August 11, 2020
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    The official term of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing fraud and corruption at state institutions from 2015 to 2018, has been extended by another 3 months. The term of the commission was expected to come to an end on July 18, however following the extension it is expected to end on October 18.The commission’s term was extended and announced by the Presidential Secretariat following a request made by its members, according to reports.

    Attention of Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka is drawn to a few recent media reports  raising some speculations on arrival of a private aircraft at Bandaranaike International Airport(BIA) hence the following clarification for information of members of the public.

    The approval of the Cabinet of Ministers was granted initially to provide free tablets to Advanced Level students only as a pilot project at National Schools. The proposal to provide tablets to all A/L students island-wide was presented to the Cabinet in 2017. The recommendation of the President to this proposal by the Ministry of Education was to not to launch this programme island-wide in a single phase, but to introduce as a pilot project at selected National Schools.

    President was also of the view it is necessary to prevent students from accessing unnecessary websites other than required subject curriculums. Accordingly, the Cabinet was informed that measures will be taken to restrict web access outside the syllabus. It was also decided to take future steps based on the success of the pilot project. The Cabinet too recommended to initially commencing this programme as a pilot project at National Schools.

    Rs. 5.5 billion was allocated to provide tablets to students throughout the country. President proposed to reserve required funds for the pilot project and to utilize remaining funds to meet the urgent needs of school equipment such as desks and chairs. President also proposed to state the precise amount of funds required for the pilot project. Hence, the tender called in 2017 should be amended according to the pilot project.

    President is of the view that though it is necessary to disseminate knowledge via modern technology, maintaining discipline among students and using methods suitable to the young minds also equally significant.

     

     

    Secretary to Ministry of Defence in a special communiqué issued explains multiple security measures that have been taken to ensure public safety, and protect the sovereignty of the country as well as its territorial integrity in keeping with the vision of HE the President in order to establish normalcy in the country, following the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks. Here follows the full text of the message:

    Notice issued by Secretary of Defence Gen. S.H.S. Kottegoda (Retired) WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc

    In keeping with the vision of H.E. The President to establish normalcy in the country, following the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, multiple measures have been taken to ensure public safety, and protect the sovereignty of the country as well as its territorial integrity by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

    It's with utmost responsibility that I issue this statement via MOD Media network to all concerned citizens of this country and residents of foreign nations on the current security situation in our mother land.

    The immediate threat assessment was concluded by the security force professionals of this country under my directive and they opined the threat levels have been considerably reduced. Hence, the immediate threat foreseen subsequently to the Easter Sunday Attacks has been averted. That is not to imply that security measures have been relaxed in any way. On the contrary, MOD is diligently working with the Armed Forces, Department of Police and Intelligence services (local and foreign), to ensure that all information is monitored, assessed and actions are implemented where necessary. It must be noted that we are faced with the task of battling a non-traditional form of terrorism, and this terrorism has been and continues to be a global threat.

    In view of our key focus areas on National Security, MOD has identified seven factors which are key to good governance and public safety & security as mentioned below. They are essential in formulating and executing strategic plans and policies for a secure and safe country for all citizens.

    1) Political

    2) Economic

    3) Social

    4) Technological

    5) Environmental

    6) Military

    7) Law & Order

    MOD has already taken necessary steps to link and set the right channels of communication with the respective Ministries that fall on to each of the key factors that are identified above. These factors are all interrelated to National Security.

    The Additional Secretaries of MOD and their Departments under the guidance of Secretary of Defence are working around the clock and expanding the branches to bring about the swift changes that are required in this transformational leadership of MOD whilst giving a more authoritative status with a legal dimension to the restructuring process which will streamline the entire system. As we speak, the necessary steps are being taken to compile & introduce new regulations for the smooth functioning of this Ministry.

    As a result of the above process the Intelligence apparatus has been strengthened under the new Chief of Intelligence (CNI) with stringent measures taken to counter traditional & non-traditional national security threats. Some of which are;

    Terrorism

    Separatism

    Radicalization

    Narcotics

    Illegal Trades/Businesses

    Social unrest

    The battle with terrorism will continue around the world as long as the ideology which is at the centre of terrorism is not dealt with. As Sri Lankans our fight is not against any single community, it is against terrorism and that which tries to create disharmony amongst our people. We will endeavor to address these issues so that a repeat of the past will not occur and ensure that all Sri Lankans will feel secure and safe once again irrespective of race, religion or cast.

    "For a Secured and Peaceful Country"

    Meteorology Department Director of Forecasting, Anusha Warnasuriya said that there was no harm to Sri Lanka following the deep earthquake of magnitude 7.5 that struck off the coasts of East Timor and Indonesia today. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said Pacific monitoring authorities ruled out the chance of tsunami.

    The Meteorology Department said today that several spells of showers would occur in the Western, Sabaragamuwa and Central provinces and in Galle and Matara districts.“Light showers would occur in North-western province and in Hambantota district while showers or thundershowers may occur at several places in Uva province and in Batticaloa and Ampara districts after 2.00p.m” the department said. As there might be temporary localised strong winds during thundershowers, the department requested general public to take adequate precautions to minimise damages caused by lightning activity..

    The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) inquiring into the Easter Sunday terror attacks has taken a decision not to open its proceedings to the news media on selected days, PSC Chairman Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri said yesterday.

    UN: The world population is expected to climb to 9.7 billion in 2050 from 7.7 billion today, with the population of sub-Saharan Africa doubling, a United Nations report released Monday said. The population could then grow to 11 billion by 2100, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’s “World Population Prospects” report.

    The proposal made by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera in his budget 2019 to remove the pensioners’ salary anomalies will be implemented effective from next month the Ministry of Finance announce today. According to a press release issued by the Ministry over 500,000 public servants who retired before December 31,.2015 will be benefited by the removal of this salary anomaly. The monthly salary of the public servants who retired before 31.12.2015 will be increased by minimum of Rs.2,800 and the maximum of Rs.20,000. These pensioners will receive this monetary benefit based on the removal of the anomaly that existed in the pension of those who retired before the December 2015

     The Meteorology Department warns the public of strong, gusty winds up to 50 kmph over the island. The Department also state that Showers or thundershowers will occur at times in Western, Southern, Central, Sabaragamuwa and North-western provinces. Several spells of light showers will occur in Anuradhapura, Vauniya and Mannar districts. Fairly strong gusty winds up to 50 kmph are likely over the island. Strong gusty winds up to 60 kmph are likely, particularly in western slope of the Central hilly areas, Northern, North-central and North-western provinces and Ampara and Monaragala districts.

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