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Sri Lankan faces charges over pet lion joyride in Thailand

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Police in Thailand have arrested a woman whose pet lion was pictured going on a joyride in the streets of Pattaya.
A video that has now gone viral shows the chained lion cub seated in the back of a white, open-top Bentley.

The lion was being driven about by a Sri Lankan man who has since left the country, and is believed to be a friend of the woman, Sawangjit Kosoongnern.

While it is not illegal to own a lion in Thailand, it needs to be officially registered.

Authorities in Thailand said Ms Sawangjit claimed to have bought the animal from a Thai man in Nakhon Pathom province, who successfully facilitated its delivery to Pattaya.

However he failed to have his facility checked by officials before doing so, which made both the transfer and ownership of the animal illegal.

She is therefore facing charges of possessing a controlled wild animal without permission, which carries a penalty of a year’s imprisonment and a fine of up to 100,000 baht ($2,800; £2,200).

Police were also reportedly looking to charge the Sri Lankan man, who had kept the lion in his rented pool villa, but were unable to as he is no longer in Thailand. He was due to be charged with bringing a controlled wild animal into public places, which carries jail time of up to six months and a fine of 50,000 baht.

The man who sold the lion to Ms Sawangjit will also face charges of moving an animal without permission.

Officials say there are currently 224 lions in Thailand that are legally owned.

(BBC News)

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Russian Naval Ship Varyag Visits Colombo

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The Russian Naval Ship Varyag has arrived at the port of Colombo on a formal visit. 

This 187m long Missile Cruiser, manned by a crew of 529, is led by Flag Officer Captain 1st Rank Velichko Anatoly Vasicievich, with Captain 2nd Rank Glushakov Roman Nikolaevich serving as the Commanding Officer.

During their stay in Sri Lanka, the ship’s crew is expected to participate in various programs organized by the Sri Lanka Navy, fostering camaraderie and exploring tourist attractions in the country. 

The official visit will conclude, and Varyag is set to depart from the island tomorrow.

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SL over 60s cricket team ranked 4th in the world

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The Sri Lanka Over-60s cricket team, led by Garry Gunasekara, achieved a commendable 4th place in the recently concluded Over-60s Cricket World Cup in Chennai. 

Twelve teams, including all major cricketing nations except Pakistan and Bangladesh, participated in the tournament.

In the group league stages, Sri Lanka secured victories against India, Wales, and the Rest of the World. 

They also tied with the West Indies and suffered their only defeat to Australia, finishing 2nd in the group. 

Sri Lanka faced England in the first semi-final, resulting in a loss, while New Zealand lost to Australia in the second semi-final. Australia went on to convincingly win the final against England.

In the third-place match, Sri Lanka faced New Zealand and narrowly lost by 20 runs, ultimately securing the 4th position in the Over-60s Cricket World Cup.

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Health Ministry’s Additional Secretary Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrested

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The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) arrested Additional Secretary of the Health Ministry Dr. Saman Ratnayake over the import of substandard human Immunoglobulin injections.

The arrest was made after Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrived at the CID to provide a statement.

Several key individuals including former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Former Health Secretary, the Medical Supplies Division Director are currently in remand custody over the Immunoglobulin scandal.

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