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Last updateThu, 24 May 2018 8pm

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The Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment Ministry, signs an MoU with Microsoft

Today is World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. The main objective of this day is to focus upon providing the opportunity for everyone to be able to use artificial intelligence.

Issuing a release to mark this day President Maithripala Sirisena points out, objectives in the path of sustainable development are more attainable when avenues of utilizing artificial intelligence are pursued.

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Fertilizer to be produced locally by the first quarter of next year

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says, fertilizer will be produced locally by the first quarter of next year. A Committee of Experts has been appointed to carry out this task through the Eppawala Phosphate Deposits. Secretary to the State Ministry of Agriculture: D V Bandulasena heads the committee.

A two week awareness programme to be conducted under the theme: "Preparedness Before Disaster Strikes"

A Minister of Water Resources and Disaster Management: Duminda Dissanayake says, the government is prepared to respond to emergencies that could occur with the onset of the South West Monsoons. A two week awareness programme will be conducted from the 22nd of this month to the third of next month under the theme: "Preparedness Before Disaster Strikes".

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Ebola outbreak spreads in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Ebola outbreak in Congo has now spread from the countryside into a city, prompting fears that the disease will be increasingly difficult to control.
Forty-two people have now been infected, and 23 people are known to have died.
Congo's Health Minister confirmed a case in Mbandaka, a city of a million people which is about 80 miles from the area where the first cases were confirmed earlier this month. The city is a major transportation hub with routes to the capital Kinshasa.

Private bus strike called off. 12.5 percent hike accepted. Minimum bus fare is 12 rupees.


Following the discussions with Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva this evening, the All Ceylon Private Bus Association decided to cancel its scheduled strike, which was scheduled to start midnight last night. Speaking to the media, ACPBA Secretary Anjana Priyanjith said the bus associations had agreed to Minister’s decision on amending the bus fare by 12 percent with the minimum fare being 12 rupees with the effect from May 22 midnight. Earlier, the bus associations announced that they would go on a countrywide bus strike from midnight yesterday demanding minimum fare of 15 and 15 percent hike. While holding a media briefing this evening at Narahenpita, the bus associations said they would not stop the strike until the Government reconsidered increasing the minimum fare.

However, a meeting with the Transport Deputy Minister Asoka Abeysinghe failed. During the meeting, the Minister had requested the bus associations to wait until next Tuesday for a final decision.

However, following a meeting with the Transport Minister later bus associations decided to cancel the planned strike.

The appeal court has issued a notice to the ruling party of the Maharagama municipal council and the election commissioner to appear in courts on the 28th of June.

The appeal court has issued a notice to the ruling party of the Maharagama municipal council and the election commissioner to appear in courts on the 28th of June with regard to a writ application filed against them by one Mr.Chandrasena Perera. The plaintiff says, that the ruling party of the Maharagama Municipal Council has contested the local government election in Maharagama violating the basic rules of the local government election. Out of the 25 members of the ruling party 23 members are not residents of Maharagama. They are from Divulapitiya and Wellwatte areas. They contested the local government election for Maharagama Municipal council as an independent group under the symbol of Bi-cycle. The plaintiff points out that they have misled the voters of the Maharagama Municipal Council area by contesting without basic qualifications.  The appeal court postponed the case upto 28th of June this year.

The sluice gates of Kala Wewa and Udawalawe reservoirs opened. - Local residents residing close to river banks are advised to be vigilant.


The sluice gates of Kala Wewa and Udawalawe reservoirs opened. - Local residents residing close to river banks are advised to be vigilant. The Disaster Management Center says Sluice gates have been opened as the water levels of these reservoirs have reached the spill level. The people residing in low lying areas and the close proximity of these reservoirs are advised to be vigilant for the next 24 hours.

Meanwhile, heavy rainfalls are reported yesterday in western, central, sabaragamuwa, and north-western provinces and Matara and Galle districts. Some places received rainfalls upto 100 millimetres.

Samurdhi benefits for another 200,000 people.

Minister P. Harison stated the government has taken effective measures to eliminate poverty. Accordingly, the government decides to provide Samurdhi benefits to anoterh 200,000 people from the low income group.

Minister P. Harison says Samurdhi officials should be empowered in order to provide better service to Samurdhi recipients. Therefore, the government has given priority to solve the problems of samurdhi officials soon. Minister Harison said that the government has targeted to grant samurdhi benefits to all suitable.

North Korea summit: US hopeful Trump-Kim meet will go ahead


The Trump administration is hopeful its summit with North Korea will go ahead, despite threats of cancellation. A White House spokesperson said the US president remained ready. Hours earlier, North Korea released an angry statement saying it might pull out of the meeting if the US insisted it gave up its nuclear weapons. The highly anticipated meeting between Mr Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un is due to take place on 12 June. (BBC)

A ceremony to provide monthly allowances to artists held yesterday at the National Film Corporation under the patronage of the President

A ceremony to provide monthly allowances to artists was held yesterday at the National Film Corporation under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. A monthly allowance of 5,000 rupees will be provided to senior artists who have contributed to the betterment of the Sri Lankan Cinema. This program was initiated in 1987 with an allowance of 500 rupees. Later the amount was increased to 2,000 rupees and 57 artists received it.

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The Premier points out the need to introduce ultra-modern technology that is used worldwide in agriculture, to the country

The Agayadama - Value Chain Development Programme launched by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Primary Industries commenced yesterday. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe was the chief guest at the inauguration ceremony. Speaking at the event the Premier pointed out the need to introduce ultra-modern technology that is used worldwide in agriculture to the country.

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Bus fares increase by 6.5 percent. The minimum fare remains the same

Cabinet approval has been granted for an increase in bus fares by 6.5 percent. The increase will take effect from today.

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The government has allocated 4 billion rupees to grant fuel concession for the fishermen

The discussion held between the Ministry of Aquatic Resources Development and the members of fisheries associations regarding the preparation of a program to ease the burden due to the increase of fuel prices, ended in a mutual agreement yesterday.

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Grama Niladhari Vacancies to be filled in the coming weeks

The Ministry of Home Affairs says, Grama Niladhari Vacancies will be filled in the coming weeks. Around 2,000 vacancies are to be filled from the existing 14,022 Grama Niladhari Divisions. An exam was held in the year 2016 to to fulfill these vacancies. Interviews in this regard were held last year. 1739 qualified applicants have been selected by the Department of Examinations. The list of selected candidates was forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs.  Accordingly, the appointments will be given to those selected within the next few weeks.

400 Sri Lankan's to be awarded dual citizenship today

400 Sri Lankan's who have obtained citizenship in foreign countries, will be awarded dual citizenship at the Department of Immigration and Emigration, today.
Controller General of Immigration and Emigration: M. N. Ranasinghe says, 32,000 Sri Lankans residing overseas were awarded dual citizenship within the past three years.

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A one-day workshop organised by the National Economic Council regarding the government's Joint Economic Development Programme.

President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed the National Economic Council to conduct a one day workshop with the participation of Government Ministers, Parliamentarians, Ministry Secretaries and officials of the Central Bank and the Treasury, regarding the government's Joint Economic Development Programme. The objective is to mainly obtain the participant's views and suggestions, and to educate them comprehensively on this programme.

The National Economic Council met today under the patronage of the President at the Presidential Secretariat. Discussions were held to execute the government's Joint Economic Development Programme in collaboration with the Joint Accelerated Rural Development Programme. The implementation of strategies on short term, long term, macro and micro were focused upon. The discussion focused on integrating all development projects launched under this programme.

Bus fares increase by 6.5 percent - The minimum fare remains the same.

Cabinet approval has been granted for an increase in bus fares by 6.5 percent. The increase will take effect from May 16th.
However, the minimum fare of 10 rupees will remain the same.
The proposal to increase bus fares in view of the increase in fuel prices was tabled before the Cabinet of Ministers by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. The price increase was approved upon parameters put forward by a board of experts.

Meanwhile private bus operators say, the approved increase is inadequate. Their demand was for the fares to be increased by 10 percent.

Gaza tense after deadliest day since 2014

Funerals are to be held in Gaza for 58 people who were killed yesterday, when Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinian protesters, in the deadliest day of violence since the Gaza War in 2014.
The burials coincide with the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call 'The Nakba', which is the mass displacement of Palestinians after the creation of Israel.
The violence came as the US shifted its embassy to Jerusalem, a controversial move that broke decades of US policy, and incensed Palestinians.
Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a 'future Palestinian state'. They see the US move, as backing Israeli control over the whole of the city, which Israel regards as its 'indivisible' capital.

Gary Kirsten most likely to be Bangladesh Coach.

Discussions are at its final stages to enrol Gary Kirsten of South Africa for the post of Bangladesh Coach. At present he functions as the coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. He is expected to arrive in Bangladesh on the 21st of May. Australia and England have also proposed names for the post.

Facebook’s global program: ‘Boost Your Business’ now available in Sri Lanka.

Facebook’s global program: ‘Boost Your Business’ is now available for the youth and entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka.
Facebook has partnered with the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka to train 10,000 small business owners across the country, by the end of 2018. In the first phase, the programmed will cover Colombo, Galle, Kandy and Jaffna.
The inaugural ‘Boost Your Business’ workshop to be organized in Colombo tomorrow, will orient, teach and train entrepreneurs on the effective use of Facebook to grow and monetize their businesses online.
‘Boost Your Business’ will complement the 'SMART Social Circles initiative' by the Information and Communication Technology Agency to promote digital literacy, and foster ethical and responsible use of social media.

The government will implement a programme to protect onion and potatoes cultivators

The government will prepare a programme to protect onion and potato cultivators. A committee headed by state minister Wasantha Aluvihare has been appointed for the preparation of this programme.    Onion is cultivated widely in the districts of Matale, Jaffna, Puttalam while potato is a popular crop in Bandarawela and Nuwara Eliya districts.  Normally,  cultivators face a problem of selling their produce at a reasonable price. 

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