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Last updateMon, 18 Jun 2018 6am

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The 21st World Cup Football tournament begins in Russia on Thursday

The 21st World Cup Football tournament organized by the World Football Federation will begin on Thursday in Russia.  The tournament starts with a match between host Russia and Saudi Arabia. The tournament includes with 64 matches. The final match will be played on the 5th of July. The tournament  is organized in every four years and last time it was held in Brazil.

Pakistan urges the establishment of a development fund to eliminate terrorism and extremism

Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain has urged member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to consider the establishment of a development fund to eliminate terrorism and extremism. His call came at the 18th meeting of the Council of Heads of States of the Organization in Qindgao, China today. This is the first summit being held after the inclusion of Pakistan as a member state. President Hussain also said that Pakistan has rendered unprecedented sacrifices in the war against terror to bring peace to the region.

An accelerated agricultural development programme has been launched

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera blames the wrong decisions taken by successive governments to the ruination of the sweet orange cultivations in Bibile. He says decisions on agriculture should be made on the field, and not from air-conditioned comfort.


A fully-fledged children's hospital will come up at the Kalutara General Hospital

A fully-fledged children's hospital, inclusive of a maternity ward, will come up at the general hospital in Kalutara. Minister Rajitha Senaratne says the Netherlands will assist in the construction of the 4,600 million rupee hospital. Speaking to the SLBC, he said the government would allocate a further 11,500 million rupees for the development of facilities at the Kalutara general hospital.

Police arrest more than 3,600 suspects during a special operation

Police arrested more than 3,600 suspects during a special operation between 9.00 pm yesterday and 8.00 am today. They include traffic offenders, persons evading the law and other law breakers. Additionally, 6,000 traffic rule violations were recorded. Police media spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara says the operation was carried out on the instructions of IGP Pujith Jayasundara to prevent crime and minimize road accidents. More than 17,000 police personnel participated in the operation.

Unauthorized constructions along the country's coast will be removed

The Coast Conservation Department says unauthorized constructions along the country's coast will be removed. Director General of the Department Prabath Chandrakeerthi says that will be done as per provisions in the Coast Conservation Act. Such constructions on the Mirissa area were removed a few days ago. He adds that unauthorized constructions along the Negombo and Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia coasts will next be removed.

The price of kerosene will be reduced from tomorrow


State Minister Dilip Wedaarachchi said that the price of kerosene will be reduced by Rs. 25 to Rs. 30 per litre with effect from tomorrow. Accordingly, the price of kerosene has been brought down to Rs 70- 80 per liter from the current price of Rs 101 per liter. This step has been taken under the request of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ministry, to provide relief for the fisher-folk and low income families

The higher education minister alleges that ragging has become a major underworld menace in this country.

Higher Education Minister Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa alleges that ragging has become a major underworld menace in this country. The Minister made these remarks in parliament yesterday. He said the laws relating to ragging will be strengthened to give severe punishments to the wrongdoers. There is no pardon to the wrongdoers and culprits of ragging. Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayaka also expressed his views on this subject. Meanwhile, President Maithripala Sirisena also made similar remarks during a function held in Bandarawela yesterday. The president said the inhuman activities taking place in the university education mechanism should be condemned.

The Prime Minister says the former president should reveal the methods to reduce the taxes in this country.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa should reveal the methods to reduce the taxes in this country. The former president stated in a function that he will reduce the tax by 20 percent when he comes to power. However, Mr. Wickremasinghe alleged that the former president has made a world record in obtaining loans during his tenure. The premier made these remarks at a function held in Ranwala to open a bridge. The premier also said the previous regime has taken loans upto 7,391 billion rupees. As a result, the monetary system and the economy are facing major crisis in the country.

The government focuses attention on revising already imposed taxes.

Minister Mangala Samaraweera says the government focuses attention on revising already imposed taxes. The government has imposed various taxes to increase the national income. However, this tax system is a simplified tax which has focused in direct taxing. The lament and others could understand the logic behind this taxing exercise. The Minister assures this tax system will be revised in future to reduce the burden on the common masses.

100,000 entrepreneurs will be established by 2020.

Minister Mangala Samaraweera says the government expects to create 100,000 new entrepreneurs by 2020. Accordingly, 16 loan schemes will be introduced to promote local production and export. The state banks have been educated in this regard. These proposals were also included in the 2018 budget. The first priority will be given to the agriculture sector in the country. Every potential citizen should come forward to become a stakeholder in this process.

Trump isolated on trade and Russia as leaders meet at G7 summit

Divisions between Donald Trump and the other leaders of the G7 nations have been laid bare at a summit in Canada.The US leader made a surprise call for Russia to be readmitted to the group of top industrialised nations after its expulsion for annexing Crimea. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU members attending the summit all agreed it should not happen. Frictions over trade tariffs recently imposed by the Trump administration are overshadowing the summit.

The President stresses the need to prepare a common exercise to eliminate inhuman ragging in the universities

President Maithripala Sirisena stresses the need to prepare a common programme without delay to eliminate inhuman ragging that takes place in the university system. All relevant sections should work collectively to make this a success. University students met a number of bad experiences due to inhuman ragging during the past few years. Some power craving political organizations are also behind such incidents. The President said therefore, all segments of the society should come forward to end student's terrorism in universities.


Minister Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa rejects the allegations levelled against the government that it had betrayed the war heroes

Minister Dr. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa vehemently rejects the allegations levelled against the government by some elements that it had betrayed the war heroes. He said that it was the previous regime that betrayed them by signing an agreement with UN General Secretary Ban-Ki Moon during that period. It pave the way to present the Darusman Report which led to produce war heroes at the international court of justice. Minister Wijayadasa Rajapaksa made these comments when the national defense fund bill was taken up for debate in the House today.


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.

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