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World's largest marine park created in Antarctic Ocean

Twenty-four countries and the European Union agreed today to create the world's largest marine park in the Antarctic Ocean, covering a massive 1.55 million square kilometers of ocean.

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Members of the European Parliament to visit Sri Lanka

Progress on national reconciliation and ways to empower Sri Lankan women politically and economically will be the focus of the visit from 31 October to 3 November 2016 by a four member delegation from the European Parliament.

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The President stresses that the people should not be perturbed on national security

President Maithripala Sirisena stresses that no perturb should be caused on national security. He added that the government has taken a complete array of measures to enhance national security. The president was speaking at the Ranaviru Wickrama Award Ceremony which was held at the BMICH today.

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Major General Ubaya Medawala appointed as Chief of Staff of Army

 

The ministry of defence says Major General Ubaya Medawala has been appointed as the chief of staff of the Sri Lanka army. Major General Channa Gunatilleke is his deputy. The appointments are effective from first of next month. Meanwhile, air vice marshal D.L.S Dias has been appointed as the chief of staff of the air force. It is effective from first of this month.

3 Indian fishermen who had two kilos of heroin in their possession arrested

Three Indian fishermen who attempted to smuggle drugs into the country have been taken into custody by the Navy. The fishing vessel they were travelling has been seized as well. The fishermen were nabbed during an operation carried out by the Navy in the sea area off Arippu in Mannar early this morning.  Two kilos of heroin were found in their possession. Navy spokes0man Captain Akram Alavi says the suspects will be handed over to the Police Narcotics Bureau shortly.

Low income families eligible to receive Samurdhi allowance will be identified within this year - Min S.B.

Minister S.B. Dissanayake says identifying of low income families who are eligible to receive the Samurdhi allowance will be completed before the end of this year. The process will be carried out in a scientific manner. Speaking at the parliament today,

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Fertilizer subsidy now provided for additional crops as well

Additional secretary to the ministry of agriculture and director of fertilizer secretariat Vijitha Chandra Piyathilleke says fertilizer subsidy can now be obtained for additional crops as well as for tea, rubber and coconut.  Previously it was given for only one crop.

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PM outlines future economic plans

 

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says a revolutionary method is required to take forward Sri Lanka's economy. Making a special statement on the future economic plans of the country in the parliament today, the Premier pointed out the present government granted many relief to the public servants by increasing their wages.

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New inventors receive awards from the President

New inventors have received awards from President Maithripala Sirisena. The awarding ceremony which was organized by the Ministry of Science Technology was held yesterday at the lotus pond theatre in Colombo.

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The government says an independent and reasonable investigation will be conducted into the deaths of two university students in Jaffna.

Minister Sagala Ratnayake says independent and reasonable investigation will be conducted into the killing of 2 university students in Jaffna. At the cabinet press briefing held in Colombo today the minister said the culprits will be strictly dealt with according to the existing law. At the cabinet press held in Colombo today the minister said government expresses its deepest regret regarding this unfortunate incident, It is necessary to prevent such incidents as the government is working hard to build up national reconciliation. The police have focus special attention on the  motor cycle gangs  that are engaged in illegal activities in Jaffna Peninsula. Police had taken necessary measures to curb them. However this unfortunate incident occurred at this juncture. The  minister expresses confident that the truth will  be revealed by the investigations. 

Another African country to leave the International Criminal Court

The Gambia says it will pull of the International Criminal Court after accusing the tribunal of persecuting and humiliating Africans. The small West African nation joins South Africa and Burundi in withdrawing from the court.

The ICC was set up to try the world's worst crimes but has been accused of unfairly targeting African leaders. Gambian Information Minister Sheriff Bojang said the court had ignored Western war crimes. He pointed out the ICC, for example, had failed to indict former British Prime Minister Tony Blair over the Iraq war.

Human Resource must be developed to create a sustainable development & innovative economy - President

President Maithripala Sirisena says the NSBM Green University will mark the commencement of a new journey in the field of education of Sri Lanka. The President expressed belief that the institute will be able to attract both local and students from regional from countries as well. He made these remarks while addressing the ceremony held to declare open the NSBM Green University, equipped with modern facilities at Pitipana area in Homagama this morning.

Only 27 thousand students qualify for university admissions annually. However, large number of students who have professional and vocational skills will be able to carry out their higher education activities by entering this university. Around 75 thousand students travel abroad seeking higher education opportunities. A sum of ten billion rupees is spent in this regard. The President pointed out establishment of institutes such as the NSBM green university will help the country to save that money.

Speaking further, President Maithripala Sirisena said the human resource should be developed in order to create sustainable development and an innovative economy. 30 thousand students are able to study in this university in academic year. The government is opening all the doors required to create a better country by expanding the secondary and tertiary education of opportunities. The President pointed out it is the women who are engaged in estate and apparel sectors as well as serving as housemaids are the ones who earn higher remittance of the country.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe also joined the occasion. Subject minister Mahinda Samarasinghe who addressed the ceremony said the government's funds were not used for this university. Instead the institute has been able to spend its revenue for the purpose. Large number of persons including diplomats, ministers and education officials joined the occasion.

15 % VAT to be reduced soon - MoF

The amended Bill on Value Added Tax and two more Bills were taken up for debate in the parliament today. Tabling the Bills, minister of finance Ravi Karunanayake said the government does not approve increasing of tax. However, it has to settle the large amount of debt of the previous regime.

Therefore, the government should be able to earn some revenue. However, the minister emphasized that the 15 percent VAT will be reduced soon. Concessions have been granted to the health sector as well.

Parliaments must always be mindful of human rights obligations of the state - Speaker

The 135th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union is now being held in Geneva. The theme of this year’s debate is ‘Human Rights abuses as precursors of conflict: Parliaments as early responders.’ Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is leading the high-level Sri Lankan Parliamentary delegation to the assembly.

The Speaker who addressed the General Debate said the parliaments must always be mindful of human rights obligations of the state both under the constitution and the international law. He pointed out it is not only
a legal requirement, but also a moral and ethical one.

Commenting on Sri Lanka, the Speaker said the government is mindful of the necessity to rebuild trust and harmony through reconciliation which is essential in building peace and preventing the recurrence of violence and conflict. The task ahead for Sri Lanka is how to reconcile people after a conflict that prevailed for more than three decades.

It involves balancing the issues of reconciliation and accountability which are independent. Nevertheless the Speaker added the government is dedicated to strengthen the Human rights of all and strengthening the rule of law, by putting in place necessary legislations and institutional mechanisms, such as establishing independent statutory Bodies or commissions.

Speaking further, Karu Jayasuriya pointed out the adoption of the 19th amendment to the constitution with a two thirds majority of the parliament is another positive measure in this regard.
Contd.

The Speaker said it includes positive features such as the transformation of the Presidential form of government to a presidential-parliamentary system of government curtailing excessive powers vested with the executive presidency and the reduction in the terms of office of the President and the Parliament from six years to five years.

He also added Sri Lanka’s dedication to guarantee equal rights, justice and dignity for all are the underlying objectives of initiating an inclusive process of public consultations aimed at bringing a new Constitution for the country.

The President says the media personnel are responsible to bring more positive news to the public.

President Maithripala Sirisena said the media personnel are responsible to bring more positive news to the public.  He added that all the negative incidents for instance, conflicts and destructions are being brought to the people through major news segments in the media. 

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Dozens killed at Pakistan Police College

59 cadets and guards have been killed after militants attacked a police college in the Pakistani city of Quetta. Three militants wearing
suicide bomb vests entered the college late yesterday, reportedly taking hostages.


A major security operation lasted for hours and all attackers were killed. Pakistani security forces say communication intercepts
showed the attack was carried out by Al-Alimi faction of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi militant group. Hundreds of trainees were evacuated
from Balochistan Police College as troops arrived to repel the militants. Local media reported at least three explosions at the scene.

NSBM Green University to be declared open by President tomorrow

The NSBM Green University, equipped with modern facilities will be declared open by President Maithripala Sirisena

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High profile committee to investigate breakdown at Norochcholai

Norochcholai power plant. Former Attorney General and President Counsel Shibly Aziz, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Committee while Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering of the IESL College of Engineering R. I. Senaratne and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering of Moratuwa University Professor Kapila Perera are the committee members.

They are required to investigate relevant technical and non-technical evidence, information as well as data that requires ascertaining the causes of the failure, analyze whether it could have been prevented and make recommendations to prevent similar failures in future.

Budget 2016 ; Special discussion to be held between UNP & SLFP

A special discussion between the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party regarding the budget proposals will be held at the Ministry of Finance today. State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says main objective of this discussion is to reach a consensus after discussing the proposals of the two parties.

They will be forwarded to the President and the Prime Minister. Addressing a media briefing held in Colombo today the state minister added a people friendly budget will be presented by the unison
government.

SC rules amended bill on VAT is consistent with constitution

The Supreme Court has ruled that the amended bill on value added Tax or any of its clauses are not inconsistent with the constitution.
Deputy Speaker Thilanga Sumathipala read out the Supreme Court ruling to the parliament a short while ago.

The 61st anniversary of Sri Lanka Press Association will be celebrated under the patronage of the President today.

The 61st anniversary of Sri Lanka Press Association will be celebrated under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena today at BMICH. The Press Association was established in 1955 under the leadership of Venerable Udakandawela Saranankara Thero.

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