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Minister Dr. Vijayadasa Rajapaksa said the local cinema industry faces many challenges at present.

Minister Dr. Vijayadasa Rajapaksa said the local cinema industry faces many challenges at present. The minister emphasized the importance of solving these problems through effective discussion with the relevant stakeholders. The Minister made these remarks at a function held at University Grants Commission auditorium yesterday. Addressing the gathering he further said the problems at the grass root level should be identified first. The main reason for this situation is that four film screening companies were granted this responsibility in the year 2000. The Film Corporation protested for this move at that time. The operating companies received a 10 percent service charge also in this process. Although these companies earned large amount of profit, they have not invested those funds for the betterment of cinema industry.

Trump to name nominee for Supreme Court on 9 July

US President Donald Trump says he plans to announce his nominee for a new Supreme Court judge on 9 July. He told reporters on board the presidential aircraft Air Force One he had narrowed the choice down to "about five" candidates, including two women. The vacancy arose when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement earlier this week.It gives giving President Trump the opportunity to solidify a conservative majority on the top court.

England lose to Belgium, will face Colombia in last 16

A brilliant strike by Adnan Januzaj lit up an otherwise insipid clash as Belgium beat England 1-0 to secure top spot in World Cup Group G in Kaliningrad yesterday.  Januzaj’s superb second-half goal sent Belgium into a last 16 clash with Japan while England will now advance to a second round meeting with Colombia on Tuesday.

By finishing second in the group, England have though avoided a loaded top half of the draw containing past winners Brazil, France, Argentina and Uruguay as well as European champions Portugal.

A consensus arrived at holding the Provincial Council Elections as soon as possible.

A special discussion on holding the Provincial Council Elections was held this morning in the Parliamentary premises, headed by the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.
The Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government, the Chairman of the Election Commission and the Chairman of the Delimitation Commission also participated.

They arrived at a consensus to hold the election as soon as possible. The meeting focused on the Delimitation Committee Report regarding the elections, and on holding the election according to the old and new electoral systems.

The Speaker said, a debate will be held in parliament on the 5th of next month, regarding the Provincial Council Elections. He requested the officials of the Delimitation Commission to take into consideration the points that will be raised at the debate.

The Director General of the Government Information Centre says, those who say that a rigid form of governance is needed, should call to mind the type of governance that prevailed earlier.

Director General of the Government Information Centre: Attorney at Law Sudarshana Gunawardhene says, when the government moves forward ensuring human rights and easing the country's debts, it faces various threats. Those who say that a rigid form of governance is needed, should call to mind the type of governance that prevailed earlier. He points out, under that regime, not only were human rights abused, but the country's financial administration and discipline, and all other sectors also collapsed.

The Supreme Court orders the former Chief Minister of the North Central Province to pay compensation to a school principal over an unfair transfer.

The Supreme Court has ordered the former Chief Minister of the North Central Province, Peshala Jayaratne, to pay 250,000 rupees as compensation to a school principal who had filed a case over an unfair transfer.

The former Principal of the Niwaththaka Chethiya Maha Vidyalaya in Anuradhapura had filed a Fundamental Rights Petition with the Court stating that his transfer from the school in 2016 was unfair.

Delivering the verdict today, the Court ordered the former Chief Minister to compensate the petitioner, and also ordered the government to pay 50,000 rupees as compensation.

The Postal Work-To-Rule Strike Action, called off.

Convenor of the Joint Postal Trade Union Collective: Chinthaka Bandara has announced, the decision to engage in a work-to-rule-protest has been called off with effect from 12 noon today.
He further states, mail that was held due to the postal trade union action that was underway, have been distributed. Overseas mail that was held at the Katunayake Airport, is also being distributed.

WHO announces; revamped drug could save lives of many new mothers

The World Health Organization says, a revamped drug that can withstand extreme heat and stay effective for 1,000 days could "revolutionise the ability" to keep new mothers alive.
The medicine, known as 'Heat-Stable Carbetocin', helps prevent sometimes fatal bleeding after women give birth.
Existing drugs can help, but hot or humid conditions in many countries may stop the life-saving medicines from working well.
About 70,000 women die each year due to severe bleeding after childbirth. To tackle the problem the WHO currently suggests, an injection Oxytocin be offered to all women undergoing normal deliveries.

All new investments and businesses should pay a sum of 25,000 rupees to the Inland Revenue Department and seek advise with regarding to taxation prior to commencing the venture.

The Commissioner General of Inland Revenue Department Ivan Dissanayaka said all new investments and businesses should pay a sum of 25,000 rupees to the department and seek advise with regarding to taxation prior to commencing the venture. He further said this is an international standard adopted by many world countries. The external parties and investors have to pay more than 200,000 rupees to obtain a taxation report form the government. However, the department suggests a consultation fee from each new external party to understand the local taxation mechanism. Parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardena levelled an allegation against the government recently, but the Commissioner General vehemently rejected the claims of the parliamentarian.

Minister Lakshman Kiriella says all political parties representing the parliament have agreed to have a special debate in parliament on the FTA established with Singapore.

The Leader of House Minister Lakshman Kiriella said all political parties representing the parliament have agreed to have a special debate in parliament on the free trade agreement established with Singapore. The Minister further said the debate will be conducted on the next sitting of the parliament. The Minister made this announcement in reply to a question raised by joint opposition parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena. Accordingly, the party leaders will meet once again on or before 18th of July to decide on the debate.

New York Times says Chinese funds financed Mahinda Rajapaksa election campaign

The New York Times newspaper has reported that a Chinese company has granted over sum of 7 million US dollars for the election campaign of Mahinda Rajapakse in 2015. The newspaper has stated that close allies of former president Mahinda Rajapakse had received the money prior to the 2015 presidential election. Money has been transferred to an account in the Standard Chartered Bank maintained by the China Harbour company. The funds were transferred from the accounts of Standard Charted Bank and China Harbour Company. The leader of Nawa Samasamaja party Dr. Wickramabahu Karunarathna said this is an incident of a previous regime which showcased malpractice and misuse of foreign funds. Foreign funds have been used to carryout to personnel agenda. The people of this country will never accept this type of political character. Meanwhile, the convenor of the Left Centre Chameera perera also expressed his views on this subject. 

The Leader of NSSP Dr. Wickramabahu Karunararhna says the wrongdoers and the people who violates the rule of law are punished at present due to the implementation of democracy and rule of law in the country.

The Leader of Nawa Samasamaja Party Dr. Wickramabahu Karunararhna said the wrongdoers and the people who violates the rule of law are punished at present due to the implementation of democracy and rule of law in the country. Accordingly, the government with the help of the police has implemented many programs and operations to nab the wrongdoers and fraudsters.

4-hour countrywide raid: 2,322 arrested for various offences


Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara said nearly 2,322 people were arrested for various offences while 5,254 were charged with traffic violations during a four-hour countrywide raid. He said the Police carried out the raid from 10 p.m to 12 midnight on Tuesday and 3.00 a.m to 5 a.m yesterday.

Police Spokesman Ruwan her Gunasekera said Some 14,070 police officers took part in the raid carried out under the direction of IGP Pujith Jayasundara. More than 58,000 people and 29,090 vehicles were inspected after setting up 1,796 road blocks.

He said 650 were charged with drunk driving while 635 people wanted for various crimes were also arrested.

SP Gunasekara said among those arrested were 423 on warrants and 531 persons were arrested on charges of peddling drugs and illegal liquor while 78 people were arrested for unruly behavior and five on charges of possessing weapons.

Trump-Putin summit agreed by US and Russia in principle


Moscow and Washington have agreed to hold a long-delayed summit between US President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin. The announcement follows a meeting between President Putin and US National Security Adviser John Bolton. Mr Trump said his meeting with Mr Putin could take place after next month's Nato summit in Brussels. The president said the meeting could possibly take place in the Finnish capital, Helsinki.

150 development projects in Polonnaruwa will be vested with the public in the 1st week of August

President Maithripala Sirisena says, 150 new development projects will be vested with the public from 1st to the 3rd of August under the "Re-awakening Polonnaruwa programme". The president made this comment participating in a religious programme held at the Dimbulagala Forest Hermitage this morning. The president declared open the newly constructed Sanga Wasaya and building complex at the Dimbulagala pirivena. The president further said that, drinking water schemes irrigation and road development projects health facilities development programmes are also among the development activities implemented in the Polonnaruwa district.

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According to a Chinese survey, Sri Lanka has been selected as the top global safety destination for women travellers in 2018

In a survey conducted, by the People’s Daily newspaper of China recently Sri Lanka has been selected as the top global safety destination for women travellers in 2018. A statement from Sri Lanka Embassy in Beijing states that Sri Lanka topped the list of 20 countries that were selected, including USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Switzerland and the Maldives.

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Minister Duminda Dissanayake says, economic development will be achieved under the concept of " village, temple tank and stupa"

Minister Duminda Dissanayake says, economic development will be achieved under the concept of " village, temple tank and stupa" . Parents should take the responsibility of mending the children to practice ancient buddhist policies based on righteous living. The minister made these remarks participating in a programme at the Sri Maha Nama ancient temple in Ipologama this morning. The newly constructed Buddha statue was declared open at this ceremony. Addressing the gathering the minister further said that,  Buddhist policies of living lead to peaceful and contended  society.

US Supreme Court upholds Trump’s travel ban

The US Supreme Court handed Donald Trump one of the biggest victories of his presidency yesterday, upholding his travel ban targeting several Muslim-majority countries.
Trump can now claim vindication, after lower courts had blocked his travel ban announced in September.
The ruling comes as the administration has shifted the US approach concerning immigrants, from that of previous administrations.
Trump also has moved to rescind protections for young immigrants sometimes called 'Dreamers' brought into the United States illegally as children.

Today is Poson Full-Moon Poya Day

Today is Poson full-moon poya day. The day celebrates the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BC. Poson, held on the full moon day of June, commemorates the occasion when Arahat Mahinda, the son of Emperor Asoka of India, converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism. The main focal point of celebration is Mihintale, the ancient monastic complex where the royal missionary monk Mahinda preached the first sermon to the ruling king and at Anuradhapura.

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The postal strike called off

Postal trade unions have decided to temporarily call off their strike, following talks held with the government.

The Joint Postal Trade Unions Front yesterday announced that it would together with 24 of its unions, suspend the postal strike which has lasted for the past 16 days.

The Joint Postal Trade Unions Front Convener: Chinthaka Bandara addressing a media briefing held at the Ministry of Posts said, as of 12 midnight yesterday they would suspend the strike until July 7th.

The unions have been holding discussions with the National Salaries and Cadre Commission and the Ministry over the past couple of days.

By July 7th, the work of the National Salaries and Cadre Commission with regard to their demands is expected to end and thereafter a permanent solution has been promised.

'Enterprise Sri Lanka' defined as a turning point in the country's economic and development drive

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says, the Enterprise Sri Lanka Investment Promotion Programme is fundamental in building a prosperous country. For economic growth to be attained, employment generation is a must. Therefore, the Premier requests the Private Sector to formulate their strategies to reap the maximum benefits from Enterprise Sri Lanka. The government has allocated more than 10 billion rupees for this program. A development finance corporation will also be established to support this programme. The cabinet paper in this regard is being prepared.

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