All citizens must enjoy the fruits of freedom

Updated 04 February 2015
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All citizens must enjoy the fruits of freedom

Today, we are celebrating the 67th anniversary of Independence while a civilized political culture is being created in our beloved motherland.
When the Father of the Nation, D.S. Senanayake, the first prime minister of Sri Lanka launched the independence struggle, the main weapon he used was the unity and brotherhood among the communities that lived in harmony in our country.
Once we gained independence, the challenge that we had to face was to safeguard that unity and march toward development of the country.
However, it was unfortunate that we could not achieve that goal successfully.
We have now, once again arrived at a period, during which we could realize that objective.
Groups that represent diverse communities, following different religions, political parties, civil organizations and various groups came together onto one platform, shedding their differences to achieve a common objective for the benefit of the nation.
Our aim is to emulate the dignified tradition of King Lichchavi, whereby people would meet peacefully, discuss issues peacefully and disperse peacefully, in order to ensure good governance and build a united and prosperous nation.
Let us resolve today, to achieve that noble objective, to give a real meaning to our independence.

Ranil Wickremesinghe
Prime Minister


US’s Mnuchin talks about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh for talks with counterpart

Updated 33 min 13 sec ago
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US’s Mnuchin talks about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh for talks with counterpart

JERUSALEM, Oct 21 : US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday it was premature to comment on possible US sanctions against Saudi Arabia for the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi until an investigation had been completed.
Mnuchin said information so far on the investigation was “a good first step but not enough” as Riyadh faced increasing international pressure over what happened to Khashoggi, who disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
US President Donald Trump, who has said the United States would consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia, emphasized on Saturday that he was not satisfied with the Saudis’ handling of the case.
“It would be premature to comment on sanctions and premature to comment on really any issues until we get further down the investigation and get to the bottom of what occurred,” Mnuchin told reporters in Jerusalem.
Mnuchin confirmed that he would not attend a Saudi investment conference on Tuesday. However, he said he would visit Riyadh as planned for talks with his counterpart on joint efforts to counter terrorist financing and plans by Washington to reimpose sanctions against Iran in November.
“I did not think it was appropriate to go and speak at this conference but we continue to have important issues with Saudi and that is why I am going there,” Mnuchin said.
The visit, he said, was necessary as Washington prepares to reimpose sanctions against Iran.
He said he had no reason to believe that Saudi Arabia would renege on commitments to make up for any shortfall in global oil supplies as Iranian oil exports are curbed under the sanctions.
“I have no reason to believe that they are not going to honor those commitments,” said Mnuchin, who will meet Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih while in Riyadh.