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Sun12172017

Last updateSun, 17 Dec 2017 7am

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The CTB launches an island-wide programme to facilitate commuters.

The Sri Lanka Transport Board has launched an island-wide programme to facilitate commuters in view of the ongoing railway trade union action. Usually 5700 CTB buses are deployed on a routine basis. However, in view of the present situation one thousand additional buses have been deployed. Due to school children being on vacation 750 school buses and 60 long distance and luxury buses will be deployed to facilitate commuters. Chairman of the Ceylon Transport Board Ramal Siriwardhana states that railway season ticket holders and passengers who have reserved train tickets are able to travel in these buses free of charge.

He added that Students sitting for the GCE ordinary level examination which is due to commence tomorrow are able to travel even in private buses by producing their season ticket.

A ‘Santa Clause race’ for charity in Spain

More than 7,000 people dressed as Santa Claus ran through the capital of Spain yesterday to raise funds for cancer treatment and research. Participants in the annual event raced five kilometers in central Madrid as light snow fell across the city. Some ran with their babies in carriages dressed in Santa Claus costumes. Some ran with their dogs in Santa outfits. Each runner donated one euro to a cancer research foundation. One runner was quoted saying, it is a very good way to start the Christmas season.

The UK's Brexit negotiator David Davis says the EU deal is not binding.

The UK's Brexit negotiator David Davis has described the deal struck by Theresa May to move to the next phase of talks as a "statement of intent". He said it was not "legally enforceable" and if the UK failed to get a trade deal with the EU then it would not pay its divorce bill.

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UPFA and SLFP General Secretaries sign nomination papers for local government polls.

General Secretaries of the UPFA and the SLFP today signed the nomination papers of their respective candidates contesting the election for local government institutions. It took place at the SLFP headquarters in Colombo. Speaking on the occasion SLFP general secretary Duminda Dissanayake said the party would contest Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Gampaha districts and the Northern and Eastern provinces under the ‘Hand’ symbol.

The cost of living committee meets tomorrow

 

The cost of living committee will meet tomorrow presided by President Maithripala Sirisena. Minister Risath Bathiudeen says relief to be given to the people will be discussed at the meeting. Speaking to the media in Colombo, the minister said the government has taken measures to bring down the prices of rice & coconuts. He added that maximum retail prices of several essential commodities would be gazetted tomorrow. Thereafter, raids will be conducted island wide to nab traders who sell these commodities at high prices.

Accepting postal voting applications close on 15th of December for local government polls

 

Accepting nominations will begin tomorrow for the 93 local government institutions, for which nominations were called two weeks ago. Additional commissioner of elections M.M. Mohammad said nominations would close at 12 noon on the 14th of December. Deposits will be accepted until 12 noon on the 13th of December.
He also said applications would be accepted for postal voting until the 15th of December. According to the additional commissioner of elections, deposits will be accepted until 12 noon on 21st of December for the 248 LG bodies for which nominations were called on the 4th of December. For these LG bodies nominations will be accepted from the 18th to the 21st of December.

Every educational zone is to have a pool of surplus teachers

Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam promises to provide employment to 15,000 graduates. He says the country’s youths will not have to stage agitations, demanding jobs. Addressing a recent function in Battaramulla, minister Kariyawasam also said every educational zone would have a pool of surplus teachers in order to improve the efficiency of school education. He said every vacancy in the education ministry would be gazetted on an annual basis.

Sri Lanka records an easy 7 wicket victory over India in the first one day international

 

Sri Lanka recorded an easy 7 wicket victory over India in the first one day international in Dharamsala today. Sent in to bat first, India managed only 112 all out in 38.2 overs. After losing their first 7 wickets for 29 runs, Mahendra Singh Dhoni made 65 runs to give some respectability to the Indian total. Suranga Lakmal was the pick of the bowlers, taking four wickets for 13 runs. Sri Lanka reached their target easily, taking 20.4 overs and losing only 3 wickets on the way. Upul Tharanga made 49.

The budget next year was passed in Parliament yesterday by a two third majority

 

The 3rd reading of the budget for next year was passed in Parliament yesterday by a two third majority. 155 votes in favour of the budget and 56 voted against it. The Tamil National Alliance voted in favour of the budget with the government.
The Appropriation Draft Bill including the whole expenditure for next year was presented in Parliament on the 9th of last October

The Local Government Elections Amendment Bill was also passed by a majority of 88 votes

The Local Government Elections Amendment Bill was passed in the parliament yesterday by a majority of 88 votes. The bill was passed with 137 voting for and 49 voting against the proposed amendment Bill. Eight members of parliament abstained from voting.
Commencing the 2nd reading debate of the amendment bill, Minister Faizer Mustafa said this bill bring with the aim to solve several technological issues. The objective is to provide justice for all. Some are acting forwarding the communalism in the country. He also stated that this amendment has been forwarded according to the request of the Election commission.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said it is expected to conduct all LG polls in a single day.

The President signed the Gazette notification declaring railways as an essential service

 

President Maithripala Sirisena signed the Gazette notification declaring railways as an essential service, under the Essential Public Service Act. Accordingly, the General Manger of the Railways informed that all officials of the Railway should report for duty immediately as their leave will be cancelled.
The employees who do not report for duty will be considered to have vacated their posts following the declaration of the railway service as an essential service. The relevant Gazette notification was presented to the Parliament yesterday by the Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella. He asked the Speaker for a voting on this notification. Accordingly, a sudden voting was held. 127 voted in favour 54 were against it. Eleven were abstained from voting.

The railway engine drivers association decides to call off the trade union action. The factors addressing the grievances of association have been submitted to the cabinet.

The railway engine drivers association decides to call off the trade union action. A discussion with  presidential secretary Austin Fernando  was held today at presidential secretariat. The members of the railway engine drivers association participated in this discussion. The discussion was successful. As a result the association decided to call off  the railway strike. It was agreed that a special cabinet paper will be submitted including the grievances of the railway engine drivers in next cabinet meeting.

Parliamentarian Nalinda Jayatissa alleges the Rajapakse family used the public funds to construct monuments to commemorate their parents.

Parliamentarian Nalinda Jayatissa alleges the Rajapakse family used the public funds to construct monuments to commemorate their parents.
The parliamentarian further said this is a wrong precedence adopted by the previous regime. The public funds are wasted to glorify the parents of the Rajapakse family.
The public should understand the real situation. This is also one of the main reason of piling up a huge debt burden on the country.

The general secretary of UNP says the UNP does not have a policy to disregard the grievances of the general public.

The general secretary of UNP Minister Kabeer Hasheem said, the policy of UNP will never ever betray the grievances of the general public. The UNP never gone against the people’s aspirations, The minister made these remarks at a media conference held at UNP  headquarters Sirikotha this morning.

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The correction of GCE ordinary level answer scripts will be held in two stages.

The necessary arrangements are being made to conduct the GCE Ordinary level exam. The commissioner general of the examination Sanath Pujitha says,  the corrections of the GCE ordinary level exam answer scripts will be held in 2 stages.

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15 students of the University of Peradeniya engaged in inhuman ragging receive suspensions.

The administration of University of Peradeniya has suspended for a period of three years 15 students who involved in inhuman ragging of eight new students in the faculty of agriculture. Their suspension letters were released with the signature of Vice Chancellor Professor Upul Dissanayake upon recommendations given subsequent to a disciplinary inquiry conducted by the university. The perpetrators who apprehended on the 19th of February this year were under remand custody for more than three months and were released upon bail with strict conditions.

The government intends to prioritise mathematics, science, technology and engineering subjects in the school curriculum.


Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says the government will give priority to mathematics, science, technology and engineering subjects in the school curriculum. He expressed these views participating at the award ceremony of the 2017 all island mathematics do-you-know contest that was held yesterday. He pointed out that many job opportunities are available both locally and internationally in these fields.

Steps have been taken to implement all the loan schemes introduced in the budget, by January next year.

State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne states that the Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera has taken steps to implement all the loan schemes introduced in the budget, by January next year. Interest free loans, loans at concessionary rates, and guarenter-less loans are included in these loan schemes. He further stated that loans can be obtained under concessionary interest rates not offered by commercial banks. He expressed these views participating at a media briefing in Sirikotha yesterday.

The third school term ends today for the Christmas vacation.

The third term of the academic year 2017 of government schools and government-approved private schools, ends today. The first term for the year 2018 will begin on the 2nd of January. The Ministry of Education states that commencement dates for schools that will be used for paper marking of the GCE O/L examination, will be notified later.

Several office trains will be plying to Colombo Fort amidst the ongoing railway trade union action.

The Railway Control Room states that since the railway trade union action is still in force, only a few office trains will be operational this morning. 7 trains from Kandy, Rambukkana, Polgahawela, Maho Junction, Galle, Matara and Awissawella will arrive at the Colombo Fort Railway Station between 08:00 and 09:00 in the morning. Two trains from Chilaw will also arrive during this time period. In addition to the Locomotive Operating Engineers Union, Station Masters and Guards will also be joining the trade union action.

Farthest monster black hole found

Astronomers have discovered the most distant "super-massive" black hole known to Science. The matter-munching sinkhole is a whopping 13 billion light-years away. It is about 800 million times the mass of our Sun and has managed to grow to a surprisingly large size after the origin of the Universe. The newly discovered black hole is busily devouring material at the centre of a galaxy, marking it out as a so-called “quasar”. Quasars are among the brightest and most distant known celestial objects and are crucial to understanding the early Universe. This quasar is interesting because it comes from a time when the Universe was just 5 percent of its current age. At that time, the cosmos was beginning to emerge from a period known as the "dark ages", which was just before the first stars appeared.

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