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Last updateMon, 22 Jan 2018 8pm

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The World Economic Forum is to organize an investment round table in Sri Lanka.

Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama during a two day visit to Geneva recently met with Mr. Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum and senior officials engaged in areas relating to Sri Lanka.
The visit of the Minister took place as a continuation of Sri Lanka’s engagement with the Forum facilitated by the Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission in Geneva, on the eve of the 2018 Davos Summit, which will take place from 23-27 January 2018, where the WEF Annual Programme takes place. During the meetings on 4-5 January, the two parties agreed to explore the possibility of hosting an 'Investment Round Table' in Sri Lanka in the near future.

The Sri Lankan Finance Minister meets with Indian Foreign and Finance Ministers


Minister of Finance and Media, Mangala Samaraweera called on the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj at the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan in New Delhi yesterday. The two Ministers discussed issues of development cooperation between the two countries. Minister Samaraweera also met with India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and reviewed the present status of ongoing economic projects between the two countries

A three billion rupee funding for the construction of model villages in the Northern and Eastern provinces.

The construction of model villages in the Northern and Eastern provinces this year will be given a funding of three billion rupees. The Ministry of Housing and Construction says this is being undertaken under the “Shelter for All” National Housing Development Programme. Chairman of the National Housing Development Authority S.L. Palansuriya said 125 model villages would be constructed in the Northern Province. He said a sum of ten billion rupees has been set aside this year for housing development this year.

Hindus world over celebrates Thai Pongal festival today

Hindus world over celebrates Thai Pongal festival today. Pongal is a harvest festival dedicated to the Sun God.

Thai Pongal is one of the most important festivals celebrated by Tamil people in Sri Lanka. The day marks the start of the sun's six-month-long journey northwards. Thai Pongal is mainly celebrated to convey appreciation to the Sun God for a successful harvest. Part of the celebration is the boiling of the first rice of the season consecrated to the Sun - the Surya Maangalyam.

Issuing a message for the Thai Pongal day President Maitripala Sirisena says marking this year’s Thai Pongal as an occasion to make the efforts taken by the government to take the country towards self-sufficiency in food meaningful and providing strength to these efforts. He extended his greetings to all Hindus across the world celebrating the festival that expresses gratitude to nature.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says that Thai Pongal is a time to reflect on our respect for nature and is an opportunity to share fellowship as an equal society. In his Thai Pongal message to the nation, the Premier stated that this festival commemorating harvest is also an occasion to be thankful to nature for its bountiful supply. He requests all communities to join hands disregarding all types of differences to buildup a prosperous country.

The President says the new presidential commission to investigate into the frauds and malpractices committed in Mihin Air and Sri Lankan Airlines will be appointed next week


President Maithripala Sirisena says that he will appoint the new presidential commission next week to investigate into the frauds and malpractices committed in Mihin Air and Sri Lankan Airlines. Then the people of the country will understand the reality of the so-called development conducted by the previous regime. The president made these remarks addressing a public rally held in Dambulla this evening. It was held to ensure the victory of the UPFA candidates who contest for the upcoming LG polls.
The President further said that he will win the challenge of eliminating corrupted politics from the country overcoming any type of difficulty. The former president had managed to pass the 18th amendment to the constitution in the parliament to stay in power for lifetime. The President said that he is the one who repealed the despotic constitution and brought the people friendly 19th amendment. The President further said that he is the only leader who handed over the excessive power of the executive to the parliament. Under the previous regime it was the president who had the power to appoint IGP, attorney general and Supreme Court judges. However, that system was changed and the power of appointing top posts of the government was vested with the constitutional council in parliament.

The President noted that he has taken a number of measures to strengthen democracy law and order in the country. President Sirisena stressed that he will create a set of councilors appointed from the SLFP to work in local government bodies according to their conscience. The President further said that the special economics center in Dambulla will be developed with proper management and will be made a center free of frauds and corruption.

The national programme to create 10,000 young entrepreneurs will begin in March


Chairman of the National Youth Services council Eranda Weliangege says that the programme to create 10,000 young entrepreneurs will be implemented in March this year. The council will provide necessary training and technical assistance to the young entrepreneurs to develop their ventures. It is expected to create at least two employment opportunities under each young entrepreneur.
Participating in a programme over the SLBC this morning, Mr. Weliangege said follow up programmes will also be carried out to review the progress of the ventures started by the young entrepreneurs. The government has allocated a sum of 2000 million rupees for youth development this year. He thanked the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe for introducing the concept of youth services council as a young politician about three decades ago.

Measures have been taken to provide relief to the families affected by heavy winds gushed in Gampaha district, yesterday


Strong winds that developed into a storm ravaged several areas within Gampaha yesterday, causing severe damage to over 300 houses in the area.

Very strong winds gushed the areas last evening in Walpita, Katukirinda and several other areas. Our correspondents say that many houses in the area have been damaged by the winds and falling trees and debris. Deputy Director of the Disaster Management center Ravi Jayaratna says granting relief for the affected people is now afoot. Media spokesman of the Ceylon electricity Board says that additional workers have been deployed to repair the damaged power supply.

Meanwhile, the national insurance trust fund has deployed 12 teams to estimate the damages to grant insurance compensations for the victims.

The President says that he does not have a personal agenda but an agenda for the country.

President Maithripala Sirisena says that no one should be panicked over the tenure of his office as he has sought the opinion of the Supreme Court in this regard. He stressed that he is ready to leave the office at any time according to the opinion of the judiciary respecting the democratic norms of the country. The President made these remarks at a public rally held in Akuressa area last evening.
The President says that he does not have a personal agenda but an agenda for the country. He further said that he has sought the opinion of the Supreme Court to verify the correct situation on the 19th constitutional amendment as there are divided social opinions on this matter. The President pointed out that he is not craving for power and committed to strengthen national reconciliation in Sri Lanka. All ethnic and religious groups should be able to live in harmony with fraternity. The President added that he will direct the SLFP to form a better government through establishing better local government bodies and provincial councils in the future. No member of his family will be made the leader of the SLFP. Some opposition elements are accusing the government of withdrawing army camps in the North. The President pointed out that the former regime has even removed army headquarters from the Galle face area and sold out rightly the land to the Chinese company Shangri La for a hotel project.

The Prime Minister pledges that the government will strengthen the rural economy.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasingeh says the government will strengthen the rural economy. He made this pledge participation at the inaugural ceremony of the Udubaddawa divisional secretariat office. He added that an industrial town will be launched centered around Dummalalsooriya, Madampe and Bingiriya. Additionally a tourist zone will be estabslished across Chilaw and Iranawila.

170 million rupees provided as relief for farmers in the Matara district.

The Matara District office of the National Fertilizer Secretariat says that 170 million rupees has been credited to farmers who will be engaged in paddy cultivation in the forthcoming cultivation season. This relief aid is provided in 3 stages this year. Under the first stage 678 farmers received funds for the cultivation of more than 264 hectares of land. More than 13,000 hectares are due to be cultivated in the Matara district during the next cultivation season. More than 31,000 farmers will receive funds to their bank accounts during this stage.