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Indian High Commissioner visits Kandy

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The High Commissioner of India – Mr. Santosh Jha visited Kandy today (Jan. 18).

The High Commissioner sought blessings of the Mahanayaka Theros of Asgiriya and Malwatte chapters, Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Mahanayake Thero and Most Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thero respectively. 

High Commissioner Jha underlined that Buddhism was central to the age-old connection between the people of India and Sri Lanka and briefed the Mahanayaka Theros on various initiatives undertaken by the Government of India (GoI) to strengthen bilateral Buddhist ties. 

He specifically mentioned that measures are being carried out expeditiously to roll out solar electrification of Temples across the country through GoI assistance.

He offered prayers at the sacred Dalada Maligawa for prosperity and well being of the people of the two countries as also stronger and deeper connection between them.

He also prayed for closer bilateral relations through further diversification in both scale and scope at Kataragama Devalaya.  

He visited Hanthana Estate and took stock of the Indian Housing Project. While GoI has already built 50 houses in the Estate under the third phase, more housing units are being constructed in the next phase of the Project. Overall, GoI has committed to 14000 new houses for plantation workers in the two phases of the project.

The High Commissioner inaugurated an Ayurveda camp, aimed at the physical well being of the plantation workers. He also distributed study materials and umbrellas to school going children in the Estate. He remarked that these are keeping in line with GoI’s firm commitment to the overall upliftment of the plantation workers and the Indian origin Tamil community in particular.

It may be recalled that a multi-sectoral grant package to the tune of SLR 3 billion was announced by GoI during the visit of Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe to India in July 2023.

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SL wins 1st T20I by 3 runs

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Sri Lanka won the 1st T20I match against Bangladesh by 03 runs, after a thrilling game.

Winning the toss, Bangladesh invited the visitors to bat first, where the visiting Sri Lankans scored 206/3 before limiting the Bangladesh team to 203/8.

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Fuel prices revised

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The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (Ceypetco) has announced that fuel prices will be revised with effect from midnight today (March 04).

Accordingly, prices of Petrol Octane 92 and Auto Diesel have remain unchanged.

Meanwhile, the prices of Petrol Octane 95, Super Diesel and Kerosene have been reduced.

A litre of Petrol Octane 95 has been reduced by Rs. 09 to Rs.447, while a litre of Super Diesel has been reduced Rs. 10 to Rs.458. The price of a Kerosene litre too, has been reduced by Rs. 05 to Rs. 257.

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8 Lankans trafficked to Myanmar, rescued

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The Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that 08 Sri Lankans out of the 56 trapped in cybercrime centres in Myawaddy area in Myanmar have been rescued by the Myanmar government authorities and are currently in the Myawaddy Central Police Station. 

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar is currently working on the early repatriation of the rescued Sri Lankans. As per information made available by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar, the 56 Sri Lankans who have been trafficked are being held in four separate locations in the Myawaddy area and the rescued eight Sri Lankans were in one of these locations in an area that could be accessed by the Myanmar government, a statement by the MFA adds.

The statement further adds : 

The rescue operation undertaken by the Myanmar government follows intensified diplomatic engagements including a communication from President Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed to the Prime Minister of Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing requesting for early intervention and support to rescue and safely repatriate the trapped nationals, which was conveyed via diplomatic channels to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar on 22 February 2024. 

In January 2024, Foreign Minister M. U. M. Ali Sabry took this issue up with the Deputy Prime Minister and Union Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar Than Swe, requesting urgent intervention to rescue Sri Lankan nationals highlighting the seriousness of the situation of the Sri Lankan victims who have been enslaved in cybercriminal activities and urging that early action be taken to rescue all the affected individuals.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in coordination with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar continues to make every effort to rescue and repatriate all Sri Lankan nationals, who have become victims of human trafficking and are trapped in Myanmar, in close collaboration with the Myanmar government authorities. 

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