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  Defense secretary assures KNDU bill will not cause any hindrance to the country’s free education

July 23, Colombo: The 90% of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University’s (KDU) lecturers are civilians, and therefore, new Act broached for Kotelawala National Defense University (KNDU) will not cause any hindrance to the country’s free education, the Defense Secretary Gen. Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) asserted.

The motive behind the bill is to keep on higher education for brilliant students who are marginally deprived of the facility after Advanced Level Examination, the Defense Secretary said while addressing a media brief held on a zoom-based video conferencing platform at the Government Information Department, yesterday.

  About 800 people drown annually in Sri Lanka - Health Ministry:
July 24, Colombo: Every year about 800 Sri Lankans die due to drowning and it is the second cause for unintentional injury deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

 Court permits police to detain and question MP Bathiudeen’s wife and three others:
July 24, Colombo: The Colombo Magistrate’s Court has granted permission for Police to detain MP Rishad Bathiudeen’s wife, and three others for 48 hours and interrogate over the death of a 16-year-old girl who was employed at the MP’s residence and the rape of another female domestic aide within the same premises.

 Another opportunity for students to apply for university admission:
July 24, Colombo: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has decided to grant another opportunity from next Monday for the applicants to submit applications for admission to universities based on the results of the 2020 Advanced Level Examination.

  Inter-province public transport to resume on 1st August:
July 24, Colombo: State Minister of Transport Dilum Amunugama says it is planned to start public transport services between the provinces from the 1st of August. However, He said that inter-province public transport will resume with certain limitations.

 Suspects including MP Rishad Bathiudeen’s wife arrested over 16-year-old maid’s death to be produced in court today:
July 24, Colombo: Three suspects including MP Rishad Bathiudeen’s wife arrested by the police yesterday (23) in connection with the death of a 16-year-old girl will be produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court No. 2 this morning, Police Media Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said.

 Government agencies given instructions to limit spending :
July 24, Colombo: The government has decided to severely limit the expenditure of state institutions for a period of six months, according to a report in Sinhala daily Lankadeepa.

 Hambantota Port increases bulk cargo handling productivity by 100%:
July 24, Colombo: The Hambantota International Port (HIP) recorded their highest discharge levels of bulk cargo recently, when a shipment of gypsum consigned to Insee Cement was unloaded at a rate of 24,000 Metric tons per day by port operations.

 ComBank partners Moratuwa University to support academic research:
July 24, Colombo: The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has come forward to provide a stimulus for academic research in Sri Lanka via a ground-breaking collaboration with the University of Moratuwa (UoM), the country’s leading provider of technological higher education.

 SLLDC to scale up organic fertilizer production capacity of Kerawalapitiya waste management park :
July 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation has given a positive start to the Government’s policy decision on the use of organic fertilizer and has initiated a program to increase the amount of bio-organic compost produced at the Kerawalapitiya solid waste management park from 15 metric tons (MT) per day to 50 MT per day, according to the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing.

 Coronavirus update: 1,815 new COVID-19 cases identified Friday, total rises to 293,113:
July 23, Colombo: According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 1,815 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Friday.
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 Defense secretary assures KNDU bill will not cause any hindrance to the country’s free education :
July 23, Colombo: The 90% of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University’s (KDU) lecturers are civilians, and therefore, new Act broached for Kotelawala National Defense University (KNDU) will not cause any hindrance to the country’s free education, the Defense Secretary Gen. Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) asserted.

 Debt relief extended for people in the tourism sector affected by the pandemic:
July 23, Colombo: The government has taken steps to extend the debt relief period by another six months for the people in the tourism sector which has been affected hard by the Coronavirus pandemic.

 Focus on raising the minimum age to employ children as domestic servants:
July 23, Colombo: The Commissioner General of Labor, Prabhath Chandrakeerthi, has stated that the authorities focus on raising the minimum age for employment to 18 years.

 Sri Lanka Navy arrests a suspect with a haul of Kerala cannabis worth over Rs. 32 million :
July 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy seized over 107 kg of Kerala cannabis and apprehend a suspect, during a foot patrol conducted in the beach area of Kadeikadu, Vettalakeni on 22 July 2021, Navy Media Unit said.

 Sri Lanka confirms 43 Covid-19 deaths occurred on Thursday, toll exceeds 4,000:
July 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka Friday reported that 43 deaths due to COVID-19 occurred on Thursday, July 22, 2021.

 New UK scheme aims to drive trade with Sri Lanka and boost jobs and growth:
July 23, Colombo: On 19 July the UK Government launched a consultation on new trading rules. The UK Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) is a major opportunity to grow free and fair trade with 70 qualifying countries including Sri Lanka.

 Two more areas released from isolation:
July 23, Colombo: General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army, Head of the National Operations Center for Prevention of Covid 19 outbreak announced that two areas in Matale district will be released from isolation with effect from 6.00 AM today, July 23, 2021.

  Rishad Bathiudeen’s brother-in-law arrested for rape:
July 23, Colombo: A brother of parliamentarian Rishad Bathiudeen’s wife has been arrested in connection with the rape of a 22 - year - old girl who was working as a servant at the official residence of former minister, police spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said.

 Three including MP Rishad Bathiudeen’s wife arrested over the death of 16-year-old maid:
July 23, Colombo: Police Media Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana stated that three persons, including the wife of MP Rishad Bathiudeen, have been arrested in connection with the death of a 16-year-old domestic helper at the parliamentarian’s private residence.

 Cabinet paper to eliminate teacher salary anomalies to cabinet on Monday:
July 23, Colombo: Education Minister Prof. GL Peiris has informed the teachers’ unions that the Cabinet paper on the elimination of teacher salary anomalies is being prepared to be submitted to the Cabinet next Monday.

 Dialog Television extends access to Nenasa and Guru TV education channels free of charge:
July 23, Colombo: Furthering its efforts to ensure that no child is left behind in continuing their education, Dialog Axiata Group, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, extended free access to its education bouquet Nenasa Sinhala, Nenasa Tamil and Guru TV channels through Dialog Television and ViU App.

 The digitalization of cinemas should be standardized - COPE Chairman :
July 23, Colombo: Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Prof. Charitha Herath said that many problems have arisen due to the lack of standards in the digitalization of cinemas.

  Focus on employing new contractors for road development:
July 22, Colombo: The time has come to identify new contractors and give them the opportunity to expedite road development, said Highways Minister Johnston Fernando.
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 Coronavirus update: 1,721 new COVID-19 cases identified Thursday, total rises to 291,298:
July 22, Colombo: According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 1,721 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Thursday.

  New Ambassador and High Commissioner to Sri Lanka present credentials to President:
July 22, Colombo: A newly appointed Ambassador and High Commissioner to Sri Lanka presented their credentials to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House this morning (22).
 Sri Lanka’s national inflation remains unchanged at 6.1percent in June 2021:
July 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s nationwide inflation in June 2021 determined under the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) remained unchanged at 6.1 percent from the month of May on a year-on-year basis due to the statistical effect of the high base prevailed in June 2020, the Department of Census and Statistics reported Wednesday (July 21).
 Government incurred losses of Rs. 03 billion due to the low tax levied by the Customs when importing Smart Cabs - COPA report :
July 22, Colombo: The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) has observed that when the Toyota Hilux Smart Cabs were imported by the Customs, levying of less customs duties intended for singles cabs, a loss of Rs 3 billion had occurred at Rs 01 million for each of the 3000 vehicles.
 COPA report recommends to urgently change the policy pursued so far to prevent human-elephant conflict :
July 22, Colombo: The parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) has recommended that the policy pursued so far to prevent human-elephant conflict should be changed urgently as the conflict has aggravated over the decades with an increasing number of human and elephant deaths as well as property damage.
  Dehiwala Zoo and Ridiyagama Safari Zoo reopen from 26th July:
July 22, Colombo: The National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela and the Ridiyagama Safari Park, which were closed to the public since last May due to the Covid epidemic, are scheduled to reopen to the public, Ishini Wickremesinghe the Director General of the Department of National Zoological Gardens announced.
 Maldives President meets with President Rajapaksa during private visit to Sri Lanka :
July 22, Colombo: Maldives’ President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has paid a courtesy call on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, during his current unofficial private visit to Sri Lanka.
 Rs. 251 million tax revenues earned from the telecast of foreign tele dramas and films in local media - Media Minister :
July 22, Colombo: The Minister of Mass Media Keheliya Rambukwella has stated that after the resumption of tax on foreign tele dramas and films telecasted through local media from February 2021 which was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic a revenue of Rs. 251 million has been received thus far.
 Parliament will convene for 4 days in the first week of August:
July 22, Colombo: The Committee on Parliamentary Business chaired by the Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena held on the 19th July, has decided that the Parliament will convene for four days from August 03rd until the 06th.
 Sri Lanka confirms 42 Covid-19 deaths occurred on Wednesday, toll rises to 3,959:
July 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka Thursday reported that 42 deaths due to COVID-19 occurred on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
  Sri Lanka’s weakening external finances to pressure corporate ratings:
July 22, Colombo: Sri Lankan corporates could face rating pressure should the government further restrict imports amid weakening external finances, Fitch Ratings says in a new report.
 SriLankan Airlines wins ‘Best in managing health at work’ at Asian Leadership Awards 2021:
July 22, Colombo: SriLankan Airlines emerged victorious at the prestigious Asian Leadership Awards (ALA) 2021 by winning the award for “Best in managing health at work” in the “Asian HR Leadership Awards” category.
 189 arrested for violating quarantine laws:
July 22, Colombo: Police Media Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said 189 persons have been arrested for violating quarantine laws in the past 24 hours.
 U.S. donates 500,000 Rapid Diagnostic Tests to Sri Lanka for early COVID-19 detection:
July 22, Colombo: The United States has donated 500,000 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) as part of its commitment to support Sri Lanka’s fight against COVID-19.
 Sri Lanka receives another two million doses of China’s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine :
July 22, Colombo: Another two million doses of China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine have been brought to Sri Lanka from Beijing Thursday morning (July 22).
 HNB ranked among Top 1,000 World Banks 2021 once again:
July 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s largest retail bank, HNB PLC, achieved another important milestone in its transformation journey, after once again securing its ranking in the prestigious UK based- The Banker Magazine’s Top 1,000 World Banks for the fifth year in a row.
 FIU imposes Rs. 3.0 million of penalties on two financial institutions for non-compliance with FTRA during 2Q 2021:
July 21, Colombo: The Financial Intelligence Unit of Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has imposed penalties on two financial institutions in second quarter of 2021 for failing to comply with the Financial Transactions Reporting Act (FRTA) as a measure to enforce compliance.
  All rice mill owners agree to purchase paddy stocks at government guaranteed prices:
July 21, Colombo: For the first time in history, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Trade held a discussion with the owners of large and small scale rice mills at the Ministry of Agriculture today (21) regarding the purchase of paddy.
  Finance Minister instructs officials not to burden the public:
July 21, Colombo: Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Finance said it is the responsibility of the people’s representatives and officials to act in a manner that does not cause inconvenience to the people at a time when the country is in a difficult situation due to the epidemic.
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 Coronavirus update: 1,604 new COVID-19 cases identified Wednesday, total rises to 289,577:
July 21, Colombo: According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 1,604 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Wednesday.
  Interim report of Commission of Inquiry on alleged human rights and IHL violations handed over to the President:
July 21, Colombo: The interim report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to probe alleged human rights and International Humanitarian Laws violations has been handed over to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (20).
 Joint program of ministries to provide solutions to environmental damage resulted from X-Press Pearl fire:
July 21, Colombo: Mohan de Silva, the newly appointed State Minister of Coast Conservation and Low-Lying Lands Development, today inquired about the environmental damage caused by the MV X-Press Pearl, the Singapore-registered cargo ship that caught fire and sank in the Sri Lankan waters off Colombo Harbor last month.
  Floating solar power plant to be built in Diyawanna:
July 21, Colombo: Power Minister Dullas Alahapperuma has said that plans are afoot to build the first floating solar power plant on Diyawanna Lake.
  Measures to establish more children’s courts to improve juvenile justice system in Sri Lanka :
July 21, Colombo: Steps have been taken to establish more children’s courts and amend the outdated laws to improve the juvenile justice system in Sri Lanka to adequately deal with children in conflict with the law, Sujatha Alahapperuma, Attorney-at-Law, Deputy Chairperson of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said.
  Sri Lanka confirms 47 Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, toll rises to 3,917:
July 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka Wednesday reported that 47 deaths due to COVID-19 occurred on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.
 President requests Muslim devotees to pay special attention to Covid situation when celebrating Hajj festival:
July 21, Colombo: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the Covid-19 pandemic has put restrictions on engaging in traditional beliefs and practices for the safety and social well-being of everyone and requested the Muslim devotees celebrating the Hajj festival to pay special attention to the situation when engaging in rituals.
 Hirunika files petition against Presidential pardon for Duminda Silva:
July 21, Colombo: Former Member of Parliament Hirunika Premachandra, the daughter of the late Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, has filed a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court against the Presidential pardon for Duminda Silva, who was sentenced to death for the murder of her father.
 Road accident deaths on the rise:
July 21, Colombo: Seven people have been killed in road accidents in the past 24 hours, and most of them have died in motorcycle accidents, the police said.
  CID seizes phone belonging to an employee of Rishad Bathiudeen’s house :
July 21, Colombo: In addition to the Borella Police, the Colombo South Crime Investigation Division and the Colombo South Children and Women’s Bureau have also commenced investigations into the burning death of a 16-year-old girl who was employed as a maid in the house of MP Rishad Bathiudeen.
 HNB ‘Oba Venuwen Api’ initiative donates ultrasound scanner to IDH:
July 21, Colombo: In an effort to enhance facilities for COVID-19 patients at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), Sri Lanka’s leading private sector bank HNB PLC donated a state-of-the-art ultrasound scanning machine through its Oba Venuwen Api initiative to support the healthcare sector.
 Brandix responds to Human Rights Watch article on Garment Workers:
July 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s leading garment manufacturer, Brandix has responded to an article by the Human Rights Watch titled ‘Sri Lanka: Protect Garment Workers’ Rights During Pandemic’
 Coronavirus update: 1,554 new COVID-19 cases identified Tuesday, total rises to 287,973:
July 20, Colombo: According to Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry, 1,554 new COVID-19 cases were reported so far on Tuesday.
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 Assistance of experts and researchers sought for special parliamentary committees :
July 20, Colombo: The Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said that the attention of the Parliamentary Liaison Committee was drawn to seek the assistance of experts and researchers for special committees such as the Committee on Public Finance, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA).
 Trade Minister guarantees not to increase LP gas prices:
July 20, Colombo: Trade Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena says that despite the increase in LP gas prices in the world market, the price of gas in Sri Lanka will not increase.
 Court permits trial of 2016 bond scam case with two defendants in absentia:
July 20, Colombo: The Colombo Special Trial-at-Bar today (July 20) allowed the trial of 2016 bond scam case to proceed in the absence of two of the accused, former Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran and former director of Perpetual Treasuries Ajan Gardiya Punchihewa.
  Sri Lankan Embassy in Doha, facilitates the donation of 85 Oxygen Cylinders to Sri Lanka:
July 20, Colombo: With a view to ameliorating the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Doha has donated 85 Medical Oxygen Cylinders to the health sector.
  Woman at quarantine center arrested for suspicious behavior:
July 20, Colombo: A woman, who was under quarantine at the quarantine center maintained in Naiwala, Veyangoda for women arriving in Sri Lanka from foreign countries, has been arrested.
 PM instructs to set up new units at Kuliyapitiya Base Hospital :
July 20, Colombo: Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today (20) instructed the health officials to take measures to open new units for cardiac, neurological, pulmonary and geriatric care at the Kuliyapitiya Base Hospital.
 Vans distributed to 09 districts for Covid control activities:
July 20, Colombo: With the objective to properly maintain Covid-19 control activities and to improve health systems, nine NISSAN URVAN vans were distributed among the provinces today (20) under the patronage of the Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi at the premises of the Ministry of Health.
  JAT Holdings Limited Public Share Issue oversubscribed on the opening day:
July 20, Colombo: JAT Holdings Limited Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 82,904,846 Ordinary Voting Shares by way of a combination of an offer for subscription and an offer for sale at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) which opened today (20th July 2021) was oversubscribed on the initial day itself, CSE said.
  Sri Lanka confirms 43 Covid-19 deaths on Monday, toll rises to 3,870:
July 20, Colombo: Sri Lanka Tuesday reported that 43 deaths due to COVID-19 occurred on Monday, July 19, 2021.
 No-confidence motion against Minister Udaya Gammanpila defeated by 91 votes:
July 20, Colombo: The no-confidence motion brought in by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya against Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila was defeated in Parliament today (20).
  Maldives President arrives in Sri Lanka on a three-day state visit:
July 20, Colombo: The President of the Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed have arrived in Sri Lanka Tuesday on a three-day unofficial visit, President’s Office said.
 Two more areas in two districts released from isolation:
July 20, Colombo: General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army, Head of the National Operations Center for Prevention of Covid 19 outbreak announced that Isolated status will be lifted in two areas Kandy and Kalutara districts with effect from 6.00 AM today, July 20, 2021.
 Sri Lanka exports grow 9.4% to US$ 978.2 million in June maintaining upward trend:
July 20, Colombo: As per the latest statistics released by the Sri Lanka Customs, the export sector performance has been able to maintain its upward trend in June 2021 with exports increasing by 9.41 % to US$ 978.2 million compared to June 2020, the Export Development Board (EDB) said in its export performance report.
 Sri Lanka Navy seizes another haul of Kerala cannabis worth over Rs. 41 million in northern waters:
July 20, Colombo: During a special operation conducted in the in northern waters off Thondamanaru, Jaffna on Monday (19) a Sri Lanka Navy team has seized a stock of over 139 kilograms of Kerala Cannabis.
 State Minister of Regional Cooperation discusses enhancement of economic ties with Bahrain:
July 20, Colombo: In line with the mandate of the State Ministry of Regional Cooperation to enhance economic relations with the Middle-East, State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya held a phone discussion with Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of the Kingdom of Bahrain Zayed bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Foreign Ministry said.
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