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Taj Samudra & Rescue Animals team up to help the voiceless

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The iconic Taj Samudra, Colombo known for many groundbreaking initiatives, teamed up with Rescue Animals Sri Lanka (RAS) founded by Anusha David, one of Sri Lanka’s well known animal welfare activists, by donating pet food to feed the street dogs whom RAS have been taking care of for 40+ years now.

The initiative, which was spearheaded by Area Director Taj Maldives & Sri Lanka Samrat Datta, resulted in a sizable team from the Taj Samudra visiting RAS and spending time with some of the animals.  Director HR Jayantha Tillakaratne, Learning and Development Manager Dr Shweta Chandra, Associate Director PR Onitha Gurugalla and several others were present.

RAS presently takes care of over 100 dogs and 40 + cats housed in Vidiyagoda, all of whom accident victims or abandoned by their owners, were rescued from the streets. “We are also active in rescuing cattle, birds, and monkeys who are then rehomed in safe sanctuaries. 

We assist in elephant rescues and are involved in environmental conservation”, said Thiran Ranatunge of RAS. “RAS provides food in the form of chicken pet food and rice to people who love animals but do not have the financial means to feed them. We also assist them with their veterinary bills and organize sterilization programmes. It is our strong belief that this is of utmost importance in the reduction of the number of street animals, as well as being the most humane way to tackle the problem. We appeal to all animal lovers to contribute towards our work. This would go a long way, making the world of difference to a sad, hungry, sick, animal on the streets of Sri Lanka”.

Taj stands in solidarity with its belief that all animals, regardless of size or species, have intrinsic value and deserve to be respected and protected. Keeping this in mind, the brand has long been an advocate for animal welfare and is committed to the preservation of the environment and its creatures. As per Mr. Datta ”Our service philosophy aka ’Tajness’ is all about sincere care and personal touch. Through this endeavour our team has taken it beyond the premises of the hotel to this home of rescue animals. It will be delightful  to see more and more people and organizations coming up with their support for such causes.”

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IMF approves Sri Lanka program review

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The International Monetary Fund has approved a review of Sri Lanka’s program, Foreign Minister Ali Sabry has said.

On a X post, he has said, “This achievement is a testament to our dedication to driving forward economic reforms and securing a prosperous future for all Sri Lankans.”

According to the State Minister of Finance – Shehan Semasinghe, “a favorable outcome from the review is expected to unlock the 3rd tranche of approximately USD 330 million”.

The IMF had earlier said Sri Lanka had made “sufficient progress” on debt restructuring for a review on June 12, despite final deals pending with bilateral creditors and private creditors.

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Another probe related to Easter Sunday attacks

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed a Committee of Inquiry to investigate the actions taken by the State Intelligence Service (SIS), Chief of National Intelligence (CNI), and other relevant authorities concerning prior intelligence received about the bomb attacks on April 21, 2019. This decision follows the findings of the Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry, dated January 31, 2021, which highlighted that Indian Intelligence agencies and other sources had provided advance warnings about the impending attacks.

The Committee of Inquiry will be chaired by Ms. A.N.J. De Alwis, Retired Judge of the High Court. Other esteemed members of the committee include SLAS special grade Officer Ms. K.N.K. Somaratne and Senior Lawyer Mr. W.M.A.N. Nishane, AAL. 

The committee’s mandate includes examining whether actions or measures were taken by the SIS, CNI, and other relevant authorities based on the prior information or intelligence on an impending attack on April 21, 2019 by Indian intelligence agencies and any other sources and if so, adequacy of the actions and measure taken by the SIS, CNI and other relevant authorities. 

Additionally, the committee will investigate the circumstances surrounding the Directorate of Military Intelligence’s (DMI) and Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID) initial belief that the Vavunathivu killing of two police officers on November 30, 2018, was connected to the LTTE. This belief was held for four months before suspects with alleged links to the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) were identified.

A compact disk containing the Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry on the Bomb Attacks of April 21, 2019, has been provided to the committee. The President has authorized the committee to inquire relevant officials and examine pertinent documents to thoroughly investigate these matters.

Ms. Sarathanjali Manoharan, Senior Assistant Secretary to the President, will serve as the Secretary to the Committee of Inquiry. The committee is expected to submit its report, including findings and recommendations, to the President by September 15, 2024.

(President’s Media Division)

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New, free train ride for pilgrims visiting Mihintale (Video)

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Cabinet Spokesman Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena has said that a new short train ride between Anuradhapura and Mihintale will be arranged for pilgrims during the Poson season.

He said this at the Cabinet briefing held today (June 12) at the Government Information Department.

Since work on the Northern railway line have been delayed, 400 special buses will be deployed to Anuradhapura instead during the Poson season, he added.

Noting that a special railway line from Anuradhapura to Mihintale has been reconstructed,  the minister said that Sri Lanka Railways has been directed to arrange special, free train rides on this line for pilgrims.

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