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Last updateThu, 16 Aug 2018 8am

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The first Kumbal Perahera of the historic Esala Maha Perehera will parade the streets of Kandy tomorrow

The Kumbal Perahara will parade the streets for the first five days from tomorrow to the 20th. The Randoli Perahera will begin on August 21 and will continue until August 25.The Esala festival will conclude with the traditional water cutting ritual at the Mahaweli River at Getambe on August 26, morning. Then, according to tradition, the Diyawadana Nilame of the sacred Sri Dalada Maligawa, along with the Basnayake Nilames of the four Dewales, will officially present the traditional communication of successful conclusion of the Kandy Esala Perahera to the head of state, President Maithripala Sirisena.

Italy Bridge rescuers search into the night in Genoa

Rescuers in the northwest Italian city of Genoa are searching into the night for possible survivors after the dramatic collapse of a motorway bridge. Police say at least 26 people were killed and 15 badly hurt, when dozens of vehicles fell 148 feet. Reports say cries can be heard from people trapped in the debris. Twelve people are said to be missing. Some 300 firefighters from across Italy have been using sniffer dogs and climbing gear in the search.

Sri Lanka wins by three wickets in tight chase

Sri Lanka won the T-20 encounter against South Africa's tour of Sri Lanka played at the R. Premadasa Stadium by 3 wickets.  South Africa won the toss and elected to bat. South Africa all out for 98 runs in 16.4 overs. Quinton de Kock is the highest scorer of 20 runs for Proteas. Lakshan Sandakan took 3 wickets. Dhananjaya de Silva and Akila Dhananjaya took 2 wickets each. In reply Sri Lanka were able to hit the target score in 16 overs. Dinesh Chandimal scored the highest runs of 36 for Sri Lanka. Dhananjaya de Silva 31.

President praises health minister's role in uplifting the medical sector

President Maithripala Sirisena said that around 150 people in Sri Lanka die of Non Communicable Diseases daily and the country should strive to bring down the deaths caused by NCDs to 50. The President noted that the health sector had made vast strides under the Good Governance government that came to power in 2015. President Sirisena said that Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Minister Rajitha Senaratne has played a major role in bringing significant development in the health sector.

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US officials say, North Korea working on new missiles

North Korea appears to be building new ballistic missiles despite recent warming ties with the Trump administration and pledges to denuclearise, reports say. Unnamed US officials told the Washington Post that spy satellites had spotted continuing activity at a site that has produced ballistic missiles. Reuters quotes an official as saying it is unclear how far the work has gone. Donald Trump met North Korea's Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June.

The 2nd ODI between Sri Lanka and South Africa will be played in Dambulla today

The 2nd ODI between Sri Lanka and South Africa will be played in Dambulla today. This will be played as a Day and Night encounter.

The 2nd ODI between Sri Lanka and South Africa will be played in Dambulla today

The 2nd ODI between Sri Lanka and South Africa will be played in Dambulla today. This will be played as a Day and Night encounter.

South Africa beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in the first One Day International in Dambulla

South Africa overcame Sri Lanka by five wickets to win the first One Day International in Dambulla. Electing to bat first, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 193 all out in 34.3 overs. Kusal Janith Perera was the top scorer, making 81 runs. Thisara Perera scored 49 runs. Kagiso Rabada and Tabraiz Shamsi captured four wickets each.

In reply, South Africa reached 196 for five in 31 overs. JP Duminy made an unbeaten 53 while Quinton De Kock and Faf Du Plessis made 47 runs each. In bowling, Akila Dhananjaya took three wickets for 50 runs

A major effort will be undertaken in the next two years to develop rural areas

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says he hopes to develop the war-torn eastern province and its economy through the eastern development plan. He was speaking at the opening of a new divisional secretariat building at Eravur in Batticaloa yesterday. He said the development plan includes the construction of an airport to boost tourism in the province.

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August 01st sees the enforcement of the National Audit Act

August 01st will see the enforcement of the National Audit Act, a key promise given by the government. The related gazette extraordinary has already been issued by the President. With the implementation of the act, the National Audit Services Commission will come into being. Also, it will see that a national audit office is in place to facilitate the responsibilities of the Auditor General.

Minister Sajith Premadasa speaks about an inherent exception of the present government

Minister Sajith Premadasa says the present government has an inherent exception of serving the people instead of fighting for power. He made the remark at the opening of Thatchanapuram and Kailasapuram housing schemes in Trincomalee yesterday. Kailasapuram is the 100th in the reawakening villages programme.

The anti-corruption high courts will begin hearing cases from next week

According to Justice Ministry sources, the anti-corruption high courts will begin hearing cases from next week. Contrary to certain reports, the number one anti-corruption high court is already in place and its sitting judges named. The anti-corruption high courts will take up cases pertaining to bribery, money laundering, criminal breach of trust, fund raising for terrorism, organized crime and misuse of public funds and properties.

Restrictions come into force next month on holding private tuition classes

Restrictions will come into force next month on holding private tuition classes. Minister of Buddha Sasana told the SLBC that there would be bans on private tuition on Full Moon Poya Days and in the mornings on Sundays.

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Imran Khan will be sworn in as Pakistan's new Prime Minister before Independence Day on August 14th

Imran Khan will be sworn in as Pakistan's new Prime Minister before the country's Independence Day on August 14th. His party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, has made the announcement as it is trying to reach out to smaller parties and independents to form the next government. The PTI has emerged as the single largest party in the National Assembly after the July 25th elections. However, the party is still short of numbers to form a government on its own. PTI leader Naeenul Haq told the media that consultations are on to complete the number game.

The President says the best way to develop the country’s economy is to uplift farmers’ economy

The water filling ceremony of the Kalu Ganga Reservoir of the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Reservoir Project took place, under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena, this morning. Speaking at the event, the President pointed out, the best way to develop the country and strengthen the economy, sans fraud and corruption, is to empower the country’s farmer community and strengthen their economy.

The President requested, him to be personally notified, if incidents of fraud and corruption are reported in connection with the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Project. He emphasized, he will take stern actin, against anyone involved in corrupt practices.

Electricity generation from the Moragahakanda Reservoir was connected to the national grid, by the President this morning. Construction work of the tunnel connecting the Moragahakanda Reservoir and the Kalu Ganga Reservoir also commenced under the patronage of the President.

The Kalu Ganga Reservoir is the last of the five reservoirs to be completed, under the last phase of the Mahaweli scheme

There is a drop in crime rate in the country

Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka there is a drop in crime rate in the country. Most number of crimes occurred in 2013 during Mahinda Rajapaksa's regime. That time Mahinda Rajapaksa was the President and the Gotabhaya Rajapaksa served as the Defence Secretary. Minister further said the crime rate and drug trafficking activities were also seen during that period. The statistics say there is a drop in crime activities during 2017. Around 30,000 crime activities were reported during last year. But in 2013 it was around 80,000. The present government has established the rule of law which brought fruitful results in controlling the crime rate of the country

Minister Sajith Premadasa points out that disputes have arisen in Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna about the presidential candidate

Minister Sajith Premadasa says that disputes have arisen in Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna about the presidential candidate. The Minister added that the presidential candidate selection crisis deepens inside joint opposition. The Minister said this while attending the ceremony to lay the foundation stone of 953rd model village built under the reawakening village programme. It is the 4th village built for public servants in the Hambantota district.

Toronto shooting: Gunman kills woman and child in Greektown

Police say a 10-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman have died after a gunman opened fire on a busy avenue in Canada's largest city.Thirteen other people, ranging in age between 10 and 59, were injured in the attack in the Greektown district of Toronto, police chief Mark Saunders told reporters.
The suspect, 29, had an exchange of gunfire with police officers before being found dead nearby.The motive for the shooting is unknown.

The new Brexit secretary says a deal with the European Union can be reached by October

New Brexit secretary Dominic Raab says a deal with the European Union can be reached by October. He says however, the UK is preparing for the possibility of no deal. He said he would return to Brussels for talks this week and strain "every sinew" to get "the best deal". Labour's Rebecca Long-Bailey said a no deal scenario would be "catastrophic" for business.

The Prime Minister plays down newspaper claims of a revival of the LTTE

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says national unity and brotherhood among the communities became possible only in 2015. According to him, the end of the war six years earlier was a victory for the extremists and a defeat for the country. He made the remark at a discussion at the Jaffna district secretariat today.

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Discarded vegetables and fruits will feed wild elephants at Horowpothana

Vegetables and fruits discarded from the Dambulla economic centre are to be used for the feeding of wild elephants at the Horowpothana elephant detention centre. Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma today oversaw the transportation of one consignment by lorries. He says the step will help pacify the wild elephants at the detention centre.

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