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SLCFA unveils book on SL – China friendship

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The Sri Lanka-China Friendship Association (SLCFA) recently launched the book “Sri Lanka Cheena Mithudama” (Sri Lanka China Friendship) at a ceremonious event held recently at the Auditorium of the National Library and Documentation Services Board of Sri Lanka. 

The launch event was graced by prominent dignitaries, including the former Speaker – Karu Jayasuriya, who was the keynote speaker, and Chinese ambassador in Colombo – Mr. Qi Zhenhong, who was the guest of honour.

Mr. Ananda Goonatilleke, Attorney-at-Law and President of the Sri Lanka-China Friendship Association, chaired the event, reflecting on the enduring relationship between Sri Lanka and China. The SLCFA, originally founded as the “Ceylon-China Friendship Union” on September 21, 1950, by the Ceylon Communist Party, stands as a pioneer in fostering people-to-people diplomatic ties between the two nations. 

The first president of the union was Madam Kusuma Gunawardena, mother of the current Prime Minister – Dinesh Gunawardena.

In his welcome address, Mr. Goonatilleke introduced the book’s rich content, which encompasses a wide range of topics including historical ties, Buddhist connections, diplomatic relations, literature, economic and cultural cooperation, Chinese cuisine, China’s role and support in the war that defeated the LTTE, media, philatelic interests, photography, and more. He expressed gratitude to the authors who contributed invaluable articles and acknowledged the continuous support from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Sri Lanka.

Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, in his keynote address, highlighted the significance of the Rice and Rubber Pact, emphasizing its role in solidifying the profound friendship between Sri Lanka and China. He commended the SLCFA for its seven-decade-long dedication to nurturing people-to-people relationships between the two countries.

The highlight of the event was the formal presentation of the first copies of “Sri Lanka Cheena Mithudama” by Mr. Goonatilleke to Karu Jayasuriya and the Chinese ambassador – Qi Zhenhong. The event also saw the presence of notable figures such as Dr. G. Weerasinghe, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka; Mr. Aruna Goonatilleke, SLCFA Executive Vice President; Vice Presidents Mr. Thilak Botheju, Mr. Daya Lankapura and Mr. Premadara Dissanayake; SLCFA office bearers and various civil society activists and members of the public.

All attendees were presented with a complimentary copy of “Sri Lanka Cheena Mithudama,” marking the occasion as a memorable celebration of the enduring friendship between Sri Lanka and China.

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President meets TMVP Leader Pillaiyan

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has symbolically distributed freehold deeds to 192 individuals from 13 divisional secretariat divisions in the Batticaloa District. 

This distribution is part of the ‘Urumaya’ freehold deeds program, which aims to provide freehold deeds to 27,595 qualified families in the district, according to the President’s Media Division (PMD).

The ‘Urumaya’ national program is set to grant 2 million freehold land deeds to people across the island, enhancing property rights and security for numerous families.

Following the distribution ceremony, President Wickremesinghe met with TMVP Leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, also known as Pillaiyan, and party members at their headquarters. 

During this meeting, the TMVP leader expressed his support for the President and confirmed his party’s backing in the upcoming presidential election.

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Deadline for NIC applications extended to June 30

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The Department for Registration of Persons (DRP) has extended the deadline for individuals over 40 years old to apply for National Identity Cards (NICs) to June 30, 2024. 

Commissioner General of the department Pradeep Saputhanthri stated that the deadline for these applications has been extended to June 30. Originally, the deadline was set for March 31.

This extension was granted in response to requests from Divisional Secretaries, according to the department.

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Highlights from the 16th Nationalised Services Cricket Awards

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The 16th Nationalised Services Award, organized by the Nationalised Services Cricket Association (NSCA), took place in Colombo. 

State Minister for Sports Rohana Dissanayake and Sri Lanka Cricket President Shammi Silva chaired the event. 

NSCA Chairman Nalin Aponsu and members of semi-state and bank cricket teams attended. 

Awards were presented to teams that participated and won national service cricket tournaments from 2018 to 2024. 

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