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JO lodges complaint against Thalatha

The joint opposition today lodged a complaint against Foreign Employment Minister Thalatha Atukorale at the Bribery Commission and the Financial Crimes Investigation Division over a case of financial misappropriation causing the State loss of Rs. 1,500 million.

Addressing a media briefing, the joint opposition MP Niroshan Premaratne said Minister Atukorale had caused the State a loss of Rs. 1500 million by the mandatory insurance scheme of Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) for all Sri Lankan migrant workers since August 2015.

No changes to Rs. 25,000 fine for traffic offenses

The Cabinet spokesman and Minister Rajitha Senaratne today reiterated that there would be no changes on the proposed fine of Rs.25,000 for seven traffic offenses.

While speaking to the media at the weekly Cabinet press briefing at the parliament complex, Minister Senaratne said even the government’s decision was also the same and there would not be any rollback of the proposed fine.

Plane crashes after take-off in Pakistan

A plane belonging to Pakistan's national carrier has crashed shortly after take-off from the country's north with about 40 people on board, officials said.

The Pakistan International Airlines plane crashed in a village near the town of Havelian, about 75 kilometres (45 miles) north west of the capital Islamabad, senior police officer Khurram Rasheed said.

6.8 quake hits off Sumatra, Indonesia

An undersea earthquake off Indonesia's Aceh province has killed at least 24 people, authorities said.

The 6.4 magnitude quake struck near the town of Sigli on Sumatra island destroying dozens of buildings.

Controversy over Salu Sala letter to school principals

Salu Sala has sent letters to school principals asking them to place orders for uniform material.

The letter, signed by a co-ordinating officer, carries annexed thereto, a copy of a circular issued by the Education Ministry Secretary S. S. Hettiarachchi to Zonal Directors and Principals.

Triple Murder in Ambalangoda

Three members of the same family including a 4-year-old child were shot dead by an unidentified gunman in Idamtota, Ambalangoda yesterday night.

According to Ambalangoda Police sources, the victims were at their shop at Idamtota in Madampagama, when this gunman arrived there. He is reported to have called them out and opened fire at them killing them.

World’s tallest Christmas tree: a wasteful expenditure

The Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith hitting out strongly against the World’s tallest Christmas tree on Galle Face Green has called it a ‘wasteful expenditure’.

He asked that it be stopped and that money be used to build homes for the homeless or to provide scholarships to poor children.

Bodu Bala Sena advocates Executive Presidency

Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary General Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanansara Thera yesterday said that Sri Lanka should stick to the constitution introduced by President J.R. Jayewardene and maintain the Executive Presidency without changing it.

Addressing a press conference at the Bodu Bala Sena Office at Kirulapone, Ven. Gnanansara Thera said his organisation would assemble bhikkhus in their thousands in Colombo and create an awareness about the shortcomings in the proposed new constitution to enable them to go back to the villages and educate the people about them at grassroots level.

Jayalalithaa was dearly loved by her people

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has said that Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was a leader “dearly loved by her people.” In a tweet following Jayalalithaa’s death on Monday, Sirisena expressed his condolences to “her loved ones and the people of Tamil Nadu.”

Speaking in the Northern Provincial Council on Tuesday, the Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, said that Jayalalithaa set an example to women by the determined way she fought male chauvinism to reach the top.

MP Hirunika Speaks About Mafia inside Prison

Government MP Hirunika Premachandra dropped a bombshell in Parliament today by claiming that there was a Mafia in the Prison and influential inmates were given all facilities.

Speaking during the Committee Stage debate on the Budget, the MP said influential prisoners were given all facilities, while the poor prisoners were neglected.

Jayalalithaa captured the hearts of India's Tamil

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa also offered his condolences on the demise of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

 “Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa captured the hearts of India's Tamil community. My condolences to the family and people of Tamil Nadu” he tweeted.

President to Visit Russia next March

President Mairthripala Sirisena will visit Russia on 23 March on the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Russian Embassy in Colombo, confirmed.

At a press briefing yesterday, Russian Ambassador Alexander A. Karchava said his government was working on welcoming the President of Sri Lanka, a President who is visiting Russia after several decades.