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Thu01182018

Last updateThu, 18 Jan 2018 7am

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The election manifesto of UPFA will be launched tomorrow.

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says the election manifesto of UPFA will be launched tomorrow. An MoU will be signed with all friendly parties aligning with UPFA. Ceylon Workers Congress, EPDP and other friendly parties are expected to participate. The main objective of the election manifesto is to ensure and establish corruption free local government organizations.

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Afforestation across 130 000 hectares of land, next year.

Director General of Forest Conservation Anura Satharasinghe says that afforestation will take place across 130 000 hectares of land, next year. The Forest Conservation Ordinance will be amended to facilitate this task. It is intended to obtain public support and support from the private sector for this endeavour. At present the forest area covers just 29.7 percent of the entire country.  Under the proposed programme the boundaries of these forest’s will be demarcated for conservation work to commence.

Granting fertilizer subsidies for the Maha Season to be completed by Sunday.

The National Fertilizer Secretariat says that granting fertilizer subsidies for paddy cultivation in the Maha Season and for the cultivation of additional crops, will be completed by next Sunday. A sum of 3.27 billion rupees has been granted to 281,408 farmers, to date.
To overcome the present shortage of urea fertilizer orders have been placed to import 76000 metric tons of urea fertilizer. Until the ordered stocks are received the ministry of agriculture will purchase urea fertilizer from fertilizer companies and distribute it among farmers.

Essential commodities at subsidized prices from Sathosa outlets.

Essential commodities can be purchased for subsidized prices from Sathosa outlets during this festive season.
Thereby, a kilo of imported white rice will be sold for 62 rupees. A kilo of locally produced red rice will be priced at 73 rupees. A kilo of imported samba can be purchased at 71 rupees while a kilo of locally produced samba can be purchased at 82 rupees. A kilo of imported nadu rice will be priced at 70 rupees.
A kilo of bombe onions will be priced at 135 rupees while a kilo of potatoes will be 139 rupees.
A kilo of red dhal will be sold at 124 rupees. A kilo of white sugar is 100 rupees. Canned fish weighing 425 grams will be priced at 127 rupees. Consumers can purchase these items from other supermarkets for these or similar prices.

A special discussion with regard to the Local Government Polls to be held with party secretaries, tomorrow.

A special discussion with regard to the forthcoming local government polls will be held at the Elections Secretariat, between officials of the Election Commission and Party Secretaries, tomorrow. Special attention will be focused on violation of election laws.

Meanwhile Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya speaking at a conference held in Colombo today emphasized that it will be mandatory for voters to provide a valid identification document at the polling station. Those who are unable to prove their identity will not be permitted into the polling stations.
He added that those who do not have national identity cards should obtain temporary identity cards before the 2nd of next month.

First ever hybrid bird species from the Amazon, discovered

Scientists have discovered the first known hybrid bird species to be found in the Amazon Rainforest. It is a golden-crowned Manakin with yellow feathers. A hybrid species forms when two parental species mate to produce a hybrid population, which then stops being able to interbreed with the parental species. In this case the two parents are; the Snow-Capped Manakin, named for its bright snowy-white crown feathers and the Opal-Crowned Manakin, named for its brilliant iridescent crown feathers. While hybrid plant species are very common, hybrid species among vertebrates are exceedingly rare.

Japanese Foreign Minister meets with Israeli, Palestinian leaders

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has visited Jerusalem and the West Bank to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. In a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he said that Japan hopes to improve them further. Kono later met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank.

Election Commission Chairman says that all stakeholders have an important role to play to ensure a free and fair election.

Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya says that the candidates, civil organizations and the media have an important role to play in ensuring the conduct local government election in a free and fair manner. All election laws are now totally functioning.

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Special religious observances were held island-wide to commemorate the Tsunami victims.

A special religious ceremony was held at the tsunami memorial at Pereliya, Galle this morning to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the devastating tsunami of 2004 which killed over 35,000 people. Two minutes silence was observed from 9.25 a.m. to 9.27 a.m. to commemorate the tsunami victims.

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Export of tea to Russia will recommence on Saturday.

The Colombo Tea Traders’ Association says that the export of tea to Russia will recommence on Saturday. According to the Chairman of the Association Anslem Perera, there were no major impacts on the tea industry of Sri Lanka as the temporary ban imposed by Russia was operative for a period of 2 weeks. Tea prepare for Russian market two weeks back is still in stores.

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24,000 students will be enrolled to popular schools during the 2nd week of January.

Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Education Dr. M.M Wehella says that lists of students who are eligible to enter popular schools under the cut-off marks of grade 5 scholarship program are being referred to relevant principals. Accordingly,

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The demand for local handlooms is on the increase.

The demand for local handlooms is on the increase in local and foreign markets particularly from India and the western countries. Director Mrs. J. Krishnamoorthy of the textile department says that the department is introducing new technology and new markets for handloom manufacturers.

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Russian presidential election: Alexei Navalny barred from competing

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been formally barred from competing in next year's presidential election. The Central Electoral Commission has said Mr Navalny was ineligible because of a corruption conviction which he says is politically motivated.He has urged his supporters to boycott the March vote.Mr Navalny, 41, was widely regarded as the only candidate with a chance of challenging President Vladimir Putin.

Sri Lanka commemorates the 13th anniversary of the devastating tsunami on the boxing day of 2004 which killed over 35,000 people.

A special religious ceremony will be held at the tsunami memorial at Pereliya, Galle today to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the devastating tsunami on the boxing day of 2004 which killed over 35,000 people. Two minutes silence will be observed from 9.25 a.m. to 9.27 a.m. today to commemorate the tsunami victims. Similar commemoration services are organised by the Disaster Management Division district branches island-wide. The 2004 tsunami-rail disaster in Peraliya is the largest single rail disaster in world history where over 1,500 people travelling in the Matara bound train from Colombo died.

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Discussions with regard to the forthcoming local government polls to be held with District Secretaries and Party Secretaries.

The Elections Commission has decided to hold two special discussions with regard to the forthcoming local government polls with District Secretaries and Party Secretaries. The Party Secretaries’ meeting will be held tomorrow, while District Secretaries’ meeting will be held on the 28th.

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Subsidized prices for 7 essential food items during the festive season.

The Ministry of Industries and Commerce has taken measures to provide 7 essential food items at subsidized prices during the festive season and until April next year. This decision was taken at the Inflation Committee meeting held under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe recently. These items are now available at all SATHOSA outlets and Super Markets: Cargills, Keells, Arpico and Laugfs.
Thereby, a kilo of Samba rice will be priced at 71 rupees and a kilo of Nadu rice will be 74 rupees. A kilo of Bombe Onions is 135 rupees, while a kilo of potatoes will be sold at 139 rupees. Dhal will be sold at 124 rupees a kilo while a kilo of sprats will be sold at 515 rupees. A kilo of sugar will be sold at 100 rupees. A tin of canned fish weighing 425 grams will be priced at 127 rupees. The Flying Squad of the Consumer Affairs Authority will be on the look out to nab errant traders who attempt to sell these essentials above the controlled prices. Minister Rishard Bathiudeen requests the public to inform the consumer affairs authority if they are aware of such errant traders.

Tomorrow marks the 13th remembrance day of the catastrophic Tsunami that hit the coastal areas of the country in 2004.

Tomorrow, the 26th of December marks the 13th anniversary of the catastrophic Tsunami that hit the coastal areas of the country in 2004. An undersea earthquake at the magnitude of 9.3 on the Richter Scale, that occurred around the Sumatra and the Andaman Islands which are situated 1,600 kilometers off Sri Lanka, triggered the Tsunami. Over 70 tremors were reported in the said area over the 3 days that proceeded the fatal earthquake which occurred on the 26th of December 2004 at 6.58am local time. Tidal waves hit the coastal areas of India, Thailand, Indonesia and the Maldives. More than 300,000 deaths were reported. After Indonesia, Sri Lanka was the worst hit. The tidal wave entered the eastern coast at 9.36 am. It adversely affected 13 districts of the country resulting in deaths over 31,000. Over 23,000 were injured. Over 500,000 were displaced. 4,093 are still being reported missing. The highest number of deaths was reported from Hikkaduwa. The express train plying from Colombo to Matara was caught in the waves that gushed ashore. Over 100 passengers were reported dead. The Sri Lanka railways, in remembrance of the fateful incident will deploy the same train which is train number 8050 along the coastal line tomorrow.

Pope Francis pleads for migrants during Christmas Midnight Mass

Pope Francis, celebrating Christmas Midnight Mass at St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, has urged Roman Catholics not to ignore the plight of millions of migrants driven from their land. His Holiness compared them to Mary and Joseph, recounting the Biblical story of how they travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem, but found no place to stay. The 81-year-old Argentine pontiff, who himself is the grandson of Italian migrants, said "so many other footsteps are hidden in the footsteps of Joseph and Mary". Many migrants, he said, were being forced to flee from leaders who see no problem in shedding innocent blood. The pontiff has made 'defence of migrants around the world' a major theme of his papacy. The number of refugees worldwide exceeds 22 million, with the latest cross-border influx being the Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar.

A presidential commission will probe Sri Lankan and Mihin Air airlines from the first week of next month

 

President Maithripala Sirisena says a presidential commission will be appointed in the first week of next month to inquire into fraud and corruption at Sri Lankan and Mihin Air airlines. Addressing a SLFP rally in Kaduwela this morning, he said massive loss of public property and state assets had taken place at these institutions. The President said the present administration has taken unprecedented measures against fraud, corruption and irregularities. He stressed that he would act strongly to curb these vices in order to bring about disciplined and clean politics.
President Sirisena went on to say that people’s representatives at local government level needed to be cultured and disciplined. He pointed out that local government bodies could serve the public better if they were devoid of fraud and corruption. The president promised a new transformation in these institutions after the election.

Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says the local government polls will not result in a regime change

Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says the upcoming local government polls will not result in a regime change. He told a public rally at Andeniya in Badulla today that the winner would not topple the present government or form a new one. The Minister noted that the present government would continue to rule the country despite the outcome of this election. He also said that issues such as the rising prices of rice and coconuts could be resolved at the level of national politics, not regional politics

The prices of medicines could be reduced again if the rupee appreciates

 

Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne says the prices of medicines could be reduced again if the Sri Lanka rupee appreciates against the US dollar. He said at the opening of a Lanka Sathosa outlet at Payagala that the five per cent increase in the prices would remain in force for one year duration only.

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