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Chinese research ship denied entry to SL?

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Sri Lanka has denied entry to a Chinese research vessel seeking to conduct explorations within its territorial waters, ‘news1st’ has reported, citing a senior government official who wished to remain anonymous.

Another Chinese state-of-the-art research vessel Xiang Yang Hong 3 is expected to conduct research from January to May next year in the Indian Ocean region, including the Sea of Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

The report further says :

According to media reports, China has formally requested permission for the research vessel from Sri Lanka and Maldives.

However, according to a recent report by the Hindustan Times, India has registered its strong objection to the vessel’s planned activities, urging both island nations to deny entry.

It also reported that the vessel Xiang Yang Hong 03 is currently off the coast of Xiamen in South China Sea and will travel via Malacca to these countries after securing permission.

Indian media outlets have openly accused China of using the research mission as a pretext for gathering intelligence under the guise of scientific exploration.

The situation is further complicated by the recent political change in Maldives, where the newly elected President, Mohamed Muizzu has reportedly requested the departure of Indian military personnel stationed in the country.

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SL wins 1st T20I by 3 runs

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Sri Lanka won the 1st T20I match against Bangladesh by 03 runs, after a thrilling game.

Winning the toss, Bangladesh invited the visitors to bat first, where the visiting Sri Lankans scored 206/3 before limiting the Bangladesh team to 203/8.

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BIZ

Fuel prices revised

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The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (Ceypetco) has announced that fuel prices will be revised with effect from midnight today (March 04).

Accordingly, prices of Petrol Octane 92 and Auto Diesel have remain unchanged.

Meanwhile, the prices of Petrol Octane 95, Super Diesel and Kerosene have been reduced.

A litre of Petrol Octane 95 has been reduced by Rs. 09 to Rs.447, while a litre of Super Diesel has been reduced Rs. 10 to Rs.458. The price of a Kerosene litre too, has been reduced by Rs. 05 to Rs. 257.

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8 Lankans trafficked to Myanmar, rescued

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The Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that 08 Sri Lankans out of the 56 trapped in cybercrime centres in Myawaddy area in Myanmar have been rescued by the Myanmar government authorities and are currently in the Myawaddy Central Police Station. 

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar is currently working on the early repatriation of the rescued Sri Lankans. As per information made available by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar, the 56 Sri Lankans who have been trafficked are being held in four separate locations in the Myawaddy area and the rescued eight Sri Lankans were in one of these locations in an area that could be accessed by the Myanmar government, a statement by the MFA adds.

The statement further adds : 

The rescue operation undertaken by the Myanmar government follows intensified diplomatic engagements including a communication from President Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed to the Prime Minister of Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing requesting for early intervention and support to rescue and safely repatriate the trapped nationals, which was conveyed via diplomatic channels to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar on 22 February 2024. 

In January 2024, Foreign Minister M. U. M. Ali Sabry took this issue up with the Deputy Prime Minister and Union Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar Than Swe, requesting urgent intervention to rescue Sri Lankan nationals highlighting the seriousness of the situation of the Sri Lankan victims who have been enslaved in cybercriminal activities and urging that early action be taken to rescue all the affected individuals.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in coordination with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar continues to make every effort to rescue and repatriate all Sri Lankan nationals, who have become victims of human trafficking and are trapped in Myanmar, in close collaboration with the Myanmar government authorities. 

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