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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to pen a book on current political crisis

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Maithripala Sirisena, addressing a public gathering on Friday, said the book will be titled ‘My unsuccessful political marriage with Ranil’.

 

Colombo| Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who last month abruptly sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replaced him with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa, will write a book on his “unsuccessful political marriage” with the ousted premier.

Sirisena’s controversial action on October 26 led to a political crisis in the country with both Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa claiming to be the legitimate prime minister.

Wickremesinghe termed his dismissal as invalid and said he still holds a majority in the 225-member Parliament.

Sirisena, addressing a public gathering on Friday, said the book will be titled ‘My unsuccessful political marriage with Ranil’.

“I know that people are criticising me right now. I will tell them to wait until I release my book,” the President said.

Sirisena claimed that despite his action, he had not been isolated.

“I know that right-thinking people are with me on this battle against the corrupt and the traitors,” he added.

Sirisena’s announcement came hours after Wickremesinghe’s alliance won control of a powerful panel in Parliament, dealing a major blow to him and his prime ministerial appointee Rajapaksa.

Former president Rajapaksa, who ruled Sri Lanka for almost a decade, was unexpectedly defeated by his deputy, Sirisena, in the presidential election in January 2015 with the support from Wickremesinghe’s United National Party.

However, the power-sharing arrangement between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe became increasingly tenuous on several policy matters, mainly on economy and security.

The country is witnessing a political stalemate since Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe on October 26.

Sirisena later dissolved Parliament, almost 20 months before its term was to end, and ordered the snap election. The Supreme Court overturned Sirisena’s decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya then ordered a floor test in the 225-member assembly to end the ongoing political crisis, a move which invited the wrath of the government of Rajapaksa.

The United National Front led by Wickremesinghe has already moved three motions of no trust against Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa, however, has refused to step down.

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#PulwamaAttack: US-based Indian community protests outside the Pakistan consulate

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North American community of Indian origin, which included the majority of organisations of the Indian diaspora, came together to hold a candlelight vigil to protest the Pulwama attack.

 

New Delhi| The Pulwama Terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir which claimed the lives of 40 martyrs has evoked a response from Indian communities all over the world. On Friday, the Indian residents based in the United States protested against the attack in front of Pakistan consulate in New York.

On the same day, the North American community of Indian origin, which included the majority of organisations of the Indian diaspora, came together to hold a candlelight vigil in the Royal Alberts Palace in Woodbridge, New Jersey to protest the Pulwama attack.

Meanwhile, the international pressure seems to be building on Pakistan. Two days ago the 15-member nation UN Security Council mentioned JeM in a statement condemning the Pulwama attack. The statement said that the UNSC  in the “strongest terms” condemns the “heinous and cowardly” terror attack executed by Pakistan-based JeM.

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Pakistan Army Chief visits LoC first time since Pulwama attack

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This is the first time since the Pulwama attack that Pakistan Army chief has visited LoC. According to the reports, Bajwa while addressing his soldiers, asked them to be on alert.

 

New Delhi| Pakistani Army Chief Kamar Javed Bajwa reportedly visited the Line of Control (LoC). The visit comes in the wake of escalating tension between New Delhi and Islamabad following Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF soldiers were martyred. Pakistan premier Imran Khan earlier this week in his statement had warned that Pakistan will retaliate if India attacks. In light of this, Bajwa’s visit to LoC is only fuelling the speculations of the armed forces confrontation between the two countries.

This is the first time since the Pulwama attack that Pakistani Army chief has visited LoC. According to the reports, Bajwa while addressing his soldiers, asked them to be on alert. Earlier, Pakistan PM Imran Khan had authorized him to take all steps to protect Pakistan.

Major Gen Asif Gafoor, Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a press conference alleged that India had wrongfully accused Pakistan without conducting a “proper investigation” into the Pulwama attack. He further said that India has not yet accepted the “reality of partition”.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Punjab government has taken over the headquarters of Jaish-e-Mohammed which has claimed the responsibility of the attack. It is situated in Bahawalpur. The action comes after UNSC and international terror-financing watchdog FATF condemned Pakistan and pulled the country up for not reining in the terror groups operating from its soil.

 

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Brexit Woes

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With just six weeks remaining before United Kingdom’s (UK) exit from the European Union (EU) termed as Brexit, Theresa May’s government does not seem to be making much progress and her opponents seem to be calling her out on this front. As Europe’s biggest crisis in decades stares it in the face and Britain, once its biggest and most powerful constituent seems to the on the ropes, the entire world is watching.

UK’s PM Theresa May suffered yet another blow from her parliament as legislators voted against her renegotiated deal with the EU. Just weeks after renegotiating the deal with European Union after MPs in the lower house voted 317 to 301 to order her to seek new terms with the bloc, she again failed to sell the deal to her parliament who on Thursday voted 303 to 258 against the motion. This paves the way for a no deal Brexit situation as the March 29st deadline is fast approaching. A no deal Brexit could have disastrous consequences for Britain in terms of loss of business, loss of jobs and not to mention the impact it can have on the pound.

For Britain to negotiate a successful Brexit deal, UK PM Theresa May must reach an agreement with the European Union and then get the same deal passed through her Parliament. Many in May’s own government do not view her as a strong leader and hence do not seem to be supporting her actions with opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn urging May to “admit her Brexit strategy has failed”.  May, however, shrugged off the latest defeat and termed it as a temporary difference of opinion and seems to be confident her strategy would see the light of day.

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