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Indian HC organises series of Yoga events in SL

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High Commission of India in Colombo, its cultural arm Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC) in Colombo, Consulate General of India in Jaffna, Consulate General of India in Hambantota and the Assistant High Commission of India in Kandy will organize a series of events across different parts of Sri Lanka to mark the 9th International Day of Yoga (IDY) from June 17 – 21, 2023.

A mega public event under the theme ‘Yoga for Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ would be held at the Independence Square in Colombo on June 17, 2023 from 06.45am onwards to mark the Day.

Participation in the event, which is being held in collaboration with various partners including the Ministry of Health, Government of Sri Lanka, is free for the public.

On June 21, the High Commission will organise another yoga event at the Port of Colombo. 

In a media release, the Indian High Commission further notes :

Yoga enthusiasts will be connected from the ‘Arctic to Antarctic’ as a special initiative of the 9th edition of IDY. This year, Yoga will be performed on select port locations across the world forming a ‘Global Ocean Ring’. Connecting people the world over in a common pursuit of wellness, IDY 2023 resonates with the theme of India’s ongoing Presidency of the G20, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam i.e.  ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’

To inculcate Yoga as a physical and mental wellness routine among the Sri Lankans, Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre launched a 50-day run-up to IDY 2023. Since 01 May 2023, SVCC, in collaboration with government institutions, yoga organisations and local partners, has been organising Yoga events, workshops, lectures, demonstrations for different age-groups and professions. Some of the highlights of this campaign include yoga workshop for doctors of indigenous medicine, a yoga session at the Colombo Municipal Council grounds and an ongoing 3-day island-wide workshop for defence forces.

It may be recalled that the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, piloted by India in 2014, proclaiming  June 21 each year as the ‘International Day of Yoga’. The resolution was supported by more than 170 countries, with Sri Lanka being one of the co-sponsors of the resolution.

Yoga, like Ayurveda, forms a part of shared heritage of India and Sri Lanka. Indian diplomatic offices in Sri Lanka have been celebrating International Day of Yoga with the participation of the Sri Lankan leadership and public since 2015 with great fervour. Average footfall for the event over the years has been in thousands. There was also enthusiastic participation at the virtual events held in 2020 and 2021 in the wake of Covid-19, and in 2022 at the Independence Square in hybrid mode.

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Presidential poll will be held first as scheduled: President affirms

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe affirmed that the Presidential election will be held as scheduled with the General Elections anticipated to be held early next year, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

The President gave this assurance during a meeting with the representatives of the United Republic Front headed by by its leader Parliamentarian Patali Champika Ranawaka at Sirikotha today.

The United Republic Front presented a proposal titled “A United Step for the Country” to President Ranil Wickremesinghe this morning (24), at ‘Srikotha’, the United National Party headquarters in Colombo.

After engaging in discussions with the President, the leader of the United Republic Front, Member of Parliament Patali Champika Ranawaka, along with his delegation, presented this proposal to the President.

Speaking at the event, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, highlighted the government’s concerted efforts over the past two years to stabilize the country’s economy, which had faced significant challenges. 

Stressing the government’s commitment to steering the economy towards recovery through strategic reforms, the President expressed his determination to continue these initiatives with the collective support of everyone.

Recalling his open invitation to all political parties to unite under a common agenda on behalf of the country, regardless of political differences, the President reiterated his willingness to embrace constructive proposals from all political parties as part of the nation-building efforts.

The President responded positively to the request made by MP Patali Champika Ranawaka to allow other political parties to participate in the upcoming negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month concerning the restructuring of foreign debts.

United National Party Deputy Leader and President’s Senior Adviser on Climate Change, Ruwan Wijewardena, along with Secretary General of the United National Party Palitha Range Bandara were also in attendance at the event. 

Representing the United Republic Front were Karu Paranavithana, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe and Attorney-at-Law, Shiral Lakthilaka.

(dailymirror.lk)

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Dedicated SLBFE office to be established in Kegalle district

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In response to a joint request from the Kegalle Migrant Workers Committee and the Kegalle District political authority, Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara has assured the establishment of a dedicated Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) office in Kegalle District.

The request was presented during the Jayagamu Sri Lanka program organized by the Ministry of Labour and Foreign Employment in Kegalle. 

The Committee emphasized the need for an SLBFE office in the district, which has the highest number of migrant workers in Sabaragamuwa Province.

Commending the Minister for his prompt action in establishing a new SLBFE office in Nuwara Eliya District following a similar request, the Committee expressed confidence in his swift response to their current appeal. 

Minister Nanayakkara pledged immediate steps to open an SLBFE office in Kegalle and instructed officials from the Ministry and SLBFE to take the necessary actions for its swift establishment. 

This move aims to enhance support and services for migrant workers in the district.

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Parliamentary committee demands CBSL report on salary hike amid criticism

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Amidst growing criticism over the substantial salary hike for Central Bank employees, a key parliamentary committee has taken action, demanding a report from the Central Bank regarding the legal basis for such an increment without parliamentary approval.

Chairman of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Alleviating the Impact of the Economic Crisis, MP Gamini Waleboda, disclosed that the issue was raised during a committee meeting where Central Bank officials were present.

The Central Bank is now expected to submit a comprehensive report on the salary increment in the coming week. Following the submission, the Sectoral Oversight Committee intends to summon the Central Bank and its Monetary Board for further examination.

MP Waleboda highlighted that the committee expressed strong criticism of the 70% salary increase for Central Bank employees, especially given the ongoing economic crisis, deeming it an immoral act.

“We instructed the Central Bank to provide a report by next week to justify the salary increase. They will need to provide the legal provisions that empower them to effect such an increment. We will summon the Central Bank and its Monetary Board after receiving the report,” stated MP Waleboda.

Both government and opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) have voiced objections to the Central Bank’s decision to raise the salary scales by 70%, with Chief Opposition Whip Lakshman Kiriella asserting that the Central Bank Act lacks provisions for such salary increases without parliamentary approval, deeming it illegal.

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