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Popular Indian singer Pankaj Udhas no more

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Popular ghazal and playback singer – Pankaj Udhas has passed away aged 72. 

The Udhas family confirmed his death on Monday was due to a prolonged illness.

Taking to Instagram, Pankaj Udhas’ daughter Nayaab shared a statement on Instagram which read, “With a heavy heart, we are saddened to inform you of the sad demise of Padmashri Pankaj Udhas on 26th February 2024 due to a prolonged illness.”

He had passed away around 11am at the Breach Candy hospital, Indian media reports citing a family source.

 His last rites will be held on Tuesday. 

Pankaj is survived by wife Farida Udhas, daughters Nayaab and Reva Udhas, and brothers Nirmal and Manhar Udhas, who are also singers.

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TikTok faces US ban as bill set to be signed by Biden

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The US Senate has approved a controversial landmark bill that could see TikTok banned in America.

It gives TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, nine months to sell its stake or the app will be blocked in the United States.

The bill will now be handed over to US President Joe Biden, who has said he will sign it into law as soon as it reaches his desk.

ByteDance has told the BBC that it did not have an immediate response to the move. Previously the firm said it would oppose any attempt to force it to sell TikTok.

If the US is successful in forcing ByteDance to sell TikTok any deal would still need approval from Chinese officials but Beijing has vowed to oppose any such move. Analysts say the process could take years.

The measure was passed as part of a package of four bills which also included military aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and other US partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

It had widespread support from lawmakers, with 79 Senators voting for it and 18 against.

“For years we’ve allowed the Chinese Communist party to control one of the most popular apps in America that was dangerously short-sighted,” said Senator Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee.

“A new law is going to require its Chinese owner to sell the app. This is a good move for America,” he added.

Fears that data about millions of Americans could land in China’s hands have driven Congressional efforts to split TikTok from the Beijing-based company.

Last week, the social media company said the bill would “trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, devastate seven million businesses, and shutter a platform that contributes $24 billion to the US economy, annually.”

TikTok has said ByteDance “is not an agent of China or any other country”. And ByteDance insists it is not a Chinese firm, pointing to the global investment firms that own 60% of it.

Its chief executive, Shou Zi Chew, said last month the company will continue to do all it can including exercising its “legal rights” to protect the platform.

Mr Shou was grilled by Congress twice in less than a year, and downplayed the app’s connection – and his personal links – to Chinese authorities.

The social media platform made efforts to rally support against the potential ban, including a major lobbying campaign.

It also encouraged TikTok users and creators to express their opposition to the bill.

University of Richmond law professor, Carl Tobias told the BBC that a prolonged legal battle is likely to follow and that “could take about two years”.

He also said if a buyer for ByteDance’s stake is not found within the nine-month period, it could delay any action against TikTok in the US further.

(BBC News)

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“Ambiguous: A Painfully Honest Depiction of the Story of Our Lives”

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“Ambiguous: A Painfully Honest Depiction of the Story of Our Lives” is an exhibition by Rajitha Rupasinghe in collaboration with the Colombo Think Tank, it will be held on the 28th of April 2024  from 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm in front of the National Art Gallery, combo 07.

The exhibition will discuss the spatial aspect of artworks, the affordability of space, and the unspoken background stories and drives behind artworks.

Rajitha Rupasinghe was trained as an architect from the University of Moratuwa and holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture. His enthusiasm for art history and cultural theory was restrengthened by the postgraduate Institute of Archeology, the University of Kelaniya, and the Colombo Think Tank. His work is closely related to historical and cultural criticism of art and architecture.    

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Nelum Pokuna to be decked with ‘Colours of Love’ 

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‘Navage Gee : Colours of Love’, a musical extravaganza featuring beloved tunes of prominent music director and composer Navarathna Gamage, will be held this weekend at the Nelum Pokuna auditorium, Colombo.

The show, organized by the Old Boys’ Association of Nalanda College, will be held on both April 20 and April 21 at 6.30pm.

The musical evening will feature the work of Navarathna Gamage spanning across 03 decades and 42 well known singers in the country.

Tickets : Sumudu : 071 798 9189 / Kasun 071 968 765

Online:

April 20:

April 21:

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