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Pressure mounts to relieve 'hell on earth' in Syria enclave

International pressure has mounted to end civilian suffering in a rebel-held enclave near Damascus, where Syrian jets have been raining bombs in a blitz that has killed more than 300. United Nations chief, Antonio Guterres described the death and devastation that has engulfed Eastern Ghouta, as "hell on earth". He has called for an immediate humanitarian truce.

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The term of office for representatives selected for 340 local government bodies of the recently concluded Polls, begins on the 6th of next month.

The term of office for representatives selected for 340 local government bodies of the recently concluded Polls, begins on the 6th of next month. Chairman of the Elections Commission, Mahinda Deshapriya states that the number of members that need to be appointed have been notified to the party secretaries.

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Sri Lanka in 91st place among 183 countries in the the Corruption Perceptions Index

According to a report released by Transparency International, the Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Sri Lanka in 91st place among 183 countries.

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Sathosa emphasizes that there is no necessity to place orders for new imports of rice.

Sathosa and the Association of Traders Importing Essentials states that sufficient stocks of rice are available to meet the domestic demand. Rice stocks of the Maha season are being received. Thereby, there is no necessity to place orders for new imports of rice.

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The Government decides to enroll SAITM students to Kothalawala Defence University

Presidential Media Unit said yesterday that the government has decided to enroll the students of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) to the medical faculty of the Sir John Kotelawala Defense University.

It said in a statement that the decision was taken at a meeting held with the President at the Presidential Secretariat last evening.

The Attorney General, the Vice Chancellor of the KDU, Dean of the KDU Medical Faculty, and Chairman of the University Grants Commission participated in the discussion.

It was decided to enroll about 1000 students who are currently studying at the SAITM to the KDU after considering their basic qualifications.

The Prime Minister assures that the national government is still valid and the agreement between the UNP and the UPFA has not been rescinded.


Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking in Parliament yesterday, assured that the National Government is still valid and that the agreement between the UNP and the UPFA has not been rescinded. UPFA General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera, who also delivered a statement in Parliament, confirmed that the National Government is still intact and that the UPFA has not left it. Responding to a question regarding the composition of the national government, the Premier said that they are continuing with the National Government under the Constitution based on a decision taken by the parliament.
The General Secretary of the United People’s Freedom Alliance, who also addressed the parliament afterwards, stated that the UNP and UPFA signed an agreement and also the Parliament was briefed and approved it. He added that they are still bound by that agreement and are proceeding according to it.

Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne points out the President has focused on allocating necessary funds to people centric projects.

Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne points out the President has focused on allocating necessary funds to people centric projects. The Minister made these remarks yesterday at a media conference to brief the cabinet decisions. Addressing the media personnel the Minister further said that the President has taken this decision in order to provide immediate relief to the people. The Minister also expressed views on the loans taken by the previous regime.

The Dambana Radio celebrates its 8th anniversary today.

The Dambana Radio celebrates its 8th anniversary today. Dambana Radio has been identified as the pioneer radio for weddha community in the Asian region. The controller of Dambana Radio Arunasiri Jayawikrema expressed his views about the community services rendered by the Dambana Radio to the nation. The radio was initially inaugurated on the 20th of February 2010 as a regional service. The Dambana Radio has conducted many programs to educate the community on environment protection.

Trump endorses guns for teachers to stop shootings

US President Donald Trump has expressed support for arming teachers and ending gun-free zones near schools at a White House event on gun violence.An armed teacher could end an attack "very quickly", he said.Mr Trump floated the proposals as survivors of last week's Florida school shooting implored him to make sure it never happens again.The Republican president also backed calls for improved background checks for gun buyers.

The government's new economic programme, to be launched next week

The new programme to effect speedy economic managerial changes to the country will be carried out via the National Economic Council, next week. The council gathered at the Presidential Secretariat under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday.

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A decision has been taken to maintain the 25 percent women representation unchanged in LG bodies.

Minister Lakashman Kiriella says no decision to reduce the quota for women in LG bodies. Addressing the parliament yesterday he said is has been decided to maintain the 25 percent women representation unchanged in LG bodies.

The government says no price increase for LP gas.

Industry and Commerce Minster Rishard Bathuideen said that no decision has been taken over a possible gas price increase. He explained that though gas companies, Litro and Laugh had requested for a Rs.300 increase in price, Cabinet had decided to go ahead with a gas price formula before instituting any change.

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The Reconciliation Channel of Rupavahini began its transmission

The Reconciliation Channel of Rupavahini began its transmission last evening. President Maithripala Sirisena was the chief guest at the inauguration ceremony. Speaking at the occasion Minister of Media Mangala Samaraweera called to mind that to attain independence all ethnic groups regardless of whether they were Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Malay or Burgher got together as one nation. He expressed his confidence that the newly launched channel will be a blessing to foster inter-ethnic reconciliation.

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A new four storied office building of the public service commission will be declared this morning.

A new office building has been constructed for the public service commission. New building located at the Rajamalwatte road in Battaramulla will be declared open by Speaker Karu Jayasooriya this morning. 

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Trump pushes for ban on gun 'bump stocks

US President Donald Trump has signed an order to ban bump-stock devices, which were used by a gunman who killed 58 Las Vegas concert-goers last year. Speaking at the White House, Mr Trump said he had directed the Department of Justice to propose a law to make the accessories illegal.

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The Israeli military carries out a number of strikes against Palestinian positions in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military has carried out a number of strikes against Palestinian positions overnight in the Gaza Strip. They came in response to a bomb attack which wounded four Israeli soldiers. Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli tank fire in Gaza.

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Around 15,000 farmer families are to benefit from the Minipe left bank canal renovation project.

Around 15,000 farmer families are to benefit from the Minipe left bank canal renovation project. Director of the Mahaweli Water Protection and Investment Programme Neil Bandara says the project will help cultivate 7,500 hectares of farmland.

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More hospitals will be given facilities to perform organ transplantations.

Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne says more hospitals will be given facilities to perform organ transplantations. At present, only Sri Jayawardanepura, Kandy, Peradeniya and Anuradhapura hospitals have the required facilities.

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A six year tea replanting project has been planned for five districts.

A six year tea replanting project has been planned to cover 5,500 hectares of land in the Galle, Matara, Ratnapura, Badulla and Nuwara Eliya districts. The Tea Smallholdings Development Authority says 3,200 tea planting families will benefit from the project. A payment of 675,000 rupees will be made for each hectare that will be replanted with tea.

In sports - Sri Lanka wins the T-20 series against Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by 75 runs in the second T-20 game in Sylhet to claim the series two-nil. After being invited to bat first, Sri Lanka made 210 for four wickets. Openers Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilake shared a 98-run stand in 11 overs. Mendis top scored with 70 while Gunathilake made 42 and Thisara Perera contributed 31 runs.

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Over 15,000 farmer families receive benefits under the Minipe Left Bank Canal program

 

Director of the Minipe Mahaweli project, Engineer Neil Bandara says over 15,000 farmer families have received benefits under the Minipe Left Bank Canal program. Under this program, the height of the Minipe dam was increased by 3.5 meters and additional mud sluice gates was also fixed. In addition an electric power system was installed to activate all the sluice gates. The 74 kilometers long left bank canal was totally renovated under this program. This will help to cultivate paddy lands of 7,500 hectares in both Yala and Maha seasons. The Asian Development Bank and the Sri Lankan government has allocated a sum of 28 billion rupees for this project. The project was launched in 2016 and expected to be completed in 2020

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