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 Replicas of Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher and Missile launcher produced by Sri Lanka for the first time in the history were presented to President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday (26).

The first Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher and Missile launcher produced by the Center for Research and Development under the Ministry of Defence, utilizing its past war experiences exhibited at the recently held 71st National Day celebrations.
Director General of the Centre for Research & Development, Dr. Tiran De Silva presented those replicas to the President.

 

 Minister Mangala Samaraweera was sworn in as Finance Minister while State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene was sworn in as non Cabinet Media Minister before President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s official residence. Pictures by Presidential Media Division

 A loan agreement was signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and AFD for a EUR 75 million (around Rs. 15 billion) project in Ratmalana and Moratuwa on Monday 18th February 2019.

The financing agreement was signed by Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga and AFD Country Director Martin Parent, in the presence of Ambassador of France for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Mr. Eric Lavertu, at the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media.
The Ratmalana/Moratuwa Wastewater Disposal Project aims at improving access to the sewerage service for 45,000 residents of Ratmalana and Moratuwa. It will include significant extension of the sewerage network and more than 10,000 domestic, commercial and industrial connections. Sewage will be treated by the existing Ratmalana wastewater treatment plant.
In order to enhance the expected positive impacts, the project will include information, education and communication campaigns to promote sanitation and hygiene.
The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) will implement the project over a period of five to six years. NWSDB already prepared the project design with the support of an AFD-financed Engineering Consultant.
Blue Economy is key for Sri Lanka, being an Island. Blue Economy is a major source of foreign currency, jobs but also food security. It is also a challenge for the environment and the sustainability itself of its strong potential. 70% of the already 2.2 million tourists and 4 million expected by 2020 are focusing on the coastline. Furthermore, today, more than 3 million inhabitants live less than a kilometre away from the coast. In that context, projects like this AFD funded project, which will mitigate negative impacts of human activities (water pollution above all) while enhancing Blue Economy potential are very important for Sri Lanka development.

 

The inauguration ceremony of the EkataSitimu (Let’s be together) national programme and the cultural extravaganza launched in parallel with the 71st National Day was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Dutch Hospital premises in Fort, yesterday (12).

This movement has been launched with the firm determination of working as a one nation set aside all the differences. The aim of this project is to create a prosperous country while joining hands with all patriotic forces.
This programme is jointly implemented by the Special Project Unit of the Presidential Secretariat, the Ministry of Defence and the Sri Lanka Army.
The inauguration ceremony was colourful with a grandeur cultural extravaganza, including the performances by the Army Band, displaying the talents of disabled war heroes and various cultural events.
Motor racing champion Dilantha Malagamuwa presented the EkataSitimu Sandeshaya to the President on this occasion.
The technical equipment to launch the Ekata Sitimu (Let’s be together) programme was presented to the President by the Army Commander Lt. General Mahesh Senanayake.
Dignitaries including Parliamentarian Dilan Perera, Secretary to the President Udaya R. Seneviratne, Army Commander Lt. General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force, Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy and Heads of the Security Forces were also present on this occasion.

 The Committee appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to obtain suggestions for the restructuring of SriLankan Airlines presented its report to the President yesterday. The committee headed by State Minister Eran Wickremaratne was appointed on January 7 and it comprised 12 members. The Committee was given two weeks to compile its report of recommendations to the President on improving the services of SriLankan Airlines. Wickremaratne said that the Committee has made recommendations on three aspects including debt restructuring and earning of capital. He said that the Committee is of the view that the airline should carry forward their activities while placing more emphasis on debt restructuring and earning of capital. The Committee has also recommended to focus on an independent Board of Directors and Management, restricting the human resources of the company and an independent procurement process among others.

 

The development objective of the proposed project is “to increase the utilization and quality of primary health care services, with an emphasis on detection and management of non-communicable diseases in high-risk population groups, in selected areas of the country”.

This objective will be achieved by supporting the reorganization and strengthening of the Sri Lankan primary health care system. Specifically, the project will support the development and roll out of policies and standards and strengthening of various supportive systems. The project will lay the foundation for a more integrated, coordinated, and people-centered delivery system.
The primary beneficiaries of the project will be the users of public Primary Health Care (PHC) Institutions in the selected communities of the country. The primary users of the public PHC Institutions tend to be the poorer segments of the population. Within the communities supported by the project, those who are most at risk of having or developing a severe or catastrophic Non-communicable Disease (NCD) will be the primary target. Project interventions will benefit the health sector staff at the central and provincial levels by strengthening their capacities and making resources available to plan and execute the strategy for strengthening PHC services.
The project consists of the following components:
• Implementation of the PHC System Reorganization and Strengthening Strategies
• Project Implementation Support and Innovation Grants
• Contingent Emergency Response Component
A Project Steering Committee (PSC) will be established and co-chaired by the secretaries of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and Ministry of Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Governments. The additional members will consist of secretary to the Finance Commission, nine Provincial Chief Secretaries, and representatives from the central Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and provincial Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine.
The financing agreement of the aforementioned project was signed by Dr. R H S Samaratunga, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and Ms. Idah Z Pswarayi – Riddihough, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives on behalf of the World Bank on January 23, 2019 at the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media.

 Ministry of Finance and Mass Media calls upon all stakeholders including the general public to make their proposals for the Budget -2019 before the February 11 as their contribution to ensure introduction of a successful budget targeting building a strong Economy and an Enriched country.

The Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mr. Mangala Samaraweera will present the Budget – 2018 in the Parliament on March 05, aiming at building an enriched country with a strong economy
The Finance ministry expects to mould the public policies in accordance with the aspirations of the community under the theme of democracy, reconciliations and development, which are the main three pillars of this Government. This will be a performance based budget and necessary allocation for projects will be made available on the basis of the action plan prepared and submitted by the respective ministries.
Accordingly, professionals, scholars, the general public and those who are engaged in the sectors of Manufacturing, services and the agriculture are requested to send in their proposals for the budget – 2019 before February 11 to reach the following address
Director General,
Dept. of Trade & Investment Policy,
Ministry of Finance and Mass Media,
The Secretariat,
Colombo 01 or it could also be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in the country last night (19th) after successfull visit to the Philippines. He brought a host of benefits to the country in that state visit.

The President left for the Philippines on a four-day state visit on January 15th and this was the first time that a Sri Lankan Head of State has been invited for a state visit to the Philippines during fifty eight years diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) expressed his willingness to provide loans of US $ 455 million for three major projects in Sri Lanka, which was a special benefit of the President’s visit.
President Sirisena signed a five-year action plan between the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Philippines as a part of significant gains during his state visit to the Philippines. This national action plan was signed with regard to the implementation of the national plan for self-sufficiency for rice in Sri Lanka. It is to achieve goal of making Sri Lanka a self-sufficient nation in rice and to reduce the impacts on climate change.
The head of the police and senior officials of the drug prevention unit met with the President and he said that an open battle against illegal drugs is being carried out in Sri Lanka. The Philippines promised to send a specialist team to Sri Lanka to inquire on the technical expertise that can be provided to eradicate drug smuggling. This assistance is provided as a special benefit obtained by Sri Lanka from the President of Philippines.
President Sirisena arrived at Mannila, Ninoy Akino International Airport on the 15th, with the Sri Lankan delegation and warmly welcomed by a delegation of special representatives including the Minister of Trade and Industry of Philippine.
President Sirisena first attended a wreath-laying ceremony in Rizal Park, where he paid his respects to Philippine National Hero before heading to the palace where he was received by President Duterte.
The Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte hosted a dinner in honour of President Sirisena, at the official residence of the President of the Philippines, Malacañan Palace on 16th. President Duterte presented a portrait of President Sirisena to the Sri Lankan President.
After meeting with the head of states of the two countries, the Philippine President Duterte, addressing the media stated that they are committed to strengthening the Philippines and Sri Lanka relations with a trusted friendship.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines said that the Parliament of the Philippines will extend fullest support to implement the programmes for development cooperation with Sri Lanka proposed by the Philippines President, with the aim of assisting Sri Lanka.
During his visit, the President also inspected the Asian Development Bank headquarters in Mannila. Another important event took place in the premises of International Rice Research Institute in order the appreciate the services rendered by the President for Agriculture a paddy field at the premises was named after President Sirisena. The commemoration plaque was also unveiled by the President.
President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in the country after concluding his state visit to the Philippines and he brought a host of benefits to the country within that state visit.

 • ADB ready to provide technical assistance to Sri Lanka to curb illegal drug smuggling 

• ADB assistance for projects which aim to mitigate damages from climate changes


The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has promised to President Maithripala Sirisena to provide a total sum of US Dollars 445 million ADB assistance to Sri Lanka for its three major projects.
This agreement was reached when President Sirisena, who is on a state visit to the Philippines, made an observational visit to the Headquarters of ADB in Manila, yesterday (17) and met with the President of the Asian Development Bank Takehiko Nakao.
They include, US Dollars 300 million under the South Asian Sub-region Economic Cooperation (SASEC) assistance for the Port Access Elevated Highway Project (PAEHP).
Furthermore, ADB agreed to provide US$ 145 million for Science & Technology, Human Resource Development Program in Sri Lanka. The Bank also agreed to provide an additional US$ 10 million for Urban project Preparatory Facility Technical Assistance.
The agreements were signed by President Maithripala Sirisena and ADB President Takehiko Nakao.
During this meeting, President Sirisena further said that today Sri Lanka is facing two major challenges and those challenges are elimination of poverty from the country and curbing drug smuggling. The President also said that the country is expecting a prominent assistance from ADB in the process of curbing drug smuggling into Sri Lanka and eradicating poverty.
The Philippines President said that the ADB could provide technical assistance to the customs department for strengthening illegal drug detection.
Speaking at the event, President Sirisena said that Sri Lanka is suffering from both drought and floods and there is a need for a formal programme to face it. The ADB agrees to assist in Climate Change Mitigation projects in Sri Lanka.
The President explains the programme of the government of Sri Lanka implemented to achieve success in the sustainable development goals and also it was an essential to develop the economy in the country. Meanwhile, ADB President elucidates that although the expected targets are not completely achieved, but Sri Lanka has been able to bring a remarkable economic growth rate.
The President of the ADB said that ADB is supporting Sri Lanka at present in the fields of energy protection, agriculture, infrastructure, climate and environment protection, forestry, and the support will continue. In addition, he also said that in the near future, it will be expected to assist in the development of new projects in irrigation, highways and digital infrastructure development in Sri Lanka.
The ADB President is expected to provide special assistance to develop financial management through the development of small and medium scale agriculture in the country.
Thus the ADB President who appreciated the progress gained in the field of health in Sri Lanka and said that the Asian Development Bank will look into the possibility of supporting pogrammes to develop the tourism field.
The President who made aware the ADB President on the program conducted by Sri Lanka on environmental conservation said that the expectation is to develop the forest density of the country from 28% to 32% and that he made discussions with the Minister of Environment over the matter and urged the support of the ADB President in this matter.
In order to eradicate the damage done to crops by the animals the President discussed with the ADB President over the need of an immediate programme.
The President was thankful for the cooperation provided by ADB in building healthy ties with Sri Lanka since 1966 more than a half a century and appreciated contribution made by ADB towards the other developing countries of the region.
Thkehiko Nakao, who recalled the official visits made by him to Sri Lanka in several times said that he is happy on the transformative condition that is prevailing in the country. Sri Lanka is one country that is suitable to travel within the other Asian countries said, the President of ADB, Thkehiko Nakao.

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