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Free rice distribution program initiated from Colombo District   

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The program to distribute free rice to 2.9 million low-income families commenced yesterday (26) in the Colombo District under the patronage of President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Mr. Sagala Ratnayake.

The program was carried out with a focus on the Dematagoda, Narahenpita, and Wellawatta areas, which fall under the Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretariat Division.

As part of the program, 995 recipients received bags of rice at the Mihidusenpura Community Hall in Dematagoda, 448 recipients received rice at the Dabare Mawatha Community Hall in Narahenpita, and 169 recipients were given rice at the Ranjan Wijeratnapura Community Hall in Wellawatta.

The distribution of free rice to low-income families for two months is part of the government’s 2022/2023 Maha season rice purchase and rice stock disposal program, which was implemented on the instructions of President Ranil Wickremesinghe. Each family will receive 10 kg of rice per month during this period.

Initially, the rice subsidy was intended for 2 million families, but it was later expanded to 2.9 million families as per the directives of the President. The program’s first phase will be rolled out in several districts, including Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Ratnapura, Galle, and Matara.

Addressing the program held at the Mihidusenpura Community Hall in Dematagoda, Mr. Sagala Ratnayake explained how Sri Lanka was able to turn a corner during a difficult period with the assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mr. Sagala Ratnayake emphasized that the country had faced an economic crisis due to wrong decisions made in the past, but now under the leadership of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the country is following a more appropriate economic program.

During the event, Mr. Ratnayake interacted with the attendees and listened to some of the issues they were facing.

The Colombo District Secretary, Mr. K.G. Wijesiri, and senior officials from the Ministry of Social Empowerment were present at the event.

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MFA Consular Division to be relocated to “Suhurupaya”

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that their Consular Affairs Division will be relocated to the new premises at the 16th floor of “Suhurupaya”, Sri Subhuthipura Road, Battaramulla with effect from May 02, 2024. 

All consular services will be provided to the public at the new office premises during regular office hours from Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 4.15 pm, an MFA media release notes.

It further adds :

Document authentication services provided by the Consular Affairs Division in Colombo will be temporarily suspended for the public on 29 and 30 April 2024 in order to facilitate the transition of the Electronic Document Authentication System (e-DAS) to the new premises at Suhurupaya.

However, during the said transition period, the Regional Consular Offices in Jaffna, Trincomalee, Kurunegala, Kandy and Matara will remain open to the public during regular office hours. Applications for document authentication can be submitted to the Regional Offices as usual and the authenticated documents will be delivered to the applicants only on Thursday, 02 May 2024.

The public is also hereby advised to submit any urgent application for authentication to the Consular Division in Colombo, or any Regional Consular Offices by 4.15 pm on 26 April 2024, with a view to avoiding any inconvenience.

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Sri Lanka Railways GM passes away

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Sri Lanka Railways General Manager H. M. K. W. Bandara passed away today (23) due to a sudden illness.

He  was appointed as the railways chief in November 2023.

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CPC Vice Minister Sun Haiyan to visit Sri Lanka

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Vice Minister of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party, Sun Haiyan, is set to arrive in Sri Lanka today for a two-day official visit, as reported by The Thinakaran Newspaper.

During her visit, Sun Haiyan is scheduled to engage in discussions with high-ranking government officials, including President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

The discussions are anticipated to cover various bilateral matters of mutual interest between China and Sri Lanka.

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