v2025 (2)

v2025

News

President meets the Bishop of Kurunegala

A special discussion took place yesterday (02) between President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Most Rev. Dr. Harold Anthony Perera, Bishop of Kurunegala and the President of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka at the Bishop House in Kurunegala.

The President's Media Divison said that discussions centered on Catholic Religious affairs.

Most Rev. Fr. Piyal Janaka Fernando of Kurunegala Catholic Diocese, the Treasurer of Kurunegala Catholic Diocese Most Reverend Sagara Prishantha and former Minister Ravi Karunanayake also participated at this occasion.

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Teachers’ union condemns principal’s broom-handle attack

The Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) has condemned an incident at a school in Hatton in which its principal assaulted a female student with a broom-handle.

The victim, a 10th grader at Bogahawatta Sinhala Vidyalaya in Kotagala, is receiving hospitalised treatment.

Secretary of the CTU Joseph Stalin says the attack is a blemish on the entire teaching profession. According to the girl, she was repeatedly attacked with a broom-handle after she asked the principal not to use bad language on her younger brother, a student of the same school, for not contributing money for a teacher felicitation.

Charging any money from schoolchildren goes against all circulars, notes Stalin, and calls for the enforcement of the law against violators.

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Litro slahes gas proces again

The price of a domestic LP gas cylinder will be slashed effective from midnight Wednesday (05) said Muditha Peiris, Chief of the state-run LITRO Gas Company.

Accordingly, the revised prices will be made public soon, he added.

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Special discussion held on National Weather Plan

A discussion on the national weather plan contributing to the development of the country was held on Thursday (29) at the Presidential Secretariat, the President’s Media Division (PMD) reported.

The discussion was held under the leadership of President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake and the Deputy Leader of the United National Party, President’s Advisor on Climate Change Ruwan Wijewardene.

Consultants of the Weather Risk Forum Sara Jane Ahmed and Miniyat Fabbiha participated in the discussion, while the corresponding draft was presented to the President’s Secretary.

The PMD said the discussions focused on taking the initiative of the Ministry of Environment, identifying the potential of the irrigation, agricultural, and other related fields contributing to the national climate plan and their implementation.

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Wheat flour prices to reduce?

Measures will be taken to reduce the price of wheat flour during the course of this week, Minister of Trade Nalin Fernando told Parliament today.

The minister said that it is expected to reduce the price of a kilo of wheat flour by Rs. 250.

He further said that the stock of wheat flour that was imported has arrived in Sri Lanka and clearance will commence this week.

Minister Nalin Fernando said that nearly 100 containers with imported wheat flour are currently at the Colombo Port.

Stating that Wheat flour had been imported from Turkey and Dubai recently, he said a delay in the shipment had resulted in an increase in the price of wheat flour.

The Minister of Trade made the statement in response to a question raised by Rohana Bandara in Parliament.

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Free entry to Zoos today

Children and elders will be allowed to enter zoos free of charge in commemoration of the World Children's and Elder's day, says the Minister of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation, Mahinda Amaraweera.

The Minister said that accordingly, the Zoological Department has been instructed to provide an opportunity for school children and adults above 60 years of age to enter all zoological gardens free of charge.

Many educational programs have also been organized at zoological gardens for children to gain an opportunity to learn about animals.

Minister Amaraweera said that adults have also been given ample opportunities for enjoyment, as they will be able to feed animals at the zoo and take photographs with them.

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Misappropriation of CCF funds during Sajith’s period

Billions of rupees of state funds were misappropriated in the Central Cultural Fund when Sajith Premadasa was the minister of cultural affairs in the good governance regime between 2015 and 2019, according to a report by the auditor general.

The AG’s report notes that staff maintenance had cost between 38 per cent and 58 pc of the CCF’s total expenditure during the period.

Archaeological excavations and preservations had received minimum allocations.

Excessive staff had been recruited, including positions not in the CCF’s cadre, says the report.

In 2017 alone, 3,401 more staff than required were recruited, with the excessive staff standing at 1,596 by 2019.

More than Rs. 479 million in 2018 and over Rs. 581 million in 2019 had been spent on their salary payments.

The CCF’s income in 2015 was Rs. 2.9 billion, while the spending amounted to Rs. 2.01 billion.

In 2019, with an income of Rs. 4.037 billion, it had spent Rs. 4.168 billion, a sum of Rs. 0.131 billion more than its income.

During 2018 and 2019, Rs. 321 million of CCF money had gone for various payments without following the procedures.

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“Kandy Odyssey” train service launched from today

Minister of Transportation Bandula Gunawardena today launched the ‘Kandy Odyssey’ train service between Colombo Fort and Kandy.

The new train service has been launched for the benefit of local and foreign tourists visiting the Temple of the Tooth Relic and the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens in Kandy.

The ‘Kandy Odyssey’ will operate every weekend and will leave Colombo Fort at 6.30 am and is scheduled to reach Kandy at 9.18 am.

The train will also leave Kandy at 4.50 pm and arrive at Colombo Fort railway station at 7.40 pm, while the duration of the train journey is 02 hours and 48 minutes.

A first-class ticket is priced at Rs.2000/- and a 2nd class ticket at Rs.1500/-

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Veteran actor Dharshan Dharmaraj passes away

Veteran actor Darshan Dharmaraj has passed away on Sunday (2).

A Spokespeson for the Colombo National Hospital stated that he passed away on Sunday morning due to a heart attack.

He was 41 years old at the time of death.

Born in Rakwana, Dharmaraj entered the industry with the television drama A-9 directed by Sydney Chandrasekaran.

In 2008, Darshan Dharmaraj made his debut in the movie Prabhakaran.

Since then, he contributed to many Sinhala and Tamil films including Machang, Iniwan, Mata, Tsunami and Komali Kings.

Constantly praised by critics as an actor full of realistic acting skills, Dharmaraj retained his popularity among Sinhalese as well as Tamil fans.

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New American Center Opens in Colombo

The American Center in Colombo has relocated to the new U.S. Embassy building and opened its doors to program participants once again today.

At a colorful opening ceremony, the new and revamped American Center in Colombo hosted library patrons, Youth Forum members, and past and present program participants as well as program implementing partners.

With an eye on providing Sri Lankan youth the tools they need to seize the future, the new American Center in Colombo shifted its primary focus from being a library and program venue to space for collaborative learning and digital engagement, as well as a state-of-the-art location for technology such as virtual reality and 3D printing.

The American Center will continue to host programs such as English language training, public speaking, entrepreneurship development, coding, web development, media literacy, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM), and, much more, all at no cost to participants.

It will also continue to offer a space for Sri Lanka’s youth, university students, and friends of the United States where information is accessible, freedom of expression is celebrated, and the freedom to assemble is supported.

U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung joined the celebration and engaged with the patrons of the American Center, remarking, “After three years of mostly virtual programming, my team and I are grateful to be able to continue the tradition of freedom of expression and exchange in this beautiful, modern space.

I hope that over the coming weeks, months, and years we’ll see new and old friends coming together in this space to co-create dreams, programs, and fulfilling futures.

“I often say that the United States and Sri Lanka are both friends and partners, with many shared values and so much shared history,” Ambassador Chung continued. “This is a challenging time for all Sri Lankans, but the United States continues to invest in the people of Sri Lanka, the importance of the bilateral relationship, and the future we share.

This library is a great example of that partnership, that friendship, and that investment in the future!”

Throughout its 73-year history, the American Center has welcomed thousands of Sri Lankans seeking information about the United States of America and beyond.

The American Center was first located at the Galle Face Court on Flower Road before shifting to the historic Sri Ramya at 44 Galle Road.

With the passage of time and the expansion of the programs and activities being conducted by the American Center in Colombo, the center was moved to its current location: the new U.S. Embassy compound.

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Petrol prices reduced

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has reduced the prices of Petrol.

Accordingly, the price of Petrol 92 will be reduced by Rs 40 per liter and Price of Petrol 95 by Rs 30 per one liter from midnight on Saturday (01).

The new prices are as follows;

Petrol 92 – Rs 410 per liter

Petrol 95 – Rs 510 per liter

Prices of other petroleum products such as kerosene and Diesel will remain the same.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Lanka IOC, Manoj Gupta announced that LIOC has also reduced its fuel prices in parallel.

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“When the elephants fight, it is the grass that is crushed”

President Wickremesinghe said factors underlining the main crisis is not only economic but are also consequences of evolving geopolitics

Addressing the 55th Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors in the Philippines, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said amidst major economic stress, Sri Lanka is undertaking an unprecedented fiscal effort as part of the government’s commitment to restoring the country’s debt sustainability. Therefore, he expressed hope and expectation that Sri Lanka’s creditors, and all stakeholders, will support Sri Lanka in these efforts to restore the country’s debt sustainability and help put the country back on the path of inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

President Wickremesinghe presided over the annual meeting of the ADB Board of Governors this morning (29) which was held at the ADB headquarters in Manila, Philippines and attended by Governors and official government delegations.

President Wickremesinghe noted that the government has already undertaken major macroeconomic policy reform measures and this program is aligned with the commitment of the government to implement an ambitious and comprehensive package of reforms that will help restore the sustainability of the country’s public finances, addressing external imbalances, and restarting the growth engine through structural reforms and improvements in governance.

“Amidst major economic stress, Sri Lanka is undertaking an unprecedented fiscal effort as part of our commitment to restoring the country’s debt sustainability. It is our hope and expectation that Sri Lanka’s creditors, and all stakeholders, will support us in these efforts to restore our debt sustainability and help put the country back on the path of inclusive and sustainable economic growth,” he said.

The President said that whilst Sri Lanka undertakes these deep and often painful reforms, the country is experiencing rising unemployment and a reduction in purchasing power of the consumers. He added that the government is cognisant of the adverse impacts on the most vulnerable members of society, adding that every effort has been taken to allocate greater financing and resources towards targeted support for social protection.

He assured that the government has stabilized Sri Lanka’s economy and many countries and stakeholders are keenly monitoring how they resolve this crisis. Wickremesinghe said that his government is well aware that the evolution of Sri Lanka’s economic crisis includes both domestic policy elements as well as external shocks, adding that the resolution of the crisis also requires both domestic efforts and the support of external partners. “It is incumbent upon Sri Lanka and our creditors and partners to set an example of how collaborative and good faith action can result in sustainable and equitable solutions to sovereign debt issues.”

However, he emphasized that the economic levers alone are insufficient to stimulate global economic recovery. Adding that the factors underlining the main crisis is not only of economic origin, the President said they are also the consequences of evolving geopolitics.

He noted that as this global rivalry intensifies into a new cold war, which will determine a new global power balance by 2050, the inability of the major countries to give leadership to the mitigation of the global climate change crisis is becoming more apparent.

“As they say in many of our countries when the elephants fight, it is the grass that is crushed. This is the predicament of many of our member countries. Therefore, we must overcome the geopolitical rivalries to address the major threats to our existence, otherwise we will all fail leading to instability in our region reminiscent of Europe after World War I. On the other hand, our ability to successfully meet these challenges will lead to remarkable progress in raising the living standards of our people through the rise of the economies of our member countries.”

Hence, President Wickremesinghe said that the ADB’s Strategy 2030 seeks to respond to global challenges, including climate change and natural disasters, food and energy insecurity, whilst also embracing opportunities in the digital economy, sustainable energy, and leveraging technology for inclusive education and healthcare. Thus, he said that the ADB has a crucial role in helping to shape and finance policies that improve people’s lives and livelihoods across Asia and the Pacific.

IMG 20220929 WA0016

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