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India hands over successor Donier-228 surveillance aircraft

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India officially handed over a substitute Donier-228 maritime surveillance aircraft to Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka, President’s Senior Advisor on National Security to be used by the Sri Lanka Air Force, today (16) as the Donier-228 aircraft previously handed over to SL a year ago was sent to India for obligatory yearly maintenance.

The formal handover of this successor aircraft took place at the Sri Lanka Air Force Base Katunayake, with Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka – Mr. Gopal Baglay officiating.

In addition to the Indian High Commissioner and Mr. Ratnayaka, Secretary of the Defence Ministry – General Kamal Gunaratne (Rtd) and other officials also attended the event.

During the bilateral security discussions that transpired between India and Sri Lanka on January 9, 2018, in New Delhi, the potential acquisition of maritime surveillance aircraft akin to the Dornier type from India was brought to attention. The aim was to bolster Sri Lanka’s capabilities in maritime surveillance. In response, the Indian government had taken proactive measures and decided to provide a Donier-228 maritime surveillance aircraft, which was part of the Indian Navy’s fleet, to Sri Lanka for a span of two years. The aircraft was handed over to the Sri Lanka Air Force on Aug. 15, 2022.

Since its initial arrival in Sri Lanka, the Donier-228 maritime surveillance aircraft has significantly contributed to numerous operations. These encompass a spectrum of activities such as monitoring and safeguarding Sri Lanka’s airspace and exclusive economic zone through maritime and coastal surveillance operations, executing search and rescue missions, and monitoring and controlling maritime pollution.

Speaking during today’s event, Mr Sagala Ratnayaka thanked the Indian government and said, “Our friends, our neighbouring friends, were gracious enough to assist us. It is not only with this aircraft that we have received India’s assistance. It’s been a longstanding relationship, but in more recent times, when we were going through the economic crisis, India stepped up beyond the call of duty to lend us a hand… And we, in our recent visit to India, have developed a closer bond and a vision for how we will work together in the future as well,” he said.

“Connectivity is the key word. It’s a big word, actually. It has a wide area of meaning. It can be road connectivity, it can be people to people connectivity, economic connectivity, logistical connectivity, security connectivity, you know, it’s a large sphere. And we as neighbours cannot change the fact that we are neighbours. We will have to work together to ensure the safety of each other,” he added.

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Postage stamp to be increased to Rs. 100 in July

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A proposal has been made to increase the price of an ordinary postage stamp to Rs. 100 by July, Mass Media Ministry Secretary Anusha Palpita said.

He told the Daily Mirror that the Postal Department is currently incurring an annual loss of Rs. 7,000 million.

“Last year, the loss was reduced to Rs. 3,200 million. However, with a salary increase for postal employees costing Rs. 2,800 million this year, the Postal Department’s loss will rise again to Rs. 7,000 million.” he said.

“If the losses continue to increase, it might reach Rs. 5 billion by 2025. Less than 1.5 million people use postage stamps, yet the entire country bears the burden of the Postal Department’s losses,” he added.

The price of a stamp was Rs. 15 until 2022, and the current price is Rs. 50.

“We are awaiting approval from the Treasury to raise the price of a postage stamp. This decision is necessary due to the ongoing losses of the Postal Department,” Palpita said.

(dailymirror.lk)

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

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SL health officials urge public not to panic over flesh-eating bacteria

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Sri Lankan health authorities have urged the public not to panic about the spread of Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS), or commonly known as ‘flesh-eating bacteria’.

Surging numbers of STSS cases across Japan have raised alarm globally.

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NDU delegation from China, visits Navy HQ (Pics)

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A National Defence University (NDU) delegation from the People’s Republic of China, currently in Sri Lanka as part of their overseas study tour, visited the Navy Headquarters yesterday (June 18). 

During this visit, the members of the delegation called on the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera.

The NDU delegation, which comprised 41 student officers, was led by Rear Admiral Hu Gangfeng. Meanwhile, the delegation will be in Sri Lanka from 16th to 19th June.

During their official interaction, Rear Admiral Hu Gangfeng exchanged several views with Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera on several matters of mutual interests. The occasion culminated with an exchange of mementoes, signifying the importance of the occasion.

In addition, the delegation members took part in a briefing by the Commander of the Navy who outlined the roles and responsibilities of the Sri Lanka Navy. The Chief of Staff of the Navy, Rear Admiral Pradeep Rathnayake, Director General Operation, Rear Admiral Nishantha Peiris, Director General Training, Rear Admiral Buddhika Liyanagamage, Naval Assistant to the Commander of the Navy, Rear Admiral Kosala Warnakulasooriya and Defence Attaché of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Colombo, Senior Colonel Zhou Bo were also present on this occasion.

(Source / Pics : navy.lk)

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