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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

The Asian Development Bank agrees to accelerate ongoing bi-lateral projects, which currently surpass 3.6 billion US dollars

 

Minister Mangala Samaraweera while attending the 51st Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Manila had discussions with In-Chang Song, who is an Executive Director of the ADB.
The ADB has worked closely with Sri Lanka since 1966, signing loans, grants, and technical assistance totalling 9.1 billion US dollars as of 31st December 2017.
Over the next 5 years, the ADB will contribute to Sri Lanka’s key development goals of Job Creation, Income Enhancement, Rural Economic Development, Knowledge Formation, and Economic Diversification.
Both sides have agreed at the meeting to accelerate ongoing bilateral projects, which currently surpass 3.6 billion US dollars.

Minister Samaraweera also pointed out, Sri Lanka achieved the highest ever Foreign Direct Investment and highest ever Exports in the history of the country, in 2017, while unemployment was at 4.2 percent.
In 2017 Sri Lanka's Foreign Direct Investments hit 1.9 billion US dollars. Exports grew to 11.3 billion dollars from 10.3 billion dollars.
The Minister told the annual sessions of the Asian Development Bank in Manila, the government expects the economy to accelerate growth, driven by private enterprise and exports
He noted, the country is at the doorstep of becoming an upper-middle income country

The period given for re-registration for the Widows and Orphans Pension Scheme, extended by 3 months

The period given for re-registration for the Widows and Orphans Pension Scheme has been extended by 3 months.  Director General of Pensions: Jagath Dias says, more than 300,000 individuals have registered under this scheme so far.  Another 800,000 are yet to be registered. He added, those who have not registered have the opportunity to register on-line

World War One soldiers remembered in leaflets in Cambridgeshire

 

Eight men who lost their lives in World War One in Cambridgeshire are being remembered in their home village, on "commemoration leaflets" posted through the doors of houses.
The leaflet creator, a keen local historian who wants to remain anonymous says, he began thinking several years ago about how he might commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.
He decided to mark the death of each soldier in the village, with a short 'tribute page', which he posts through the door of every home in the village.
The leaflets arrive the day before the 100th anniversary of each soldier's death.

World War One ended in 1918.

The World Rubber Summit to be held in Colombo

 

The World Rubber Summit 2018 organized by the International Rubber Study Group will be held in Colombo on the 7th and the 8th of May, with Minister of Plantation Industries: Navin Dissanayaka as the Chief Guest.

The theme for World Rubber Summit 2018 will be 'Breaking Barriers towards Sustainable Growth'.

Secretary to the Ministry of Plantation Industries J A Ranjith says, The World Rubber Summit is an unique and exclusive opportunity for the global rubber industry to discuss the current challenges that the industry is facing, and also the future opportunities that might arise from the trends that are transforming the industry by the use of innovative solutions to improve rubber quality and productivity.

The legendary 'Boney M', live in Sri Lanka

 

Come hear your favourite songs from the past, as 'Boney M' performs in Sri Lanka this June. 'Boney M', featuring Liz Mitchell – the original lead vocalist - accompanied by the full 8-piece live band - will be performing in Sri Lanka on June 16th at the Sri Lanka Exhibition & Convention Centre.
For more details see http://www.avpr.lk/boneym/

Golden Peacock Medal found

The Golden Peacock Medal bestowed by India to veteran film producer: Dr Lester James Peiris, that went missing during his funeral, has been recovered. Police spokesman: SP Ruwan Gunasekera said, it was found in Kollupitiya this morning, abandoned in a 177-Kaduwala-Kollupitiya bus. The Police were notified of the find, by the driver and the conductor of the bus.

Dr. Lester James Peiris had received this medal when “Gamperaliya” won the Golden Peacock Award for the Best Feature Film at the 3rd New Delhi Film Festival in 1965.

Chief of President's staff and the chairman of the state timber corporation who were arrested on bribery charges have been remanded until the 9th of this month.

President’s Chief of Staff Dr I.H.K. Mahanama and the Chairman of the State Timber Corporation P. Dissanayake, who were arrested yesterday for accepting a bribe of 20 million rupees, were remanded until 9th of this month. Colombo chief magistrate has ordered them to be remanded when they were produced before the court this morning. The suspects were arrested by Bribery Commission officers yesterday evening while accepting a bribe of 20 million rupees from an Indian businessman. This is with regard to a deal in the shares of the Kantale sugar factory. A Bribery Commission official said the suspects had solicited a bribe of 560 million rupees from the businessman but had later agreed to reduce it to 100 million rupees.
The duo had been arrested in the car park of a five star hotel in Colombo while accepting 20 million rupees as an advance payment.

The Asian development Bank has expedited its development programmes in Sri Lanka.

Asia and the Pacific has made important progress in expanding and deepening its financial systems, but must make further progress to improve financial inclusion using new financial technology , according to participants at a high-level Asian Development Bank (ADB) seminar during its 51st Annual Meeting in Manila, Philippines. This seminar was co-hosted by ADB, the International Monetary Fund , and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

“Governments in the region can improve financial inclusion by broadening access to basic digital infrastructure and providing an enabling environment for innovators and entrepreneurs,” ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao said. “Policymakers should also consider ways to improve regulations, including protecting consumers against cybercrimes and fraud, while striking the right balance between innovation and financial stability.”

Deputy minister J.C. Alawathuwala says that the government has made significant achievements for the welfare of the people during the past three years.

Deputy Minister J.C. Alawathuwala says that the government has been able to make significant achievements for the benefit of the general public during the past three years. Participating in a programme over the SLBC he said that the government has already initiated a large number of development programmes.  Priority has been given to local contractors in implementing them. The government has also been able to secure the media freedom to its utmost. The deputy minister recalled that many journalists had undergone harassments during the past regime. The present government has been committed to fulfill many aspirations of the public so far.

Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama mediates to solve the problems of vegetable growers.

Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama has mediated to find out market opportunities for the vegetable produce made by the farmers in rural areas. Accordingly,  Keels and cargils food city supermarkets  have come forward to purchase the vegetables from farmers at reasonable prices.  Minister Sarath Amunugama held a special discussion at the president's secretariat recently regarding the problems faced by the vegetable cultivators in rural areas.  The minister instructed the relevant district secretaries and the secretaries to the ministries to provide immediate solution to the problems of the vegetable growers.

President's Chief of Staff is in bribery net while taking bribe of 20 million rupees.


President’s Chief of Staff and State Timber Corporation Chairman were arrested by Bribery Commission officers yesterday evening while accepting a bribe of 20 million rupees from an Indian businessman. This is with regard to a deal in the shares of the Kantale sugar factory. A Bribery Commission official said the suspects had solicited a bribe of 560 million rupees from the businessman but had later agreed to reduce it to 100 million rupees.

The duo had been arrested in the car park of a five star hotel in Colombo while accepting 20 million rupees as an advance payment.

A top official of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption said the present government under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe always gives direction and guidance to nab those involved in bribery and corruption irrespective of status and the above high profile arrests too were possible due to this fact.

The Indian investor is said to have presented a proposal to buy shares and develop the Kantale sugar factory recently. The duo had allegedly solicited the bribe promising to get approval for the businessman’s proposal.

The President has directed relevant authorities to interdict these officials. The President’s media unit in a statement said the President also ordered relevant officials to strictly implement the law with regards to the above suspects without any interference.

Minister Arjuna Ranathunga says political instability in the country.


Minister Arjuna Ranathunga says political instability in the country. A group of bankrupted politicians are attempting to destabilize the government by disrupting its development activities. Participating in a religious ceremony held in Dematagoda area yesterday Minister Ranathunga said the President and the Prime Minister will collectively implement strong development move during the next 18 months. Many rural development programmes will also be implemented in the next few months. He stressed that the government is strong enough to complete its full term.

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