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 President Maithripala Sirisena, who arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, yesterday (13)on a four-day Official Visit to Kenya to attend the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) held in Nairobi , received a grand welcome at the Airport.

The President including the Sri Lankan delegation was warmly received by a Kenyan special delegation.
The Chief Administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, Ababu Namwamba, the Cabinet Secretary and the Kenyan Minister of Water & Sanitation Simon Kiprono Chelugui and the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Kenya Sunil de Silva and others were participated on this occasion.
The President participates in this Assembly on an invitation extended by the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta.
High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Kenya Sunil de Silva pointed out that as the Minister of Environment in Sri Lanka and as a leader who took many important decisions towards protecting the environment, the President’s participation in this conference is significant.
The fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly will be held under the theme ‘Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production’.
The President of France, Emmanuel Macron and other dignitaries will attend the Conference.

 President Maithripala Sirisena left Colombo today (13) for Nairobi to attend the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) held in Nairobi, Kenya as a Special Guest. 

The President participates in this Assembly on an invitation extended by the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta.
The fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly, which commenced on March 11, will continue until March 15 in Nairobi under the theme ‘Innovative Solutions for Environmental Challenges and Sustainable Consumption and Production’.
President Sirisena is scheduled to address the Assembly tomorrow.
The President of France, Emmanuel Macron and other dignitaries will attend the Conference.
UNEA-4 will address: environmental challenges related to poverty and natural resources management, including sustainable food systems, food security and halting biodiversity loss, life-cycle approaches to resource efficiency, energy, chemicals and waste management; and innovative sustainable business development at a time of rapid technological change.
During his four-day official visit to Kenya the President will meet the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta.
Diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Kenya dates back to the year 1970. Both countries are members of the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), IORA and G77.
At the political and diplomatic level, Sri Lanka and Kenya have been maintaining close and cordial links over the years. The two countries are rooted by shared values, aspirations, and common interest to overcome the challenges of development.
At present, Sri Lankans are working in Kenya mainly in the fields of clothing industry, horticulture, hydroelectricity and automotive industry.

 The launching of the official badge of the 100th Anniversary Jamboree of the Matara District Scout Association and pinning the first badge on the Chief Scout of Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena was held at the President’s Official Residence, today (12). 

The Advisor of the Matara District Scout Association, Deputy Minister Bhuddhika Pathirana pinned the badge on the President.
The celebration of the 100th Anniversary Jamboree will be held from 1st to 5th May 2019 and the website related to this event was launched by the President.
The Boy Scouts Commissioner for Matara district V.G. Indika Prasanna, Assistant Boy Scout Commissioner Sanjaya Kumara, Deputy President of the Celebrations Committee of the 100th Anniversary Jamboree, Padamakumara Dias Samaraweera, Secretary Thirunda Thushaka Liyanagunewardena, and other members were present in this event.

 minister lakehouse visit

Media Minister Ruwan Wijewardene visited Lake House 8th of march for a discussion with the senior management and Trade Union representatives. Wijewardene viewing the portraits of his grandfather and Lake House founder late D.R. Wijewardene and his father, former Lake House Chairman Ranjith Wijewardene. Picture by Chinthana Kumarasinghe

 minister SLRC

Minister of Mass Media Ruwan Wijewardena paid an inspection visit to the Rupavahini Corporation yesterday. Here SLRC Chairperson Inoka Sathyangani receives the Minister Ruwan Wijewardena. This is his first after assuming office.

Mr. Sunil Samaraweera, the newly appointed Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media inaugurated his duties ceremonially at the Ministry premises during the early hours, today (08).

Additional Secretary (Administration) to the Ministry of Mass Media, Mrs. Ramani Gunawardhane, the Director General of Government Information, Mr. Nalaka Kaluwewa along with heads of the institutions coming under the Ministry as well as higher officials of the Ministry were present at the occasion.

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 ‘Bakmaha Divruma’ anti-drug pledge by school children on April 3

Confiscated drugs to be destroyed on April 1
President Maithripala Sirisena outlined the new programmes in his campaign against illicit drugs. They include an anti-drug pledge by all the school children on April 3. It is named as ‘Bakmaha Divuruma’.
Furthermore, the large stocks of drugs confiscated at recent raids will be dissolved and chemically destroyed under scientific methods in the presence of magistrates and judiciary officers at Katunayake on April 1.


Addressing heads of media institutions, editors of newspapers and directors electronic media institutions at the President’s House yesterday (March 6), the President said the campaign against drug smuggling has produced excellent results during the last three months since he took over the Police under his wing. He thanked the Police, Narcotics Bureau, Special Task Force, Coast Guards, Customs and Excise Departments for producing good results in anti-drug raids and detections.
Answering a question, President Sirisena said that he had not changed his mind about carrying out capital punishment against repeated drug smugglers who continue to indulge in drugs smuggling and distribution while in prison. He said that those who are against capital punishment should understand the catastrophe caused to the young generation by these criminals.
The President said the police and other agencies have done a good job even without sophisticated technical equipment for drugs detection and promised that the best available technical equipment will be purchased shortly. Already quotations have been called from the United States and Israel, the manufacturers of most sophisticated equipment.
He said early steps would be taken to recruit more policemen, especially Tamil speaking policemen to be posted to Tamil speaking areas. Immediately, 2,500 police personnel will be recruited. The President also referred to the grievances of women constables and said he would look into their issues pertaining to promotions and transfers.

 The Government is providing NOK 60 million over a period of three years for mine action in Sri Lanka, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated.“Sri Lanka has been heavily contaminated by landmines, but the country is now approaching its goal of becoming mine-free. This year, Norway holds the presidency of the Mine Ban Treaty, and intends to help Sri Lanka achieve this important goal”, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide.

State Secretary Marianne Hagen announced Norway’s contribution at a meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo (05). With the help of national and international organisations, Sri Lanka has carried out extensive mine clearance activities. In December 2018, 94 % of the mined areas had been cleared. Norway’s contribution will support the vital efforts the authorities are making in this area.
‘Mine clearance efforts are an important part of the reconciliation process, and mean that families who were forced to leave their homes during the war can return home safely’, Ms Eriksen Søreide said. Supporting mine action is part of Norway’s obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty, which was adopted in Oslo in 1997. In 2018, the Government provided NOK 325 million for mine clearance efforts in 18 countries. This level of funding will be maintained in 2019. This is also in line with Norway’s new humanitarian strategy.
The funding provided by Norway will be channelled through two mine clearance organisations that have working in the country for a long time: the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and the HALO Trust. Norway’s main focus is on humanitarian minee to protect civilians.

 The Government’s fifth Budget that will be presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera today will be aimed at empowering the people and nurturing the poor apart from catering to the basic educational, health and livelihood requirements of the population.

Today’s Budget will widen the entrepreneurial and human resources empowerment programmes under the Enterprise Sri Lanka programme. It will also uplift the programme of nurturing the poor by ensuring the basic facilities needed.
Although the 2019 Budget was due to be presented on October 26 last year, it was unexpectedly delayed due to the political turmoil and instability which occurred in the country. As such, a Vote on Account had to be presented in Parliament to cover government expenditure for the first four months of 2019.
“Accordingly, a complete Budget for 2019 will be presented in Parliament today by the Finance Minister,” said State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne. This year’s Budget will include proposals to fast track public infrastructure facilities and widen income generating avenues of the people”, he said.
He said a large slice of government expenditure will go for debt servicing, government service salaries and allowances and pension payments.
Although a large slice of spending will include recurrent expenditure. There will be proposals towards the development of the road network, Education, Health, Law and Order, Agriculture and several other sectors.
A large portion of spending would be devoted to income generating sectors like Information Technology, Tourism, Small and Medium Scale Industrial and new innovations and research sectors.
The Budget will also encourage education, practical and vocational training sectors which will create new technology based job opportunities. Special emphasis would also be laid on creating new job opportunities for women who contribute towards the country’s workforce.
It would include the planning of women friendly work shifts, pro vision of maternity leave, transport and health facilities, and a higher wage structure and allowances.
He said there will be tax relief and other incentives for entrepreneurs and investors starting businesses and industrial ventures in the Northern, Eastern, Uva and North Central Provinces.
The Second Reading debate on Budget 2019 will be held from March 6 to 13. The Committee Stage debate will be from March 13 to April 5.
“The Third Reading and the voting will be held on April 5,” Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dissanayake said.

 President Maithripala Sirisena said that as the subject minister his expectation from the police service is to carry oot law equally to all without considering the position, status or party. He made these remarks at the meeting held to discuss the future proceeding of the police department at the President’s office yesterday (4).

All the senior officers representing all the sections of the police department were summoned to this meeting and they made remarks regarding the work carried out in separate sections.
The President added that throughout his political carrier he has not given any telephone calls to any police station regarding suspects.
Everybody in the Police Service should commit themselves to provide a service by closely associating with the public while taking effective actions against the suspects who break law and providing a better service to the public, said the President.
The President further emphasized that developing the physical aspects of the Police Department, the Police should establish a proper mechanism to reduce the daily complaints received by the Department on a scientific basis. He emphasized the importance of carrying on a long term and medium term program by obtaining the expertise and specialist knowledge on this issue.
President Sirisena said that the trait of a developed country is not to maximize the number of prisons or police stations, but to pay attention on the action to be taken to change the society.
The recruitment, transfers and welfare work were also discussed in length at this meeting.
The President drew his attention to the problems arisen due to opening of new Police Stations without a proper decision making process and evaluation of physical resources, and instructed that establishment of new Police Stations and transfers must be decided through a Committee in the future. While taking these decisions, it is essential to take into consideration the population of the province, number of complaints received and the background is of much importance, the President said.
The President inquired into the progress made in recruiting Tamil-speaking policemen to police stations in the North and East and instructed to strengthen the process.
President Sirisena discussed the steps taken regarding cyber crimes. He also instructed the relevant authorities to expedite the construction work of the proposed Police Training Institute.
Meanwhile, the President’s attention was drawn to a program to establish separate ward complexes for police officers in the main hospitals in Colombo.
The President also focused attention on a program to improve the facilities of women police officers including police officers who come to Colombo from distant places for work.
President Sirisena explained the responsibilities of the Police Department in the environment conservation program including the implementation of the ban on polythene.
Referring to the reports received on the alleged ransom payments from long-distance bus buses, the President instructed the Police Department to take effective steps against such rackets.
Speaking further the President said that the program will be implemented in a phased manner to solve the problems of the lower ranking officers of the Police Department so that they could provide their public service with a satisfied mind.
President Sirisena thanked the Police Department for the support extended to his plans for suppression of illicit drugs and he expressed gratitude to the officers who conducted operations to detect drugs and crackdown on criminals since he assumed the police department under his control.

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The Right to Information Commission

Mar 19, 2019
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For more details : http://www.rticommission.lk/

Grand welcome for President at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

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Launching of 100th Anniversary Jamboree of Matara District Scout Association under President’s patronage

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Media Minister visits Lake House

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New Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media ceremonially assumes duties in his office.

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Norway to provide NOK 60 mn for demining in Sri Lanka

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The Government is providing NOK 60 million over a period of three years for mine action…

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