections. However, an official at the president’s office said Wickremesinghe has not been focusing on “any election” now.

“Election is not his priority right now. He has never said anything in any election so far. He is busy with the economic policies to get the country out of the current mess,” the source, a senior official at the presidential secretariat told EconomyNext.

“He has categorically told internal officials that the country’s private sector, civil society organizations, all political parties, and the people should get together to face the current crisis and if we don’t unite, there won’t be a country to do politics after one year.”

The island nation’s political parties are now gearing up for an election. The former ruling center-left nationalist Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), and Marxist opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peremuna have already started campaigns at village level.The parliament election should be held after August 5, 2025, five years after it was held. But President Wickremesinghe can dissolve the parliament and call for an early election after February 2023,

The tenure of the current presidency ends in November 2024. However, the incumbent president can call for an early election if the leader wants. This means Wickremesinghe can call for early election after November 16, 2023.



News

Six member committee appointed to inquire into Sri Lanka Cricket Team’s conduct in Australia

Published

on

By

Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Roshan Ranasinghe has appointed a six member committee headed by Retired Supreme Court Judge Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena to inquire into the incidents reported against some members of the Sri Lanka Cricket team that participated at the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.

 

 

Continue Reading

News

SJB MP: Most parents have to choose between food and children’s education

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

Most Sri Lankan parents are compelled to choose between food for their families and their children’s eduction, SJB Matale District MP Rohini Kumari Wijerathne told Parliament yesterday.

Only a few parents were able to feed and educate their children the MP said, participating in the debate on Budget 2023 under the expenditure heads of Ministries of Education and Women and Child Affairs.

“An 80-page exercise book costs Rs. 200. A CR book costs Rs 560. A pencil or pen costs Rs 40. A box of colour pencils costs Rs 570 while a bottle of glue costs Rs 150. If the father is a daily wage earner he has to spend one fourth of his salary on a box of colour pencils for his child. A satchel now costs around Rs 4,000. A pair of school shoes is above Rs 3,500. The Minister of Education knows well how many days a child could use an 80-page exercise book for taking notes. Roughly, stationery cost is around Rs 25,000 to 30,000 per child, MP Wijerathne said, adding that only Rs. 232 billion had been allotted for the Ministry of Education by Budget 2023.

“After paying salaries of teachers and covering officials’ expenses, etc., there will be very little left for other important matters,” the MP said, noting that Sri Lanka would soon be known as the country that made the lowest allocation of funds for education in the South Asian region.

Continue Reading

News

All crises boil down to flaws in education system, says Dullas

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

All the crises Sri Lanka was beset with were due to the country’s outdated education system, MP Dullas Alahapperuma told Parliament yesterday.

“The political and economic crisis we are facing is the direct result of our education,” he said.

The Sri Lankan education system had not changed with global developments. Our system is not even geared for employment. Our examination system is antiquated and our classrooms are in the 19th Century.

However, the students belong to the 21st century. How can you cater to 21st Century children under an outdated system?” he queried.

Continue Reading

Trending