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Last updateWed, 25 Apr 2018 7pm

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Minister Patalie Champika Ranawaka says, it has been proved through investigations carried out so far, that no member of the Jathika Hela Urumaya has been involved in the recent incidents that took place in Kandy.

Minister Patalie Champika Ranawaka says, it has been proved through investigations carried out so far, that no member of the Jathika Hela Urumaya has been involved in the recent  incidents  that took place in Kandy. It has been revealed that the majority of those apprehended are Rajapakse supporters. Speaking at a media briefing held in Colombo today the Minister requested the police to reveal, that those apprehended are groups supporting the Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna. He made this statement, in response to statements made in Parliament by Rajapakse loyalists, that members of his party have been involved in the recent clashes. He requested the police to reveal the connections of other political groups also involved in the incidents.

Sri Lanka to be transformed into a 'competitive hub' in Information and Communication Technology, by the year: 2022.

Minister Rishad Bathiudeen says, by the year: 2022, Sri Lanka will be transformed into a 'competitive hub' in innovations and digital services in Information and Communication Technology. Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Co-operative Development Workshop held in Colombo, he said plans are underway to create 200,000 employment opportunities in the field of Information and Communication Technology. Over 300 entities compete in this field in Sri Lanka. They export their computer software to many countries. Countries of the European Union, North America, the Middle East, Africa and Australia are among these. In addition, the Minister pointed out, countries such as Sweden, Norway, Japan and the United States have begun partnerships with Sri Lanka in this field.

An open warrant issued to apprehend the former secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation

An open warrant has been issued to apprehend the former secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation, Ivan Silva. Mr Silva is being investigated in connection with the misappropriation of funds to the tune of 4012 million rupees, pertaining to the Ging-Nilwala Irrigation Plan. Colombo Magistrate Lanka Jayarathne ordered that this warrant be issued in English as well, for Interpol. She also ordered for a copy of the warrant to be forwarded to the Controller of Immigration and Emigration. The Financial Crimes Investigation Division disclosed in court that the suspect is not co-operating with the investigations by evading legal proceedings, and information has surfaced that he is residing in Auckland in New Zealand.

Puigdemont in German court, as arrest ignites Catalan protests

Former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont is to appear in court today, following his arrest in Germany, which triggered a wave of protests in Catalonia where thousands of separatists clashed with police. German police arrested Puigdemont yesterday, under a European warrant issued by Spain. The arrest comes five months after Puigdemont went on the run, as Spanish prosecutors sought to charge him with sedition and rebellion in the wake of a vote by the Catalan parliament to declare independence.
He will be brought before a German judge today and a court will then decide if he is to remain in custody pending extradition proceedings.

England lose by an innings and 49 runs to New Zealand, in the first Test at Auckland,

England lost by an innings and 49 runs to New Zealand in the first Test at Auckland, despite the efforts of all-rounder Ben Stokes on the final day. Stokes made a patient 66 from 188 balls, as he and Chris Woakes helped the team recover after early wickets. They will get a chance to level the two-match series, in the second Test which starts on Thursday.

Australia captain Steve Smith is banned for one match and fined his entire match fee over ball-tampering.

Australia captain Steve Smith has been banned for one match and fined his entire match fee by the ICC after a ball-tampering incident in the third Test against South Africa. Smith said that the team's "leadership group" had a plan, carried out by batsman Cameron Bancroft,

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Russia and Taliban deny a US allegation of collusion.

Russia and the Taliban have separately rejected comments made by the head of US forces in Afghanistan that Moscow has been supporting, and even supplying weapons to, the insurgent group. Gen John Nicholson told the BBC last week he had seen "destabilising activity by the Russians". The Russian embassy in Kabul in a statement dismissed the general's claim as "baseless" and "idle gossip". A Taliban spokesman said they had not "received assistance from any country".

The government works for the welfare of the farming, fisheries and labour communities.

Minister Sajith Premadasa says the government will work for the welfare of the farming, fisheries and labour communities without getting hampered by conditions and regulations. The minister was speaking at the opening of Ranasinghe Premadasa Memorial Hall at Ranminithenna in Hambantota. He added that it was the responsibility of all to protect the country's farming community.

An organization formed in Anuradhapura town sets a precedence for unity, friendship and reconciliation.

Intellectuals and religious leaders in Anuradhapura town have formed an organization represented by all communities to set a precedence for unity, friendship and reconciliation. This organization will join together with the Rajarata Service of the SLBC to hold a musical evening and dialogue. Titled Dedunu Sendewa, it will take place at the outdoor theatre of the Rajarata service on April 01st, starting at 5.00 pm. A preparatory programme took place today, with the participation of religious leaders, public servants and schoolchildren representing the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities.

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation rules out a fuel price increase.

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation says no decision has been taken to raise fuel prices after the Lanka Indian Oil Company increased its prices. CPC Chairman Dhammika Ranatunge says any price increase will be made following lengthy discussions with the government. He also says that the distribution was taking place properly to prevent any shortages.

A population and housing census will be carried out every two years.

A population and housing census will be carried out every two years. Director General of Census and Statistics Amara Satharasinghe says this will be done in addition to the full census that takes place every ten years. He says the population and housing census will take place during May and June to collect statistics for development and contingency purposes. The next full census is due in 2021.

Road accidents cause an annual loss of around 130 billion rupees to the country.

Police say road accidents cause an annual loss of around 130 billion rupees to the country. That accounts for around 1.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product. The traffic police say between eight to ten deaths and around 50 injuries are caused by road accidents each day. Last year 2,910 road accidents claimed 3,078 lives. Transport experts say reckless driving is the main reason for road accidents.

The Batticaloa Airport begins operations

 

Aviation operations and services of the Batticaloa Domestic Airport commenced today. Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva participated as the Chief Guest at the inauguration ceremony held today. An aircraft carrying the Minister and a group of Ministry officials reached the airport at 10.30 in the morning today. Subsequently, the passenger terminal building was declared open.

The government spent 1.4 billion rupees for the re-construction of this Airport. Several airline companies representing the private sector have expressed their willingness to contribute to passenger transportation between Ratmalana and Batticaloa.

Plans are also underway to establish a School of Aeronautics in the Airport premises.

A census of the population and housing units, to be conducted every two years

The Department of Census and Statistics has decided to conduct a census of the population and housing units only, every two years. This census will be conducted in addition to the census carried out every 10 years. Thereby, it will be conducted in May and June.

Officials of the Department and specially trained officials will be visiting households over these two months. Director General of Census and Statistics, Amara Satharasinghe requests the public to extend their fullest cooperation to these officials.

Results of the 2017 GCE O/Level Examination, to be released this Wednesday

 

The results of the 2017 GCE Ordinary Level Examination will be released on Wednesday. Commissioner of Examinations, Sanath Poojitha says, the results will be released to the department's website on Wednesday.

688,000 candidates sat for the examination last year. This is the highest recorded figure.

Meanwhile, preparations are underway to conduct the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination on the 5th of August. Applications for the examination are being called these days

The finance minister says the state revenue has increased during the past 18 months due to streamlining tax collection.

The parliament convened again this morning to debate the new tax revision act.  Joining the debate, finance minister Mangala Samaraweera said the aim of the government to bring this amendment is to introduce a simple and transparent tax collection structure to the country.  The new act will prevent  finance ministers arbitrarily changing the tax system.

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Deputy minister Karunaratne Paranavithana says the judiciary has been made totally free of political influence.

Deputy minister Karunaratne Paranavithana says the government has made the judiciary  and institutions that is totally free of political influence.  During the past regime,  there were many severe problems as  the political leaders influenced the judiciary. 

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About 40 million rupees has been paid to school students as benefits under the Suraksha insurance cover.

The ministry of education says about 40 million rupees has been paid to school students as benefits under the Suraksha insurance cover.  The Sri Lanka insurance corporation has received over 8,000 applications for insurance claims from students .

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The President will take part as the chief guest in the Pakistan national day celebrations today.

President Maithripala Sirisena and his Sri Lankan delegation arrived in Pakistan at the Nukhan airport in Islamabad this evening. Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain and a number of top officials were at the airport to accept the Sri Lankan leader. The President was honoured with 21 gun salutes which was the highest respect and honour given to a foreign leader in Pakistan.

The President will be the chief guest at the Pakistan's 'Republic Day' to be held tomorrow. The President received an official invitation from his Pakistan counterpart Mamnoon Hussain.

This is the first such invitation a Sri Lankan head of state has received in the recent past.

The President will held talks with Prime Minister Shid Abbasi. They will focus special attention on further strengthening economic and cultural relations. Four MOUs in education and tourism sectors will also be signed.

The 50th reawakening village will be vested with the public today.

The 50th reawakening village under the housing construction programme of the Ministry of Housing, 'Sangaman Graman' will be vested with the public today under the patronage of Minister Sajith Premadasa. This has been constructed in Thirukkovil area in Ampara district. The village has 25 housing units with required infrastructure facilities. The government has spent 28 million rupees for this programme.

The nutritious programmes for school children will be further expanded to another thousand schools.

The nutritious programme for school children will be further expanded for another thousand schools. Ministry of Education says accordingly, over 1.2 million students in 7,904 schools will have mid-day meal. A sum of 6.3 billion rupees has been allocated for this programme. Attention will also focus to promote good primary health habits among children.

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