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Several initiatives to be taken next year for the development of railways sector

General Manager of Railways B.A.P.Ariyarathne says several initiatives are to be taken for the development of railways next year. Priority will be given on transporting goods via train in this regard. Coal are being transported from Trincomalee to Mahawa via train already. The General Manager of Railway says that an MOU will be signed with Prima company to transport flour soon. Furthermore transporting oil via train will be increased as well. For this purpose 30 oil tanks will be imported from India. Main objective is to increase the revenue earned from goods transportation.
The Railways General Manager also added nine new power sets and 12 engines will be imported from India.

Fresh water fisheries industry achieves a 4.1% growth this year

The fresh water fisheries industry has achieved a growth of 4.1 percent this year. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says it has recorded this growth amidst the severe drought and drying up of tanks experienced throughout this year. The minister expresses belief the industry will achieve a growth exceeding 8 percent next year due to the measures taken for the development of the sector.

The total fish production of the country during the 1st ten months of this year is 432 thousand 270 metric tons. The total production of the fresh water fishery industry alone is 59,040 metric tons.

Powerful typhoon head towards Manila

Powerful typhoon Nock-Ten is continuing to batter the Philippines, as it heads towards the area around the heavily-populated capital Manila. Civil defence officials have been put on "red alert", as the storm is due to hit the city later today.

 Meteorologists say the storm has weakened since making landfall on the eastern coast yesterday, but it still packs winds up to 140 kilometer per hour. The storm cut power lines and uprooted trees, but no deaths were reported. Manila's civil defence office warned that the capital could be hit by "heavy to intense rains, flash floods and severe winds".

Appeals committee on demarcation of LG boundaries to hand over its report to the govt tomorrow

Chairman of the Appeals Committee on the demarcation of boundaries of local government institutions Asoka Peiris says the committee’s report will be handed over to Minister Faizer Mustafa tomorrow. Although it was scheduled to be handed over on 15th of this month the process delayed as the report had to be translated to English and Tamil languages. The report is now available in all three languages.

The Appeals Committee on the demarcation of boundaries of local government institutions was appointed on 1st of December
last year. It was entrusted to carryout demarcation activities after reviewing the appeals made with regard to demarcation of 206 out of 336 local government areas. The chairman says his committee was able to serve justice to all parties. The report includes proposals to transform certain Pradeshiya Sabhas to urban councils while certain Urban Councils to Municipal Councils. Furthermore the committee has also pointed out that certain areas that are under certain Urban Councils should fall under the purview of Municipal Councils while certain areas under Pradeshiya Sabhas should come under the purview of Urban Councils. A separate report in this regard will be handed over to the minister soon.

Govt intention is to create an environment where all communities can live in harmony

Minister Mano Ganeshan says it is the intention of the government to create an environment where all communities and persons who follow different religions can live in harmony in the country. Taking part in the Subarathi discussion programme of the SLBC this morning the Minister stated his Ministry is entrusted with the responsibility of building reconciliation among communities.

State Minister Ravindra Samaraweera who joined the programme said the present government has been exemplary to the world on creating harmony. The President and the Prime Minister are committed to take the country forward honoring various opinions.

Rev.Father Jude Chrishantha said majority of the persons who contributed to build the world’s largest Christmas tree were Buddhists. He pointed out it reflects religious harmony in the country.

No truth in claims that new constitution will divide the country -Mahinda Amaraweera

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says there is no truth in the rumors spread by certain parties that the country will be divided from the proposed new constitution. Their only objective is to mislead the public. The Minister stated this while joining the ceremonies held to commission several development projects at Matara, Kottegoda.

There is no truth in the statements made that the northern and eastern provinces will be merged. The Minister also emphasized that the government will not allow a federal system to be implemented. The new constitution will not damage the country’s unitary status. The proposed constitution will come in to effect after reviewing opinions of all parties.

Dengue eradication programmes to be carried out in school premises tomorrow & day after

The Ministry of Health has decided to examine all school premises ahead of the new school term. Therefore, the National Dengue Eradication Unit has taken measures to clean them tomorrow and the day after under the instructions of Minister Dr.Rajitha Senarathne. Fumigation will be carried out after destroying mosquito breeding places. The Ministry of Education has extended its fullest support for this purpose. Special attention will be given to the schools in Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Galle districts and in Kalmunei area. The number of dengue patients reported from those areas has increased over the last couple of months.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Health says issues pertaining to waste management and not maintaining households clean have resulted the increase in number of dengue patients in Galle districts. It has been revealed that majority of patients are reported from Galle Municipal area, Ambalangoda and Balapitiya. Therefore fumigation and examining household premises will be carried out daily.

Meanwhile 20 machines required for fumigation were imported to Sri Lanka on Friday. Another 105 machines are to be received next month. The Ministry of Health has decided to import several more machines from Germany. A total of 48,682 dengue patients have been reported so far this year. The number of deaths reported is 77.

Sri Lanka commemorates 12th anniversary of Tsunami disaster.

Sri Lanka commemorates 12th anniversary of Tsunami disaster. Sri Lanka will commemorate the 12th anniversary of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami on the Boxing Day of 2004 which killed over 35,000 people. This year's commemoration of the tsunami, which struck 13 out of 14 coastal districts in the island, will be held at the district level, an official said.

Deputy director of disaster management center Pradeep Kodippili says there will be religious functions organized islandwide including the coastal areas to commemorate the tsunami disaster. Ceremonies to commemorate those who died will be held at district level which will include religious observances.

However, awareness programs and drills will be held in 14 districts, he added. Awareness programs are held monthly including in schools, according to a DMC official.

Following the 2004 tsunami, Sri Lanka has set up a mechanism to record the effect of a tsunami within five minutes of its occurrence and the Disaster Management Ministry has established systematic procedures to evacuate the people to safety from danger areas within one hour.

According to statistics 35,322 people lost their lives in Sri Lanka and over 500,000 lost their homes when the island was struck by the tsunami that was resulted from the Indian Ocean earthquake in Indonesia on December 26, 2004.

Minister Sajith Premadasa says the proposed new constitution will ensure the right to live to the common masses.

Minister Sajith Premadasa states that the new constitution to be introduced will strengthen the right of the people.  He added that it is not the policy of the government which is based on good governance policies to let down the country.  He also said that the right to information will be ensured and the general public will be empowered.

 Minister Premadasa was speaking at a meeting held in Siribopura area in Hambanthota yesterday.  The event was organized to mark the commencement of housing project under the “Uda Gammana” programme.

The President says all should be committed to spread peace, harmony and happiness.

President Maithripala Sirisena says Jesus Christ was a great messenger of reconciliation and social righteousness to the world. In his Christmas Message, he described Jesus as an eternal savior to people around the world.“Jesus Christ was born into this world in an era when immorality, chaos and cruelty was the order of the day.

Since then, the new religious vision that emerged centering a humble dwelling shines eternally as a mark of human greatness. He further said that all should be committed to spread peace, harmony and happiness throughout the world and in Sri Lanka with new thinking. He wishes to enhance national reconciliation and cooperation with the dawn of Christmas.

The Premier calls upon people of all faith to support the government to restore peace and harmony.

prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said all should be united to strengthen peace and reconciliation and non-violence in Sri Lanka.  In his Christmas message, the premier called upon people of all faith to collaborate with the government in its efforts to restore peace and harmony in the country. Spirit of peace and joy was heralded with the birth of Jesus Christ. The premier also wishes peace and harmony in the world and Sri Lanka as well.

Another merry Christmas will dawn in the mid night today.

Another merry Christmas will dawn in the mid night today.  The Christians all over the world mark the 2016th birthday of Jesus Christ in grand manner.  Sermons will be conducted in all catholic churches in few hours.  The Holy mass will be held at the St. Sebestian’s Church in Kandana under the patronage of Arch Bishop his Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith.

 The mass which has been organized at the St. Ann’s church in Kurana will be broadcast live from 11.45 PM through Sinhala National Service of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.  Our correspondents say the shops in Colombo and many other cities were full with people who were shopping in the Christmas eve.

New bus service will begin from Maharagama to Panadura via the Southern Expressway.

A new bus service from Maharagama to Panadura via Bandaragama through the Southern Expressway will begin from the 1st of January.  A bus reaches from Maharagama to Panadura within 45 minutes. The  bus fare is 150 rupees.  The Western provincial Commuter Transport Authority says such a bus service from Maharagama to Kadawatha will also be planned.

Consumer Protection Societies will be set up in throughout the island.

The Consumer Affairs Authority is to set up Consumer Societies in each district next year. These societies will make the consumers aware of their rights. Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority Hasitha Thilakaratna says these societies will also motivate the traders to sell quality commodities to people at reasonable prices.
The Authority will also take measures to educate school children on the consumer rights. Accordingly, Consumer protection circles will be set up in each school from the next year. The Ministry of Education, Maha Sangha and other religious dignitaries will also support for this programme. A public awareness campaign with posters and banners has already been launched in this connection.

Special Deva Pooja was conducted at Sorivila Sri Muththu Amman Kovil in Polonnaruwa pleaing for rain, under the patronage of the President.

A special Deva pooja was conducted in Polonnaruwa at the Soriwila Sri Muththuamman Kovil to bless the people and the country and also with the hope of rain for the fruitful harvest this morning. President Maithripala Sirisena was participated at the event. The pooja was organized by the farmer communities in the B and C Mahaweli zones.
Meanwhile, a Pirith chanting ceremony is now being carried out before the statue of D.S. Senanayake at the Parakrama Samudra.

The concessionary period for those who use open papers to register their vehicles will end on the 31st of this month.

Commissioner General of Motor Traffic Jagath Chandrasiri says the concessionary period for those who use open papers to register their vehicles will end on the 31st of this month. The deadline will not be extended. He requested the vehicle owners to submit relevant applications in this regard during next week. A large number of applications have been received to register their vehicles by their names. The Commissioner General also stated that there is no truth on this statement propagating that the age limit to issue driving licenses has been increased.

The Establishment Code will be updated.

The Establishment Code will be updated. The Director General of the Ministry of Public Administration W D Somadasa says this measure has been identified as a timely needed act. Discussions are now being carried out to amend some clauses of the Code. A committee has been appointed in this regard under the patronage of the Director General. Mr. Somadasa told the National Radio that officials of several Ministries and Departments will be convened for discussions in future.
The Establishment Code was declared for the first time in the year 1971. After that, some amendments were made in 1985, the copies of the Code were published in only in Sinhala and English languages. It was re-amended in 2012. He also said updating the Establishment Code with new amendments is a severe task and it will take around one year period.

PC subjects will not be brought under Central Govt from development bill - PM

A special meeting between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and Chief Ministers of Provincial councils was held at the Temple Trees yesterday. The objectives of the development special provisions bill were discussed on the occasion. The premier pointed out it does not aim to bring the subjects of provincial council under the central government. Instead it hopes to gain the active contribution of provincial councils for the national development drive. The Prime Minister also emphasized that none of the subjects that fall under provincial councils will be affected from this bill.


All the defendants of MP Nadaraja Raviraj murder acquitted from charges

The Colombo high court today acquitted all the defendants of the parliamentarian Nadaraja Raviraj murder case from all charges. The unanimous decision of the Jury was also to acquit them from all charges. The case had been filed against 6 suspects.


People around the world gets ready to celebrate the Christmas

Christians around the world and throughout the country are getting ready to celebrate the Christmas which dawn tomorrow. The Christmas Holy Mass will begin at St.Anne’s Church in Kurana at 11.45pm today. It will be conducted by Rev. Father Cyril Gamini Fernando


Public or agri-lands will not be acquitted by the govt for new industries - Min Amaraweera

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera emphasizes lands which the people are residing and agri lands will not be acquitted by the government to establish new industries in Hambanthota district. The minister stated this at a discussion held with Chief Incumbents of Temples of the district yesterday.


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