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E.M.S.B Ekanayake has been appointed as the Secretary to the Prime Minister, President's Media Division said.

He received his letter of appointment from Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath at the President's House, Colombo today (12).

Mr. Ekanayake is a Special Grade Retired Officer of Sri Lanka Administrative Service. He has served as the Secretary to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on three occasions during the period 2015-2019 and has been appointed to the post for the fourth time.

Mr. E.M.S.B Ekanayake graduated from the University of Peradeniya and he received his Postgraduate Degree in Public Administration from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

He has served in the Ministries of Youth Affairs, Sports, Samurdhi, Housing, Industries, Foreign Affairs and Finance as well as in the Sri Lankan High Commissions in Malaysia and London during his 30 years of Administrative Service.

 

Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s new prime minister by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who had pledged to form a new government to end political instability.

Wickremesinghe, the 73-year-old leader of United National Party (UNP), was appointed prime minister after he held closed-door talks with Rajapaksa on Wednesday.

Wickremesinghe is widely accepted as a man who could manage the economy with far-sighted policies and is perceived as the Sri Lankan politician who could command international cooperation.

 

The International Workers’ Day comes at a time when the world’s working community is facing its greatest challenge, says President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his May Day message while once again inviting the leaders of all political parties to come to a consensus on behalf of the people to overcome the challenge.

“In the past three years, the group that faced the most serious challenges in our country is our working class. They are also the ones who were resilient in the face of all these challenges and made great commitments to strengthen the national economy,” he said.

The President said the day-to-day challenges they face are even more intense today. The government is taking various approaches to liberate the people from this situation and alleviate the oppressive nature of the situation, he assured.

President Rajapaksa said the loss of foreign exchange has created many issues and that managing all these factors is the way to solve the issues.

“Instead of following up on who is responsible for the current problematic situation, what we need to do now is to focus on what action can be taken to provide immediate relief to the public, and also to go for the most appropriate and efficient program to find solutions to the burning issues of the people.”

“Bearing the responsibility of creating a better future for the people of this country, as the Head of State and on behalf of the people I invited the leaders of all political parties to work together,” he said.

He stressed that each second, their goal is to find solutions to existing crises by resorting to methods that can alleviate the suffering of the people.

“On this year’s Workers’ Day, I once again invite the leaders of all political parties to come to a consensus on behalf of the people to overcome the challenge we face.”

He also respectfully called on the working people to put politics aside and join to steer the struggle in a positive direction with “a pro-people revolutionary transformation” on behalf of the working people.

“It is with these aspirations that I join with you in celebrating the International Workers’ Day that embodies the Workers’ Brotherhood, the global labour force,” President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said in his May Day message.

 

 

May Day Message

 

 

I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the dear working people who are working day and night for the betterment of all citizens.

It is no secret that you, who have been facing various economic hardships in the face of the global epidemic for more than two years, have also been affected by this economic crisis faced by the country.

Even in the face of this unexpected economic crisis, the example you set for the country by working with great commitment and restraint is not insignificant.

I have come forward with you for the workers' struggle and I have not neglected the duties and responsibilities that must be fulfilled for your rights every time I am held accountable.

However, in order to overcome this economic crisis faced by the country, we must all work together and overcome this challenge first.

The Government is currently taking all possible measures to manage the economic crisis and is seeking the necessary support at the local and international levels.

The ultimate goal of all these efforts is to create a better country. On this International Labour Day, I respectfully recall the immense sacrifices made by the working people in this regard.

 

 

Mahinda Rajapaksa

Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

 

The World Bank has agreed to provide Sri Lanka with $600 million in financial assistance to help meet payment requirements for essential imports, the Sri Lankan president's media division said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The World Bank has agreed to provide $600 million in financial assistance to address the current economic crisis," the statement said.

The World Bank would release $400 million "shortly", it said. According to the statement, the World Bank said it would continue to help Sri Lanka to overcome the current economic crisis.

The new Cabinet Ministers have sworn in before President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House in Colombo today (18).

See the full list of new ministers below:

Dinesh Gunawardena – Minister of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provicnial Councils and Local Government
Douglas Devananda – Minister of Fisheries
Dr. Ramesh Pathirana – Minister of Education and Plantation Industries
Prasanna Ranatunga – Minister of Public Security and Tourism
Dilum Amunugama – Minister of Transport and Industries
Kanaka Herath – Minister of Highways
Vidura Vickramanayake – Minister of Labour
Janaka Wakkumbura - Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation
Shehan Semasinghe – Minister of Trade and Samurdhi Development
Mohan Priyadarshana de Silva – Minister of Water Supplies
Wimalaweera Dissanayake – Minister of Wildlife and Forest Conservation
Kanchana Wijesekara – Minister of Power and Energy
Thenuka Vidanagamage – Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs
Dr. Nalaka Godahewa – Minister of Mass Media
Prof. Channa Jayasumana – Minister of Health
Naseer Ahamed – Minister of Environment
Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon – Minister of Ports and Shipping

 

The current economic and global crises have become the biggest challenge faced by us Sri Lankans in our recent history. We should overcome this challenge with unity and better understanding. The difficulties you experienced in the face of the challenge are many. The government is taking measures to secure the normal life of the people from the current complex situation by properly understanding these challenges.

Welcoming the dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year with fresh aspirations has been our much valued practice since ancient times. This time too we celebrate the dawn of the New Year with the same expectations and fresh hopes.

The genuine right of the New Year belongs to our children. I’m aware that you are sensitive about preserving this traditional spirit for the children.

I recall the sacrifices made by you, especially by the persons who are engaged in special duties, who have lost the opportunity to join their children to experience the New Year festivities as well as Sri Lankans living abroad.

I wish you all a happy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year, in which we’ll overcome present challenges.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and K. M. M. Siriwardena as the new Finance Secretary.

The President’s Media Division announced that both have received their letters of appointment from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday (7) evening.

The president Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed a team of eminent economic and fiscal experts as Members of the Presidential Advisory Group on Multilateral Engagement and Debt Sustainability on Wednesday (6).

The Members of the Advisory Group are ; Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Former Governor, Central Bank and Former Director, Economic Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Prof.Shantha Devarajan, Professor of the Pracitice of Development, Georgetown University and Former Chief Economist, World Bank and Dr Sharmini Coorey, Former Director, Institute of capacity Development of the IMF Institute, and Former Deputy Director, Africa Department, IMF.

The Presidential Advisory Group will undertake discussions with relevant Sri Lankan institutions and officials engaging with the IMF, to provide guidance that will address the present debt crisis and lead towards sustainable and inclusive recovery for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday (04) invited all political parties representing parliament to accept ministerial portfolios and “come together to find solutions to the ongoing national crisis.”

“Considering this as a national need, the time has come to work together for the sake of all citizens and future generations. The President invites all political parties representing in the Parliament to come together to accept ministerial portfolios in order to find solutions to this national crisis,” a statement from the president’s office said.

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