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President of CPAFFC arrives in SL (Pics)

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President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) – Mr. Lin Songtian has arrived in Sri Lanka for a 04-day tour.

He was warmly received by the Sri Lanka – China Friendship societies at the Shangri-La hotel today (12) and is expected to deliver a special speech next Tuesday (15).

Mr. Lin Songtian (62) entered China’s foreign service in 1986, and had rich working experience in the Foreign Ministry of China as Deputy Director General of Personnel (2007-2008), DG of Foreign Affairs Management (2010-2014) and DG of African Affairs (2014-2017).

He was posted at Chinese missions in Saudi Arabia (1989-1993) and Zambia (1999-2003) before being appointed as Chinese Ambassador to Liberia (2003-2007), Malawi (2008-2010) and South Africa (2017-2020).

Since 2020, he has been the President of the CPAFFC.

The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) is a national people’s organization engaged in people-to-people diplomacy of the People’s Republic of China. The aims of the Association are to enhance people’s friendship, further international cooperation, safeguard world peace and promote common development. On behalf of the Chinese people, it makes friends and deepens friendship in the international community and various countries around the world, lays and expands the social basis of friendly relations between China and other countries, and works for the cause of human progress and solidarity. It implements China’s independent foreign policy of peace, observing the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, while carrying out all-directional, multi-level and broad-area people-to-people friendship work to serve the great cause of China’s peaceful development and reunification and contribute to the building of a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity. In launching its activities, it has support from the government and assistance from all sectors of the society. It has set up 46 China-regional or China-national friendship organizations and established relationships of friendly cooperation with nearly 413 nongovernment organizations and institutions in 157 countries.

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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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