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The international conference to address migrant workers’ health issue will conclude today.

The international conference to address migrant workers’ health issue which commenced on the 21st of this month will conclude today. Representatives from 20 countries participated in this conference. The statistics report that around 2 million Sri Lankan migrant workers are working in many world countries including Middle East and South Asian region.

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Murders up by a third following Guzman's extradition in Mexico

Official figures from Mexico show that the number of homicides was higher by a third in January compared to the same month of 2016. The authorities believe the spike in violence is linked to the extradition of the drug lord, Joaquin Guzman, known as "El Chapo," or "Shorty".

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The President directed IGP to prepare an active programme to prevent ragging in the universities.

President Maithripala Sirisena says minority of students carry out inhuman ragging in the universities causing disruptions to the education of disciplined majority.  The President therefore instructed the IGP to focus special attention to eliminate ragging.

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The President meets SLFP electoral organisers.

President Maithripala Sirisena met the electoral organisations of the Sri Lanka freedom Party today. The meeting was held at the President’s House.   A special attention was focused to increase efficiency of provincial development activities at this meeting.

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A new faculty of technology will be constructed.


An MOU was signed at the ministry of education today to construct a new college of technology. The Korean international cooperation agency will grant about 1900 million rupees for this purpose. At the signing of the agreement minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says the college will be constructed within 18 months.

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A national commission for women will be established.

Government is to establish a national women commission with the aim of empowering women and protect their rights. This will also have provisions to provide women with legal aid in the incidents of violence against women. A proposal made by Minister Ms. Chandrani Bandara in this connection has been approved by the Cabinet. 

A five year programme to modernize the financial sector.

Government has planned to implement a five year programme to modernize the financial sector in the country. The Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank, the Treasury Bonds and Exchange Commission and Sri Lanka Insurance Board have jointly organized this programme.   The aim of this programme is to provide financial support to selected middle level entrepreneurs. Infrastructure facilities in the financial sector and monetary regulatory institutions will also be developed under this programme. The World Bank also grants financial and technical assistance for this move. 

Two of the bodies of the missing persons of the Beruwala boat tragedy have been discovered.

Two of the bodies of the four persons who have been reported missing in the Beruwala boat tragedy have been discovered the fishermen in the area. One body was found in the sea area of 18 kilometers from the place of accident while the other was found in the coast at Balapitiya. The victims have been identified as Danushka Dilshan of Beruwala and Gihan Waduthanthri of Payagala. 

Trump administration widens net for immigrant deportation

The Trump administration has issued tough guidelines to widen the net for deporting illegal immigrants from the US, and speed up their removal. Undocumented immigrants arrested for traffic violations or shop-lifting will be targeted along with those convicted of more serious crimes. The memos do not alter US immigration laws, but take a much tougher approach towards enforcing existing measures. There are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the US. (BBC)

The Premier says the majority of the people in the country want to create a unitary Sri Lanka where everyone can live in harmony.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says the majority of the people in the country want to create a unitary Sri Lanka where everyone can live in harmony. The Prime Minister added that diversity of different ethnic groups and religious groups will be protected as Sri Lankan identity will be accorded priority.

The premier made these comments at the 29th death anniversary of Vijaya Kumaranathunga which was held at the Bishops College yesterday. Prime Minister Wickremasinghe said that the people expected that peace will be dawn soon after the war ends. But their hope was not fulfilled. He pointed out that hence the general public in the country entrusted the responsibility of creating a more peaceful and prosperous country in 2015 two major political parties. Some elements are trying to instigate racism and religious extremism. It is not easy to uproot racist and extremist politics in a shorter period of time.

The Prime Minister highlighted that the fullest support of the people of the country and international community has been extended to the present government. The two major parties came to a conclusion at the end of 2015 to devolve the power. The premier said that a political solution can be achieved for the national issue in the near future hopefully.

A massive investigation to track frauds and corruption involved with approving buildings countrywide.

The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Province Development says a massive investigation has been initiated to track frauds and corruption involved with approving buildings countrywide.

The program is carried out under the instructions of Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka. The Urban Development Authority is working on setting up a computerized system to avert such frauds and corruption.

The government wants to protect both the farmer and the consumer - Minister P. Harrison.

Minister P. Harrison says the government wants to protect both the farmer and the consumer. He noted that measures were taken to reduce the price of rice without making the farmer inconvenient. Minister Harrison was speaking in the parliament yesterday. It is the not the policy of the Paddy Marketing Board to make profits.

The government only purchases 10 percent of the paddy production of the country. It is not the duty of the administration to safeguard the mill owners. Minister Harrison pointed out that paddy has been issued to 640 small scale mill owners. He made these comments while responding to a question raised by parliamentarian Bimal Rathnayake.

Five killed as aircraft hits shopping center in Melbourne.

Four US citizens and an Australian pilot have died after their light plane crashed into a shopping center in Melbourne, Australia. The charter flight appeared to have had a "catastrophic engine failure" shortly after taking off from the small Essendon Airport, said police. Despite the destruction, no-one was killed or injured on the ground. Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews said it was the worst civilian aviation accident in the state in 30 years.

The cabinet approved today to pay compensation to the victims of boat capsized disaster at Katukurunda sea area in Kalutara district.

The cabinet approved today to pay compensation to the victims of boat capsized disaster at Katukurunda sea area in Kalutara district. Accordingly 100,000 rupees will be paid to each victim who has died in this incident. Meanwhile a sum of 25,000 rupees will be given to the persons injured in this incident. It should be noted that 12 people died and 33 injured in this boat capsized disaster.
 
Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said today Parliament that the government imposed a new regulation that fishing boats cannot be used for passenger transport purposes. If fishing boats are used for this purpose it is deemed to be illegal. The government will not take any responsibility with regard to those incidents in future. Minister also pointed out that this is the first time such compensation is made for the victims of boat capsized disaster.

Special allowance of 10,000 rupees will be provided to the farmer families affected due to the prevailing dry weather for the next four months.

Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said special allowance of 10,000 rupees will made for the next four months starting from 1st of march to the farmer families who could do their cultivation work due to the prevailing dry weather condition. Minister revealed this information while addressing the parliament today. He further said a special program to protect the income sources of the affected families is being implemented at present.

Accordingly a survey is being done by ministry of agriculture and district secretaries to ascertain the loss of cultivation of those families. Meanwhile Agriculture and Agriculture insurance board is scheduled to provide 10,000 rupees for each acre of cultivation land.   Effective measures have been take to provide drinking water facilities to the affected families.  Around 291,000 families have been severely affected due to the prevailing drought weather condition.

Minister S.B. Dissanayake reiterates that the President will not allow any room to damage the country’s sovereignty, independence and integrity.

Minister S.B. Dissanayake reiterates that the President will not allow any efforts to damage the country’s sovereignty, independence and integrity. Minister also emphasized the President will always take effective measures to strengthen the sovereignty of the country. Some political elements are trying to raise racism and religious divisions among the communities under the name of constitutional reforms.
Minister S.B. Dissanayake said these malicious campaigns should be condemned at the grass root level. Minister made these remarks at a media conference held in Colombo today. Speaking further at this conference minister pointed out the President appointed an high court judge recently based on the regulations of the judicial system. But some political elements are carrying out a mudslinging campaign to tarnish the image of the President stating President has made a wrong appointment. These political elements are trying to mislead the public based on this situation. 
 
Meanwhile, the liquor sales have dropped based on the reports from Exercise Department. Minister Dissanayake also recalled a past event that the controversial SAITM College was initially established under the previous regime.

Series of workshops are being held island wide to educate the local government authorities on saving power and electricity.

Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya reiterates the electricity supply will not be interrupted under any circumstances. Even under any disaster situation, the power will not be restricted. He further said the country faces difficulties to generate more electricity power under the prevailing dry weather conditions.
As a result the government decides to restrict the power supply to the street lamps in local government areas by two hours in the early morning and evening hours. The government can save around 15 percent of electricity from this practice. Minister request the relevant authorities to pay more attention on this matter.
Minister Siyambalapitiya made these remarks at a workshop held in Colombo to educate the local government authorities on saving power and electricity. Meanwhile the government decides to purchase 60 Megawatt generator for an urgency purpose. Addressing the gathering minister further said the electricity board has to spend an additional 51 billion rupees to meet the overhead expenses.
 
The Deputy General Manager of Ceylon Electricity Board Hemantha Ranasinghe requests the business community to use the electricity sparingly. He further said the traders and shop owners can restrict their electricity consumption through the usage of LED bulbs. Mr. Ranasinghe also requested the consumers to use electricity economically from 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm

Prime Minister’s Office says community project which commenced during 1993-95 UNP regime has been an inspiration to the present community related projects.

Prime Minister’s Office says in a media release that community project which commenced during the past UNP regime has been an inspiration to the present community related projects. Many community development projects were implemented in Balangoda area during 1993-95 period of UNP regime.

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New directives for passenger transport boats.


Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera has ordered to cancel licences of boats which transport passengers without following proper guidelines issued by the Ministry.

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Trump names Lt Gen HR McMaster as national security adviser.


US President Donald Trump has named Lt Gen HR McMaster as his national security adviser. He will replace Lt Gen Michael Flynn who was fired after just three weeks and three days in the job. A lieutenant general with the US Army, HR McMaster served in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he worked on a government anti-corruption drive. Mr Trump's first choice, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, turned down the role, citing "personal reasons".

Minister Mano Ganeshan says competency in Tamil and Sinhala languages should be made compulsory for all newly elected parliamentarians.

Minister Mano Ganeshan says competency in two languages should be made compulsory for all newly elected parliamentarians. If the parliamentarians and ministers are fluent both Sinhala and Tamil languages, they will face no difficulty in understanding the problems of the people disregarding their ethnicity.

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