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DLB implements impactful CSR initiatives

The Development Lotteries Board (DLB) is enhancing the positive impact of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on the underprivileged and the people with special needs including agents and  lottery sellers.

Apart from that it has already laid the tracks to build the 21st century digital infrastructure to sell lottery tickets via mobile app - just like the way it has revolutionised the trade for the first time by introducing the instant lottery to Sri Lanka in 1983.

To start with, DLB has launched the 'DLB Sweep App' providing an opportunity to instantly check winning numbers of any development lottery draw. Through the app, one could also verify if the ticket purchased has any winnings and the details of prize money by simply scanning the ticket's QR code through a mobile phone.    

DLB has incorporated CSR initiatives more strategically towards improving the living standards of lottery sellers while helping the needy and uplifting people  from poverty, Chairman of the Board S.A.P. Suriyapperuma revealed.

The DLB also encourage their stakeholders to take necessary actions to align with the bigger and broader picture of society’s long-term interests.

DLB is an important contributor to the President’s Fund, which provides medical assistance for people with financial difficulties.
Furthermore, DLB also provides financial assistance for the treatment of serious non-communicable diseases such as heart surgeries and kidney transplants, he said.

50 percent of the contribution made to the President's Fund is credited to the Mahapola Scholarship Trust Fund established in 1981, with the objective of providing financial assistance for higher studies of students engaged in universities and institutes of technological studies.

DLB has contributed a sum of Rs.1,767 million to the President's Fund up to August this year compared to Rs 2,132 million in 2018 and Rs 437 million in 2017.

The main aim of the DLB is to become the foremost lottery organisation in the country that works towards enriching  the lives of Sri Lanka.

Soft Heart Foundation which is the CSR arm of DLB was established with the support of staff and donors to assist the needy with a view to improving their living standards even in a small way, Mr. Suriyapperuma said.

He added that several houses were built and handed over to needy sweep sellers without shelter facilities.

With a view to promote self-employment opportunities, DLB provides new sales outlets to agents on recovery of 50 percent of its cost of Rs. 43000 from them, he said.

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Sajith turns to SF for national security

New Democratic Front (NDF) presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa says Field Marshal MP Sarath Fonseka will be tasked with addressing the issue of national security.

He made this observation at his maiden presidential campaign rally at the Galle Face Green in Colombo yesterday (10).

He said Fonseka was well deserving of the position as he had served as Army Commander during the end of the war in 2009.

“He is not a ‘card board hero’ but a true war hero who defeated terrorism from the country,” Premadasa said while accusing the previous government over Fonseka’s imprisonment in 2010.

“I am committed to destroying all forms of terrorism in the country. Fonseka will have to work out plans and strategies to combat terrorism using his extensive experience in fighting the 30-year war,” he said.

“The responsibility of security should be handed over to someone who has experience in the battlefield and had completed the task winning the 30-year-old war. Therefore, we have decided to hand over the defence portfolio to Field Marshal Fonseka,” he further noted.

“He will also be given the task of eradicating drug trafficking in this country,” Premadasa added.

The presidential hopeful also pledged to eradicate corruption, wastage and robbing of public funds and added that anyone who does not agree with him on this point can leave now itself.
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India offers opportunities for Sri Lankan scholars in Science and Technology field

India called on Sri Lankan scholars to make use of opportunities in the Indian field of Science and Technology (S&T).

This request was made by Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu when he participated in the inaugural ceremony of RESCON2019 - the annual Research Congress of the Post Graduate Institute of Sciences (PGIS) in University of Peradeniya as Chief Guest today .

In his address, High Commissioner Sandhu underlined both India's and Sri Lanka’s rich scientific tradition. He also highlighted recent advances that India has made in the field of Science and Technology (S&T) and pointed out opportunities available for Sri Lankan scholars for collaboration with their Indian counterparts in the S&T sector.

The High Commissioner emphasized that India continued to stand with Sri Lanka and noted that following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s solidarity visit to Sri Lanka in June 2019, the number of Indian tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka became around thrice the number from second highest source market.

More than two hundred researchers, faculty and members of the academia were present at the event. Last evening High Commissioner Sandhu was received and blessed by the Most Venerable Mahanayake Theros of Asgiriya and Malwathu Chapters.  High Commissioner also paid respects at Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic).

scholar

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Jayasundera and Fernando remanded again

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundera and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando were remanded again yesterday until October 23 by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne.
Jayasundera and Fernando were remanded following the order given by the Colombo High Court to remand the suspects after revising the order of the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court to release them.
IGP Jayasundera and Fernando are charged over their failure to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks by the Attorney General (AG) and the Colombo Chief Magistrate granted them bail earlier.  
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CBK gets activated; convenes organization to protect the SLFP

Former leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and President, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge (CBK) has contacted a large number of SLFP organizers and called on them to rally together to protect the SLFP, reliable sources told The Leader.

Meanwhile, a group of senior SLFP organizers have held a discussion at Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s residence on Thursday (10). Close to 40 organizers of the SLFP had attended this meeting, it is learnt.

During the discussion, the organizers have vehemently objected to the SLFP decision to support the candidacy of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Welgama joins to protect SLFP

Meanwhile, UPFA MP Kumara Welgama told Neth News that he objected to the SLFP’s decision to support the SLPP candidate.

He has further noted that he has decided to remain silent during the upcoming presidential election without extending his support to any of the candidates.

Welgama has added that he would commence a programme to safeguard the SLFP shortly.

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Gota to release forces personnel in custody; most facing criminal charges

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa made several pledges at the inaugural election rally held in Anuradhapura yesterday (9), one of which was to free all military personnel who have been sent to jail after being charged with what he termed as “false” accusations.

Rajapaksa said, “We will give free fertiliser for all farmers and write off the loans they have obtained. On the very next day of becoming president, we will exonerate all military men who had been sent to jail after having been charged with false accusations. We will also create a pension fund for all civil defence force personnel who had served over 20 years.”

He said he was often accused of being a ‘military karaya’ or ‘hamuda karaya’ by his political opponents. “We ended the era where military men were called hamuda karaya. At the same time, I would like to remind that it was this militaray karaya who helped spearhead the war against the LTTE and defeat it. This militaray karaya brought peace to the country,” he said.

While thanking the SLFP for pledging their support to him, Rajapaksa said the SLFP had never turned their back on the Rajapaksas.

“With all of your support, we will win the election. We aspire to create a safe, disciplined, worry-free and a prosperous nation,” he said.

Meanwhile, it has been noted by several civil society activists that most of the military personnel currently custody are facing criminal charges.

Military personnel have been implicated in cases of abductions, assaults, disappearances as well as murders of persons during the previous Rajapaksa regime.

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EU provides $40 million for STRIDE project

The European Union (EU) has provided funding amounting to Euro 40 million to Sri Lanka for the implementation of Strengthening Transformation, Reconciliation and Inclusive Democratic Engagement (STRIDE) Project.

The agreement was signed between Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunge and Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives for the Delegation of the European Union Tung Lai Margue.  

The Finance Ministry said in a statement that the project will be implemented in the Northern, Eastern, North Central and Uva provinces with the indirect management of the World Bank (WB), UNDP, and the British Council.

“In partnering with the World Bank (WB), the EU will allocate Euro 22.5 million from its grant funds of the STRIDE Project to the ‘Performance Grant Scheme’ of the “Local Development Support Project” which is financed by the World Bank (USD 70 million). Local Development Support Project aims to support development in war-affected and lagging provinces, improve coordination in local service delivery and promote economic opportunities, inclusiveness and social cohesion,” the statement said.

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Sri Lanka government mulls to devise national security strategy

The Sri Lankan government is considering to devise a national security strategy in the wake of Easter terror attacks, official sources said.

A national security strategy based on a sound national security policy (NSS/NSP) will be crafted to deal with specific security challenges, a senior defense ministry official said.

Measures will also be taken to strengthen the Strategic Defence Communication Network which was halted midway.

With the objective of providing continued and secured alternative communication network similar to the modern communication system existed between the tri forces, the Strategic Defence Communications Network consisting of 37 microwave links connecting 22 terminal points in the island wide had been planned to complete under the mid-term expenditure framework implemented during the period from 2014 to 2016 .

However, the term of the project had been extended up to 2018. Further, the initial estimated cost of Rs 1,192 million had been revised as Rs 1,854 million without obtaining the approval from relevant parties.

It was observed that 22 electricity generators including generators procured and installed at a cost of Rs.15.7 million in 2016 and other 12 generators procured at a cost of Rs 10.8 million in 2017 had remained idle at the premises without being utilized for intended purposes with the guarantee periods also expiring, an audit inspection revealed.

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Fuel prices remain unchanged

The Finance Ministry announced that the prices of fuel will remain unchanged this month.
Fuel prices are subject revision on the 10th of every month and the Fuel Price Committee that met last evening to decide on the fuel price revision had decided to keep the existing fuel prices unchanged.
Last month petrol (octane 92) per litre was reduced by Rs. 1 making it Rs. 137; petrol (octane 95) per litre was reduced by Rs. 2 making it Rs. 159.
A litre of super diesel was reduced by Rs. 2 making it Rs. 132.   
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Hirunika harassed by Gotabaya's supporters

United National Party (UNP) MP Hirunika Premachandra while denying reports that she was trying to forcibly enter the office of the Elections Commission yesterday (7) says a group of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s supporters had behaved in an undignified manner.
Premachandra said she would complain about the manner in which the SLPP supporters behaved to the Elections Commission as well as the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP).

She told a news conference at the main operations office of the Democratic National Front (DNF) presidential candidate, Sajith Premadasa at Vauxhall Street that she had faced the incident when her vehicle had by mistake traveled towards a group of Rajapaksa supporters when she was heading towards the Elections Commission office to congratulate Premadasa after he handed over nominations.

Premachandra expressed her dismay at the behavior of the Rajapaksa supporters as a woman and a parliamentarian.

“Some websites yesterday said I tried to enter the election office by force and the crowds started jeering at me when I was turned away. This was totally false as I was misdirected by senior police officers. My vehicle got stuck in the traffic and then I asked some police officers as to how I could get to the election office without a problem and they escorted my vehicle towards a large crowd of SLPP supporters who jeered at me and shouted at me in obscene language,” she said.
“I also blame my personal security officers as they too did not find out the correct route to avoid the crowd and traffic,” she added.
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Gota in Singapore for a medical check up

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa left for Singapore early yesterday (10) morning for a medical check-up and is set to return to the country on Saturday (12).
The Special High Court on October 3rd lifted the travel ban on the former Defence Secretary presidential candidate and released his passport allowing him to travel to overseas from October 9th till the 12th for medical treatment.

An overseas travel ban was imposed on Rajapaksa over a case filed before count regarding the alleged misappropriation of Rs. 33.9 million for the construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Memorial and Museum.
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Gota respects Sajith

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said he respects New Democratic Front (NDF) presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa despite differences on principles and policies.

Rajapaksa has yesterday (7) posted an image on his official Facebook account of him greeting Premadasa at the National Elections Commission after handing nominations.

“Meeting and greeting Mr. Sajith Premadasa, the UNP presidential candidate today at the Elections Office endorses my genuine belief that; contenders can and do disagree on principles and policies but still remain respectful of one another. Ultimately, it’s the People and the Nation who must be victorious,” Rajapaksa has said in the Facebook post.

gota sajith fb
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