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Dalai Lama formally accepted request to visit SL – Mahanayaka Thera

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The spiritual leader of Tibet – His holiness Dalai Lama has formally accepted an invitation to visit Sri Lanka, says the most Ven. Waskaduwe Mahindawansa Mahanayake Thera of the Amarapura Sri Sambuddha Shasanodaya Maha Sangha Sabha.

The Thera said this during the ‘Multilingual Scholarly Symposium’ held at the University of Kelaniya on July 06th as a tribute to the spiritual leader. The event also coincided with his holiness’ 88th birthday.

This event was held with the coordination of the University’s Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies, Department of Philosophy and the Department of Sanskrit & Eastern Studies as well as that of the Foundation for Buddhist Brotherhood, International Buddhist Confederation and the Sri Lankan Tibetan Buddhist Brotherhood Society.

According to the Mahanayaka Thera, this invitation was extended in 2022 when His Holiness started his annual visit to Bodh Gaya, where the Mahanayake Thero was also present with a Sri Lankan delegation.

Emphasising the importance of a visit by the Dalai Lama to Sri Lanka, the Mahanayaka Thera pointed out that that such a visit would also mark the arrival of countless Buddhist devotees around the globe which will definitely lead to a revival of tourism as well as foreign investments.

“Damage to Sino-Lanka friendship”

However, in a special interview done with ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ last January, Mr. Hu Wei, Acting Ambassador of the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, said that a visit by the Dalai Lama could damage the friendship between Sri Lanka and China.

Explaining that the mutual trust between the two countries is based on the ‘One China’ policy, Mr. Hu Wei explained that Jaffna or Kandy is a part of Sri Lanka and Tibet is not an independent country but a part of China.

Mr. Hu Wei had further mentioned that he had discussed this with the Maha Nayaka Theros and monks during his visit to Kandy back then, and was assured that none of them had extended such an invitation.

Meanwhile, during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart – Mr.  Qin Gang in Beijing last month, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister – Ali Sabry had assured Sri Lanka’s continuous adherence to the ‘One China’ policy and to build the Belt and Road Initiative.

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“Dalai Lama’s visit could damage SL – China friendship” (Video / Pics)

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Expressways generate whopping income during Avurudu season

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The expressways have generated an income of Rs. 159,802,950 from April 10 – 13, Road Development Authority (RDA) says.

According to the Director of Expressway Operation Maintenance and Management Division – R.A.D. Kahatapitiya.

Over 4,350,000 vehicles have used the expressways during this period, he has added.
As many as 366,000 vehicles have used the expressways during this three-day period.

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Special transport arrangements to those returning to Colombo

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Special train services are in operation from this evening (April 14) for people to return to Colombo after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year holidays, the Railways Department said.

Deputy General Manager of Sri Lanka Railways –  N.J. Indipolage stated that accordingly, eight additional train journeys will be in operation from Badulla, Galle and Beliatta railway stations to Colombo Fort.

The Department of Railways also mentioned that the office trains will be operational as per usual from April 16.

Meanwhile, the National Transport Commission has said that special buses will be deployed to transport those who had gone to their hometowns during the New Year.
Bus associations have also stated that buses to Colombo will be operational.

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Local multi-day fishing trawler seized with ICE & heroin worth over Rs. 3798 Mn.

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In another successful intelligence operation of the Sri Lanka Navy, a local multi-day fishing trawler (01) carrying a large haul of narcotics, with 06 suspects aboard, were intercepted about 133 nautical miles (about 246 km) off Dondra, south of Sri Lanka. 

The operation also resulted in the seizure of another local one-day fishing trawler (01) with 04 suspects, believed to have been there to fetch the consignment of narcotics mid-sea. The operation was mounted by deploying Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship (SLCG) Samudraraksha which made the apprehension on 12th April 2024.

 The haul of narcotics included about 179kg and 906g of crystal methamphetamine (Ice) and about 83kg and 582g of heroin (with their packages). The Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera arrived at the Galle Harbour on 13th April to inspect the consignment of narcotics held in this operation.
The Sri Lanka Navy and Coast Guard regularly patrol and conduct search operations along the island’s coast to prevent illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, stemming via sea routes.

During this dedicated operation based on naval intelligence, a suspicious multi-day fishing trawler, which was about 133 nautical miles (246 km) off the south coast of the island, was intercepted and searched by SLCG Samudraraksha. As the fishing trawler was suspected of smuggling a haul of crystal methamphetamine and heroin in 17 sacks, during the search, the narcotic-carrying trawler was held on 12th April, with 06 suspects aboard.

Additionally, SLCG Samudraraksha inspected another local one-day fishing trawler, which was plying suspiciously in the sea area. During the inspection, 04 suspects were apprehended, along with the trawler, on suspicion of attempting to exchange narcotics with the multi-day trawler previously seized.

Following a thorough search of the suspicious multi-day fishing trawler at the Galle Harbour on 13th April, authorities recovered 17 sacks containing crystal methamphetamine and heroin. The haul of crystal methamphetamine, weighing about 179kg and 906g (including packages), were in 129 packages, stuffed in 13 sacks and the stash of heroin, weighing about 83kg and 582g (including packages), were in 76 packages, contained in 04 sacks. The consignment of narcotics, along with the 06 suspects and the multi-day fishing trawler was handed over to the Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) for onward legal action.

Moreover, the 04 individuals, along with the one-day fishing trawler, which were seized on suspicion of being involved in a drug exchange at sea, were also handed over to PNB for further legal action.

The individuals held in the operation are known to reside in the Weligama, Imaduwa, and Galle areas, ranging in age from 23 to 54 years old. Meanwhile, the gross street value of the consignment of drugs seized during this operation is believed to be more than Rs. 3798 million.

Including the recent confiscation, the Sri Lanka Navy has held drugs with a gross street value of over Rs. 9300 million during operations mounted so far in 2024. The Sri Lanka Navy – the country’s first line of defence is committed to coordinating with other law enforcement authorities, to carry out anti-drug operations of this nature in order to foil drug smuggling attempts being made in the guise of fishing.

(navy.lk)

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