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President expresses regret over suspension of LRT project

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his regret to the Japanese Government for the suspension of the Colombo Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, which was being implemented with Japanese support.
During the official meeting in Tokyo yesterday morning (25) between President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the President emphasized the need for future legislation in the Parliament to ensure that bilateral large-scale projects cannot be halted or canceled without the agreement of both parties.

The Prime Minister of Japan warmly received President Ranil Wickremesinghe, and bilateral talks commenced after a friendly conversation between the two leaders.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his gratitude to Japan for its support in helping Sri Lanka recover from its economic crisis, thanking the Japanese Prime Minister for his assistance.
The leaders also discussed new opportunities to enhance cooperation between Japan and Sri Lanka.

In another meeting held on the same day (25) in Tokyo, President Ranil Wickremesinghe met with Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki to discuss Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring and the International Monetary Fund’s program. Subsequently, President Ranil Wickremesinghe met with Japanese Foreign Minister Mr. Yoshimasa Hayashi, focusing on strengthening long-term bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Japan, including increased cooperation in economic and cultural fields.

Additionally, President Ranil Wickremesinghe and former Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Yasuo Fukuda participated in a breakfast meeting organized by the Japan-Sri Lanka Association in Tokyo on the same day (25).

During the meeting, President Ranil Wickremesinghe briefed the former Prime Minister of Japan on the ongoing economic recovery program in Sri Lanka. The President highlighted the favorable investment climate in Sri Lanka and extended an invitation to Japanese investors to return and invest in the country.

Furthermore, a meeting was held between the former Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Taro Aso, and President Ranil Wickremesinghe, focusing on potential steps to strengthen the existing close and friendly relationship with Sri Lanka.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe also engaged in bilateral talks with Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong in Tokyo on the same day (25). The President reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to implementing the Singapore Free Trade Agreement during discussions with the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore.

(President’s Media Division)

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Fire breaks out in workers’ living quarters near Colombo Port

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A fire has reportedly broken out in the living quarters of highway access road workers near the Colombo Port.

The Colombo Fire Brigade said it has dispatched four fire trucks to assist in extinguishing the flames.

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President Wickremesinghe meets Elon Musk to discuss starlink implementation in Sri Lanka

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has met with billionaire and investor Elon Musk on the sidelines of the 10th World Water Forum High-Level Meeting being held in Indonesia.

During the meeting, Wickremesinghe and Musk discussed the implementation of ‘Starlink’ in Sri Lanka.

It was emphasized that Sri Lanka is committed to expediting the application process to connect the country to the global Starlink network, according to the President’s Media Division (PMD).

Minister Jeevan Thondaman, accompanying the President on his two-day visit to Indonesia, tweeted: “President and Elon discussed Sri Lanka’s recovery, economic potential, and new opportunities for investment. Great to have two visionary leaders come together for Sri Lanka.”

Elon Musk arrived in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali on Sunday to launch Starlink satellite internet service in the world’s largest archipelago nation.

The billionaire head of Tesla and SpaceX, and owner of social platform X, arrived by private jet on the idyllic “island of the gods,” renowned for its tropical beaches, terraced rice paddies, mystical temples, and colorful spiritual offerings.

Musk is slated to launch the service alongside Indonesian President Joko Widodo in a ceremony later Sunday at a public health clinic in Denpasar, the provincial capital of Bali. 

Musk will also sign an agreement to enhance connectivity in the country’s health and education sectors.

During his first in-person visit to Bali, Musk is also scheduled to participate in the 10th World Water Forum, which seeks to address global water and sanitation challenges.

–With agencies inputs

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Senior diplomat to oversee Sri Lankan embassy in Russia

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It is reported that the government has planned to send a senior officer of the foreign service to the Sri Lankan embassy in Russia until a new ambassador is appointed due to the lack of an ambassador.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Taraka Balasuriya has told the media that the absence of an ambassador is just a gap in the work procedure, and based on the current situation in Russia, a senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be directed to supervise its affairs.

He emphasized that a retired foreign service senior is being sent and the lack of an ambassador is not a major problem.

The Minister further stated that there is already a senior Foreign Service officer there, and given the urgent need, a very senior Foreign Service officer is being sent not because the officer currently in Russia is inadequate.

Mr. Balasuriya has stressed that this is being done to strengthen the operation and that the work will be done according to the normal protocol.

However, even though an ambassador has been appointed to Russia, Mr. Balasuriya has made arrangements not to reveal who it is to the media.

The former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation, Prof. Janitha A. Liyanage, was given three extensions, and she ended her service at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Moscow on April 29.

At present, Counsellor Ruvini K. Munidasa serves as the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy.

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