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Lankans overseas can apply or renew passports online!

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Sri Lankans living abroad will be able to apply for a new passport or can renew their passport with effect from June 01, it had been stated at the Sectoral Oversight Committee on International Relations.

It was revealed by the officials of the Immigration and Emigration Department who participated in the sectoral oversight committee on international relations, held recently under the chairmanship of its chairman, MP Namal Rajapaksa.

Officials further pointed out that Sri Lankans who live abroad can apply for passports online without visiting Sri Lankan embassies in their countries.

The committee also discussed the implementation of e-passport and the chairman of the committee instructed the relevant officials to speed up this process.

There was also a discussion about various issues including the shortcomings found in visa application online in the committee. For the above purpose, the chairman of the committee instructed the officials to quickly prepare and implement a necessary mechanism for foreigners to obtain their visas without difficulty, and to take necessary steps to further improve the facilities of Sri Lanka’s international airports for both locals and foreigners.

The importance of attracting tourists from high-income generated countries like Europe to Sri Lanka was discussed at length and the chairman advised the officials to take the necessary steps for that without delay.

The members of the committee, Members of Parliament Niroshan Perera, S. M. M. Musharraf, Sagara Kariyawasam, Yadamini Gunawardena, Dr. Harini Amarasuriya, had attended the meeting while MP Chandima Weeirakkody attended with the permission of the committee Chairman.

Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Immigration and Emigration, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited also participated in this meeting.

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Election Commission invites tenders for election stationery

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The Election Commission has announced a call for tenders to procure essential stationery, including indelible ink, for the upcoming election. 

The required items include photocopy and printing paper, printed and data-printed envelopes, pens, pencils, carbon paper, staplers and stapler pins, calculators, and other necessary supplies for the election process. 

Tenders will be opened on August 2nd under the national competitive bidding process.

Meanwhile, Deputy Postmaster General Rajitha Ranasinghe stated that preparations for the Presidential Election are ongoing despite a staff shortage. 

He confirmed that 8000 mail delivery staff will be deployed for relevant tasks. 

However, the Election Commission and relevant authorities have been informed about the staffing issue.

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Sri Lanka announces squad for home series against India

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Sports Minister Harin Fernando has approved the 16-member squad for Sri Lanka’s upcoming home series against India, with Charith Asalanka named as the Captain.

The squad includes notable players such as Kusal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, and Chamindu Wickremesinghe.

India’s tour of Sri Lanka will feature a three-match T20I series followed by a three-match ODI series.

**Sri Lanka’s 16-member squad:**

1. Charith Asalanka – Captain
2. Pathum Nissanka
3. Kusal Janith Perera
4. Kamindu Mendis
5. Dasun Shanaka
6. Wanindu Hasaranga
7. Mahesh Theekshana
8. Matheesha Pathirana
9. Nuwan Thushara
10. Dunith Wellalage
11. Dushmantha Chameera
12. Binura Fernando
13. Dinesh Chandimal
14. Avishka Fernando
15. Chamindu Wickremesinghe

ODI Series at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
– August 2
– August 4
– August 7

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Hospital to be established at Somawathiya Raja Maha Viharaya

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The Health Ministry has announced plans to construct a peripheral hospital within the Somawathiya Raja Maha Viharaya premises to serve the large number of devotees and nearby communities.

A special discussion on this initiative was recently held at the temple, led by the Chief Incumbent, Ven. Pahamune Sri Sumangala Thera. 

The Chief Incumbent highlighted the temple’s significant daily visitor count of around 1,000 devotees, which swells to over 50,000 on Poya days and exceeds 100,000 during Poson and Esala Poya days. 

Currently, devotees who fall ill are transported to Polonnaruwa Hospital, a process that will be significantly eased with the new hospital.

Under the Health Ministry’s directives, two ambulances from Polonnaruwa General Hospital have been stationed at the temple to assist sick devotees. 

The new hospital will provide much-needed relief to the local villages of Sungawila, Katuwanwala, Galkanda, and Kandakadu.

Health Secretary Dr. Palitha Mahipala outlined the facilities of the new hospital, which will include an outpatient department, an emergency treatment unit, male and female wards, and residential quarters for doctors and health staff. 

This hospital will function as an affiliate of Polonnaruwa General Hospital, with staff being deployed from the main hospital.

A special Cabinet paper for the hospital’s construction is set to be presented, with an allocation of Rs.100 million for the project this year.

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