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Last updateSun, 17 Dec 2017 2pm

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The government Nurses Officers Association points out that alterations into the salary scale of one sector, would result in the entire state salary structure falling into disarray.

Chairman of the Government Nursing Officers’ Association, Saman Rathnapriya states that if the government is to increase the salaries of railway workers that are on strike, then the government needs to increase the salaries in the health care sectors well. Expressing his views at a media conference held in Colombo today he stated that for a long period of time his association has brought the issue of salary anomalies to be attention of the authorities. He pointed out that by incorporating alterations into the salary scale of one sector, the entire state salary structure would fall into disarray.

It has been pointed out that although the conflict is over, it will take time and persistent efforts to heal the wounds and to sustain the gains the country has already reaped.

Minister of Finance and Mass Media, Mangala Samaraweera says that although the conflict is over, it will take years to heal the wounds and it will take persistent efforts to sustain and secure the gains that the country has already reaped. He made these comments speaking at the Awards Ceremony which saw Ms. Shreen Abdul Saroor receiving the Franco German Human Rights Award for the year 2017.
He took the opportunity to thank the Governments of France and Germany for their joint initiative in recognising the work of human rights activists.
15 persons have been chosen globally this year, as winners of this prestigious Franco-German Prize, for Human Rights and the Rule of Law.

Ice Warning in the UK as commuters face delays

Commuters are facing difficult journeys in icy conditions across parts of the UK, following another night of sub-zero temperatures. The British Met Office has extended yellow warnings for snow and ice and has warned that driving could be "hazardous". Temperatures as low as
(-13) Celsius were recorded last night in Shawbury and Shropshire and was recorded as the coldest night of the year so far. The deep freeze also left thousands without power. There were 220 homes without supply in the West Midlands early today. Following a day of train delays, the British National Railways has notified travellers to check with train operators before heading out. It recommends that customers either cancel or change their travel plans.

President appeals to railway employees

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday requested the employees of Sri Lanka Railways including engine drivers to report for duty considering the inconvenience faced by the school children facing the GCE Ordinary Level examination and the general public, a statement issued by Presidential Media Division said yesterday.

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Eight Trade Unions attached to the technical service of the Sri Lanka Railways have decided to end their strike and report for duty.

Eight Trade Unions attached to the technical service of the Sri Lanka Railways have decided to end their strike and report for duty. These unions have informed their decision to President Maithripala Sirisena and Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala De Silva.

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The G C E Ordinary level exam commences today

Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam states that all measures have been taken to conduct the GCE ordinary level exam which is due to begin today. The minister earnestly requests all candidates sitting for the exam to abide by examination rules.

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Deputy Minister Asoka Abeysinghe stated in parliament today that the railway trade union action now in force is totally unacceptable and unfair.

Deputy Minister Asoka Abeysinghe stated in parliament yesterday that the railway trade union action now in force is totally unacceptable. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake requested the unions on strike to be considerate since the GCE ordinary level examination is to commence today. Meanwhile the private bus operators association states that steps have been taken to run sufficient buses in view of the examination.

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The Board of Investment plans to set up a system for online approval of investment proposals.

The Board of Investment is planning to set up a system for online approvals of investment proposals. The Board is in the process of setting up an effective virtual one-stop shop for investment approvals. The Board will be receiving World Bank support for this endeavour. When the system is set up, an investor will be able to submit one application which goes through 24 line agencies which will process it and approve it, unless it needs other approvals like environmental impact assessments. The BOI will sign agreements with all the 24 agencies that will need to be involved. The new system is expected to come online during the first half of 2018.

All steps have been taken to conduct the GCE ordinary level examination.

Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam states that all measures have been taken to conduct the GCE ordinary level exam which is due to begin tomorrow. The minister earnestly requests all candidates sitting for the exam to abide by examination rules.  He also requests parents, to make sure that the students are at the examination centers on time. The Exam will commence at 8.30 a.m. and candidates need to be in their respective examination halls by at least 8.00 a.m. Candidates need to produce their Admission card along with their National Identity card or valid passport. Invigilators have been given special instructions to be attentive to cheating at examinations by the use of Smart Wrist watches, Mobile phones and other electronic devices. Offenders will be barred from siting any public examination conducted by the Department of Examinations for a period of five years. Their examination results will also be annulled. The invigilators have also been advised to notify the Department of examinations and the Police Headquarters should there be any interference from outside parties hindering the conduct of the exam. Unauthorized persons are strictly prohibited from entering examination centres while the exam is being conducted. Thereby, during the period the exam is conducted; construction work, holiday classes, sports activities and various celebrations have been prohibited within the school premises. Candidates and parents can notify the Department of Examinations of any irregularities by dialling short code 1911. They could also contact the Police emergency Line on short code 119.

Rules and regulations pertaining to the forthcoming local government elections will be enforced form today.

Police spokesman Superintendent of Police Ruwan Guansekera states that rules and regulations pertaining to the forthcoming elections will be enforced from today. Stern action will be taken against those who violate election laws. Accepting nominations will be carried out in three stages. In the first stage nominations will be called  from today until the 14th of this month. 93 local government bodies across 21 districts are included in the 1st stage.  The police headquarters states that 10,000 police officers will be deployed in the exercise of implementing election laws. A police election secretariat has been established at the police headquarters and 42 zonal election officers will be functioning. Political marches are prohibited  until and on the final day of accepting nominations. Posters and banners will also be banned. However,  the candidates vehicle can display a poster bearing his photograph. Loudspeaker system can be used only within the ground used for the purpose of political rallies and not beyond. Since the GCE ordinary level examination will be held during the period of accepting nominations election propaganda obstructing the smooth conduct of the examinations will not be permitted in anyway. Additional elections commissioner M.M.Mohammed announced that the period  for applying for postal votes has been extended  to the 22nd of this month. A separate section will be operational at the election secretariat to accept complaints.

Legal action initiated against errant traders selling cosmetics hazardous to health.

The Consumer Affairs Authority states that legal action will be taken against outlets that sell cosmetics that can cause severe skin disorders. The Authority requests the public to reject cosmetic brands that do not bear the name of the manufacturer, importer or distributor. It points out that the public are lured into purchasing certain creams that promised instant results in bringing about a fair complexion. The public is advised to be conscious regarding the contents of these products. Recently, the Consumer Affairs Authority took samples of creams that were supposed to be of high demand in the Pettah area. It was discovered that these products did not even have an expiry dates. The samples were forwarded for laboratory testing in order to ascertain as to whether they contain heavy metals that are hazardous to health. Thereby the public is discouraged from purchasing the brands; Glow, Meuna, Golden Pearl, Goree – Beauty Cream, Goree – Day & Night Whitening
Cream and Fresh & White Beauty Cream.
The apprehended traders were produced before the Maligakanda Magistrate Court and were fined 5000 rupees each.

The CTB launches an island-wide programme to facilitate commuters.

The Sri Lanka Transport Board has launched an island-wide programme to facilitate commuters in view of the ongoing railway trade union action. Usually 5700 CTB buses are deployed on a routine basis. However, in view of the present situation one thousand additional buses have been deployed. Due to school children being on vacation 750 school buses and 60 long distance and luxury buses will be deployed to facilitate commuters. Chairman of the Ceylon Transport Board Ramal Siriwardhana states that railway season ticket holders and passengers who have reserved train tickets are able to travel in these buses free of charge.

He added that Students sitting for the GCE ordinary level examination which is due to commence tomorrow are able to travel even in private buses by producing their season ticket.

A ‘Santa Clause race’ for charity in Spain

More than 7,000 people dressed as Santa Claus ran through the capital of Spain yesterday to raise funds for cancer treatment and research. Participants in the annual event raced five kilometers in central Madrid as light snow fell across the city. Some ran with their babies in carriages dressed in Santa Claus costumes. Some ran with their dogs in Santa outfits. Each runner donated one euro to a cancer research foundation. One runner was quoted saying, it is a very good way to start the Christmas season.

The UK's Brexit negotiator David Davis says the EU deal is not binding.

The UK's Brexit negotiator David Davis has described the deal struck by Theresa May to move to the next phase of talks as a "statement of intent". He said it was not "legally enforceable" and if the UK failed to get a trade deal with the EU then it would not pay its divorce bill.

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UPFA and SLFP General Secretaries sign nomination papers for local government polls.

General Secretaries of the UPFA and the SLFP today signed the nomination papers of their respective candidates contesting the election for local government institutions. It took place at the SLFP headquarters in Colombo. Speaking on the occasion SLFP general secretary Duminda Dissanayake said the party would contest Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Gampaha districts and the Northern and Eastern provinces under the ‘Hand’ symbol.

The cost of living committee meets tomorrow

 

The cost of living committee will meet tomorrow presided by President Maithripala Sirisena. Minister Risath Bathiudeen says relief to be given to the people will be discussed at the meeting. Speaking to the media in Colombo, the minister said the government has taken measures to bring down the prices of rice & coconuts. He added that maximum retail prices of several essential commodities would be gazetted tomorrow. Thereafter, raids will be conducted island wide to nab traders who sell these commodities at high prices.

Accepting postal voting applications close on 15th of December for local government polls

 

Accepting nominations will begin tomorrow for the 93 local government institutions, for which nominations were called two weeks ago. Additional commissioner of elections M.M. Mohammad said nominations would close at 12 noon on the 14th of December. Deposits will be accepted until 12 noon on the 13th of December.
He also said applications would be accepted for postal voting until the 15th of December. According to the additional commissioner of elections, deposits will be accepted until 12 noon on 21st of December for the 248 LG bodies for which nominations were called on the 4th of December. For these LG bodies nominations will be accepted from the 18th to the 21st of December.

Every educational zone is to have a pool of surplus teachers

Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam promises to provide employment to 15,000 graduates. He says the country’s youths will not have to stage agitations, demanding jobs. Addressing a recent function in Battaramulla, minister Kariyawasam also said every educational zone would have a pool of surplus teachers in order to improve the efficiency of school education. He said every vacancy in the education ministry would be gazetted on an annual basis.

Sri Lanka records an easy 7 wicket victory over India in the first one day international

 

Sri Lanka recorded an easy 7 wicket victory over India in the first one day international in Dharamsala today. Sent in to bat first, India managed only 112 all out in 38.2 overs. After losing their first 7 wickets for 29 runs, Mahendra Singh Dhoni made 65 runs to give some respectability to the Indian total. Suranga Lakmal was the pick of the bowlers, taking four wickets for 13 runs. Sri Lanka reached their target easily, taking 20.4 overs and losing only 3 wickets on the way. Upul Tharanga made 49.

The budget next year was passed in Parliament yesterday by a two third majority

 

The 3rd reading of the budget for next year was passed in Parliament yesterday by a two third majority. 155 votes in favour of the budget and 56 voted against it. The Tamil National Alliance voted in favour of the budget with the government.
The Appropriation Draft Bill including the whole expenditure for next year was presented in Parliament on the 9th of last October

The Local Government Elections Amendment Bill was also passed by a majority of 88 votes

The Local Government Elections Amendment Bill was passed in the parliament yesterday by a majority of 88 votes. The bill was passed with 137 voting for and 49 voting against the proposed amendment Bill. Eight members of parliament abstained from voting.
Commencing the 2nd reading debate of the amendment bill, Minister Faizer Mustafa said this bill bring with the aim to solve several technological issues. The objective is to provide justice for all. Some are acting forwarding the communalism in the country. He also stated that this amendment has been forwarded according to the request of the Election commission.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said it is expected to conduct all LG polls in a single day.

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