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Indian Defence Minister’s visit deferred (Update)

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The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka states that the Indian Defence Minister’s visit to Sri Lanka has been deferred.

The Indian HC adds that fresh dates are to be decided later.

The Indian Defence Minister – Shri Rajnath Singh was scheduled to visit Sri Lanka this weekend (September 02-03) to review bilateral defence ties.


(Previous News: 01st Sep. 2023 at 06:02pm)

Indian Defence Minister to visit Trinco & N’Eliya

Defence Minister of India, Shri Rajnath Singh is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka this weekend (September 02-03) to review bilateral defence ties.

During the visit, Mr. Singh will hold talks with President and Defence Minister of Sri Lanka – Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister – Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena, a statement by the Indian High Commission in Colombo notes.

The entire gamut of India’s defence ties with Sri Lanka will be reviewed during these meetings. 

Mr. Singh will also visit Nuwara Eliya and Trincomalee.

In a statement, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka states : “This visit of Shri Rajnath Singh reiterates India’s continued commitment in furthering the existing warm and friendly relations with Sri Lanka. The visit is an important landmark in deepening the enduring bonds of friendship between the two countries in the defence sphere.”

INS Delhi arrives in Colombo

Meanwhile, the Indian Naval Ship (INS) ‘Delhi’ arrived at the port of Colombo on a formal visit this morning (Sep. 01) and was welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in compliance with naval tradition.

INS ‘Delhi’ is a 163.2m long Destroyer manned by a crew of 450 and the ship is commanded by Captain Abhishek Kumar. Meanwhile, the Commanding Officer of the ship called on Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Suresh De Silva at the Western Naval Command Headquarters this morning.

During the ship’s stay, the crew will take part in several programmes organized by the Sri Lanka Navy, with a view to promoting cooperation and goodwill between two navies. They are also expected to visit some of the tourist attractions in the country.

In addition, INS ‘Delhi’ has made arrangements to open the ship for the visit of school children. 

Further, training exchanges are scheduled to be held aboard, involving naval personnel from both navies. The ship is expected to depart the island on 03rd September and she will conduct a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with a ship of Sri Lanka Navy, off Colombo.

(Pics : navy.lk)

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Decision on water tariff reduction, soon?

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Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development Jeevan Thondaman, announced that the reduction of water tariffs is being studied alongside the new electricity tariff revision, with a decision expected by the end of this week.

The Minister also highlighted that the Water Supply Board, previously experiencing a monthly loss of LKR 2.8 billion, has now achieved a profit of LKR 6.2 billion.

Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development Jeevan Thondaman made these remarks during the ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’ press briefing today (17)  at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC).

Minister Jeevan Thondaman, elaborating further, also stated:

We commend Minister Kanchana Wijesekera for initiating steps to lower electricity tariffs. The water supply sector is closely tied to electricity tariffs, making it likely that this revision will also lead to reduced water tariffs.

Water availability is influenced by various factors. We previously committed to lowering water tariffs in tandem with reductions in electricity charges. Currently, the Ministry is not only focusing on electricity but also assessing the impact of reduced interest rates, down from 26% to 11%. Additionally, we are studying the potential reduction in water tariffs based on changes in the dollar exchange rate. It’s important to note that the cost of chemicals procured by the water supply board is influenced by the dollar exchange rate.

It is expected that by the end of this week, a decision will be made regarding the extent of the reduction in the water tariff. When I assumed office in January 2023, the Ministry faced challenges, unable to even provide 1,000 new water connections. Moreover, I inherited a Ministry burdened with an USD 800 million debt and a Water Supply Board experiencing monthly losses of approximately LKR 2.8 billion. The board’s monthly recurring expenses of LKR 4.5 billion had a significant national impact.

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4 females arrested over brutal assault on child

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Aranayaka Police say that 04 female suspects have been arrested over brutally assaulting a six year old child.

The arrests were made after a video of the incident had gone viral online.

Accordingly, the women including the child’s mother, have been arrested and are to be produced before the Mawanella Magistrate’s Court today (July 17).

The child, who is under the care of his father, is to be produced before the Mawanella Judicial Medical Officer (JMO).

Aranayaka Police is conducting further investigation into the incident.

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Price of several fertilizers to be reduced

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The Minister of Agriculture and Plantation Industries, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera today (17) instructed the State Fertilizer Company to take steps to significantly reduce the prices of fertilizers used for plantation crops such as cinnamon, tea and coconut.

Accordingly, the President of State Fertilizer Company, Dr. Jagath Perera stated that the prices of 5 types of fertilizers such as APM, YPM, Urea ( Cinnamon), SA ( Cinnamon) and TDM fertilizers produced by State Fertilizer Company will be reduced from Rs.1500 to Rs.2000 with immediate effect.

A discussion was held today at the Ministry of Agriculture and Plantation Industries regarding the reduction of fertilizer prices. The minister gave these instructions during the discussion.

(dailynews.lk)

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

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