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Rs. 28.8 mn. already allocated for Poson festival – PMD

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The government has refuted claims raised by various parties over the lack of state sponsored funding for the Poson Program being held in Anuradhapura this year.

In a media release, the President’s Media Division states that 02 State Ministries and one Department has already allocated Rs. 28.8 million for the purpose.

According to the PMD media release, Ven. Valahangunawewe Dhammarathana Thera, the Chief Incumbent of the Mihintale Rajamaha Viharaya, has forwarded an estimate of Rs.17 million to the Secretary of the Ministry of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs, specifically for the Mihintale Poson Perahara.

It adds that the Secretary of the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs – Mr. Somaratne Widanapathirana has informed allocating such a large sum of money is not possible within the financial regulations imposed by Parliament and that the ministry has approved a sum of Rs. 3.1 million from its budget head allocations for the 2023 National Poson Festival. 

“Secretary of the Public Administration Ministry K.D.N. Ranjith Asoka also said that an additional Rs.10 million has also been disbursed to the District Secretariats under the approval of the Anuradhapura District Secretary,” it adds.

“The National Water Supply and Drainage Board have agreed to supply 30,000 cubic meters of water for the drinking water and sanitary needs during the National Poson Festival… The Water Supply and Drainage Board Chairman, Mr. Nishantha Ranatunga, stated that the cost of these water-related services, including the installation of water tanks and tap systems at gathering places and providing water to the tanks along the Perahara route for the elephants, amounts to Rs. 15.7 million (excluding VAT), which will be covered corporately,” the media release further notes.

The complete media release issued by the PMD in this regard is as follows :

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MFA Consular Division to be relocated to “Suhurupaya”

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that their Consular Affairs Division will be relocated to the new premises at the 16th floor of “Suhurupaya”, Sri Subhuthipura Road, Battaramulla with effect from May 02, 2024. 

All consular services will be provided to the public at the new office premises during regular office hours from Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 4.15 pm, an MFA media release notes.

It further adds :

Document authentication services provided by the Consular Affairs Division in Colombo will be temporarily suspended for the public on 29 and 30 April 2024 in order to facilitate the transition of the Electronic Document Authentication System (e-DAS) to the new premises at Suhurupaya.

However, during the said transition period, the Regional Consular Offices in Jaffna, Trincomalee, Kurunegala, Kandy and Matara will remain open to the public during regular office hours. Applications for document authentication can be submitted to the Regional Offices as usual and the authenticated documents will be delivered to the applicants only on Thursday, 02 May 2024.

The public is also hereby advised to submit any urgent application for authentication to the Consular Division in Colombo, or any Regional Consular Offices by 4.15 pm on 26 April 2024, with a view to avoiding any inconvenience.

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Sri Lanka Railways GM passes away

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Sri Lanka Railways General Manager H. M. K. W. Bandara passed away today (23) due to a sudden illness.

He  was appointed as the railways chief in November 2023.

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CPC Vice Minister Sun Haiyan to visit Sri Lanka

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Vice Minister of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party, Sun Haiyan, is set to arrive in Sri Lanka today for a two-day official visit, as reported by The Thinakaran Newspaper.

During her visit, Sun Haiyan is scheduled to engage in discussions with high-ranking government officials, including President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

The discussions are anticipated to cover various bilateral matters of mutual interest between China and Sri Lanka.

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