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Last updateThu, 13 Sep 2018 10am

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"Aava" group not led by the army, emphasizes State Min of Defence

Minister Sagala Rathnayake told the parliament today that the so-called "Aava" group in Northern Province is not engaged in any terrorist activity. It has been formed as
a result of a dispute that broke out between two factions in 2011. Majority of its members are between the ages of 18 to 25. They have carried out various robberies, assaults and are also involved in ransom incidents. Responding to
a question raised by parliamentarian Anura Dissanayake the minister said the group is engaged in such activities to show their heroism and to be different from the society. However, its members have been arrested recently as they are involved in various crimes.

Some of them were imprisoned while the others were released on bail. Certain persons have been freed as they had paid the fines. Speaking further, Minister Sagala Rathnayake disclosed some of the imprisoned members have linked up with dangerous criminals while they are in prison. The total number of members of the Aava group is 60. Out of them 38 have been arrested.

Investigations are being carried out regarding six persons. Judicial measures have been taken against 32. The first leader of the so-called Aava group is currently in prison. Operations are underway to arrest 8 more leaders.

State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijeyawardena who also spoke in the parliament emphasized that the Aava group is not led by the army. The security forces do not have any requirement to form such a group. However, one of its members who is currently in custody is an army deserter.


Meanwhile, Minister Daya Gamage told the parliament today that a propagated programme is now in progress to increase the production of cardamom. The sector faced a set back over the last couple of years due to the wrong policies of the previous government. However, the present government has taken measures to support the businessmen. The World Bank has also extended its assistance in this regard. Free training is also provided to them.

Cardamom has been cultivated in 2,800 hectares at present. In 2014, the country's cardamom production was 87 thousand kilos. It had increased upto 91 thousand kilos last year. Responding to a question raised by parliamentarian Buddhika Pathirana the minister added various measures including conducting researches and implementing investment projects are being carried out to increase the production.

Navy earns more than Rs.2b from Onboard Security Team Operations

The Navy has been able to earn 2.33 billion rupees for the government the Onboard Security Team Operations during last year. It undertook the Onboard Security Team Operations from the Avant Garde Maritime Services Limited on 13th November last year.

The Galle and Colombo operation centers have carried out a total of 6,646 ship movements during the period. The earnings generated were deposited in the Consolidated Fund of the government.

Budget has open up investment sector - Min Vajira

The debate on the budget commenced in the parliament for the third day today. Minister Vajira Abeywardena who commenced the debate said the budget has open up the investment sector which was confined to several businessmen.

The budget for the next year has encouraged local investments and has increased foreign investments as well.  Furthermore, it has not forgotten the northern and eastern provinces.  Therefore, the government has taken measures to strengthen the divisional administration in the tow provinces.

 Speaking further, the minister disclosed that a forum of district secretariats will be held to address the issues faced by the public.  All parliamentarians will be able to submit their problems to the forum.

An international conference on the reuse of water resources and seeking alternative measures to improve the water management will commence today in Colombo.


An international conference on the reuse of water resources and seeking alternative measures to improve the water management will commence today in Colombo.

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A special programme to provide agricultural equipments for low interest will commence in January next year.

The Director General of the Finance Development Department of Ministry of Finance A.M.P.M.B. Atapattu says a special programme to provide agricultural equipments for low interest will commence in January next year.

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Kremlin says Trump and Putin 'will try to mend ties'


US President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will try to "normalise US-Russia ties", the Kremlin has said, following a phone conversation between the two. Mr Putin wished Mr Trump "success in implementing the election programme". Mr Trump, who had praised Mr Putin in the election campaign, said he wanted an "enduring relationship with Russia".

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The President has focused attention to construct a conservatory for Sri Lankan poetry.


President Maithripala Sirisena says Sinhalese poetry has rendered a unique service to the nation since history. Addressing a literary festival held in the Colombo Public Library Auditorium this evening.

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Chairman of the Private Bus Owners Association says there will be no private bus strike tomorrow.

Chairman of the private bus owners association Gemunu Wijerathne says there will be no private bus strike tomorrow. He said that the discussion held with Minister Ravi Karunanayake in this connection was successful and they decided to stop the strike.

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A fix deposit of 100 million rupees will be set up for the upliftment of Buddhist temples in Galle district.


Minister Vajira Abeywardena says a fix deposit of 100 million rupees will be set up for the upliftment of all Buddhist temples in the Galle district. At a ceremony held in Yakkalamulla today he said problems of the rural people in the Galle district will be solved without delay.

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Pakistan says India killed seven troops.

Seven Pakistani soldiers have been killed by Indian shelling in disputed Kashmir, the Pakistani military says. The troops died in "unprovoked" firing overnight in the Bhimber sector on the Line of Control. There was no immediate response from India.

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Sri Lanka records 8 wicket victory against Zimbabwe.


Sri Lanka won the OID against Zimbabwe in tri series played in Harare today by 8 wickets. Batted first Zimbabwe scored 154. Sri Lanka passed the victory target in 24.3 overs for the loss of two wickets. Dhananjaya de Silva 78 not out.

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The Navy has earned over 2.3 billion rupees in the past year through marine security services.

The Navy says it has earned over 2.3 billion rupees in the past year through marine security services. The navy has provided marine security for over 6,600 voyages of naval vessels. Earlier this marine security services were entrusted to private company and under a special order of President Maithripala Sirisena the services are being carried out by the Sri Lanka Navy.

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A cabinet paper has been issued to recruit food and medicine inspectors.

Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senarathne says over 150 complaints have been received to the public complains unit by the public regarding the sale of drugs at higher prices.

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The sugar cane research institute is to setup three more regional centers.

The National Sugar Cane Research Institute in Udawalawa is to setup three more regional centers. These research centers will be setup in Pelwatte, Hingurana and Sevenagala areas where the sugar cane plantations are in abundance.

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The president's mobile service in Galle has solved many problems in the Galle district.

Minister Vajira Abeywardena says the president's mobile service in Galle has solved many problems of the people in the Galle district. Many rural people have suffered immensely as they haven’t had opportunity to raise their problems with the relevant public officials

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Second strong quake hits New Zealand

A second earthquake measuring 6.3 in magnitude has hit
New Zealand's South Island hours after at least two people were killed by an initial quake. The new tremor struck about 1:45 p.m. local time at a depth of 10 kilometers, northeast of Christchurch. A 7.5-magnitude quake, with the same depth, had hit the same area just after midnight, triggering tsunami warnings.

A large river dammed up by a landslide has now breached its banks sending a "large wall of water" downstream. Residents around the Clarence River, one of the largest on South Island, are being urged to move immediately to higher ground. There have been hundreds of strong aftershocks, causing power shortages and cuts in water supply, since the initial quake.

World Diabetes Day falls today

The World Diabetes Day falls today. It was declared in 1991 by the World Health Organization together with the International Diabetes Federation. Today was chosen as the World Diabetes Day as it also marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best and John James Rickard Macleod,

first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922. The day was declared in 1991 since the number of diabetes patients increased in the year alarmingly. At least two persons who are having diabetes are identified from around the world in every 10 seconds. Around 7 million persons are infected with the disease annually and four million of them die each year.

In Sri Lanka the number of diabetes patients reported was two million in 2011. Another 2 million were vulnerable.


It has been revealed that one fourth of the Sri Lankan population are having diabetes. Limbs of 500 to 600 persons are removed annually due to the disease. Cardiac arrests, kidney diseases, visual impairment, liver ailments, diseases related to skin and bone infections are among the other diseases related to diabetes.

Spending more time in front of the television or the computer, not engaging in exercises and consumption of cigarettes are the main reasons for the diabetes. Therefore, it is important to engage in exercises at least 30 minutes a day and to reduce consumption of food with sugar and flour as well as to consume fresh fruits and vegetables to prevent the disease.

No Sri Lankans affected from earthquakes in NZ

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Sri Lanka's thoughts and prayers are with the people of New Zealand in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. Issuing a twitter message its spokesperson Mahishini Colonne says the government condoles on the loss of life and wishes speedy recovery to those injured. She also told the SLBC that there are no reports so far of Sri Lankans being affected from the earthquakes.

41 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees are to return from India.

41 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu, India are arriving Sri Lanka under the UNHCR facilitated voluntary repatriation program on Thursday November 17.

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The president stresses the need of common agenda for the nation.

President Maithripala Sirisena says the country needs one common agenda to triumph national interests. He added that the common goals should not be led down by the petty interests of the individuals. The president made these comments at a function held at the BMICH today. The event was organized to celebrate art and culture that consolidate ethnic times.

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The president stresses the need of common agenda for the nation.

President Maithripala Sirisena says the country needs one common agenda to triumph national interests. He added that the common goals should not be led down by the petty interests of the individuals. The president made these comments at a function held at the BMICH today. The event was organized to celebrate art and culture that consolidate ethnic times.

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