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Agriculture & Plantation Research University to be set up!

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Steps will be taken to establish an Agriculture and Plantation Research University by merging all institutions connected to the plantation industry and agricultural sector, as per President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s concept, Plantation Industries and Industries Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said.

Speaking during a press conference themed ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’ held at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) yesterday (24), he said the fundamental draft related to this has already been prepared, and that the basic work is expected to be completed this year.

Dr. Pathirana further said that the government is prepared to offer the assistance required to expand the plantation industry’s value chains and that the Ministry will provide technological know-how and financial resources.

New laws to improve coconut industry!

Meanwhile, a law will be brought in the near future that states that a special permission must be obtained to divide coconut lands of more than one acre in order to improve the country’s coconut industry.

“For that, we hope to follow up again on the instructions of President Wickremesinghe. Additionally, the law requiring the authorization of the Divisional Secretariat and the Grama Niladhari shall be enforced if more than two coconut trees are to be cut down,” he said.

In recent times, apart from tea and rubber, coconut-related products have seen the highest growth. Compared to 2020, the market has expanded by approximately 15%-20% in 2021 and 2022. Accordingly, in 2022, it was able to earn an export income of 836 million dollars.

It can reach a value close to that this year as well. Within the next five years, there is a high probability of increasing the export income of coconut-related products to 1.5-2.00 billion dollars.

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Ceylon tea exports offset $60M of Sri Lanka’s fuel debt to Iran

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The Sri Lanka Tea Board announced yesterday that exports of Ceylon Tea have successfully offset a substantial portion of the country’s fuel bill owed to Iran, amounting to US $ 60 million.

Since 2011, Sri Lanka has accumulated an arrears of US $ 251 million for fuel imports from Iran.

Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Niraj De Mel said that the settlement was achieved, as exports of tea to Iran tripled during this period.

Facing financial challenges exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and domestic economic downturn, Sri Lanka struggled to meet its financial obligations to Iran, due to the foreign exchange shortages.

To resolve this issue, an agreement was reached between the two nations, focusing on settling outstanding debts through tea exports.

De Mel reported that tea exports to Iran from January to May 2024 totalled 4.98 million kilogrammes, a significant increase compared to 1.85 million kilogrammes exported during the same period in 2023.

(dailymirror.lk)
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailymirror.lk has not been edited by SLM staff) 

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Sri Lanka to Host ICC Annual General Meeting, July 19-22

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In a statement, SLC mentioned that the mega cricket conference will bring together over 220 delegates from 108 ICC member countries from across the world, covering regions such as Africa, the Americas, Asia, East Asia Pacific, and Europe.

The pinnacle gathering of cricket administrators and stakeholders from around the globe, the ICC Annual Conference provides the platform for discussions on the strategic direction of the sport, governance, and the development of cricket worldwide, it added.

This year’s conference, themed “Capitalizing on the Olympic Opportunity,’ will discuss topics such as ‘Diversity and Inclusion,’ ‘environmental sustainability and the sport,’ and ‘Cricket’s triumphant return at LA28.

“This is a significant occasion for Sri Lanka, and we wish to warmly welcome the delegates from around the world to our beautiful island. We intend to use this conference to contribute to the future of cricket and showcase the beauty and heritage of our country to the world,” said Mr. Shammi Silva, President, Sri Lanka Cricket.

The annual conference will consist of a series of key meetings, workshops, and networking sessions, and key decisions will be taken for the benefit of the future of the game.

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Mervin Backs Wijeyadasa for President

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Former Sri Lankan Minister Mervin Silva is backing Minister (Dr) Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and President’s Counsel Maithri Gunaratne, as potential candidates for President.

“This country needs a leader who can take it forward,” Silva asserted.

As election campaigns intensify, he highlighted the tendency of politicians to make extravagant promises. 

Drawing from his experience serving under Mahinda Rajapaksa, Silva recalled the distribution of various items, including material and undergarments, during campaigns. Despite these efforts, Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the election.

Similarly, Silva pointed out that Sajith Premadasa’s massive rallies at Galle Face Green did not secure victory. 

“We need a leader,” Silva emphasized, *”who can uphold law and order, enforce laws effectively, and collaborate with experts.”

In his opinion, Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe stands out as the best candidate for the presidency. Silva also mentioned ongoing discussions with President’s Counsel Maithri Gunaratne.

“Deceitful politicians,” Silva concluded, “must be held accountable and sent home.”

newsfirst.lk

(This story, originally published by newsfirst.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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