President Maithripala Srisena arrived at the Kualalumpur International Airport this afternoon (December 15) commencing his 3-day state visit to Malaysia.


He was received by the Malaysian Human Resource Development Minister Dato Sri Richard Riot Anak Jaem and senior officials. The staff members of the Sri Lanka High Commission and their family members were also present at the Airport to welcome President Sirisena.


The President was received with state honours that included a guard of honour at the Airport.


President Srisena also engaged in a cordial discussion with the Malaysian Human Resource Development Minister at the airport.


During his visit, the President will sign several bilateral Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with the government of Malaysia and will return to Colombo on December 17.

Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Gayantha Karunathilake december 03rd visited Dr. Edwin Ariyadasa to wish him for his 95th birthday. At the Lake House, he was a member of the Editorial Staff of most of the Lake House Publications. He was on the Editorial Staff of DivainaDaily NewsSunday ObserverSilumina, Janatha and was the Editor – in – Chief of "Navanugaya".
He initiated the study of Mass Communication at the Higher Education in Sri Lanka. He formulated the first syllabus to teach mass communications at the University of Kelaniya. Also, he was associated with the introduction of media studies at the Open University of Sri Lanka. He was highly influential in the inauguration of the Diploma of Mass Communications at the University of Colombo.
Edwin Ariyadasa is appraised for introducing new Sinhala terms for English terms such as Antarjalaya' (Internet), `Madya Rupa' (media images) and `Sajivikaranaya' 

Commenting on the progress the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. (ANCL), known as ‘Lake House’, has achieved under the new management, Mass Media and Parliamentary Reforms Minister GayanthaKarunathilake said, the company had earned a profit of Rs. 150 million so far this year. 

He said the management hoped to increase profit to Rs. 200 million by the end of this year – with newspapers sales looking promising, showing a 10% increase, and debt having reduced from Rs. 800 million to Rs. 300 million.

The Minister made these observations while commenting on Lake House during the Committee Stage debate of ‘Budget 2017’.

“Lake House has earned a profit of Rs. 150 million so far, and the management hopes to increase this to Rs. 200 million by the end of this year. Sales have seen a 10 % increase,” the Minister said.

“Over the past years, there have been many court cases against the institution on defamation. A total of Rs. 1.5 billion has been sought as compensation by way of these cases. We are happy to say that not a single defamation case has been filed against this institution after we assumed duties.”

“The salaries of employees have been increased by Rs. 3, 050  so far and another Rs. 300 will be added to the basic salary from next year,” he added.

“All pages of the Dinamina, Daily News and Sunday Observer are now printed in colour and a new email system has also been established,” he noted.

He also said the ‘Sarasavi’ awards ceremony, which had not been held the last eight years, would be held on December 15.

A survey reveals significant improvement in press freedom in Sri Lanka last year as the journalists no longer fear reprisals for expressing their political views.The annual World Press Freedom Index for 2016 by Paris based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranks Sri Lanka 141 out of 180 countries. Sri Lanka’s rank improved 24 notches from 165th place it earned in 2015.

The Index ranks 180 countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists.

It is a snapshot of the media freedom based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country.

Finland for six years in succession ranks at the top of the index again this year, while The Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, and New Zealand rounded up the top five in that order.

In the South Asian region, Nepal was up 15 places at 105th due to a drop in violence by the security forces against journalists, especially at demonstrations. Bhutan improved 10 notches to 94th, Pakistan improved 12 notches to rank 147th, India133rd, Nepal 105th, Afghanistan 120th, Maldives 112th, and Bangladesh 144th. 

The opening ceremony of the 34th International Cinema Television and Sports Festival was held in Milan, Italy on November 16. FICTS International president Prof. Franco Ascani, Mass Media and Parliamentary Reforms Ministry Secretary Nimal Bopage (the special guest on behalf of the Sri Lankan government), National Sport and Media Development Foundation president Harsha B. Abeykoon, Olympic medal holders, senior officials of the International Olympic Committee and representatives from 116 countries participated.

President Maithripala Sirisena stressed that the media should act in a responsible and acceptable manner while following media ethics and norms, so as to cultivate a positive attitude among people.

“Even though it is regrettable to mention that Sri Lankan media has not clearly understood the bounding duty of them. Therefore, it can be observed that the media has not part and parcel with the forward march of the country,” he noted.

The President made these remarks while addressing an evaluation ceremony of experts in the science and technology fields at the Waters’ Edge Hotel yesterday.

President Sirisena added that the quality of the media is essential and is of paramount importance for the country’s forward march to become a developed country. It is notable that media is duty bound to help in the country’s development programme.

“The quality and responsible conduct of media are vital for the country to stand on its own feet as a developed country.

“Therefore, the media should clearly understand their role and responsibilities. Even though,it can be

observed that certain sections of the Sri Lankan media is interested in digging garbage and very keen to report negative news such as murders, rape cases,disputes, communal issues etc. Besides, such media organizations want to bring political parties, which they support to power. They want to topple the democratically elected government. Such media builds the image of corrupt politicians while destroying the image of others,” he said.

Such a media culture is not available or cannot be seen anywhere in the world, the President added.

“The media has to play a broad role in the country’s forward march by building a strong media culture. The media is duty bound to inculcate good and noble qualities in people such as patriotism, social responsibilities, social-harmony, personnel and social responsibilities rather than arousing hatred, communalism, racism etc. But, it can be seen that the headlines of certain news papers always carry news relating to hatred, conflict and other negative items,” the President said.

“Accordingly, the first page of a newspaper is so powerful as it is strong enough to drive a country forward towards a strong goal,” he added.

He further added that the policy of the government is to facilitate the media and media personnel so as to strengthen media freedom. The government is duty bound to protect and safeguard media freedom and media personnel aiming to protect the right to information of the people. The President requested all experts in various fields, educated people,scientists etc to take responsibility to steer the country towards sustainable development.

A special TV channel, which will only telecast parliamentary proceedings live, will be launched in three months time, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya informed Parliament today.

The Speaker said the proceedings were aired live on Eye Channel from today.

“The Eye Channel will telecast parliamentary proceedings live except on the days where the West Indies, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe one day international tournament matches are on. Eye Chanel had got into an agreement to broadcast cricket matches live and therefore it is not possible to telecast parliamentary proceedings live on those days. Rupawahini will telecast parliamentary proceedings live on the days on which cricket matches are on," the speaker said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe suggested that the proceedings of constitutional assembly should also be shown live. 

“What we have to do for the motherland is not the easy tasks but face the difficult tasks and win them”, says President Maithripala Sirisena.

“The main political parties of the country have come on to a same path to go on a new journey for the motherland by correcting the faults and defects in the history. Whatever the criticisms are done that journey will be move forward for the victory of the country and the people”, he added.  

The President made these remarks during his visit in the Madurawala, Bulathsinhala area today (Nov. 18). He also engaged in several development activities in the area.

President Sirisena said everybody should get together to build a prosperous Sri Lanka by bringing the grandeur of the ancient kingdoms by protecting the historical foundation, great culture and respectable history.

The President vested the new auditorium of Madurawala Madya Maha Vidyalaya in the Horana Educational Zone with students.

The President who arrived in the school was warmly welcomed by the students of the school. He also had cordial discussions with the children.

President Sirisena declared open the Madurawala Henry Jayawardena Memorial Library. He also planted a Sandal sapling in the library premises to mark this occasion.  He issued the first membership of the library.

The President also declared open the multi-purpose center in Anguruwathota. He also registered the first patient of the ayurvedic medical clinic of the multi-purpose center.

 

Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) is conducting the Census of Public and Semi Government Sector Employment from 9.30 am to 11.30 today (17th November) with the participation of all employees of the public and semi government sectors.

The objective of this Census is to enumerate all employees of the public and semi government sector, and to compile demographic and socio economic information of these employees. Information compiled through this Census is vital for policymaking and further improving the quality of the public service.

Dr. A.J. Satharasinghe, Director General of DCS request all public and semi-government sector employees to follow the guidelines provided on materials available on the Department’s website (www.statistics.gov.lk)as well as printed materials circulated among public and semi government institutions, and to extend their support for the success of this Census by completing a Census questionnaire today.

The Census of Public and Semi Government Sector Employment will be conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) on 17th November 2016 covering the entire Country. This Census will be conducted from 9.30 am to 11.30 on 17th November 2016 with the participation of all employees of the public and semi government sector.
The first Census of the Public sector employment has been conducted in 1968 by the Public Administration Ministry with DCS’ technical support to enumerating only the permeant employees in the public sector. Subsequent rounds has been conducted in 1972, 1976 and 1976
The Department of Census and Statistics has conducted the first Census on the Public sector employment in 1980 covering all staff including permanent, temporary, casual, contractual employees, daily pay employees and employees on secondment basis. Ever since, the Department has been conducting this Census in 1985, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006. This is the 11th round of the Census which is usually conducted once in four years.
The objective of this Census is to enumerate all employees of the public and semi government sector, and to compile demographic and socio economic information of these employees. Information compiled through this Census are vital for policymaking and further improving the quality of the public service.
Information collected though this Census includes details of the current service station, personal information such as age, sex of the employees, details of the appointment, salary particulars, leave particulars, language proficiency, educational qualifications, details of residence, details pertaining to transport mode used for commuting to work, knowledge on information communication technology, details on non-communicable diseases etc.
Further improvements have been made into the method of conducting the Census, from this round, such as listing of public and semi government sector institutions where about 28,000 institutions have been identified and listed. Furthermore, information will be compiled on the basis of the location of employees than the institution they work for (Institutional Base vs Location Base). Estate workers under the semi government sector are also included in this round of the Census. This Census enumerates all employees in the public and semi government sector covering the entire country within the same day at a given time on 17th November 2016 from 9.30 am to 11.30 am.
There is a special webpage on this Census hosted under DCS official website www.statistics.gov.lk. It includes softcopies of Census documents such as questionnaires, quidelines. and instructional videos explaining how to complete each and every question of the questionnaire that will be used for the Census of Public and Semi-Government Sector Employment. These materials al-e available in Sinhala , Tamil and English medium.
Dr. Amara Satharasinghe, Director General of DCS request all public and semigovernment sector employees to follow the !~u ide l ines provided on materials available on the website as well as printed materials circulated among public and semi government institutions, and to extend their support for the success of this Census by completing the Census questionnaire on 17th November 2016 from 930 am to 11.30 am.