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President instructs to set up Agriculture Modernization Secretariat



President Ranil Wickremesinghe instructed the immediate establishment of an Agricultural Modernization Secretariat to address the issues arising in the Agricultural Modernization Program. This directive was given during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (19) to formulate a policy framework for modernizing the agriculture sector.

President Wickremesinghe instructed the President’s Secretary to appoint additional secretaries from the President’s Office, Ministry of Agriculture, and other line ministries, along with officials of equivalent ranks, to serve in the Agricultural Modernization Secretariat. He emphasized the importance of involving the private sector in these activities.

The President highlighted that the armed forces are also contributing to the agricultural modernization program. He instructed officials to publicize the activities of the Agricultural Modernization Secretariat, which should include collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors. These activities will be based on research conducted in key areas such as tea, coconut, rubber, paddy, cinnamon, and fisheries.

President Wickremesinghe suggested implementing pilot projects in the respective fields, involving officials from local government institutions and the private sector, with the guidance and technical support of the public sector.

The President requested a progress report from the officials of the Agricultural Modernization Secretariat by July. Additionally, he advised submitting requests for required land to the Secretariat and proposed appropriate solutions.

President Wickremesinghe was briefed on the decisions made by the Agriculture Modernization Committee, led by Senior Professor Gamini Senanayake, on agricultural innovation projects. He emphasized the involvement of private sector academics, researchers, experienced officials, and the youth community in implementing these projects.

The President stressed the need to modernize all sectors, including plantation industries, fishing, fish production, ornamental flower cultivation, vegetable and fruit production, grain production, milk, and egg production.

Officials were instructed to keep the President informed about decisions made by sub-committees, chaired by Ministry Secretaries, involving the business community in relevant fields, as part of the agriculture sector modernization program, aimed at building a developed Sri Lanka by 2048.

The discussion was attended by Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayake, Senior Advisor to the President on Economic Affairs Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, heads of government and private institutions related to the agriculture sector, and secretaries of relevant ministries.

(President’s Media Division)


List of professionals whose IRD registration is compulsory




A gazette notice has been issued making it compulsory for those engaged in several fields such as medical, engineering, law, accounting and banking to register with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) from today (01).

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued this gazette as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies.  

According to the relevant gazette, the people who are required to register with the IRD are listed below.

1. Practitioners registered with the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC)

2. Members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka

3. Members of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka

4. Members of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka

5. Members of the Association of Professional Bankers

6. Members of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects

7. Members of the Institute of Quantity Surveyors Sri Lanka

8. Attorneys-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka

9. Individuals who have registered their businesses in Divisional Secretariats

10. Individuals who are in possession of vehicles registered (other than three-wheelers, motorcycles and hand tractors) in Motor Traffic Department

11. Individuals who have purchased or acquired, by virtue of Deeds Transfer, of any immovable property in Sri Lanka

12. Employees whose monthly contribution from both employee and employer to any Provident Fund is more than Rs. 20,000

13. Any individual who obtains approval for a building plan from a Local Authority

14. Any other individual who receives payment of Rs. 100,000 per month or Rs. 1,200,000 for a 12-month period for providing any services in Sri Lanka

In addition, all persons who have completed the age of 18 on 31 December 2023, or who will turn 18 on or after 01 January 2024, will also be subject to this new provision.

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Upcountry train services disrupted




Train services along the upcountry railway line were disrupted due to a rock slip on the railway line between Haliela and Uduwara Railway Stations this morning (01), the Railways Department said.

Passengers said that while the Udarata Menike train was travelling from Badulla to Colombo at 5.45 this morning, the driver saw the collapsed earth mound and immediately stopped the train preventing a major accident.

The Railways Department said that the restoration of the railway line is currently being done.

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Annamale complains to IGP against Kassapa Thera!




Social activist Kandasamy Annamale Sujith Priyantha alias Sujith Annamale has lodged a complaint to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) yesterday (31) saying that he and his family members have received death threats due to a statement made by Balangoda Kassapa Thera.

The complaint made by Annamale said;

“In a press conference held today (31/05/2023), Balangoda Kassapa Thera said, “Who helped from within the Aragalaya? Sujith Annamale… Sujith Annamale is the one who helped. Therefore, the CID should arrest them as soon as possible and produce them in court. If not, all the Buddhist monks behind me will take it to the street. We will not allow the Buddhist culture of this country to be destroyed.”

Annamale said that due to this statement, the life and property of his family members could be at risk.

“Therefore, please look into it and conduct a proper investigation as soon as possible and ensure the safety of my life and my property,” he said.

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