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The President states that the national movement to defeat the 'coalition of VIP robbers' will commence after the 10th of next month.

President Maithripala Sirisena says the national movement to defeat the 'coalition of VIP robbers' will commence after the 10th of next month. He emphasizes that he would gather all progressive forces, to once again defeat all attempts that are being made to bring about corrupt governance. He expressed these views participating at a public rally held at Mount Lavinia yesterday. He further stated that to build the country clean politicians are needed from local government level up to presidency. He warned that should any contestant have the sly intention to engage in corrupt politics, such contestants will be rejected by the citizens at their very first election.

The Prime Minister pledges to take Sri Lanka to the level of a developed country, by 2025.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says that the United National Party takes up the challenge to take Sri Lanka to the status of a developed country by 2025. He disclosed this objective participating at a rally held in Badulla yesterday. The premier foresees Badulla and Bandarawela as areas developed through the tourism industry, in the near future. Pointing out that the masses were never satisfied with the economic policies of the defeated Rajapaksa regime, he made it clear that the development activities in Hambantota need to spread to Badulla as well as Moneragala. He requested voters to support the United National Party at the forthcoming local government polls for the development the country has attained to be spread across rural level.

The forthcoming local government polls described as a decisive voter decision as to whether the country is to move forward or plunge back into corruption and violence.

The forthcoming local government polls have been described as a decisive voter decision, as to whether the country is to move forward or plunge back into corruption and violence. Minister of Media, Mangala Samaraweera, reminiscing the completion of three years of the consensus government that came into power through a rainbow revolution that brought about justice to society, points out the many victories the country has obtained. Issuing a statement he however cautioned that there are many more challenges the country needs to surmount in its way forward. He pointed out that the forthcoming local government polls is a deciding factor as to whether we are to build upon the strengths and traditions of democracy or whether we are to tear down all that we have attained so far. It is also a decision on whether we are to enjoy freedom or whether we are to shrink in fear of 'one family' and its various associates. The Minister points out that at this election, voters need to exercise their franchise with a clear mindset and a far-sighted perception. He added that although this election may be viewed as a 'small election' it has the potential to be an impact on future elections.

'Doomsday Clock' moved to just two minutes to 'apocalypse'

Growing concerns about a possible nuclear war and other global threats have pushed forward the symbolic 'Doomsday Clock' by 30 seconds, which now reads as just two minutes before 'midnight'. The clock created by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1947, is a 'metaphor' for how close mankind is to destroying the Earth. It is now the closest to the apocalypse, since 1953.
1953 was the year when the US and the Soviet Union tested hydrogen bombs.

A 15-member hockey team and a delegation of 8 inspectors from North Korea, arrive in South Korea

Female ice hockey players and a team of sports officials from North Korea, have arrived in South Korea, to prepare for the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

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Padmaavat row continues as Indian Supreme Court to hear pleas against 3 States and the Karni Sena

The Supreme Court in India today agreed to hear pleas, in order to initiate charges of Contempt of Court, against the governments of Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and members of the 'Karni Sena', for aggravated incidents of violence, in view of the release of the film 'Padmaavat'.

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The Japanese delegation representing its two major Chambers in commerce and industries, meets the President and the Prime Minister.

The Japanese delegation representing two Chambers, met with President Maithripala Sirisena, at the Presidential Secretariat, this morning. The delegation comprises 71 members of two Chambers, which have a history in trade, for over 140 years. They are namely, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

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Two MoUs signed for further financing of the Colombo International Financial City Project

Two MoUs have been signed in order to obtain further financial aid for the Colombo International Financial City Project. Speaking at a media briefing held in Colombo today, Minister Patalee Champika Ranawaka said, the agreements were signed in Beijing, with China Harbour Engineering Company.

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The third session of joint commission on Sir Lanka-Indonesia bilateral cooperation will be held in Colombo.

The third session of joint commission on Sir Lanka-Indonesia bilateral cooperation will be held in Colombo very soon. This is stated in the joint statement issued following the discussion between Indonesian President Yoko Widodo and President Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo this morning. The two leaders focussed attention to enhance bilateral relations of tourism, civil aviation, agriculture and many other sectors. Indonesia pledged to grant financial assistance for the development of infrastructure facilities in Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian president held discussion with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe this morning at the Temple trees. They focussed attention to upgrade trade and investment between the two countries.

Bribing voters will demean the value of franchise.

Executive director of the PAFFREL organisation Rohana Hettiarachchi says bribing voters will demean the value of franchise.  It is reported that not only election candidate but also some national level leaders are also providing physical and mental bribes to voters.  He points out bribing to voters in whatever manner affects the public interest.

Increased scholarship assistance for journalists.


Ministry of finance and mass media says all possible support will be extended to journalists to upgrade their professionalism. Secretary to the ministry Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga says therefore, the amount of money paid for scholarship to Journalists will be increased. The ministry has already6 granted scholarships for 739 journalists. He made these comments at a ceremony held at the media ministry this morning to distribute scholarships to 60 journalists.

New insurance system for cultivation will be introduced.

The agriculture and agrarian insurance boards says new insurance system for cultivation has been introduced.  Operational director of the board Gamini Amarathuna says under the new scheme damages to crops by wild animals will also be compensated.  The farmers and cultivators of the relevant areas will be enlightened on this insurance scheme to get more benefits.  He made these remarks participating in a programme over the SLBC this morning.

The President says he will start the battle against corruption after the 10th of next month to build up a disciplined political culture.

President Maithripala Sirisena says, he will start the battle against corruption after the 10th of next month to build up a disciplined political culture. Sri Lanka has been backward in development due to corrupted politics. Sri Lanka can compete with other developed countries if there is a genuine political culture in the country. Addressing an election propaganda rally at Bakamuna in Polonnaruwa yesterday, the President said that, he will be fully committed to achieve this responsibility for the wellbeing of the people and the country during his life time. The President also addressed a rally in Attanakadawela area.

Three new MoUs are signed between Sri Lanka and Indonesia.


Three new MoUs are signed between Sri Lanka and Indonesia. The MoUs will focus on medial equipment production, railway development and education development. Sri Lanka will obtained technical and other assistance from Indonesia through this MoU. The MoU was signed yesterday at the presence of visiting Indonesian President Joko Vidodo and Sri Lankan high officials. The Indonesian government will extend support to improve the standard of railway transport. The Indonesian president is here in Sri Lanka on an official visit based on the invitation extended by President Maithripala Sirisena. A special function to sign these MoUs was held at the presidential secretariat yesterday. Speaking at this occasion the Indonesian president reiterated that his government will extend the fullest support to strengthen the bilateral ties of the two countries.

Postal voting will be held today and tomorrow.

Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya says, two additional dates have been allocated days to mark postal votes of the LG polls. Marking of postal votes for the officials of the police and election departments was held on Monday. Marking of postal votes of the second stage will commence today and tomorrow.
The officials who missed the first day and the officials who will miss today and tomorrow as well will be able to mark their votes on the first and 2nd of February at the election secretariat and at the relevant district election offices.
Meanwhile, Post Master General Rohana Abeyratne says that majority of official polls cards have been distributed to the voters at present. They will be delivered on next Sunday as a special date of delivery. Distribution of poll cards will be completed on the 3rd of next month. In case of non-delivery, the voters can obtain from the relevant post offices by proving their identity.

The elections commission says the postal votes will be counted after conducting the LG polls on February 10th.

The elections commission says the postal votes will be counted after conducting the LG polls on February 10th. The Chairman of Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya says the postal voting will be conducted today and tomorrow. However, the counting of those postal votes will be done on February 10th upon conclusion of the LG polls.

The Railway Control Room assures there will not be any inconvenience to the commuters although there is a trade union actions taken by railway guards and drivers.

The Railway Control Room assures there will not be any inconvenience to the commuters although there is a trade union action taken by railway guards and drivers.  The railway control room also stated the necessary train services will be available for the government's employees and other private sector employees traveling on different railway lines. The ongoing trade union action will not be an obstacle to the workers traveling on various train services.

Larry Nassar: Disgraced US Olympics doctor jailed for 175 years

Ex-US Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years after testimony from nearly 160 of his victims.The judge dismissed Nassar's attempted apology as insincere, saying he would "be in darkness the rest of his life".Nassar pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual assault against girls and young women, including Olympians.The 54-year-old had already been sentenced to 60 years for possession of child pornography.

Indian PM calls protectionism as dangerous as terrorism

Sending out a strong message against protectionism and inward-focused economic policies, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said such tendencies can be as dangerous as terrorism and climate change as he pitched for creating a “heaven of freedom.” Mr. Modi, who became the first Indian Prime Minister to address the World Economic Forum’s annual summit here in two decades, talked about grave concerns facing the world,

including terrorism and climate change. In an almost hour-long speech in Hindi, the Prime Minister sought to hard sell India as an investment destination, saying those wanting wealth with wellness and peace with prosperity should come to the country.

Indonesian President Yoko Vidodo will arrive in the island today for two day official visit.

Indonesian President Yoko Vidodo will arrive in the island today for two day official visit. He will be officially welcomed at the presidential secretariat this evening with a guard of honour and a gun salute by the Sri Lanka army.  The two leaders are to sign several memorandums of understandings in this tour.

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The President says there is no truth in the accusations that some pages of the bond commission report are missing.

President Maithripala Sirisena stresses that there is no truth in the accusations made by some elements that some pages of the bond commission report are missing. Some parts of the report has to be kept very confidentially until the investigations will be completed.

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