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'Plastic rice' seized in Nigeria

Nigeria has confiscated 2.5 tonnes of "plastic rice" smuggled into the country by unscrupulous businessmen, the customs service says. Lagos customs Chief Haruna Mamudu said the fake rice was intended to be sold in markets during the festive season.


Sri Lankan Under 19 Cricket team has been qualified for the Finals of Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup tournament.

Sri Lankan Under 19 Cricket team has been qualified for the Finals of Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup tournament. Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by 26 runs under Duckworth Lewis method in the 2nd Semi-Final played yesterday at R. Premadasa stadium in Colombo. Batting first Bangladesh made 194 in 48.3 overs. In reply Sri Lanka were 106 for 2 when rain interrupted the play. Wicketkeeper Batsman Vishwa Chathuranga made the highest score of 68 for Sri Lanka.

The President affirms his dedication to build a better country for the next generation.

President Maithripala Sirisena affirms his dedications towards building a better country for the next generation.

Speaking at Literary and Cultural festival of Samurdhi Children Societies, the President said the government is vested with a responsibility to empower next generation to maximum. The event was held this evening at BMICH.


The Prime Minister office expresses satisfaction over the projects initiated in early nineties.

The Prime Minister’s office says that the community projects initiated in between 1993 and 1995 are progressing well.

Jana Saviya Trust Fund started during that period runs development programmes covering the entire island. The Premier’s office has taken action to review the current status of these programmes by obtaining details from divisional secretaries.


The development special provisions bill is to be tabled in the parliament early next year.

Minister Malick Samarawickrema says that the Development Special Provisions Bill will be tabled in the parliament in next February. Speaking to media this evening, the minister said, the government aims a speedy development in the country.


The government measures to ensure price stability in the rice market by importing rice.

The government decides to maintain price stability in the rice market by importing rice. A proposal submitted by Minister Rishard Bathiuddeen has been approved by the cabinet of ministers.Inclement weather prevailed during this year has affected paddy cultivation of Maha Season, resulting less cultivation in paddy lands all over the island.


The President pledges that the government is committed to serve the war heroes.

The national war heroes  collective headed by Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera met President Maithripala Sirisena today at the Presidential Secretariat. The presented the problems faced by war heroes and the President focused special attention to this issue.

The President said that the government is always committed to enhance the welfare of war heroes and their families. All required facilities will be given to them. The proposed new constitution will cause no harm on the national security in the country. The President stressed that he will stand by the war heroes as the Chief of the armed forces.

The present government has arranged a pension scheme for the disabled soldiers who have a service of less than 12 years. They have given the opportunity to rejoin the public service.  The president stated that the government will achieve the responsibility towards the war heroes in future as well.

The war heroes expressed gratitude to the president for the service he has rendered to them. They added that they have strong confidence over the President.

A sum of 7 billion rupees has been allocated for fertilizer subsidy.

The Treasury has released 7 billion rupees to the Agriculture Ministry to be distributed among the farmers to purchase fertilizer for the Maha season.As per the request of the agriculture Ministry another 1.5 billion rupees was released today.


The new electronic national identity card will be issued by mid next year.

Commissioner general of the Department of registration of persons Vianni Gunathilleka says the existing national identity cards will be replaced by a  new electronic card by mid next year. All persons over 15 years will be issued with this e-NIC.

Bio data and bio metric data such as blood group of a person will also be included in this new electronic card. The relevant regulations have already been prepared by the department of legal draft. It will be submitted to the parliament and the cabinet next month for approval.

Lists of all details of persons will be set up in each divisional secretariat and they will be networked with the department of registration of persons by next month. The commissioner general says about 16 million people will be issued with the new e-NIC cards and people will be able to get their services from government institutions very easily by producing the  new card.

Dozens killed in Mexico fireworks blast

An explosion at a fireworks market outside Mexico City has killed at least 29 people. Dozens of other people were injured as the blast hit the San Pablito fireworks market, about 32 kilometers outside the city. Officials said a number of children were among those who were badly burned, on up to 90 percent of their bodies.
Video from the scene showed a large number of fireworks rocketing into the air as they caught fire. Fireworks continued to explode after the initial blast, as smoke billowed from the area in thick black clouds. Dozens of paramedics and police attended the scene. The cause of the explosions is not yet known. Locals have been told to avoid the area and keep roads clear.

Rs. 7,000m allocated to provide fertilizer subsidy for paddy farmers in Maha season

The Treasury has given 5,500 million rupees to the Ministry of Agriculture to provide fertilizer subsidy for the farmers who are engaged in cultivation in the Maha season. The Ministry of Finance says an additional 1500 million rupees will be released today for the process. A sum of 25,000 rupees is to be given for a farmer to purchase fertilizers for a hectare. The money which is released by the treasury will be deposited in the bank accounts of farmers by the Ministry of agriculture. 
The Treasury has allocated 55,000 million rupees for next year to provide money instead of fertilizer. The treasury is to deposit money directly in the bank accounts of farmers from next year since a data base of farmers who are eligible to receive the fertilizer subsidy has been created. 

Fresh water fisheries industry achieves a remarkable growth

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says the freshwater fisheries industry has shown a growth of 4.1 percent, although dry weather prevailed throughout this year. As a whole, 
both the sea water and fresh water fisheries industries have achieved a growth of two percent this year.
The fresh water fisheries industry is expected to have a growth of eight percent next year due to the measures taken to develop the sector. Total fish production of the country till October this year exceeds 432,000 metric tons. 
It has received a contribution of 14 percent from the fresh water fisheries industry. The programme titled 
“Wewak Samaga Gamak” has been implemented for the development of the fresh water fisheries industry. The government and the Indian government will allocate 
300 million rupees each for the programme. This information was revealed at the progress review meeting held at the Ministry of Fisheries recently. 

A national integration and reconciliation week to be implemented from next year

A national integration and reconciliation week is to be implemented from 8th to 14th of Januaryfrom next year with the objective of promoting peace, brotherhood and loving kindness among people. Programmes will be organized with the support of schools, media, government and private institutions to emphasize the importance of national integration. The cabinet has approved the proposal presented in this regard. 

Programme to handover title deeds to 100,000 families in Mahaweli zones now in progress

Handing over of title deeds to 17,500 persons in Embilipitiya, who do not have legal right to their lands, will take place in the near future. It is carried out under the government’s programme to provide title deeds to 100,000 families in the Mahaweli Zones, which is a concept of the President. The people living in Mahaweli zones will receive legal rights for the lands they live in. Deeds 
are to be presented for the residents in the divisions of Angunukolapelessa, Chandrika Wewa, Mayura Pura, Muravesihena, Kiri-ibban-aara and Suriyawewa. The ceremony in this regard will be held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena in the near future. 

Berlin attack: Lorry driver suspect 'denies involvement'

The suspect in the Berlin lorry attack that killed 12 people and injured 48 others has denied any involvement, Germany's interior minister said. Berlin police chief Klaus Kandt later said he could not confirm the suspect in custody was the driver of the lorry. The man being held is believed to have arrived in Germany from Pakistan at the end of last year.

The President says politicians belonging to local government bodies misused their power and engaged in corrupt activities during last few decades.

President Maithripala Sirisena says politicians belonging to local government bodies misused their power and engaged in corrupt activities during last few decades. The President added that as a result of such situations the political parties, the governments and the leaders of them were disgraced and rejected by the people.

The President made these comments at the “Swarna Purawara” award ceremony which was held at the Nelum Pokuna Theater this afternoon. He highlighted that the leaders of the local government bodies who have been vested with many powers need to work for the betterment of the general public.

President Sirisena pointed out that it is the duty of the politicians and government officials to look into the problems of the people and giving redress to them. The “Swarna Purawara” award ceremony is organized annually by the Ministry of provincial councils and local government bodies. The best local government bodies out of 335 such institutes in the country were felicitated at the event. 

The Prime Minister promises expeditious development in 2017.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says the development activities of the country will be expedited in year 2017. He added that basically sectors like tourism, industries, ports will be further improved. The foundation for the mega economic transformation was laid last year.

The Prime Minister also said that political stability was the primary focus of the government during the first year of the administration. The Prime Minister made these comments at a function held at the Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo today. The event was held to grants deeds to people who were given housing units. 2,667 people were received deeds. 

Compensation and salary dues to family members of deceased and injured migrant workers were granted.

Compensation and salary dues to family members of deceased and injured migrant workers were granted under the patronage of Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera and Minister of Foreign Employment Thalatha Athukorala. Thirty Nine family members received Seventy Two million Sri Lankan rupees from the Minister at the ceremony.

This was the fifth compensation awarding ceremony organized by the Ministry this year. Minister Samaraweera appreciated valuable contribution of migrant workers to the national economy by way of foreign exchange remitances from abroad. The Ministry was able to secure compensation and salary dues with the assistance of Sri Lanka Missions in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Lebanon, Oman and Jordan.

These payments were a result of initiatives and constant follow up action pursued by the Sri Lanka Missions and a large portion of the payments were secured through legal action by some of these Missions. The majority of beneficiaries present at the event were from rural areas.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was able to disburse approximately Sri Lanka Rupees 210 million as compensation and salary dues among 143 families last year. A sum of Sri Lanka Rupees 274 million has already been distributed among 155 families for the current year. 

German Police say lorry crash 'probably a terror attack'

German police are investigating a "probable terrorist attack" after a man ploughed a lorry into a Christmas market in the heart of Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring 48. According to security sources cited by DPA news agency, the driver is an Afghan or Pakistani asylum seeker.

He reportedly arrived in Germany in February as a refugee. German news reports say the man was known to the police for minor crimes, but not terror links. German politicians had avoided branding the bloodshed a terror attack in the hours immediately following, but Interior Minister
Thomas de Maiziere said, "there are many things pointing to one".

Telecommunication sector achieves remarkable progress

The Ministry of Finance says the telecommunication sector of the country has achieved a remarkable progress recently. It has shown a growth of 21 percent in the first six months of this year. The increase in mobile phones used has resulted this situation.

Total number of mobile phone subscriptions has exceeded 24 million during the first six months of this year. It is an increase of 5.6 percent in comparison to the same period of last year. The number of fixed lines during the period has gone up to 3 million. The use of internet and email have increased by 11.4 percent.

3 hospitals in Gampaha district to be developed

The Ministry of Health has taken measures to develop three hospitals in Gampaha district. They are Gampaha Base Hospital, Negombo District Hospital and Wathupitiwala Base Hospital. Subject Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne visited the hospitals recently.

 After focusing attention on lack of equipments in the new building of the Gampaha Base Hospital the minister pledged to provide them as soon as possible. He also assured that the drug storage facility at Wathupitiwala Base Hospital will be modernized. The Minister also informed the company that is handling the renovation of the nine storied building at Negombo district hospital to complete the work by the month of April.

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