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Last updateThu, 24 May 2018 8pm

Local News

The new General Secretary of the UNP: Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam assumed duties at Sirikotha yesterday

The new General Secretary of the UNP: Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam assumed duties at Sirikotha yesterday. Mr. Kariyawasam also participated in religious observances while receiving duties at Sirikotha. The Minister also paid floral tribute to the former leaders of UNP.

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The suspects taken into custody in connection with the theft of the medal of the golden peacock award bestowed upon Dr. Lester James Peiris by India, have been remanded until the 21st of this month

The six suspects taken into custody in connection with the theft of a mobile phone and the medal of the golden peacock award bestowed upon Dr. Lester James Peiris by India, have been remanded until the 21st of this month. This order was given when they were produced before the Colombo Additional Magistrate yesterday.

The UNP May Day Rally held under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe

 

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Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratna says, before lenses were provided free, many patients who could not afford the price of a lens, suffered blindness

 

Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratna says, before lenses were provided free, many patients who could not afford the price of a lens suffered blindness. In the year 2017, 10,661 lenses were provided free-of-charge at a cost of 86 million rupees. Speaking to the Subharathi Discussion Programme aired over the SLBC Dr. Senaratna said, special discussions are underway with specialists to obtain their services after regular working hours, since although health workers work to their fullest capacity, there is a difficulty in meeting with the requests from patients for eye surgeries.

Joining in the discussion, Director General of the National Eye Hospital: Dr. Lionel Muhandiram said, a new building complex for the National Eye Hospital comprising 15 stories is being constructed at a cost of 3.3 billion rupees. He pointed out, close upon 2,000 patients obtain treatment from the National Eye Hospital on a daily basis, and therefore, steps will be taken to conduct eye surgeries at other hospitals in addition to the National Eye Hospital

The Asian Development Bank agrees to accelerate ongoing bi-lateral projects, which currently surpass 3.6 billion US dollars

 

Minister Mangala Samaraweera while attending the 51st Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Manila had discussions with In-Chang Song, who is an Executive Director of the ADB.
The ADB has worked closely with Sri Lanka since 1966, signing loans, grants, and technical assistance totalling 9.1 billion US dollars as of 31st December 2017.
Over the next 5 years, the ADB will contribute to Sri Lanka’s key development goals of Job Creation, Income Enhancement, Rural Economic Development, Knowledge Formation, and Economic Diversification.
Both sides have agreed at the meeting to accelerate ongoing bilateral projects, which currently surpass 3.6 billion US dollars.

Minister Samaraweera also pointed out, Sri Lanka achieved the highest ever Foreign Direct Investment and highest ever Exports in the history of the country, in 2017, while unemployment was at 4.2 percent.
In 2017 Sri Lanka's Foreign Direct Investments hit 1.9 billion US dollars. Exports grew to 11.3 billion dollars from 10.3 billion dollars.
The Minister told the annual sessions of the Asian Development Bank in Manila, the government expects the economy to accelerate growth, driven by private enterprise and exports
He noted, the country is at the doorstep of becoming an upper-middle income country

The period given for re-registration for the Widows and Orphans Pension Scheme, extended by 3 months

The period given for re-registration for the Widows and Orphans Pension Scheme has been extended by 3 months.  Director General of Pensions: Jagath Dias says, more than 300,000 individuals have registered under this scheme so far.  Another 800,000 are yet to be registered. He added, those who have not registered have the opportunity to register on-line

Deputy minister J.C. Alawathuwala says that the government has made significant achievements for the welfare of the people during the past three years.

Deputy Minister J.C. Alawathuwala says that the government has been able to make significant achievements for the benefit of the general public during the past three years. Participating in a programme over the SLBC he said that the government has already initiated a large number of development programmes.  Priority has been given to local contractors in implementing them. The government has also been able to secure the media freedom to its utmost. The deputy minister recalled that many journalists had undergone harassments during the past regime. The present government has been committed to fulfill many aspirations of the public so far.

Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama mediates to solve the problems of vegetable growers.

Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama has mediated to find out market opportunities for the vegetable produce made by the farmers in rural areas. Accordingly,  Keels and cargils food city supermarkets  have come forward to purchase the vegetables from farmers at reasonable prices.  Minister Sarath Amunugama held a special discussion at the president's secretariat recently regarding the problems faced by the vegetable cultivators in rural areas.  The minister instructed the relevant district secretaries and the secretaries to the ministries to provide immediate solution to the problems of the vegetable growers.

President's Chief of Staff is in bribery net while taking bribe of 20 million rupees.


President’s Chief of Staff and State Timber Corporation Chairman were arrested by Bribery Commission officers yesterday evening while accepting a bribe of 20 million rupees from an Indian businessman. This is with regard to a deal in the shares of the Kantale sugar factory. A Bribery Commission official said the suspects had solicited a bribe of 560 million rupees from the businessman but had later agreed to reduce it to 100 million rupees.

The duo had been arrested in the car park of a five star hotel in Colombo while accepting 20 million rupees as an advance payment.

A top official of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption said the present government under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe always gives direction and guidance to nab those involved in bribery and corruption irrespective of status and the above high profile arrests too were possible due to this fact.

The Indian investor is said to have presented a proposal to buy shares and develop the Kantale sugar factory recently. The duo had allegedly solicited the bribe promising to get approval for the businessman’s proposal.

The President has directed relevant authorities to interdict these officials. The President’s media unit in a statement said the President also ordered relevant officials to strictly implement the law with regards to the above suspects without any interference.

Minister Arjuna Ranathunga says political instability in the country.


Minister Arjuna Ranathunga says political instability in the country. A group of bankrupted politicians are attempting to destabilize the government by disrupting its development activities. Participating in a religious ceremony held in Dematagoda area yesterday Minister Ranathunga said the President and the Prime Minister will collectively implement strong development move during the next 18 months. Many rural development programmes will also be implemented in the next few months. He stressed that the government is strong enough to complete its full term.