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The government provides concessionary loans to electricity consumers to install solar panels.

The government has decided to provide loans with low interest rates to families to install solar power panels in their houses.  Loans from 150 thousand to 350 thousand rupees will be given by state and private  banks  in this connection.


President Maithripala Sirisena landed in Moscow International airport this afternoon.

President Maithripala Sirisena landed in Moscow International airport this afternoon. The President Sirisena commenced an official visit to Russia today on invitation of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. A delegation headed by Russian foreign affairs deputy minister welcomed President Maithripala Sirisena this afternoon.

 A special discussion between the leaders of the two nations is scheduled to be held tomorrow in Moscow Kremlin auditorium.  President Maithripala Sirisena is also scheduled to participate in a special function to commemorate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Sri Lanka and Russia.  This is the first time a Sri Lankan leader visits Russia upto 43 years.  Many MOUs relating to fishing and aquatic resources, science and technology and trade will be established during this visit.

The government decides to enter into a sponsorship agreement with Chinese government to develop the Hambantota port.

The government decides to enter into a sponsorship agreement with Chinese government to develop the Hambantota port.   Accordingly, a MOU will be established between Sri Lankan government and Waika Merchant Port Holdings Company owned by Chinese government.  A cabinet subcommittee is appointed to monitor the process.

 Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama will be the chairman of the committee.  Minister Gayantha Karunatilleke revealed these information at a media conference held in Colombo to brief the cabinet decisions. He further said the proposed Hambantota development plan will be implemented in three phases.  It is expected to develop the infrastructure of the Port during the first phase of the development.

The national Shramasakthi programme to alleviate poverty has been implemented.

The national Shramasakthi programme to alleviate poverty has been implemented. The main  objective of this programme is to eliminate the poverty from each divisional secretariat area.  This year has been declared as the year to alleviate poverty. Accordingly, Minister Gayantha Karunatilleke said one million rupees will be provided to each village to focus on this matter.

 In 2011 the poverty level was at 6.7 percent.  Meanwhile, the poverty level at each divisional secretariat area was recorded as 10 to 45 percent.   A special society will be established with the participation of 80 percent of the families from 700 grama Niladari areas.  Training will also be provided to these members. The main objective of this programme is to empower the members of the families to find effective ways to alleviate poverty.

Sushma Swaraj steps in to rescue Indian woman facing domestic abuse in Pakistan.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj directed Indian High Commission to renew the passpart of an Indian woman married to Pakistani man, and facilitate her return. Mohammadia Begum hailing from Telangana was living with her husband in Sialkot, Pakistan.

Ms. Begum complained to her parents that she was being harassed and beaten up by her husband and in-laws and that she wanted to come back to India. Mohammad Akbar, the victim's father appealed to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who in turn asked officials of Indian Embassy to meet Ms. Begum.

Sri Lankan and Russian presidents will hold bilateral talks in Moscow.

President Maithripala Sirisena left for Russia this morning on an official invitation made by the Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is significant that a Sri Lankan Head of State receives an official invitation to visit Russia after four decades and this visit is the first official visit to Russia by a Sri Lankan leader since 1974,
when Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike visited Moscow. During the visit, President Sirisena is scheduled to sign several bilateral agreements in the areas of economics, trade, tourism, science and technology sector, cultural and education cooperation, which brings many developmental benefits to Sri Lanka. During the bilateral discussions with the Russian President Vladimir Putin it is expected to be discussed in detail regarding the ways to further strengthing the ties between two countries.
The President is also scheduled to attend a ceremony organize to mark the  60th anniversary of the establishment diplomatic relations between the two countries and he will also attend a Sri Lanka-Russia Business Forum, which is organized to further promote trade and investment between two countries. 

Parliamentarians have been enlightened on achieving sustainable development goals.

Parliamentarians have been enlightened on achieving the targets of sustainable development. A special seminar in this connection was held in the parliament complex this morning. Addressing the parliamentarians Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said Sri Lanka has prepared a draft bill on establishing a sustainable development council.

This has been prepared as a shadow bill of the existing act in Canada on this matter. The premier further said that Sri Lanka has a proper mechanism to achieve development goals. The mechanism should also be activated at rural level as well.

The religious centers in villages have a great responsibility to motivate rural folk in accelerating development. Addressing the gathering Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said Sri Lanka is the first country that appointing a parliamentary committee on achieving the sustainable development goals. 

A workshop on management of tuna fishing in Indian Ocean begins in Colombo.

Chairman of the Agricultural Insurance Board Sidney Gajanayake says the list of farmers who have applied for compensation for damages crops will be computerized today. Over 300,000 applications have been received by the board.

The majority of applications are from the Kurunegala district. The relevant application forms are available at the Agrarian Services Centres islandwide. The Agricultural Insurance Board request the farmers to apply for compensations if they have not yet applied. The government has already allocated adequate amount of funds for paying compensation.

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