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Samurdhi benefits for another 200,000 people.

Minister P. Harison stated the government has taken effective measures to eliminate poverty. Accordingly, the government decides to provide Samurdhi benefits to anoterh 200,000 people from the low income group.

Minister P. Harison says Samurdhi officials should be empowered in order to provide better service to Samurdhi recipients. Therefore, the government has given priority to solve the problems of samurdhi officials soon. Minister Harison said that the government has targeted to grant samurdhi benefits to all suitable.

North Korea summit: US hopeful Trump-Kim meet will go ahead


The Trump administration is hopeful its summit with North Korea will go ahead, despite threats of cancellation. A White House spokesperson said the US president remained ready. Hours earlier, North Korea released an angry statement saying it might pull out of the meeting if the US insisted it gave up its nuclear weapons. The highly anticipated meeting between Mr Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un is due to take place on 12 June. (BBC)

A ceremony to provide monthly allowances to artists held yesterday at the National Film Corporation under the patronage of the President

A ceremony to provide monthly allowances to artists was held yesterday at the National Film Corporation under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. A monthly allowance of 5,000 rupees will be provided to senior artists who have contributed to the betterment of the Sri Lankan Cinema. This program was initiated in 1987 with an allowance of 500 rupees. Later the amount was increased to 2,000 rupees and 57 artists received it.

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The Premier points out the need to introduce ultra-modern technology that is used worldwide in agriculture, to the country

The Agayadama - Value Chain Development Programme launched by the Ministry of Social Welfare and Primary Industries commenced yesterday. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe was the chief guest at the inauguration ceremony. Speaking at the event the Premier pointed out the need to introduce ultra-modern technology that is used worldwide in agriculture to the country.

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Bus fares increase by 6.5 percent. The minimum fare remains the same

Cabinet approval has been granted for an increase in bus fares by 6.5 percent. The increase will take effect from today.

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The government has allocated 4 billion rupees to grant fuel concession for the fishermen

The discussion held between the Ministry of Aquatic Resources Development and the members of fisheries associations regarding the preparation of a program to ease the burden due to the increase of fuel prices, ended in a mutual agreement yesterday.

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Grama Niladhari Vacancies to be filled in the coming weeks

The Ministry of Home Affairs says, Grama Niladhari Vacancies will be filled in the coming weeks. Around 2,000 vacancies are to be filled from the existing 14,022 Grama Niladhari Divisions. An exam was held in the year 2016 to to fulfill these vacancies. Interviews in this regard were held last year. 1739 qualified applicants have been selected by the Department of Examinations. The list of selected candidates was forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs.  Accordingly, the appointments will be given to those selected within the next few weeks.

400 Sri Lankan's to be awarded dual citizenship today

400 Sri Lankan's who have obtained citizenship in foreign countries, will be awarded dual citizenship at the Department of Immigration and Emigration, today.
Controller General of Immigration and Emigration: M. N. Ranasinghe says, 32,000 Sri Lankans residing overseas were awarded dual citizenship within the past three years.

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A one-day workshop organised by the National Economic Council regarding the government's Joint Economic Development Programme.

President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed the National Economic Council to conduct a one day workshop with the participation of Government Ministers, Parliamentarians, Ministry Secretaries and officials of the Central Bank and the Treasury, regarding the government's Joint Economic Development Programme. The objective is to mainly obtain the participant's views and suggestions, and to educate them comprehensively on this programme.

The National Economic Council met today under the patronage of the President at the Presidential Secretariat. Discussions were held to execute the government's Joint Economic Development Programme in collaboration with the Joint Accelerated Rural Development Programme. The implementation of strategies on short term, long term, macro and micro were focused upon. The discussion focused on integrating all development projects launched under this programme.

Bus fares increase by 6.5 percent - The minimum fare remains the same.

Cabinet approval has been granted for an increase in bus fares by 6.5 percent. The increase will take effect from May 16th.
However, the minimum fare of 10 rupees will remain the same.
The proposal to increase bus fares in view of the increase in fuel prices was tabled before the Cabinet of Ministers by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. The price increase was approved upon parameters put forward by a board of experts.

Meanwhile private bus operators say, the approved increase is inadequate. Their demand was for the fares to be increased by 10 percent.

Gaza tense after deadliest day since 2014

Funerals are to be held in Gaza for 58 people who were killed yesterday, when Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinian protesters, in the deadliest day of violence since the Gaza War in 2014.
The burials coincide with the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call 'The Nakba', which is the mass displacement of Palestinians after the creation of Israel.
The violence came as the US shifted its embassy to Jerusalem, a controversial move that broke decades of US policy, and incensed Palestinians.
Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a 'future Palestinian state'. They see the US move, as backing Israeli control over the whole of the city, which Israel regards as its 'indivisible' capital.

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.

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