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State-of-the-Art Disaster Early Warning System launched

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Under the auspices of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, a sophisticated disaster early warning system was officially introduced today (19), marking a collaborative effort involving the Disaster Management Centre, Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and major telephone service providers including SLT Mobitel, Hutch, Dialog and Airtel. 

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalizing this strategic initiative was also signed at the President’s Office today. 

Director General of the Disaster Management Centre Major General S. Ranasinghe (Retired) and Director General of the Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Mr. Madhushanka Dissanayake, were the signatories to the MoU. Notable stakeholders, including Group Chief Executive Officer of Dialog Axiata Mr. Supun Weerasinghe, Group Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka Telecom Mr. Janaka R. Abeysinghe, Chief Executive Officer of Bharti Airtel Lanka Mr. Ashish Chandra, Chief Operating Officer of Mobitel Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Sudarshan Giganage and Acting Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka Pvt. Ltd Mr. Samitra Gupta were actively involved in the signing ceremony.

The primary objective of this state-of-the-art disaster early warning system is to fortify the existing mechanism, ensuring the safety and well-being of Sri Lankan citizens amidst various disasters, including those caused by weather and climate changes. The system leverages cutting-edge technology to deliver more effective early warnings through telephone communication networks.

Specifically focusing on tsunami disasters, the system targets nearly sixty thousand (60,000) mobile and landline numbers in 14 districts identified as high-risk areas. It is designed to promptly issue an immediate early warning in the form of a distinctive “Ring Tone” notification accompanied by a siren sound.

This will establish a more robust early warning mechanism for the public, utilizing phone notifications featuring a siren sound, particularly effective during night-time hours.

Scheduled for a public rollout on “National Security Day” on December 26, 2023, the system’s scope is anticipated to expand in the future, evolving into a comprehensive multi-disaster early warning mechanism. This expansion aims to include landslides and floods, further enhancing its utility and impact.

The high-profile event was attended by key dignitaries, including State Minister for Defence Mr.  Pramita Bandara Thennakoon, President’s Senior Advisor on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Mr. Sagala Ratnayake, Secretary to the Defence Ministry General Kamal Gunaratne (Retired) and Directors of the Disaster Management Centre, Brigadier T.C. Harasgama and Mr. Pradeep Kodippili were among others. 

(President’s Media Division)

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CBSL appoints two New Deputy Governors

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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has appointed two new Deputy Governors, effective this week. 

Assistant Governor and Secretary to the Governing Board A.A.M. Thassim has been appointed as Deputy Governor starting June 20, while Assistant Governor J.P.R. Karunaratne will assume his new role on June 24.

These appointments were made by the Minister of Finance, following recommendations from the CBSL Governing Board, in accordance with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Act, No. 16 of 2023.

Mr. Thassim brings over 31 years of experience at CBSL, having worked in various areas including Banking Supervision and Regulation, International Operations, and Risk Management. He has also been part of several high-level committees on monetary policy and financial stability.

Mr. Karunaratne, with over 33 years at CBSL, has extensive experience in the supervision and regulation of financial institutions, currency management, and public debt. He has significantly contributed to strengthening the legal framework and consolidation of the Non-Bank Financial Institutions sector.

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UK rejects TGTE appeal to lift LTTE proscription

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The UK Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission has rejected an appeal by the Transitional Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) to lift the proscription on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist organisation in Britain.

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Sabry, confirmed that the UK will continue to maintain the proscription on the LTTE. Announcing this on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter), Sabry noted that the independent court, headed by a high court judge and two retired senior diplomats, ruled against de-proscribing the LTTE.

The TGTE, which supports the creation of an independent Tamil state in north-east Sri Lanka, had appealed to the UK to lift its ban on the LTTE. However, the TGTE itself is not proscribed in the UK as it seeks to achieve its political and ideological objectives through non-violent means.

Sabry further stated, “The LTTE international network’s approach and strategy is to get foreign governments to de-proscribe the LTTE so that they could revive the LTTE.”

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Thai PM justifies frequent international trips, including a visit to Sri Lanka

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Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin defended his frequent globe-trotting during his first 10 months as leader of the Southeast Asian nation, in remarks aired in a television broadcast on Saturday.

A real estate tycoon and political newcomer who became prime minister in August last year, Srettha made 15 overseas visits and pledged a two-month halt in March in response to public criticism.

“Some of these visits are not avoidable,” he said, referring to those for official meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as to China and Japan, while a third was to Sri Lanka to sign a free trade pact.

Other visits aimed to draw trade and investment, said Srettha, nicknamed Thailand’s salesman, who has often spoken of his goal of luring more foreign investment to the country.

“It’s necessary to go,” he said in the remarks recorded in advance.

Source: Reuters

–Agencies

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