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President to take centre stage at key global summits in Kampala

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe is set to take centre stage at the upcoming 19th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the 3rd South Summit of the Group of 77 & China, scheduled from January 19 to 22, 2024, in Kampala, Uganda.

At the invitation of President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President Wickremesinghe will not only participate in these critical global gatherings but will also address both the NAM Summit and the South Summit. During his visit to Kampala, he is slated to engage in discussions with counterparts from the Global South, with a special focus on strengthening ties with leaders from the African region.

This year’s Summit is themed ‘Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence’ and will kick off with meetings of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Senior Officials. The NAM, founded on the Bandung Principles and comprising 120 member-states, aims to advance the interests of developing nations, with Sri Lanka being a founding member and former Chair from 1976 to 1979.

Simultaneously, the Third South Summit, operating under the theme ‘Leaving No One Behind,’ seeks to enhance cooperation across 134 member states in areas such as trade, investment, sustainable development, climate change, poverty eradication, and the digital economy.

As the largest coalition of developing countries in the United Nations, the Group of 77 empowers the Global South to articulate and promote collective economic interests, strengthening joint negotiating capacity on major international economic issues. Uganda is poised to assume the chairmanship of both NAM and the G77 & China from Azerbaijan and Cuba, respectively.

Accompanying President Wickremesinghe are key delegates, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry, Secretary to the President E.M.S.B. Ekanayake, Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane, Senior Advisor to the President on Climate Change Ruwan Wijewardene and senior officials from the Presidential Secretariat and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The stage is set for Sri Lanka to actively contribute to shaping the global agenda for shared prosperity and cooperation.

(President’s Media Division)

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94th Battle of the Maroons ends in a draw (Pics)

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The 94th Battle of the Maroons between Ananda and Nalanda concluded in a draw at SSC grounds. 

Despite the draw, Ananda secured a first innings lead, having declared their first innings at 286 for 9 wickets in response to Nalanda’s first innings total of 277 for 8 wickets, which was declared on the first day.

In the second innings, Nalanda, batting at 120 for 3 wickets, maintained a cautious approach, and the match ended without either team pursuing a more aggressive strategy in their first innings.

Ananda’s all-rounder Kithma Withanaparhirana played a notable innings, scoring 76 runs in 92 balls with 11 fours and a six on the second day. 

However, the team fell short of a century, with number three batter Dinada Athalage contributing a significant knock of 71 runs in 165 balls with 9 fours.

Despite the draw, the match witnessed commendable performances from key players, with Nalanda skipper Sajitha Vithanage earning the Man of the Match award for his unbeaten century.

Both teams showcased sportsmanship in the annual encounter, and Nalanda retained the N.M. Perera Trophy, presented by former Nalandian legend Stanley Jayasinghe. 

The trophy has been a symbol of the prestigious Battle of the Maroons series.

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Term tests for Western province suspended

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The term tests for grade 10 and 11 in the Western province schools has been postponed after some of the question papers were shared on social media ahead of the examination.

A senior official said that the decision had been taken after complaints that several question papers had been leaked out before the examinations.

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Russian Naval Ship Varyag Visits Colombo

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The Russian Naval Ship Varyag has arrived at the port of Colombo on a formal visit. 

This 187m long Missile Cruiser, manned by a crew of 529, is led by Flag Officer Captain 1st Rank Velichko Anatoly Vasicievich, with Captain 2nd Rank Glushakov Roman Nikolaevich serving as the Commanding Officer.

During their stay in Sri Lanka, the ship’s crew is expected to participate in various programs organized by the Sri Lanka Navy, fostering camaraderie and exploring tourist attractions in the country. 

The official visit will conclude, and Varyag is set to depart from the island tomorrow.

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