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Last updateTue, 13 Nov 2018 8pm

Local News

Former MP Tissa Attanayake remanded till 5th of December

Former parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake has been remanded till the 5th of December. The police have filed a case against him for preparing a forged document using the signature of leader of the United National Party Ranil Wickremasinghe. The case is heard before the Colombo high court.

PM holds discussions with various parties of European parliament on GSP +

The Sri Lankan delegation led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe who is engaged in a visit to Belgium has held discussions with various parties who represent the European parliament on the possibility of regaining the
GSP plus tax concession. The Prime Minister elaborated on the measures Sri Lanka has taken to restore good governance, democracy, human rights, reconciliation and social justice. Therefore, Sri Lanka's eligibility of regaining the tax relief was emphasized at the discussion.

The premier met the parliamentary representatives who belong to the European People's Party who are charged with foreign affairs first. Subsequently discussions were held with the members of the committee on international trade of the European Parliament. Views were also exchanged with the group who represent European People's party at the European parliament. Discussions with the Sri Lanka Friendship Group of the European parliament was held later. All of them urged the government to expedite the measures taken to restore good governance, democracy, social justice, reconciliation and to eradicate corruption.

SL's future will be strengthened under unison government - European Commission

Chairman of the European Commission Jean Claude Junker says Sri Lanka is engaged in a correct journey under the vision of the unison government formed with the support two main political parties. He pointed out it is the expectation of the European community to see Sri Lanka's future being strengthened under the unison government. He made these remarks when the Sri Lankan delegation led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe called on him at the headquarters of the European commission in Brussels.

Sri Lanka has now been able to gain the confidence of the international community. The premier elaborated on the socio economic reforms that are taking place after the victory achieved on 8th of January last year.

Rains to continue

The Met Department says the rainy weather condition will prevail in the next few days as well. Showers are experienced as a result of the inter monsoon weather condition. The highest rain fall of 87 millimeters was recorded from Benthotawaththa area in the 24 hours ended from 8.30 a.m. today. Many parts of the country experienced showers exceeding 50 millimeters. Water levels of Mahaaweli, Kelani, Nilwala and Walawe rivers have gone up considerably.

Meanwhile Director General of Irrigation Saman Weerasinghe says the water required for cultivation activities in Maha season will be issued between 1st and 15th of next month.

Meanwhile our correspondent says heavy showers are experienced in several areas of the Galle district from midnight yesterday ending the drought. However, many tanks and rivers including Ging Ganga, Maadu Ganga, Benthara Ganga as well as lakes can be polluted due to the garbage that have not been dumped properly for several months. Therefore the public should be careful when consuming the water of those rivers and lakes. Southern provincial minister U.G.D.Ariyathilleka says 8600 hectares of land will be cultivated as a result of the heavy showers.

The European Commission is ready to assist Sri Lanka’s new development journey.

The European Commission’s Vice President Federica Mogherini said that the European Commission is ready to assist Sri Lanka’s new development journey, focused on good governance, reconciliation and social justice. She stated this during her meeting with visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Brussels.


An agreement signed between trade unions of the estate sector and owners of the estates.

An agreement between trade unions of the estate sector and owners of the estates were signed today. Representatives from several trade unions representing estate workers and representatives from the owners' federation signed the document. The agreement will be in effect for 2 years.


Next year's budget to focus on eradicating poverty

President Maithripala Sirisena says the budget for next year will focus on eradicating poverty as the year 2017 has been dedicated to achieve that target. Therefore, priority will be given for sustainable development next year. Plans in this regard are now being formulated at ministerial level. The President made this disclosure while declaring open the international environmental forum and exhibition titled "Sri Lanka Next-The Blue Green Era" in Colombo today.

Speaking further, President Maithripala Sirisena said he was pleased to sign the Paris Pact on climate change.
Sri Lanka is committed to implement it. The President pointed out Sri Lanka is a country that has identified the value of the environment. The interest and the commitment shown towards environmental conservation have increased during the last two years. People who suffer from the consequences of the climate change properly understand the importance of protecting the environment. Therefore, the President pledged to take stern legal action against persons who destroy the environment.

Handing over of Presidential environmental awards also took place under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. Japanese Deputy Minister of Environment was also present on the occasion. Representatives from more than
60 Asia Pacific countries are taking part in this event.

EC commends commitment & sacrifice of PM to create a democratic country

The European Council has commended the commitment and the sacrifice made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to create a democratic nation dedicated for good governance, which was moving towards dictatorship, corruption and violence. Its President Donald Tusk made this remark when he met the Sri Lankan delegation led by the Premier who is engaged in an official visit to Belgium, at the headquarters of European council in Brussels. He assured the organization's fullest support to extend the GSP plus tax concession to Sri Lanka again.

Donald Tusk recalled it was Ranil Wickremasinghe who emphasized the need of forming a national government in number of elections. He pointed out Sri Lanka has set many examples to the entire region in this regard. While praising the honest commitment shown by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to create political stability in Sri Lanka under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena, Donald Tusk stated it is the stance of the European council as well.

In response, the Premier acknowledged the support extended by the European community in order to achieve future challenges including the GSP tax concession. The Prime Minister invited the President of the European Council to visit Sri Lanka and gain a first hand experience on the developments that have taken place in Sri Lanka.
Therefore, Donald Tusk agreed to visit the country next year. He also urged the Sri Lankan government to focus attention on preventing Sri Lankan migrants reaching Europe illegally.

In reply, the Prime Minister expressed belief that the matter will be addressed with the completion of the development projects. However, he pledged to appoint a task force in this regard and to implement a coordinated programme with the support of the ministries of public law and order, resettlement and justice as well as the department of immigration and emigration. This is the first ever occasion a Sri Lankan leader had held discussions with a President of the European council.

IMO to assist SL to train public servants

The International Organization on Migration has expressed readiness to further enhance its assistance to Sri Lanka. Therefore, the IOM will provide training and capacity building support for the Ministries of Foreign Employment and Foreign Affairs, and to the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau. Cooperation is also to be extended in the areas of countering human trafficking and people smuggling operations, providing short-term internship opportunities with the IOM for the relevant officials. Furthermore, the organization will support upgrading of the consular services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well.

The IOM also pledged to continue technical and secretarial support for the Colombo Process, the regional consultative forum of contractual labour originating countries in Asia, currently chaired by Sri Lanka.

These assurances were given when Minister Thalatha Atukorale met with the Director General of IOM Ambassador William Lacy Swing in Geneva, to discuss and follow up progress on Sri Lanka’s bilateral cooperation with the IOM. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha was also present on the occasion.

SL will be able to attract more investments in near future - State Min Sujeewa

State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe says an environment where more foreign investments can be attracted is now prevailing in the country. Such opportunities were created even at the World Export Development Forum which was held in Sri Lanka recently. The country is to sign several international investment agreements in the near future. Taking part in the Subarathi discussion programme of the SLBC this morning, the state minister disclosed China, Singapore, India, Malaysia and Thailand are among the countries that the agreements will be signed. Furthermore, an industrial zone that spans across 15 thousand acres is to be established soon. The Volkswagen vehicle manufacturing plant will also be declared open in the country in the near future.

Furthermore, Sri Lanka hopes to regain the GSP tax concession by December. The lifting of the ban imposed on fish exports to the EU countries is another victory achieved by the country. The state minister also pointed out that no new industrial plant has been established in the country within the last 20 years. He added the country is moving forward strongly under the leadership of two matured leaders.