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RW to participate in India-hosted Voice of Global South Summit

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Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe will be among 20 world leaders who will participate in the “Voice of the Global South Summit” (VGSS) next week hosted by India virtually.

The summit will take place on January 12 and January 13 and will be chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Other than leaders from the neighbourhood, leaders from five countries from Africa (Angola, Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique, Senegal), three countries from the ASEAN grouping (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam) will be present, along with leaders of Uzbekistan, Mongolia, UAE, Papua New Guinea.

Remember, Senegal’s Macky Sall is the head of the African Union while Thailand is the chair of BIMSTEC grouping. The summit will have 10 sessions, with the opening and closing leaders’ session chaired by PM Modi and the remaining eight at the ministerial level.

The ministerial sessions will be at Finance, Environment, Foreign, Energy, Health, Education, and Trade levels. The theme of the Inaugural Leaders’ session is “Voice of Global South – for Human-Centric Development” and that of the Concluding Leaders’ session is “Unity of Voice-Unity of Purpose”.

Four sessions would be held on 12th January, and six sessions on 13th January. All in all, New Delhi has extended invites to 120 countries.

Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra in a presser on Friday said that the summit will “bring together countries of the global south and share perspectives and priorities” amid Covid pandemic fallout, global price rise when it comes to food, fuel, fertilisers due to Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The summit feeds into the G20 Summit which India will be hosting later this year in September. The foreign secretary highlighted, “The valuable inputs generated from the partner countries receive due cognizance globally and India’s ongoing Presidency of the G20 provides us with a special and strong opportunity to channelise these inputs into the deliberation and discourse of G20.”

India took over the Presidency of the grouping on December 1, 2022, and will host the summit for the first time since the emergence of the grouping after the 2008 financial crisis.

(dailymirror)

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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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