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The State Dancing Awarding Ceremony will be held in the Lotus Pond Theater today.

The State Dancing Awarding Ceremony will be held in the Lotus Pond Theater at 2.00 pm this evening under the patronage of the President. Assistant Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs told the SLBC that the main objective of this ceremony is to evaluate the local dancing artists and their creations. Awards will be presented to the artists in district and the national level.

More than 100 killed in dust storms in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan.

At least 109 people have been killed and scores more injured in fierce dust storms that hit the northern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The storms on Wednesday disrupted electricity, uprooted trees, destroyed houses and killed livestock. Many of the dead were sleeping when their houses collapsed after being struck by intense bursts of lightning. Dust storms are common in this part of India during summer but loss of life on this scale is unusual.

Slain Afghan journalists remembered on World Press Freedom Day

Afghanistan's slain journalists were remembered on World Press Freedom Day which is today, days after the deadliest attack on the country's media, since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Ten journalists, including AFP Chief Photographer: Shah Marai, were killed in blasts last Monday,

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The Special Commodity Tax imposed on imported big onions and potatoes has been increased to 40 rupees per kilo

The Ministry of Finance says, the Special Commodity Tax imposed on imported big onions and potatoes has been increased to 40 rupees per kilogram, with effect from midnight yesterday.

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Farmers assured of fertilizer without shortage

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera who assumed duties as the Minister of Agriculture says, he will focus on shifting the Ministry of Agriculture back to the Govijana Mandeeraya. Responding to a question raised by a journ¬alist, when he assumed duties at a ceremony held this morning the Minister said, a complete study will be conducted on the present situation and necessary steps will be taken to shift the premises.

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The Sadaham Charika Special Train which connects the South with the North begins its journey from the Matara Railway Station tomorrow.

The Sadaham Charika Special Train which connects the South with the North begins its journey from the Matara Railway Station at 7.00am tomorrow. The train is due to reach the Kankasanthurai Railway Station by midnight tomorrow.

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The Central Environmental Authority says, the law will be strictly enforced against the production of banned polythene that takes place ignoring the law.

The Central Environmental Authority says, the law will be strictly enforced against the production of banned polythene that takes place disregarding the law. Thereby, raids on banned polythene will continue. A factory in Mattakkuliya that was manufacturing food wrappers using banned plastic was recently raided by investigation officers of the Central Environmental Authority. When the raid was conducted upon a tip received, the investigation officers discovered four machines that were being used to manufacture food wrappers using banned plastic materials.

The “#FightFakeNews” campaign launched, as combatting disinformation is now one of the biggest challenges for journalism’s defenders.

Today is World Press Freedom Day. A forum on media reforms was held at the auditorium of the Sri Lanka Press Council in Narahenpita to mark the day. Senior lecturer of the Media Department of the Sri Jayawardenapura University: M.J.R. David, delivering the inaugural lecture said, though attacks on media personnel have ceased, they have not been fully curbed.

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Sri Lanka is among the foremost countries that prevent HIV transmission from mother to child.

The national sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS prevention movement says that 91 HIV infected persons have been detected during the first quarter of this year.  Director of the Movement Dr. Dilani Rajapakse says that an awareness programme will be conducted throughout the island regarding this AIDS prevention. She also says that the transmission of HIV from mother to child has been brought under control due to the extensive programme conducted by this unit.  Sri Lanka expects to gain certification as a country that has prevented transmission of HIV from mother to Child from the WHO.

Minister Duminda Dissanayake says that relief will be granted to the people within the next 18 months identifying their urgent needs.

Minister of irrigation and water management and disaster management Duminda Dissanayake says that action will be taken if there are any person not received compensation as yet following the Meethotamulla and Salawa incidents. After assuming duties at his ministry, Mr. Dissanayake also said that the government taking the requirements of the people into consideration, will launch a programme to provide relief to the people in no less than 18 months.  He said one of his priority is the construction of lower Malwathuoya reservoir.  All the ongoing irrigation project will be completed as scheduled.   The minister said during the last few years the government faced several challenges due to disasters. 200 thousand families are being provided with drought relief.  Answering a  question raised by a media person the minister said that the most suitable candidate for the presidential election is the Maithripala Sirisena.   Though Sri Lanka Freedom Party at present has divided into several groups the minister expressed confidence that every one of them will rally around the party.

The police conduct investigations in connection with the Golden Peacock Award won by the late Lester James Peiris.


Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara has directed the police to conduct a formal investigation immediately regarding the missing of the medal received along with the ‘Golden Peacock Award’ won by the late Dr. Lester James Peiris in 1965. The investigations will be conducted under a DIG. The minister expresses confidence that the culprits could be brought to the book within short period of time.

Senior lecturer M.J.R. David says that those who are responsible for the killing and abduction of journalists during the last regime are still at large.

The world press freedom Day falls today.  A forum on media reform was held at the auditorium of the Sri Lanka press council, Narahenpita yesterday in view of the day.  Senior lecturer of the media department of Sri Jayawardenapura university  M.J.R. David delivering the inaugural lecture said that though the attacking on media personnel has ceased but it is not fully controlled.  11 journalists have been killed during the period 2000 to 2015.  More journalists were threatened or abducted. Several electronic media institutions had been attacked. However, Mr. David  said that those who are responsible for conspiracies to kill or abduct journalists are still at large.

Many important document based information of Sri Lankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka have been submitted to the Presidential Investigation Commission.

Many important document based information of Sri Lankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka have been submitted to the Presidential Investigation Commission. The much important document based information with regard to many transactions occurred from 2006 January to 2018 January were seized by the presidential investigation commission. The information also included the transactions occurred in major banks. Additional solicitor General and a team of legal experts from Attorney General Department are conducting a comprehensive investigation in this regard.

The glyphosate ban relaxed for tea and rubber cultivation.


Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake said the ban on the Glyphosate weedicide has been lifted for tea and rubber industries with effect from today following the approval of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Minister Navin Dissanayake told a news conference that the government had reached this decision considering the economic damage the ban had caused to the tea and rubber sectors.

He further said the estimated loss of annual yield for the tea industry was Rs. 33.2 million while reduction of export earnings was estimated to be Rs 26.7 billion per year with the ban on Glyphosate.

He also said a Cabinet paper would be presented during the next week seeking the Cabinet’s approval on the said decision.

The defected 16 SLFP ministers will also participate in the SLFP May Day Rally on the 7th of May.

The senior vice president of SLFP and chairman of May Day committee Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the 16 members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party who recently resigned from their ministerial portfolios of the national government after voting for the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, will take part in the party's May Day rally in Batticaloa. The Minister said that the 16 SLFP members have stated in the party's Central Committee meeting that they will definitely participate in the May Day rally of the party.

An agreement with regard to fuel price formula will be reached before the end of this week.

The Ministry of Finance says, a final decision can be taken regarding the price restructuring formula for fuel within this week. The government has the responsibility of introducing the price formula to suit the price fluctuation at the World Market. International monitory fund has also come to an agreement with the Sri Lankan government regarding the fuel price formula.

There is a 3.1 percent growth in the workforce last year.

The Central Bank says there is a 3.1 percent growth in the workforce in Sri Lanka last year, when compared to the growth in the previous year. The population over 15 years is considered as the active contributors to the national economy. The amount was 8.3 million in 2016. It has increased up to 8.56 million last year.

Cambridge Analytica: Facebook data-harvest firm to shut

Cambridge Analytica, the political consultancy at the center of the Facebook data-sharing scandal, is shutting down. The firm was accused of improperly obtaining personal information on behalf of political clients. According to Facebook, data about up to 87 million of its members was harvested by a quiz app and then passed on to the political consultancy. The social network said its own probe into the matter would continue.

Nation bade farewell to the Veteran Cinema legend Dr. Lester James Peiris.


Final rites of the late Dr. Lester James Peiris was conducted at the Independence Square in Colombo under full state patronage . Addressing the funeral, President Maithripala Sirisena said that the demise of Dr. Peiris is an irreparable lost to the country. He is the one who introduced local culture and typical village features to the Sri Lankan cinema. Dr. Lester James Peiris brought international fame to Sri Lanka by his creative work.

The Prime Minister says Dr. Lester is the one who created a local typical Sri Lankan cinema industry.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe said he is the pioneer who carried local cinema industry into the international arena. He made significant transformation in cinema industry by making films based on Sri Lankan novels.

Addressing the gathering Dr. Sunil Ariyaratne said that Dr. James Peiris dedicated his entire life for Sri Lankan cinema industry. He requested the President and the Prime Minister to set up a cinema museum at the place where he lived.
One of long term friends of Lester James Peiris , famous film director in India R. Gopal Singham also spoke. Venerable Dr. Bellanvila Dharmarathana Thera made an anusasana and archbishop Rt. Reverend Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith delivered a speech on behalf of the Christians.

The JVP is ready to bring the proposal regarding the 20th amendment to the constitution within this month.

The JVP is ready to submit the proposal regarding the 20th amendment to the constitution to the parliament this month. At a press briefing held at the party headquarters today, parliamentarian Vijitha Herath said it will be brought as a private proposal of a parliamentarian.  This new amendment will not cause  whatsoever division in the country.   This will also not transfer the powers of the executive to the Prime Minister . Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath added that if the proposal is passing the House it will be active after the end of the term of office of  the present President.

South Korea says US troops will stay despite possible peace treaty

South Korea's government has said US troops will remain in the country, even if a deal is reached to formally end the Korean War. There are about 29,000 US military personnel based in South Korea, under a post-war security agreement. North Korea has previously made giving up its nuclear weapons conditional on the troops leaving the peninsula. But a South Korean government spokesman said their presence was "nothing to do with signing peace treaties".

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