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Last updateTue, 12 Feb 2019 11am

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United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka as his next Envoy on Youth. The success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development depends on empowering young people as rights-holders, agents of change and torchbearers.

Having represented and motivated global youth development on an international level since the age of 21, notably during high-level United Nations initiatives including the declaration of World Youth Skills Day, Ms. Wickramanayake has also played a key role in transforming the youth development sector at the national level, notably through the creation of a large movement for civic and political engagement of young people named “Hashtag Generation.”

Presently working as an officer of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service, Ms. Wickramanayake has previously served as Member and Youth Lead Negotiator, International Youth Task Force of the World Conference on Youth 2014 (2013-2014) and Official Youth Delegate to the United Nations, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development (2012-2013).

The Railway Drivers Association says they will not engage in any railway strike.

The Railway Drivers' Association says they will not engage in any railway strike. The Secretary to the Railway Drivers' Association Indika Dodangoda said the workers strike scheduled to be held from midnight has been called off. The decision to call off the railway strike was arrived based on the fruitful discussion held with the Secretary to the Prime Minister today. The Secretary to the Prime Minister has promised to find viable solutions to the problems face by railway drivers.

Senior Attorney-at-law Sudarshana Gunawardena has assumed duty as the new Chairman of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.

Sudarshana Gunawardena, Senior Attorney-at-law has assumed duties as the new Chairman of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation this morning. He was appointed by Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Addressing the gathering the new Chairmen said that the media minister has entrusted him not merely a privileged post but a challenge. He requested the employees to extend their support to the fullest to overcome this challenge.
He added that he is just a member of civil society but not a member of any political party. And he appreciated the works of the former chairman Lawyer Nanda Muruththettuwegama for his renders to the SLBC.
Chairmen of the SLRC Ravi Jayawardena said both SLBC and SLRC are national resources therefore employees of these institutions should be committed to protect them.
Director General of SLBC Erananda Hettiarachchi expressed the confidence that the new chairman will be able to increase the quality of the programmes broadcast by SLBC.
Senior media director for the president Dharma sri Bandara Ekanayake was also present.

The Government appeals the general public to use electricity sparingly.

Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya appeals the electricity consumers to use electricity sparingly as the water levels in the reservoirs have not risen to a satisfactory level yet. Though  there was torrential rains  causing floods electricity reservoirs have not received sufficient water for the production of electricity that needs the  country. Due to this reason alternative power production methods have been applied for the power production.


ADB Approves $2 Million Grant for Relief in Sri Lanka

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $2 million grant to finance relief efforts in Sri Lanka following the recent floods and landslides
“Considering the scope of the damage in Sri Lanka and the government’s constrained resources, it is critical that we assist the people of Sri Lanka in this time of urgent need,” said Sri Widowati, ADB Country Director in Sri Lanka.

The $2 million is being provided to the government as a grant under ADB’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund to purchase emergency relief materials and help restore community services.

“ADB stands ready to assist in the long-term rehabilitation of the calamity-hit areas,” ADB President Takehiko Nakao said in a letter to Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena, as he offered his deepest condolences to the people and affected families in Sri Lanka.

New secretaries have been appointed to 10 ministries.

New secretaries have been appointed to 10 ministries. They obtained their letter of appointments from President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday afternoon at President's official residence.Accordingly P.S. Withanage was appointed secretary to the Ministry of Transport & Civil Aviation while Udaya R. Seneviratne has been appointed as the Secretary of the Ministry of Health.


Foreign Minister meets Indian PM


Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake on his first visit overseas as Minister of Foreign Affairs, called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday in New Dlehi.Leter her held discussions with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj He will have discussions today with Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and others before returning to Colombo tonight.

The Central Bank has not informed banks not to accept Qatari Riyals

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka says that it has not informed banks not to accept QatariRiyals. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka categorically denies reports by various media institutions stating that “the Central Bank has informed banks not to accept QatariRiyals".

All schools affected due to inclement weather condition will re-open on Monday.

The Ministry of Education announced today that all schools which were closed down due to recent floods will be reopened on Monday.  Only a few number of schools could not be opened on Monday and zonal education directors have been given the authority to decide the dates for reopening of these schools.


New State Ministers and Deputy Ministers take oaths before President.

New State and Deputy Ministers took oath before the President Maithripala Sirisena this morning. Accordingly, Dr.Harsha De Silva has been sworn in as the Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs. Eran Wickramarathne is the State Minister of Finance.


The SLBC initiates "Sathjana Sammadama" programme to provide assistance to the flood and landslides victims.


The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation has implemented a "Sathjana Sammadama" programme to provide assistance to the victims affected by flood and landslides due to torrential rains.  The people can handover milk powder, rice, drinking water, and medicines to the main office of the SLBC.

President meets the Australian Prime Minister today.

Today is the second day of the President's official visit in Australia. The bilateral meetings with the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull and Ministers are scheduled for today.Meanwhile, The President visited ANU-CSIRO Centre for Genomics, Metabolomics and Bioinformatics yesterday.


Cabinet Reshuffle

The presidential secretariat says that under the cabinet reshuffle new ministers for 9 ministries and a state minister were sworn in this morning in front of the president.

They are:

Mangala Samaraweera – Finance and Mass Media Minister

Ravi Karunanayake – Foreign Affairs Minister

Tilak Marapana – Special Development Minister

Mahinda Amaraweera – State Minister of Mahaweli Development (in addition to existing portfolio)

Gayantha Karunathilake – Lands and Parliamentary Affairs

Arjuna Ranatunga – Petroleum Resource Development

Chandima Weerakkody - Skills Development and Vocational Training

S.B. Dissanayake - Social Empowerment, Welfare Minister Upcountry Heritage

Mahinda Samarasinghe – Ports and Shipping Minister

W.D.J. Seneviratne - Labour, Trade Unions and Sabaragamuwa Development Minister

A National Environmental Week has been declared.

Mahaweli development and environment ministry says the 1st  week commencing  29th of this month  upto 4th June  has been named  as the national environmental week in par with international  environmental day. Sri Lanka is getting ready  to celebrate international environmental day on 5th of June. The theme this is " Environment bounded by people".  


World Bank’s Vice President arrives in Sri Lanka

Jan Walliser, the World Bank’s Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions, has arrived in Colombo for an official two-day visit. During his visit, he will gain firsthand understanding of Sri Lanka’s reform agenda, key for the country’s transition to upper-middle income status and to increasing its shared prosperity.


Court rules Geetha Kumarasinghe not suitable to be a Parliamentarian

The Appeals Court today ruled that United People’s Freedom Alliance MP Geetha Kumarasinghe was disqualified from functioning as an MP as she holds dual citizenship. The Attorney General had previously informed the Court of Appeal that Kumarasinghe was not qualified to hold an MP post as she held dual citizenship in Sri Lanka and Switzerland.


Parliament will gather at 1.00 pm today.

The parliament will gather at 1.00 pm today. 10 orders under the Special Commodities Levy Act, two orders under the Customs Ordinance and three orders under the Special Provisions Act on Manufacturing Taxes will be taken up for the debate today. The Draft Bill on economic services charges will also be discussed.

The SLFP Youth Front Organization says that the true leader of the party is President Maithripala Sirisena.

Ravi Krishantha Jayawardena, the Youth Front Organization of Sri Lanka Freedom Party says that the true leader of the party is President Maithripala Sirisena and they are together organizing a huge May Day rally in Gatambe, Kandy tomorrow and large number of party supporters is to be gathered there to showcase the power of the party. He says certain sections of the political circles are trying to bring about divisions within the party. They cannot be accepted as honest and true SLFPers. He made these comments this morning at SLFP headquarters in Colombo addressing a media briefing.

Factory owners who have power plants have been requested to generate their own electricity from Tuesday.


The ministry of power and energy has made it compulsory to operate generators of private factories to generate their own electricity from Tuesday. The ministry of pay special allowance of 35 rupees per unit they generate from their power plants. The day time electricity demand has increased up to 45 million units due to hot weather condition.  Night time power demand has also increased by 10 percent. The hydro power capacity of the country at present has decreased up to 31 percent. Therefore minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya requests the public to use electricity sparingly.

The Prime Minister will leave for India tomorrow.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe will leave for India tomorrow. He will hold bilateral discussion of Prime Minister of India Sri Narendra Modi. He is scheduled to call on several key profiles on the Indian government and President of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi.

The government will allow no space for shortage of fuel in spite of trade union action.

Minister Chandima Weerakkody states that the government has taken measures to ensure no shortage of fuel in the country though some trade unions linked with the Petroleum Corporation have decided to resort to the strike tomorrow. He added that a round of discussion will be held with the relevant trade unions tomorrow as well.

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