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Japan extends further support to demining activities in SL

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Japanese Ambassador in Sri Lanka – Mr. Mizukoshi Hideaki yesterday (Nov. 27) signed the grant contracts of two demining projects under the scheme of “Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP)”, with Ms. Cristy McLennan, Country Director of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and Mr. Stephen Hall, Programme Manager of the HALO Trust.  

The Government of Japan has provided a total sum of US$ 729,925 (approx. Rs. 238 million) for these two projects with MAG and the HALO Trust to extend its support for humanitarian demining activities in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. Japan has been a major donor in demining activities in Sri Lanka since 2002, and the total amount of assistance exceeds US$ 44 million.  

It is expected that these projects by MAG and HALO will together contribute to resettlement and livelihood support for a total of 10,977 IDPs (internally displaced people) in the Northern and Eastern provinces.  

The development of the conflict-affected areas is one of the priority areas of Japan’s official development assistance policy to Sri Lanka.

Ambassador Mizukoshi strongly reiterated that the Government of Japan has been committing its role as a leading donor in demining activities and will continue to provide the necessary support to achieve “Mine-Impact-Free Sri Lanka”.  

Commenting on the provision of this grant, Ms. Cristy McLennan stated;

“Since the beginning of the Sri Lanka Mine Action programme in 2002, Japan has been a major donor in the area of mine clearance. Through assistance from the Government of Japan alone, MAG has released over 3,300,000 square meters of contaminated land and removed more than 16,500 Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) remaining in the ground from over two decades of conflict. This new project is expected to clear an additional 194,896 square meters of ground in the North and East of Sri Lanka, reducing the threat of death and injury to resident and returning communities and enhancing the livelihoods of 5,577 people. It is expected that the land made safe through this project will be used for agricultural development, access to infrastructure as well as to natural resources. MAG has worked in Sri Lanka since 2002 to help rid the country of the scourge of landmines and other ERW, employing over 1,000 staff across eight districts of the country. We are so proud to be receiving this critical, continued support from the Government of Japan today and we hope our partnership continues until Sri Lanka becomes mine free.”  

Mr. Stephen Hall stated;  “The HALO Trust is very grateful to the Government of Japan for its continued trust and generous support – they are our longest-supporting donor. 21 years of humanitarian assistance to clear the explosive remnants of war in Northern Sri Lanka has helped HALO to find and destroy over 283,000 anti-personnel landmines and release 117 km2 of previously contaminated land. This has enabled the safe resettlement of over 280,000 internally displaced people (IDPs). Funding from Japan also provides a stable income and livelihood for hundreds of local women and men. The continued support from the Government of Japan to The HALO Trust and three other mine action operators is bringing the Government of Sri Lanka one step closer to towards meeting its Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty obligations of clearing the country of all known mine and other explosive contamination by 1 June 2028”.

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Mahela and Namal Grace attend Ambani’s Wedding

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Former Sri Lankan cricket captain Mahela Jayawardene and MP Namal Rajapaksa are among the invitees of Anant Ambani’s wedding

The wedding of Mukesh Ambani and Neeta Ambani’s youngest son, Anant Ambani, to Radhika Merchant has taken social media by storm, featuring some of the biggest celebrities and sporting personalities from around the globe.

Lavish wedding celebrations for the son of Asia’s richest man resumed on Saturday with a star-studded guest list including Hollywood celebrities, global business leaders, and two former British prime ministers.

Billionaire tycoon Mukesh Ambani’s youngest son Anant and fiancée Radhika Merchant, both 29, are tying the knot this weekend in Mumbai, India, following months of pre-marriage parties.

Saturday will see a blessing ceremony during which the world’s rich and famous will greet and pay their respects to the couple at a 16,000-capacity convention center owned by the Ambani family’s conglomerate.

This will be followed by a grand party where unconfirmed reports say pop stars Drake, Lana Del Rey, and Adele are likely to perform.

(dailymirror.lk)
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailymirror.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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Arthur C. Clarke Centre announces satellite launch for next year

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The Arthur C. Clarke Centre has announced plans to launch a satellite next year. 

Professor Chandana Jayaratne, Director of the Astronomy and Space Science Unit at Colombo University’s Physics Department and Chairman of the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies, emphasized the need for further infrastructure development to educate schoolchildren on satellite technology.

He made these remarks during a program focused on teaching students about satellite technology.

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Suspect in burglary of Sachithra Senanayake’s house arrested

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Police have apprehended a suspect involved in the burglary of former Sri Lankan cricketer Sachithra Senanayake’s house in the Kalalgoda area of Thalangama. 

The burglary occurred on the night of June 22, 2024.

The suspect, a 34-year-old resident of Thalangama, was identified through CCTV footage. 

Police recovered the stolen items, including a laptop, two tablet PCs, five expensive watches, four valuable bracelets, two rings, and Rs 10,000 in cash, from the suspect’s house. 

The motorcycle used in the theft has also been seized.

The suspect, who has a history of criminal activity and was recently released on bail after serving time for multiple burglaries in Kottawa, Thalangama, and Maharagama, will be produced before Homagama Court. 

Kottawa Police are conducting further investigations.

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