World Health Organization (WHO) presented Sri Lanka the Certificate of Malaria eliminated country yesterday (6th Sept.)

Director General, WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan presented the certificate to the Minister of Health, Nutrition, and Indigenous Medicine Rajitha Senarathne, in Colombo at the WHO – SEARO annual session.

President Maithripala Sirisena received the Award for Excellence in Public Health – 2016.

This annual Award has been established to recognise outstanding leadership and exceptional achievements in public health by individuals.WHO South East Asia regional Excellence in Public Health.

Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director of WHO mentioned this prestigious award is presented to President Maithripala Sirisena for his exceptional contributions strengthening the Health services in Sri Lanka specially in Tobacco control, drugs regulation, health of migrants and control of kidney disease. This Award of Excellence was presented at a function held at the President’s House in Colombo yesterday.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media Minister Gayantha Karunatilleke that he leaves Sri Lanka with a great sense of happiness when the latter met the UN Chief to hand over the pictorial album of his three day visit to Sri Lanka.

“I am extremely happy about the improvement of this country,” Ban said.

The pictorial album prepared by the Department of Government Information was handed over to the UN Chief at the Galle Face Hotel.

The minister briefed Ban on the RTI process in Sri Lanka and he expressed satisfaction when the minister explained about the efforts of his ministry to implement the laws within the stipulated time frame.

He also briefed the UN Chief on the proposed media reforms in Sri Lanka that includes establishing an independent media commission and a broad regulatory mechanism for broadcast sector. Government Information Director General Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya also present.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday expressed appreciation over the progress made by Sri Lanka in different spheres over the last one and half years.

He also assured continuous assistance and support from the United Nations Organisation for the efforts of the government.
Ban made these comments during talks with President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s House in Colombo yesterday.

The two leaders discussed about the ongoing development programmes, the progress of the programmes being implemented to strengthen reconciliation and the process of constitutional reforms. The President briefed the visiting UN Secretary General about the steps taken by the government with regard to constitutional reforms, devolution and structural reforms.
He explained the steps taken by the government for resettlement and rehabilitation, release of land to the original owners and livelihood development.
President Maithreepala Sirisena said that he is looking forward to attend the UN General assembly later this month to use the international forum for furthering Sri Lanka’s global interaction.

The UN Secretary General said that during his visit to Galle today he could witness the progress achieved in various fields.
He added that he held a dialogue with the people, especially the youth and expressed his satisfaction of the free and friendly atmosphere.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Presidential Advisor Austin Fernando, Foreign Secretary Esala Weerakoon and Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to UN, Dr Rohan Perera also participated in the discussion. The President hosted a dinner in honour of the UN Secreatry General. The United Nations Secretary General met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees on Wednesday.

Ban is scheduled to meet several ministers and other Parliamentarians during his three day visit to Sri Lanka.

Indian State Minister for Foreign Affairs Sri M.J. Akbar has said that the participation of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to deliver the keynote address of the Indian Ocean Conference is a great strength. He made this reference during a discussion held with the Prime Minister.

Premier Wickremasinghe who left for Singapore to deliver the keynote address at the Indian Ocean Conference was accorded to a very warm welcome on arrival by Director of the India Foundation Ram Madhav.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe met Indian State Minister for Foreign Affairs M.J. Akbar for discussions. The Indian Minister said that the keynote address made by the Sri Lankan Prime Minister was a beacon to the entire conference.
It is India Foundation that is organizing the conference this year.
Top think tanks from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Singapore – Bangladesh Institute of International & Strategic Studies, Institute of Policy Studies and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies respectively – will be partners for the meet.
The conference is being attended by 48 special speakers from 22 countries and state diplomats.
India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addressed the conference via satellite technology. In her address she said that dire attention should be focused on security, economic, cultural and environmental issues that impact the Indian Ocean Zone.
Several sessions related to trade, investment and cultural spheres will be held tomorrow. State Leaders, politicians and scholars not only from the Indian Ocean Zone but also representing Western countries will be among the large gathering that would be participating.

At the invitation of the Government, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Mrs Ban Soon-taek, will visit Sri Lanka from 31 August to 2 September 2016.

The Secretary-General is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka in the evening of 31 August from Myanmar, and leave Sri Lanka late night on 2 September for China to participate in the G20 Summit.

In Colombo, on 31 August, the Secretary-General will meet Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He will call on President Maithripala Sirisena on 1 September.

The Secretary-General will travel to Galle on 1 September, where he will participate in an event involving youth under the theme ‘Reconciliation and Coexistence: Role of Youth’.

On 2 September, the Secretary-General will travel to Jaffna, where he will meet the Governor of the Northern Province Reginald Cooray, Leader of the Opposition R. Sampanthan and members of the TNA, and visit a resettlement site.

During the visit, the Secretary-General will also meet with several Cabinet Ministers including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera; the Speaker of the Parliament Karu Jayasuriya and Political Party Leaders; and civil society representatives.

At the invitation of the Chairperson and Board of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS), the Secretary-General will speak at a public event in Colombo on 2 September on ‘Sustaining Peace – Achieving Sustainable Development Goals’, focusing in particular on Goal 16, namely, the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.

A workshop on the Right to Information Act organized by the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media for Secretaries to Ministries and Chief Secretaries of Provincial Councils will be held on 01st September, 2016 from 8.45 a.m. Committee Room 01 of the Parliament of Sri Lanka under the patronage of Hon. Minister Gayantha Karunathilake, Hon. Deputy Minister Karunarathna Paranawithana and the Secretary to the Ministry Mr. Nimal Bopage.

The keynote address will be made by Hon. Karunarathna paranawithana, Deputy Minister of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media on the Concept of Right to Information and its Evolution. Later, Hon. Dr. Jayampathi Wickramarathna will address the gathering on Salient Features of the Right to Information Act in Sri Lanka.

At the end of the workshop a five-member panel headed by Hon. Karunarathna Paranawithana will discuss the appointment of Information Officers, identification of the role of Public Authorities in implementing the Right to Information Act and the planning of future activities.

A special discussion with Heads of state and private media institutions held today (29th) in the Auditorium of the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media at under the patronage of Mr. Nimal Bopage, Secretary to the Ministry to discuss the National Media Awards – 2015 to be organized by the Ministry and to obtain their views and proposals in making the Award Ceremony a successful event.

In this ceremony, news and feature articles published in newspapers, programmes broadcast in radio and television channels during year 2015 will be evaluated. In addition, news articles published in newscasting websites registered under the Ministry will also be evaluated. The Award Ceremony will be held at the end of the year.

Heads of state and private media institutions and Ministry officials attended this discussion.