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Wed01242018

Last updateWed, 24 Jan 2018 8am

Latest News

New Commissioners appointed to the Mediation Boards Commission.

5 new commissioners have been appointed to the Mediation Boards Commission. President Maithripala Sirisena has made the appointments in this regard. Retired Supreme Court judge Hector S. Yapa is the chairperson of the commission while retired judges Nimal Dissanayaka, Chandradasa Nanayakkara, M. Somasunderam and Palila B. Jurampathy are the members.

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State of emergency declared in Italy quake zone.


Italy has declared a state of emergency in the regions worst hit by Wednesday's earthquake as hopes of finding more survivors fade. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged 50 million euros in funds for rebuilding. At least 250 people are now known to have died and 365 were injured. Teams have continued to search the rubble of toppled buildings for a second night. However, hundreds of aftershocks have hampered the efforts of the 5,000 rescuers.

Italy earthquake: Aftershocks hamper rescue efforts.

Hundreds of aftershocks have rocked devastated areas of central Italy, hampering search efforts after a deadly earthquake. A strong tremor with magnitude 4.3 struck on Thursday afternoon, sending rescuers fleeing from already fragile buildings.

About 5,000 rescue workers are combing through rubble for survivors using heavy machinery or bare hands. At least 250 people are now known to have died afterWednesday's quake.

The Colombo Process Summit has decided to take measures on five major topics relating to foreign employments.

Minister of Foreign Employment Thalatha Athukorala says the Colombo Process Summit this year has decided to take future measures on five major topics relating to foreign employments. Accordingly, special attention has been focused to enhance vocational skills of Sri Lankan migrant workers.

At a press briefing held in Colombo yesterday the Minister said the Colombo process Ministerial summit was held with the participation of representatives from 11 countries. Cambodia also joined as a new member to this summit. Minister Thalatha Athukorala has been appointed as the Chairman of the Colombo process summit this year. 

The President denies news report of the Australian website.

President Maithripala Sirisena’s attention has been drawn on a news item that was published on the website of Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald in connection with an incident involving a staff member of President Sirisena, during his tenure as Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Services in 2009.

While noting that he had no involvement in the said incident the President has advised the Attorney General to take the necessary steps in this regard. The President has reiterated that during his political career, he has not engaged in any act of corruption or fraud nor has he endorsed anyone who engaged in these acts. 

Minister Ravi Karunanayake attends SAARC Finance Ministers' Summit being held in Islamabad.

Sri Lanka's Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake will leave for Pakistan to participate in the 8th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation alias SAARC Finance Ministers' Summit to be held in Islamabad. The two-day SAARC Finance Ministers' Summit commenced in Islamabad today to discuss matters related to banking and free trade among the SAARC countries.

The ministerial meeting to be heldtomorrow will be presided by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The finance ministers' meeting will discuss ways of expanding trade and investment in the region and operation of SAARC Development Fund for Infrastructure Development.

Measures would also be proposed for introducing a South Asian Economic Union. Minister Ravi Karunanayake will be accompanied by Secretary to the Finance Ministry Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga and a group of representatives from the Foreign Resources Department.

The local government election will be held during the first half of next year.

Parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardena says the local government election should be held immediately. He added that for a healthy democracy it is compulsory to hold the local government election under any electoral system. The Parliamentarian was speaking in House today. Deputy Minister Ashoka Abeysinghe said that the government has no intention to postpone the election. He added that the election should be held under the new Act.

He also said that during the previous regime the demarcation process of the electoral divisions were conducted to get political advantages for their party. Hence the system has to be streamlined. The Deputy Minister said that after receiving the recommendations the election will be conducted. Addressing the Parliament MP Dallas Alahapperuma said that while postponing the election democratic rights of the people have been violated.

Parliamentarian Mujubur Rahuman said that as result of errors of the previous government the election was delayed. State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena stressed that the government is committed to protect democratic franchise of the general public. The demarcation process of the Colombo, Kandy, Kurunegala and Ratnapura districts are due to completed. The President plans to hold the local government election during the first half of next year. He added that no need to postpone the election artificially. 

Steven Smith heads home to rest ahead of 2016-17.

Australia captain Steven Smith will miss the remainder of the tour of Sri Lanka - three ODIs and two T20Is - as he returns home to rest ahead of the tour of South Africa. David Warner will lead the side in the rest of the fixtures in Sri Lanka.

Smith revealed the development at the end of the second ODI in Colombo, which Sri Lanka won by 82 runs to level the five-match series at 1-1.  Australia have lost four of their five international fixtures on tour so far, but Smith suggested his early departure had been considered since much earlier in the tour.

Australia's last match in Sri Lanka is a T20 international on September 9. Their tour of South Africa begins on September 27 with an ODI against Ireland in Benoni, after which they play five ODIs against South Africa. Smith, who is Australia's captain across all formats, said the role remained manageable despite the team's busy schedule. 

State income has marked a significant growth.

State minister of Finance Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says the state income has marked 21.7 percent growth during the first six months of this year when compared to the same period last year. The state income had been decreasing gradually since 1994 upto 2015. However, it has turned the other way from this year.

At a press briefing held in SLFP headquarters today, the state minister attributed this development to the efficient monocular policies implemented by the government.

Expressing views regarding the 65th anniversary of the SLFP, he said the event will be held in Kurunegala on a grand scale. Minister Abeywardena said the SLFP had joined with the UNP in 2007 under national policy. But the then leader of the party didn't even informed this decision to the SLFP electoral organizers. When Anura Bandarayake was sacked from the party, no consultation was made from the electoral organizers.

However, the forming of consensus government is a decision taken by the SLFP central committee. President Maithripala Sirisena is the leader of the party at present, therefore, disrupting his activities cannot be approved. The government expects to hold the local government election by March next year. The newly elected SLFP electoral organizers are now keen on reorganizing the party under the guidance of the President.

Addressing the briefing, chief minister of the western province Isura Devapriya said it is the so-called joint opposition that attempt to divide the SLFP. If the joint opposition members resign from the organizer posts, a large number of new party activists will be ready to accept organizer posts.

The special commodity tax on imported potatoes has been increased.

The special tax on imported potatoes has been increased. Accordingly, the existing tax of 35 rupees Per kilo of imported potatoes has been increased up to 40 rupees with effect from today.  Ministry of finance says this decision has been taken as a measure to stabilize prices of potatoes grown by local farmers.

 Sri Lanka's annual potatoes consumption is 180 thousand metric tons. 70 percent of this amount is imported at a cost of 4.8 million rupees.  The government expects to encourage local farmers to produce more potatoes by providing them a considerable price for their produce.

The Colombo defence summit will be held on the 1st and 2nd of next month.

The Colombo Defence Summit 2016 will be held on the first and 2nd of next month at the BMICH. Sri Lanka army organizes this annually for the 6th consecutive year under the title of " soft power and its influence on global issues". A large number of defence experts and intellectuals will take part in this international ceremony. 125 foreign representatives from 71 countries will also take part in this event.

Meanwhile, the Diyakawa military exercise organized by the Sri Lanka army for the 7th time will commence on the 3rd of next month at Kokilai area. Over 3,450 members of tri armed forces and 49 foreign soldiers and officials from 8 countries will also take part in this exercise.

At a press briefing held in Colombo Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe said this military exercise will be helpful to strengthen the efficiency of the Sri Lankan security forces in order to confirm national security. The military exercise will conclude on the 25th of next month.

60 percent of the construction of the Lotus tower is completed.

Director of the Lotus tower project says 60 percent of the construction of the tower is completed at present.  The construction will be totally completed by the end of October. The 350 meters tall tower is the highest tower in South Asia. It  has the 19th position among the tallest towers in the world .

A sum of 14.3 million US dollars from the China EXIM bank ahs been spent for this project.  This has two fully fledged halls and a rotating cafeteria. It also has shopping complex, theatre and a large car park that has space to park 2,000 vehicles.  All the TV  transmitting  equipments currently locating in Colombo will be set up in this tower.

The Prime Minister says the present government was created to bring down the cost living burden of the workers.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says measures will be taken to further develop the investments, production and trade sectors in the country to provide benefits to the people.

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The Prime Minister says the present government was created to bring down the cost living burden of the workers.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says measures will be taken to further develop the investments, production and trade sectors in the country to provide benefits to the people.

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The foreign minister rejects allegation made by some groups that the government presents draft bills to parliament in a hurry.

Minister Mangala Samarweera says in parliament today that the government does not present draft bills in a hurry. This practice has been discontinued with the bringing of the 19th amendment. He also pointed out that some MPs in the opposition have told media that the draft bill on the office of missing persons was presented to the parliament in a hurry.

He thoroughly rejected this false statement. During the past, there were no opportunities for MPs to express views on such Bills and there was no relief from the judiciary as well. But the present government has rejected that system. The cabinet was approved this Draft Bill on the 24th of May and tabled in house on 22nd June.


The Draft Bills on the registration of deaths was presented to parliament this morning. Presenting to the views to the parliament, deputy minister Nimal Lansa said there is no legal provisions to submit death certificates on missing persons.
Parliamentarian M. Sumanthiran said that he thanked the government for presenting such draft bills.

A three day dengue eradication programme before the commencement of new school term.

The health ministry is ready to implement a special three day dengue eradication programme before the commencement of the new school term.  Accordingly, this programme will be carried out in schools premises from tomorrow to the 29th of this month.

The programme will be conducted by the National dengue eradication unit covering schools in Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts.

Loans for farmers to cultivate 33 crops.

The central Bank of Sri Lanka says that the farmer s are now able to obtain loans on 33 varieties of crops.  The credit range is from 50 thousand to 25 million rupees.

 The interest rate is less than 7 percent. Senior assistant director of the department of regional development of Bank D.M.K.P Gunatilleke said that the loans could be received from 13 commercial banks.

The new administrative complex at Polonnaruwa to be commissioned by the President today.

The new administrative complex at Polonnaruwa will be commissioned by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe today. It has been built at a cost of 1.5 billion rupees. Minister Vajira Abeywardena will also take part in the event.

Billionaire businessman abducted in Bambalapitiya found murdered.

The Police say the kidnapped billionaire businessman has been murdered. His body has been found at Rukulagama area situated along the Mawanella Hemmathagama road last night. The businessman was kidnapped at Bambalapitiya on the 21st of this month. The Magistrate inquiry will be held this morning. The body was found according to a complaint received by the Police Emergency Unit.

Death toll from Italy earthquake rises to 159.


At least 159 people have been killed and 368 injured in an earthquake that hit a mountainous area of central Italy. The magnitude-6.2 quake struck at 03:36 local time, 100 kilometers north-east of Rome, not far from Perugia.

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Sri Lanka levels the one day series while Australian skipper heads home.

Youngsters shined again to help Sri Lanka beat Australia in the 2nd One Day International by 82 runs leveling the series 1-1. Batting first after winning the toss, Sri Lanka made 288 all out in 48 .5 overs. Although Sri Lanka lost their openers within 12 runs Kusal Mendis top scored with 69, backed up by aggressive 50s from captain Angelo Mathews and Kusal Perera.

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