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Last updateTue, 21 Nov 2017 8pm

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Egypt 'kills head of Islamic State's Sinai branch'.

The Egyptian military says it has killed the head of the Sinai branch of so-called Islamic State, along with dozens of its fighters. It said Abu Duaa al-Ansari was killed in a series of air strikes on fighters of the Sinai Province - or Ansar Beit al-Maqdis - group. The air strikes targeted jihadist strongholds near the town of El-Arish. Sinai Province is Egypt's most active insurgent group and has been linked to deadly attacks in Sinai and Cairo.

The President requests the students of the Jaffna University to continue their studies as their security has been tightened.

President Maithripala Sirisena requests the students of the Jaffna University to continue their studies without fear or suspicion as the security of the university premises has been strictly confirmed. At a meeting with the Vice Chancellor and lecturers of the university and a group of parents at the Presidential Secretariat this evening, the President said students should not have fear to continue their education in the university.

Police and security forces have been instructed to act sensitively in the matters pertaining to students. The government is committed to strengthen the safety of the students. Addressing the gathering Vice Chancellor Mrs. Wasanthi Alasarathnam said measures have been taken not to repeat clashes among students in the university again. A decision was taken to setup a special committee within the University for their safety.

More jobs for Sri Lankans in Israel.

The Israel government has positively responded to a request made by Minister Thalatha Athukorala to increase job opportunities for Sri Lankan workers in Israel. Accordingly, Israel has granted 300 job opportunities last year it has been increased up to 350 this year. There is high demand for Sri Lankan skilled workers in Israel at present.

New loan system for estate youth to start self employments.

Ministry of Upcountry Development along with the Bank of Ceylon has started a new loan system for estate youth to start self employment. Loans will be granted at the concessionary rate of eight percent interest to start various employments. Under the first stage Minister
P. Digambaram distributed loans to a group of youths today. This loan programme is being implemented in Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Kandy, Matale, Kalutara, Ratnapura and Kegalle districts.

Indian parliament backs key tax bill

India's parliament has passed the much-awaited Goods and Services Tax  bill.  The tax reform has been labelled a landmark and India's biggest tax reform since independence.

The changes aim to streamline India's fragmented tax system with a single levy. Indian businesses have been lobbying for the single tax rate as it would reduce costs, particularly for shipping goods across state borders.

"Siyasetha Sewana" Housing Complex built at a cost of 1,330 million rupees in Maligawatte will be declared open by the President and Prime Minister tomorrow.

"Siyasetha Sewana" Housing Complex built at a cost of 1,330 million rupees in Maligawatte will be declared open by the President Maithripala Sirisena tomorrow.
"Siyasetha Sewana" housing project was implemented by the Urban Development Authority under the direction of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development. It comprises of 266 housing units, each valued at 5 million rupees.

Residents of Maligawatte Tower Flat, Rajagiriya Welupullewatta, and Panchikawatta Abeysingharama road are the main beneficiaries of this project, which provides all sanitary and infrastructure facilities for the owners.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Mega polis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka, Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Minister Faizer Musthapa, and Mujibar Rahuman MP will participate.

special discussions will be held tonight to discuss the future plans of the SLFP.

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says two rounds of special discussions will be held tonight to discuss the future plans of the SLFP.  Minister made these remarks at a media conference held in Colombo today.

 He further said some elements tried to divide the party through Pada Yathara held recently. But, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is strong enough to defend itself.  Minister also noted the 65th anniversary of SLFP will be commemorated on 2nd of September.  The special celebrations to mark this event will be held on the 4th of September in Kurunegala.

The Right to Information Act which was passed recently in parliament will be implemented effective from today.

The Right to Information Act which was passed recently in parliament will be implemented effective from today. The Speaker of parliament has signed the special document in this regard.  Deputy minister of parliamentary reforms and mass media Karunaratne Paranavithana said accordingly, the stage of RTI implementation will be carried within the next six months.

He further said an independent commission will also be established according to the provision of the RTI Act.  The common public can enjoy the benefits of RTI within  the next six months.

 This Act will also strengthened the relationship between the government and common masses.  Speaking at this conference the director general of government information department Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya said the RTI Bill which was passed in Sri Lankan parliament was the 7th best Act in the world.  He also pointed out a special day to commemorate the right to information falls on 28th of September every year.

The government has decided to distribute death certificates for the victims died due to the recent floods and landslide disasters.

The government has decided to distribute death certificates for the victims died due to the recent floods and landslide disasters.  The registrar general G.M. Gunasekera said a relevant gazette notification will be published in near future.

 The district secretaries of the relevant districts have already submitted the details of deceased victims to the register general department. Mr. Gunasekera further said once the gazette notification is published, the death certificates will be issued at the divisional secretariat level.

Leading Indonesian businessmen to invest in Sri Lanka.

Leading Indonesian businessmen say they are keen to commence investing in Sir Lanka, taking into advantage of the  political stability in the country.  

They have discussed on this issue with the visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister and its representatives in Jakarta recently. The Indonesian heads of Board of commerce were also participated at the discussion.  Special attention was also focused to exchange views cooperative between the two parties. 

Minister Kabir Haseem said the bilateral agreements signed during the past period has restricted to common documents.

 Minister Kabir Haseem said the expected targets were not able to be achieved during the previous regime as  the bilateral agreements signed during the period were only restricted to mere documents. 

He made this comment at a ministerial session held under the theme of the task force of the private sector of 12th world Islam economic regional summit held in Indonesia.

  He pointed out that the country has prepared the foundation to export opportunities to foreign investors for Sri Lankan production without imposing levy. 

The number of female expatriates engaged in overseas employment has come down.

Deputy minister Manusha Nanayakkara says the female expatriates engaged in foreign employment have  declined between 37 and 40 percent.

  He made this comment at a ceremony held in Colombo recently.  The government has implemented a programme to send more youth for overseas jobs.  

The Olympic torch arrives in Rio de Janeiro

The Olympic torch has arrived in Rio de Janeiro by boat after a three-month tour of Brazilian cities.
The mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, carried the torch on its first few laps through the city centre.

The torch arrived in Rio by boat accompanied by Brazilian Olympic gold medallist yachtsmen, Lars Grael (L)
In order to prevent traffic chaos during the Olympic torch relay, Rio's Mayor Eduardo Paes announced Thursday will be a holiday.

The National Policy on Alcohol Control to be launched today.

President Maithripala Sirisena will launch the National Policy on Alcohol Control today. It will take place at the 2016 national alcohol prevention conference scheduled to commence in Colombo today. The national policy includes measures to prevent all forms of activities that promote liquor production and to protect the public from alcohol.


A meeting between the President and the parents of Jaffna University students to be held today.

A meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and parents of the students of Jaffna University will be held today. Parents of the students who are unable to engage in academic activities in the university still, have been invited for a discussion in this regard.  


AG's report on Norochcholai coal deal to be presented to the COPE.

Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe says his report on Norochcholai coal deal will be presented to the COPE committee within 2 weeks. It is being submitted according to a request made by the committee


One dead and several injured in London kniife attack.

A woman has died and five others were injured in a knife attack in Russell Square, central London. Police and ambulance crews were called around 10.30 pm yesterday local time, to reports of a man in possession of a knife and injuring people. Up to six injured people were found at the scene; one woman was pronounced dead a short time later. The man was arrested after a taser was discharged by one of the arresting officers. The Metropolitan Police say Terrorism is one possible motive being explored. (BBC)

Australia awaits another trial by spin in the 2nd test against SL.

The 2nd Test between Sri Lanka and Australia will begin at Galle today. Australia enters the match 1-nil down in the three-match series and a losing campaign would likely result in them slipping from number one on the rankings. They could even fall as far as third. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will be keen to continue its winning streak with its new heroes


Sri Lanka and Indonesia join hands in combating human, arms and drugs smuggling

Sri Lanka and Indonesia emphasize the need of a close cooperation in combating human, arms and drugs smuggling.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe discussed the requirement on setting up a collective plan about a system in this regard with Indonesian Law and Defence Minister Virantho.


The government focuses attention on improving basic facilities provided to prisoners.

The government focuses its attention on improving basic facilities provided to detainees of Prisons and rehabilitating them.

A special committee co-chaired by ministers of Prison Reforms and Law will conduct detailed study and submit the recommendations to the government.


Sri Lanka holds an international conference on Asian Food Production.

Sri Lanka holds an international conference on food production in the next decade in Asia.

Around 60 delegates of 12 countries attend the conference. The gathering, which commenced yesterday at Negambo, continues until Friday.

Additional secretary of the ministry of agriculture Dr. Suba Heenkenda told that Sri Lanka has been chosen to host the conference for its popularity in growing vegetables, fruits and paddy.


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