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Cuba nominates Castro replacement Miguel Díaz-Canel

Cuba's parliament has picked Raúl Castro's right-hand man, Miguel Díaz-Canel, as the sole candidate to succeed him, ending the family's long rule.Mr Castro took over as president from his ailing brother Fidel in 2006. An improvement in relations with the US which began under Barack Obama has been partially reversed since Donald Trump entered the White House.
Mr Castro is expected to remain a powerful influence in the communist state even after he steps down.The National Assembly has voted on the nomination but the result will not be announced until Thursday, when he is expected to formally pass the presidency to Mr Díaz-Canel.

The president says, Sri Lanka's "Blue Green Economic Plan" will assure environmental friendly and sustainable development.

‘President Maithripala Sirisena says Sri Lankan Government’s “Blue-Green” economic plan will ensure the full utilization of the ocean and other natural resources of Sri Lanka in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. Delivering the keynote address at the Commonwealth Business Forum, today the president appealed to all to join hands with the Commonwealth countries as well as others to bring prosperity with best business practices that will promote social responsibility and ensure social inclusiveness. In 2015, the world came together and agreed upon a common vision for a sustainable future in adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Plan of Action we agreed upon is inspiring. Therefore it is very important to eradicate poverty, to address climate change and to build peaceful inclusive societies.

In many countries, like in Sri Lanka, Heads of State and Government are personally leading these efforts. Inclusive and sustainable business models will lead to sustainable development, especially projected towards the longer term.

The President Sirisena further said that good business practices would be a catalyst for peace and good governance.

Fisheries minister says Sri Lanka Fisheries Corporation has been able to provide f fish at lower rates to consumers.

Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera says, Sri Lanka Fisheries Corporation has been able to provide a number of varieties of fish at lower rates to consumers. Due to this more prices of fish in the local market during the festive season were reported very low. The minister said that, some unscrupulous traders attempted to increase the prices to exploit  consumers. The minister added that, Ceylon Fisheries Corporation has earned a recorded income during this festive season.

"LAK SATHOSA" has marked a recorded income of 4 billion rupees during the festive season.

"LAK SATHOSA" has marked a recorded income of 4 billion rupees during the festive season.
Director of the Ministry of Industries and Commerce Mrs.Indika Ranatunga says that, this is the highest income the "LAK SATHOSA has gained in its history. "LAK SATHOSA" has provided 40 percent discount for some essential food items during the festive season. Mrs.Ranatunga told the SLBC that more consumer gathered at "LAK SATHOSA outlets island-wide. She added that no complaint has been receipted from any consumer during this period.

The government says, chemical fertilizers will be provided to farmers without any delay or shortage during the upcoming Maha season.

Minister Duminda Dissanayake assures that the  chemical fertilizer required for farmers during the upcoming maha season will be made available without any shortage or delay. A bag of 50 kilo gram of fertilizer will be sold at a subsidized price of 500 rupees through Agrarian services centres. A 50 KG bag for another crops will be sold at 1500 rupees.  Addressing the media briefing at his ministry today, the minister said, adequate amounts of fertilizer has been stored  in the warehouses island-wide. The minister requests the farmers and the public to inform any mal-practice or irregularities in distributing fertilizer via hot line: 0113 03 66 66

Dilantha Malagamuwa will take part in the first class motor race event in Italy.

Sri Lanka's Motor racing Ace Dilantha Malagamuwa will take part in the Lambogini Super Crossio first class international motor racing competition to be held in Monza Track in Italy on Saturday and Sunday. This is the 1st international event where Malagamuwa participates in. He secured the 3rd place in the same event last year.

CIA chief, made secret trip to North Korea.

CIA director Mike Pompeo travelled to Pyongyang for a secret meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, US media report.
The meeting to prepare for direct talks between US President Donald Trump and Mr Kim took place over Easter weekend, unnamed officials said.
Mr Trump had earlier alluded to high-level direct talks with Pyongyang.
But this unexpected and clandestine meeting would mark the highest level US contact with North Korea since 2000.

Addressing the Sri Lankans in London the President says that attempts by some elements to propagate false information have become a big blow to Sri Lanka's forward march.

President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the Sri Lankan community living in London said that the attempts made by some to hide the truth and promote the falsehood are a hindrance to the forward march of the Motherland. Therefore, the President invited the Sri Lankan community living in London to assist the journey of building the country with a proper understanding of the real situation of the Motherland. He made these remarks addressing a meeting held with the Sri Lankan community living in London, yesterday.


The Prime Minister meets the Maha Nayakes of Malwathu and Asgiriya chapters.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe visited the temple of the tooth in Kandy today and engaged in religious observances Maha Sangha chanted Seth Pirith and invoke blessings to the premier. The premier also met Maha Nayake of the Malawatta Chapter in Malwathu viharaya and Maha Nayake of the Asgiriya Chapter at the Asgiriya Temple and had mutual discussions.

Sri Lanka has pledged to provide financial facilities for small states in the commonwealth.

In order to help Small States get access to global markets, Sri Lanka pledged financial contribution to setup the Small States Trade Financial Facility yesterday, on the margins of the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London. Minister Mangala Samaraweera signed this agreement on behalf of Sri Lanka


Microsoft Founder Bill Gates hails Sri Lanka's primary health care system.

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates hails Sri Lanka for its enhanced primary healthcare. Addressing the Commonwealth joint plenary session in London Yeasterday, he asked the Commonwealth to look to Sri Lanka to know what ‘high quality’ primary healthcare meant. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have developed very high quality primary healthcare systems staffed primarily by women healthcare workers, which model other countries are following.


US GSP for Sri Lanka will be effective again from April 22.

Minister Rishard Badeudeen says the re-authorised US Generelized System of Preference (GSP) to Sri Lanka will be in effect from April 22. US President Donal Trump re-authorised US GSP facility for 120 beneficiary countries when he signed the US Omnibus Spending Bill on March 23. US is the leading buyer of Sri Lankan exports over the years and it continued its lead last year. Sri Lanka’s total exports to US last year was almost notching 3 Billion dollars threshold at 2.9 Billion dollars. This is a growth of 3.65 percent from 2016’s 2.8 Billion dollars.

Chemical inspectors enter Syria's Douma, amid concerns for probe

International investigators entered the Syrian town that was hit by an alleged chemical attack, after days of delay and warnings by Western powers that crucial evidence had likely been removed. The suspected April 7th gas attack on Douma, near Damascus, reportedly left more than 40 people dead, and was blamed by Western powers on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


The President to deliver the key-note address at the Commonwealth Business Forum, today.

President Maithripala Sirisena will deliver the Keynote address at the Commonwealth Business Forum, today.He will speak on the theme, “Delivering Sustainable Development Goals: Aligning Business, Society and the Government”.Meanwhile, the President joined in a gathering with Sri Lankans residing in London, last evening.


Minister Mangala Samaraweera says Sri Lanka is in the process of taking measures to curb financial crime.

Minister of Finance and Media: Mangala Samaraweera speaking at a roundtable discussion on ‘Financial Regulation: Working Together to Address De-Risking,’ held on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, at the Mansion House in London, yesterday said, Sri Lanka has long identified the risk of financial crime as a priority area, given the country’s history in battling a sophisticated terror organization.


The World Bank points out the need to accelerate means of generating employment in the country.

The World Bank’s latest edition of South Asia Economic Focus titled “Jobless Growth?” alerted that massive job creation is needed in the South Asian countries in the next decade to catch-up with other countries with similar income levels.


Meters for three wheelers mandatory from next Friday.

Meters are compulsory for the three wheelers that transport passengers, from next Friday. Chairman of the National Council for Road Safety Dr. Sisira Kodagoda says that this decision has been taken in the best interest of the passengers, and to upgrade the quality of the three wheeler service.

The government is focused upon several amendments in the circular pertaining to admitting students to grade one classes.

Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has instructed all relevant officials to provide information to the public, with full transparency, when admitting students to Grade One classes. He gave this instruction at a Progress Evaluation Meeting of the Ministry of Education, held recently. Lengthy discussions took place regarding the circular and the procedure in admitting students to Grade One Classes in 2019.


Parliamentarian Ajith Mannapperuma says the present government has been able to change the existing political culture in the island.

Parliamentarian Ajith Mannapperuma says the present government has been able to change the existing political culture in the island.  The tradition that the two major parties ruling the country from time to time has been changed and the two parties joined together to form this government. It is not surprising that the new system faces many challenges in implementing this novel system. Participating in a programme over this SLBC this morning,


The University non academic staff return to duties

The university authorities say that the university non academic staff has returned to work from today. They added that the activities of the universities will be functioned at full scale with the help of the non academic staff as soon as possible. Dean of the medical faculty of the University of Kelaniya Professor Mrs. Nilanthi de Silva stated that the lectures will be continued even on Saturdays and Sundays to cover up the delayed lectures.


The national identity card number will be used as the member identity number of the employees provident fund.

The department of Labour has decided to use the national identity card number as the member identity number of the employees provident fund.  Accordingly, the computer data of the EPF members of the semi government and private institutions are being updated at present. 


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