DD/AIR News

  • In a message, former President said in face of unequivocal people’s mandate, they believe the government will abide by parliamentary traditions as appropriate in such circumstances. Sri Lanka People’s party (SLPP) led by Mr. Rajapaksa, had made it clear before the elections that they expect government under Prime minister Ranil Wickremsinghe to step down in event of their victory. The former President has also claimed that the Presidential elections will be seen as referendum ahead of the Parliamentary election next year. Meanwhile, at least four ministers including finance minister Mangala Samarweera have resigned after the defeat of Sajith Premadasa at the elections. PM Wickremsinghe in a message said a decision on next general election will be taken after a discussion with speaker, party leaders and government MPs. Gotabaya received around 6.9 million votes against his  main rival Sajith Premadasa who got around 5.56 million votes in the final vote count announced by country’s Election commission this afternoon.  Gotabaya received 52.25 percent of total valid votes. Gotabaya is the younger brother of former President Mahinda Rajapksa and served as defence secretary during the end of LTTE war. In a message, he called for a new journey for Sri Lanka adding that all Sri Lankans are part of this journey.  He said he is the President of not only those who voted for him but for all Sri Lankans and is the greatest honour of his life. Mr. Rajapaksa got overwhelming support in majority-dominated areas of south and western provinces. Premadasa has received wide support from minority areas in north and east.  

  • In a tweet Prime Minister of Nepal Oli said "Pleased to meet with @sachin_rt, famous cricket player, and UNICEF goodwill ambassador today. He appreciated the efforts undertaken by Nepal for the promotion of the rights of the children and their welfare". Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket, arrived in Kathmandu on Friday as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) goodwill ambassador. He played a friendly cricket match alongside children at Tribhuvan Univeristy Stadium in Kirtipur on Saturday. On this occasion Sachin said "let's try to better understand the strengths of each child, eat, play and laugh with them more and support them in doing what they love. Sachin added "Don’t clip their wings, let them fly." The game was organised by UNICEF and European Union Programme to commemorate 30 years of UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. Sachin also visited famous Pashupatinath temple and offered prayers.   

  • The Home Minister also expressed gratitude and thanked Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for having maintained their fluidity even in 33 degrees, have succeeded in getting such special grade diesel there. This will help people to get relief from winter troubles. Amit Shah said the initiative will give a new beginning to the people of Leh-Ladakh and there will be traffic facility for the tourists which was not there earlier. This will give a lot of boost to the tourism and economy sector in the region. Addressing the event, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the launch of special grade diesel in Ladakh region became possible only because of the strong leadership of Prime Minister Modi and this will greatly benefit the people.   

  • Earlier in the day, Rajnath Singh and US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper held a bilateral meeting in Bangkok today.  Expressing happiness on the growing relationship between India and USA, Raksha Mantri conveyed that the bilateral cooperation between the two sides has grown across a wide range of sectors including Defence and Security, Economy, Energy, Counter Terrorism and People to People ties. Rajnath Singh is in Thailand to participate in ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus and attend the opening ceremony of Defence & Security 2019 Exhibition.  Speaking to news persons, the minister expressed confidence that the discussions would be fruitful and help to build up strategic trust and sustainable security among asian countries.  

  • The meeting was called for seeking the support of different political parties to ensure the smooth functioning of both the Houses of Parliament in the Winter Session.  Home Minister Amit Shah, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, Senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, Trinamool Congress leaders Sudip Bandopadhyaya and Derek O'brien, Satish Chandra Mishra of Bahujan Samaj Party, Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, T.R. Baalu of DMK and Navneetha Krishnan of AIADMK, attended the meeting.  Later, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu will also hold a meeting of leaders of various political parties in the evening. PM urges political parties to make winter session of Parliament productive Briefing reporters after the meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged political parties to make the winter session of Parliament a productive one like the last session while adding that the government is ready to discuss all issues within the framework.  

  • Gotabaya is the brother of former President Mahinda Rajapksa and served as defence secretary during the end of LTTE war.  In a message, he called for a new journey for Sri Lanka adding that all Sri Lankans are part of this journey.  His main rival Sajith Premadasa has conceded defeat and congratulated Rajapaksa on his victory.  Premadasa has also resigned from his post of deputy leader of United National party under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe.  Rajapaksa has got overwhelming support in majority-dominated areas of south and is expected to get over 52 percent of overall votes.  Premadasa has received wide support from minority areas in north and east.  The counting of votes is continuing and final results are expected by evening.  The trend shows sharp polarization along community lines, unprecedented in Sri Lankan history.  The cabinet is scheduled to meet this evening to discuss the latest political situation. 

  • Sri Lanka People’s party (SLPP) in a statement called upon the people to celebrate the victory peacefully.  The statement came as early trends indicated lead for Rajapaksa as he has got overwhelming support in majority-dominated areas of south.   Gotabaya has received around 48 percent of votes against 44 percent of his main rival Sajith Premadasa in nearly three million votes counted so far.  The latter has received wide support from minority areas in north and east. The counting of votes is continuing and final results are expected by evening.  Gotabaya has won most of the electorates in southern provinces including Hambantota, Galle and Matara, results of which have been declared so far.  However, Sajith has got over 80 percent votes from minority areas against less than 10 percent for his rival.  The trend shows sharp polarization along community lines, unprecedented in Sri Lankan history.   A candidate needs to poll over 50 percent of valid votes to be declared winner, else the second preference votes has to be counted.  Both candidates have campaigned mainly on the plank of national security and good governance.

  • He said that 21 members of NCP will meet in the evening in Pune today under the chairmanship of Sharad Pawar.  Discussion about the strategies on the Maharashtra's current situation will take place in the meeting. He added that however, a meeting between Congress and NCP leaders has been decided for Tuesday during which discussion on including congress in the formation of Maharashtra government will be taken up.  

  • During the meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, all parties assured that the Winter Session of Parliament will be smooth and fruitful. The Winter Session of Parliament is scheduled to be held between November 18 and December 13. There will be 20 sittings in this session.  

  • Prime Minister Modi in a tweet said that "Had a wonderful interaction with leaders and MPs across party lines this evening. We look forward to a productive Parliament session, where people-centric and development oriented issues would be discussed. Meanwhile, the government will convene a meeting of leaders of various parties in both the house of Parliament.  Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu will also hold a meeting of leaders of various parties in the House.

  • The winter session of Parliament will begin from Monday and conclude on 13th of the next month. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Om Birla said that leaders of all political parties have assured him to cooperate in ensuring the smooth functioning of the house. He said, whatever the issue, the opposition parties want to raise will be allowed after discussion in the Business Advisory Committee. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Parliament Affairs Minister Prahlad Patel, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, DMK leader T R Balu and TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay among others attended the meeting.   Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has also called a meeting of leaders of different parties in the Upper House tomorrow. An all-party meeting has also been convened by the government on the same day ahead of the session.

  • He said, nowadays, business groups and political parties are also starting their own newspapers and channels. Through these, they are promoting their vested interests and compromising the values of journalism. Vice President further said that sensationalizing the news, prejudiced coverage and paid news are a big challenge in front of the media today. Speaking about the dangers of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), the Vice president called on journalists to come forward to educate people about NCDs. He further said, NCDs are killing our generation, adding that poor lifestyle and food habits are behind NCDs. On the occasion, the Vice President also conferred National Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2019 on journalists for their outstanding contribution in the field of journalism. Eminent journalist and Chairman of Rajasthan Patrika Gulab Kothari was awarded Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award for his outstanding contribution in the field of journalism.

  • He further added that if Islamabad is serious about establishing friendlier relations with New Delhi it must hand over wanted criminals and terrorists like Dawood Ibrahim and Hafiz Saeed. The External Affairs Minister said, the relationship between the two countries is difficult for many years, mainly because Pakistan has developed an important terrorist industry. Jaishankar was in Paris to attend a Peace Forum that counts Canada and New Zealand among its attendees. 

  • Inaugurating the National Tribal Festival - Aadi Mahotsav in New Delhi today, Amit Shah said, whenever the BJP came to power, it always worked for the welfare of tribal communities. Hitting out at Congress, Amit Shah accused the party of using the tribal communities for vote banks. He said, Congress neglected the development and welfare of tribals. The Home Minister stressed on the need to conserve the nature saying Van Dhan Vikas Yojana is transforming the lives of tribals. The theme of the 15-day Mahotsav is a celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture, Craft, Cuisine and Commerce. The Aadi Mahotsav is an effort to take tribal commerce to the next level of digital and electronic transactions. The tribal textiles manufactured by master tribal craftsmen from Jammu and Kashmir in the North to Tamil Nadu in the South and from Gujarat in the West to Nagaland/Sikkim in the East will be the main attractions. For the first time, the Aadi Mahotsav is showcasing a wide range of products from the tribal artisans from Leh in Ladakh. 254 stalls have been set up and one thousand tribal artisans and artists are participating in the tribal festival.  

  • Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth crashed out of the Hong Kong Open badminton tourament after a straight-game semifinal defeat to host nation player Lee Cheuk Yiu on Saturday.  Kidambi Srikanth threw away seven game points in the 2nd game to suffer 9-21, 23-25 defeat against the lower ranked opponent. It was Srikanth's  first semifinal appearance since making the last four at the India Open Badminton Tournament. Kidambi Srikanth had been extremely lucky in the Hong Kong open. He got a first-round bye after World No. 1 Kento Momota withdrew from their early meeting. In round 2, Srikanth defeated compatriot Sourabh Verma in a 3-game battle. In the quarter-finals, Srikanth benefited from reigning Olympic champion Chen Long's retirement after the 1st game that he had won comfortably. With Srikanth's defeat, India's campaign at Hong Kong Open comes to an end. Overall,  it was a disappointing campaign for Indian players in Hong Kong open as the likes of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu suffered yet another early exit. In men's singles, the likes of HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma, Parupalli Kashyap and Saurabh Verma were shown the door early. World No. 7 men's doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also disappointed as the duo was knocked out as early as the 1st round after some impressive results in the recent past.

  • India thrashed Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs in the first Test in Indore on Saturday, riding on one of the most hostile fast bowling performances in recent times. This huge victory was along the expected lines. And it was completely dominated by the Indian pacers as they first bundled out Bangladesh for 150 in the first innings and then picked four wickets in the first session of the 2nd innings itself on Saturday.  Umesh Yadav gave India first success when he dismissed Imrul Kayes for 6. In the very next over Ishant Sharma removed opener Shadman Islam for 6. After that Mohammed Shami bowled a fiery spell and picked up two wickets before lunch to leave Bangladesh struggling. The visitors were 60 for four after the first session, trailing India by 283 runs. Shami continued the good work after lunch as he sent back Mahmudullah for 15. Bangladesh had lost half of their side for 72. After that Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das launched a mini-revival of Bangladesh innings as the duo stitched together a 63-run stand for the sixth wicket. But Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Liton  Das for 35, who charged down the track and lofted a straight delivery into the hands of Ashwin. Bangladesh fought back in the post Lunch session, losing just a couple of wickets and scoring over 130 runs. Ashwin wrapped up the innings as he finished with figures of three for 42 in the second innings. The pace trio of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav took a total of 14 wickets in the match to demolish the visitors in both the innings. With the bat, Mayank Agarwal was the star for the home side as he brought up his second double hundred in the longest format of the game. In terms of performance, there was a  huge gap between the two sides and it could only get worse for Bangladesh from here onwards as the Indian pace attack, in the upcoming Day/Night Test with the pink ball at Eden Gardens, is expected to hit more hard to their already damaged batting mindset.

  • Speaking on the occasion of National Press Day in New Delhi on Saturday, Javadekar said press freedom is the essence of a vibrant democracy, and the government is ensuring full freedom to the press. The Minister said media can criticise but should guard against fake news and desist from disinformation and misinformation. He said freedom of media was trampled upon by the Congress during the Emergency in 1975. On the occasion, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu conferred awards to journalists for their outstanding contribution in the field of journalism.

  • In a statement released on Friday, the commerce ministry said that onion will be flown in from Turkey and Egypt to ensure adequate supply in the market soon. Pointing to the cyclonic storm Bulbul that hit Bangladesh this week, the statement said that it affected the arrival of onions but a  big shipment of onion will arrive soon through the sea route. Onion prices in Bangladesh have gone beyond 200 Taka per kg in recent days. In some areas, the local variety of onion is selling at even higher prices. Bangladesh has a demand of about 24 lakh tonnes of onion per year out of which 7 lakh to 11 lakh tonne is imported. Government had tried to bring down prices of onion by easing onion import, sale through government outlets at fixed prices and drive against hoarders. But these efforts failed due to global volatility, cyclonic storm and suspected hoarding of onions by some traders. Market experts consider hoarding as one of the main factors causing sharp rise in onion prices. Government agencies have fined and jailed more than 2,000 traders in past two months for hoarding onion to create an artificial crisis in the market.

  • The Press Council of India has announced the names of the winners of National Awards for Excellence in Journalism for the year 2019. Eminent journalist and Chairman of Rajasthan Patrika Gulab Kothari has been selected for Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award for his outstanding contribution in the field of journalism. The Press Council of India (PCI) had on November 6 announced other winners of the National Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2019. Sanjay Saini, Correspondent, Dainik Bhaskar, Mandi, and Raj Chengappa, Group Editorial Director, India Today, have been jointly named as winners of the award in the category of 'Rural Journalism'. Shiva Swarup Awasthi, Senior Reporter of Dainik Jagran, and Anu Abrahim, sub-editor of Matrubhumi, Calicut, have been selected under the award category of Developmental Reporting, the PCI said in a statement. Krishn Kaushik and Sandeep Singh of Indian Express have been selected as winners under the award category of 'Financial Reporting'. P G Unnikrishnan, Senior Photographer, The Matrubhumi, and Akhil E S, News Photographer, Matrubhumi, were named as winners of the award in the 'Photo Journalism-Single News Picture' category. Sipra Das, Consulting Editor (Photography), India Empire Magazine and Parliamentarian Magazine, has been selected in the category of 'Photo Journalism-Photo Feature', the statement said. Under the 'Sports Reporting' category, Saurabh Duggal from the Hindustan Times has been named the winner. Ruby Sarkar, Special Correspondent, Deshbandhu, Bhopal, has been selected for the award category of 'gender based reporting'. The selection of awardees was carried out by a jury comprising eminent members of the PCI such as Jai Shankar Gupta, Balwinder Singh and Ashok Upadhyaya among others. The awards will be conferred by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.

  • Police said some unidentified persons blocked and fired on buses carrying voters near Anuradhapura. There were no casualties reported and police is investigating the matter. An election monitor agency reported that there were some attempts to coerce voters to vote for a particular candidate. There were also reports of army putting up roadblocks in minority-dominated Northern Province which has been removed with police intervention. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called on the public to peacefully vote and maintain law and order for a free and fair election. Polling has begun this morning to elect a new President with a total of 35 candidates in fray. The main contest is between former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajpaksa and Minister Sajith Premadasa. Both candidates have campaigned mainly on the plank of national security and good governance. Gotabaya has popular support of majority Sinhala community while Sajith is banking on his support amongst minority Tamil and Muslim communities. Around 1.6 crore people are eligible to exercise their franchise and over 12 thousand polling stations have been set up all over the country. Counting of votes will be held after polling is over and results are expected by tomorrow. A candidate needs to poll over 50 percent of valid votes to be declared winner, else the second preference votes has to be counted. This is the first time in country’s history that neither of sitting President or Prime minister are contesting the elections.

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