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Last updateMon, 24 Jun 2019 2pm

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Parliamentarian Athureliya Ratghana Thera said the budget will lead to a revolution in the local food culture.

The budget debate is taking place  in parliament today as well. Joining the debate this evening, parliamentarian Venerable Athureliye Rathana Thera said some MPs are criticizing these budget proposals totally forgetting the ills committed by their during their regime.


Australia ready to support SL's tourism, trade & investment sectors

Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Bryce Hutchesson says an era of hope and opportunity has dawned for Sri Lanka. He points out there is much Australia and Sri Lanka can do together to realize the potential of both countries.

Next year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The High Commissioner made these remarks while addressing an event held in Canberra recently titled ‘Sri Lanka Festival 2016’ to mark the occasion. Promoting Sri Lanka as a destination for tourism, trade and investment was carried out as well.

A peoples' budget has been presented - Min Dr. Rajitha

Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne says a peoples' budget that aims development of the country has been presented to the parliament. Taking part in the Subharathi discussion programme of the SLBC this morning the Minister stated the country's economic growth rate was 4.5 percent last year. The government aims to increase it up to seven percent as soon as possible.
The unemployment rate has dropped to four percent at present. Progress can be seen in financial, insurance and tourism sectors. The country's export revenue this year so far is 111 billion US dollars. The remittance received from migrant workers is 7.5 billion dollars. 
Speaking further the Minister added that the budget has focused attention on the health sector as well. Majority of funds have been allocated to eradicate kidney diseases and cancer. Kidney treatment units are to be establish in five hospitals. 

Budget 2017 is a victory of the country - Min Siyambalapitiya

The debate on the budget commenced for the 4th day in Parliament today. Parliamentarian Sivagnanam Srikaran who commenced the debate said justice should be served to all in order to create reconciliation in the country. 
Minister John Amarathunga who joined the debate defined the budget as one of the best budgets presented to the Parliament. He expressed belief that it would fulfill the expectations of the public. The government is committed to safeguard rights of all communities in a unitary state. The new constitution will reaffirm that commitment. He pointed out it is the responsibility of all to act with responsibility to prevent violence in northern and eastern provinces. 
Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya defined the budget which was prepared by the two main political parties is a victory of the country. It is a challenge to distribute limited resources of the country to cater unlimited requirements of the public. However, the Minister of Finance has undertaken that challenge. He has also focused attention on all the sectors. 
Parliamentarian Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa who joined the debate said the budget has fulfilled the requirements of the International Monetary Fund. Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa said the budget has not provide relief to the public. However, he commended the proposal to give tabs to the school children. 

Semi-Govt sector employment tomorrow

Director General of the Department of Census and Statistics Amara Satharasinghe has requested the cooperation of all employees to make the census on Public and Semi-Government sector employment successful. 
All employees are urged to provide correct information to the given questionnaire. The Director General added arrangements have been finalized for the census. It will be held from 9.30 to 11.30 am. Issuing of the questionnaire and instructions will be carried out by the coordinating officials. Main objective of this census is to enumerate all employees of the public and semi government sector, and to compile demographic and socio economic information of these employees.
The Director General says it would pave the way to enhance the quality of the services of the public and semi government sector. One of the special features of this year's census is that it also includes estate workers. All information of the employees serving on casual, substitute and contract basis will be collected. 
All the information regarding the census can be obtained by browsing the website

The President says some good governance policies fulfilled as he was able to secure the leadership of SLFP.

The 30th anniversary of Ravaya Newspaper was marked with the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe at the BMICH this afternoon. An intellectual debate has been organized to in line with the anniversary. The President said that he and the Ravaya Newspaper have same objective that making the country a better place. He added that he had been criticized by Ravaya many times. The President also pointed out that accepting the leadership of Sri Lanka Freedom Party was criticized by Victor Ivan and several other friends of him. He also noted that Ravaya played a crucial role in regard to shaping the public opinion when certain goals of good governance were achieved like passage of 19th amendment to the constitution. The President highlighted that after the January 8 transformation the parliament was imbalanced and more parliamentarians were with the opposition. But the administration was able to fulfill the targets as he was able to secure the leadership of SLFP.

Addressing the gathering Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said that he had many pros and cons with Ravaya.

The Prime Minister said that it is essential to pay serious attention on changing the current system. The ethnic harmony is one of major areas that has to be strengthened. The Premier said that racists have tarnished true freedom in the country. Advisor to the Ravaya Newspaper Victor Ivan said that the judiciary system should earn confidence and respect of the general public.


"Aava" group not led by the army, emphasizes State Min of Defence

Minister Sagala Rathnayake told the parliament today that the so-called "Aava" group in Northern Province is not engaged in any terrorist activity. It has been formed as
a result of a dispute that broke out between two factions in 2011. Majority of its members are between the ages of 18 to 25. They have carried out various robberies, assaults and are also involved in ransom incidents. Responding to
a question raised by parliamentarian Anura Dissanayake the minister said the group is engaged in such activities to show their heroism and to be different from the society. However, its members have been arrested recently as they are involved in various crimes.

Some of them were imprisoned while the others were released on bail. Certain persons have been freed as they had paid the fines. Speaking further, Minister Sagala Rathnayake disclosed some of the imprisoned members have linked up with dangerous criminals while they are in prison. The total number of members of the Aava group is 60. Out of them 38 have been arrested.

Investigations are being carried out regarding six persons. Judicial measures have been taken against 32. The first leader of the so-called Aava group is currently in prison. Operations are underway to arrest 8 more leaders.

State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijeyawardena who also spoke in the parliament emphasized that the Aava group is not led by the army. The security forces do not have any requirement to form such a group. However, one of its members who is currently in custody is an army deserter.

Meanwhile, Minister Daya Gamage told the parliament today that a propagated programme is now in progress to increase the production of cardamom. The sector faced a set back over the last couple of years due to the wrong policies of the previous government. However, the present government has taken measures to support the businessmen. The World Bank has also extended its assistance in this regard. Free training is also provided to them.

Cardamom has been cultivated in 2,800 hectares at present. In 2014, the country's cardamom production was 87 thousand kilos. It had increased upto 91 thousand kilos last year. Responding to a question raised by parliamentarian Buddhika Pathirana the minister added various measures including conducting researches and implementing investment projects are being carried out to increase the production.

Navy earns more than Rs.2b from Onboard Security Team Operations

The Navy has been able to earn 2.33 billion rupees for the government the Onboard Security Team Operations during last year. It undertook the Onboard Security Team Operations from the Avant Garde Maritime Services Limited on 13th November last year.

The Galle and Colombo operation centers have carried out a total of 6,646 ship movements during the period. The earnings generated were deposited in the Consolidated Fund of the government.

Budget has open up investment sector - Min Vajira

The debate on the budget commenced in the parliament for the third day today. Minister Vajira Abeywardena who commenced the debate said the budget has open up the investment sector which was confined to several businessmen.

The budget for the next year has encouraged local investments and has increased foreign investments as well.  Furthermore, it has not forgotten the northern and eastern provinces.  Therefore, the government has taken measures to strengthen the divisional administration in the tow provinces.

 Speaking further, the minister disclosed that a forum of district secretariats will be held to address the issues faced by the public.  All parliamentarians will be able to submit their problems to the forum.

An international conference on the reuse of water resources and seeking alternative measures to improve the water management will commence today in Colombo.

An international conference on the reuse of water resources and seeking alternative measures to improve the water management will commence today in Colombo.