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FAO delivers 8,360 MT of Japan-funded fertilizer

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The Food and Agriculture Organization has delivered 8,360 metric tonnes of Japanese funded urea fertilizer this week to the Ministry of Agriculture for distribution during the forthcoming Maha cropping season.

The essential fertilizer will be distributed to over 228,000 smallholder paddy farmers across several districts in dry and intermediate zones of Sri Lanka, bolstering production and increasing the resilience of smallholder paddy farmers in the country. 

The assistance targets smallholder paddy farmers cultivating lands up to one hectare in Kurunegala, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, and Batticaloa, districts.

Under this emergency assistance programme, farmers cultivating up to 0.5 hectares of land will receive 25 kg of urea fertilizer free of charge, while those cultivating up to 1 hectare of land will receive 50 kg of urea, also provided at no cost to the farmers.

Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, the Minister of Agriculture in Sri Lanka, emphasized the significance of this support in advancing the country’s agricultural goals, saying, “The arrival of this urea fertilizer will support Sri Lanka’s steady recovery. By addressing the needs of our farmers, we are fostering the growth of a more resilient and prosperous agricultural sector. I thank the government of Japan and the Japanese people for this valuable aid to the small holder paddy farmers of Sri Lanka”

Mr. Mizukoshi Hideaki, the Japanese Ambassador, expressed Japan’s commitment to supporting Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector and stated, “We are delighted to be a part of this collaborative effort with FAO and the government of Sri Lanka. Our shared vision of empowering smallholder farmers through sustainable practices aligns well with this initiative. We believe this assistance will significantly contribute to the betterment of Sri Lanka’s farming communities.”

Mr. Vimlendra Sharan, FAO Representative to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, highlighted the organization’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and its dedication to assisting Sri Lanka’s farming communities, stating, “FAO remains steadfast in its mission to promote sustainable practices and improve the livelihoods of farmers. This collaboration with the government of Japan and the Ministry of Agriculture exemplifies the positive outcomes that can be achieved when nations come together to address the challenges faced by smallholder farmers.”

FAO, along with its esteemed partners, reiterates its commitment to supporting the agriculture sector in Sri Lanka and stands united in advancing food security and building a resilient agrifood system in the country.

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Shooting incident ‘targeting’ former MP Uddika was self-orchestrated : Police

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Sri Lanka Police says it has been uncovered that the incident where several gunshots had been fired at the vehicle belonging to former Anuradhapura District parliamentarian Uddika Premaratne, had been orchestrated by the actor-turned-politician himself with the assistance of an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in the area.

Speaking during a press conference held in Colombo today (13), the Police Media Spokesman DIG Nihal Thalduwa said that the suspects connected to the incident have been identified so far following investigations carried out by the CID.

On September 17, 2023, a group of unidentified gunmen had opened fire at Premaratne’s car soon after he returned to his residence in Anuradhapura at around 10:35 p.m. The parliamentarian had managed to escape unharmed.

The perpetrators, who had arrived in a car, were said to have targeted the parliamentarian who was walking towards the house after parking his vehicle. The left rear door glass of Premaratne’s car was damaged in the shooting incident for which the gunmen were believed to have used a pistol.

Anuradhapura police initiated investigations soon after the incident was reported and Special Task Force (STF) personnel were deployed to beef up the security near the MP’s house. Later, investigations into the matter were handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

However, the former MP claimed that the existing system within the country was the reason behind the recent shooting incident targeting him.

Speaking in Parliament in this regard, MP Premaratne said that while he believed the system was the cause behind the recent shooting outside his residence, it is also the reason why the country is in the state it is today.

Later on 27 February 2024, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP resigned as a Member of Parliament, following which S.C. Muthukumarana of SLPP was appointed to fill the vacant MP seat.

However, Premaratne was later reported to have flown to Canada, seeking political asylum, which he refuted, and claimed that he was expecting a work visa in Canada.

In 2020, the popular actor was announced as a candidate for the 2020 parliamentary election from the Anuradhapura District as a member of the Sri Lanka People’s Freedom Alliance, a political alliance led by the SLPP formed in 2019. 

He obtained 133,550 votes and won a seat in the 16th Parliament of Sri Lanka.

(adaderana.lk)

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

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Apple is the world’s first $1 trillion brand: Kantar

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Kantar BrandZ’s Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2024 has named Apple as the world’s first trillion-dollar brand, holding onto pole position for the third consecutive year. 

Google, Microsoft, and Amazon join Apple atop the rankings, with McDonald’s rounding up the top 5.

Demonstrating how effective AI has become for driving brand value, NVIDIA has lept 18 places to crack the top 10 for the first time, holding sixth position with a 178% year-on-year brand value increase. 

Facebook rejoined the Top 10 after a one-year absence, while Oracle joined the Top 10 for the first time. 

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The G7 Summit begins today

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Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries are meeting for a three-day summit, starting today (13 June) to discuss global affairs in the southern region of Puglia (Apulia), Italy.  

Heads of state of the seven members – the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom – as well as the chiefs of the European Council and the European Commission will be present at the event.

Italy, the host of this year’s event, has extended an invitation to more than 10 other countries for sideline discussions. These include UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed, Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Notable absentees are Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who it  is reported, had been invited.

Support for Ukraine is top of the agenda. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to arrive on the summit’s first day for two sessions dedicated to the war-torn country. The G7’s most anticipated outcome is an agreement over a $50bn loan for Ukraine backed by profits accrued on Russian assets frozen in the West. 

The war on Gaza is also expected to dominate talks. 

Pope Francis will also be among the guests – the first time a pontiff has been invited to the summit – for a session dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI). Other specific sessions will be on migration, financial issues and the situation in the Asia Pacific. 

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