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President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that if the country is to overcome the current challenges, stability must be created in the country, and in order to achieve that, accurate information must be circulated among the public.
Pointing out that nothing can be achieved without propaganda, the President called on all the media secretaries to commit to revealing the government’s ‘Rebuilding the Country’ program to the people without delay.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe said this while addressing the workshop held today (07) at the Government Information Department to apprise the press secretaries of all cabinet ministers, state ministers and governors about the state communication mechanism.
It is noteworthy that the President joined the event without prior notice.
The President noted that ministry press secretaries hold the prime responsibility in publicizing the development and policy programs of the government, and in this workshop, the press secretaries were informed about the importance of maintaining optimal coordination between the Government Information Department, the President Media Division and the Ministries to maintain a strong state communication mechanism.
President Wickremesinghe further commented,
“Holding such workshops is timely. I do not expect to comment at length here. I have spoken enough. Now it is time to convey the essence of my utterances to the country. The program of the government has to be conveyed to the country. We are facing very difficult times. I don’t think such a situation has been faced during the 20th century or even prior to that. We have to get out of this. Many people have lost hope. We must correct that situation. We have to publicize the government’s program.
We are aware of the problems that the country is facing. Even if we cannot find solutions for all the problems, still, we are aware of those problems. This message should be carried to the people.
Everyone should be aware of what the government is undertaking. If there are mistakes, they should be corrected. We need to get out of this problematic period. If there is instability in the country, we will not recover. There should be stability in the country. It is necessary to provide the correct information to create that stability.
Unlike Print and electronic media, currently, we are all facing social media problems. It carries positive as well as negative information, which is one of the major problems that the entire world is facing. This bad impact affects us, especially at this time. Therefore, it is the responsibility of each and every one of you to address this challenge appropriately. If you do not accomplish your responsibility, the whole country will face more problems. The reason that you are here today is for you to understand this message. I learned that all media secretaries have been invited to this workshop. However, according to the attendance sheet, only about 83% have participated in this workshop. We need to find out who was not present today. Since these people have a responsibility of conveying news to the media and how to correct the misconceptions, there is a major publicity campaign in this regard. Nothing succeeds without publicity.
In addition, there are numerous other programs. You should be aware of that too. The programs such as the 75th Anniversary of Independence in 2023. According to the idea of the former Speaker, forming of Public Councils (Jana Sabha) will take place next week. There is a great responsibility in organizing such programs. It is important to get publicity for these programs.
Also, I have suggested to convene this group once in 03 months and discuss with them. I would like to thank the chiefs in charge of our media departments who are conducting this program as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Lankadeepa.”
Minister Bandula Gunawardena, State Minister Shanta Bandara, Senior Media Adviser to the President Prof. Sunanda Maddumabandara, Director General of President Media Division Dhanushka Ramanayake, Chairman of the Independent Television Network Attorney-at-law Sudarshana Gunawardena and Editor in Chief of Lankadeepa Siri Ranasinghe were presented at this workshop which was organized under the guidance of the Director General of Government Information Dinith Chinthaka Karunaratne.

Decisions of the Cabinet of Ministers taken at their meeting held on 03.10.2022

01. Establishment of a ‘Food Policy Committee’

The Government has recently implemented a multi – sector mechanism with the objective of
formulating a strategy that aligns from the grassroots level to the upper level when taking
decisions on ensuring food security as well as nutrition. The said mechanism ensures the
guidance as well as the supervision for the entire mechanism of essential food production and
distribution and the capability of obtaining essential food rations for those liable to be
discriminated within the society at various administrative levels. The Cabinet of Ministers
approved the memorandum submitted by President Ranil Wickremesinghe for the
establishment of the ‘Food Policy Committee’ with the participation of heads of the relevant
institutions and chaired by the Secretary to the President in order to build trust among
producers, traders as well as customers on monitoring the supply chains within the country as
well as the short–term issues prevailing with regard to supply, prices and marketing with a
view to implementing the mechanism formally and efficiently and to implement other long–
term programmes.

02. Amendment of the Age of Retirement of employees in State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs)

As proposed by the Supplementary Budget 2022 passed by Parliament, the compulsory
Retirement Age of employees serving in State - Owned Enterprises (SOEs) is to be revised as
60 years. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the proposal submitted
by President Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and
National Policies in order to issue a circular in this regard with effect from 01.01.2023.
03. Procurement of Muriate of Potash fertilizer required for Maha Season of 2022 / 23.
Approval of the Cabinet of Ministers has been granted at their meeting held on 20.06.2022
for the procurement of 40,000 metric tons of Muriate of Potash (MOP) for the Maha Season
of 2022 / 23 utilizing funds amounting to US$ 50 million provided by the Asian Development
Bank (ADB). Accordingly, the prescribed procurement process has been followed and, the
Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the memorandum submitted by the Minister of
Irrigation for awarding the relevant contract to Ameropa Asia Pvt. Ltd. subject to the
recommendations of the Standing Procurement Committee appointed by the Cabinet of

04. Revision of Customs Ordinance and Protection of Government Revenue (Special
Provisions) Act No.1 of 2006.

Cabinet approval has been granted previously to amend Sections 47 and 57 of the Customs
Ordinance and Section 3 of the Protection of Government Revenue (Special Provisions)
Act No.1 of 2006. The State Accounts Committee has pointed out the need for revising
Section 153 of the Customs Ordinance as the Government revenue from the confiscation of
goods and imposition of penalties has been significantly decreased due to the provisions of
the said Section of the Customs Ordinance. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved
the proposal presented by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Minister of
Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to take necessary steps to further
amend the Customs Ordinance by introducing appropriate provisions.

05. School lunch programme

The Government annually implements the school lunch programme aiming at 1.08 million
students in 7,926 schools spending Rs. 4 billion. Under the policy of eradicating poverty, the
Government expects to immediately implement programmes aimed at addressing concerns
raised over nutrition. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the proposal
submitted by President Ranil Wickremesinghe for taking appropriate steps to provide a
wholesome lunch to another one million school students, further extending the school lunch
programme which is already being implemented based on district - level data on poverty and

06. Submission of the draft Appropriation Bill for the Financial Year (FY) 2023 to

Approval of the Cabinet of Ministers has been granted to draft the draft of the Appropriation
Bill for the Financial Year (FY) 2023 at their meeting held on 22.08.2022. Accordingly, the
Cabinet of Ministers considered the draft Appropriation Bill for the Year 2023 in relation to
each Expenditure Head. The total Recurrent Expenditure for the Year 2023 has been estimated
as Rs. 4,634 billion while total Capital Expenditure has been estimated at Rs. 3,245 billion.
Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the proposal submitted by President
Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National
Policies to submit to Parliament the draft Appropriation Bill for the Year 2023, after
publishing the same in the Government Gazette


President Ranil Wickremesinghe visited the London Buddhist Vihara on September 20, during his visit to the United Kingdom (UK) to attend the State Funeral Service of the late HM Queen Elizabeth II.
He made a courtesy call on Ven. Dr. Bogoda Seelawimala Thera, Chief Incumbent of the Vihara and the Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain and engaged in a brief discussion.
During the meeting Ven. Seelawimala Thera chanted Pirith and invoked blessings on the President and the people of Sri Lanka.

The Ministerial Consultative Committee on Mass Media approved to present the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (Amendment) Bill to Parliament for its Second Reading Sep (16).

The approval for the afore said was obtained at the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Mass Media which met in Parliament under the chairmanship of the Hon. (Dr.) Bandula Gunawardana.

This Bill aims to amend the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation Act No. 06 of 1982. Accordingly, on the 22 nd , the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (Amendment) Bill is expected to be passed in Parliament following the second reading debate.

Furthermore, discussions were held regarding the need to make the National Film Corporation profitable and the need to bring forward the independent television service and the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation ahead in its rating reports. Discussion was also held regarding the spread of misleading news by various media organizations and the measures that can be taken for that.

State Ministers Hon. Shantha Bandara, Hon. Kanaka Herath, Hon. Siripala Gamlath, Hon. Geetha Kumarasinghe, and Members of Parliament Hon. S. M. Marikkar, Hon. Sanjeeva Edirimanna, Hon. Upul Mahendra Rajapaksha, Hon. Asanka Navaratne, Hon. Mohomad Muzammil, Hon. UK Sumith Udukumbura, Hon. Madhura Withanage, Hon. Jagath Kumara, Hon. Yadamini Gunawardena were present at this committee meeting held.


Clarification of the false information published in relation to the President's visit to the United Kingdom.

It is observed that some parliamentarians and social media are trying to mislead the public by spreading false and incorrect information about the delegation representing Sri Lanka at the funeral ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II held at Westminster Abbey in Britain.

Based on the official invitation received for this occasion, only President's Private Secretary Sandra Perera and President's Director on International Relations Dinouk Colombage joined the official delegation along with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe. In addition, the President's official doctor attended.

First Lady Senior Professor Maithree Wickramasinghe participated the tour at her personal expense and Presidential Advisor on Climate Change and Deputy Leader of the United National Party (UNP) Ruwan Wijewardene also joined the Sri Lankan Diaspora meeting held yesterday (19) while on a private visit to the United Kingdom.

Polish President Andrzej Duda and his wife Agatha Kornhauser-Duda, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Indian President Draupadi, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, United States President, Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, French President Emmanuel Macron with his wife Brigitte Trogneux and many other heads of state were in attendance representing other foreign countries on this occasion.

President Media Division

World leaders who were in London to attend the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II met King Charles III at Buckingham Palace on the 18th of September.
The picture shows President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who participated in the event, having a friendly conversation with King Charles III.
Senior Professor Mrs. Maitri Wickramasinghe also joined the event.

A preliminary discussion was held today (14) under the chairmanship of President Ranil Wickremesinghe to reach a bilateral agreement between Nepal and Sri Lanka on the development of Sri Lanka's tourism sector and the expansion of university education opportunities.

H.E. Mr. Bashu Dev Mishra, Ambassador of Nepal to Sri Lanka, attended the meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat.

During the discussion, an agreement was reached to implement a youth exchange program enabling the youth of both the countries to join university education and tourism sector opportunities.

The administrative measures to make the agreement a reality is to be done by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Sri Lanka and the Government of Nepal

The Lotus Tower in Colombo will be opened for the public on Thursday. Colombo Lotus Tower Management Company said that keeping the tower closed will only add to the financial losses of the tower. Major General (Retired) Prasad Samarasinghe said that the observation deck and a few areas in the tower will be open to the public from 15th September. Tickets will be priced at 2000 rupees and 500 rupees to enter the tower. He said that the tower will be open from 2.00pm to 10.00pm on weekdays and 12.00pm to 11.00pm on weekends. The tower will also be open for school tours at a special rate. The 350-metre Lotus Tower has been built at an estimated 113 million US dollars.

At the 18th Kazan International  Film Awards held in Russia, Sarath Kothalawala and Kumara Thirimadura, who played the lead roles in the film “The Newspaper,” represented Sri Lanka and won the joint Best Actors Award.

This film was able to garner high acclaim in several foreign film festivals previously. The film was directed by the above winning two actors as well while Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Ravindrara Guruge and W. Premasiri are the co-producers of the film. The awards ceremony was held last Sunday night in Russia’s Kazan Province with Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena receiving the award on behalf of the two actors.

The Minister of State for Media Shanta Bandara started his duties today. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, Member of Parliament Nimal Siripala de Silva, Secretary of the Ministry of Media Anusha Palpita, Director General of Government Information Dinith Chinthaka Karunaratne and Postmaster General Ranjith Ariyaratne were present at this occasion.FB IMG 1663057229731

Sri Lankan actors Sarath Kothalawala and Kumara Thirimadura, who played the lead roles in the film “The Newspaper,”  won the joint Best Actors Award at the 18th Kazan International Film Awards held in Russia.

The 18th edition of the film festival was organized by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Tatarstan, Kazan city administration in Russia.

The awards were accepted by Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, the producer of the movie, on behalf of Kothalawala and Thirimadura.

“The Newspaper” is a movie woven around a small poor family in a remote village at dry zone who faced a series of miseries due to a wrong news report published in the national media stating that their son is involved in a suicide bomb blast carried by the LTTE terrorists.

This film was able to garner high acclaim in several foreign film festivals previously.

The film was directed by Kothalawala and Thirimadura  while Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Ravindrara Guruge and W. Premasiri are the co-producers of the film.

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