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Presidents extends invitation to political leaders

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe extended an invitation to all political party leaders in the Parliament to engage in discussions with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the implementation of the agreement with the IMF.

Emphasizing the importance of unity in leading the country to success, he highlighted that withdrawing from the agreement would jeopardize the trust in Sri Lanka’s economy.

The President stressed that the nation’s economy suffered due to the politics of promises, emphasizing the need for all political parties to formulate comprehensive plans for the country’s development when gearing up for an election.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe made these remarks during the International Customs Day celebrations at the Colombo Customs Headquarters this morning (26).  

The President expressed gratitude to all members of the Customs Department for their contributions to the customs revenue in 2023. Highlighting customs tax, VAT and income tax as the three primary sources of income globally, the President stressed the importance of enhancing the efficiency of the customs service to boost the country’s revenue. He further noted that upcoming government legislation and modernization initiatives will overhaul all public revenue-generating institutions.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe delivered six Certificates of Merit to customs officials for rendering exceptional services to the International Customs. 

The Director General of Sri Lanka Customs, Mr. Sarath Nonis, presented the Strategic Plan for 2024 to President Wickremesinghe and State Minister for Finance, Mr. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya.

Additionally, a memento was presented to the President by the Director General of Sri Lanka Customs.

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SL wins 1st T20I by 3 runs

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Sri Lanka won the 1st T20I match against Bangladesh by 03 runs, after a thrilling game.

Winning the toss, Bangladesh invited the visitors to bat first, where the visiting Sri Lankans scored 206/3 before limiting the Bangladesh team to 203/8.

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Fuel prices revised

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The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (Ceypetco) has announced that fuel prices will be revised with effect from midnight today (March 04).

Accordingly, prices of Petrol Octane 92 and Auto Diesel have remain unchanged.

Meanwhile, the prices of Petrol Octane 95, Super Diesel and Kerosene have been reduced.

A litre of Petrol Octane 95 has been reduced by Rs. 09 to Rs.447, while a litre of Super Diesel has been reduced Rs. 10 to Rs.458. The price of a Kerosene litre too, has been reduced by Rs. 05 to Rs. 257.

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8 Lankans trafficked to Myanmar, rescued

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The Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that 08 Sri Lankans out of the 56 trapped in cybercrime centres in Myawaddy area in Myanmar have been rescued by the Myanmar government authorities and are currently in the Myawaddy Central Police Station. 

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar is currently working on the early repatriation of the rescued Sri Lankans. As per information made available by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar, the 56 Sri Lankans who have been trafficked are being held in four separate locations in the Myawaddy area and the rescued eight Sri Lankans were in one of these locations in an area that could be accessed by the Myanmar government, a statement by the MFA adds.

The statement further adds : 

The rescue operation undertaken by the Myanmar government follows intensified diplomatic engagements including a communication from President Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed to the Prime Minister of Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing requesting for early intervention and support to rescue and safely repatriate the trapped nationals, which was conveyed via diplomatic channels to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar on 22 February 2024. 

In January 2024, Foreign Minister M. U. M. Ali Sabry took this issue up with the Deputy Prime Minister and Union Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar Than Swe, requesting urgent intervention to rescue Sri Lankan nationals highlighting the seriousness of the situation of the Sri Lankan victims who have been enslaved in cybercriminal activities and urging that early action be taken to rescue all the affected individuals.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in coordination with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Myanmar continues to make every effort to rescue and repatriate all Sri Lankan nationals, who have become victims of human trafficking and are trapped in Myanmar, in close collaboration with the Myanmar government authorities. 

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