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President Maithripala Sirisena will tour Georgia today to attend the Open Government Partnership Global Summit 2018

President Maithripala Sirisena will tour Georgia today to attend the Open Government Partnership Global Summit 2018. The objective of this summit is to work against corruption. Various topics including 'Empowering Citizens' and 'Promoting Transparency' will be taken up for discussion. President Sirisena is due to address this summit as well.

Meanwhile, the President attended the 24th session of the Committee on Forestry and the 6th World Forest Week in Rome.

Addressing the summit the President said that Sri Lanka is committed to protect the present forest cover and to develop the forest cover, up to 32 percent. The President said that, Humans get many social and economic benefits from forests. He further said that, all member countries should collectively commit themselves to overcome challenges although the agenda is complex. He said the government is implementing several programmes including planting of five million plants by 2020.

The sessions will explore the contributions that forests can make in achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

The prime minister says, tee aim of the government is to eliminate drug trade by disrupting the supply chain

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says that, the aim of the government is to disrupt drug supply chain and to eliminate that drug trade. He said that, the previous government took legal action only against the people who distribute drugs and political protection as given to large scale drug racketeers. The Prime Minister said this at the opening of Ibbagamuwa district secretariat auditorium recently.

Meanwhile, JVP leader parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake also expressed his views on this subject. He said in parliament that many drug kingpins operated during the Rajapaksa regime. These drug dealers had close links with Rajapaksas.

Addressing the House Minister Duminda Dissanayake said the main drug dealers during the previous regime were given political protection and backing. The country at present is undergoing problems related to drug menace due to these passed incidents.

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera emphasised the importance of providing necessary powers and strengthening the police to control the drug trafficking in the country

Allocating seats on the buses from the home through the telephone service has been launched

Allocating seats on the buses from the home through the telephone service has been launched. The new service will provide the commuters and passengers of long distance bus transport to book their tickets without any hindrance. The service is known as 'SLTB Express'. Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation says Sri Lanka Transport Board has made these arrangement for the benefit of the commuters. The commuters can book their tickets through online service available in the web. They can select the location of the seat inside the bus. This will give a comprehensive facility for the commuters and passengers

Another housing scheme for estate workers with the support of Indian government

Another housing scheme will be implemented for the benefit of estate workers with the support of Indian government. Minister of Upcountry, new villages and rural Development P. Digambaran made these remarks after placing foundation stone for the construction of another 80 houses. The Minister further said this project is being implemented under the guidance of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe. The Minister also stated this housing scheme will be further extended by 2020. The Minister wishes the Prime Minister that Mr. Wickremasinghe will become the leader of this country in 2020. 50 housing units in Agarapathana and 25 houses in Bogawanthalawa will be constructed.

Police in Chicago clash with protesters after an officer fatally shoots a black man

Police in Chicago, USA have clashed with protesters after an officer fatally shot a black man who was suspected of carrying a gun. A crowd of about 150 people shouted "murderers", threw objects and jumped on police cars during the confrontation in Chicago's South Side area. Officers armed with batons traded punches with the protesters. Three officers sustained minor injuries and there were four arrests. A string of police killings of black men, some unarmed, has caused outrage and led to protests in cities across the US.

Minister Rajitha Senarathne responds to media reports about a lifting of the ban on glyphosates

According to Minister Rajitha Senarathne, the registrar of pesticides cannot act beyond cabinet decisions to lift the ban on glyphosates. Imposed in 2015 for all crops, the ban was lifted last year with cabinet approval only for tea and rubber. The Minister is responding to media reports that the registrar of pesticides has lifted the ban on all crops.

The government plans to resolve the human-elephant conflict within the next one year

Minister Sarath Fonseka says the human-elephant conflict will be resolved within the next one year. He gave the promise during a visit today to Suriyawewa where threats from elephants are rampant. He was accompanied in the tour by his Deputy Palitha Thewarapperuma. Minister Fonseka also looked into unauthorized cultivations in forest reserves.

The Army assures that it will always prioritize national security concerns

The Army says that it will not resort, under any circumstances, to any decisions that will pose a threat to national security. It assures that it will always prioritize national security concerns. In a statement, the Army urges the peace-loving public not to be misled by unfounded and false media reports about an alleged removal of its camps in the North. It also asks the people to consider its past services, roles and tasks and repose full confidence in the Army.

The statement goes on to say that the Army is prepared round-the-clock to respond to all security requirements. After the war, the Army has thrown its full weight behind the government's national building projects as the prime mover. However, certain opportunistic politicians and media organizations are spreading malicious and false propaganda to inculcate the public with untruth and distortion regarding the ongoing right-sizing of the Army. That right-sizing process has been happening even during the war and does not allow any camp to be closed, but allows the majority of troops to be deployed for emergency disaster needs and nation building tasks.

Certain white-clad politicians are accused of being the kingpins of drug trafficking of yesteryears

Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara says that some of today's white-clad politicians had been the kingpins of drug trafficking of yesteryears. These same politicians had brought underworld figures to the fore. The Minister was speaking today at the Moneragala district phase of the 'Gam Peraliya' programme to renovate the Meedeniya bridge in Wellawaya. He also said law and order are important prerequisites for development. The Minster added that justice or freedom was non-existent and more than 15 journalists were murdered during the previous regime.

The importance highlighted of a clear-cut programme to build confidence in the OMP process

A Commissioner of the Missing Persons Office, Dr. Nimalka Fernando, stresses the importance of a clear-cut programme to build confidence of the parents of the missing persons in the OMP process. She was speaking to the SLBC on the sidelines of an awareness programme in Kilinochchi today. Dr. Fernando said humane solutions had to be given for the social requirements of the targeted segments of the OMP.

The 'Gamperaliya Development Drive' is underway in the Nikaweratiya-Rasnayakapura Divisional Secretariat Zone in the Kurunegala District

The 'Gamperaliya Development Drive' that aims at empowering the rural masses, is underway under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe in the Nikaweratiya-Rasnayakapura Divisional Secretariat Zone in the Kurunegala District. Reconstruction work of the Kalukeitya-Bulathgama Tank is to take place. The cost estimated is 3.5 million rupees.

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A drop in the number of reported dengue patients, observed this year

Minister of Health: Dr Rajitha Senarathne says, the required medical equipment, clinical facilities, vehicles and office equipment have been adequately provided to necessary locations, for dengue prevention tasks.
Speaking to the Subharathee Discussion Progamme aired over the SLBC this morning the Minister points out, 26,000 dengue patients have been reported this year. Last year, 86,000 dengue patients were reported. In comparison with last year, a drop in the number of reported patients has been observed this year.

1,500 youths were recruited for dengue prevention campaigns, and they have been deployed on house to house visits to conduct inspections. The Minister praised the dedication of all those involved in dengue prevention activities, from the highest ranking officers to the labourers.

South Africa celebrates the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's birth

South Africa celebrates the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's birth this week, with a flagship speech by Former US President Barack Obama.
Mandela, who died in 2013, remains a global icon for his long fight against white-minority rule, and for his message of peace and reconciliation when he was released after 27 years in prison.
His birthday on July 18th is marked annually around the world.
Obama will set the tone for the celebrations with a speech in Johannesburg on July 17th, which will be his most important public address, since leaving the White House last year.

Admission Cards for students sitting their GCE A/Levels and Grade 5 Scholarship Examination, have been posted

Commissioner General of Examinations: B Sanath Poojitha says, Admission Cards for students sitting their GCE Advanced Level Examination and Grade 5 Scholarship Examination, have been posted.

The Grade 5 Scholarship Examination will be held across 3050 examination centres on the 5th of next month. The Commissioner General notifies, conducting tuition classes and conferences for students sitting the Scholarship Exam, is prohibited, after midnight on 31st July.

The Central Provincial Operational Committee of the Grama Shakthi Movement will meet in Kandy today

The Central Provincial Operational Committee of the Grama Shakthi People's Movement will meet at the Kandy President's House today under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. Political authorities of the province and top public official will also participate in this meeting. The Grama Shakthi People's Movement has been implemented in the Central Province to carryout livelihood development programmes for the people in Kandy, Mathale, and Nuwara Eliya districts. The first instalment to implement rural development projects in the three districts will also be distributed among the three district secretaries today.  The president will also leads the central provincial national alcohol and narcotic elimination programme to be held at the Gatambe grounds. He will make an inspection tour at the Kotaligoda manufacturing village as well.

South Asian Speakers’ Summit will be held in Colombo today and tomorrow

The Parliament of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Inter-Parliamentary Union will hold the South Asian Speakers’ Summit on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Colombo today and tomorrow. The summit will follow up on the conclusions of the second Summit of Speakers in India and the first summit held in Bangladesh. It will aim to discuss how Parliaments can be a development actor promoting the effective implementation of the SDGs. The summit is intended for Speakers of Parliament from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The opening ceremony will take place at the Parliamentary premises today. The conference sessions will be held at Hotel Hilton, Colombo. The summit will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who will also deliver the keynote address at the opening ceremony. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya will deliver the welcome speech.

Death sentence for drug offenders who were found guilty by the court of law

The government has taken a decision to implement the death sentence for drug offenders who were found guilty by the court of law. This decision has been taken unanimously at the weekly meeting of Cabinet Ministers, the Minister of Buddhasasana Gamini Jayawickrama Perera revealed yesterday. Holding a media conference, the minister further said that the President has given instructions to Minister of Justice Thalatha Athukorala to take necessary steps to implement this decision.

World Population Day falls today

World Population Day falls today. The day, which seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, was established by the then-Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989, an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, which was observed on 11 July 1987. The theme of this year is “Family Planning is a Human Right”. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 International Conference on Human Rights, where family planning was, for the first time, globally affirmed to be a human right.

Cave rescue: Elation as Thai boys and coach freed by divers

Joy and relief have greeted the rescue of 12 boys and their football coach from flooded caves in northern Thailand after divers completed a daring operation to bring them out. Seventeen days after they got trapped underground, the last five members of the group emerged on Tuesday. Their plight and the complex three-day-long operation to free them gripped the world's attention. Celebrations have swept the South East Asian nation and further afield. There were cheers around the Tham Luang cave system in the country's Chiang Rai province as a rescue operation involving dozens of divers and hundreds of other rescue workers came to an end on Tuesday evening. Offers of hospitality for the boys, the coach and their rescuers have come in from international football clubs including Manchester United and Benfica. (BBC)

Cave divers ready to rescue last five

Divers are preparing to resume a high-risk rescue operation to free the last five members of a group who became trapped in a vast cave system in northern Thailand last month.The health of the four boys and their football coach is said to be good as they ready to be guided through the narrow flooded passages of the complex.Eight boys have been brought out of the caves over the past two days.The operation inside the Tham Luang caves has attracted global attention.The group became trapped on 23 June after heavy rains caused flooding. They were found last week by divers.

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