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POLITICS and GENERAL .....
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Last Updated = Mon, Feb 19, 2018, 12:07 am SL Time

* PM says will step down only if lost by a no-confidence vote - report

Feb 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister and the leader of the United National Party, Ranil Wickremesinghe has told President Maithripala Sirisena that he will not resign from the Prime Minister post unless he lost in a no-confidence motion passed in parliament.
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* Nearly 4,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers return home from Kuwait

Feb 18 (CP) Colombo- Nearly 4,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers who have been overstaying in Kuwait are getting ready to return or have returned to the island within the grace period provided by the Kuwait government, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment said.
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* Sri Lanka, UAE sign MoU on cooperation in labor sector facilitating recruitment of domestic workers

Feb 18 (CP) Abu Dhabi- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sri Lanka have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster cooperation in the labor and manpower fields facilitating the recruitment of domestic workers. UAE Minister of Human Resources and Emiratization Nasser bin Thani Al Hamli and Sri Lanka's Minister of Justice and Foreign Employment, Thalatha Athukorala signed the MoU
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* Government to amend Laws on local government

Feb 18 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government plans to amend Municipal Council Ordinance, Urban Councils Ordinance and the Pradeshiya Sabha Act to keep with the needs of the time, according to the Government Information Department.
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* Sri Lanka to enter into a research cooperation agreement with International Agency for Research on Cancer

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- The Sri Lankan government has received the cabinet nod to enter into a research cooperation agreement with the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
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* Sri Lanka, Poland agree to increase air links, bilateral cooperation

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka and Poland have agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on a number of fields for the mutual benefit of the two countries. Sri Lanka's State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake undertook an official visit to Warsaw from 15 to 16 February
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* Govt now trying to postpone PC polls

Feb 18 (CT) Although the final report of the Delimitation Committee, appointed by the Government to determine electoral divisions for the Provincial Council elections, to be held according to the new mixed system, is ready, the Government is not accepting it and is pointing out mistakes of the officials, in an attempt to further postpone these elections, a highly reliable source told Ceylon Today.
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* Sampanthan tells President: Fulfil the 2015 mandate

Feb 18 (ST) Amidst the prevailing political instability in Colombo, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan met President Maithripala Sirsena on Friday evening and urged him to fulfil the peoples’ mandate he received at the last Presidential election on January 8, 2015.
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* Sri Lanka President-backed putsch fails as PM rallies dissidents

Feb 17 (ECONOMYNEXT) A last ditch attempt by President Maithripala Sirisena to oust Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has failed due to a constitutional hurdle and more significantly the lack of parliamentary support, sources close to both sides said.
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* UNP MP flays SLFP as SLPP sets condition for backing President

Feb 17 (Island) Colombo District UNP MP Mujibur Rahuman yesterday alleged that the SLFP was exploiting post-Feb. 10 scenarios to overcome its own problems. "We don’t mind them trying to stabilize the party. But that shouldn’t be at our expense," Rahuman told The Island.
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* Moves to form SLFP, UPFA Govt.- Dinesh

Feb 17 (DN) Discussions are under way to form a government comprising the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MPs, Joint Opposition Parliamentarians’ Committee leader Dinesh Gunawardena said yesterday.
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* SLFP decides to leave coalition government - report

Feb 18 (CP) Colombo- One of the major parties in Sri Lanka's coalition government, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to leave the unity government, reports from Colombo say.
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* UN welcomes decision adopted under Sri Lanka's Presidency to advance work of the Conference on Disarmament

Feb 18 (CP) Geneva- The Conference on Disarmament (CD) presided over by Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha has adopted a decision to establish five subsidiary bodies to discuss all items in its agenda, with a view to advance the substantive work of the Conference.
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* Sri Lanka PM summons all UNP MPs for talks

Feb 18 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's Prime Minister and the leader of the United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremesinghe has summoned all UNP parliamentarians for crucial talks this morning. The meeting is scheduled to be held at the UNP headquarters Sirikotha at 11 this morning
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* UNP backbenchers meet to discuss a solution, show support to PM

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- A meeting of the United National Party (UNP) backbench parliamentarians has taken place at the Temple Trees today to discuss a solution to the present political stalemate. All UNP MPs representing the backbench of the parliament have attended the meeting.
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* Sri Lanka to get assistance from U.S. Peace Corps to improve English language education

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- The government is considering obtaining the assistance of United States Peace Corps, a volunteer program run by the U.S. government, to improve the English education in Sri Lanka.
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* Sri Lanka's Chief Prelates call on leaders to continue unity government and fulfill promises made to people

Feb 17 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka's influential Mahanayake Theras (Chief Prelates) of the Malwathu and Asgiri Chapters have urged President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to promptly resolve the political crisis emerged after the local government elections without allowing the nation to be destabilized.
[Full Story]

* Mahinda can’t win at a straight election - Ranil

Feb 18 (Island) Results of the recent Local Government Election gave an indication as to how far the Leader of the Podujana Peramuna Mahinda Rajapaksa could go in a straight election , says Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
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* JO-SLFP pow-wow continues : President to take final decision

Feb 18 (SO) The SLFP faction in the Government said that it is up to the President to take a final decision whether to form a SLFP-led Government or not and added that discussions between the SLFP and the Joint Opposition (JO) are still continuing.
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* Reconfiguring Sri Lanka’s Tamil politics

Feb 17 (Hindu) With a banner sporting a picture of Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) founder S.J.V. Chelvanayakam in the background, senior Tamil leader R. Sampanthan made a fervent appeal in an election rally in Jaffna.
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* UNP must undergo drastic changes soon: Sujeewa

Feb 17 (DM) While rejecting reports that he would quit the UNP, State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe yesterday said he would resign from the post of party electoral organiser if party did not undergo drastic and immediate changes.
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* Sri Lanka PM plans reshuffle in wake of local election drubbing

Feb 16 (Reuters) COLOMBO- Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Friday he planned to stay in office and reshuffle his cabinet in the wake of a stinging loss in local elections for both parties in the ruling coalition.
[Full Story]

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