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Ferry service to be launched between India & SL

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Steps have been taken to launch a passenger ferry service between South India and Kankesanthurai, Trincomalee and Colombo Ports in Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation said.

A special discussion was held at the ministry’s auditorium yesterday (13) under the chairmanship of Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva in this regard.

Minister de Silva said that passenger ferry services between Kankesanthurai and Pondicherry would be commenced in January as the first step of this programme and the approval of the Indian Government has already been received.

The minister said that since a large number of Indians are engaged in business activities in the Jaffna peninsula, the country will be able to earn foreign exchange by launching the passenger ferry services, and it will also be a great relief to the Sri Lankan pilgrims visiting Bodh Gaya.

The ship owners have meanwhile pointed out that the existing infrastructure facilities at the ports should be improved before launching the ferry services.

Accordingly, Minister de Silva has instructed the Ministry Secretary to take necessary steps to improve infrastructure facilities at the ports related to Customs, Immigration and Emigration activities and to proceed according to the government’s approved procurement process.

The ship owners who participated in the discussion had said that ferries, which can carry 300 or 400 passengers at a time, take about 3 and half hours to complete one journey.

The ferry owners have said US$ 60 would be charged per passenger for one journey and they can carry 100 kg of luggage.

Meanwhile, those who were present at the meeting had commented how this ferry service will take less time to complete its journey than the time it takes to visit Badulla, which is Minister de Silva’s constituency, from Colombo.

Generally it takes around 8 hours to travel from Colombo to Badulla by bus.

Secretary of the Ministry K.D.S. Ruwanchandra, Controller General of Immigration Department I.S.H.J. Ilukpitiya, Commander Senaka Wahala representing the Navy and a group of passenger vessel owners also participated in the meeting.

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Easter Sunday bombings : Rs. 295 mn. paid as compensation

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The annual reports of the Office of Reparations have revealed that over Rs. 295 million (295,499,069) have been paid as compensation to victims and property damage of the Sunday Easter bombings.

Under this, Rs. 273,747,000  have been paid as compensation for 719 victims while Rs. 21,752,069 have been paid as compensation for property damages.

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350 medical specialists have left SL

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A study conducted by a group of specialist doctors at the Ministry of Health has revealed that 350 specialists have left the country during recent times.

Many of them have left for countries such as UK and Australia. According to a spokesperson of the ministry, economic hardships have been cited as one of the main reasons for them to do so.
Doctors suggest that the government should provide an immediate solution to this issue.

Commenting on the issue, Secretary of the Health Ministry – Dr. Palitha Mahipala says that there is still a shortage of anesthetists and pediatricians after most of them had left the country.

However, some who have gone for training, are returning after their training is complete, he adds.

Meanwhile, sources in the Health sector also say that over 200 nurses too have gone overseas, but new recruits have enabled to prevent hospital operations from continuing without hindrance.

(Source : Lankadeepa)

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Details of SL recruits in Russian military, sought

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Sri Lanka has sought a report from Russian authorities on details of Sri Lankan military recruits and how many of them have died during the Russian-Ukraine conflict, the ‘Aruna’ newspaper reports.

According to a directive by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Russia has forwarded this request to the Russian Ministry of Defence.

Previously, the Human Trafficking, Human Smuggling and Maritime Crime Investigation Division (CID) arrested a retired major and an employment agent, identified as leaders of an organized scheme that recruited retired military personnel as mercenaries for the Russian army.

The Defence Ministry in Sri Lanka has urged the Tri Force commanders to brief Tri Force personnel not to fall for such rackets.

(Source : Aruna)

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Retired Major & agent arrested for recruiting SL mercenaries for Russian Army

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