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Last updateWed, 24 May 2017 3pm

Local News

The President was warmly welcomed at the Canberra international airport.

President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in Canberra this morning (commencing a three-day state visit on the invitation of the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

He was received by Official Secretary to the Governor General, Mr. Mark Fraser, Minister of Education, Senator Simon Birmingham and several top officials and Sri Lanka High Commissioner and the staff.
Senator Birmingham welcomed the President and said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is looking forward to discuss bilateral relations with the President.

During this visit, President Sirisena is scheduled to meet with the Australian Prime Minister and will also hold several other high level bilateral meetings. Sri Lanka will enter into several bilateral agreements with Australia, strengthening economic and scientific cooperation between the two countries.

The prime minister says, the government has planned to make Sri Lanka economy a totally export and tourism based one economy.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe says , the government has planned to make Sri Lanka's economy a totally export and tourism based economy. Regaining of GSP Plus is a positive boost for such an economy.

Therefore the prime minister, invites all business and entrepreneur community to be ready for such an economic environment in future. Prime Minister made these comments at the opening ceremony of flexi print new industrial complex in Kadawatha this morning.
Sri Lanka will have wider access to international markets due to GSP Plus.

The Fisheries sector is to generate 120 thousand employment opportunities.

Minister of Fisheries Mahinda Amaraweera says  that his ministry is ready to largely contribute to the government's one million jobs initiative.  Accordingly, about 120 thousand employment opportunities are to be created in the fisheries sector . Measures have already been taken to start aqua culture gardena in Mannar and Batticaloa.  

3000 acres in Mannar and 2000 acres in Batticaloa have already been acquired for these projects. A crabs processing and export zone will be set up in Hambanthota. A food processing center using aquatic plants will be set up Weligama. The minister revealed this facts at a discussion held in his ministry yesterday.

Nine new cabinet ministers and a state minister were sworn in.

The presidential secretariat said today that under the new 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 his 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

The President says, the cabinet reshuffle was done to invigorate the progress of the country.

President Maithripala Sirisena said, that the cabinet shuffle was done in order to bring the country forward with more vigorous power. He appealed the new ministers to dedicate their service for the betterment and development of the country. President made these comments just after newly appointed ministers swearing in. The president emphasized the validity of collective responsibility. President explained that country and the people can be changed only by changing attitudes and opinions of the leaders.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe together with president's secretary P.B.Abeykone along with all the parliamentarians were present at the occasion.

Language officers to state institutions appointed.

Language officials are being appointed to state institutions. Minister Mano Ganeshan says, the programme needs about 3000 officials. Joining Subarathi programme this morning at SLBC the minister said, the language policy is a special requirement in developing national reconciliation.

He introduced language policy implementation as a special requirement for the resolving of national question.  According to tri language policy government documents have to be prepared in all three languages.  By this general public are able to manage their functions of government in a language day like much. Mr.J.Dadallage an special advisor for the prime minister said that, language problem

  is an issue given to the nation by colonial rulers to rule the country by using divide and rule policy. Mr.Dadallage pointed out that everybody in the country should get-together in resolving policy problems of national importance. It can be implemented at a moment of a government of unity and coalition.

Three persons have been apprehended in connection with Piliyandala shoot out.

Police has apprehended a one woman and two other persons who has supported the suspect in shooting incident to police in Piliyandala area recently.  They have been taken into custody at Ahangama police area. They are to be produced before Kesbewa magistrate today. Mirihana police is conducting deep investigations to the incident  where  the suspect  shot, officers of police narcotics bureau killing one of them and small girl. A member of general public also got wounded. The suspect of the double assassination has been identified by the police.

The Private Bus Operators Association says bus fare revision should take place at least from 1st of July.

Sri Lanka Private Bus Operators Association says that ordinary bus commuters in the country do not receive a proper quality service from them.  Its President Gemunu Wijeratna says that daily about 1000 bus commuters leave the sector due to improper service.  About 7 years ago, 60 percent of the transport service to the public sector was provided by the private transport system.  By today, it has come down to 45 percent. 

Mr. Gemunu Wijeratna revealed these facts addressing a media conference this afternoon.  He emphasized the standardization of bus fare   system should take place at least from 1st of July.  He said the minimum fare of 9 rupees should be raised upto 10 rupees.  He explained that the National Policy on bus fares should be changed from the next year.  

The President says if there is any information on disappeared persons, the government is ready to investigate.


President Maithripala Sirisena says if anyone forwarding information regarding the disappeared persons who are keep in some places, the government will be prepared a programme to investigate such places. He said a special committee will be appointed soon, considering the reports and recommendations of the Commission appointed earlier. He made these remarks participating at a function held in Sampur today.


The President says playing sports gives a leading role in creating healthy and disciplined society.

President Maithripala Sirisena says from the 'Presidential Sports Awards' he expects to praise the commitments made by the spots men and women to sports sector. This ceremony will pave the way for a healthy and disciplined society. 2016 Presidential Sports Awards ceremony was held at the BMICH in Colombo yesterday under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena.


Foreign News