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 The special train on a humanitarian mission, that carried relief items for the flood victims in the North, commenced its journey from Matara in the South on December 31, reached Kilinochchi Railway Station on January 01 around 2.30 p.m.

When the people in the South were affected by the floods, extending the hands of the brotherhood of the Northern people, the humanitarian train from North to South arrived and this mission was organized by the ‘Purawesi Athwela’ programme of the Presidential Secretariat and at the time of people in the North faced a catastrophe situation, the people in the South also extended their hands of brotherhood to the people in the North.
The ‘Purawesi Athwela’ programme of the Presidential Secretariat and the President’s Media Unit participated in this mission with the blessings of President Maithripala Sirisena.
The train that carried relief items commenced its journey from Matara around 2.30 p.m. on December 31 and the relief items collected under the guidance of the Galle District Secretary as well as the voluntary activists of the ‘Purawesi Athwela’ programme were handed over to the train at the Galle Railway Station.
The train that carried relief items reached the Colombo Railway Station at 6.30 a.m. on January 01 and the relief items were collected at the Ragama, Gampaha, Veyangoda, Meerigama, Polgahawela, Kurunegala, Ganewatta, Mahawa, Galgamuwa and Anuradhapura railway stations.
Many donated items including dry rations, drinking water, school equipment, dresses, sanitary items and medicines were carried in this train to distribute among the people in the North. All those donations were officially handed over to the Kilinochchi District Secretary at the Kilinochchi Railway Station.
Many private institutions and entrepreneurs joined hands with this meritorious task.

 Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his New Year message states as 2019 dawns with new hopes and goals, it is his pleasure to wish all Sri Lankans a prosperous year ahead. The New Year will be a challenge for Sri Lanka.

Nevertheless, the government is committed to making a better society for our future generations, the Premier states. “As 2019 dawns with new hopes and goals, it is my utmost pleasure to wish all Sri Lankans a prosperous year ahead. It was a real victory for all of us to ensure sovereignty of the people’s rule in the country to begin the New Year.
“I am glad and thankful to everyone who strove in the name of reclaiming democracy setting ethnic, religious and party differences aside.“The New Year will be challenging for Sri Lanka.
“Nevertheless, we are committed to making a better society for our future generations.“I look forward to your encouragement, commitment and cooperation”.

Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga who has been reappointed as the Secretary TO THE TREASURY AND Ministry of Finance and Mass Media assumed his duties at the 
finance ministry (Monday, Dec 31) Morning.
Deputy Secretary to Treasury Mr A.R. Desapriya, Addl Secretary Mr. R Semasinghe and senior officials of the Treasury and the Ministry of Finance were present on the occasion

 Kilinochchi District Secretary Suntharam Arumainayaham said that all the District Secretaries, have taken immediate steps to help the victims of floods in accordance with the guidance given by President Maithripala Sirisena. He pointed out that facilities have been provided already to all the persons sheltered in welfare centres. 

Even though the flood levels reduced in the Kilinochchi District, the people have returned to the welfare centres because of heavy rains. At present, nearly 18,000 families have been affected and all the essential requirements, including cooked food, dry rations and health facilities are being provided for them.
The President has instructed to provide all the essential facilities for the people without any shortage. It was decided to provide Rs.10,000 as an initial payment to a family to reconstruct their damaged houses and after estimating the damage, maximum of Rs. 250,000 each will be provided as compensation. The houses affected due to floods, market places, water wells, and toilets, were cleaned under the instructions of the President in collaboration with the state institutions.
The districts which were being affected and the crops were washed away completely will be provided compensation. It has been estimated that 8,000 fields were destroyed and Rs.40,000 per acre will be paid as compensation.
While resettling the people whose houses were not damaged, they will be provided with necessary utensils and equipment for making food.
The armed forces also have been deployed to provide cooked food and assist in resettlement activities and providing medical assistance to the people that are in flood affected areas. The Army media division announces that 300-400 soldiers have been assigned in 57 divisions for flood relief activities.
The Sri Lanka Navy has also deployed 6 teams to provide assistance to flood affected persons. The armed forces are working on rescuing people stranded in marooned areas in Mullaitivu district. The Sri Lanka Air Force planes make aerial identification of marooned persons and provide assistance to the Armed Forces rescue teams. They also assist distribution of flood relief.

 President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed relevant authorities to provide immediate relief to the people affected by the heavy rains and floods that prevailed in the Mullaitivu, Mannar and Kilinochchi District.

All necessary facilities will be provided to the people in the threatened areas until the floods subside, President Maithripala Sirisena instructed relevant authorities to release funds to the district secretaries promptly. The President has also instructed the Governor of the Northern Province, District Secretaries, the Army Commander and the Disaster Management Centers to carry out these relief programs expeditiously.
Due to the heavy rains that prevailed in the Northern Province, in the Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Mannar districts experienced severe floods. As a result, spill gates were opened in several reservoirs, including Iranamadu.
The affected districts are Mullaithivu, Kilinochchi and Mannar and the Disaster Management Center has taken steps to provide relief to those affected who are living in 40 camps operating in these districts.

 This is Christmas time. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prof. Maithree Wickremesinghe took time to visit the Paynters Children’s Home in Nuwara Eliya to make the children happy this season. The Prime Minister and Mrs. Wickremesinghe presented gift parcels to the children on their visit yesterday. (Pictures by Chandrasiri Mahagama).

New set of 17 State Ministers, 03 non-cabinet Ministers and 07 Deputy Ministers were sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday (21).

Non – Cabinet Ministers
1. Harsha de Silva -Minister of Economic Reform and Public Distribution
2. Ajith P. Perera -Minister of Digital Infrastructure Information Technology
3. Sujeewa Semasinghe -Minister of Science, Technology and Research
State Ministers
1. Ranjan Ramanayake -Minister of Highways and Road Development
2. (Mrs) Vijayakala Maheshwaran -Minister of Education
3. J.C. Alawathuwala -Minister of Home Affairs and Provincial Councils
4. Eran Wickramarathne -Minister of Finance
5. Ranjith Aluvihare -Minister of Tourism Development
6. Wasantha Aluvihare -Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural Economy
7. Lucky Jayawardhana -Minister of City Planning and Water Supply
8. Niroshan Perera -Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs
9. Dinendra Ruwan Wijewardhana- Minister of Defence
10. Champika Premadasa -Minister of Power and Renewable Energy
11. Ashoka Abeysinghe -Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation
12. Faizal Kassim -Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine
13. H.M.M. Harees -Minister of Provincial Council and Local Government
14. Ameer Ali -Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Rural Economy
15. Dilip Wedaarachchi -Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development
16. A.Z.M. Seyed -Minister of Social Empowerment
17. Vadivel Suresh -Minister of Plantation Industries

Deputy Ministers
1. (Mrs) Anoma Gamage – Deputy Minister of Petroleum Resources Development
2. Edward Gunasekara – Deputy Minister of Land and Parliamentary Affairs
3. Nalin Bandara Jayamaha- Deputy Minister of Development strategies and International Trade
4. Ajith Mannapperuma -Minister of Environment
5. Karunarathne Paranavithana- Deputy Minister of Skills Development & Vocational Training
6. Buddhika Pathirana -Minister of Industries and Commerce
7. Palitha Kumara Thewarapperuma -Deputy Minister of Social Empowerment

Documents presented to President

China donated 90 water bowzers to Sri Lanka, further marking the strength of Sri Lanka-China friendship since ancient times. The documents for this donations were presented to President Maithripala Sirisena by Chinese Ambassador, Cheng Shu Ann at the Presidential secretariat yesterday (December 19).
China has decided to donate these water bowzers, worth over Rs One billion, because of the difficulties faced by the people in certain areas due to adverse weather conditions.
Two water bowzers were presented symbolically at this event. The Ambassador presented the keys and registration documents of these bowzers to the President.
The President handed over the documents to the Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management.
After that, the President also observed water bowzers.
Secretary to the President Mr. Udaya R. Seneviratne and senior officials of the Chinese Embassy also participated in the event.

The new Cabinet of Ministers took their oaths before President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s office today (Dec 20)

The list is as follows –
01. Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe – Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison reforms, Northern Development, Vocational Training, Skill Development and Youth Affairs.
02. Hon. John Amaratunga – Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs.
03. Hon. Gamini Jayawickrema Perera- Minister of Buddha Sasana & North Western Province Development.
04. Hon.Mangala Samaraweera – Minister of Finances and Media
05. Hon. Lakshman Kiriella- Minister of Public Enterprise Development, Upcountry Heritage and Kandy Development
06. Hon. Rauff Hakeem – Minister of Town Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education
07. Hon. Tilak Marapana – Minister of Foreign Affairs
08. Hon. Rajitha Senarathne – Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine
09. Hon. Ravi Karunanayake- Minister of Power and Energy and Business Development
10. Hon. Vajira Abeywardhane- Minister of Internal & Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government
11. Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen- Ministry of Industry and Commerce and Resettlement and Cooperative Development
12. Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka- Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development
13. Hon. Naveen Dissanayake- Minister of Plantation Industries
14. Hon. P. Harrison- Minister of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs and Animal Husbandry Development.
15. Hon. Kabeer Hashim – Minister of Highways and Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development.
16. Hon. Ranjith Maddumabandara – Minister of Public Administration and Disaster Management
17. Hon. Gayantha Karunathilake – Minister of Lands and Parliamentary Reforms
18. Hon. Sajith Premadasa – Minister of Housing, Construction and Cultural affairs.
19. Hon Arjuna Ranatunga – Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation
20. Hon Palani Digambaran – Minister of Upcountry New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development
21. Hon Chandrani Bandara – Minister of Women and Child Affairs and Development of Dry Zones
22. Hon. Thalatha Athukorale – Minister of justice and Prison Reforms
23. Hon Akila Viraj kariyawasam – Minister of Education
24. Hon Abdul Haleem Mohamed Hashim – Minister of Postal Services and Muslim religious Affairs
25. Hon Sagala Ratnayake – Minister of Ports, Maritime Affairs and Southern Development
26. Hon Harin Fernando – Minister of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure facilities, Foreign Employment and Sports
27. Hon Mano Ganeshan – Minister of National Integration, Official Languages, Social Progress and Hindu Religious Affairs
28. Hon Daya Gamage – Minister of Labour, Trade Union Relations and Social Empowerment
29. Hon Malik Samarawickrema – Minister of Development Strategies, International Trade, Science, Technology and Research.

The Presidential Task Force to monitor the development projects conducted in Northern and Eastern provinces met under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena for the 5th time yesterday (17) at the Presidential Secretariat .

During the meeting, The Task Force reviewed the progress of the development projects implemented so far in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and the ways to accelerate the development process.
Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan, Governors of the Northern and Eastern provinces , Secretary to the President Udaya R Seneviratne, public servants, Ministry Secretaries, Inspector General of Police, Pujitha Jayasundara and others participated in this meeting.

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