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Action will be taken against Police and Prisons officers who failed to avert the Kalutara attack.

Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake says action will be taken against the Police and Prisons Department officers who failed to safeguard the suspects who were shot in Kalutara on Monday. He said in a statement that the government was duty bound to take action against those officers and it would do so without fail. The Minister of Prison Reforms and those who are responsible in the Prisons Department should not try to pass the buck -- but instead try to rectify the shortcomings in the Prisons Department to avoid a repetition of such incidents. The Police and the Department of Prisons cannot evade their responsibility -- as there was enough competence to avoid such incidents.  The Minister had instructed the police to apprehend the culprits as soon as possible. 
 
Meanwhile, the body of 59-year-old notorious underworld leader Karupaiya Wappu Balan known as Thel Bala who had fled to India some time ago, was brought to Sri Lanka last night. He disappeared from Sri Lanka and is reported to have lived in Tamil Nadu. His body was brought to the Bandaranike International Airport from Chennai and handed over to his family today.

Russia and China veto sanctions on Syria

Russia and China have vetoed a UN resolution to impose sanctions on Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons. It is the seventh time Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution to protect the Syrian government. China has also vetoed six security council resolutions on Syria since the civil war began in 2011. Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 under an agreement negotiated between Russia and the US. (BBC)

The historic ceremony to declare about 82 heroes of the 1818 Uva-Wellassa Rebellion as patriots will be held today

The historic ceremony to declare about 82 heroes of the 1818 Uva-Wellassa Rebellion, who were sentenced to the capital punishment and were expatriated, as patriots will be held today in Kandy under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena.

The President will sign the gazette declaring these 82 heroes of the 1818 rebellion as patriots at this historic ceremony named ‘Uththamaabhiwandana’, which is organized by the Department of Government Information. It will be held at 4.00 p.m. at the Magul Maduwa in Kandy. Chief Prelates of Malwatta and Asgiriya chapters, Ven. Maha Sangha, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Ministers, Parliamentarians, and the family members of the heroes of 1818 rebellion will participate at this event.

Laksanda Sevana housing complex in Kolonnawa will be vested with public tomorrow.

2nd phase of Laksanda Sevana housing complex in Kolonnawa will be vested with public under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena tomorrow. The 2nd phase consists 396 housing units. The government has spent more than 1,100 million rupees for the project. The program is carried out by the Urban Development Authority. The newly built housing units will be provided to the residents of Seda-watta and Wadulla-watta. The housing units have all the basic amenities.

Trump lays out hike in military spending.

US President Donald Trump is seeking to boost defence spending by 10 percent in his proposed budget plan for 2018. The blueprint will increase defence spending by 54 billion dollars but seeks to recoup that sum through deep cuts elsewhere, including to foreign aid. Mr Trump's plan leaves large welfare programmes untouched, despite Republican calls for reform. The president has consulted government agencies about his plans and will present his budget to Congress in May.

The Seychelles government extends fullest support to Sri Lanka in eliminating drug trafficking in the coastal areas.

The Seychelles government extends fullest support to Sri Lanka in eliminating drug trafficking in the coastal areas. The visiting President of Seychelles Danny Faure made this assurance when he met President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday. Speaking further at this meeting Mr. Faure commended the efforts taken by Sri Lankan government in reconciliation and peace process.

The Seychelles President also stated the assistance of friendly countries in the coastal belt of the Indian Ocean will also be sought to eliminate the drug menace in the region. He also emphasized that all stakeholders should join together to eliminate the drug trafficking in the world. 

Minister Lakshman Kiriella assures the present government will exercise transparency in future development programmes.

Minister Lakshman Kiriella assures the present government will exercise transparency in future development programmes. The new constitution will be formulated with the support of all political parties representing the parliament. The process will be carried forward under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe. The general public should extend fullest support to make this venture a success. The people are keen to see a new constitution where equal opportunities, reconciliation and 
co-existence of all communities are assured. Minister Kiriella made these remarks at a function held at Vilgamuwa Divisional Secretariat area in Matale district. 

Five prison inmates and two officers shot dead at Kaluthra.

Five prison inmates and two prison officers have been killed by a gun attack aimed at a prison bus which carried a Group of detainees from Kaluthra prison to Kaduwela Magistrate court this morning. The bus was attacked at the Nagaha junction in Kalutara. Kaluthra police say two prison officers who have been critically injured by the gun fire have been admitted to Nagoda Hospital.

The 34th General Assembly of the UN Human Rights Council will commence today

The 34th General Assembly of the UN Human Rights Council will commence today in Geneva. A delegation led by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will represent Sri Lanka. The session will conclude on the 24th of March.  Sri Lankan representatives expect a longer time period to fulfill the requirements of the resolution passed in 2015 October. Sri Lanka also expects a financial grant to fulfill these commitments.

 The representatves of Sri Lankan government scheduled to submit a report on the progress of human rights record in the recent past of the country.  The High commissioner of human  rights council Zaid al Hussein is also expected to submit a report on Sri Lanka. The report will be presented on the 22nd of March.   The assembly will focus on many issues affecting the world countries including climate change human, rights violation, death sentence, actions against the racism and many more factors.

A special meeting between Seashells President and minister Mahinda Amaraweera will be held this morning.

A special meeting between Seashells President Dani Dore and Minister Mahinda Amaraweera will be held this morning.  The discussion will strengthen on the bilateral ties between the two nations.  The discussion also pay more attention on the development of a fishing industry and maritime activities of the two nations.  The visiting Seashell President is expected to enter into MOUs relating to development and promotion of fishing industries of the two countries.

The number of Supreme Court Judges will be increased.

 

Minister of Justice Wijedasa Rajapaksa says the number of Supreme Court Judges will be increased. At a ceremony held in Anuradhapura recently the minister said a constitutional amendment will be made in this connection. He added that the independence of the judiciary has been strengthened by this government.

The Paddy Marketing Board says, the Board is ready to purchase the paddy stocks from the Maha Season.

The Chairman of Paddy Marketing Board M.B.Dissanayake says, the Board is ready to purchase the paddy stocks from the Maha Season. Accordingly the paddy cultivation activities are taking place in the districts of Ampara, Kilinochchi and Batticaloa. Mr.Dissanayake further said the government pays a higher price than the market price for these paddy stocks.

Mr.Dissanayake express confidence the farmers will sell their stocks by next month to the Paddy Marketing Board. The rice stocks which are available in the board are being distributed to the SATHOSA outlets islandwide. The Paddy Marketing Board has sold around 30 thousand metric tons of rice to the SATHOSA outlets The consumers will be able to buy their daily needs of rice form these outlets. Another 35 thousand metric tons of rice will be distributed to the SATHOSA outlets in near future.

Plans are being formulated by the ministry of education to commence the 13 year uninterrupted education from the middle of this year.

Plans are being formulated by the ministry of education to commence the 13 year uninterrupted education from the middle of this year.  35 schools have been identified to test the programme.  The ministry said six streams of subjects will be given focus under the first phase.  All the schools in the country will be incorporated to the programme from next year under 24 subject streams.  

The schools are mapped based on the number of students failing the GCE ordinary level examination.  Such is utilized in selecting schools for the first phase. A senior official at the ministry of education divulged to SLBC, vocational training centers under the ministry of skills development and vocational training as well as technical training centers under the purview of the ministry of education were selected for the programme.

The President to lay the foundation stone for the new court complex, Polonnaruwa, tomorrow.

The foundation stone for the new court complex in Polonanruwa will be laid tomorrow under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena.  The total investment of the project is 382 million rupees. The project is the result of a special request by the President, in a bid to provide solutions to the issues surrounding space at the existing court offices.

The new court complex will consist of latest facilities including judges quarters, archives, as well as offices for attorneys.  The ministry of justice has commenced a programme to develop building facilities and infrastructure at courts in a bid to provide an efficient system of justice.  The latest court complex in Polonnaruwa comes under the said programme.

Experts say, the public are expectant of a new constitution.

Experts say, the new constitution enables the maximum devolution of power without dividing the country. They elaborated on the matter while joining the programme “Subarathi” of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation this morning. Member of the committee on constitutional reform Dharmasiri Hapuarachchi says the public are expectant of a new constitution. He added it is the public’s view, the powers of the executive presidency be diluted.

He added the public as well as various other organizations show great enthusiasm to put forth ideas and proposals pertaining to constitutional reforms. Furthermore, he made evident, clauses on right to life and equality are matters the public deem necessary to be included in the constitution. The committee on constitutional reforms continues to receive public opinions and proposals while the process has concluded in many districts.
Meanwhile, a member of Puravasibalaya Gamini Viyangoda says, former President Mahinda Rajapakse labels the constitutional reforms as a debt trap to gain political mileage.

13 year uninterrupted education programme, to commence, mid this year.

Plans are being formulated by the ministry of education to commence the 13 year uninterrupted education from the middle of this year.  35 schools have been identified to test the programme.  The ministry said six streams of subjects will be given focus under the first phase.  All the schools in the country will be incorporated to the programme from next year under 24 subject streams.  The schools are mapped based on the number of students failing the GCE ordinary level examination.

 Such is utilized in selecting schools for the first phase. A senior official at the ministry of education divulged to SLBC, vocational training centers under the ministry of skills development and vocational training as well as technical training centers under the purview of the ministry of education were selected for the programme.

Hindus world over celebrate Maha Shivaratri today.- The President and the Prime Minister wishes peace and spiritual bliss for the people on this day.

Hindus around the world will celebrate Maha Shivaratri today. Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in reverence of the god Shiva. Mahashivaratri Festival or the ‘The Night of Shiva’ is celebrated with devotion and religious fervor in honor of Lord Shiva, one of the deities of Hindu Trinity.

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One million women will be participated in a home garden programme.

Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says power supply will continue despite the prevailing weather condition. The Electricity Board is prepared to maintain uninterrupted power supply. Electricity consumers have been motivated to use power sparingly.

If the dry weather condition prevails until June, the government will have to spend additional 51 billion rupees for thermal power. He made these remarks in Parliament yesterday. Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said a society equipped with modern technology should be created to steer the country forward.

He pointed out the need to set up a body to regulate engineers in the country. Minister Daya Gamage said export income will be increased by introducing value added products to international market. Accordingly, a home garden programme will be implemented island wide.

Under this programme ten thousand women will be given seeds and planting materials and technical advice free to encourage them for growing value added crops for the international market.

Iraqi forces recapture airport in bid to retake Mosul city.

Iraqi security forces have recaptured Mosul airport, a key part of the government's offensive to drive the so-called Islamic State from the western half of the city. The operation took four hours. IS continued to fire mortars at the airport from further inside the city after losing the ground to the army.

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A group of members from the Chinese communist party now in Sri Lanka says that Sri Lanka is a true friend of the People’s Republic of China.

A group of members from the Chinese communist party  now in Sri Lanka says that Sri Lanka is a true friend of the People’s Republic of China.  Comrade Som Thao the chairman of foreign affairs department of the working committee in Chinese communist party declared this opinion when they met president Maithripala Sirisena this morning at presidential secretariat in Colombo. President and the visiting delegation held extensive discussions strengthening bilateral relations. High on the agenda was tightening present relations furthermore.

 Both parties agreed to continue talks in future further ahead. The visiting delegation invited a Sri Lanka Freedom party delegation to the coming June’s conference, in China. President appreciated and expressed his gratitude to the visiting delegation on China’s support in Sri Lanka’s social economic development. The members of the delegation said,  that there should be an extreme transparency  in  China aided  development projects in Sri Lanka.

Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera says that the presidential commission appointed to look into the matters of central bank bonds scandal proceeds ahead as expected.

Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera says that the presidential commission appointed  to look into the matters of central bank  bonds scandal proceeds  ahead  as expected. Addressing a media briefing, in  SLFP headquarters in Colombo today the minister said, political interference  is far away, from the commissioner’s inquiry. He added  there is a judicial judgment  on SAITM issue. The government cannot take any action against judicial decision.

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