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The Minister of Foreign Affairs says, the country is deeply committed to uphold the Rule of Law, and to ensure the equal protection of the law to all individuals - without discrimination.

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Thilak Marapana says, the country is deeply committed to uphold the Rule of Law, and to ensure the equal protection of the law to all individuals - without discrimination, as guaranteed by the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

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54 million rupees set aside to provide relief for those affected. Relief activities to continue uninterrupted

The Disaster Management Centre states 125,954 persons across 19 districts have been displaced due to the prevailing inclement weather. 13 deaths have been reported. Deputy Director of the Disaster Management Centre: Predeep Kodippili, speaking at a media briefing held today said, 13,832 families have been sheltered in 251 temporary locations. Assistant Director: Savithri Jayakody said, 54 million rupees has been set aside by the government to provide relief for those affected.

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The Sri Lanka Tea Board Amendment Bill taken up for debate in parliament today

The Sri Lanka Tea Board Amendment Bill was taken up for debate in parliament today. Joining in the debate, Parliamentarian Mahindananda Aluthgamage commended the measures taken by Minister Navin Dissanayake to uplift the tea industry of the country. He further stated, state-owned estate companies need to be maintained, while private estate companies need to be regulated. Parliamentarian: Professor Ashu Marasinghe said, a Housing Complex Project needs to be launched to solve the housing issue in the estate sector.

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Austria provides credit facilities for the enhancement of healthcare in Sri Lanka

The Government is to invest over 900 million rupees to improve University Medical facilities.
Since Medical faculties of the Eastern University, the University of Rajarata, and the Allied Health Science Faculty of University of Peradeniya were established recently, it has become an urgent need to provide necessary facilities with required medical equipment and accessories to those faculties.

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Iran sanctions: Zarif condemns Pompeo announcement

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has condemned the US for promising to impose the "strongest sanctions in history" on his country.Measures outlined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he said, showed the US was a prisoner of its "failed policies" and it would suffer the consequences.EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also criticised the US.She said Mr Pompeo had failed to show how dropping the 2015 nuclear deal would make the Middle East safer.

The government has taken effective measures to provide relief assistance to the people affected due to flood and disaster situations

The Ratnapura, Galle, Matara, Kegalle, Kalutara, Anuradhapura, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Badulla, Nuwara Eliya and Matale districts were affected by the South-Western monsoonal rains. The Meteorological Department issuing a report yesterday stated, “Showers or thundershowers will continue to occur in the Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Central and North-Western provinces”.

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As a precaution to the viral fever that is spreading in the Southern Province, Primary Schools and the primary section of secondary schools in six Education Zones will be closed today and tomorrow

The Southern Province Education Ministry says, as a precaution to the viral fever that is spreading in the Southern Province, Primary Schools and the primary section of secondary schools in six Education Zones will be closed today and tomorrow. These schools come under the zonal offices of Galle, Matara, Mulatiyana, Akuressa, Tangalle and Walasmulla. In addition, all pre-schools in these zones will also be closed throughout this week.

Meanwhile, Director of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital: Dr. Jayampathi Senanayake says 37 children are presently receiving treatment for influenza in the hospital.

Today Sri Lanka commemorates the 46th Republic Day

Today marks the Republic Day of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka became a Republic on 22nd May 1972, with the adoption of a new Constitution. Today Sri Lanka commemorates the 46th Republic Day. Every year on May 22 All Ministries, Government Departments, Statutory Corporations and other State institutions commemorated Republic Day. Heads of the department with the participation of staff hoisted the national flag and delivered a short speech on the importance of this Day.

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The Minister of Finance points out, even in the face of challenges, the government has been able to strengthen the economy and the administration of the country, to a level far ahead of where it had been in the past

 

Minister of Finance and Media: Mangala Samaraweera issuing a special communique points out, even in the face of challenges, the government has been able to strengthen the economy and the administration of the country, to a level far ahead than where it had been in the past.

The Minister cites the comments made by Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has charged that the Unity Government has to make history's highest recorded debt repayment of 4.2 billion dollars in 2019 due to a debt crisis created by the Good Governance Regime.

He points out, after Independence in 1948, the highest amount of foreign debt has to be paid in 2018. The total foreign debt to be paid this year is 2,845 million dollars, and of which 1,789 million dollars has to be paid for foreign debt which was borrowed before the year 2015. Only an instalment of 1,056 dollars has to be paid for the foreign loans borrowed after 2015. Accordingly, 63 percent of debt instalments to be paid this year, are repayments of debts that had been borrowed during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tenure as Finance Minister!

This crisis will further worsen next year.
4,285 million dollars have to be paid in 2019, of which 3,315 dollars or 77 percent of the repayment are for the debt obtained during the tenure of the Rajapaksa regime.

The Mahinda Rajapaksa regime obtained loans in 2014, not for development work, but for the election propaganda purposes in which they lured unsuspected voters by distributing cheap items such as 'Sil Redi'.

After this Government was voted to power, it has obtained foreign debts of 12 billion dollars during the last three years. Out of this 6 billion was from International Donor Agencies, and under bilateral agreements at concessionary interest rates. They have been spent for various projects. These loans were taken neither under 'commercial basis' nor for 'consumer purposes', as Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa attempts to interpret.

A Bob Dylan guitar fetches 495,000 dollars, at auction

 

A guitar that played a key role in Bob Dylan's artistic evolution, fetched half a million at an auction yesterday.
The guitar, a 1965 Fender Telecaster that belonged to Dylan's guitarist: Robbie Robertson, was used by Dylan, Eric Clapton and George Harrison.
The guitar marked the singer's path from folk stylings like 'The Times They Are A-Changin', to electric rock, like his 1965 hit 'Like a Rolling Stone'.
George Harrison's first electric guitar, and a Fender Telecaster rosewood guitar made for Elvis Presley in 1968
also went under the hammer.
The sale also included show costumes that belonged to artists from Elton John, to Britney Spears and Michael Jackson.

The National ceremony to commemorate the war heroes will be held this afternoon at Battaramulla under the patronage of the president. Many other programs are also organized in line with this ceremony

 

The National ceremony to commemorate the war heroes will be held at Battaramulla. Many other programs are also organized in line with this ceremony.

Three armed forces, police and the civil defense force contributed immensely to eliminate the terrorism. The national ceremony to commemorate the war hearos will be held today in front of the war heroes monument in Batteramulla. President Maithripala Sirisena will participate as the chief guest. SLBC, the National Radio has made arrangements to bring a live broadcast of the ceremony from 3 PM today. The national ceremony will be held from 2.00 pm to 7.00 pm today in front of the War Heroes' Monument in Battaramulla.

Therefore, the Colombo City Traffic Police requests the motorists to limit the vehicle movement on the parliament junction along the parliament grounds. Special traffic arrangements are made for this purpose. Many other programs are also organized to commemorate the war heroes. 50 members of the tri forces will receive "Vishishta Sewa Vibhooshana" medals today. A function in this regard will be held at Presidential secretariat at 9.00 am under the patronage of President Maithipala Sirisena. Meanwhile, a special aaloka Pooja is organized by Sri Lanka Army at 6.00 pm at the historical Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya. President Maithripala Sirisena will participate as the chief guest.

A special work plan is implemented to provide relief assistance and and welfare assistance to the members of the security forces who have sacrificed and showed commitment in protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.

A Pirith Chanting ceremony to invoke blessings to the three forces and the people of the country will be held this morning at 10.00 am with the participation of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Mahaweli Center.

The Premier stresses the rights of any professional in the country will not be affected by the free trade agreement signed between Sri Lanka and Singapore

 

Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe stresses that rights of any professional in the country will not be affected by the free trade agreement signed between Sri Lanka and Singapore. The Srilankan job market will not be opened to foreigners by this agreement. The premier made these comments when he met a group of engineers and architects at the Temple Trees yesterday. The meeting was held to allay the fears of the professionals of the country alleged to have against the FTA with Singapore.

The premier added that the agreement will pave the way for Srilankans to have jobs in foreign countries and local entrepreneurs to have investment opportunities with foreign companies. The prime minister also agreed to hold more talks in future to solve the problems erupting in this connection.

Colombo Mayor instructs the Commissioner of the Colombo Municipality to suspend all fines charged through parking meters

Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake has instructed the Commissioner of the Colombo Municipality to suspend all fines charged through parking meters. The Mayor further said that with regard to the recent complaints on parking meter fines. Pending council approval she has given instructions to the commissioner to suspend all fines charged relating to parking meters.

Mrs Rosy Senanayake revealed this information during a media conference held in Colombo yesterday. Addressing the media personnel, she further said the particular parking charge meter system introduced last tear under the Colombo Municipal Commissioner , will be reviewed and effective steps will be taken accordingly to ease the complexity of the system. It was reported that a man who failed to pay a parking fee of Rs.30 at a parking slot in Wellawatte, has been fined 10,120 rupees after a lapse of 13 days.

The man had parked his car in Wellawatte on April 25 and had forgotten to pay the fee of Rs. 30 via a machine placed near the parking place

A special project to protect the water sources in Mahaweli areas is being implemented with the support of Asian Development Bank

A special project to protect the water sources in Mahaweli areas is being implemented with the support of Asian Development Bank. The total investment of this project is 675 Million dollars. Out of which the Asian Development Bank has come forward to provide 453 Million dollars as a loan facility for this project. Under the first phase, an MOU has been signed between Sri Lankan government and Asian Development Bank for the loan amount of 150 Million dollars.

The project will also include Upper Elahera Project, North Western Canal construction project and Minipe left bank construction as well.

Local government representatives will be provided short, medium and long term training on local government administration

Minister Faizer Mustafa says local government representatives will be provided short, medium and long term training on local government administration. The Minister made these remarks at a function to launch the handbook for the local government councillors and establish MoUs with UK and the Netherlands to construct 500 rural bridges. A special loan facility scheme was also launched on the same day. The function was held at cinnamon lakeside recently

More than 100 die in Cuba plane crash

 

More than 100 people have died after a Boeing 737 airliner crashed near Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuban state media say. Three people have survived but are in a critical condition, Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma reported. Flight tracking websites indicate the plane departed at mid-morning local time, and it reportedly crashed shortly after. The plane was carrying 104 passengers, according to local media. "There has been an unfortunate aviation accident. The news is not very promising, it seems that there is a high number of victims," Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said after visiting the crash site.

Royal wedding 2018: Millions to watch Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle

 

Millions of people around the world are set to watch the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Windsor. Hundreds more are settling in for a night on the streets of Windsor to secure the best viewing spot. The couple will wed at noon at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, before travelling through the town in a carriage at about 13:00 BST. In her vows, Ms Markle will not promise to "obey" her husband and Prince Harry has chosen to have a wedding ring.

DR Congo Ebola outbreak spreads to Mbandaka city.

The Ebola outbreak in DR Congo has spread from the countryside into a city, prompting fears that the disease will be increasingly hard to control. Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga confirmed a case in Mbandaka, a city of a million about 130 kilometers from where the first cases were confirmed. The city is a major transportation hub with routes to the capital Kinshasa. At least 44 people are thought to have been infected with ebola and 23 deaths are being investigated.

The President says the government is committed to achieve its responsibilities for the Buddha Shasana and Maha Sangha.


President Maithripala Sirisena says the government is committed to achieve its responsibilities for the Buddha Shasana and Maha Sangha. The government always listens to the advice and guidance of the Maha Sangha of tri chapters in this endeavor. Many programmes have been implemented in this regard and many more will be done in the coming months. The President made these remarks participating in a religious ceremony held at the BMICH yesterday. It was held to offer the credentials to the new Anu Nayake of Ramanya Chapter Most Venerable Matale Sri Dhammakusala Thero. The president further said that religious leaders have a great responsibility to direct the society into the right path. The President also commended the service rendered by the new Anu Nayake Thero for the wellbeing of the Buddha Shasana and the society.

The Prime Minister says market oriented dairy products will strengthen rural economy.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the market oriented dairy project launched in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture would strengthen and improve the country’s rural economy. He was speaking at the launch of the Market-Oriented Dairy Project by the United States Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Government at the Movenpick Hotel, Colombo.

The 4.5 year, 14.1 Million US dollars initiative is implemented by the US based International Executive Service Corps.

The Prime Minister said the project was a part of government’s initiatives to uplift the rural economy. “The project will help small and medium scale dairy farmers and other dairy related businesses to meet growing demand by increasing productivity and expanding the trade of milk and dairy products.

The Prime Minister said the small scale dairy farmers produce around four to five litres per day and the project targets to increase it up to 10 litres per day as the first step. He said that in the long run, the farmers will be able to increase four times compared to their present day production.

The Prime Minister further said similar projects would improve rural economy and the living standard of the small and medium dairy farmers. He said the government will strengthen and grow country’s dairy sector. He thanked the US government and US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Atul Keshap for their support.

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