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    No reversal of Ben on chemical fertilizer-Prez


    District Farmers’ representatives on behalf of 1.1 million farmers across the island, have urged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa not to reverse the steps taken to use organic fertilizer.
    The farmers’ representatives highlighted that it was their absolute duty and responsibility to return to the traditional farming methods and provide the people with a non-toxic healthy diet. They added that citizenry will be grateful to the President for his decision to nourish a healthy next generation for Sri Lanka. The farmers’ representatives assured President Rajapaksa that all the farmers in the country would support the President in overcoming the challenge of going for an agriculture based on organic fertilizer, as a team, for the benefit of all people in Sri Lanka just like the country once faced the challenge of concluding the war against terrorism. I

    SLPP MP was arrested for theft in Tambuththegama worth Rs. 22,300,000


    It has been revealed that the gang that robbed a businessman of Rs. 223 lakh in Tambuttegama was led by a local council member from SLPP.

    Accordingly, the Tambuttegama police arrested the MP while he was staying at his residence in Rajangana last night.

    Police information stated that the police have been interrogating him for a long time and many important details are being revealed. The suspect is a resident of Navasigama Rajangana.

    A breakdown in Norecholai – The power cut extends


    Generator 3 of Norochchole Coal Plant has been temporarily shut down due to fault.

    Therefore, the authorities inform that the power cut will have to be extended.

    The Public Utilities Commission said the exact power cut schedule will be announced soon.

    A discussion on the entry into force of the Singapore Free Trade Agreement


    President Ranil Wickremesinghe met Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong a few moments ago.

    The President stated that his priority is to enforce the Singapore Free Trade Agreement, which was re-signed in 2018.

    The meeting took place during the visit of the President, who is on an official visit to Japan and the Philippines.

    Power cut schedule for today (27)


    Following is the schedule of power cuts to be carried out across the country today (27).

    A 2-hour and 20-minute power cut is planned across the country for today.

    Method to control unwanted expenditure on election campaigns


    The Electoral Commission states that the bill to amend the election campaign expenses, which includes new rules to control the expenses incurred by candidates and political parties in order to gain preferences in an election, has been submitted for the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers.

    Chairman of the Election Commission, Mr. Nimal G. Punchihewa said that the bill will be published in the gazette as soon as it gets the approval of the Council of Ministers.

    He said that new laws will be introduced to control the excessive spending of candidates or political parties and independent groups for the sake of getting preferences in conducting a free and fair election.

    According to the comments and suggestions of the Election Commission, the drafting department prepared the draft and it has been approved by the Attorney General and the Parliamentary Special Selection Committee appointed for the reform of election laws, said Mr. Nimal G. Punchihewa.

    Pinnawala ‘Night Safari’


    It has been decided to name Pinnawala Zoo as the country’s first night safari zoo.

    The Ministry of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation stated that the decision was taken after a discussion between the minister in charge of the subject, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, and the business community associated with the Pinnawala Zoo and Elephant Shelter.

    The business community has also submitted a proposal to the minister regarding the activities to be implemented in the region.

    Accordingly, it has been decided to maintain Pinnawala Animal Park and Elephant Shelter as a night safari park.

    At present, it has been revealed that the work in that region ends at around 05:00 pm, and because of this, the business activities are disrupted and the government is losing a lot of money on a daily basis.

    Pension is introduced for those working abroad


    The pension system, which foreign workers have been demanding for decades, has been introduced today with the contribution of the Sri Lanka Social Security Board.

    The pension under the ‘Manusavi’ pension scheme is determined based on the age of the expatriate worker and the contribution amount.

    This gives an opportunity to receive a monthly pension ranging from Rs.20,000 to Rs.50,000.

    Depending on the need of the benefactor, the necessary contribution can also be given to get a higher monthly pension.

    Currently, anyone who leaves for a foreign job can start contributing to the pension.

    Minister of Labor and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakka, Minister of State for Foreign Employment Promotion Mr. Jagath Pushpakumara and Minister of State for Women, Children and Social Empowerment Mr. Anupa Pascual also joined the occasion to introduce the Manusavi Pension Scheme.

    University students who commit offenses such as bullying are blacklisted


    Minister of State for Higher Education Dr. Suren Raghavan said that a blacklist of university students involved in various offenses including bullying will be prepared.

    The state minister for higher education said that the names of university students who are accused of vandalism, damage to state property, and spreading violence will be blacklisted if they are found guilty.

    Mr. Suren Raghavan also said that blacklisted students are ignored when providing government jobs and professional level scholarships providing other government facilities etc.

    China gifted 8 laboratory buses


    Today (26) the Chinese government has donated 08 mobile laboratory buses with the value of Rs. 600 million to Sri Lanka.

    The Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mr. Qiu Shanhong officially handed over the mobile laboratory buses to the Minister of Health Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella at the Colombo National Hospital today.

    These fully equipped mobile laboratories of international standard are provided to Regional Health Services Directorates in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Vavuniya, Ampara, Kurunegala, Trincomalee, Matale and Badulla districts.

    The facilities of these mobile vehicles are similar to the laboratory facilities of a basic hospital in this country.

    It is powered by electricity. But it has generator facilities that can be tested in areas where there is no electricity as well as when there is no electricity.

    About 500 people can be tested daily through this, and kidney patients can be identified at the district level and local level.

    Dr. Asanga V. Ranasinghe, director of the kidney disease prevention and testing unit, says that these mobile laboratories can also be used for laboratory work in emergency disaster situations such as Covid.

    These mobile laboratories can employ a trained driver and two medical laboratory technicians.

    So far, about 65,000 kidney patients of unknown cause have been reported in 10 districts across the country.

    Meanwhile, the stock of drugs worth Rs. 650 million sent to Sri Lanka by the Chinese government was also handed over to the Minister of Health today by Mr. Qiu Shanhong, the Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka.

    It was received in Sri Lanka as the 1st batch of the second phase of the Chinese subsidy program worth Rs. 5 billion.

    The donation includes 17 types of essential medicines including vaccines to prevent rabies.

    The Minister of Health, Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella, who spoke here, thanked the Chinese government and its people for making such high-profile donations to the health sector.

    The minister also said that these donations are extremely important at a time when Sri Lanka has reached an unprecedented difficult time in its history.

    He said that there are many friendly countries with Sri Lanka who know their needs and China is closer to them.

    The Minister of Health said that although this is a huge donation, there is a high value that provides many priceless services.

    The minister said that the support we receive from friendly countries around the world is more important and timely for us who are facing a crisis, and China, which has an ancient friendship of more than 65 to 70 years, has been with Sri Lanka continuously.

    Mr. Qiu Shanhong, the Chinese Ambassador who spoke here, said that the health sector of Sri Lanka has developed very satisfactorily in the last few years and that the health sector of Sri Lanka has become successful in the face of challenges even in the face of global epidemics and other crisis situations.

    He said that the dedication, endurance and effort of Sri Lankan citizens will be the key to overcome all these challenges and will be able to cross that challenging period in the economic crisis and life struggle.

    Ceypetco’s answer to the president who said the crude oil quality is not good


    Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera says that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation will respond legally to the chairman of the Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) regarding the allegations regarding the quality of crude oil.

    The reason for this statement is the recent statement made by the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission Mr. Janaka Ratnayake to the media that because the crude oil imported by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is not of the standard, it is not possible to generate electricity from the crude oil received from the oil refinery.

    Meanwhile, the minister also claims that Ceypetco has sufficient stocks of diesel and combustion fuel.

    The minister also said that due to the Lakshapana collapse, and lack of sufficient funds at the CEB for diesel and combustion fuel and water management, the extension of the power cut has been requested.

    Meanwhile, a progress review meeting for the import of fuel needed by the petroleum corporation in the next few months was held under the chairmanship of Mr. Kanchana Wijesekera, Minister of Power and Energy.

    The plan to import fuel required by the Petroleum Corporation for the next few months, the needs of the Ceylon Coal Company, the generation plans of the Ceylon Electricity Board and the financial needs of the three institutions were discussed there.

    Indika Anuruddha and D.V. Chanaka, state ministers and a group of government officials were also present for that.

    An app to find out about pharmacies where medicine is available


    A new mobile phone app has been introduced where a person who wants to buy a certain medicine can get information about the nearest pharmacy, the price of the medicine and how to buy it.

    The new mobile phone app is called Medi search and it is special that customers can easily get information for free.

    Due to the crisis situation in the country, some medicines are in short supply and since they are not available in all pharmacies, the consumers have to face many difficulties as they are unable to buy those medicines.

    But after downloading the free medi search application to your mobile phone, you can get the information very easily and users who already use the pay master application can download the medi search application for free.

    It is special that the users of the Pay master application can get many facilities like paying bills, transferring money between banks, paying insurance premiums, booking an appointment with a doctor, etc. through their mobile phones.

    The court’s decision about a case against the President


    The Supreme Court has decided that a case cannot be maintained against President Ranil Wickramasinghe.

    It is a case in which Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe has been named as a respondent regarding the Easter Sunday terror attack.

    Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe was made a respondent in the fundamental rights petitions submitted regarding the failure to take steps to prevent a terrorist attack on Easter Sunday despite receiving intelligence information.

    The above order has been issued by a seven-member Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya.

    Price of eggs can be reduced further


    A discussion on egg price revision is scheduled to be held tomorrow (28).

    The All Ceylon Egg Trade Association says that the price of an egg can be reduced as the cost of production has decreased.

    At present (26), the price of an egg in the market is Rs. 50.

    The association states that it can be reduced further.

    Responsibilities of the President’s Ministries to State Ministers


    Since President Ranil Wickramasinghe is on an official visit to Japan and the Philippines, the President has assigned the responsibilities of acting ministerial positions to the Ministers of State in the ministries under him during that period.

    Accordingly, Minister of State for Defense Pramitha Bandara Thennakone will be appointed as Acting Minister of Defense, and Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Shehan Semasinghe will be appointed as Acting Minister of Finance, Economic, Stabilization and National Policy.

    Also, Minister of State for Investment Promotion Mr. Dilum Amunugama as Acting Minister of Investment Promotion,
    State Minister for Technology Mr. Kanaka Herath as Acting Minister of Technology, and State Minister for Social Empowerment Mr. Anupa Paskuval as Acting Minister of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment have been appointed.

    Power cut schedule for today (26)


    Following is the schedule of power cuts to be carried out across the country today (26).

    A 2-hour and 20-minute power cut is planned across the country for today.

    An extortionist threatened and demanded Rs. 1 million from Ayoma Rajapaksha


    Yesterday, the officers of the Criminal Investigation Department arrested an extortionist who made phone calls to Mrs. Ayoma Rajapaksa, the wife of former President Gotabha Rajapaksa, and demanded a ransom of Rs. 1 million.

    This person is Ganesan Yogan, a resident of Kolonnawa Salamulla.

    The Criminal Investigation Department states that they threatened her for three days and demanded money.

    It has been found in the investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department that this suspect has made 30 calls to Mrs. Ayoma Rajapaksa.

    Thinking that this call was made by mistake, a secretary of former President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa made a call to the threatening person and explained the facts, but when he continued to threaten, he complained to the Criminal Investigation Department about it. After being informed, he said that he was making such phone calls knowing about it.

    Bail for arrested protestors


    It is reported that the 84 people arrested during the protest in Colombo yesterday (24) have been released on bail.

    81 of them have been released on police bail.

    The other three have been released on bail after being produced in the Maligakanda court.

    The President will leave for the Japan & Philippines visit tomorrow


    President Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to leave the island early tomorrow (26) for an official visit to Japan and the Philippines.

    During his two-day official visit to Japan, the President will also participate in the funeral ceremony of the former Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Shinzo Abe and will hold bilateral discussions with the Japanese Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Finance Minister.

    Then President Ranil Wickramasinghe is scheduled to leave for the Philippines on September 28 to preside over the meeting of the Asian Development Bank Governors.

    There, the President is scheduled to hold talks with Philippine President Mr. Bonbong Marcos as well as Asian Development Bank President Mr. Masatsugu Asakawa

    President Ranil Wickramasinghe is scheduled to return to the island on September 30 after completing his official visit to Japan and the Philippines.

    Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff to the President Sagala Ratnayake, Director of International Affairs Dinuk Colomboge, Director of Media Shanuka Karunaratne, Director of Sustainable Development Randula Abeyweera and Private Secretary to President Sandra Perera will join the visit.

    The Secretary of the Treasury is also scheduled to join the President’s official visit to the Philippines.

    Dinuk Colomboge and Randula Abeweera will not participate in the official visit to the Philippines.

    An idea to make Nayaru, Nandikadal, and Sambalativ lagoons as forest reserve zones


    According to the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation, it has been decided to convert Nayaru, Nandikadal and Sambalativ lagoons into forest conservation zones.

    Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that the Cabinet of Ministers has already approved the designation of Sambalativ Lagoon as a forest conservation zone, which is rich in biodiversity.

    Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has taken steps to appoint a special committee to study the facts to protect the Nayaru and Nandikadal lagoons.

    The committee chaired by Secretary of the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation Mr. Chandra Herath, Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries Mr. Indu Ratnayake, includes representatives from the Department of Wildlife, the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency.

    The minister has also informed to give a report in this regard within 02 weeks.

    Scholarships from the President’s Fund for A/L students again


    President Ranil Wickramasinghe has instructed to resume the program of awarding scholarships through the President’s Fund for the students who have appeared for the GCE (Ordinary Level) examination for the first time and have passed the examination and qualified to study for GCE (Advanced Level).

    Accordingly, it has been decided to award scholarships to 2970 students from the 99 Zonal regions in the island, with 30 qualified scholarship winners per zonal office.

    The selected scholarship winners are expected to be offered a scholarship of Rs.5,000 per month for a maximum period of 24 months until they appear for the GCE A/L examination.

    After the commencement of the GCE A/L academic year following the results of this year’s GCE O/L examination, newspaper advertisements related to the call for applications for this scholarship will be published.

    The President’s Secretary Mr. Saman Ekanayake has instructed the Secretary of the Ministry of Education to inform the Provincial Education Directors, Zonal Education Directors and Principals regarding this process.

    Higher price for exported tea


    The Tea Board says that the income from exporting tea will increase in the next 4 months.

    Director General of the Tea Board Mr. Anura Siriwardena said that the price of a kilo of tea that is currently being exported has increased to 5.4 US dollar.

    Director General of the Tea Board Anura Siriwardena further stated that the people involved in the tea industry will be able to cover the additional amount spent on the increased electricity bill due to the higher price from exporting tea.

    Power cut schedule for today (25)


    Following is the schedule of power cuts to be carried out across the country today (25).

    A 2-hour and 20-minute power cut is planned across the country for today.

    Shortage of eggs


    Mr. Ajith Gunasekara, President of the All Ceylon Poultry Businessmen’s Association, says that there may be a shortage of eggs in the future.

    He said that this situation has arisen due to the decrease in the import of mother animals and currently the mother animals owned by the farm are also being sold for meat.

    Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera says that the import of mother animals required for poultry industry has decreased from 80,000 to 10,000.

    The minister said that he could not be happy about the future of the poultry industry under the circumstances.

    Latest revelation on heavy metals in raw rice


    The Ministry of Health says that tests have revealed that there are no heavy metals in the rice imported into Sri Lanka in the last week.

    The ministry also claims that more than 120 samples of imported rice have been sent for testing.

    All 35 samples were not found to contain heavy metals.

    Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health said that imported maize containers were also inspected.

    The test reports of the rest of the samples are pending.

    Unusual increase in house break-ins and robberies


    According to police information, there has been an unusual increase in house break-ins and robberies.

    About 100 petty thefts and serious crimes such as burglaries, robberies and vehicle thefts are being reported to police stations across the country on a daily basis.

    During the investigation, it is revealed that some thefts are not reported to the police stations.

    Police information also disclosed that there has been a large increase in thefts of gold necklaces and handbags from women traveling on highways on motorcycles.

    It has also been revealed that most of the people involved in these robberies are drug addicts. A senior police officer said that among those engaged in looting there are also people related to the police and security forces.

    Protest demanding to introduce sign language to the school curriculum


    A protest was held yesterday in Monaragala town demanding that sign language be introduced as a new subject in the school curriculum of children with special needs.

    About 25 people have participated in this protest held with the participation of children with special needs.

    A 15 years old girl was raped in the tuition class toilet


    The police has started an investigation regarding the rape of a 15-year-old female student by a 16-year-old male student in the cooperative tuition class toilet located in Padaviya Parakramapura.

    This crime happened 06 months ago. But the police received the complaint about it yesterday.

    Police say that the student is a resident of Padaviya Yaya C Zone and the student is a resident of Bogaswewa, Vavuniya.

    The police say that there was a romantic relationship between these two. It has been revealed that the female student has become pregnant and when the parents investigated, the crime was committed in the toilet of the tuition class.

    Shots fired in Ahungalle due to drug dispute – One was killed


    Due to a dispute between drug traffickers, one person was killed and another person was injured in a shooting that took place in Ahungalla Bogahapitiya last night.

    The two were shot while traveling in a three-wheeler on the Uragasmanhandiya road.

    The police say that the shooting was done with a 12-bore weapon.

    The deceased is a 29-year-old resident of Ahungalle. The other person who was shot was 26 years old.

    Katharagama local council was dissolved


    Uva Provincial Governor Mr. A. J. M. Musammil has dissolved the Kataragama Regional Council with effect from midnight yesterday (22).

    Earlier, the governor had appointed retired court judge H. M. R. Anura Kumara to check whether the council including the chairman of the xouncil have done any wrongdoing in the past.

    Meanwhile, the governor has temporarily suspended the activities of the Kataragama local council since the 9th of last May until the investigation is carried out.

    According to the judge’s report, the governor has taken steps to dissolve the Kataragama local council and the Monaragala assistant local government commissioner has been assigned the responsibility of exercising the powers of the Kataragama local council.

    Power cut schedule for today (24)


    Following is the schedule of power cuts to be carried out across the country today (24).

    A 2-hour and 20-minute power cut is planned across the country for today.