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Last Updated = Fri, Jul 3, 2020, 12:20 am SL Time

* Contract to construct Ruwanpura Expressway to local companies

July 02 (CP) Colombo- The government has decided to cancel the contract signed by the previous government to award the construction of the Ruwanpura Expressway to a foreign company and award the contract to local companies, the Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena said.
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* President to join SLPP election campaign from Anuradhapura tomorrow

July 02 (CP) Colombo- President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will join Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) election campaign tomorrow (July 03) from Anuradhapura, President’s Media Division (PMD) said.
[Full Story]

* Pakistan explores opportunities to further enhance ties with Sri Lanka

July 02 (CP) Colombo- Pakistan can provide assistance to explore opportunities to further enhance the bilateral ties with Sri Lanka, the Pakistan High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (retd) Muhammad Saad Khattak has assured.
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* COVID-19; KOICA provides USD $600,000 to UNICEF supporting Sri Lanka’s education sector

July 02 (CP) Colombo- The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have formally signed a grant agreement that will see KOICA provide a USD $600,000 (LKR 111.4 million) grant, funding and supporting the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) critical response to COVID-19 in the education sector.
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* Sri Lankan President orders not to use his photographs in election campaign

July 02 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has ordered not to use his photographs by candidates contesting the upcoming parliamentary election in their propaganda campaigns, the President’s Media Division said in a statement today. The President has instructed his Secretary to strictly advice relevant parties not to use the photograph of the President in election campaign
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* Preschools, Grade 1 and 2 to re-open on August 10

July 01 (CP) Colombo- Grade 1 and 2 classes and all pre-schools in the country that were closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic will re-open on August 10th, the Education Ministry announced. The Education Ministry said the Cabinet of Ministers today discussed at length the issue of reopening educational institutions and pre-schools as the COVID-19 situation is under control.
[Full Story]

* Sri Lanka launches a survey of migrant workers

July 01 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) has launched an information survey to plan the future welfare of Sri Lankan migrant workers. The Bureau of Foreign Employment states that the purpose of updating this information is to streamline the welfare services of the migrant workers
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* World Bank announces new Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka

July 01 (CP) Washington- Mr. Faris Hadad-Zervos is the World Bank’s new Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, effective today.
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* Repatriated Sri Lankans to get the opportunity to purchase duty free goods

July 01 (CP) Colombo- Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services Limited, retired Major General GA Chandrasiri said the repatriated Sri Lankans will be given the opportunity to purchase duty-free items when their quarantine is completed.
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* Veteran children’s book writer Sybil Wettasinghe passes away

July 01, Colombo: Veteran children’s book writer and illustrator Sybil Wettasinghe has passed away at the age of 93. She had been receiving treatment at a private hospital in Colombo for about four days and passed away last night at around 11 pm, family members said.
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* Colombo Port workers allege ‘Indian pressure’, to go on indefinite strike over ECL development

July 02 (ET) Colombo- Workers at the strategic Colombo Port on Thursday threatened to go on an indefinite strike to protest against the "Indian pressure" to prevent Sri Lanka from developing a deep-sea container terminal of the country’s largest and busiest port.
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* Gantry cranes: Port workers stage protest

July 02 (DN) Three Colombo Port workers yesterday commenced a protest on top of a 57 metre gantry crane demanding to install the new cranes that were brought for the Colombo Harbour East Terminal without further delay. The Government has previously imported three gantry cranes
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* EC directs to seize over five vehicles kept by former ministers

July 01 (DM) The Elections Commission has directed relevant authorities to seize over five vehicles used by former minister in election campaign in violation of election laws.
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* Sri Lanka receives US$ 252 million foreign assistance for COVID-19 response

July 02 (CP) Colombo- Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has informed the Cabinet of Ministers that foreign countries and organizations have provided US$ 252 million (Rs. 70 billion) in loans, grants and materials as the initial assistance to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic.
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* MRI gets fully automated PCR machine to detect COVID-19

July 02 (CP) Colombo- The International Rotary Club has donated a fully automated PCR machine to the Medical Research Institute of Sri Lanka to expedite the diagnosis process of COVID-19. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was briefed about the operational aspect of the new PCR machine at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday (July 01).
[Full Story]

* World Bank downgrades Sri Lanka to lower-middle income country

July 02 (CP) Colombo- The World Bank has downgraded Sri Lanka to a lower-middle income country exactly a year after upgrading to an upper-middle income country. The change in classification is announced in the New World Bank country classifications by income level: 2020-2021 report published on Wednesday (01).
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* Four-member committee appointed to propose measures to provide relief to electricity bills

July 02 (CP) Colombo- A four-member committee has been appointed to discuss the issues related to the electricity bills resulted from imposing the curfew due to COVID-19 pandemic and propose measures to provide relief to the affected consumers. The report of the committee is to be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers next week.
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* ‘ITUKAMA’ COVID–19 Fund balance surpasses Rs. 1.42 billion

July 02 (CP) Colombo- Following corporate, individual donations and direct deposits, ‘ITUKAMA’ COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund balance has now surpassed Rs. 1.423 billion, President’s Media Division said.
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* Election monitor CaFFE says illegal to carry out election propaganda under the guise of ‘The Newspaper’ movie

July 01 (CP) Colombo- The election watchdog Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has informed the Election Commission that an election candidate is promoted through the film "The Newspaper", which is a co-production of Minister Bandula Gunawardena, who is contesting under the SLPP ticket from Colombo District.
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* Sri Lanka Foreign Secretary sees COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to re-orient foreign employment

July 01 (CP) Colombo- Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha has observed that despite its immediate gloom, the present situation has been an eye opener in many respects that could help correct structural, procedural and human interface incongruities in Sri Lanka’s labor migration.
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* World Bank announces new Country Manager for Sri Lanka

July 01 (CP) Colombo- Chiyo Kanda has been appointed as Country Manager of the World Bank office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, effective July 1st, 2020. She will oversee a total portfolio of around $2.3 billion and the development of a new country partnership framework.
[Full Story]

* Group of Sri Lankans repatriated from Qatar and UAE

July 01 (CP) Colombo- SriLankan Airlines flight carrying 264 Sri Lankans, who were stranded in Qatar due to COVID-19 outbreak, arrived at the Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning (01).
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* Government Printing Department to finish election printing process on time adhering to hygienic procedures

July 01 (CP) Colombo- The Department of Government Printing is currently working on the duties of the upcoming General Election adhering strictly to hygienic procedures for the prevention of Covid-19 outbreak, Ms. Gangani Liyanage, the Government Printer said.
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* Pakistan offers 1000 fully-funded Higher Education scholarships to Sri Lankan students

July 02 (Island) The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan is offering 1000 Allama Iqbal Scholarships to Sri Lankan students over a period of five years under the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Higher Education Cooperation Program.
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* Dullas blames incompatible electoral system for instability

July 01 (Island) Education and Sports Minister Dullas Alahapperuma on Monday (29) said that the country was in political turmoil due to incompatible electoral systems pulling the country in different directions. Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Matara District leader Alahapperuma said that instability would continue until the parliament took remedial measures.
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* GMOA wants tobacco, alcohol out of poll campaign

July 01 (DN) The GMOA warned that will not hesitate to name politicians who use tobacco and alcohol for their election campaigns as ‘unsuitable’ to represent the people. The Election Commission and the Health authorities should take stern action against all such politicians, newly appointed Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Secretary Dr. Senal Fernando said.
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