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Last updateThu, 25 May 2017 10am

Local News

The foreign minister says Sri Lankan embassies were used as safer houses for criminals during the past regime.

A regulation under the diplomatic privileges act was taken up for debate in the parliament today. Opening the debate minister of foreign affairs Minister Mangala Samarweera said the government has taken measures to establish reconciliation in the country. However so-called joint opposition is attempting to disrupt the peace and harmony in the country.The minister recalled that some Sri Lankan embassies were used as safe houses for criminals during the past regime. Some human right violators also took refuge at the Sri Lankan Embassies worldwide. Henchmen of the Rajapakse regime engaged in foreign tours with the entire family members during that period.
Minister Samaraweera further said that Sri Lanka conducts the international Wesak festival in the island this year. Many foreign leaders including the Indian prime minister will take part in this event. Minister Samaraweera thanked the late minister Lakshman Kadirgarmar and the then deputy minister of foreign affairs Lakshman Kiriella for making arrangement to get the international Wesak festival to Sri Lanka.

Grama Shakthi People’s Movement begins to alleviate poverty. -The President requests all to support this national responsibility.

President Maithripala Sirisena says the country should import only essential goods and added that the government would implement required plan of action after a research is carried out on all imported food and other goods. The President made these remarks at the inauguration ceremony of Grama Shakthi People’s Movement, held yesterday at the BMICH. The Grama Shakthi People’s Movement aims at saving the people from poverty and make them better off. This is implemented as the main project to free the country from poverty in 2017. Accordingly, requirements of the people living in 15 000 villages will be fulfilled by 2020. Speaking further, the President said the Grama Shakthi People’s Movement is implemented by fulfilling the requirement of a comprehensive national program to increase local industries and local entrepreneurs and free the people from poverty. He stated that all field officers at village level should join this program. He said he would strengthen this program together with local political leaders and government officers by visiting every district from next month. The President further stated that as Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama said, there should be wealthy people as they are strength to the economy. But the wealth of the prosperous people should also flow among the poor, the President pointed out. He emphasized that everybody should get together to fulfill the national responsibility to make poor people as wealthy people through Grama Shakthi People’s Movement.


Elderly treatments units will be set up in district level.

Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathna has decided to set up Elder Care units throughout the island. He says that special attention will be focused to look after elderly people under the national elder health policy. Accordingly, the Thalangama hospital in Battaramulla will be developed and elder care unit will be set up. The Minister says old sewerage systems of government hospitals will also be renovated.

President emphasizes the importance of preserving the ancient Ola leaf.

President Maithripala Sirisena emphasizes the importance of implementing an effective work plan to preserve the ancient Ola leaf. President made these remarks at a discussion held at presidential secretariat yesterday on safeguarding the Ola leaves located in sacred places and viharayas. President Sirisena also instructed the relevant officials, to devise a work plan to collect information about these Ola leaves. These Ola leaves are important for the future generation.


The annual financial report of Central Bank for year 2016 will be submitted to the parliament.

The annual financial report of the Central Bank  for the year 2016 will be submitted  to the Parliament.  The Cabinet has taken a decision to present this report to the Parliament. This is done  in line with  the transparency policy of the present government. The annual report will show a clear picture about the economic situation of the country.


New national revenue act will be introduced.

A new national revenue Act will be introduced. The government has taken effective measures to introduce new set of rules with the necessary amendments to the revenue act. This measure is taken according to the recommendations presented during 2016 budget proposals.


Kankesanthurai harbour to be renovated with necessary facilities.

Cabinet of the Ministers approved the proposal presented by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs to engage in loan negotiations and enter into relevant agreements with EXIM Bank of India to rehabilitate the Kankesanthurai harbor.


Progress review meeting of the Defence Ministry was held today under the patronage of the President.

Progress review meeting of the Defence Ministry was held at the Ministry auditorium this morning under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. Operations and the future plans of the institutions those come under the Defence ministry were discussed lengthily at this meeting.

The president paid special attention to the progress of paying compensations to the victims of the Salawa armory blast tragedy. Progress of the construction of Army headquarters in Pelawatta, Battaramulla was also discussed. The new army headquarters will be opened next year. The President pointed out the need to commend the services rendered by the members of the three armed forces and the civil defense department at the recent disasters including the Meethotamulla tragedy. Accordingly, commendations latters will be included into their personal files.

Attention was also focused to provide blocks of lands to war heroes. It has been revealed that about 9,000 blocks of land have been given to war hero families. The President said more lands can be allocated from Mahaweli areas according to the need arisen. The government has decided to liquidate the Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Security Company. However, the president has requested to make proposals to continue the company for the welfare of the retired security officers working there.

The Premier says that the cabinet has not taken any decision to appoint the Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as the leader of the armed forces.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says that the cabinet has not taken any decision to appoint the Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as the leader of the three armed forces. Addressing the parliament he said the government has no need to setup a special force. The cabinet has focused attention to a system to carryout essential services without disruption. The Prime Minister revealed these facts answering a question raised by Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath today.
10 orders under the Special Commodities Levy Act, two orders under the Customs Ordinance and three orders under the Special Provisions Act on Manufacturing Taxes were taken up for the debate today. The Draft Bill on economic services charges was also discussed. Joining the debate Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the country has implemented a proper economic policy at present.
Several provisions for the safety of local manufacturers in the agricultural sector have been presented to the house today. The Minister further said that majority of the people are with the government. However, a handful of public officials are disrupting the government’s forward march.

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says the SLFP held the May Day rally very successfully

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says the UPFA lead by the SLFP has been able to hold the May Day rally very successfully with two attractive processions this year. The Gatambe rally was the SLFP May Day rally which was with the highest participation of members and trade unions. At a press briefing held in the SLFP headquarters today he said a large number of party supporters representing the northern and eastern provinces also participated in this rally. He added that the central committee of the party may take decision against the party members and some leaders who did not attended the Gatambe rally. The organizers who are actively work with the party will be given more responsibilities. The ousted organizers can also join with the party if they are willing to work with the party mechanism again.

Joining the press briefing Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said the SLFP started the first step at this May Day rally to go forward as uncorrupted political party. A program will be implemented to further strengthen the party in future. Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that SLFP has deviated from communalism. It is obvious by the large number of Tamil and Muslim members who joined the rally from north and east.

Foreign News