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Last updateThu, 24 May 2018 8pm

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Gary Kirsten most likely to be Bangladesh Coach.

Discussions are at its final stages to enrol Gary Kirsten of South Africa for the post of Bangladesh Coach. At present he functions as the coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. He is expected to arrive in Bangladesh on the 21st of May. Australia and England have also proposed names for the post.

Facebook’s global program: ‘Boost Your Business’ now available in Sri Lanka.

Facebook’s global program: ‘Boost Your Business’ is now available for the youth and entrepreneurs of Sri Lanka.
Facebook has partnered with the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka to train 10,000 small business owners across the country, by the end of 2018. In the first phase, the programmed will cover Colombo, Galle, Kandy and Jaffna.
The inaugural ‘Boost Your Business’ workshop to be organized in Colombo tomorrow, will orient, teach and train entrepreneurs on the effective use of Facebook to grow and monetize their businesses online.
‘Boost Your Business’ will complement the 'SMART Social Circles initiative' by the Information and Communication Technology Agency to promote digital literacy, and foster ethical and responsible use of social media.

The government will implement a programme to protect onion and potatoes cultivators

The government will prepare a programme to protect onion and potato cultivators. A committee headed by state minister Wasantha Aluvihare has been appointed for the preparation of this programme.    Onion is cultivated widely in the districts of Matale, Jaffna, Puttalam while potato is a popular crop in Bandarawela and Nuwara Eliya districts.  Normally,  cultivators face a problem of selling their produce at a reasonable price. 

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Then fuel subsidy for fishermen will come into effect from Friday

Minister Vijith Wijayamuni Soyza says that the fuel subsidy for fishermen will come into effect from Friday. The cabinet memorandum to this effect will be presented to the cabinet today. The minister says  the aim of this programme is to minimize the impact on fishermen following the revision of fuel prices.  The government will bear five billion rupee in granting fuel subsidy to fishermen.

The second stage of 13 year education programme will commence next month

The education ministry will implement the 2nd stage of the 13 year certified education programme next month covering 150 schools.  14 thousand students under the vocational stream will benefit from the programme.  Under the first stage of this programme, 2,400 students of 42 schools are continuing their education under this subject stream.

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Gaza violence: Israel defends actions as 55 Palestinians killed

In the deadliest day of violence in Gaza since the 2014 war, Palestinian officials say Israeli troops have killed 55 people and wounded 2,700.Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said his military was acting in self-defence against Gaza's Islamist rulers, Hamas, who he said wanted to destroy Israel.The Palestinian Authority's leader condemned a "massacre". The UN spoke of "outrageous human rights violations".The violence came as the US opened a controversial embassy in Jerusalem.

The government decides to continue with the kerosene subsidy to the relevant recipients

The government has decided to continue with the kerosene subsidy. Secretary to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development Upali Marasinghe says, thereby low income families without electricity and owners of vessels that use kerosene as fuel, are eligible to enjoy the kerosene subsidy. A plan will be devised to credit the funds to be provided as concessions, directly to the recipient's bank account. Relevant information will be collated through the Department of Fisheries and the Samurdhi Movement.

China approves a 1 billion US dollar loan facility for the construction of the first phase of the Central Expressway

China's envoy to Sri Lanka has informed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that a long delayed 1.1 billion US dollar loan to build the Central Expressway has been approved. The loan, negotiated with the Exim Bank of China was delayed for over two years pending approval from Chinese authorities. The Government of China has now approved it. The ambassador requested the Sri Lankan side to expedite administrative and legal formalities.

Indian Army Chief of Staff honours fallen war heroes at Indian Peace Keeping Force Memorial

Indian Army Chief of Staff General Bipin Rawat, who is currently in the island on a week-long goodwill visit at the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart, began his first day itinerary by saluting memories of fallen Indian Peace Keeping Force war heroes at the Battaramulla IPKF monument, yesterday.

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Another group of aged cinema artistes will be provided with pension allowances

Another group of senior cinema artistes will be provided with pension allowances granted by the National Film Corporation. A sum of 2000 rupees is provided to such aged cinema artistes since 1998. Minister Ranjith Maddumabandara has proposed to increase it up to 5000 rupees a month. Accordingly 103 artistes are entitled to the increased pension allowance.  Payment of the increased allowance to the artistes will take place at a ceremony organized by the the National Film Corporation under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena today.

The Premier says, another 4 Free Trade Zones and three tourism zones will be established.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe says, 4 free trade zones and 3 tourism zones will be established within the next year. Speaking at a ceremony held at Temple Trees today the Premier said, the free trade zones will be in Weligama, Kaluthara, Bingiriya, and would include one of the three zones in Hambantota. The ceremony was organized to offer letters of appointment for 4,511 new recruits to the Public Management Service. The Premier further stated that the public service exists to serve the citizens and not for mere administrative purposes.

One million Asthma patients identified island-wide.

 

Consultant Chest Specialist: Dr Keerthi Gunasekera says, around one million Asthma patients have been identified islandwide. He disclosed this, participating at a media briefing held at the the Government Information Centre to mart World Asthma Day which fell on the 1st of May. He added, asthmatic conditions have been reported in 25 percent of schoolchildren. He pointed out, around 1,000 Asthma-related deaths are reported annually. He observes, therefore, it is necessary to create awareness among the public regarding asthmatic conditions.

Also joining in the briefing, Secretary to the College of Pulmonologists of Sri Lanka Dr. Buddhika Samarasekara announced, parallel to World Environment Day that falls in the 1st of next month, a walk will be held in the Kandy City. Alongside with the walk, a free asthma clinic will be conducted at the Kandy City Center.

Sufficient stocks of dates to be made available during the Ramazan Fasting Period.


Upon a request made by Minister of Muslim Religious Affairs: M H A Haleem and State Minister of National Unity and Reconciliation: A H M Fowzie, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasignhe has instructed for dates to be made sufficiently available during the Ramazan Fasting Period.

Dates are distributed at mosques during the Ramazan season. Last year steps were taken to distribute 150 tonnes of dates gifted by Saudi Arabia, while Sathosa distributed another 150 tonnes. Since the dates harvest in Saudi Arabia is less this year, instructions have been given to the chairman of Sathosa and to officials of the Finance Ministry to get down sufficient stocks of dates from the Middle East. The premier has invited Cargills and other private sector distribution lines to support in the distribution of dates.

Clashes erupt along Gaza-Israel border, ahead of US embassy inauguration

Clashes erupted along the Gaza Strip's border today between Palestinians and Israeli forces, ahead of the controversial inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Thousands gathered near the border, while smaller numbers of stone-throwing Palestinians were approaching the fence and seeking to damage it. Larger crowds are expected to gather later in the day to protest against the shifting of the US embassy in Israel, from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem. The protestors are also calling for Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled during the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation, to be allowed to return to their homes which are now inside Israel.

Two Britons held hostage in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been released unharmed

Two Britons held hostage in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been released unharmed. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson paid tribute to the DRC authorities and the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation for their "tireless help". The hostages are receiving "support and medical attention".

The leaders of Sri Lanka and Iran hold bilateral talks

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The government says no decision has been taken to raise electricity charges

Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says no decision has been taken to raise electricity charges following the increase in fuel prices. He assures that the government will continue to supply electricity to consumers at concessionary rates.

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Minister Mano Ganeshan says building national reconciliation could begin from schoolchildren

Minister Mano Ganeshan says building national reconciliation could begin from schoolchildren. He was participating in a uniform and educational equipment distribution at Deniyaya Central College yesterday. The Minister added that the foundation could be laid at school level for unity among the communities to take the country forward.

The Army agrees to release 522 acres of more land in the North and the East back to civilians.

The Army has agreed to release 522 acres of more land in the North and the East back to their civilian owners. These civilians, presently living in welfare camps or in the homes of relatives or friends, will be resettled in their own land. More than 4,900 acres of land have so far been returned to civilians following their acquisition by the military during the war.

Several bi-lateral agreements signed to enhance trade and economic relations between Iran and Sri Lanka

 

Several bi-lateral agreements to enhance trade and economic relations between Iran and Sri Lanka have been inked. President Maithripala Sirisena and his Iranian counterpart: Hassan Rouhani signed the agreements. President Sirisena, who is on an official tour of Iran, visited the President's House with his delegation, this morning.

President Sirisena is also due to participate in a special Business and Investment Summit organized by Iran's Chamber of Commerce

The Department of Education is focused on providing students sitting for the GCE A/Level Examination, with an additional time duration to read and understand the question paper

 

The Department of Education is focused on providing students sitting for the GCE A/Level Examination, with an additional time duration of 10 to 15 minutes to read and understand the question paper. This will be implemented from the next A/Level Examination that is to be held this August.

This additional time duration will be provided for the 3-hour question papers. Commissioner General of Examinations: B Sarath Pujitha says, this practice is seen in many countries. A special discussion was held at the Ministry of Education regarding this idea that was put forward by Minister of Education: Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. He added, this will be introduced for the O/Level Examination in future.

This year's A/Level Examination will be conducted from the 6th of August to the 1st of September.

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