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Sri Lanka receives World Methodist Peace Award 2022

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The World Methodist Peace Award presented by the World Methodist Council for rendering a commendable service creatively with fearless conformity for the building of peace, justice and harmony in the countries around the world has been awarded to Rev. Ebenezer Joseph, the President of the Methodist Church Sri Lanka.

The World Methodist Peace Award honoured by over 80 million Methodist devotees across the world began in 1977. Since then, this peace award has been presented 38 times to people dedicated to peace and reconciliation around the world.

The award recipients include great personalities who committed to national religious and ethnic harmony in the US, Egypt, England, Zimbabwe, South Korea, Ireland, Germany, Israel, South Africa, Ghana, Argentina, Sierra Leone, Brazil, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Bolivia as well as Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev and Kofi Annan.

Reverend Ebenezer Joseph is the first recipient of the Peace Award in the Asian region. Born in Kandapola, Nuwara Eliya, Rev. Joseph received his basic education from Wesley College, Colombo.

He then pursued higher education at the Theological Institute in Tamil Nadu and obtained bachelor’s degrees from several universities.

He commenced his career as a Methodist pastor in 1980 and started his work at the City Mission Church located in Dam Street, Colombo. The reverend priest helped the members of the low-income families in the area and played a large role in protecting the Tamil people during the July 83 riots.

From 1999 to 2020, he held the position of General Secretary of the National Christian Board twice.

Rev. Ebenezer Joseph worked very closely with Ven. Itthepane Dhammalankara Maha Nahimi, Maduluawe Sobitha Nahimi, Banagala Upatissa Nayaka Thera, Bellanwila Wimalarathane Nahimi, Murutthettuwe Ananda Thera and other religious leaders to build national unity among the people of the North and South following the end of the war.

Together with Buddhist and other religious leaders, he worked to convey a deep message about the religious harmony of Sri Lanka to the world by participating in various conferences abroad.

He has already received many national and international honors and awards for his work in building reconciliation in the country.

Rev Leslie Dareeju, the General Secretary of the Assembly of the Sri Lanka Methodist Church said the ceremony of presenting the Award to Rev. Ebenezer Joseph will be held on Saturday, February 18 at 5:00 pm at Wesley College, Colombo under the aegis of the President of the World Methodist Church Bishop K.J. Park (S. Korea) and its Secretary General Bishop Ivan Abraham (S.Africa).

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The G7 Summit begins today

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Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries are meeting for a three-day summit, starting today (13 June) to discuss global affairs in the southern region of Puglia (Apulia), Italy.  

Heads of state of the seven members – the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom – as well as the chiefs of the European Council and the European Commission will be present at the event.

Italy, the host of this year’s event, has extended an invitation to more than 10 other countries for sideline discussions. These include UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed, Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Notable absentees are Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who it  is reported, had been invited.

Support for Ukraine is top of the agenda. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to arrive on the summit’s first day for two sessions dedicated to the war-torn country. The G7’s most anticipated outcome is an agreement over a $50bn loan for Ukraine backed by profits accrued on Russian assets frozen in the West. 

The war on Gaza is also expected to dominate talks. 

Pope Francis will also be among the guests – the first time a pontiff has been invited to the summit – for a session dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI). Other specific sessions will be on migration, financial issues and the situation in the Asia Pacific. 

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University applications open tomorrow 

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced that online applications for university admissions for the academic year 2023/2024 will open tomorrow (14 June).

Applications will be available from 6 am tomorrow at www.ugc.ac.lk
The application deadline is 5 July 2024. 

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Govt. to privatise SriLankan as part of IMF programme – CEO

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The government, as part of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, is looking to privatise several state-owned enterprises and one of those is the flag carrier of the island nation, said SriLankan Airline CEO Richard Nuttall.

Nuttal added that the airline is also looking for an investor. Three candidates have been finalised in April and the government is in talks with them.

Nutall said that no Indian company had shown interest in investing in the airline.

The airline hopes to grow its current fleet of 21 to 22 next month, with plans to obtain another three aircraft within the next three months.

Source: ANI

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