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Last updateTue, 12 Feb 2019 11am

Local News

81st anniversary of Lanka Sama Samaja Party marked today.

81st anniversary of Lanka Sama Samaja Party marked at the New Town Hall of Colombo today. The keynote address of the event was delivered by Professor Liyanage Amarakeerthi of Sinhala Department of University of Peradeniya.

While sending a congratulatory message President Maithripala Sirisena said that Lanka Sama Samaja Party has wielded an enormous impact on the Sri Lanka's political history. 

A warm welcome to the President in Malaysia.

President Maithripala Sirisena left the Island this morning to Malaysia on an official tour. President landed in Kuala Lumpur international airport at 2.10 local time. Delegation headed by Malaysian Human Resources Development Minister welcomed the President at the airport.

A special guard of honour was also given to the delegation headed by President Sirisena. The Malaysian government has made all arrangements to welcome the president of Sri Lanka. President Sirisena had a cordial discussion with the Malaysian Minister of Human Resources Development at the Kuala Lumpur international airport. The main objective of this visit is to strengthen the economic and trade ties between the two countries. President Sirisena also participated at a business summit organized by the two countries in the afternoon.

This summit was organized with the aim of strengthening the cooperative relationship between Sri Lanka and Asian markets. A special ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of Sri Lanka - Malaysia Diplomatic relations will be held in the evening in Malaysia under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena.


The president will also participate the cultural show and food festival organized in line with this commemoration. President Sirisena is also scheduled to meet Malaysian King Sultan Mohommed and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak tomorrow and have bilateral discussions on various sectors.

The report on demarcation of local government areas will be submitted to the Minister of local governments on the 27th.

The report on demarcation of local government areas will be submitted to the Minister of Local Governments Fizer Mustafa on the 27th. The committee appointed for this purpose, has informed this to the Ministry. A gazette notification will be released on the 21st of this month. Accordingly, local government elections can be conducted in March next year.

Minister Faizer Mustafa made these remarks at a media conference held at the SLFP headquarters today. Speaking further at this conference, Minister Mustafa expressed confidence that the much awaited local government elections can be conducted during the first quarter of next year.

He further said around 2,000 appeals have been addressed and demarcation was revised during this process. The Minister rejected the claims that the local government election is being postponed purposely. Minister Fizer Mustafa further said the government does not have any intention to postpone the election. Minister also reiterated that the unison government which comprises SLFP and UNP should be able to overcome the challenges and malicious campaign carried out by opposition elements.

The protest of Hambantota port employees has come to an end.

The protest of Hambantota port employees has come to an end this afternoon. Minister Arjuna Ranathunga made a special announcement yesterday requesting all protesting employees to report to work before 2.00 pm today. The services of employees who do not report before 2.00 pm will be terminated.

The employees decided to call off the strike and protests after taking a serious note on the instructions of the Minister. The 9 days long protest has come to an end after a successful discussion between the top management and the employees.

Sri Lanka celebrates 91 years of completion in radio broadcasting.

Sri Lanka marks the 91 years of completion in radio broadcasting tomorrow. Sri Lanka commenced the radio broadcasting in 16th December 1925 under the patronage of then British Governor Sir Hu Clifford. Sri Lanka was the first country in the Asian region to start the radio broadcasting under the British rule. Thereafter Sri Lanka broadcasting service commenced under the supervision of telecommunication regulatory department. Radio Ceylon commenced its broadcasting services as a state department in October 1949.

Mr. John A Lampson who was the senior announcer at BBC and served as manager in three centers of European region was appointed as the first director of Broadcasting Department. M.J Perera was the first director of Sinhala Service of this department. The commercial service commenced on the 30th of September 1950. The Broadcasting Department was transformed as Broadcasting Corporation on the 5th of January 1967.

The first Chairman and Director General of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation was Nevil D. Jayaweera. The SLBC is now having many language services including Sinhala National, Commercial, City FM, Tamil and English services under its belt along with online services.

Paddy Marketing Board distributes Paddy stocks to rice mill owners from today.

The Paddy Marketing Board commences the distribution of paddy stocks to the rice mill owners from today. The Chairman of the Board M.B Dissanayalka said the paddy stocks are distributed to small and medium scale rice mill owners at present. The government has decided to implement this programme in order to control the prices of rice in the market.

150,000 metric tons of paddy stocks will distributed to the paddy mill programme under this programm. The paddy stocks will be sold at the prevailing highest wholesale prices to the paddy mill owners in the respective districts. As a result more paddy stocks can be expected at the Markets in near future.

A centralized unit to review expenses of ministries

A centralized unit is to be established under the purview of Ministry of Finance to review the expenses of the ministries. Minister Ravi Karunanayake made this disclosure at a discussion held with Ministry Secretaries yesterday on implementing 2017 budget proposals.  The government has declared next year as the year that the programmes to eradicate poverty and create a massive economic development in the country will be inaugurated.

 The minister points out the skills of public servants required to carry out his duties properly are immensely important to make the government's development drive successful. Maintaining transparency when implementing projects of ministries is essential according to the national planning policy.  The finance minister also said additional allocations will only be made next year during an emergency disaster situation.

Fertilizer subsidy to be given for paddy cultivation in Maha season today

Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture Vijitha Chandra Piyathillake says the fertilizer subsidy for the paddy farmers who will engage in cultivation activities during the Maha season will be given away today. Therefore, depositing of money in the bank accounts of farmers in Jaffna, Gampaha and Kilinochchi districts will take place today.

The contribution of 11 thousand public servants is obtained to create a data base of farmers for this process. Agri-research officers are also among them. There are adequate stocks of chemical fertilizer for the Maha season. However, the additional secretary said the use of chemical fertilizer has dropped significantly due to the government's initiative of promoting organic fertilizer.

Meanwhile, Director General of Irrigation Saman Weerasinghe says water is issued for cultivation activities of Maha season from 45 out of 73 main tanks. However, it is important to use the water sparingly as heavy showers are not expected in the coming months. Therefore, all irrigation engineers throughout the island have been asked to come to Colombo to hold a discussion in this regard.

Media should create a dialogue on rights & duties of citizens - Dy Min Media

Deputy Minister of Mass Media Karunaratne Paranavithana emphasizes the present good governance government is committed to ensure media freedom to the fullest and to safeguard it. The government has a clear vision regarding media. Taking part in the Subarathi discussion programme of the SLBC this morning, he pointed out media has a responsibility of creating a dialogue on rights and duties of citizens.

The media is allowed to criticize politicians. In return the politicians should have the opportunity to criticize media. But, the politicians do not have any right to crackdown media. The deputy stated certain parties are attempting to create a wrong picture by stating that a crackdown media is taking place at present. While emphasizing that the freedom and democracy will be safeguarded the deputy minister said that no one can be allowed to interrupt the government's activities.

Director General of government information Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya pointed out the need of having an inclusive media culture in the country. He pointed out independent reviews have revealed that the public trust on media is weakening.

Time period granted to register tea lands expires Dec 31

Commissioner General of Tea Jayantha Edirisinghe says there is an immense interest among tea estate owners to register tea lands. They can obtain the application in this regard from the Grama Niladhari Officer of the area. Filled applications should be handed over again to him.

The time period granted for this purpose will expire from 31st of this month. Around 4,000 applications have been given away to cultivators in this regard. Another 200 thousand are to be given. The programme is implemented with the objective of gaining a higher price for Sri Lankan tea in the world market. Subsidies and other benefits will be given for tea lands according to this registration programme hereafter. All tea cultivators will receive a certificate and
a registration number.