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SLCFA requests new Chinese ambassador to adhere to Zhou Enlai’s Eight Principles for Economic Aid and Technical Assistance in Sri Lanka

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The appointment of an experienced Chinese diplomat as the Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka was welcome at a time when distant powers along with their regional allies were trying to militarise the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka – China Friendship Association (SLCFA) has said welcoming Ambassador Qi Zhenhong to the country.

Excperts of the SLCFA message: “Ambassador Qi Zhenhong headed the China Institute of International Studies, a premier International Relations Think Tank in China, and thus has an excellent understanding of the complex realities in the Indian Ocean. Hence we could expect the new Ambassador to be well aware that when former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandarnaike took the lead in making the UN declare the Indian Ocean a Zone of Peace, and when Chairman Mao Zedong was the Core of the Chinese Nation and Premier Zhou Enlai guided the international relations, that China was the main supporter of the proposal and galvanized the members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM),” President of the SLCFA Ananda Goonatilleke said issuing a press release.

 Ambassador Qi Zhenhong takes charge at a time when the actions of USA, India and several other countries are rapidly militarizing the Indian Ocean and is applying pressure on smaller nations to come into agreements that are against the non-aligned principals. The increasing militarization of the Indian Ocean does not bode well for international cooperation and world peace as most of the world’s trade passes through this region and the increased military presence of one group would invite a counterforce of relative size. Realizing the dangers of this development, President Rajapaksa has also expressed his desire of making Indian Ocean a Zone of Peace and SLCFA hopes that Ambassador Qi Zhenhong takes the initiative in helping Sri Lanka achieve this objective.

“People of Sri Lanka have warm feelings towards China not only because it has assisted us in economic, security and diplomatic fields at our hours of need but also because it has inspired Sri Lanka to remain nonaligned and also without being a strategic partner of any foreign power. Though China is geographically a distant country, it has been the blood brother of our people more than any of Sri Lanka’s close neighbors, fundamentally because of her socialist, anti-hegemonic national principles and foreign policy strictly based on Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence,” he said.

In economic relations, the SLCFA most earnestly requested Ambassador Qi Zhenhong to consider possibilities of implementing the world renowned “Chinese Government’s Eight Principles for Economic Aid and Technical Assistance” in Sri Lanka, earlier proclaimed by Premier Zhou Enlai on January 15th 1964 in Africa (Ghana). Such an economic principle coupled with anti-hegemonic foreign policy would definitely reestablish warm feelings within our people to withstand any alien conspiracy launched to stigmatize friendship between our two peoples.             



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Full implementation of 13A: NFF vows to torpedo Ranil’s move, asks Dinesh, Mahinda to disclose their stance

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By Shamindra Ferdinando

The National Freedom Front (NFF), a constituent member of Nidahas Janatha Sandhanaya (NJS), has declared that it would oppose President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s bid to fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The patriotic people were ready to defeat such plans, even at the expense of their lives, the party has vowed.

The breakaway JVP faction consists of six MPs, including former minister Wimal Weerawansa. The NJS is contesting the Local Government polls, scheduled for March 09, under the ‘Helicopter’ symbol.

NFF spokesperson, MP Jayantha Samaraweera, on Monday (30), told the media that his party was ready to lead a campaign against the UNP leader’s move to do away with constitutional safeguards meant to ensure Sri Lanka’s unitary status. The Lawmaker addressed the media at the NFF main office, at Pitakotte.

Having declared his intention to fully implement the controversial constitutional amendment at the Thai Pongal celebrations, in Jaffna, on January 15, President Wickremesinghe reiterated his commitment to the Eelam project during the party leaders’ meeting at the Presidential Secretariat, the former State Minister said.

Lawmaker Samaraweera asked Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, and twice President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had flanked President Wickremesinghe, at the party leaders’ meeting, to disclose their stand on 13th Amendment.

The Nidahas Janatha Sandhanaya, consisting of NFF, Democratic Left Front, Communist Party, Lanka Samasamaja Pakshaya, Pivuthuru Hela Urumaya, Vijayadharani Jathika Sabhawa, Yuthukama, Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Nidahasa Janatha Sabhawa, Jana Jaya Peramuna, Sri Lanka Mahajana Pakshaya and Nidahas Janatha Peramuna, has yet to disclose its position on this issue.

MP Samaraweera attacked the President, close on the heels of NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, who is also the Chairman of the Uththara Lanka Sabhagaya (ULS), questioning the legitimacy of the move. Lawmaker Weerawansa addressed this issue at a meeting held at the BMICH, on January 26, to discuss ways and means to thwart the move to privatize the CEB.

The ULS consisting of seven political parties, and groups, is aligned with the NJS.

Referring to the circumstances UNP leader Wickremesinghe re-entered Parliament, through the National List, nearly a year after the last General Election, former Minister Weerawansa emphasized the President didn’t have a mandate to fully implement the 13th Amendment. How could the UNP leader abolish Sri Lanka’s unitary status, having received an opportunity to complete Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s remainder of five-year term, won at the Nov. 2019 Presidential Election.

The MP challenged their erstwhile comrades, in the JVP, to state their position on the 13th Amendment. Alleging that the JVP had been conveniently silent on the issue at hand, MP Samaraweera asked whether the current leadership would take up Wickremesinghe’s challenge.

In addition to Weerawansa and Samaraweera, Yuthukama leader Gevindu Cumaratunga, MP, has declared opposition to the President’s move, at the party leaders’ meeting.

Of the SLPP parliamentary group, retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera is the only MP to publicly oppose Wickremesinghe’s proposal.

Political sources said that the NJS, as a group contesting the forthcoming LG polls, was yet to deliberate this issue and take a stand. They said that consensus was required without further delay as the President’s proposal would be a major issue at the forthcoming election.

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PHU, too, opposes land, police powers to PCs

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A lawyers’ group, aligned with Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU), yesterday (31) said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe couldn’t unilaterally decide on the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

Attorneys-at-Law Pasan Gunasekera and Bhupathi Kahathuduwa, in a statement issued, explained why police and land powers, in terms of the controversial amendment, shouldn’t be granted to Provincial Councils. Abolition of current constitutional safeguard would undermine Sri Lanka’s unitary status thereby paved the way for a new conflict.

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Bangladesh FM to deliver LK memorial lecture

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Bangladesh Foreign Minister, Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, will deliver the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture at Block 3, Jasmine Hall, BMICH, on February 03, at 6 pm.

The LTTE assassinated the then Foreign Minister, Kadirgamar, on Aug. 12, 2005.

FM Momen will deliver the annual lecture on the invitation of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies.

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