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Pakistan and Sri Lanka agree to facilitate prisoner repatriation

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Pakistan and Sri Lanka have agreed to take immediate steps to facilitate the return of prisoners to their respective homelands. This move will bring 43 Pakistani citizens back from Sri Lankan jails.

The agreement was reached during a meeting between the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Admiral (Retd) Ravindra Wijeyagunaratne, and Pakistani Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi on Friday.

The two sides also discussed increasing cooperation in security and counter-narcotics, focusing on mutual interests and enhancing bilateral relations.

The Pakistani Interior Ministry has been working with Sri Lankan authorities over the past month to repatriate the 43 Pakistani prisoners.

High Commissioner Wijeyagunaratne assured full cooperation in this matter.

Minister Naqvi expressed gratitude for the support and stated that arrangements for the prisoners’ return would be finalized within a few days.

He noted the strong relations between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, which have been strengthening over the past seven decades.

Federal Interior Secretary Khurram Ali, Nadra Chairman Lt. Gen. Mohammad Munir, and other senior officials were also present at the meeting.

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President meets TMVP Leader Pillaiyan

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has symbolically distributed freehold deeds to 192 individuals from 13 divisional secretariat divisions in the Batticaloa District. 

This distribution is part of the ‘Urumaya’ freehold deeds program, which aims to provide freehold deeds to 27,595 qualified families in the district, according to the President’s Media Division (PMD).

The ‘Urumaya’ national program is set to grant 2 million freehold land deeds to people across the island, enhancing property rights and security for numerous families.

Following the distribution ceremony, President Wickremesinghe met with TMVP Leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, also known as Pillaiyan, and party members at their headquarters. 

During this meeting, the TMVP leader expressed his support for the President and confirmed his party’s backing in the upcoming presidential election.

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Deadline for NIC applications extended to June 30

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The Department for Registration of Persons (DRP) has extended the deadline for individuals over 40 years old to apply for National Identity Cards (NICs) to June 30, 2024. 

Commissioner General of the department Pradeep Saputhanthri stated that the deadline for these applications has been extended to June 30. Originally, the deadline was set for March 31.

This extension was granted in response to requests from Divisional Secretaries, according to the department.

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Highlights from the 16th Nationalised Services Cricket Awards

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The 16th Nationalised Services Award, organized by the Nationalised Services Cricket Association (NSCA), took place in Colombo. 

State Minister for Sports Rohana Dissanayake and Sri Lanka Cricket President Shammi Silva chaired the event. 

NSCA Chairman Nalin Aponsu and members of semi-state and bank cricket teams attended. 

Awards were presented to teams that participated and won national service cricket tournaments from 2018 to 2024. 

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