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Sun12172017

Last updateSun, 17 Dec 2017 7am

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Prime Minister says Sri Lankans have the innovations and creative skills to produce the best products in the world.

The Guinness Record Certificate of the tallest Christmas Tree was presented to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, at Temple Trees, yesterday. The Premier stated that considerable tasks can be accomplished optimizing the creativity of Sri Lankans. It was the same creativity that made the tallest Christmas Tree in the world a reality. He pointed out that it is significant for largest Christmas Tree to stand tall in a country where the majority are non-Christians. He observed that there was no division such as “Sinhala”, “Tamil” and “Muslim” when this task was accomplished. He added that it points out the necessity for Sri Lanka to project to the world the importance of national co-existence.

The time period to submit applications for postal voting of the local government election has been extended up to 22nd of this month.

The deadline to accept postal voting applications for the Local Government Election has been extended till the 22nd of December. A release signed by the Chairman of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya was issued citing the extension. The Elections Commission said District Returning Officers have had to reject a majority of postal voting applications received at present. The Commission said the applications were completed according to information in the voter register compiled for the 2015 General Elections. The Commission stressed that applications for the Local Government Election should be directed according to information in the 2017 voter register. The Elections Commission added further details can be obtained through the lists displayed at District Offices, Divisional Secretariats, Local Government bodies, and Grama Niladhari offices, including selected state institutions. Information could also be obtained via www.election.gov.lk.

The Chairman of Elections reiterated the deadline to accept postal voting applications would not be extended after the 22nd of December under any circumstance.

Minister Vajira Abeywardhana states the new electoral system paves way for the election of people’s representatives who are accountable to their respective electorates.

Minister Vajira Abeywardhana states the new electoral system paves way for the election of people’s representatives who are accountable to their respective electorates. He expressed these views at the Galle divisional secretariat when making deposits for the forthcoming local government elections. He added that although it is a challenge to take this new electoral system to the public, the government has successfully surmounted the challenge.

Signs of the price drop in rice of the local market are expected with the import permission is granted to the private sector.

Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara says signs of the price drop in rice of the local market are expected with the import permission is granted to the private sector. The Minister made these remarks at a media conference held yesterday. Addressing the media personnel he further said the private sector is expected to import around 500,000 metric tons of rice within the next few days. Thereafter, these rice stocks will be distributed to cooperative sales outlets located island-wide. One kilo of a nadu rice will be sold at 72 rupees.

UK PM May defeated over Brexit vote

The UK government has been narrowly defeated in a key vote on its Brexit bill after a rebellion by 11 Tory MPs. In a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May, MPs voted to give Parliament a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal struck with Brussels. The government had argued this would jeopardize its chances of delivering a smooth departure from the EU. Despite a last-minute attempt to offer concessions to rebels, an amendment to the bill was backed by 309 to 305. Ministers said the "minor setback" would not prevent the UK leaving the EU in 2019.

Turkey President urges World leaders to recognize Jerusalem as Palestinian capital.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged leaders of Muslim nations to recognise Jerusalem as the "occupied capital of the Palestinian state". Addressing a summit of the Organization for Islamic Co-operation, he said the US decision to recognise the city as Israel's capital was "null and void".

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The railway strike has been called off. The train services will return to normal by tomorrow morning.

Railway General Manager S.M. Abewickrama says measures have been taken to normalize the railway services as the trade union action is now over.

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The President pledges to provide all required facilities for the security forces to be equip with knowledge and expertise.

President Maithripala Sirisena said that the Government will provide all the necessary facilities to equip the Sri Lankan security forces with knowledge as well as expertise when implementing state policy on national security.

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Minimum qualifications for medical education for Sri Lanka has been announced.

The minimum educational qualifications for admission to medical education in Sri Lankan Universities have been announced Sri Lanka Medical Council has announced with the consent of the University Grants Commission and Attorney General. Accordingly, two credit passes and a simple pass at the GCE A/L examination Science stream in one sitting is the minimum qualification.

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New Chairman has been appointed to the SLBC.

Mr. S.M Farooq has been appointed as the Chairman of the SLBC. He is an Old Boy of the Colombo Royal College and a graduate on International Market at the Hong Kong University. He serves as the Director and the CEO of Pan Asian Power (Pvt) Ltd. He is a leading civil activist and has worked as a board member of the SLBC since last June.

US ready for North Korea talks without preconditions

The US is ready to open nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea, without preconditions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said yesterday. His statement appeared to shift the US position away from previous demands that North Korea must first disarm. North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons technology has led to heavy US-led sanctions against the regime.

The 2nd ODI between Sri Lanka and India will be played in Mohali today.

The 2nd ODI between Sri Lanka and India will be played in Mohali today. This is a day and night encounter.

A four-member Ministerial Committee appointed to evaluate and address the demands made by Railway Trade Unions.

A four-member Ministerial Committee chaired by Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama has been appointed to evaluate and address the demands made by Railway Trade Unions that were on strike for the past few days. The other members of the committee are; Ministers Dr Rajitha Senarathna, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Ranjith Maddumabandara. Minister of Transport Nimal Siripala de Silva says that he hopes all trade unions involved in the strike will make their submissions to the Committee. Chief Engineer of Power sets M K D Fernando states that steps have been taken to run essential train services with the help of those who are not taking part in the trade union action. Here, priority will be given to Office trains and to trains transporting fuel.

The government Nurses Officers Association points out that alterations into the salary scale of one sector, would result in the entire state salary structure falling into disarray.

Chairman of the Government Nursing Officers’ Association, Saman Rathnapriya states that if the government is to increase the salaries of railway workers that are on strike, then the government needs to increase the salaries in the health care sectors well. Expressing his views at a media conference held in Colombo today he stated that for a long period of time his association has brought the issue of salary anomalies to be attention of the authorities. He pointed out that by incorporating alterations into the salary scale of one sector, the entire state salary structure would fall into disarray.

It has been pointed out that although the conflict is over, it will take time and persistent efforts to heal the wounds and to sustain the gains the country has already reaped.

Minister of Finance and Mass Media, Mangala Samaraweera says that although the conflict is over, it will take years to heal the wounds and it will take persistent efforts to sustain and secure the gains that the country has already reaped. He made these comments speaking at the Awards Ceremony which saw Ms. Shreen Abdul Saroor receiving the Franco German Human Rights Award for the year 2017.
He took the opportunity to thank the Governments of France and Germany for their joint initiative in recognising the work of human rights activists.
15 persons have been chosen globally this year, as winners of this prestigious Franco-German Prize, for Human Rights and the Rule of Law.

Ice Warning in the UK as commuters face delays

Commuters are facing difficult journeys in icy conditions across parts of the UK, following another night of sub-zero temperatures. The British Met Office has extended yellow warnings for snow and ice and has warned that driving could be "hazardous". Temperatures as low as
(-13) Celsius were recorded last night in Shawbury and Shropshire and was recorded as the coldest night of the year so far. The deep freeze also left thousands without power. There were 220 homes without supply in the West Midlands early today. Following a day of train delays, the British National Railways has notified travellers to check with train operators before heading out. It recommends that customers either cancel or change their travel plans.

President appeals to railway employees

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday requested the employees of Sri Lanka Railways including engine drivers to report for duty considering the inconvenience faced by the school children facing the GCE Ordinary Level examination and the general public, a statement issued by Presidential Media Division said yesterday.

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Eight Trade Unions attached to the technical service of the Sri Lanka Railways have decided to end their strike and report for duty.

Eight Trade Unions attached to the technical service of the Sri Lanka Railways have decided to end their strike and report for duty. These unions have informed their decision to President Maithripala Sirisena and Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala De Silva.

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The G C E Ordinary level exam commences today

Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam states that all measures have been taken to conduct the GCE ordinary level exam which is due to begin today. The minister earnestly requests all candidates sitting for the exam to abide by examination rules.

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Deputy Minister Asoka Abeysinghe stated in parliament today that the railway trade union action now in force is totally unacceptable and unfair.

Deputy Minister Asoka Abeysinghe stated in parliament yesterday that the railway trade union action now in force is totally unacceptable. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake requested the unions on strike to be considerate since the GCE ordinary level examination is to commence today. Meanwhile the private bus operators association states that steps have been taken to run sufficient buses in view of the examination.

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The Board of Investment plans to set up a system for online approval of investment proposals.

The Board of Investment is planning to set up a system for online approvals of investment proposals. The Board is in the process of setting up an effective virtual one-stop shop for investment approvals. The Board will be receiving World Bank support for this endeavour. When the system is set up, an investor will be able to submit one application which goes through 24 line agencies which will process it and approve it, unless it needs other approvals like environmental impact assessments. The BOI will sign agreements with all the 24 agencies that will need to be involved. The new system is expected to come online during the first half of 2018.

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