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Tourist arrivals expected to be back to pre-pandemic levels next year

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pre-pandemic levels in 2022.” he said. The Minister said so at a press briefing where about 100 French media personnel and representatives of leading French travel companies were present. The minister said: “Covid-19 booster doses will have been administered to all personnel in the Tourism and Aviation sector in Sri Lanka by the end of this month, so the world can recognise Sri Lanka as a tourism destination that adopts all health protocols to effectively address COVID-19, and make the country a safe destination for foreign visitors. “Now, Sri Lanka is ready to receive tourists from all over the world. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau have already implemented special promotional programmes to attract more French tourists to the country. As a result of a bilateral programme, Air France has commenced operating commercial flights to Sri Lanka from November 05. The company has agreed to operate three direct flights per week between France and Sri Lanka on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. This will facilitate more French tourists to visit Sri Lanka during the oncoming winter season.” According to the minister, an agreement has also been reached between Sri Lanka and France to introduce special leisure packages for passengers arriving in Sri Lanka on Air France. As per the agreement, these special packages are planned to be implemented in consultation with hotel owners in the country. Chairperson SLTDA Kimarli Fernando, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services, Maj. Gen.(retd) G.A. Chandrasiri and Sri Lankan Ambassador to France Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama also took part in the event. The Island News Friday 12th November, 2021 3 NOTICE OF RESOLUTION PASSED BY THE DIRECTORS OF NATIONS TRUST BANK PLC UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE RECOVERY OF LOANS BY BANKS (SPECIAL PROVISIONS) ACT NO. 4 OF 1990 In terms of Section 8 of the Recovery of Loans by Banks (Special Provisions) Act No.4 of 1990 it is hereby notifi ed that the following Resolution was unanimously passed by the Board of Directors of Nations Trust Bank PLC on 28/09/2021. Lunugama Widanalage Nadeesha Suraj Samitha Jayawickrama, Lunugama Widanelage Sunil and Lunugama Widanelage Shanaka Viraj Jayawickrama. WHEREAS by Mortgage Bond bearing No. 1535 dated 10th August 2018 attested by Upasaka Gedara Himali Pushpakanthi Pragnawardhana Notary Public of Polonnaruwa, Lunugama Widanalage Nadeesha Suraj Samitha Jayawickrama and Lunugama Widanelage Sunil and Lunugama Widanelage Shanaka Viraj Jayawickrama as the mortgagor and obligors, mortgaged and hypothecated the rights, properties and premises morefully described in the schedule hereto in favour of Nations Trust Bank PLC of No. 242, Union Place, Colombo 02 as securities for the due repayment of the fi nancial facilities obtained by the said Lunugama Widanalage Nadeesha Suraj Samitha Jayawickrama, Lunugama Widanelage Sunil and Lunugama Widanelage Shanaka Viraj Jayawickrama; And whereas the said Lunugama Widanalage Nadeesha Suraj Samitha Jayawickrama, Lunugama Widanelage Sunil and Lunugama Widanelage Shanaka Viraj Jayawickrama have made default in the payment due on the facilities secured by the said Bond; IT IS HEREBY resolved under the powers vested by Recovery of Loans by Banks (Special Provisions) Act No. 4 of 1990 that the rights properties and premises morefully described in the schedules, hereto be sold by Public Auction by Mr. L. B. Senanayake Licensed Auctioneer of No. 200, Hulftsdorp Street, Colombo 12 for the recovery of a sum of Rupees Forty Million Eight Thousand Three Hundred and Eighty Two and Cents Forty One (Rs.40,008,382.41) with further interest from 23/08/2021 as agreed on a sum of Rupees Thirty Million (Rs.30,000,000.00) being the capital outstanding on the Term Loan Facility as at 22/08/2021 together with attendant cost, statutory levies, costs of advertising and any other charges incurred less payments (if any) since received. THE SCHEDULE ABOVE REFERRED TO All that divided and defi ned allotment of land marked Lot 01 depicted in Plan No.00083 dated 12th April 2018 made by W. A. D. De Silva Licensed Surveyor of the land called HATHALISDEKEYAYA and DOSTARAWATTA together with everything standing thereon situated at Diyabeduma Village in the Grama Niladari Division of No. 28, Katukeliyawa within the Divisional Secretariat area of Elahera within the Pradeshiya Sabha Limits of Elahera and in the District of Polonnaruwa North Central Province and which said Lot 01 is bounded on the NORTH by Part of Lot 3619 in Topo P.P.25(LAND CLAIMED BY P.G.Samarawickrama) on the EAST by Lot 3625 in Topo P.P.25(Middle Class Land), on the SOUTH by Part of Lot 3619 in Topo P.P.25 (Reservation land for Government) and on the WEST by Lot 530 in Topo P.P.25(Lot 98 in Colony Highlands) and containing in extent ONE ACRE (A1-R0-P0) and Registered at the Polonnaruwa Land Registry under Volume Folio LDO/E 30/119. By Order of the Board 242, Union Place Theja Silva Colombo 02 Company Secretary NOTICE OF RESOLUTION PASSED BY THE DIRECTORS OF NATIONS TRUST BANK PLC UNDER SECTION 4 OF THE RECOVERY OF LOANS BY BANKS (SPECIAL PROVISIONS) ACT NO. 4 OF 1990 In terms of Section 8 of the Recovery of Loans by Banks (Special Provisions) Act No.4 of 1990 it is hereby notifi ed that the following Resolution was unanimously passed by the Board of Directors of Nations Trust Bank PLC on 31/05/2021. Edirisinghe Homes (Private) Limited WHEREAS by Mortgage Bond bearing No. 182 dated 20th February 2018 attested by Maddumage Niluka Dilrukshi, Notary Public of Colombo Edirisinghe Homes (Private) Limited as obligor and Samith Kumara Edirisinghe (a Director of Edirisinghe Homes (Private) Limited) as mortgagor mortgaged and hypothecated the rights, properties and premises morefully described in the Schedule hereto in favour of Nations Trust Bank PLC of No. 242, Union Place, Colombo 02 as securities for the due repayment of the fi nancial facilities obtained by the said Edirisinghe Homes (Private) Limited; And whereas the said Edirisinghe Homes (Private) Limited has made default in the payment due on the facilities secured by the said Bond; IT IS HEREBY resolved under the powers vested by Recovery of Loans by Banks (Special Provisions) Act No. 4 of 1990 that the rights properties and premises morefully described in the Schedule hereto be sold by Public Auction by Mr. I. W. Jayasuriya, Licensed Auctioneer of No. 369/1, Dutugemunu Mawatha, Lewella Road, Mawilmada, Kandy for the recovery of a sum of Rupees Fourteen Million Seven Hundred and Eighty Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Three and Cents Seventy Four (Rs.14,780,763.74) with further interest from 25/06/2020 as agreed on a sum of Rupees Eleven Million Eight Hundred and Seventy Five Thousand (Rs.11,875,000.00) being the capital outstanding on the Term Loan facility as at 24/06/2020 together with attendant cost, statutory levies, costs of advertising and any other charges incurred less payments (if any) since received. THE SCHEDULE ABOVE REFERRED TO All that divided and defi ned allotment of land marked Lot 22A (more correctly Lot 22) depicted in Plan No.5027 dated 02.08.2014 made by N B D Wettewa Licensed Surveyor from and out of the land called KARANDAWAKATENNEWATTA alias IMBULEGODAWATTA together with the building and everything standing thereon at Hurikaduwa and Walala Village in the Grama Niladari Division of 677 Hurikaduwa West and Divisional Secretary’s Division of Menikhinna Kundasale and in the Pradeshiya Sabha Limits Kundasale in the Pathdumbara Udugampala Korale in the District of Kandy Central Province and which said Lot 22A is bounded on the NORTH by Lot 23, on the EAST by Drain and Lot 30 (Pradeshiya Sabha Road), on the SOUTH by Lot 17 and on the WEST by Lots 18 and 21 and containing in extent TWELVE DECIMAL THREE PERCHES (A0-R0-P12.3) according to the said Plan No.5027 and registered under Volume Folio D 144/141 at the Kandy Land Registry. By Order of the Board 242, Union Place Theja Silva Colombo 02 Company Secretary PUBLIC NOTICE NOTICE is hereby given that in terms of Section 9(2) of the Companies Act, No. 7 of 2007 That MAHA CAPITAL (Private) Limited changed its name to ELYON GLOBAL (Pvt) Ltd in accordance with the Provisions of Section 8 of the Companies Act, No. 7 of 2007. Former Name of the Company: MAHA CAPITAL (Private) Limited The Company Number: PV17137 Registered Offi ce: No. 98, Havelock Road, Colombo 5 New Name of the Company: ELYON GLOBAL (Pvt) Ltd Name Changed on: 5th October 2021 Seccom (Private) Limited, Company Secretaries 8th November 2021 PUBLIC NOTICE Public Notice of Change of Name of Limited Liability Company pursuant to Section 9 (2) of the Companies Act No. 7 of 2007 Notice is hereby given that the following Company has Changed the Name in accordance with Section 8 of Companies Act No. 07 of 2007 on 30th October, 2021. Former Name of the Company: COLOMBO OFFICE SIX (PRIVATE) LIMITED Number of the Company: P V 114142 Registered Offi ce: LEVEL 26, EAST TOWER, WORLD TRADE CENTER, ECHELON SQUARE, COLOMBO 1. Name of the Company: I W G HOLDINGS LANKA (PRIVATE) LIMITED RNH Holdings (Private) Limited Company Secretaries ‘RNH House’, No: 622 B, Kotte Road, Kotte. Date: 8th November, 2021 By Saman Indrajith UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday told Parliament that an investigation should be conducted to find out what the intelligence units had been doing after receiving a warning on 04 April 2019 of an impending terror attack 16 days later on Easter Sunday. “There was a breakdown in intelligence services. That was why the disaster occurred. They received information on 04 April. What had the intelligence units been doing about that warning? It should be investigated,” Wickremesinghe said, adding that he was the country’s prime minister then but he had not been informed of the warning from Indian intelligence agencies. “It should be investigated what they did after receiving information about a possible attack on 4 April 2019. I was never informed about it. I was never informed of the impending attacks though the matter had been discussed at the Security Council during that time. There was a breakdown and we have to accept that. We never removed any intelligence officer. We appointed a Parliamentary Select Committee to find out why that happened as we had to make sure that the same thing would not happen in future,” Wickremesinghe said. The UNP leader said that there was information that some youth had gone to Syria to obtain ISIS training. They were under surveillance. None of those who had trained in Syria had been involved in Easter Sunday attacks, he said. Responding to an allegation by Public Security Minister Rear Admiral (retd.) Sarath Weerasekera that the then UNP government should be held responsible for the Millennium City Safe House raid in 2002, the UNP leader said that former Army commander General Balagalle was the one who should take responsibility for that. The then President Chandrika Kumaratunge had given clear instructions that no safe houses should be maintained close to the Colombo city. In violation of those instructions the army commander had been maintaining one at the Millennium City. He should have followed instructions. It is he who is responsible for what happened there,” the UNP leader said. By S VEnKat narayan Our Special Correspondent NEW DELHI, November 11: Eight countries that are neighbours of Afghanistan met here on Wednesday and pledged to combat terrorism emanating from that war-ravaged country. They called for an open and inclusive government in Kabul with representation from all sections of Afghan society. A declaration issued at the conclusion of the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan emphasised respect for Afghanistan’s sovereignty and non-interference in its internal affairs. This was an apparent reference to Pakistan’s backing for the Taliban, which toppled an elected government and seized power on August 15. Hosted by India, the meeting was attended by top security officials from the eight countries. The security officials pitched for collective efforts to counter extremism, radicalisation, separatism and drug trafficking in the region. The meeting, chaired by India’s national security adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, was attended by Iran’s supreme national security council secretary Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, Russia’s security council secretary Nikolai Patrushev, and the security council heads of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. “We all have been keenly watching the developments in [Afghanistan]. These have important implications not only for the people of Afghanistan, but also for its neighbours and the region,” Doval said in televised remarks. “This is a time for close consultations amongst us, greater cooperation, interaction and coordination among the regional countries,” he said. This was the first regional meeting on Afghanistan convened by India since Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15. However, the dialogue was the continuation of a mechanism whereby Iran hosted two meetings in 2018 and 2019. Pakistan and China were invited to the meeting but chose not to participate. Pakistan’s NSA Moeed Yusuf said last week he wouldn’t attend because India was being a “spoiler” in the region, while the Chinese side cited scheduling problems. The Delhi Declaration on Afghanistan, issued after the meeting, said the eight countries are committed to “combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including its financing, the dismantling of terrorist infrastructure and countering radicalisation, to ensure that Afghanistan would never become a safe haven for global terrorism”. It said that “Afghanistan’s territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist acts”. The declaration stressed the need to form “an open and truly inclusive government that represents the will of all the people of Afghanistan and has representation from all sections of their society, including major ethno-political forces in the country”. The inclusion of all sections of Afghan society in the administrative and political structure is “imperative for the successful national reconciliation process”, it said. The eight countries said they backed a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan while emphasising “respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and noninterference in its internal affairs”. They expressed concern at the suffering of the Afghan people because of the security situation and condemned terror attacks in Kunduz, Kandahar and Kabul. By Ifham nIzam Extreme weather which caused countrywide floods and earth slips is expected to let up from today. It has already claimed the lives of 25 persons; seven others were injured and one is missing, according to the Disaster management Centre (DMC). DMC Deputy Director Pradeep Kodippili said that 222,590 people had been affected in 17 districts and more than 1,276 houses were partially damaged and 23 houses been destroyed. Kodippili said that of the 25 deaths, 12 were due to drowning. “Most of the deaths were due to people swimming or riding boats in the flood areas,” he added. Badulla, Nuwara Eliya, Matale, Gampaha, Colombo, Mannar, Ratnapura, Kalutara, Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Galle, Kegalle, Kurunegala, Kilinocchi, Mulaitivu and Vavuniya districts had been affected by the rains, floods, landslides and winds,” the DMC saidT he DMC said more than 12,000 people were still in relief centres. The latest data shows that around 222,590 people from 63,317 families have been affected by the inclement weather. Nearly 1,000 properties were damaged and valuations are being done by government agents and DMC officials to pay compensation. By Saman IndrajIth Former President and Polonnaruwa District MP Maithripala Sirisena said in Parliament yesterday that he was ready to resign as an MP if it could be proved that he had got three houses amalgamated to build his official residence. Making a special statement with the permission from the Chair, the former President said that Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage had accused him of living in a luxury residence for the construction of which three houses had been amalgamated. “I regret that he made such a false statement. The house I am living now was given to me as provided for in the President's Entitlements Act passed in this House by President JR Jayewardene government. As per the Act, a former president is entitled to perks and privileges enjoyed by a Cabinet Minister. That house had previously been used by Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. When President Mahinda Rajapaksa retired I gave the house that I used as the Minister of Health. He uses that house situated at Wijerama Mawatha. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunge lives in a house opposite the DS Senanayake Statue at Torrington Avenue. The widow of President Ranasinghe Premadasa too has been given a house. The houses we are occupying including that of President Mahinda Rajapaksa are not luxury residences despite their looks. Built some 100 years ago, their walls have developed cracks. The house I am using was once given to Prime Minister D.B. Wijetunga, while President Premadasa was living at Temple Trees. It was Prime Minister Wijetunga who amalgamated two houses into one. While I was the President I added a conference hall. So, it was wrong to state that I made a house by combining three houses,” MP Sirisena said. “I also regret another lie that Minister Aluthgamage said in his speech. He said that I used to chat with ministers while drinking whiskey in that house. Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I am a teetotaler. I neither consume liquor nor smoke, and I am known as a person who fought hard against the two evils and I will continue to do so. It is regrettable that statements of this nature are made here because it is the duty of Members of this House not to tell lies.” Maithripala Delhi Regional Security Dialogue calls for inclusive government in Afghanistan Tourist arrivals expected to be back to pre-pandemic levels next year

By Sanath Nanayakkare

A project to revive Sri Lanka’s tourism was underway and in 2022 tourist arrivals would return to the pre-pandemic level, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said in Paris on Tuesday (09).

“Since the reopening of Sri Lanka, more than 70,000 tourist arrivals have been reported so far. Despite Covid-19, Sri Lankan tourism industry earned US$ 130 million between January and October 2021. This will go up to 200,000 arrivals in the coming months because we see the enthusiasm of foreign visitors to explore Sri Lanka in their post-pandemic travel plans, therefore, I am confident that the performance of Sri Lanka tourism industry will reach pre-pandemic levels in 2022.” he said.

The Minister said so at a press briefing where about 100 French media personnel and representatives of leading French travel companies were present.

The minister said: “Covid-19 booster doses will have been administered to all personnel in the Tourism and Aviation sector in Sri Lanka by the end of this month, so the world can recognise Sri Lanka as a tourism destination that adopts all health protocols to effectively address COVID-19, and make the country a safe destination for foreign visitors.

“Now, Sri Lanka is ready to receive tourists from all over the world. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau have already implemented special promotional programmes to attract more French tourists to the country. As a result of a bilateral programme, Air France has commenced operating commercial flights to Sri Lanka from November 05. The company has agreed to operate three direct flights per week between France and Sri Lanka on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. This will facilitate more French tourists to visit Sri Lanka during the oncoming winter season.”

According to the minister, an agreement has also been reached between Sri Lanka and France to introduce special leisure packages for passengers arriving in Sri Lanka on Air France.

As per the agreement, these special packages are planned to be implemented in consultation with hotel owners in the country.

Chairperson SLTDA Kimarli Fernando, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services, Maj. Gen.(retd) G.A. Chandrasiri and Sri Lankan Ambassador to France Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama also took part in the event.



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Wimal asks for PSC probe into top officials’ complicity in violence

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Colombo HC lawyers concerned over shocking developments

By Shamindra Ferdinando

National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, says a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) should be appointed to investigate the role played by IGP C.D. Wickremaratne and Public Security Ministry Secretary Maj. Gen. (retd.) Jagath Alwis in the recent SLPP hothead attack on those demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Cabinet of Ministers, including Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Weerawansa yesterday (18) told The Island that Parliament should inquire into the unprovoked attack that triggered an extremely violent response by the public as well as those awaiting an opportunity to unleash violence on selected group of lawmakers on 09 May.

The former Industries Minister said he was confident that Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam, PC, would look into the issues at hand.

Responding to another query, Weerawansa said that Senior DIG Colombo Deshabandu Tennakoon’s claim that the IGP and the Public Security Ministry Secretary had interfered with his (Tennakoon’s) plan to disperse the SLPP mobs couldn’t be easily dismissed.

MP Weerawansa declared, in Parliament on Tuesday (17), that the IGP and the Public Security Ministry dissuaded the Senior DIG from performing his duties although he had received specific instructions from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to stop the march on Galle Face. The former JVPer questioned whether those conspirators wanted to show the world the failure on the part of the police and the armed forces to maintain law and order.

Asked whether police headquarters and the Public Security Ministry had responded to his accusations, Weerawansa said he hadn’t been contacted by them so far.

Pointing out that the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), inquiring into 09 May turmoil had recorded Senior DIG’s statement, Weerawansa said that the outfit could issue an interim statement on the matter.

The Colombo High Court Lawyers’ Association said that the shocking revelation, made in Parliament, should be expeditiously inquired into.

The Association’s President Attorney-at-Law Lakshman Perera said that the ongoing investigations had taken an unexpected turn in the wake of high profile specific allegations pertaining to the conduct of the IGP, as well as the Public Security Ministry Secretary. Pointing out that the HRCSL and the CID had already recorded DIG Tennakoon’s statement, pertaining to the incidents, and the officer was among a group of 22 persons slapped with a travel ban by the Fort Magistrate, lawyer Perera said that the CID couldn’t turn a blind eye to accusations directed at the head of the department as well as Secretary to the relevant ministry.

Lawyer Perera said that investigations couldn’t be completed without verifying accusations made in Parliament.

Lawmaker Weerawansa said that the question was on whose behalf the IGP and the Public Security Ministry Secretary intervened at a time the country was under emergency and after the Senior DIG in charge of Colombo received specific instructions from the President himself.

Although the SLPP goons did not shed any blood or cause any serious injuries, unlike the well-organized mobs that caused havoc across the country thereafter, MP Weerawansa said that he couldn’t comprehend why the police and the armed forces allowed the situation to develop to an extremely dangerous level.

The HRCSL in its initial reaction to the unprovoked attacks on those who had been demanding the resignation of the government condemned the violence caused by a group of people who made it very clear that violence was their intention.

HRCSL Chairperson retired Supreme Court Justice Rohini Marasinghe said: “The failure of the police to prepare for this eventuality and prevent and manage the violence and destruction is a gross failure of public order. There must be an immediate inquiry into this matter. The inaction of the police to prevent the clash is condemned.”

The Island brought the latest developments to the notice of the HRCSL yesterday as MP Weerawansa said that those who conspired and planned the project that involved those at the helm of Temple Trees then and the SLPP should be arrested. The conspirators shouldn’t be allowed to escape justice while the CID arrested those who carried out the actual attacks.

Police spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa said that the department couldn’t respond to what transpired in Parliament. Acknowledging that he was aware of the allegations made in Parliament, Attorney-at-Law Thalduwa said in case their response was sought through proper channels, whatever the queries would be answered.

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Dr. Pathirana says IGP, Public Security Ministry Secy. allowed goon attacks

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Galle District parliamentarian Dr. Ramesh Pathirana has reiterated that IGP C.D. Wickremaratne and Secretary to the Public Security Ministry, Maj. General (retd) Jagath Alwis had facilitated the 09 May unprovoked attack on anti-government protesters.

The former Minister Pathirana declared in Parliament yesterday (18) that National Freedom Front (NFF) leader MP Wimal Weerawansa’s allegation, pertaining to the origins of the violence, was true.

Dr. Pathirana said that he was among those who had brought supporters to attend a meeting chaired by the then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. The vast majority of those who attended the Temple Trees meet on May 09 wanted to thank the war-winning President as he gave up active politics, the MP said. However, some unscrupulous members had instigated the participants there.

Dr. Pathirana said he had been at Temple Trees at that time and as he feared violence could erupt due inflammatory speeches, contact was made with Senior DIG in charge of Colombo Deshabandu Tennakoon. Dr. Pathirana said that the senior police officer had assured him that the police were ready to face the situation and confident of preventing those who attended the Temple Trees function from reaching Galle Face.

“Thereafter, I left Temple Trees for a meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. There were several other members. When trouble erupted, President Rajapaksa immediately got in touch with Senior DIG Tennakoon, who revealed he had been asked not to use force by the IGP himself.”

Dr. Pathirana said the President had asked the senior law enforcement officer why he didn’t carry out instructions issued by him (the President).

The Galle District MP emphasised that the IGP and the Secretary to the Public Security Ministry were responsible for the violence at Kollupitiya and Fort police areas which triggered violence in many parts of the country. (SF)

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New Deputy Speaker not from Rajapaksa political dynasty

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Newly-elected Deputy Speaker Ajith Rajapaksa said that he was not a member of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s clan.

The Hambantota District Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) lawmaker said so when The Island asked him whether he, too, was a member of the Rajapaksa family now under fire over the continuing political-economic-social turmoil.

Rajapaksa polled 109 votes at a secret vote held in Parliament on Tuesday (17) to secure the Deputy Speaker’s post. MP Rajapaksa defeated Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) MP Rohini Kaviratne, who polled 78 votes.

The SLPP rebel group members refrained from voting for Rajapaksa after the top SLPP leadership ignored their appeal to fill the vacancy through consultations with the SJB.

Rajapaksa succeeded SLFP’s Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, who quit the post twice, the second occasion after beating SJB’s Imthiaz Bakeer Markar at a secret vote.

Deputy Speaker Rajapaksha said that he had served as the Chairman of the Ambalanthota Pradeshiya Sabha in 1997. Subsequently, he became a member of the Southern Provincial Council.

Asked whether he was a resident of the Rajapaksas’ home base, Deputy Speaker said that he was from Pallerotta, Ambalantota. (SF)

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