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Last updateThu, 16 Aug 2018 8am

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Macedonian President refuses to sign law, to change country's name

Macedonia’s President: Gjorge Ivanov has refused to sign an agreement on changing the country’s name to resolve a dispute with Greece, describing the name-change as a “criminal act” that violates the constitution.
This month, the foreign ministers of Greece and Macedonia agreed to rename the tiny ex-Yugoslav republic as: “The Republic of North Macedonia”, resolving a decades-old dispute that had blocked Macedonia’s entry into the EU and NATO. Macedonia’s parliament ratified the agreement last week.
The President’s refusal to sign, is unlikely to block the agreement. Parliament is expected to override his veto, with a simple majority in a second vote.

US border agents halt migrant family prosecutions

A US border security chief says he has temporarily stopped launching criminal prosecutions of migrants who illegally enter the country with children.Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told reporters in Texas the prosecution referrals were suspended last week.He said it followed an order last week by President Donald Trump calling for an end to migrant family separations.But Mr Trump had suggested the families would instead be detained together.

A meeting between Election Commission and representatives of the political parties will be held today

A meeting between Election Commission and representatives of the political parties will be held today. The discussion will focus on future elections including provincial council election. The Chairman of Elections Commission Mahinda Deshappriya said a collective decision will be arrived at today's meeting with regard to the electoral system. All representatives from different political parties are expected to be present on this occasion.

The Post Master General requests all striking postal employees to report to the nearest post office for duty

Post Master General D.L.P.R Abeyrathne requests all striking postal employees to report to the nearest post office for duty. He also said that he has given instruction to the relevant divisional post offices to make necessary arrangement for this purpose. The Post Master General also said stern action will be taken against those who obstruct the postal employees reporting to work.

The government vehemently rejects the human rights centres allegation with regard to the misuse of UGC and EPF funds

The government vehemently rejects the human rights centres allegation with regard to the misuse of UGC and EPF funds. Minister Kabir Hasheem rejected this claim as false and wrong information. Earlier Sri Lanka Human Rights Centre in a media conference in Colombo alleged that around 1,000 million rupees from UGC and EPF funds have been induced to Central Bank bonds. However, Minister Kabir Hasheem said this statement is a wrong statement. He also alleged the EPF funds were misused during the previous regime.

Around 126,000 voters registered more than once have been removed from the register

Around 126,000 voters registered more than once have been removed from the register. The Elections Commission says this has been revealed during a survey conducted recently. Some voters have been registered twice on the divisional register. This will create an unnecessary complexity during an election time.

The President says a development programme on a long term plan will eliminate poverty

President Maithripala Sirisena says the government is implementing a development programme on a long term plan that will eliminate poverty. The intention is to ensure that every citizen enjoys dividends of development. The President was speaking at the setting up of a Sri Lanka Freedom Party Bala Mandalaya in Polonnaruwa yesterday.

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The Prime Minister assures the debt burden will not be passed on to the future generations

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe assures that the country's debt burden will not be passed on to the future generations. He says the country will be taken forward by obtaining foreign investments and generating new avenues of income. The Premier was speaking at the opening of a new three-story building at Welivita-Divithura divisional secretariat in Galle yesterday.

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The Geo Fence technology is to be introduced to prevent fraud at examinations

The Geo Fence technology is to be introduced to prevent fraud at examinations by using mobile devices. Commissioner General of Examinations B. Sanath Pujitha says talks are ongoing with the army and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission to introduce this technology. According to him, Geo Fence technology will be used from the GCE Advanced Level Examination this August.

In news from the Football World Cup

England achieved their most emphatic World Cup result as Harry Kane's hat-trick helped them thrash Panama 6-1 and reach the last 16. There were five first-half goals, with John Stones heading in the opener. Kane made it 2-0 from the spot before Jesse Lingard, who was fouled in the box, made it 3-0 with a great strike.

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Zimbabwe's elections will be held as planned despite an attempt on the President's life

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa says elections will go ahead as planned on July 30th, despite what he said was an attempt on his life yesterday. Forty-one people were injured in the blast at a rally in the city of Bulawayo, which occurred close to Mr Mnangagwa as he was leaving the stage. Officials said security arrangements would be reviewed. The vote is the first since Robert Mugabe was ousted and Mr Mnangagwa has vowed they will be peaceful

More than 50 billion rupees allocated this year, for 'Enterprise-Sri Lanka'

Minister Mangala Samaraweera says, more than 50 billion rupees has been allocated this year, for the Enterprise-Sri Lanka Programme. The government, through this endeavour, is providing its fullest support, for upcoming entrepreneurs to grow their enterprises to a stable level, with their very own efforts.

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200 million rupees to be assigned for each divisional secretariat zone, under the 'Gamperaliya Accelerated Rural Development Programme'

The 'Gamperaliya Accelerated Rural Development Programme' will be expanded islandwide. The programme was launched in Monaragala recently. The government intends to carry forward with this programme, the 'Grama Shakthi Programme' introduced upon a concept of the President, and the Development Drive to reconstruct road networks and housing facilities in rural areas introduced by the Premier. The sum allocated for Gamperaliya is 64 billion rupees. Under this allocation, 200 million rupees will be assigned for specific tasks in each divisional secretariat zone.

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The Minister of Health once again raises the concern of non-communicable diseases that have become a major health problem

Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratna raises the concern of non-communicable diseases that have become a major health problem to many countries as well as Sri Lanka.

Speaking to the Subharathi Discussion Programme aired over the SLBC this morning he pointed out, new laws have been introduced to control the use of Tobacco, and public awareness campaigns are underway.

The Minister noted, since excess sugar is harmful to health, with the introduction of controls, companies opted to manufacturing sugar free drinks. He added, many more health related programmes will be initiated with assistance of 200 million dollars promised by the World Health Organization.

A Walk was organized to mark the 131st anniversary of the Sri Lanka Medical Association, today.
Today's Subharathi Discussion was aired from the BMICH, which was where the walk commenced.

Teachers serving in the Eastern Province on voluntary basis, to be absorbed into the permanent cadre

Governor of the Eastern Province: Rohitha Bogollagama says, teachers serving in the Eastern province on voluntary basis, will be absorbed into the permanent cadre.  Interviews are being held, and appeals are being taken up in this regard, these days.  In addition, 1,000 unemployed graduates will be recruited to the teaching service.  Mr. Bogollagama points out, this year, as of now, 1,127 graduates have been recruited to the teaching service.  365 teachers were recruited for the English Medium.

A project to conserve Namal Uyana is presently underway

The project to conserve Namal Uyana, the ironwood forest and rose quartz mountain, is presently underway with funding mainly by the Central Cultural Fund. Its founder Venerable Wanawasi Rahula Thera says developing tourism-related activities and starting a wood museum and an educational centre are part of the conservation work. The ironwood forest spans over 2,000 acres while the rose quartz mountain is 600 acres in extent.

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Applications are invited for the Madya Aruna loan scheme for media personnel

The Media Ministry is inviting applications for the 'Madya Aruna' loan scheme for media personnel. The closing date is July 31st. Media personnel below the age of 60 years and are full time or part time employees of recognized media institutions, freelance journalists as well as correspondents with a more than three year service are eligible to apply. Selected personnel will be given an interest free loan of a maximum 300,000 rupees to buy media equipment. Also a low interest loan of 150,000 rupees is on offer to improve the available media equipment.

A pilot project begins next week to control road congestion in Colombo and suburbs

Dehiwela police and the Moratuwa University will join together to launch a pilot project next week to control congestion on the roads in Colombo and suburbs. Professor Amal Kumarage of the university says this will be a temporary measure until such time that public transportation is developed properly. The pilot project will see the use of Google Maps technology to identify and address vehicle congestion.

10 senior literary personalities have been awarded by the National Radio

'Senior writers awarding ceremony-2018' organized by the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and Godage and company was held at the Kumarathunga Studio of the Corporation this evening. 10 senior literary personalities who rendered an yeoman service to the local literary field have been awarded by the National Radio. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was the chief guest at the event.

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