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Last updateThu, 13 Sep 2018 10am

Local News

Next year's budget to focus on eradicating poverty

President Maithripala Sirisena says the budget for next year will focus on eradicating poverty as the year 2017 has been dedicated to achieve that target. Therefore, priority will be given for sustainable development next year. Plans in this regard are now being formulated at ministerial level. The President made this disclosure while declaring open the international environmental forum and exhibition titled "Sri Lanka Next-The Blue Green Era" in Colombo today.

Speaking further, President Maithripala Sirisena said he was pleased to sign the Paris Pact on climate change.
Sri Lanka is committed to implement it. The President pointed out Sri Lanka is a country that has identified the value of the environment. The interest and the commitment shown towards environmental conservation have increased during the last two years. People who suffer from the consequences of the climate change properly understand the importance of protecting the environment. Therefore, the President pledged to take stern legal action against persons who destroy the environment.

Handing over of Presidential environmental awards also took place under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena. Japanese Deputy Minister of Environment was also present on the occasion. Representatives from more than
60 Asia Pacific countries are taking part in this event.

EC commends commitment & sacrifice of PM to create a democratic country

The European Council has commended the commitment and the sacrifice made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to create a democratic nation dedicated for good governance, which was moving towards dictatorship, corruption and violence. Its President Donald Tusk made this remark when he met the Sri Lankan delegation led by the Premier who is engaged in an official visit to Belgium, at the headquarters of European council in Brussels. He assured the organization's fullest support to extend the GSP plus tax concession to Sri Lanka again.

Donald Tusk recalled it was Ranil Wickremasinghe who emphasized the need of forming a national government in number of elections. He pointed out Sri Lanka has set many examples to the entire region in this regard. While praising the honest commitment shown by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to create political stability in Sri Lanka under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena, Donald Tusk stated it is the stance of the European council as well.

In response, the Premier acknowledged the support extended by the European community in order to achieve future challenges including the GSP tax concession. The Prime Minister invited the President of the European Council to visit Sri Lanka and gain a first hand experience on the developments that have taken place in Sri Lanka.
Therefore, Donald Tusk agreed to visit the country next year. He also urged the Sri Lankan government to focus attention on preventing Sri Lankan migrants reaching Europe illegally.

In reply, the Prime Minister expressed belief that the matter will be addressed with the completion of the development projects. However, he pledged to appoint a task force in this regard and to implement a coordinated programme with the support of the ministries of public law and order, resettlement and justice as well as the department of immigration and emigration. This is the first ever occasion a Sri Lankan leader had held discussions with a President of the European council.

IMO to assist SL to train public servants

The International Organization on Migration has expressed readiness to further enhance its assistance to Sri Lanka. Therefore, the IOM will provide training and capacity building support for the Ministries of Foreign Employment and Foreign Affairs, and to the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau. Cooperation is also to be extended in the areas of countering human trafficking and people smuggling operations, providing short-term internship opportunities with the IOM for the relevant officials. Furthermore, the organization will support upgrading of the consular services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well.

The IOM also pledged to continue technical and secretarial support for the Colombo Process, the regional consultative forum of contractual labour originating countries in Asia, currently chaired by Sri Lanka.

These assurances were given when Minister Thalatha Atukorale met with the Director General of IOM Ambassador William Lacy Swing in Geneva, to discuss and follow up progress on Sri Lanka’s bilateral cooperation with the IOM. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha was also present on the occasion.

SL will be able to attract more investments in near future - State Min Sujeewa

State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe says an environment where more foreign investments can be attracted is now prevailing in the country. Such opportunities were created even at the World Export Development Forum which was held in Sri Lanka recently. The country is to sign several international investment agreements in the near future. Taking part in the Subarathi discussion programme of the SLBC this morning, the state minister disclosed China, Singapore, India, Malaysia and Thailand are among the countries that the agreements will be signed. Furthermore, an industrial zone that spans across 15 thousand acres is to be established soon. The Volkswagen vehicle manufacturing plant will also be declared open in the country in the near future.

Furthermore, Sri Lanka hopes to regain the GSP tax concession by December. The lifting of the ban imposed on fish exports to the EU countries is another victory achieved by the country. The state minister also pointed out that no new industrial plant has been established in the country within the last 20 years. He added the country is moving forward strongly under the leadership of two matured leaders.

Minister Arjuna Ranathunga says the major parties of the present government have the strength and ability to take forward the country by solving the existing problems.

Minister Arjuna Ranathunga says the major parties of the present government have the strength and ability to take forward the country by solving the existing problems. The President and the Prime Minister will carry forward the country on a fast track development drive solving the internal issues.

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A special meeting on international Vesak festival 2017 will be held today.


A special meeting on international Vesak festival 2017 will be held today. An UN delegation arrived in Sri Lanka to discuss about the Vesak Day event in the island next year. The meeting will be held at 1.00 pm today in Colombo.

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Minister Naveen Dissanayake points out it is important to understand the country's economic situation when trade unions put forward demands.


Minister Naveen Dissanayake pointed out it is important to understand the country's economic situation when trade unions put forward demands. He further said the trade unions should understand the country's situation and their limits. He also noted the prices of tea leaves are maintained at a low price

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Sri Lanka is ready to take forward the ventures incorporated with Asia regional countries through 'Colombo Process' work plan.

Minister of Foreign Employment Thalatha Athukorala emphasized that Sri Lanka is ready to take forward the joint ventures incorporated with Asia regional countries through 'Colombo Process' work plan.

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The President returns to the island after completing successful tour in India.


President Maithripala Sirisena who participated BRICS Bimstec outreach summit in India came back to the island after a successful tour. The President held bilateral talks with the heads of state who came to India to take part in this summit. Sri Lanka has been able to gain many economic and trade benefits through these talks.

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The Prime Minister studies the use of renewable energy sources in Belgium.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe met the Prince Laurent of Belgium at the renewable energy palace in Brussels today. The Belgium's main source of energy is nuclear power. However, the Belgium government has focused special attention to use more renewable energy in future.

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