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Trump backs down on border wall funding

Donald Trump has indicated he will ditch plans to find cash for his border wall in this week's spending bill. The president's close adviser, Kellyanne Conway, said funding for the wall would be left out of a budget measure that must pass by Friday. Building the wall, paid for by Mexico, was a key campaign promise. Democrats had threatened to block the bill if money was earmarked for the wall, so its omission may now avert a government shutdown.(BBC)

65 more families hit by Meethotamulla disaster received new housing units.

65 families who victimized by the Meethotamulla disaster were given housing units under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday. They were granted the housing units at the second phase of providing permanent shelter to the victims of the Meethotamulla. The event took place at the Ministry of Disaster Management.

The government has already spent 392 million rupees for providing housing united for the affectees. 250,000 rupees will be given to each beneficiary to purchase furniture for the new houses. If the lost housing units were worthier than the given houses, the victims will be paid the balance. Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Vajira Abeywardena were present at the event.

Minister Lakshman Kiriella says the government is committed to protect free education.

Minister Lakshman Kiriella says the present government is committed to protect free education. He added that free education concept was put forward by the UNP itself in the past. He stressed that hence the party would never take measures to tarnish free education Minister Kiriella said that a new law will be introduced within two months to regulate the education in the universities and private higher education institutes.

The private medical college was formed by the previous government. The first batch of the private medical college passed out after the new government ascended to power. Minister Kiriella was speaking over a discussion program telecast by the National Television yesterday. The government will have to respect to the court decision on the private medical college. The present government, as same as the previous government, is also in the policy that private higher education institutes are needed for the country. The private medical college has agreed to comply with the government’s proposal. Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne said that the government works on par with the law and justice.

He added that the medical council has a responsibility on the weaknesses of the private medical college as per the verdict given by the courts. Minister Senarathne said that the president held a discussion with the stakeholders of the medical college yesterday. He added that 6,000 more medical officers are needed to quell the shortage in the country. The present government has taken a wide array of measures to improve the health sector. He pointed out that around 5 billion rupees were disbursed to improve hospitals belonging to the provincial councils last year.

Minister Senarathne explained that Sri Lanka was the only country where a private medical collage did not exist. The minister also emphasized the need of a strong medical council in Sri Lanka. State Minister Mohan Lal Grero said that the government has taken steps to enhance quality of education in the country. An independent commission will be setup in this regard next year. While responding to a question raised by a journalist Chairman of the UGC Prof. Mohan De Silva said that the number of the students enrolled to the medical faculties has increased year by year.

The President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union says that the Sri Lankan President has given an inspiration to all those who work to strengthen parliamentary democracies in the world.

President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Saber Chowdhury says that Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has given an inspiration to all those who work to strengthen parliamentary democracies in the world.  The step taken by President Sirisena to dilute executive powers of the Sri Lankan Executive Presidency and vest them with the parliament is an important step towards strengthening democracy, he said.


The Prime Minister arrives in New Delhis.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe has arrived in New Delhi this afternoon. He is engaged in an official tour in India. The premier was welcomed by Indian High Commissioner of Sri Lanka Tharanjith Singh and Sri Lankan high Commissioner in Sri Lanka Chithrangani Wageeshwara.


100,000 youth will attend the May Day rally of the SLFP.

President of Youth Front of the SLFP Shantha Bandara says 100,000 youth will attend the May Day rally of the SLFP which is to be held in Gatambe in Kandy. The youth from each and every branches of the SLFP will be represented at the event. Shantha Bandara said that the May Day decorations will be polythene free and eco-friendly. He was speaking at a media briefing held in Colombo today.

Hollande calls for unity at tribute to slain officer Jugelé

French President François Hollande has used a ceremony to honour a police officer slain in Paris last week to call for unity in the "long and difficult fight against terrorism". He awarded Xavier Jugelé, 37, the Legion of Honour, one of France's highest honours. The two candidates to succeed Mr Hollande, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, both attended. They will face off at a second round of voting on 7 May.(BBC)

17 new electorate organizers and district organizers of SLFP have been appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena today.

17 new electorate organizers and district organizers of SLFP have been appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena today. The special function in this regard was held at the presidential secretariat. Accordingly, Samarajeewa Bandara Welagedara has been appointed as the new organizer for Patha-dumbara electorate. W.M. Yasamana and U.R. Dayanandasiri will function as organizers for Dambulla electorate.


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