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Last updateSun, 17 Dec 2017 2pm

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Swiss assistance to strengthen parliamentary democracy in SL

Switzerland says it stands ready to assist in strengthening parliamentary democracy in Sri Lanka. President of the national council of Switzerland at Swiss Parliament in Bern Christa Markwalder made this remark when a cross party
Sri Lankan parliamentary delegation called on her recently.

During the meeting Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva briefed the Swiss delegation regarding the steps taken to strengthen the parliament through constitutional amendment in recent times including the 19th amendment to the constitution.

He added measures have also been taken to introduce constitution and electoral reforms suitable for the country. The delegation was also enlightened on the Swiss parliamentary structure and its functions.

3rd generator of Norachcholai coal power plant to be switched on

The Ministry of Power and Energy says the 3rd generator of the Norachcholai coal power plant will be switched on today. All three generators of the plant broke down abruptly on 15th of this month. Therefore the national grid lost 900 mega watts. However the engineers were able to switch on one of the generators within a week while the other within two weeks. Media spokesman of the ministry Sulakshana Jayawardena told the SLBC that 3rd generator will be made functional form midnight today.

The electricity generated through hydro power has dropped to 15 percent at present. The reservoirs of hydro power plants have not received considerable rain fall. Therefore the water levels of the reservoirs remain low. Sulakshana Jayawardena points out with Norachcholai coal power plant full functional, the ministry has been able to save the money spent to generate electricity using fuel.

Govts cannot be changed using communalism - Min Mano

Minister Mano Ganeshan says the Unison government which is formed with the support of two main political parties is engaged in an unprecedented successful journey. The leadership given by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe should be commended in this regard. However certain groups are attempting disrupt that journey. Their only objective is to fulfill narrow political gains. But only the people can change
a democratically elected government. Taking part in the Subarathi discussion programme of the SLBC this morning the minister emphasized the governments cannot be changed using communalism. The programme was broadcast live from the Kandy district secretariat with the support of Kandurata Service of the SLBC.

Chief Minister of Central province Sarath Ekanayake who joined the programme said the government's bilingual policy has been implemented in 23 out of 36 divisional secretariats of the province. He pointed out benefits of development cannot be reaped if there is no reconciliation among communities.

No Sri Lankan hurt from Italy quake - MFA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says, the Sri Lankan Emabssy in Rome has informed that no Sri Lankan has been affected or injured from the earthquake that struck  Central Italy.

It has also asked the Sri Lankan nationals in Italy to contact the embassy through +39 3421254777 if any assistance is required.

The World Bank report says Sri Lanka will have over 5 percent economic growth next year.

The World Bank’s latest Sri Lanka Development Update finds that monetary and fiscal policy corrections and the start of a new IMF program have contributed to improving short-term stability of Sri Lanka’s economy.


One hundred houses built in Keeramale for the displaced families will be declared open by the President today.

100 houses built by the labour of the three armed forces in Keeramale area in Jaffna will be vested to the relevant families today by the President. Army media spokesman Brig. Roshan Senevirathne says that the houses have been constructed under the guidance of President Maithripala Sirisena.


A group of European parliamentarians visits Sri Lanka.

A four member delegation from the European parliament will arrive in the country for an official visit on today. The delegation is led by Chair of the delegation for relations with countries of South Asia Jean Lambert.


Sri Lanka secures 31st position of global youth development index.

Sri Lanka ranked 31st in the Global Youth Development Index 2016 which was compiled by the Commonwealth Secretariat based on a country’s condition for the youth in terms of employment, education, health, civic and political spheres. Of the eight South Asian countries, five improved their Index scores, with the largest improvements being made in Sri Lanka and India. According to Business Insider India, India has performed poorly, coming 133rd in the index.
India was placed below the neighboring countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.


One million housing units will be equipped with solar power.

Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says one million housing units will be provided solar panels. He added that the government has embarked a project to even fix solar panels to government buildings.


Powerful tremor near Norcia in Italy destroys buildings

A strong earthquake has struck near Norcia in central Italy, destroying numerous buildings. It comes nearly two months after a major earthquake killed almost 300 people and destroyed several towns.


More than 2,200 proposals received for the budget.

Minister Ravi Karunanayaka states that more than 2,200 suggestions and proposals for the forthcoming budget has been received from different organizations, trade unions and individuals.


All units of Norochcholai Lakvijaya Coal power plant will be activated from tomorrow.

Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy says that all units of Norochcholai Lakvijaya Coal power plant will be activated from tomorrow


Latest technology to be introduced to the police.

Minister Sagala Rathnayaka says the investigation method which is used by police services in developed countries will be introduced to Sri Lanka. He added that cutting edge technology would help to ensure better service to the general public.


Attention paid for confiscating properties of the parents who are abandoned by their children.

Minister S.B Dissanayake says properties of the parents who are abandoned by their children should be confiscated. The Minister added that the Department of Social Services gets many complaints over the properties of the abandoned parents.


The finance minister says that a people friendly budget will be presented next month.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake says the upcoming budget will be people friendly as it was prepared considering the views and proposals of the people islandwide. The Minister states that he visited many districts including Trincomalee, Galle and Polonnaruwa to obtain views of the public.

In addition representatives of many trade unions also presented their ideas. Many intellectuals also contributed to prepare the budget proposals. Academic teams from 10 universities were also deployed to gather public proposals. Therefore, this budget will provide many benefits to the general public. Essentials items and services will be provided to the people unabated.

Chinese government assists Sri Lanka to find out causes for widespread kidney disease.

Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne says Chinese government has expressed willingness to support to find out the causes for the widespread kidney diseases. Accordingly an MoU was signed with the Chinese government recently in order to eradicate the disease. People in 12 districts have been affected by the Kidney disease at present. The most hit districts are Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.

Electricity demand in the Ampara District has been fulfilled.

Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says the electricity demand of the Ampara district has been fulfilled at present. 11,000 families have applied for electricity supply in the last year. The Minister said the electricity supply of this year will be completed by giving connection to the leader of the Veddha community of Pollebedda this evening.

All the households in the Ampara district are now having electricity facilities. 25,000 more households in the northern and eastern provinces are to be provided with electricity and it will also be completed without delay.

A community police serice has been introduced with the significant change in the police service.

Police have arrested 2 suspects in Vavuniya with 15 kilogramms of Kerala Ganja. The ganja haul was hidden in a motor car. The suspects will be produced before courts today.

Clinton campaign condemns FBI email move

Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign team has challenged the FBI over its decision to brief US lawmakers on a new inquiry into the Democratic candidate's email use. FBI Director James Comey informed Congress of the move in a letter on Friday, 11 days before the election. Mrs Clinton told supporters the move, was "unprecedented" and "deeply troubling". But Republican opponent Donald Trump has praised the bureau's decision.

The government is ready to present a consensus budget with the ideas of two major parties.

State Minister of Finance Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says the government will present a consensus budget with the ideas of two major parties. The budget has focused special attention to grant concessions to the public.

Long term plans on livelihood development and alleviating poverty are included in the budget. More funds will be allocated to enhance the national nutrition level of the people. Many proposals are there to increase export income.

Stern action will be taken against the traders who sell VAT free items at higher prices.

The Consumer Affairs Authority says that stern action will be taken against the traders who sell VAT free items at higher prices. There are 81 items and services free of VAT. The Authority has deployed over 200 officials to carryout raids daily to nab errant traders. The authority also requests the public to inform the officials regarding such traders by dialing the hotline 1977.

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