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10th edition of SLINEX-2023 kicks off

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The 10th Edition of annual Indian Navy–Sri Lanka Navy bilateral maritime Exercise SLINEX-2023 will be held in Colombo from April 03 – April 08, 2023. 

The Exercise is being conducted in two phases; the Harbour Phase in Colombo from 3-5 April followed by Sea Phase from 6-8 April, off Colombo. 

The Indian Navy will be represented by INS Kiltan (Advanced Anti Submarine Warfare Corvette) and INS Savitri (Offshore Patrol Vessel) while Sri Lanka Navy will have SLNS Gajabahu (Advance Offshore Patrol Vessel) and SLNS Sagara (OPV). 

In addition, Indian Navy Chetak helicopter and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft along with Sri Lanka Air Force Dornier and BEL 412 helicopters would also participate in the Exercise. The Exercise will also feature the Special Forces of the two Navies. The previous edition of SLINEX was conducted in Visakhapatnam from 7-12 March 2022.

SLINEX-2023 aims to enhance interoperability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices/ procedures in multi-faceted Maritime operations between both Navies. 

The Harbour Phase would include sports fixtures, yoga session and cultural events which would provide an opportunity for personnel from both Navies to learn from each other, reinforce shared values and build bonds of friendship and camaraderie. 

VAdm Priyantha Perera, Commander of Sri Lanka Navy along with Mr Vinod K. Jacob, Deputy High Commissioner, took part in the opening of SLINEX-2023 on 3 April 2023. H.E. Gopal Baglay, High Commissioner of India is scheduled to host the visit of Hon. Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, State Minister of Defence onboard the indigenous Indian Naval ships.

 To spread awareness and interest towards the Armed Forces both the Indian Naval ships will be kept open for a large number of visitors including school children. A Coordinated Indian Navy-Sri Lanka Navy Band/Cultural Performance in collaboration with Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre will be organized for the public at Dutch Hospital and Viharmahadevi Park on 3 and 5 April 2023 respectively. Harbour training activities, SME interaction and training at HARD simulator will also be progressed during SLINEX 23. A reception for the Senior Officials from Sri Lanka will be hosted onboard the Indian navy ships by the High Commissioner of India on 4 April. The Sea Phase would include Exercises in multi dimensions like surface and anti-air firing Exercises, seamanship evaluations, helicopter and maritime patrol aircraft operations including cross deck flying, advance tactical manoeuvres, search and rescue and Special Forces operations at sea, which will further enhance the high degree of interoperability already established between the two friendly Navies.

SLINEX series of Exercise exemplifies the deep engagement between India and Sri Lanka which has strengthened mutual cooperation in the maritime domain. Interaction between the SLN and IN has also grown significantly in recent years, in consonance with India’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and Hon’ble PM’s vision of ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR)’.

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“14.3% Surge in new HIV infections in 2023, reveals national program”

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The National Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS Prevention Program states that the reporting of new HIV infections has increased by 14.3 percent.

This is higher in 2023 compared to 2022, director, Dr. Janaki Vidanapathirana, community medicine specialist said.
She said that last year, 694 new HIV infected people were identified, most of them were men, and the number is 611, which as percentage is 88%. Last year, 81 HIV infected women were reported, which is 11.7 percent as a percentage. It is also
reported that there are 4100 infected people in society.

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Sri Lanka to Host Digital Economy Summit in July

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The State Minister for Technology, Mr. Kanaka Herath, announced that the anticipated National Cyber Security Act will be introduced this year, followed by the establishment of the Cyber Security Authority.

Additionally, the State Minister underscored the preparations made for the Digital Economy Summit scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka by the end of July. The summit serves as a platform for fostering innovation, collaboration, and investment in digital technologies, thus propelling the country towards a more resilient and prosperous digital economy.

Speaking at a press briefing titled “Collective Path to a Stable Country” held at the President Media Centre (PMC) today (29),

State Minister Herath further said;

The digital economy, which previously stood at 4.73%, has now surpassed the 5% mark, indicating significant growth.

This expansion has notably bolstered the country’s overall economic resilience. To further enhance this momentum, preparations are underway for the Digital Economy Summit scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka at the end of July. The summit aims to attract both local and foreign investors, with collaborative efforts from foreign embassies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Investment Promotion facilitating this initiative.

Furthermore, a sum of Rs. 50 million derived from the profits of Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) was allocated to the treasury in the previous year. In line with President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s proposal, a new initiative has been launched to uplift small and medium-sized industrialists, who constitute 52% of the country’s economy. This endeavour seeks to empower such enterprises technologically, offering them Good manufacturing practice (GMP) and SLSI certifications. Additionally, plans are underway to facilitate access to low-interest loans through the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with the ultimate goal of guiding these small and medium-sized industrialists into the market.

(dailynews.lk)

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SC quashes Cabinet decision granting Paget Road residence to Maithripala

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The Supreme Court on Thursday (29 Feb.) quashed the Cabinet decision allowing former President Maithripala Sirisena to occupy his official residence at Paget Road in Colombo 07 even after he left office.

Accordingly, the court stated that an order will be issued invalidating the Cabinet decision taken on 15 October 2019 in this regard.

The relevant court order was issued by Supreme Court Justice Priyantha Jayawardena, with the concurrence of Justices Gamini Amarasekera and Kumudini Wickremasinghe, upon consideration of a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu.

The petition further sought a court order stating that former President Sirisena had violated several fundamental rights of the public by taking decisions pertaining to his own privileges and rights during his tenure as the President, thereby making him the head of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Announcing the verdict, Supreme Court Justice Priyantha Jayawardena highlighted that the relevant Cabinet decision made by Sirisena was, in fact, unlawful, given that he was both, the President and the head of the Cabinet of Ministers at the time the decision in question was taken.

In their petition, the CPA and Dr. Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu claimed that the residence in question is of great financial value to the country, and thereby stated that such an allocation for a former President was irrational, illegal and arbitrary, and also violated several fundamental rights of the country’s citizens including that of the right to equality.

(adaderana.lk)

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