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Tue05222018

Last updateSun, 20 May 2018 2pm

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The government pledges a reasonable solution for the SAITM issue

State Minister of Higher Education Mohan Lal Grero says a reasonable solution for the SAITM issue will be brought by the government. Alternative measures have already been taken to solve the issue. The State Minister pointed out that all relevant parties should extend support to have a solution acceptable to all. He made these remarks assuming duties as the new State Minister of Higher Education in his Ministry recently

Serbia - Sri Lanka bilateral relations will be further strengthened

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic called on his Sri Lankan counterpart Thilak Marapona at his Ministry yesterday. Minister Marapona said that the time has come for Sri Lanka to revive its friendship with Serbia.

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300 million rupees has been granted to 49 local government bodies in the Southern Province

Chief Minister of the Southern Province Shan Wijelal De Silva says a sum of 300 million rupees has been granted to 49 local government bodies in the Southern Province. Accordingly, development projects will be implemented in Galle, Matara and Hambantota Municipal Councils and four urban councils and 42 Pradeshiya Sabhas in the three districts.

President’s former Chief of Staff and former State timber Corporation Chairman re-remanded

The President’s former Chief of Staff I. H. K. Mahanama and State Timber Corporation former Chairman P. Dissanayaka who were arrested in the act of accepting a bribe of 20 million were rupees re- remanded till 22 May. Mahanama, the former secretary of the lands ministry, had allegedly asked for a bribe of 540 million rupees from an Indian investor interested in acquiring a state-owned sugar factory.

The rail strike has been called off

The railway trade unions decided to called off the strike which they have planned to start at 12 noon today. President of the Railway Station Masters' Union Janaka Fernando told the SLBC that this decision has been taken as the cabinet has agreed to grant solution to their demands. Accordingly, all the trains will run as scheduled from this afternoon.

Trump pulls US out of Iran deal

US President Donald Trump has announced the US withdrawal from the Obama-era multinational nuclear deal with Iran.
Calling it "decaying and rotten", he said the deal was "an embarrassment" to him. Going against advice from European allies he said, he would re-impose economic sanctions that were waived when the deal was signed in 2015.

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The Judicature Amendment Bill' to be presented in Parliament today

The Judicature Amendment Bill' which is formulated with regard to establishing 'special high courts', will be presented in Parliament today. Speaking at a media briefing held at the Government Information Centre yesterday, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne said, the citizens of the country voice their displeasure at the government

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The CEB's Mixed Power Generation Plan will be tabled at today's cabinet meeting

The Mixed Power Generation Plan proposed by the Ceylon Electricity Board will be tabled at today's cabinet meeting for approval. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says, in order to meet the increasing demand for electricity annually, a mixed power generation plan will be prepared every two years and upon cabinet approval will be forwarded to the Public Utilities Commission.

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Railway strike postponed

Convenor of the Railway Operations and Monitoring Officer's Union: Lal Ariyarathne says, the Railway Strike that was due to be launched from midnight yesterday, has been postponed to 12:00 Noon today.

This decision was taken upon the promise given by Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama that the cabinet paper pertaining to settling their salary anomalies, will be tabled at today's cabinet meeting.

The Second Session of the Eighth Parliament was opened by President Maithripala Sirisena, today.

The Second Session of the Eighth Parliament was opened by President Maithripala Sirisena, today. The President then commenced the inaugural speech of the new session. He said, the government within the past three years, fulfilled the task bestowed upon it by the citizens to bring about democracy and create a humane society of responsibility in Sri Lanka. We need to recognize the political pulse of the people. The President pointed out the many progressive steps taken by the government for the betterment of its people. Among these; the 19th amendment to the constitution and the National Pharmaceuticals Act are prominent. The pruning of powers vested in the Executive Presidency without the need for a referendum, is a true victory of the Consensus Government. The Right to Information Act has been defined as the most effective piece of legislation in Asia. 18 Acts significant to the economy were passed in the 8th Parliament. The country was able to regain the GSP Plus concession. Housing projects in the island have expanded rapidly. 300 thousand families were provided houses since 2015. A mixed power generation plan was introduced. 275 thousand families were provided electricity upon the government's budget.

Specifically in the Health Sector, the prices of 48 pharmaceuticals were reduced. Stents for heart patients were provided free and the cost concerning cancer patients was addressed. A wide spread national programme was implemented to curb renal disease.

Vocational and Technical educational opportunities were provided free. The Samurdhi benefits were doubled. The allowance for elders was increased, while the allowance for pregnant mothers was increased up to 2000 rupees. The Mahapola allowance was also raised.

The runway of the Katunayake airport was renovated within a short period. The tourism industry has been boosted to a major source of foreign revenue.

Stringent laws were enforced on banned polythene ad plastic products. A permanent programme has been implemented for waste management.

However, the challenges faced by the country have not ceased. The President pointed out, the development of the country needs to be expedited. Debt needs to be managed and poverty needs to be alleviated. A public service free of corruption and malpractice needs to be established. He pointed out, the transitional period will be difficult.

Any country has its targets. The present government was created with the intention of achieving many necessary objectives. President Sirisena pointed out, we are not in an era where we can test political power. Contentious issues within the consensus government need to cease, since it is the people of the country that suffer. The President pointed out the necessity for the people's representatives to implement a collective agenda.

The Judicature Amended Bill, to be presented in Parliament.

The Judicature Amended Bill which is formulated with regard to establishing 'special high courts', will be presented in Parliament tomorrow. Speaking at a media briefing held at the Government Information Centre today Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne said, the citizens of the country voice their displeasure at the government for the delay in taking legislative action against political killings and mammoth financial fraud committed during the previous regime. He pointed out, it is this the citizens signalled to the government at the Local Government Elections.

Once the proposed legislation is passed the special courts to be established will function under the Chief Justice. Cases that are presently heard at High Courts can also be directed to these new courts. The number of high court judges will also be increased from 75 to 110.

Railway strike postponed, but likely to be cancelled

Convenor of the Railway Operations and Monitoring Union: Lal Ariyarathne says, the Railway Strike that was due to be launched from midnight today, has been postponed to 12:00 noon tomorrow.
Discussions were held between the government and the Railway Operations and Monitoring Union this morning. The government requested for a period of two weeks for solutions to be given to the demands put forward by the Union. The Convenor of the Union said, there is a possibility to abandon the proposed trade union action, should the government arrive at an agreement regarding their demands.

UN Food Agency aims to boost aid to North Korea

The United Nations Food Agency says, its chief would visit North Korea to look into boosting food distributions. The four-day trip comes amid a warming of relations between North and South Korea. According to the World Food Programme, about 70 percent of North Korea’s population of 25 million is “food insecure”, meaning they struggle to avoid hunger, and one in four children under the age of five is stunted from chronic mal-nutrition.
The agency aims to assist 650,000 women and children each month by providing fortified cereals and biscuits.

Italy faces fresh elections as coalition talks fail

Italy's coalition-building talks have failed, leaving the country facing fresh elections or a neutral caretaker government until the end of the year.President Sergio Mattarella said on Monday that those were the only two options left after a third round of negotiations were unsuccessful.No single party or alliance won a majority in the March general election.The most influential parties, Five Star and The League, favour a new vote in July. Mr Mattarella has the final say

The President expressed his desire to continue in politics beyond 2020 at a May Day rally in Batticaloa yesterday

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday expressed his desire to continue in politics beyond 2020. The President emphasized that he will not retire from politics in 2020. The President made these remarks addressing a mammoth May Day rally organized by the SLFP led UPFA at Chenkaladi in the Batticaloa district yesterday.

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Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the unemployment crisis has gone up under the rule of present government

Former President and Kurunegala district Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa says the people are suffering a lot under the rule of the present government. Mr. Rajapaksa made these remarks at a May Day rally of Sri Lanka Padujana Peramuna held in Samanala Grounds, Galle yesterday afternoon. Addressing the gathering the former President said the unemployment percentage has also gone up in the recent past

JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake asserts that the Executive Presidency is detrimental to democracy

Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna: Anura Kumara Dissanayake asserts that the Executive Presidency is detrimental to democracy. The 20th amendment to the constitution focussing on the abolition of the Executive Presidency will be presented in Parliament in the 3rd week of this month.

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The new General Secretary of the UNP: Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam assumed duties at Sirikotha yesterday

The new General Secretary of the UNP: Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam assumed duties at Sirikotha yesterday. Mr. Kariyawasam also participated in religious observances while receiving duties at Sirikotha. The Minister also paid floral tribute to the former leaders of UNP.

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The suspects taken into custody in connection with the theft of the medal of the golden peacock award bestowed upon Dr. Lester James Peiris by India, have been remanded until the 21st of this month

The six suspects taken into custody in connection with the theft of a mobile phone and the medal of the golden peacock award bestowed upon Dr. Lester James Peiris by India, have been remanded until the 21st of this month. This order was given when they were produced before the Colombo Additional Magistrate yesterday.

Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratna says, before lenses were provided free, many patients who could not afford the price of a lens, suffered blindness

 

Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratna says, before lenses were provided free, many patients who could not afford the price of a lens suffered blindness. In the year 2017, 10,661 lenses were provided free-of-charge at a cost of 86 million rupees. Speaking to the Subharathi Discussion Programme aired over the SLBC Dr. Senaratna said, special discussions are underway with specialists to obtain their services after regular working hours, since although health workers work to their fullest capacity, there is a difficulty in meeting with the requests from patients for eye surgeries.

Joining in the discussion, Director General of the National Eye Hospital: Dr. Lionel Muhandiram said, a new building complex for the National Eye Hospital comprising 15 stories is being constructed at a cost of 3.3 billion rupees. He pointed out, close upon 2,000 patients obtain treatment from the National Eye Hospital on a daily basis, and therefore, steps will be taken to conduct eye surgeries at other hospitals in addition to the National Eye Hospital

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