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President vows no return to dictatorship in the island

President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday took serious exception to a top Buddhist monk urging former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to take over the country as a Hitler-type military dictator. President Sirisena said as a Buddhist he had the highest respect for the clergy, but could not agree with a senior monk of the Asgiriya chapter who invited Rajapaksa to “be a Hitler, take the military and take power.”

He said the voters toppled former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa because they wanted to end a decade-long iron-fisted rule and win back their personal freedoms.

Addressing a meeting in Nikawaratiya yesterday the President said, in January 2015, people did not vote for food or jobs. They voted for freedom and democracy. President added that he has restored both and will not allow this country to slip back to a dictatorship.

He was saddened by the call of Ven. Venduruwe Upali Thera who sought a return to an era when citizens were deprived of their basic human rights and any dissent was immediately crushed.

He said he was being criticised as a weak leader because he did not oppress the people unlike his predecessor. Former Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike too was criticised using the same language and he was assassinated three and a half years into his term, the President noted.

Despite the threats, the President said he will not waver and will not allow the hard-won democracy to be undermined in the country.

The Prime Minister says the government will develop the country by upgrading export and the service sector

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says the government's aim is to develop the country by enhancing export and service sectors. Each city in the country will be developed under a proper plan. The government acquire plan for development projects in transparent manner. The Prime Minister made these remarks at a ceremony held in Boralesgamuwa yesterday to declare open the newly constructed children park for the children of special needs and the walking path. The Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development has conducted this development project with the help of the Land Reclamation and Development Board. There are 19 food and trade stalls in this area as well. Joining this occasion Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said that the good governance rule will provide more relief to the general public. The government officials should also work in responsible manner to achieve the government's targets. He added that such a special children's park will be set up close to the Kottawa interchange of the Southern Express Way. A light railway will be established from Moratuwa to Fort to ease the traffic congestion along the Galle road. It will be connected to Colombo-Piliyandala road as well.

Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa says the the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation has been able to enhance the aesthetic tastes of the people

 

State Music Awards - 2018 was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Nelum Pokuna theatre, yesterday. Veteran Vocalist and Music Director, Dr. Dayarathne Ranathunga was awarded with the lifetime achievement award from President Maithripala Sirisena at this ceremony. In addition Dumal J. Warnakulasuriya won the best singer's award in Sinhala medium. Wijekumar Niroshan is the best singer in Tamil medium. W. Priyangani was the best female singer in Sinhala medium.

Joining this event Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa said that the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation has rendered a great service to enhance the aesthetic tastes of the people. However, the higher taste that has been developed by the SLBC among the listeners is now in a threat of deterioration due to the activities of some FM radio channels. The Minister pointed out the need to correct this fault. He added that the government will be committed to promote quality indigenous music style in the island.

The Rajarata University has been closed indefinitely

 

The Rajarata University has been closed indefinitely. Vice Chancellor of the University Professor Ranjith Wijewardena University has announced that university will be closed and ask the all students to leave the hostels before 10.00 am today. This decision has been taken due to an indecent behaviour of a group of students. A group of students have attempted to take a group of deans of faculties to hostage to force them to solve their problems

Provincial council election will be held in December under preferential vote system

 

Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne says provincial council election will be held in December under preferential vote system. A relevant amendment will be tabled in parliament in September. The Minister further said majority of peoples representatives and common masses feel more comfortable with the old system which is preferential voting system. The Minister made these comments at a media conference held in Colombo.

The first special high court to hear the investigations of large scale fraud and corruption opens on the 2nd week of July

 

The first special high court to hear the investigations of large scale fraud and corruption opens on the 2nd week of July. Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera said Effective steps will be taken to establish the remaining two high courts in near future

The President instructs the relevant officials to implement a special work plan for the benefit of the children of war victims

 

President Maithripala Sirisena instructs the relevant officials to implement a special work plan for the benefit of the children of war victims. 765 children are in orphanage in Kilinochchi district. The officers of orphanage said the parents of these children died during the war time. The president focused its attention on the national work plan to protect the children

The postal workers strike may end today.

Secretary to the Ministry of Post R.M.D.B. Meegasmulla says the trade union action of the postal workers may come to an end today. He told the SLBC that there will be discussion with him and trade union representatives at 3.00 pm today. The Secretary says that at least a period of two weeks is needed to find a lasting solution for the problems of the postal workers. Their demands will be submitted to the relevant ministerial subcommittee and to the Cabinet for approval.

Over 7,000 people from India filed applications for asylum in US in 2017.

Over 7,000 people from India filed applications for asylum in the US last year, according to a report by the UN refugee agency which said that America was the largest recipient of new asylum requests in 2017. The UN Refugee Agency said in its annual Global Trends report that 68.5 million people globally were displaced as of the end of 2017. In the US, the trend of increasing asylum claims from people originating from the north of Central America also continued. According to the report, there were 197,146 refugees as at 2017 end in India and 10,519 asylum seekers with pending cases. There are about 40,391 asylum seekers from India at the end of last year, the report said.

3,850 PT teachers will be recruited to the vacancies in the government schools.

Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam says 3,850 Physical Training teachers will be recruited to the vacancies in the government schools. At a press briefing held in Colombo yesterday the Minister said they will train talented students to win local and international tournaments. The appointments will be made within next three weeks.

Russia on brink of last 16 with win over Egypt

Russia moved to the brink of qualifying for the last 16 of the World Cup after the host nation beat Mohamed Salah's Egypt in St Petersburg. Russia, who beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 in their opening game, took the lead thanks to a bizarre 47th-minute own goal from Ahmed Fathi, who diverted Roman Zobnin's shot into his own net. Denis Cheryshev doubled Russia's advantage after he finished from Mario Fernandes' pull-back, before Artem Dzyuba sealed the victory with a fine individual goal.

The Speaker of Parliament requests all parties to refrain from voicing allegations regarding the bond issue, until all documents are received legitimately through the President's Office.

Speaker Karu Jayasooriya has requested all parliamentarians and media units to refrain from voicing allegations regarding the bond issue, until all documents pertaining to the issue are received by him legitimately through the President's Office. He cautions, such allegations could cause a slur to the good name of individuals.
Speaker Jayasooriya observes, when the reputation of the Parliament and its members is tarnished, the adverse effect on the image of the country is not negligible.

All powers pertaining to the distribution of films, vested with the National Film Corporation.

All powers pertaining to the distribution of films have been vested with the National Film Corporation.
For the past 18 years, the distribution of films was handled by 4 companies.
Chairman of the National Film Corporation: Sithendra Senarathne says, upon the recommendations of the experts committee appointed by the President to inquire into the issues faced by the Cinema Industry, Minister Wijedasa Rajapakse has instructed that this decision be implemented urgently.

Mr Senarathne points out, since private companies were involved, cinema hall owners were faced with an unfair competition. As a result, around 400 cinema halls that were spread across the country, have now come down to 177.

The Colombo Fort Magistrate's Court permits the FCID to inspect bank accounts of the Former Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Roadways: H.D Premasiri

The Colombo Fort Magistrate's Court today permitted the FCID to inspect 6 bank accounts of the Former Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Roadways: H.D Premasiri and his family members, in connection with an alleged financial irregularity taken place in the purchase of two ships for the Shipping Corporation, in 2014. It has been identified, the former secretary's daughter and her husband have purchased properties amounting to 57.4 million rupees from 2011 to 2015. A brother-in-law of Mr Premasiri has purchased a hotel in Galle for 20 million rupees. Filing a 'B Report', the police informed the Court that investigations are underway pertaining to three Chinese individuals who are said to be connected with the cash flow of the transaction.

These investigations are being carried out, subsequent to a complaint filed by Parliamentarian Nalin Bandara.

The 15 percent VAT on doctors’ channelling fees, to be removed with effect from the 1st of July.

The Cabinet of Ministers has decided to remove the 15 percent Value Added Tax on doctors’ consultation fee, channelling fee and professional charges with effect from July 1st.
The request in this regard was made by Minister of Health: Dr Rajitha Senaratne upon the instructions of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Speaking at a press conference in Colombo today Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera said, however, the VAT charged on private hospital rooms will remain unchanged.

Thailand carries out first execution since 2009

Thailand has carried out its first execution since 2009, putting a 26-year-old convicted murderer to death by lethal injection.
The convict was executed yesterday, six years after his conviction for stabbing a 17-year-old student 24 times to steal his mobile phone and wallet.
The execution comes, as Thailand's Coup-Leader-turned-Premier: Prayut Chan-O-Cha prepares to travel to Britain and France on an official visit. The trip may now see the former army chief face awkward questions over the use of the death penalty.
Prayut, however, defended capital punishment, telling reporters that in order to maintain law and order, executions are "still a necessity and what people want".

North and South Korea agree to form combined teams at the Asian Games this August.

North and South Korea have agreed to form some combined teams at the Asian Games in Indonesia this August.
The two countries also agreed they would march together at the event, as a sign of unity.
The decisions were taken after talks between them at their shared border.

South Korea hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, where their athletes entered under the same flag as their neighbours from North Korea, during the opening ceremony.

The appeal for bail by the Venerable Galabodaaththe Gnanasera Thera will be considered hearing on Friday

Homagama Magistrate Court postpones the hearing of the appeal by Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero till  Friday the 22nd of this month. The Homagama Magistrate court, today  issued this verdict as a result of the absence of an official from the Attorney General’s Department. Gnanasara Thero was found guilty in the case filed against him for threatening Sandya Eknaligoda, the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, within the Homagama court premises.

The minister of agriculture says the agriculture will be made a profitable industry

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says the agriculture industry will be made a profitable industry by strengthening farmer community. The farmers will be trained with modern technology in order to make more contribution towards national production.  The programme "We eat what we grow" has been implemented to achieve this target. Under the programme short term, middle term and long term plans will be activated. The minister made these remarks in programme over the SLBC this morning.

The Poson week begins on Sunday

The Poson week begins on Sunday.  Many religious programmes will be implemented within this week under the title Let us calm the mind through compassion. Many programmes have been organized in Anuradhapura sacred city and Atamasthanaya, Mihintale and Thanthirimale sacred areas.  Anuradhapura district secretary R.M. Wanninayake told the SLBC that over one million devotees will come to Anuradhapura during the Poson season.  The Poson committee has already finalized the essential services for them. Over 200 Dansals will be conducted by various organisations.

New variety of petrol for motor cycles and three-wheelers

Minister Arjuna Ranathunga says new variety of petrol will be introduced for motorcycles and three wheelers. At a ceremony held at the Kolonnawa installation today he said the government had to increase the price of fuel under unavoidable circumstances. However, the government is committed to provide relied to the people in alternative ways. A group of new engineers have been recruited to the petroleum corporation and the appointment letters were distributed among them at this ceremony.

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