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President & govt. political party representatives meet

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A discussion was held between President Ranil Wickremesinghe and the representatives of the political parties of the government yesterday (29), it was reported.

The representatives of political parties including the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) participated in the discussion.

Following the discussion, SLPP General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam said that the SLPP is not a party that works with portfolios in its mind.

“The President held a discussion with the parties of the government about the future programmes. We expressed our views as parties,”

Question – We saw people who are not Cabinet ministers like Rohitha Abeygunawardena and Mahindananda Aluthgamage also attended the meetings. What did the President tell them?

“This is not a discussion held regarding the positions of Cabinet ministers. It is a discussion regarding the future work of the government and the future political activities. We are not a party that always works for portfolios. We present our plans and the Opposition will present their programme. The people must choose.. This is democracy,” he said.

MP Gamini Lokuge said he will not ask for ministerial portfolios.

“We didn’t go to ask for Cabinet ministerial portfolios. They had invited the district leaders of the SLPP, the ministers and the leaders of the other political parties who are with us. There is no issue in protecting the government. The government has the required number of MPs,” he said.

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French ambassador in SL, passes away

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The French Ambassador for Sri Lanka and Maldives Jean-François Pactet has passed away today (May 26).

According to the police, the ambassador has passed away at his official residence.

He was 53 years old.He has served as the Ambassador in Sri Lanka since October 2022.

A career diplomat, Pactet was previously Deputy Director of Culture and Education in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

From 2016 to 2019, Jean-François Pactet was in charge of the Ministry’s policy regarding global health, gender equality and education, and supervised French contributions to multilateral funds in these areas.

Prior to this, Jean-François Pactet has been posted at the French Embassy to the United States in Washington (2012-2016) and at the French Permanent Representation to NATO in Brussels. 

He was also a Deputy Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Veteran singer and musician Ananda Perera passes away

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Renowned singer and musician Ananda Perera has passed away at the age of 67.

Family sources confirmed that he died while receiving treatment at a hospital in Kandy.

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Tea represents harmony, social inclusivity, says China – SL reps. to UN (Video)

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Tea as a popular drink shared by multiple countries around the world stands for harmony, diversity and social inclusivity, said representatives both of China and Sri Lanka to the United Nations at a ceremony held in the United Nations headquarter in New York on Tuesday.

The event themed “Tea for Harmony” was held to celebrate the International Tea Day, which also fell on Tuesday with a nod to China’s centuries-old tea traditions. It is co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of China to the UN and China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

“For thousands of years, tea has traveled along the Silk Road and the maritime routes to reach people around the world. Tea cultures from various countries, while sharing the same roots, have deeply integrated with their own customs and traditions. Just like this year’s theme ‘Tea for Harmony’ suggests, tea has indeed played an important role in promoting harmony within diversity,” said Dai Bing, China’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN.

In his opening speech, Mohan Peiris, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to UN, noted that tea functions as a means to bring people together for a casual chat, and thus helps to encourage social interaction and stands for inclusivity.

“Drinking tea promotes social interaction. Sharing tea provides an opportunity for individuals to come together. And that’s something we do here in the delegates lounge. It facilitates conversation. Let’s have a chat over a cup of tea. It encourages inclusivity. Community drinking can bring people together. Well, it also fosters equal footing. The very act of sharing a cup of tea is typically egalitarian. It’s big,” he said.

Products from Xinyang, a well-known tea-producing region in central China’s Henan Province, were highlighted at the event, with tea masters making drink with Xinyang Maojian, a widely welcomed local green tea at the scene.

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