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Cambridge Analytica: Facebook data-harvest firm to shut

Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy at the center of the Facebook data-sharing scandal, is shutting down. The firm was accused of improperly obtaining personal information on behalf of political clients. According to Facebook, data about up to 87 million of its members was harvested by a quiz app and then passed on to the political consultancy. The social network said its own probe into the matter would continue.

Nation bade farewell to the Veteran Cinema legend Dr. Lester James Peiris.


Final rites of the late Dr. Lester James Peiris was conducted at the Independence Square in Colombo under full state patronage . Addressing the funeral, President Maithripala Sirisena said that the demise of Dr. Peiris is an irreparable lost to the country. He is the one who introduced local culture and typical village features to the Sri Lankan cinema. Dr. Lester James Peiris brought international fame to Sri Lanka by his creative work.

The Prime Minister says Dr. Lester is the one who created a local typical Sri Lankan cinema industry.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said he is the pioneer who carried local cinema industry into the international arena. He made significant transformation in cinema industry by making films based on Sri Lankan novels.

Addressing the gathering Dr. Sunil Ariyaratne said that Dr. James Peiris dedicated his entire life for Sri Lankan cinema industry. He requested the President and the Prime Minister to set up a cinema museum at the place where he lived.
One of long term friends of Lester James Peiris , famous film director in India R. Gopal Singham also spoke. Venerable Dr. Bellanvila Dharmarathana Thera made an anusasana and archbishop Rt. Reverend Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith delivered a speech on behalf of the Christians.

The JVP is ready to bring the proposal regarding the 20th amendment to the constitution within this month.

The JVP is ready to submit the proposal regarding the 20th amendment to the constitution to the parliament this month. At a press briefing held at the party headquarters today, parliamentarian Vijitha Herath said it will be brought as a private proposal of a parliamentarian.  This new amendment will not cause  whatsoever division in the country.   This will also not transfer the powers of the executive to the Prime Minister . Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath added that if the proposal is passing the House it will be active after the end of the term of office of  the present President.

South Korea says US troops will stay despite possible peace treaty

South Korea's government has said US troops will remain in the country, even if a deal is reached to formally end the Korean War. There are about 29,000 US military personnel based in South Korea, under a post-war security agreement. North Korea has previously made giving up its nuclear weapons conditional on the troops leaving the peninsula. But a South Korean government spokesman said their presence was "nothing to do with signing peace treaties".

Eight State Ministers and ten Deputy Ministers were sworn in

The new State Ministers and Deputy Ministers were sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo today. Accordingly Eight State Ministers and ten Deputy Ministers were sworn.

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Nation bids farewell to Dr. Lester James Peries’ today

The funeral of world renowned film producer Dr. Lester James Peries will be held at 3 pm today at Independence Square with full State patronage.

The remains are now kept at Independence Square till 3 p.m. for the public to pay their last respects.

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Cuba is to support Lankan health sector

The Cuban government has extended its support towards developing the Sri Lankan health sector, a Health Ministry spokesman said. According to the spokesman, Cuban Public Health Minister Dr. Roberto Morales Ojeda expressed support when Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne met him on an invitation extended to him by the Cuban Health Minister.

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The National cinnamon week will begin on the 7th of this month.

The National cinnamon week will begin on the 7th of this month. Director General of Export Agriculture Dr. A.P. Heenkenda says this will be implemented in Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Kalutara and Ratanapura districts where the cinnamon cultivation is abandoned. Accordingly, an agricultural and trade exhibition related to cinnamon products will be held on the 10th and 11th of this month from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm at the Old Dutch Market in Matara.

27 suspects including Amith Weerasinghe of Mahason Balakaya have been further remanded

27 suspects including Amith Weerasinghe of Mahason Balakaya have been further remanded till 14th of May by the Theldeniya Magistrate. They are in remand custody over their alleged links to recent violence in Kandy.

The Oktave Choir and Friends to perform Parts 2 and 3 of Handel’s Messiah

George Frideric Handel was a German composer born in 1685. Handel’s Messiah is a monumental work telling the story of Christ, from the Old Testament to his death and resurrection. Scored for Choirs, Soloists and Orchestra, the work takes about 2 ½ hours to perform and is in three parts.

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The South Asian Junior Athletics Championship 2018 to be held on the 5th and 6th of this month at the Sugathadasa Stadium

South Asian Junior Athletics Championship 2018 will be held on the 5th and 6th of this month at the Sugathadasa stadium. Over 250 performers representing 7 countries will participate. A formidable team of 54 athletes from India is expected. The foreign teams will arrive in the Island tomorrow. This is the 1st international sports event that is being held at the Sugathadasa Stadium after the new track was laid.

Facebook to launch dating service

Facebook chief: Mark Zuckerberg has announced that it will soon include a new 'dating feature'. He made this announcement while vowing to make 'privacy protection' its top priority, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. He did not specify whether the feature would be free of charge, in line with Facebook's core offer.
Under the new feature, users will be able to create a separate "dating profile", not visible to their network of friends, with potential matches recommended based on dating preferences, points in common, and mutual acquaintances.

The final rites of Dr Lester James Peiris will take place with full state patronage, today

The final rites of Dr Lester James Peiris will take place with full state patronage, today. His remains lie at his residence at Dr Lester James Peiris Mawatha - Dickmond's Road, Colombo 5.
Cortege leaves residence at 10.00am, today. The funeral procession will proceed along Dr Lester James Peiris Mawatha, passing Thunmulla Junction, onto Bauddhaloka Mawatha, and will arrive at the National Film Corporation. From there, the procession will proceed along Premakeerthi De Alwis Mawatha and reach Independence Square by 11.00am.

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New State and Deputy Ministers of the National Government of Good Governance will be sworn-in, today

New State and Deputy Ministers of the National Government of Good Governance will be sworn-in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, at 10.30am, today. 18 Ministers were sworn-in yesterday. They are as follows-

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The President says, the challenge faced by the citizens of Sri Lanka is to find politicians who are that of integrity, and can meet with present requirements.

President Maithripala Sirisena says, the challenge faced by the citizens of Sri Lanka is to find politicians who are that of integrity, and are on par with present requirements. The citizens need to identify the correct characters wisely. The President expressed these views participating at a ceremony held at the BMICH this evening, to commemorate party stalwarts who have contributed a unique service for the benefit of the working class.
Labour leaders of the SLFP such as late T.B.Illangarathne, Herbert Wickremasinghe, Ananda Dasanayake, Alawi Moulana, D.C.Weerasekera, and Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra were remembered.
Several Ministers, Parliamentarians, Trade Union representatives and Former President Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaratunga participated at this ceremony.

18 Cabinet Ministers sworn in

The new Cabinet of Ministers was sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat this morning. 18 Ministers were sworn in.
The new Ministers are as follows-
Sagala Ratnayake - Minister of Project Management, Youth Affairs and Southern Development
Mano Ganesan - Minister of National Co-existence, Reconciliation and Official Languages
D.M. Swaminathan - Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement, Northern Development and Hindu Religious Affairs
Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa - Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and Rural Economy
Faiszer Musthapha - Minister of Sports, Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government
Thalatha Athukorala - Minister of Justice and Prison Reforms
Ranjith Maddumabandara - Minister of Public Administration and Management, Minister of Law and Order
Kabir Hashim - Minister of Highways and Road Development
P. Harrison - Minister of Social Empowerment
S. B Navinna - Minister of Internal Affairs and Wayamba Development
Lakshman Kiriella - Minister of Public Enterprise and Kandy Development
Sarath Amunugama - Minister of Science, Technology and Research, Skills Development and Vocational Training, and Hill Country Heritage
Mahinda Amaraweera - Minister of Agriculture
Duminda Dissanayake - Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management and Disaster Management

Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka was appointed as the Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development. Minister Daya Gamage was appointed as the Minister of Social Welfare and Primary Industries.

Wijeyadasa Rajapakse was appointed as the Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs. Ravindra Samaraweera was appointed as Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations.

The rest of the cabinet portfolios will remain the same.
Swearing-in of new State and Deputy Ministers will take place at 10.30am at the Presidential Secretariat, tomorrow.

Accepting applications for the forthcoming GCE O/Level Examination, ends on the 15th of this month.

Accepting applications for the forthcoming GCE O/Level Examination, ends on the 15th of this month. Applications can be downloaded from the official website of the Department of Education: www.doenets.lk. Commissioner of Examinations: B. Sanath Poojitha requests students and principals to send their applications on or before the closing date, as applications received late will be rejected.

UN Myanmar Rights Envoy calls for halt to violence in the Kachin State

Citing reports of the army using aerial bombings, heavy weapons and artillery fire on civilian areas, the United Nations Human Rights Expert on Myanmar has voiced deep concern at a sharp escalation in hostilities in the Kachin State.Thousands of people rallied in Kachin today to demand humanitarian access for villagers trapped by fighting between government forces and ethnic minority insurgents. More than 5,000 people have been displaced. Any wilful impediment of relief supplies may amount to 'war crimes' under international law.

The new Cabinet was sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo this morning


Following are the new ministers:

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Israel says Iran hid nuclear arms programme

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has revealed what he says are "secret nuclear files" proving Iran once covertly pursued nuclear weapons.He said thousands of pages of material obtained by Israel showed Iran had deceived the world by denying it had ever sought nuclear weapons. Iran agreed in 2015 to curb its nuclear energy programme in return for the lifting of sanctions.It maintained that it had only been pursuing nuclear energy.

The much anticipated cabinet reshuffle will be held today under the patronage of the President

The much anticipated Cabinet reshuffle is to take place at the Presidential Secretariat today and all ministers are informed to be present by 9.30 am, a senior government Minister said yesterday. This would be the second Cabinet reshuffle effected by the government since it took office in 2015. Highly placed political sources said there will be 32 United National Party Ministers and 10 United People’s Freedom Alliance Ministers in the new Cabinet. Special Assignment Minister Sarath Amunugama is slated to get additional responsibilities, according to sources.

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