Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Gayantha Karunathilake recently participated at the award presenting ceremony of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation.

Twenty-year service awards and golden awards were presented to the SLRC members at this occasion appreciating their service.

Chairman of SLRC Ravi Jayawardhane also participated.

The government has neither drafted any agreement nor any committee report has been released on the Hambantota Harbour and proposed industrial zone, President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday.He said the government will not sign agreements with any foreign country or institution that would be detrimental to Sri Lanka’s heritage and dignity. The President said the government will ensure the highest level of transparency when bilateral agreements are signed with foreign nations and institutions.

He added that trhe draft of such agreements would be referred to the Attorney General, Cabinet of Ministers and Parliament for approval before they are ratified by the government. President Sirisena was addressing the 50th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation yesterday.

“The people of this country placed immense confidence in me by electing me to the post of Presidency and I will leave no room for the breach of public confidence,” he said. He said certain elements were striving to overthrow the government when it was going forward with more dedication and commitment on a new programme in 2017. “Nobody is allowed to overthrow this government illegally and in contravention of the Constitution till 2020 without a people’s mandate,” he said. “It is the responsibility of those who love this country to allow the government to carry out their activities freely irrespective of the political party they believe,” he said. He stressed that there is no room for power crazy elements to achieve their petty political gains again.

The President requested the people to refrain from propagating false information and unite to rebuild the country through constructive criticism.

President Sirisena opened the administrative complex and refurbished studios of the Corporation. A new postage stamp was also issued to mark the SLBC’s 50th anniversary. Ven. Ittepane Dhammalankara Thera, Ven. Kotugoda Dhammawasa Thera, Media and Parliamentary Reforms Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka ,Deputy Minister Karunarathna Paranavithana and media secretary Nimal Bopage were present.

This year the government is starting a development program with the leadership of the President and Prime Minister, alleviate poverty, reforms in the media sector and establishing of regulatory commissions will also be done said Parliamentary reforms and Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka.
He made these comments addressing the staff after attending religious observances 2nd of January.
We have undertaken to do a major transformation in the media sector by getting the views of the public until January 31 and with the progress of the institutions under the Media ministry we will leapfrog this year said the minister.
People spend most of their time out of home at the office therefore they should be happy at office. We as ministers have created an environment without interferences to work happily. 
Deputy Minister of Parliamentry Reforms and Mass Media Karunarathna Paranavithana also participated.

The foundation stone will be laid today in Horana for the Sri Lanka’s biggest tyre factory which is to be constructed at the BOI industrial zone.

The foundation stone will be laid by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe under the directive of President Maithripala Sirisena.

The entire investment of the project is Rs. 11.25 billion.

The ground breaking ceremony of the vehicle assembly plant of the German auto maker Volkswagen was held in Kuliyapitiya yesterday under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Volkswagen is the second largest car maker in the world. The company will initially assemble vehicles in the 1000cc to 2000cc category and these vehicles will be diesel powered and include passenger cars, Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV), Multi Utility Vehicles (MUV) or commercial vehicles.

Volkswagen AG’s local joint venture partner is Senok Automobiles and the total investment will be US$ 26.5 million.

The project in addition to bringing investor confidence for Sri Lanka and FDI’s will also bring in advanced German automobile technology into the country and create job opportunities for the local youth.

Volkswagen which rose from the ashes of World War II was one of the firms that contributed to the so-called German economic miracle of the country’s social market economy.

The company is best known for iconic models such as Beetle, Golf and Passat.

The year 2017 dawns with new hopes of prosperity, coexistence and reconciliation in our hearts. The twenty two million people of Sri Lanka look forward to an era of sustainability with a determination to alleviate poverty in all its forms.

It is imperative that we overcome the challenges ahead of us. The progress of the human race was pioneered by people who faced challenges with confidence, utmost courage and determination amidst obstacles. Our goals could be achieved if we manage our work efficiently and productively, and do the right thing at the right time with unwavering commitment to serve the greater good.

The adverse effects of climate change show us the imperative need to be prepared for weather uncertainties. We have to be determined this year to live with nature and not above or against it.

I wish all of you a prosperous new year in which the fruits of progress are distributed fairly and the aspirations of the people are fulfilled.

Maithripala Sirisena                            

The New Year dawns as the Government of Good Governance marks two years in office. During these two years, we have achieved many milestones.

Yet undoubtedly, much needs to be done in our pursuit to be a fully fledged democracy that is also economically sound and socially empowered.

The abolition of the 18th Amendment which cast a shadow of dictatorship and suppressed democracy has been one of our greatest achievements during these two years. We have also been able to transform the perceptions the international community held with regard to Sri Lanka, enabling the country to build strategic relationships with other countries.

Dealing effectively with crimes against humanity, halting the wastage of public funds, minimizing corruption, establishing relevant commissions, finalizing the right to information act, ensuring freedom for all, easing the cost of living as loans overburden the economy, creating political stability while laying the foundation for economic development are among the achievements of the Government during these two years.

As economic activity increases under Good Governance towards making Sri Lanka a viable destination, the Government is focused on empowering the people while encouraging co-existence and harmony between all communities.

In the same vein, the Government seeks the co-operation of all Sri Lankans in defeating agendas that are aimed at disrupting Sri Lanka's course set for success.

Let this New Year be the one to usher in greater change, a greater vision and prosperity to all Sri Lankans.

Happy New Year!

Ranil Wickremesinghe
Prime Minister

The Ministry of Parliamentary Reform and Media has started a national program to identify rural peoples problems and provide solutions. The proposal was made by minister Gayantha Karunathilaka and the first round of discussion was held in his presence at the parliamentary complex. 
All the institutions such as Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Independent Television Network, National Film Corporation, Department of Government Printing, State Printing Corporation, Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd, Salacine and Department of Government Information will get together to take the program islandwide.
This was discussed at the progress evaluation meeting of the institutions under the ministry which was attended by secretary NimalBopage and heads of all institutions.

Contradictory predictions appearing on social media and internet regarding President Maithripala Sirisena are totally false, emphasized Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Nimal Bopage.

Addressing media today at the ministry he said that, the people who are spreading such predictions through social media are attempting to mislead the public by creating a false public opinion regarding President Sirisena’s life.

Further, the Secretary while condemning the accuracy of the content of these predictions added that the public must be aware of such unethical programs conducted by some interested individuals.

President Maithripala Sirisena said that during the last few decades the political parties and the leaders became unpopular due to the corruption, frauds and malpractices and abuse of power by some of the elected members of local government institutions.

Addressing the ‘Swarna Purawara Awards’ Ceremony at the Nelum Pokuna yesterday, the President said that the chairpersons of local government bodies enjoy immense powers only next to the Executive President and they should always use that power for the benefit of the people.

President Sirisena pointed out that those elected members who use their power to serve the people become popular with the masses and the local government institutions should become the centers of good governance.

“It is the responsibility of the politicians and the government officers to look into the issues of the people and solve them. All politicians and government officers should be dedicated to show the excellence during their service using the limitless powers vested with the local government institutions in the development, administration, financial management and the social welfare”, the President said.

The ‘Swarna Purawara Award’ Ceremony is organized annually by the Ministry of Provincial Council and Local Government with the intention of commending the Local Government Institutions.

This initiative will pave the way to eliminate shortages and will assist to understand the challenges of the Local Government System, which consisted of 23 Municipal Councils, 41 Urban Councils, and 271 Pradeshiya Sabhas.

Ministers of Provincial Council and Local Government, Faizer Mustapha, State Minister, Priyankara Jayarathna, Governors, Provincial Council Ministers, Provincial Council Commissioner, Secretaries, and State Officials participated at this ceremony.