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Anti-terrorism clauses to be effective from midnight today
Tomorrow, National Day of Mourning


President Maithripala Sirisena president over an emergency meeting of National Security Council today (April 22) and following decisions were taken at the meeting.
The government has decided to Gazette the anti-terrorism legal clauses to be effective with effect from midnight today. This step has been taken to empower police to take effective measures to safeguard security of the people and the country.
April 23 has been declared a National Day of Mourning.
The issues pertaining to the organizations responsible for the explosions yesterday, the arrest of terror suspects and those who assisted them and the imperative need to take effective steps to eliminate such destructive forces were discussed at the meeting and the President has instructed the police and Tri-forces to take every possible action in the future.
President Sirisena will meet the foreign ambassadors and high commissioners to brief them on the developments and seek international assistance. The intelligence agencies have reported that there were international organizations behind these acts of local terrorists. Hence, it has been decided to seek international assistance for investigations.
The President has instructed the security forces to provide additional security to all the Catholic churches.
He also instructed the police, Tri-Forces and Defence Ministry to take the current developments into serious consideration and take all the required steps.
Meanwhile, police curfew has been imposed from 8.00 p.m. today to 4.00 a.m. tomorrow.

State Defence and Mass Media Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said the government will take action to curtail extremist groups involved in yesterday's explosions.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Sri Lanka Police and Tri-Forces have already launched investigations, the State Minister assured.
Wijewardene said the government will bear all expenses in relation to funerals of all the victims.
“The CID, Police and the Tri-Forces are carrying out investigations at the moment.We assure that all perpetrators involved in this unfortunate terrorist attack will be taken into custody soon. I think some of the culprits have been identified and we will take them into custody soon,” he added.
“The government has taken all precautions to keep this country and its people safe.We have spoken to the Defence Secretary, Tri-Forces Commanders and the IGP.We have decided to impose an islandwide curfew until the situation would be taken under control.The government will take action against whatever extremist group behind this situation.We will not give any chance for these extremist groups and will take any action and will not stop until these groups are wiped out from this country,” State Minister Wijewardene said.

President Maithripla Sirisena expressed his, shock, deep pain and dismay over the brutal attacks on places of religious worship and other civilian establishments.
He said that that he has instructed all law enforcement agencies and defence services to take every possible step to maintain law and order and conduct speedy investigations into the dastardly attack and bring the culprits and those who were behind this conspiracy to book.
“I have given instructions to take very stern action against the persons who are responsible for this conspiracy,” the President said and added that all required steps have been taken to fulfill the responsibilities as a government.
President Sirisena appealed to the nation to act with utmost restraint and patience, and not to be misled by baseless rumours and false stories. He also urged the people to extend unstinted support and cooperation to the government for the steps taken at this trying occasion.

 

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe issuing a special statement on the fatal explosion which took place around the country today (21), stated that law would be strictly enforced against the persons who are behind these attacks. Stating that relevant parties have been instructed to take stringent action to ensure the law and or order of the country, the Prime Minister requests everyone to join hands in this cause.

The complete statement of the Prime Minister is as follows:
“On behalf of the Government, I would like to offer my deepest sympathies to the injured persons and the relations of the deceased consequent to the recent attacks occurred this morning. I see this as an attempt to make the country and its economy unstable.
I condemn these attacks which targeted religious places and some hotels. We all should join hands to protect law and order. I have already instructed the Secretary / Defense, Tri Forces Commanders and the Inspector General of Police to take stringent action to ensure law and order in the country.
Further, I and some ministers had a discussion with the President in this regard. Secretary to the President, Attorney General, and Secretary to the Treasury, Secretary / Disaster Management and Security Chiefs were among the present.
Law will be strictly enforced against the persons those who are responsible for these attacks after finalizing the investigations.
We shall bear with this unfortunate situation and work together to uphold the law and order.

 President Maithripala Sirisena joined the ritual of planting a fruit sapling today (15th) morning at the auspicious time 11.17 am in the presidential official residence.

The auspicious time to plant a sapling was 11.17 a. m. today morning, facing the East, suitably wearing a white dress was added to this Sinhala and Tamil New Year rituals.
President appealed to all Sri Lankans to plant a sapling or a seed at the auspicious time 11.17 a. m. today, thus fulfilling the individual responsibility for the sake of the future generation and sustenance of environment.

 Keeping with the tradition, President Maithripala Sirisena performed New Year rituals today (April 14) at his Official Residence in Colombo.

The President joined the ritual to light the hearth with Mrs. Jayanthi Sirisena and other members of the immediate family.
The President planted a sapling at his official residence at the auspicious time.
Thereafter he engaged in the tradition of transactions for the New Year.
Many people including Parliamentarians and artists visited the President’s residence to greet the President for the New Year.
Issuing a message to mark the dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, President Maithripala Sirisena called on the people of the country to collectively commit themselves to fulfill national expectations.
Meanwhile, a custom of tree planting has been added to this year’s New Year customs. The auspicious time to plant a sapling is 11.17 a. m. tomorrow, facing the East, suitably wearing a white dress.
President Maithripala Sirisena appealed to all Sri Lankans to plant a sapling or a seed at the auspicious time 11.17 a m tomorrow, thus fulfilling the individual responsibility for the sake of the future generation and sustenance of environment.

Senior journalist, newspaper editor, and author Kalakeerthi Dr. Edwin Ariyadasa, author and lyricist Lucian Bulathsinghala and veteran media personality Karunaratne Amarasinghe receiving the Lifetime Awards from President Maithripala Sirisena at the BMICH Journalists in the country have a free and a suitable environment for their reporting at present under the present government, Non-Cabinet Minister of Mass Media Ruwan Wijewardene said.He said the journalists appear on behalf of the entire society and therefore, it is their role to expose the real truth to the society. The minister was addressing the country’s first ever Presidential Media Awards Ceremony held at the BMICH yesterday.

He said, the web media at present have become the most-used type of media by the people due to their busy lives. “But, due to some web media which provide misleading information to the public, many web media providing true information have faced difficulties,” the minister said.
“Journalists are not ordinary people. They have to engage in their profession disregarding their personal lives, the minister said and added that therefore, they expect to help them to go ahead with the new technology.Addressing the ceremony, Northern Province Governor and a member of the Panel of Judges Dr. Suren Raghavan pointed out the need of an investigative journalistic culture in the country to address the prevailing issues.
He said there is no such culture in the country simply because journalists are afraid for their lives. “We need to address this issue,” he added. Raghavan also suggested setting up a Commission or a regulatory body for journalistic ethics. “This is more important than anything else”, he added.

 Several programs under the National Food Production Program launched

The second phase of ‘Rata Wenuwen Ekata Sitimu’ (Let’s be together) national development program was launched yesterday (08th) targeting Batticaloa District.
In accordance with the instructions and guidance of President Miathripala Sirisena, the Presidential Secretariat commenced the Programme of Ekata Sitimu (Let’s be together) with the aim of monitoring the implementation of national development projects such as Gramashakthi Programe, National Drug Prevention Programme, Protect Children National Programme, National Chronic Kidney Prevention Programme, National Food Production Programme and Environment Protection Programme and special development projects and various programmes implemented by the different Ministries ensure that they are implemented efficiently and productively for the benefit of the public.
This program will also help to identify the public issues already identified by the government institutions and work to solve these issues with maximum efficiency through the state mechanism.
The very first program was held in the Puttlam district recently and it is now planned to implement as the Island wide program at district level.
The second phase of the project will be held until on 12th of April covering all (14) Divisional Secretariats in Batticaloa District.
At the same time, several development programs were implemented under the National Food Production Program in several Divisional Secretariats in the district.
Its first programme was held at Thanthamelai area in the Manmunei Divisional Secretariat where of supplementary food crop seeds were distributed and awareness programs for farmers were also held.
In addition, TOM EJC mango plants, Water pump, peanut seeds were also distributed and awareness program for farmers in Manmulai, Kokkadicholai area were conducted.
The program was organized in Manmunaiiputthu, Kirankulam Central area and the Eravur Pattu, Mawalayaru area at Koralayapattu Central area. Additional seeds were distributed among farmers and held awareness program for farmers as well.

 The 52nd National “Aluth Sahal Mangalya” ceremony, which is one of ancient rituals to offer the inaugural harvest to the triple gems of Buddhism, was held at the historical Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi premises under the auspices of President Maithripala Sirisena, yesterday (07).

The event had been organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian Services under the guidance of the Atamasthanadhipathi Ven. Dr. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thera.
A large number of farmers from different parts of the country were present at the traditional ceremony. Blessings were invoked, for the country and the nation, at the event, with the wishes of timely showers, bountiful of harvest and prosperous economy for the country.
It is a traditional customary in Sri Lanka to offer the inaugural harvest of the paddy cultivation, which is also known as the “Buddha Boghaya”, to the Buddha and deities.

 

 Sri Lanka will be a developed country only if it becomes the hub of the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told the third meeting of the Asia Europe Political Forum (AEPF) and International Conference of Asian Political Parties 2019, launched in Colombo, yesterday.

“Sri Lanka has a very friendly relationship with other countries in the region. India has been our historical partner, which in fact, extends up to Pakistan and Bangladesh. We have an excellent relationship with Japan since the San Francisco Peace Conference, and we are one of the first countries which recognised the People’s Republic of China. The best example of this friendliness would be our expressway. China, Japan, India and ourselves all together have constructed the expressway in the country,” the Prime Minister said.“We are maintaining these relationships, else Sri Lanka cannot be the hub of the Indian Ocean,” he added.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe also highlighted the importance of the Maritime Silk Road initiated by China under the theme, ‘One Belt One Road’.“The Mediterranean sea and the Indian Ocean are the oldest trade routes in the world. We have to remember, a bulk of world transport goes through the Indian Ocean. We are now putting together this system back which was broken by the Western colonial powers,” he said.“Japan and India currently working together on the Asia-Africa growth corridor and India itself are focusing towards the region with their, look West, act East and neighbourhood first policy,” he added.
India is our partner from our history. We share same civilization with Pakistan and Bangladesh. We joined Japan at the San Francisco Conference. Despite the opposition from the United States, Sri Lanka recognized People's Republic of China and first signed a trade agreement. We will maintain this situation. We do not get caught up in someone's competition."
"Many people consider that the Hambantota port is a Chinese military base. I accept that there will be an army camp. But it is a Sri Lanka navy camp. Once installed, a Sri Lankan Rear Admiral will be in control. Any ship from any country can come there. But we control the operations," the Prime Minister added.
Speaking further, the Premier said Sri Lanka can develop only if it becomes the hub of the Indian Ocean and in another twenty years Sri Lanka will become the hub in the Asian market.
The Third meeting of the Asia-Europe Political Forum (AEPF) and the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) will be held in Colombo from 5 to 7 April 2019.Approximately (90) ninety participants representing political parties in Asia and Europe are expected to be in attendance at this International Conference.
The Conference is organized by the Ministry of Primary Industries and Social Empowerment in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Minister Daya Gamage will be the co-chairman of the conference.The ICAPP, established in 2000, aims to promote mutual understanding between Asian and European countries. Sri Lanka is a functioning state of ICAPP.
The international conference is being held with the objective to promote cooperation among different political parties in order to enhance mutual understanding and confidence among Asian countries, to promote regional co-operation and to create an environment for sustainable peace and prosperity.

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