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Expeditious implementation of Indian housing project

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High Commissioner of India – Mr. Gopal Baglay and Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development, – Jeevan Thondaman exchanged diplomatic notes, paving way for a three-fold increase in unit cost of a house under Phase-3 of Indian Housing Project (IHP).

This step would now enable expeditious completion of Phase-3 of IHP, under which 4,000 houses are being constructed through grant assistance by Government of India (GOI) in plantation areas of Sri Lanka, spread across 7 Districts in Central, Uva and Southern Provinces.

Close to 46,000 houses were built in different parts of Sri Lanka under the first two phases of IHP. Next phase for the construction of 10,000 houses in plantation areas, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, shall commence soon.

Exchange of diplomatic notes takes place at an important juncture, when the Indian-Origin Tamil (IOT) community who are concentrated in the plantation areas marks 200 years of their arrival to Sri Lanka.

This also coincides with 100 years of establishment of the Assistant High Commission of India in Kandy, which has been instrumental in implementing several people-centric grant schemes by GOI for the IOT community cutting across areas such as education, health, vocational training, livelihood development and several others, in addition to housing.

These milestones shall be commemorated by the Governments of India and Sri Lanka through several joint initiatives along with the establishment of 75 years of diplomatic relations between the two neighbours.

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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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