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Diplomatic communications underway to repatriate over 300 rescued SL migrants

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Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry has stated that the island nation has initiated diplomatic communications with the Vietnamese authorities to repatriate the Sri Lankans rescued at sea off the Spratly Islands.

The rescue operation was initiated after the Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Centre received news that Myanmar-flagged Lady R3 with 303 Sri Lankans, who were suspected to be headed to Canada, was in distress, a spokesperson for the agency was cited by the Vietnamese news portal VnExpress.

When the vessel was around 258 nautical miles off Vung Tau in the southern coast,  it had sent a distress signal after its engine room flooded and the vessel began to drift. There were rough seas at the time, according to reports.

On November 7th, the Japanese cargo ship Helios Leader en-route from Japan to Singapore approached the distressed vessel and brought all 305 Sri Lankan citizens and sailors on board and proceeded to Vung Tau where it was met by the Vietnamese Coast Guard.

The Vietnamese functional forces boarded the Herios Leader Vessel, a vehicle carrier, anchored off the coast of Vung Tau to receive the more than 300 Sri Lankans.

Accompanying the delegation on board the ship SAR 413 were representatives of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Vietnam.

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Colombo air show and CADE 2024 exhibition postponed to next year

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The Colombo Air Show and Defence Exhibition (CADE 2024), initially set to take place from May 29 to June 2 at Galle Face and Colombo Port City, has been postponed to next year, according to the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF).

The SLAF stated that the decision to reschedule the event was made in response to multiple requests from international partners, defence industry stakeholders, and foreign Air Forces. This postponement aims to enhance participation and provide a more diverse experience for spectators.

The rescheduled event will now be held from February 26 to March 2, 2025, coinciding with the 74th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Air Force.

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 Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arrives in Sri Lanka

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The Global Peace Ambassador and Spiritual Leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arrived in Sri Lanka this afternoon (18) for a three-day visit. He was welcomed at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake by State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon and Eastern Province Governor Senthil Thondaman.

During his stay from May 18 to 20, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will participate in an event titled ‘Ekamuthuva: An Evening of Music, Meditation and Wisdom,’ which will be held at Taj Samudra on May 19. Renowned for his global humanitarian efforts and as a peace envoy, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is also an Indian yoga guru and the founder of ‘Transcendental Meditation’.

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President leaves for Indonesia

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has left for Indonesia this morning (18) to attend the 10th World Water Forum High-Level Meeting in Bali, at the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The 10th World Water Forum is being held from May 18th to 20th in Bali, Indonesia.

This significant gathering, themed “Water for Shared Prosperity,” will convene global leaders to address pressing issues related to water management and sustainability.

President Wickremesinghe left for Indonesia on Saturday, following an invitation from Indonesian President Joko Widodo, underscoring Sri Lanka’s commitment to international cooperation on water-related challenges.

Scheduled to deliver a keynote address on May 20th, President Wickremesinghe will articulate Sri Lanka’s perspective on achieving equitable access to water resources for all, the President’s Media Division said.

During the forum, President Wickremesinghe is expected to engage in bilateral discussions, including a meeting with President Widodo, to explore avenues for collaborative action in water resource management.

His delegation, comprising senior officials from the Presidential Secretariat and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reflects Sri Lanka’s comprehensive approach to addressing global water issues.

President Wickremesinghe’s participation underscores Sri Lanka’s proactive role in advancing sustainable solutions to ensure water security, not only domestically but also on the global stage, the PMD said.

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