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Last updateThu, 24 May 2018 8pm

Local News

New State and Deputy Ministers of the National Government of Good Governance will be sworn-in, today

New State and Deputy Ministers of the National Government of Good Governance will be sworn-in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, at 10.30am, today. 18 Ministers were sworn-in yesterday. They are as follows-


The President says, the challenge faced by the citizens of Sri Lanka is to find politicians who are that of integrity, and can meet with present requirements.

President Maithripala Sirisena says, the challenge faced by the citizens of Sri Lanka is to find politicians who are that of integrity, and are on par with present requirements. The citizens need to identify the correct characters wisely. The President expressed these views participating at a ceremony held at the BMICH this evening, to commemorate party stalwarts who have contributed a unique service for the benefit of the working class.
Labour leaders of the SLFP such as late T.B.Illangarathne, Herbert Wickremasinghe, Ananda Dasanayake, Alawi Moulana, D.C.Weerasekera, and Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra were remembered.
Several Ministers, Parliamentarians, Trade Union representatives and Former President Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaratunga participated at this ceremony.

18 Cabinet Ministers sworn in

The new Cabinet of Ministers was sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat this morning. 18 Ministers were sworn in.
The new Ministers are as follows-
Sagala Ratnayake - Minister of Project Management, Youth Affairs and Southern Development
Mano Ganesan - Minister of National Co-existence, Reconciliation and Official Languages
D.M. Swaminathan - Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement, Northern Development and Hindu Religious Affairs
Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa - Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and Rural Economy
Faiszer Musthapha - Minister of Sports, Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government
Thalatha Athukorala - Minister of Justice and Prison Reforms
Ranjith Maddumabandara - Minister of Public Administration and Management, Minister of Law and Order
Kabir Hashim - Minister of Highways and Road Development
P. Harrison - Minister of Social Empowerment
S. B Navinna - Minister of Internal Affairs and Wayamba Development
Lakshman Kiriella - Minister of Public Enterprise and Kandy Development
Sarath Amunugama - Minister of Science, Technology and Research, Skills Development and Vocational Training, and Hill Country Heritage
Mahinda Amaraweera - Minister of Agriculture
Duminda Dissanayake - Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management and Disaster Management

Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka was appointed as the Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development. Minister Daya Gamage was appointed as the Minister of Social Welfare and Primary Industries.

Wijeyadasa Rajapakse was appointed as the Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs. Ravindra Samaraweera was appointed as Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations.

The rest of the cabinet portfolios will remain the same.
Swearing-in of new State and Deputy Ministers will take place at 10.30am at the Presidential Secretariat, tomorrow.

The much anticipated cabinet reshuffle will be held today under the patronage of the President

The much anticipated Cabinet reshuffle is to take place at the Presidential Secretariat today and all ministers are informed to be present by 9.30 am, a senior government Minister said yesterday. This would be the second Cabinet reshuffle effected by the government since it took office in 2015. Highly placed political sources said there will be 32 United National Party Ministers and 10 United People’s Freedom Alliance Ministers in the new Cabinet. Special Assignment Minister Sarath Amunugama is slated to get additional responsibilities, according to sources.

International workers day falls today

Today the working community in the world celebrates the May Day. May Day depicts the rights of the working force. The workers of different disciplines are the instrumental force for any organization to reap profit. Therefore, it is important to honor the workers of the organizations and entities on this day.


The final rites of Dr Lester James Peiris will take place at Independence Square on Wednesday.

The remains of late Dr Lester James Peiris lie at his residence at Dr Lester James Peiris Mawatha - Dickmond's Road, Colombo 5. The remains will lie there until 10.00am on Wednesday, and will be taken to Independence Square for final rites. Final rites will take place with full state patronage, at 4.00pm on Wednesday.

Internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan film producer and film director: Dr. Lester James Peiris passed away at the age of 99, while receiving treatment at a private Hospital in Colombo last night.

On the 5th of April, Dr. Peiris celebrated his 99th birthday under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at his residence in Thimbirigasyaya. He entered the film industry in 1949. The film titled 'Rekawa', was his first cinema production which broke the boundaries of the Sri Lankan cinema that was narrowed within the Indian frame work. He has gifted 25 films to the Sri Lankan audience. Many of his works received international recognition.


A Model Village is to be established in Memory of Dr. Lester James Peiris. This Model Village will be constructed in the Pulpallama area in Tissamaharama, and will be named Sinepathi Lester James Peiris Gama. Minister Sajith Premadasa laid the foundation stone for this Model Village last Saturday, which was just a day before the Veteran bid farewell to the nation. This will be the 700th re-awaken village under the Uda Gammana programme.

National Colleges of Education, to be restructured.

National Colleges of Education, popularly known as 'Vidya Peeta', are to be restructured. Under the restructuring process, the number of students enrolled will be increased and hostel facilities for the students will be expanded. Commissioner of Teacher Education at the Education Ministry: K.M.H.Bandara says, a committee has been appointed to oversee this process, and foreign expert advice will also be sought. Due to limited space, only a small group can be accommodated in these colleges at present. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has instructed, this number to be increased year by year. It has been observed that there is a high demand for teachers qualifying from these colleges. Therefore, the Commissioner points out, it is a timely move to restructure teacher training in the country.

Today is Vesak Full Moon Poya Day


Alms, meditation, dhamma sermons and other meritorious acts have been organized to mark Vesak Full Moon Poya Day.
The Buddha Rashmi Wesak Zone organized by the Prime Minister's Office and the Gangaramaya Viharaya will be inaugurated this evening.

Devotees will be able to pay homage to most revered Relics from Saranath, relics brought down from Pakistan, as well as relics discovered in excavation activities at the Ampara Lahugala Neelagiri Seya. The display of relics will commence with the participation of the President and the Prime Minister at Temple Trees at 7.30pm. The relics will be exposed until 6.00am on Tuesday

Sri Lanka's Army Commander meets the Prime Minister of Pakistan

Commander of the Army: Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, in what could be regarded as a landmark milestone of the friendship that prevails between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, had the rare privilege of extending courtesies and having a cordial and fruitful bilateral discussion with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on defence cooperation, recently.
The wide-ranging discussion that ensued, touched on a broad spectrum of defence issues and other related concerns, such as the Prevention of Drug-trafficking, Countering of non-traditional threats, the Sri Lanka Army’s 5R Concept which is Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Re-integration, Resettlement and Reconciliation. Attention was also placed on the transformation of Sri Lanka Army to be that of a capacity-based organization to suit modern needs. Measures in effect to win hearts and minds of the public in the North and East, the Army’s engagement with civilians and its contribution to their well-being, the resettlement of IDPs in their own plots of land, and the Maintenance of high standards of discipline among troops were also elaborated.
Pakistan’s Premier visibly impressed with the roles being played by the Sri Lanka Army after its historic win over terrorism a few years ago, pledged his government’s full cooperation towards the multitude of public services being carried out by the Army, as well as by the government, for the greater benefit of all citizens.

A project launched to uplift aqua-farming, by conserving and developing 18 lagoons and 300 inland reservoirs in the Wet Zone

The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will launch a project to uplift aqua-farming by conserving and developing 18 lagoons and 300 inland reservoirs in the Wet Zone.  Cabinet approval has been received for this project that will be launched at the cost of 10 million rupees. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, explaining the objectives of this project says, it focuses upon enhancing the fish harvest, generating new employment opportunities, upgrading industries affiliated to the tourism industry, and the launch of processing fish products and value added services.  Economic growth in the rural sector together with an increase in foreign income is anticipated.