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USD 8 mn. from KOICA to develop Sigiriya

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The recommendations of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Religious Affairs and Co-Existence were received to amend the Central Cultural Fund Act by imposing regulations on how the money should be used specifically so that the money available in the Central Cultural Fund cannot be used for illegal activities. This was stated when the said Committee met in Parliament on 27.11.2023 under the Chairmanship of Upul Mahendra Rajapaksha, Member of Parliament.

The director general of the fund, Prof. Gamini Ranasinghe, commenting stated that the dollar generation of the Central Cultural Fund, which was burdened with debt two years ago, has increased by 614%. He further stated that at present, more than three thousand US dollars are earned by providing the opportunity to foreigners to see the beauty of the sunrise in Sigiriya. The Director General of the Central Cultural Fund stated that the sectors that can further attract tourists around Sigiriya are being identified and KOICA has agreed to provide an aid of US$ 8 million to make these activities more successful.

It was discovered that some three-wheeler drivers who provide transport facilities to tourists informally in tourist areas charge exorbitant prices. Accordingly, the officials emphasized to the Oversight Committee that the installation of meters should be made mandatory for the three-wheelers in those areas.

The officials requested the committee to recruit employees for the vacant positions of the Central Cultural Fund and take measures to make permanent the 286 unconfirmed employees who are currently on duty. Accordingly, the committee agreed to intervene within the existing legal framework.

Furthermore, officials of the Public Trustee Department also appeared before the Committee. The Chair inquired from the officials about the measures taken to increase the revenue generation of the department. Accordingly, the officials stated that they are currently working to generate income by using the land and property they have effectively. Furthermore, the officials informed the Committee that the basic measures of digitalization of the department has initiated to make the activities of the department more efficient.

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Political parties urged to publish their National Socio-economic Recovery Programmes 

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A public appeal has been made to several mainstream political party leaders to  immediately publish their respective National Socio-economic Recovery Programmes for social discourse.

The request has been formally addressed to the political party leaders of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), the National People’s Power (NPP), United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC).

Click here for the full context of the public appeal

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Govt. to provide free fertilizer to all paddy farmers

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Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries – Mahinda Amaraweera has said that the government has decided to provide MOP fertilizer free of charge to all the paddy farmers in Sri Lanka during the 2024/25 Maha season and 2025/26 Maha season.

Sri Lanka will thus receive 55,000 metric tons of MOP fertilizer as requested by the government from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

The Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, expressed his views on this in a meeting held in Tissamaharama today (June 24).

(dailynews.lk)

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8 arrested over gang rape of teen, remanded

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Eight youths who were arrested in connection with the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in the Jalthara area of Hanwella, have been remanded until June 28.

The suspects were produced before the Homagama Acting Magistrate Padmasiri Jayawardena today (June 24).

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