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Kerosene subsidy will be issued to fishermen without delay

The Ministry of fisheries says Kerosene subsidy will be issued to fishermen without delay. A sum of 4 billion rupees has been allocated for this purpose.  The fishermen who are eligible to obtain the subsidy have already been earmarked.  Secretary to the Ministry Mrs. Renuka Ekanayaka says that all measures have been finalised to transfer the money to the bank accounts of the relevant beneficiaries. About 5000 fishermen have already qualified for the Kerosene subsidy.

The country has lost 12 billion rupees through improper purchase of coal during the previous regime

Deputy minister Ajith P. Perera says that the country has lost over 12 billion rupees as the former government not purchased coal for Norochcholai power plant properly.  The deputy minister told the SLBC that the previous regime has purchased coal amounting to 350 million US dollars for the Norochcholai plant from 2009 to 2014 from the same company without considering the fluctuation of prices.  The deputy minister says however the present government purchases coal under proper procurement procedures. Over 20 local and foreign bidders present quotations to sell coal to the Norochcholai power plant at present.

The future programme on agricultural development has been launched

The future programme on agricultural development has been launched. It was launched by minister Mahinda Amaraweera at the Hector Kobbekaduwa agricultural research and training institute in Colombo this morning. Addressing the gathering, minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that the aim of this programme is to increase the productivity of agriculture and to enhance food safety and to achieve national prosperity.

Range Bandara’s son arrested

State Minister Palitha Range Bandara's son Yashoda who was admitted to the hospital following an accident, has been arrested by the Police for driving under the influence of liquor and misuse of public property, police said. Yashoda and Puttalam Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Anjana Sandaruwan were injured when their vehicle, veered off the road and crashed into a house at Kottapitiya in Chilaw few days ago.

The Uva provincial office and resources centre of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau will be vested with the public today by the President.

The Uva provincial office and migrant resources centre of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau will be vested with the public this evening under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. The Centre has been located at the address 202, Badulla Road in Hali-ela. A sum of 540 million rupees has been spent for this office complex. There are two, six storied buildings, two storied hostels and a training centre which can provide facilities for 200 individuals at a time in this centre. Korean and Japanese languages and several other migrant employment oriented courses will also be held in this centre.

Prime Minister will declare open the Aswatta Iron Bridge constructed in Awissawella.

The Aswatta iron bridge constructed over the Kelani River in Awissawella will be vested to the public by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe at 4.00 pm today. The 178 meter long bridge connects Aswatta area and Ranwala areas. It has a width of 7.3 meter and consist of two lanes. The Road Development Authority has constructed this with technical support of Marbe Bridge Construction Limited in UK.

Minister Mangala Samaraweera says new regulations for microfinance.


The Government has decided to absorb the interest of microfinance loans less than 150,000 rupees extended by errant microfinance companies, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament yesterday, and would publish new regulations to streamline the industry and improve accountability later this month.

The measure is expected to bring relief to thousands of families who have obtained credit facilities less than 150,000 rupees and are now unable to payback. According to the Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera, the Government will be absorbing the interest component of each credit facility issued at extremely unfair rates. New regulations for microfinance companies will be published on 22 June.

Minister Samaraweera told the Parliament that most of the microfinance and finance companies have ruined the financial sector of Sri Lanka. Especially in the Northern and North Central parts of the island where a few female borrowers have committed suicide because they were unable to bear the pressure. Some depositors and borrowers of these microfinance companies are in a pathetic condition. In the absence of payments, the officers of these companies have started obtaining sexual bribes from borrowers, especially from young women who are unable to pay back.

Librarian vacancies in all school libraries will be filled soon.

Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says a cabinet paper will be prepared to fill the existing librarian vacancies in all school libraries. At a ceremony held in the Ministry premises yesterday he said all the government libraries will be upgraded by developing their human and physical resources. The Minister emphasises the need to increase appetite for reading among school children.

Sri Lanka becomes the 2nd in the South Asian region in the Global Peace Index.

Sri Lanka becomes the 2nd in the South Asian region in the Global Peace Index according to a report by an Australian think tank. Sri Lanka is in the 67th place, Bhutan is the only country ahead of Sri Lanka in the South Asian region.

India has moved up four places to the 137th rank among 163 countries, due to a reduction in the level of violent crime driven by increased law enforcement. Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. New Zealand, Austria, Portugal and Denmark also sit in the top five most peaceful rankings.

Syria remains the least peaceful country in the world, a position it has held for the past five years. Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia comprise the remaining least peaceful countries. The index is topped by Iceland, followed by New Zealand, Portugal, Austria and Denmark, whereas war-torn Syria remains the least peaceful country in the world, followed by Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen.

North Korea leader may get US invite for talks.

US President Donald Trump said he would consider inviting North Korea's Kim Jong-un to the White House if their summit in Singapore goes well. Mr Trump made the comment after meeting Japan's PM Shinzo Abe to discuss the 12 June summit. He said it was possible an agreement to end the Korean War could be reached, though he called that "the easy part" of the negotiations.

The President says, intellectuals in various fields, migrating to other countries in search of greener pastures, has become a grave concern

President Maithripala Sirisena says, intellectuals in various fields, migrating to other countries in search of greener pastures, has become a grave concern. However, the government is not prepared to enact legislation and restrict the free movement of labour.
He emphasizes, after enjoying the benefits of free education, in keeping with their conscience, they should dedicate themselves to contribute in their motherland and fulfil their responsibility.

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The Cost of Living Committee requests a report from the Consumer Affairs Authority concerning the canned fish and milk powder industries

The Cost of Living Committee is focussing special attention on the prices of essential food items. The committee comprising Malik Samarawickrama, Rishad Bathiudeen and Mahinda Amaraweera convened yesterday. Speaking to the SLBC, Director to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce: Indika Ranathunge said, sufficient stocks of rice are available in the market, as the Maha cultivation harvest is now being marketed, and the price of rice has now stabilized.

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It has been emphasized, although a few financial institutions are facing a crisis, the country is not facing any financial recess at all

Parliamentarian Ajith Mannapperuma says, although a few financial institutions are facing a crisis, the country is not facing any financial recess at all. He made this confirmation speaking at the the debate to adjourn Parliament today.

Joining in the debate, Parliamentarian Vasudewa Nanayakkara pointed out the necessity to speedily implement the loan scheme that does not require guarantees, under the Enterprise Sri Lanka Programme.

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There is a risk of the Influenza Virus spreading in the southern province, to enter the Sabaragamuwa Province

There is a risk of the Influenza virus spreading in the southern province, to enter the Sabaragamuwa province. Director of Health services of the Sabaragamuwa Province Dr. Kapila Kannangara says, several patients suspected of contracting the virus were reported from the Embilipitiya Hospital. He points out, it is necessary to seek medical attention if fever symptoms occur.

Six new councilors have been appointed to the Maharagama Urban council causing a chaotic situation

Six members of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna including Kanthi Kodikara have been sworn in as members of the Maharagama Urban Council, replacing the members of the Independent Group which had contested under the ‘Motorcycle’ symbol.

Meanwhile a tense situation has been reported at the Urban Council, a short while ago, after several members opposed the swearing in of the SLPP members including Kodikara.

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Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama points out that if the joint opposition had voted for, parliamentarian Sudarshani Fernandopulle would have been elected as the deputy Speaker

Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama says that  parliamentarian Sudarshani Fernandopulle could not be elected as the deputy speaker since the members of the joint opposition did not support her at the voting.  SLFP parliamentarian except the joint opposition members voted for her.

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The Speaker says the reports on an alleged list of names of parliamentarians taking grafts are utterly false

Speaker Karu Jayasooriya says that it is not appropriate to spread falls information regarding the bond scam.  Making statements based on fabricated and false information leads to create negative impact on society.  Some media reports say that there is a list of names of parliamentarians who have accepted money  from various persons. The speaker stressed that it is utterly false.  The Speaker made these comments in the parliament today.

50 thousand job opportunities will be created through enterprises Sri Lanka programme

The aim of the government's  enterprises Sri Lanka programme is to create 50,000 job opportunities. The cabinet of ministers has given its approval to conduct a series of exhibitions at national and district levels on vision 2025 related to this subject.  The government will provide MRI scan to the Maharagama Apeksha hospital and Pet scan to the Kandy teaching hospital. The government has also taken measures to make health and physical education subject compulsory upto GCE O/L. Minister Gayantha Karunathilleke revealed this at a news conference held in Colombo today.

A mobile app to control ragging in universities

The University Grants commission has introduced a novel mobile app in order to control ragging in universities. Minister Dr. Wijedasa Rajapakse taking part in a function held for the introduction of this app said that it is the responsibility of vice chancellors, deans of faculties and teachers to control the ragging. At present, the ragging has turned to a cruel act while certain elements are trying to quench their sexual desires. 

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Liver transplanting surgeries to be conducted in the evenings at two major hospitals

Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has focused on making arrangements to perform liver transplanting  surgeries at the Colombo national hospital and Ragama teaching hospital during the later part of the day. This will contribute to minimize the waiting list of patients. 

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The World Bank supports for an agricultural extension programme in two districts

A special agricultural development project will be carried out in Hambantota and Polonnaruwa districts with  World Bank assistance.  Programme Manager of the sustainable development unit in the World Bank Andrew Goodland assured to support this programme at a discussion held with minister  Mahinda Amaraweera.  They also focused on measures including utilization of new technology, implementation of export base-agricultural process, mitigation of the damages caused to cultivation due to climatic changes, required for the development of export agriculture sector in Sri Lanka.

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