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Last updateThu, 13 Dec 2018 1pm

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A national recognition for the NVQ certificate.

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe says the government has taken measures to give due recognition for the NVQ qualification for the first time. Addressing a media briefing held in Colombo today the Minister said that the cabinet paper which was submitted in June has been given approval. NVQ-3 will be made equal to G.C.E. O-level and NVQ-4 will be made equal to G.C.E A-level. 

Colombia plane 'ran out of fuel'

Colombian authorities say evidence is growing that a plane carrying a Brazilian football team crashed because it ran out of fuel as it tried to land. The plane had no fuel on impact, an official said, corroborating audio of the pilot asking to land because of a fuel shortage and electric failure.

The capital Bogota was mentioned on the flight plan as a possible refuelling stop, but the plane did not land there. The plane plunged into a mountainside near Medellin late on Monday. Only six of the 77 people on board the plane survived.

The President alleges that certain elements are trying to create conflicts and bloodbath when the government is seriously involved to introduce a new constitution.

President Maithripala Sirisena alleges that certain elements are trying to create conflicts and bloodbath when the government is seriously involved in the process to introduce a new constitution to the country. President Sirisena made these remarks while joining the committee stage debate held in Parliament today.

He further noted when government tries to find a permanent solution to the national problem some political elements are campaigning against these efforts. As a result, it is taking a long time to provide a just a fair solution to the affected communities. President Sirisena also emphasized that there will be divisions among the communities if a real reconciliation is not established in this country.

The President also recalled the past events of Sinhala - Tamil clashes, Sinhala - Muslim clashes during the last 7 to 8 decades. President also noted that the country's natural resources and economy were severely affected due to the communal clashes in the past. The security forces have to sacrifice their lives to liberate the country from terrorism. President Sirisena also highlighted the importance of defeating the dividing mentality among the communities and thereby build up the reconciliation between the conflicting communities. A healthy reconciliation will lead to establish a permanent peace in the country.

President also said positive responses have been received with regard to the constitutional reforms. But he alleged that certain politicians are trying to gain petty political advantages on this issue. The political elements are also carrying out vicious campaigns against the constitutional reforms and trying to divide communities. The political elements are also trying to create a wrong impression among Sinhala Buddhists.

The common public should not leave any room for these political elements to exploit the situation. The public should not fall pray to various malicious campaigns carried out be bankrupted political elements. The President also requested the communities and peoples representatives to join hands and work with dedication and determination to bring out a sustainable peace in the country. The President also stressed that any problem can be solved through effective discussions rather than showcasing protests or strikes.

Railway strike has been called off.

Railway strike has been called off. The convener of the Integrated Railway Trade Union Janaka Fernando says the strike which is scheduled to be held on tomorrow islandwide has been called off. Mr. Fernando further said a decision has been taken at a discussion held with President Maithripala Sirisena this afternoon at the parliamentary complex.

Mr. Fernando also noted that President has given a positive response to the demands of the railway union. Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva and High officials of the Railway Department were also present during this discussion.

The government is ready to conduct the LG elections once the report on local government boundary demarcation is submitted.

Minister Fizer Mustafa says he is ready to conduct the local government elections once the report on local government boundary demarcation is submitted. He further said the new demarcation process was done since the previous survey had many drawbacks.

As result a new committee was formed to report on the development of the demarcation process. The committee has carried out a mechanism addressing the issues of the previous study. Minister made these remarks at a media conference held in Colombo today. He further noted the previous report has been prepared without considering the grievances of the minorities. The previous report was prepared based on the requirement of a particular politician. The drawbacks and the issues of this report have been pointed out and thereby a new committee was established to look into this matter.

Sri Lanka broadcasting Corporation has been commended for the contribution extended to establish national reconciliation.

The votes on the Ministries of Disaster Management, National Dialogue and Reconciliation were passed today in parliament. Joining the debate Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said a special work plan is designed to address the national disasters and manmade disasters. 1,404 persons affected due to Salawa army camp explosion were given compensation as of this date.

Minister of National Dialogue and Reconciliation Mano Ganeshan commended the services of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation for the contribution extended to establish national reconciliation in the Country.

Minister Rishad Bathiudeen says a cooperative policy suitable to this country will be introduced next year.

Minister Rishad Bathiudeen says a cooperative policy suitable to this country will be introduced next year. He further said the need of the hour is to revise the Cooperative Act which is 45 years old. Minister Bathiudeen also observed an outdated cooperative has been an obstacle for the ongoing development in the sector.

The Cooperative sector has been diversified to many sub sectors. The Minister also stated a special study is being done to integrate Sathosa and Cooperative societies. He made these remarks while addressing a meeting of Cooperative society members recently.

Tamil Nadu braces for cyclone Nada

South Indian state, Tamil Nadu is bracing itself to face cyclone Nada, which is likely to cross the north coastal area early tomorrow. Nada is likely to cross the coast between Vedaranniyam and Puducherry, close to Cuddalore by early morning.

The Indian government has asked public to call toll free numbers 1070 and 1077 during emergency situations and advised them to listen to the latest updates of the Indian Meteorological Department.

All citizens should abide by law for the country to progress - President

President Maithripala Sirisena emphasizes all citizens should abide by the law and should be disciplined for the country to progress. The President made this remark while joining the inauguration ceremony of the national road safety programme titled "Parissamen Gihin Enna" implemented by the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation this morning.

It was held at the Independent Square in Colombo. The President pointed out it is the responsibility and the duty of all institutions and parties involved in the process to extend their fullest support for the cause to make the programme a success. The main challenge that is faced in the development drive is the high number of private vehicles. The poor quality of common transport services has resulted this situation.

Although the number of deaths reported daily due to road accidents is nine persons the number of persons who become disable during their entire life is between 25 to 30. Majority of accidents take place due to the consumption of drugs and alcohol. The President emphasized the responsibility of building a disciplined society is entrusted with the government.

He also pointed out the MPs and ministers do not have to travel in the motorcade as the national security has been strengthened. The President disclosed the matter was brought to notice at the recent cabinet meeting. Therefore, President Maithripala Sirisena said he has asked the IGP to inform him about persons who are travelling with large motorcades obstructing the traffic.

Maha Nayake of Kotte Sri Kalyani Dhamma Maha Sangha Sabha Dr. most Venerable Iththepane Dhammalankara Thera who delivered an anusasana on the occasion said the law should be properly implemented although certain parties are against it. The number of accidents has seen a rise due to the consumption of liquor, use of mobile phones and due to being impatient. The Thera therefore, pointed out it is important to implement the law properly to protect the common masses.

Chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation Ravi Jayawardene made the welcome address. Ministers Gayantha Karunathilaka and Champika Ranawaka as well as deputy minister Karunaratne Paranavithana also joined the occasion.

Govt ready to overcome challenges regarding reconciliation

Today is the 11th day of the committee stage discussion of the budget. Votes on accounts of the ministries of disaster management, national integration and reconciliation as well as national dialogue are taken up for discussion today.  

Deputy Minister Eran Wickremaratne who joined the discussion said the government is ready to overcome the challenges regarding reconciliation.  Certain parties are attempting to  change the history in order to fulfill their political objectives.

 Such attempts should be defeated.  They are the objectives of extremists and terrorists.  The deputy minister pointed out such activities can lead to violence.  Parliamentarian Bimal Rathnayake who joined the discussion said Mahinda Rajapakse does not have a way to survive in politics if not for the chief minister of Northern Province.

Sudden death of four heart patients; Interim report to be handed over tomorrow

The committee appointed to look into the sudden deaths of four heart patients at the cardiology unit of the Colombo National Hospital, will hand over its interim report to Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne tomorrow.  

The dye used for surgery is being analyzed.  Member of the committee deputy director general of medical services Dr. Lakshmi Somathunga told the SLBC that it would be send to a foreign laboratory for further investigations.

A special meeting of the National Buddhist Intellectual Council was convened yesterday under the patronage of the President.

A special meeting of the National Buddhist Intellectual Council was convened yesterday under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. This is the 5th time a special meeting was organized. The meeting focused on the betterment of the Buddha Sasana and the measures to be taken in future to promote Buddhism and its religious values. The discussion also paid special attention on piriwen education, samanera institutions and the establishment of Buddhist centers islandwide. The 2017 Vesak celebration will also be conducted under the four sectors. The participants also recommended many suggestions with regard to training of the piriwen teachers and establishment of piriwen education centers.

Special condolence message and a resolution will be passed in parliament to respect the leader of Cuba Fidel Castro.

Special condolence message and a resolution will be passed in parliament to respect the leader of Cuba Fidel Castro. It was decided yesterday at the party leaders' meeting, to commence this special session at 5.00 pm today in parliament. The special condolence presentation session will be held from 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm in parliament.

Another 269 teachers have been recruited.

Another 269 teachers have been recruited. The appointment letters to the respective teacher recruits were given during a special function held yesterday at the Auditorium of Ministry of Education.


The world AIDS prevention day falls today.

The world AIDS prevention day falls today. The World Health Organization has published a set of comprehensive guidelines on self examining process for any suspected AIDS cases. This testing process can be conducted with a drop of blood.


President Maithripala Sirisena says that generous politicians sans corruption often respected by the masses.

President Maithripala Sirisena says that a free democratic society prevails over rules of kings in the contemporary world.


Sri Lanka Transport Board is to get 1000 new buses.

The cabinet of ministers approves a proposal to import thousand buses. The proposal was submitted by minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. The government estimates that expenses for renovating old buses mostly equal for the expenses of importing 40 to 46 seater buses. As such the minister of transport has decided to import buses.


A process to register tea cultivation lands from tomorrow.

Minister Naveen Dissanayake informs that the tea board has initiated necessary steps to register tea cultivation lands from tomorrow.


An extensive investigation about adulteration of diesel using kerosene oil.

A comprehensive investigation is underway into the alleged incident of mixing kerosene oil with diesel.


Football world rallies around Brazilian club team

The football world has rallied around a Brazilian club which lost most of its players in a plane crash in Colombia. Only six of the 77 people on board the charter plane, carrying members of the Chapecoense team, survived the crash. The team was flying to what was billed as the biggest match in their history, the final of the  
Copa Sudamericana. Their opponents, Colombian team Atletico Nacional, have offered to concede the game to ensure Chapecoense are declared the champions. In a tweet, the club also asked that fans to turn up to their stadium at the time which the game was scheduled, dressed in white.

Cuba holds Castro commemoration

Tens of thousands of people have filled Revolution Square in the Cuban capital, Havana, for a rally honouring revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. Proceedings began with the singing of Cuba's national anthem and speeches are being given by visiting dignitaries.

President Raul Castro closed the rally, referring to his brother Fidel as the leader of a revolution "for the humble, and by the humble". Left-wing Latin American leaders were among those attending the event. Fidel Castro, who came to power in 1959, died on Friday, aged 90.  

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