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Last updateTue, 24 Jan 2017 8pm

Local News

The President looks into the possibilities of providing relief for the drought stricken people .

A ministerial level discussion was held at the president’s house this morning under the patronage of president Maithripala Sirisena to look into the feasibilities to provide necessary relief for the drought stricken people.

The presidents also stated that it is in need of forming a committee comprising the ministries of electricity, Mahaweli and water supply in order to take immediate relief action. A lengthy discussion was held to implement programmes in future to face the existing dry weather situation.

Attention was given to conserve water sources. The president also stressed the need to renovate canals affected by the drought. He also pointed out that awareness programmes of the public in utilizing water sparingly are essential.

Microsoft Company helps to speed up computer literacy and digitalization in Sri Lanka

The Microsoft company has come forward to support and provide technical guidance to accelerate digitalization and computer literacy in Sri Lanka. Chairman of the company Jean Phillip Courtois pledged their utmost support when he met the Sri Lankan delegation yesterday headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe. He pointed out that there will be paperless offices in future .

Therefore, the we all must focus attention to that phenomena. Expressing views at this meeting minister Harin Fernando said that Sri Lanka has well realized this fact and preliminary measures has already been taken to meet this end. With the digital transformation all offices in Sri Lanka will become more efficient and competitive.
Prime Minister Wickremasinghe also met the head of reputed international pharmaceutical company Novartz, Dr. Mrs. Petra Locks. She said that their company is ready to provide required technology and guidance to manufacture quality pharmaceutical in Sri Lanka. It is better to manufacture simple drugs locally and more complex pharmaceuticals internationally. Prime Minister said that Sri Lankan government has focused attention to manufacture high quality drugs in Sri Lanka as well.

The Government stressed that anybody can express their views regarding the proposed Draft of constitution as the government is ready to prepare them more transparent manner.

Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne says that the EU has not presented any condition in regaining GSP plus facility to Sri Lanka.  At a cabinet press briefing held today the minister was replying to a question raised by the media.  Commenting on the proposed constitution the minister says only a Draft has been prepared now and anybody can express their views in parliament.

 All political parties that represent the parliament have contributed in preparing the Draft.  He added that the world has recognized Sri Lanka as a model of country that march forward democracy. The 2017/2021 national human rights action plan  presented by the acting foreign minister Dr. Harsha de Silva. The government has also decided to ban the bottom trawling fishing method using mechanical boats within  Sri Lanka’s sea area.  A Bill to make provision in this regard will be presented to the minister by the minister Mahinda Amaraweera.

The government has focused on improving the quality of services provided by the three=wheelers and vans that are used in transporting school children.  This year budget has proposed to set up a regulatory authority in this sector.  A committee comprising secretaries of ministries will be appointed to study  report the cabinet the matters related to implementation of this proposal. The cabinet of minister has approved this proposal presented by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva.

Sri Lanka will have the access to four major international markets.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says Sri Lanka will have access to four major international markets very soon. Therefore, he requests the local and international investors to start ventures in Sri Lanka. He made these appeal at the World Economic Forum held in Switzerland. At a special press briefing held in the media village premises of the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday he said Sri Lanka will launch a number of decisive economic reforms in the next few months.

Joining this occasion Minister Malik Samarawickrema said this year is very significant to Sri Lanka in its development process. The new economic development plan will be implemented this year. Sri Lankan products will have market opportunities in the entire Europe after the GSP plus concession is reestablished.

The government has already implemented special economic strategies to attract more investors into the country. Sri Lanka will also have free trade agreements with China, Singapore, India and many other countries. Ministers Ravi Karunanayake and Harin Fernando also explained Sri Lanka’s economic plans to over three hundred the international business partners who participated in this conference. 

UN grants 500 million US dollars for drought relief.

State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says about 1,500 million US dollars are needed to provide relief to the people who have been affected by the prevailing drought. About 600 bowsers are also needed to provide water to affected areas.

The United Nations and its affiliated bodies have agreed to provide 500 US dollars and take a serious note on the impending drought situation in Sri Lanka. The government is now having discussions with many other countries to obtain financial assistance for drought relief. 

1,250 new irrigational wells will be constructed in dry areas.

Director General of Irrigation Department Saman Weerasinghe says irrigational wells will be used as an alternative to provide water to cultivations in the drought hit areas. 1,250 new irrigational wells will also be constructed and 1,000 old wells will be renovated. In addition the dried up irrigational tanks will be cleaned and dug up with the help of people in the relevant areas.

Participating in a programme over the SLBC this morning Irrigation Director said alternative methods should be used to get water for the day today needs. Joining the programme director of the National Disaster Management Centre Chaminda Pathiraja said owners of water bowsers will be registered to get their services to provide water to vulnerable areas. The Treasury has allocated funds for this purpose. In addition water tanks will be distributed among divisional secretariats to store water

Iran and Sri Lanka start new talks on oil research in the Indian Ocean.

Minister of Science, Technology and Research and Iran’s Vice-President for Science and Technology signed an MoU for cooperation on laboratory analysis for oil and gas. In a meeting with Sorena Sattari in Tehran, Minister Susil Premajayantha lauded Iran’s many scientific and technological achievements in spite of years of sanctions. Iran has given support in the field of science and technology. There are various grounds for cooperation on conversion of raw materials by Sri Lanka and exporting them for creating added value for the island. 
Minister Premajayantha held negotiations on joint cooperation in various fields of nanotechnology, biotechnology, ICT and advanced materials. He expressed hope that the talks would reach a positive result as soon as possible.

The vouchers for school uniforms are being distributed among the Grade One students.

Secretary to the State Ministry of Education Tissa Hewavitharana says the vouchers for school uniforms are being distributed among the Grade One students. The distribution of vouchers was delayed as counting the exact number of students enrolled into schools took time. The Secretary said that the students were enrolled to Grade One classes on the 11th of this month.

The distribution of the vouchers will be completed this week. Meanwhile, Commissioner General of Educational Publications Padmini Nalika Weliwatta said that the distribution of school textbooks for year 2017 has already been completed. 

The government vehemently rejects the media reports that it has agreed to terms detrimental to the country to gain GSP plus concession.

The government vehemently rejects the media reports that it has agreed to 58 terms detrimental to the country to gain GSP plus concession.  The European Union recently announced that it will provide the GSP plus concession again to Sri Lanka.

This concession has been given again by the EU as it is satisfied with the Sri Lanka’s current democracy reforms carried out by the good governance government. It has not imposed any terms or conditions to provide GSP plus.  Issuing a communique the government information department states that this is a concession given in favour of Sri Lanka’s move to secure good governance human rights and sustainable development in the country.

Sri Lanka has earned 1.2 billion rupees from fish exports last year.

Sri Lanka has earned an income of 1200 million rupees from fish exports last year.  There is a high demand for Sri Lankan prawns, crabs lobsters and oysters at the foreign market. These facts were revealed at a press briefing held in the ministry of fisheries yesterday under the patronage of minister Amaraweera .

The minister said Sri Lanka has only being able to provide one third of the entire demand of these varieties.  The minister expressed confidence that fish exports will be increased following the lift of ban on Sir Lankan products by the European Union.

Foreign News