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The demise of renowned media personality Kalakeerthi Dr. Edwin Ariyadasa, who made a massive contribution to the development of moral journalism, in addition to the advancement of a number of spheres of arts and humanities as a pioneer is deeply saddening. It is with immense admiration I recall his services to nurture the public with the wide-ranging knowledge he possessed in diverse fields.
Most, recognized Dr. Edwin Ariyadasa as a soaring tower in journalism. He began his media lif e in the Lake House and as a member of the editorial, he contributed greatly to promote a number of national newspapers. He was fluent in both Sinhala and English languages and, always was keen and enthusiastic in generously sharing what he learned in English with his Sinhala readers and listeners alike. Dr. Ariyadasa was often called the “Walking Encyclopedia” due to the vast knowledge he possessed.
Dr. Edwin Ariyadasa’s fascinating writing style and ability to explain complex subjects in simple and common language attracted tens of thousands of print and electronic media subscribers towards him. He was also well known as a writer and commentator who kept up with the current world economic, political and social affairs and other developments. His contribution to the establishment and development of Journalism in the local university curriculum is highly commendable.
Dr. Ariyadasa has added a plethora of terminology to the glossary of Journalism as a refined linguist. In addition, he was actively involved in introducing a variety of programs with the advent of television in the eighties. Dr. Edwin Ariyadasa was reputed as a science writer, film critic, and environmentalist. He has received numerous local and international awards and accolades, including ‘Kalakeerthi’, in appreciation of his exceptional skills in a number of disciplines.
Demise of Kalakeerthi Dr. Edwin Ariyadasa will leave a void, difficult to be filled in our society. May Dr. Edwin Ariyadasa attain supreme bliss of Nibbana.

Veteran journalist and media personality Kala Keerthi Edwin Ariyadasa passed away. He was 98 at the time of his demise.

Born on December 3, 1922, in Unawatuna, Galle, Ariyadasa is an alumnus of Mahinda College and the University of Ceylon where he obtained a degree in Sinhala and English languages. Teaching was his first profession, after which he entered the insurance field.

He found his true calling in journalism, having joined the Lake House in 1949. He had worked with Lake House founder D.R. Wijewardene, who passed away in 1950.

Ariyadasa worked for most of the newspapers published by Lake House, including the Daily News. He held the post of Editor, Navayugaya, for some time. Later, he was instrumental in establishing Mass Communication and Media courses at local universities. He is also a renowned writer on Buddhism and current topics and he continues to contribute to newspapers and magazines. He has authored several books in Sinhala and English.

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Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa extends his warm wishes to the US President Joe Biden and the Vice President Kamala Harris.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday congratulated US President Joe Biden who was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States at the US Capitol on Wednesday.

President Rajapaksa in a tweet congratulated the new US president and vowed to strengthen bilateral ties beneficial to both nations. ‘Congratulations & best wishes to President @JoeBiden on assumption of office as 46th President of the #USA. My government and I look forward to working together towards a stronger & mutually beneficial bilateral relationship’, he tweeted.

The President also congratulated Vice President Kamala Harris on her assumption of office as Vice President of the United States. ‘Congratulations and best wishes to Vice President @KamalaHarris on assumption of office as Vice President of the #USA. We look forward to working together towards a strengthened bilateral relationship’, the President tweeted.

A special meeting was held today (19) between the Ministry of Media and the Japan Embassy to quickly implement the popular TV digitalization in the country.
Minister of Media Cabinet Spokesperson Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella and Japanese Ambassador Akira Sugiyama (Akira Sugiyama) held this evening (19).
This was held as a special discussion in Japan Sri Lanka to translate Sri Lanka TV channels from ′′ Analog ′′ technology to digitalization.
When the Japanese Prime Minister came to the country in 2014, the basic agreement program was prepared for it. But the program has been united with the change of the government that took place then, Minister Rambukwella said.
The main aim here is to quickly install digitalization, the current worldwide television technologies.
According to this, 90 % of the program has been completed by now, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said.
The minister shows that Japan will own $ 162 million under a 0.025 % relief foundation for 25 years after 10 years.
Introducing this technology to the country, the TV channels in the country will make a huge transformation, the minister says. The Japanese government has given a reasonable response to this.
Secretary to the Ministry of Media Jagath P. Wijeweera, Director General Oshadha Senanayake, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Media (Governance) Ruwan Sathkumara and other officials participated in this.

Permanent solution to wild elephant problem

Commence all stalled development work in schools island-wide immediately….

  • Vedikachchiya villagers to get new houses
  • Fence to be erected to prevent damages caused by deer to crops
  • Water to cultivate both Seasons
  • Vocational training opportunities in the district to be expanded

–      President decided at “Discussion with the Village” programme

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said permission will be granted to farmers to engage in their traditional cultivation activities continuously without any disruption until related issues are resolved.

President arrived at this decision focusing on  issues fervently raised by the farmers who attended the 6th in the series of programme “Discussion with the Village”.

Officials of Wildlife, Forest Conservation, Environment, Police and other institutions were instructed by the President not to disturb with traditional cultivation activities. However, President emphasized that no one is allowed to clear forests newly for cultivational purposes.

Polonnaruwa is one of the districts severely affected by the threat posed by wild elephants. President instructed relevant parties to understand correctly the problem faced by the people for a long time and to commence construction of both trenches and electric fences as a permanent solution.

People gathered highlighted the disruption caused to the education of students due to the development work being stalled in many schools in the district. Paying attention to the matter, President Rajapaksa directed authorities to expedite the completion of all development work at schools in the island.

These decisions were taken by the President at the “Discussion with the Village” programme held in Wedikachchiya village in Medirigiriya in the Polonnaruwa district yesterday (16). This marks the 6th of the series of programme attended by the President.

The programme commenced on September 25th, 2020 from Badulla district. Five programmes have so far been organized covering Matale, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura and Ampara districts.

Meeting the people in remote areas outside the city who had not been given due hearing for a long time, President drew attention of the officials to inquire into the difficulties faced by the villagers and find solutions rapidly.  Problems that can be solved on the spot are instantly addressed. The rest which take time to deal with are noted down to find solutions later.

Vedikachchiya village in Medirigiriya Divisional Secretariat located around 45 km away from Polonnaruwa city belongs to Zone “D” of the Mahaweli Development project. Consisting villages of Samagipura, Darshanapura, Dahamwewa and Peramaduwa, the area covers around 79 square kilometers. The population in the village is 2561 people belonging to  723 families. Agriculture and self-employment are the sources of main livelihood of the people in Wedikachchiya and surrounding villages. One of the major problems faced by the villagers is that paddy cultivation has to be restricted only to the Maha Season due to shortage of water. This situation forces them to leave the village during the Yala Season seeking employment as hired labourers.

President stated that entirely new houses will be built replacing the existing ones in the Wedikachchiya village which lacks even basic facilities. The political authority and the officials in the district were instructed to take immediate steps to repair the canals and tanks and provide irrigation water as a solution to the long standing cultivation problems of the villagers enabling them to cultivate both the seasons.

People also pointed out the damage caused by deer to crops in Medirigiriya – Watadageya area. As a remedy, it was decided to erect a steel net fence covering habitats of deer. Governor of the North Central Province Maheepala Herath agreed to provide funds for this purpose.

President Rajapaksa emphasized the need to establish vocational training facilities for students who sit GCE (A/L) examination. The State Minister in charge of the subject would be made aware of this requirement and vocational training opportunities would be created, President said.

Attention of the President was particularly paid to the drinking water shortage in the area. President advised to complete the project to meet the demand for water of ten thousand families by constructing a water purification plant connecting Kaudulla Wewa and laying pipe lines before the end of 2021.

President instructed the officials of the Ministry of Power to provide “Solar Power Systems” free of charge to schools and low income families who are unable to pay their electricity bills.

Instructions were issued to fulfill existing un-met requirements in hospitals and schools in the area and expedite the development of number of main and byroads.

In parallel to “Discussion with the Village ” programme President participated in the opening of Mahaweli Primary School in Bisopura, Medirigiriya. President Rajapaksa invited former President Maithreepala Sirisena, who spearheaded the construction of the school to open it.

President handed over 02 computers donated by Sri Lanka Mobitel and a television set donated by Dialog to the Principal of the school.

Former President Maithreepala Sirisena, State Ministers Roshan Ranasinghe, Siripala Gamlath, Member of Parliament Amarakeerthi Athukorala, Governor of the North Central Province Maheepala Herath, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, political representatives of the area, Ministry Secretaries, heads of Government entities were among the gathering attended the “Discussion with the Village” programme.

  • BCI Degree admissions commence

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says a new education system that will protect the dignity of labour and aimed at creating a skilled society  will be introduced in the new normal environment.

A National Education Policy has already been formulated to achieve rapid development as well as to meet expected economic goals in a short period of time, President further said.

President Rajapaksa made these remarks participating at the official inauguration ceremony of registering the first batch of undergraduate students of Benedict the 16 Catholic Institution of Higher Education (BCI) in Negombo, today (15).

The BCI, a brainchild of His Eminence, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo was established in 2015 in honour of His Holiness Benedict XVI, one of the greatest scholars of the 21st century.  The BCI Institution is located at the Sri Lanka Teacher Training College premises, Minuwangoda Road, Bolawalana. Over 17,200 students have already successfully completed courses in English Language, IT and vocational courses during the past six years.

With the elevation to the level of degree awarding institute recognized by the University Grant Commission students now have the opportunity to pursue Bachelor of Business Management (BSc. Hons) and Bachelor of Information Technology (BSc.Hons) degree programmes in English Medium.

The President emphasized that he expects to give utmost priority to achieve excellence in higher education. He also pointed out the importance of producing more technocrats in the future by converting all universities to ‘smart learning universities’.

The President commended the progress made by the BCI Campus under the guidance of His Eminence, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, endowing the future with a generation empowered with technical knowledge, values as well as with a correct vision.

Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri delivered the keynote address titled “The Future of Business and Information Technology”. In his address, His Eminence, Malcom Cardinal Ranjith explained the future plans of the BCI Campus.

The President handed over letters of registration to a group of students representing the first batch of undergraduate students.

His Eminence, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith presented a memento to the President in appreciation of his services towards the establishment of the BCI Campus.

After the ceremony, President, Archbishop His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and the Minister of Education planted three sandalwood saplings at the premises.

The delegation headed by the President also made an observational visit to the BCI campus premises which is under construction.

Minister of Education Prof. G.L. Peiris , Governor of the Western Province, former Commander of the Air Force, Marshal of the Air Force, Roshan Goonetileke, State Ministers Sudarshani Fernandopulle, Nimal Lansa, Secretary of Education Prof. Kapila Perera and the BCI Campus Board of Directors were present on this occasion.

The first phase of the Park & Ride bus service was inaugurated at the Makumbura Multimodal Transport Center, Kottawa today (Jan. 15) in the presence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa as a solution to the heavy traffic congestion surrounding Colombo city limits.

The “Park & Ride” aims to minimize the number of automobiles travelling to and from Colombo and suburbs by providing a comfortable, convenient and safe public bus transportation for passengers and riders who use cars and motorcycles as their means of transportation. It also seeks to reduce environment pollution, time wasted on the road and the mental stress of the passengers.

The luxury buses used for the service will only carry seated passengers and the bus fare will be twice the regular fare. The buses will stop at limited stops to admit passengers and will reach the destination in a lesser time than regular buses. In addition, the staff is trained to offer a disciplined, friendly and attractive service to all the passengers alike. To ensure the smooth functioning of the service, a follow-up inspection will be carried out using new technology on daily basis. It will operate as a Clockwise and Anti Clockwise service covering both arrivals and departures from Colombo and into Colombo.

Passengers are facilitated to park their cars in Makumbura Multimodal Transport Center Vehicle Park free of charge and following the examination of the progress of the program, the space allocated for the cars is expected to be expanded. The buses in the service will travel every 15-minute interval between 6 am and 8 am in the morning and from 4 pm to 9 pm in the evening.

The buses will only travel every 25 minutes between 8 am and 4 pm and a total of 64 trips will take place every day.

“Park & Ride”, public transport service will be rendered in collaboration with the State Ministry of Vehicle Regulation, Bus Transport Services and Train Compartments and Motor Car Industry and Sri Lanka Transportation Board.

In addition, The National Transport Commission, Sri Lanka Police, Road Development Authority, Urban Development Authority, Colombo Municipal Council will also assist the program.

The President was briefed about the app launched by the Ministry of Transport which contains how the program functions and the time table.

The President also traveled in one of the buses deployed to the new “Park & Ride” Service and inspected the facilities as well.

In addition to the new public transport service, the unmanned OREL Store with goods run by Orange Electric was also opened by the President.

Minister of Transport Gamini Lokuge, State Minister Dilum Amunugama, Secretaries of the Line Ministries and other officials were present at the occasion.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared open Ferentino Tire Corporation- PVT Ltd,  largest tyre and radial tyre manufacturing factory in South Asia today (14).

The factory has been set up on a 155-acre land belongs to BOI Industrial Zone in Wagawatta, Horana. Investment of the first phase is USD 100 million. Manufacturing will be carried out using European technology and state-of-art equipment.

Special tyres will be manufactured for SUVs while catering to the demand in the world market for tyres for cars, bicycles and three-wheelers. 80% of the production will be exported and the remaining 20% will be supplied to the local market. The first stock of production will be exported to the USA this month.

Promotion of the export market potential of this country, generating a large number of direct and indirect employment opportunities and the ability for local rubber producers to obtain a higher price are some of the benefits of the factory.

The management of the factory has taken measures to recruit qualified women to fill the vacancies for technical positions beating adopted standards in the industrial sector. The factory is an eco-friendly entity.

Upon arrival at the event President Rajapaksa was welcomed by the Chairman of Ferentino Tyre Corporation- PVT Ltd Nandana Lokuvithana.

After unveiling the plaque President inspected the entire manufacturing process at the factory.

President presented a memento to Dewmi Yasasmi of Sumanajothi Vidyalaya in Ingiriya who obtained 200 marks in the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination held recently.

Maha Nayaka of Sri Kalyani Samagri Dhamma Maha Sangha Sabha, Sri Jayawardenepura, Kotte Most Ven.  Iththapane Sri Dhammalankara Thero and Maha Sangha, Ministers Wimal Weerawansa, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Mahinda Amaraweera, Ramesh Pathirana, State Ministers Piyal Nishantha, Kanaka Herath, D. V. Chanaka, Member of Parliament Sanjeewa Edirimanna, several officials of public and private institutes were among the gathering.

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