Department: Latest News

US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Victoria Nuland, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs of the United States, has arrived in Sri Lanka on an official visit.Her visit is said to mark the 75th anniversary of U.S.-Sri Lanka relations, according to the U.S. Department of State.The Department added that the visit will also symbolise the offering of continued U.S.

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Bandula Gunawardena - Ranil Wickremesinghe - President orders to further curtail government expenditure - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka
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President orders to further curtail government expenditure
COLOMBO (News 1st); In a note to the Cabinet, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, had stated that the Government revenue at present is far below the monthly expenditure for the month of January 2023.The President's Media Division, and Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Bandula Gunawardena confirmed that the President had instructed on further curtailing government expenses.The President had noted that the Treasury finds it challenging to meet all expenditures at this moment, except for payments for salaries, pensions, welfare, pharmaceuticals and debt servicing.Therefore, President Wickremesinghe had pointed out that the Government expenditure will have to be curtailed further / postponed until planned revenue to be raised on the recent tax revisions is realized, reported the President's Media Division.He had noted that the Treasury will formulate a priority criterion for this purpose.Furthermore, the President had pointed out that public officers should refrain from obtaining goods/services on credit basis, and any officer who violates this will be held personally responsible for such expenditure, said the PMD."The President informed the Cabinet of Ministers that the revenue for January collected from the Inland Revenue Department, Sri Lanka Customs and the Excise Department was Rs. 158.7 Billion.
Release Wasantha! 12,000 affidavits handed over to Attorney General - newsfirst.lk
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Release Wasantha! 12,000 affidavits handed over to Attorney General
COLOMBO (News 1st) – 12,000 affidavits signed seeking the release of Wasantha Mudalige, the convener of the Inter-University Student's Federation who remains in remand custody under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, were handed over to the Attorney General on Monday (30).Student activists from the Inter-University Student's Federation along with activists from Mass Organizations visited the Attorney General's Department on Monday (30) morning to hand over 12,000 affidavits that were signed seeking the release of Wasantha MudaligeThese 12,000 affidavits claim that the signees were also engaged in the public protests that took place since March 2022 to bring about change by ending a corrupt and inefficient governance that burdened the people with a failed economy.The signees also claim they were involved in the protests that took place on the 9th of July 2022.They also note that the Inter-University Student's Federation was just one organization among many that took part in those protests, and that Wasantha Mudalige is just one student leader who took part in the demonstrations.These 12,000 affidavits claim that they too should be treated in the same manner as Wasantha Mudalige.The group attempted to hand over these affidavits from the back entrance to the Attorney General's Department, however, those attempts were futile.Thereafter, two representatives were allowed to enter the Attorney General's Department and the affidavits were taken inside the using a Police Jeep."If Wasantha Mudalige is a terrorist for his involvement in the Aragalaya, then the millions who joined the protests are also terrorists.
Threatening calls to NEC members originated from Dubai – CID - newsfirst.lk - city Dubai
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Threatening calls to NEC members originated from Dubai – CID
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The National Election Commission said that it cannot be satisfied with the status of investigations taking place with regard to the death threats made to three members of the NEC.A senior official at the National Election Commission speaking to News 1st said that various factions are continuing to make undue influence on the NEC in order to delay the Local Government Elections.He added that certain state officials, attached to several State Institutions that should be involved in ensuring a Free & Fair election takes place, are neglecting their duties.The Senior Official said that those who appointed the state officials who are neglecting their duties must be held accountable for the dereliction of duty.The Chairman of the National Election Commission, Attorney Nimal Punshihewa has requested the President to intervene over the death threats made to the members of the National Election Commission.The NEC Chairman in a letter to the President requested that an environment favourable to conduct a free and fair election be created.News 1st also inquired from the Criminal Investigations Department on the progress made with regard to the investigations on the death threats made to members of the National Election Commission.A Senior Official at the CID said that investigations revealed that the threatening phone calls were made from Dubai.He said that a telecommunication analysis reports has been called for from the service providers.
Affordable device for fixing broken bones piloted in Gaza, Sri Lanka and Ukraine - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka - Poland - Ukraine - county Imperial - county Frontier
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Affordable device for fixing broken bones piloted in Gaza, Sri Lanka and Ukraine
Imperial researchers have developed a low-cost, easy-to-manufacture stabiliser for broken bones to help in regions where such devices are expensive or in short supply and people sometimes resort to homemade options.The stabiliser, known as an external fixator, holds broken bones in place with metal pins or screws attached to a surrounding metal frame.When soft tissue is severely damaged together with bone, external fixators are the first step in keeping fractures in legs and arms in place before an operation to definitively fix the bones can be carried out.However, their cost and low availability in many regions mean people resort to homemade or low-quality fixators that may lead to serious complications or improper healing.The Imperial external fixator is currently being tested in Gaza and Sri Lanka, and since the invasion of Ukraine, more than 500 fixators have been manufactured in Poland to help with the crisis.This fixator, details of which are published in Frontiers in Medical Technology, is low-cost and has a lightweight design that can be manufactured locally to international standards. The team developed the design and a toolkit to allow repeated precise manufacture of the fixator anywhere in the world, including in the least developed countries.In Sri Lanka, it is being tested for road traffic accidents, which account for around 70 percent of fractures in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Cabinet proposes Electricity Price Formula; says no option but to increase the tariff - newsfirst.lk - Sri Lanka
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Cabinet proposes Electricity Price Formula; says no option but to increase the tariff
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Sri Lanka's Cabinet of Ministers decided to intruct the Minister of Power and Energy to introduce a price formula for electricity tariff, similar to the fuel price formula.The Government Information Department in a statement said that the Cabinet of Ministers considered the proposal submitted by the President in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stability and National Policies and the Minister of Power and Energy regarding the revision of electricity tariffs. It was further observed by the Cabinet that the Treasury is not able to provide the necessary funds for the Sri Lanka Electricity Board within the existing financial space and therefore there is no other option but to revise the existing electricity tariffs to ensure a continuous electricity supply in the country while minimizing the impact on electricity consumers as much as possible. Accordingly, approval was given to proceed as follows:– The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka will further study the proposed revision of electricity charges submitted by the Electricity Board and if any revision is required, to submit the same on or before 15.02.2023.– Until then, the Ceylon Electricity Board and the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka will jointly take necessary measures to implement the electricity tariff revision proposed by the Ceylon Electricity Board with effect from 01.01.2023 as an interim measure in accordance with the amendments to the Public Policy Guidelines currently in force regarding the Power Industry– If the Sri Lanka Public Utilities Commission submits any amendments, the Ceylon Electricity Board will take steps to implement those amendments and make the necessary adjustments to future monthly
Advisory for Cyclonic storm “Mandous” - newsfirst.lk
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Advisory for Cyclonic storm “Mandous”
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The Department of Meteorology says that the Severe Cyclonic storm “Mandous” lay centred over Southwest Bay of Bengal (250km northeast of Trincomalee) near latitude 10.4N and longitude 82.6E at 08.30 p.m yesterday (8). It is very likely to move west-northwestwards and cross North Tamil-Nadu, Puducherry and South Andhra Pradesh coast around mid-night of 09th December.Maximum wind speeds will be (70-90) kmph and can increase up to 100 kmph in sea areas between (06N – 15N, and 80E – 88E).Heavy showers or thundershowers and very rough to high seas can be expected in the aforementioned sea areas.There is a possibility that near-shore sea areas off the coast extending from Kankasanturai to Trincomalee via Mullaitivu may experience surges due to swell waves of (about 2.5 m – 3.5 m) height (This is not for the land area).Southern sea areas bounded by (02N – 06N, 80E – 88E) will be very rough at times and wind speeds will be (40-50) kmph and can increase up to 70 kmph in the Southern sea areas. The cyclonic storm “Mandous” over Southwest Bay of Bengal (300km northeast of Trincomalee) is located near latitude 9.5N and longitude 83.8E at 08.30 a.m. today (9). It is very likely to move west-northwestwards and cross North Tamil-Nadu, Puducherry and South Andhra Pradesh coast over the Southwest Bay of Bengal around midnight of 09th December.Cloudy skies will prevail over most parts of the Island.
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