Pope asks Sri Lanka to reveal Easter bombers over conspiracy murmurs

VATICAN CITY, Holy See — Pope Francis urged Sri Lankan authorities on Monday to reveal who was behind the country’s 2019 Easter bombings in an attack the island’s Catholics suspect was a plot to propel President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to power. While meeting with a delegation of over 60 victims of the Easter Sunday attacks on three churches and three hotels that killed 279 people, Francis asked Rajapaksa’s administration to reveal the truth. “Please, out of love for justice, out of love for your people, let it be made clear once…

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Cash-strapped Sri Lanka hit by record inflation

Sri Lanka’s inflation hit a record high for the sixth consecutive month, official data showed on Friday as the government asked the IMF for an urgent bailout. The broad-based National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) rose 21.5 percent year on year in March, more than four times the 5.1 percent inflation of a year earlier. Food inflation in March stood at 29.5 percent, according to the latest data from the Department of Census and Statistics. The figures are likely to rise further: the state-run oil company has subsequently raised the price…

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ri Lanka halts stock trading as share prices plunge

The share market in crisis-torn Sri Lanka plunged nearly 13 percent leading to halting of trade for the second time this month on Monday, after resuming from a two-week break. Monday was the first morning of trade on the Colombo bourse following a weeklong Sri Lankan New Year holiday and a five-day trading halt after the Gotabaya Rajapaksa-led government raised interest rates and defaulted on its $51 billion foreign debt, reports Hindustan Times. The island nation is grappling with its worst economic crisis in decades, with regular blackouts and acute…

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Sri Lanka independent MPs propose 21st amendment; constitutional council proposed

ECONOMYNEXT – A day after Sri Lanka’s main opposition party presented a draft 21st constitutional amendment bill, 40 government MPs who now function independently in parliament amid a worsening political crisis on Friday (22) presented to the Speaker their own proposals for a 21st amendment. Presented as a private member’s bill by MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe on behalf of the independent group of MPs, the proposals call for, among other things, a constitutional council chaired by the speaker of parliament and comprising the prime minister, the leader of the opposition and others. The…

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President has agreed to form an interim govt – Ven. Dhammananda Thero

In a letter to the Chief Prelates of the three Buddhist Chapters, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has stated that he agrees to form an interim government, the Registrar of the Asgiri Chapter, Ven. Medagama Dhammananda Thero said. He stated that the President has also assured that he will take immediate steps to resolve the economic crisis in the country. The President, in his letter to the chief prelates, has also said that any constitutional reforms should be carried out through the Parliament.  Ven. Medagama Dhammananda Thero said the President has emphasized…

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TNA Parliamentarian Sumanthiran Initiates Move to Pass a No Confidence Motion Against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Parliament While Group of 39 “Independent”MP’s get ready to Present No Confidence Motion Against Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Government

By“The Sunday Morning”Political Editor Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran is initiating a move to present a No-Confidence Motion (NCM) in Parliament against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, it is learnt. Sumanthiran told The Sunday Morning that he, together with several lawyers, were engaged in drafting an NCM against the President. “The idea to present an NCM against the President was reached after protestors at Galle Face presented an impeachment motion against the President and urged political parties to support the move. However, an impeachment process is a lengthy one and…

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If the opposition continues to quibble and meander, this historic opportunity to save and remake Sri Lanka will be dissipated and the current stalemate will end in a Rajapaksa or a Rajapaksa-Shavendra or – the worst possibility – a Shavendra solution.

BY Tisaranee Gunasekara “Beyond the barricadeIs there a world you long to see?”Do you hear the people sing (Les Misérables) “I’m 89 years old,” the grandmotherly protestor holding a hand-drawn placard says. “For the last…89 years I have not gone through so much misery. Every time in the night when the light goes off, I cry… I’m going to the polima (queue) in my old age trying to get gas. I stand in the polima to get a packet of milk in my old age… What is the meaning of this?…

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SL’s negotiations with IMF will unavoidably impact securing USD 2.5 bn from China

Sri Lanka’s ongoing negotiations with the IMF will unavoidably impact its discussions with China for securing US $ 2.5 billion, China’s Ambassador Qi Zhenhong said.  In an interactive dialogue with a team of journalists, he said China was closely monitoring the negotiations to know the terms and conditions . He said debt restructuring would be a key component of the IMF as he could fathom from experience. He also said that China’s support to Sri Lanka will not be based on a particular party or Government. No matter who is in…

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IUSF protest enters Galle Face despite barricades

Protestors take alternative route Write slogans on PM’s Wijerama residence wall Police use barricades with hidden spikes Criticism from BASL, SJB, TNA Despite several barricades, including those with hidden spikes, along most roads leading to “Gota Go Gama” at Galle Face Green, the Inter-University Students’ Federation (IUSF) protest march managed to reach the Green by using alternative routes yesterday (24), attracting national attention in the process. Even though the IUSF had originally planned to march to Galle Face from Colombo Fort, the protestors chose to take an alternative route instead…

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CBK moots key proposal to break political impasse

Recommends setting up of interim Govt. for maximum of six months New PM to be elected from Parliament to function as head of Govt. Interim Govt. to bring constitutional amendments to abolish Executive Presidency Proposes setting up of 101-member Council of State for National Policy Says proposal offers middle ground between public and concerns of politicians    Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga   Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has mooted a proposal for the setting up of an interim Government for a maximum six months with the Prime Minister as Head of Government elected…

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125 MPs pledge support to NCM

Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) Leader Udaya Gammanpila said, the No-Confidence Motion (NCM) against the Government will be presented to Parliament this week by the 11 constituent parties and the 42 independent MPs. He was confident that 125 MPs had already pledged their support to the NCM. “As a result, if the Government is defeated by the NCM, an SLPP MP will be appointed as Prime Minister, and an Interim Government will be formed. The draft NCM has been sent to the SJB, JVP, and SLPP, and they have already pledged…

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The state in Sri Lankan nation

The prevailing state in the Sri Lankan nation is that while one group is engaged in protests, and making demands that cannot be constitutionally realised, another group is patiently lining up in long queues to collect supplies needed to fulfil their basic needs. The two groups are from two different strata of society. While the former consists of young and educated, and from the middle strata of Sri Lankan society, the latter is largely from the working class, and hence their focus is on how to survive in these trying…

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