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Vesak Full Moon Poya today!

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Buddhists all over the world celebrate the Vesak Full Moon Poya Day today (5).

Buddhists commemorate Siddhartha Gautama’s birth, the enlightenment of the Buddha, and the passing away on the Vesak Full Moon Poya Day.

This year’s Vesak is extra special for Sri Lankans since they were not able to celebrate the Vesak festival in previous years due to Easter Sunday attacks in 2019 and the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

On the occasion of Vesak, Sri Lankan Buddhist devotees conduct various religious programmes and organise many Aamisa and Prathipaththi poojas including pandals, lanterns, and dansals mostly in and around Colombo and in other major cities.

Accordingly, Vesak zones have been set up in many places including Thotalanga, Kiribathgoda, Kelaniya, Maharagama, Kottawa and Rajagiriya.

The Bauddhaloka and the Gangarama Buddha Rashmi Vesak Zones will be held for several days. The State Vesak Festival will be held in Puttalam District.

The Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs organised the festival in collaboration with the Buddhist Affairs Department, Samastha Lanka Sasanarakshaka Mandalaya, Puttalam District Secretariat, Chilaw Divisional Secretariat and other governmental institutions.

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Fire breaks out in workers’ living quarters near Colombo Port

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A fire has reportedly broken out in the living quarters of highway access road workers near the Colombo Port.

The Colombo Fire Brigade said it has dispatched four fire trucks to assist in extinguishing the flames.

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President Wickremesinghe meets Elon Musk to discuss starlink implementation in Sri Lanka

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe has met with billionaire and investor Elon Musk on the sidelines of the 10th World Water Forum High-Level Meeting being held in Indonesia.

During the meeting, Wickremesinghe and Musk discussed the implementation of ‘Starlink’ in Sri Lanka.

It was emphasized that Sri Lanka is committed to expediting the application process to connect the country to the global Starlink network, according to the President’s Media Division (PMD).

Minister Jeevan Thondaman, accompanying the President on his two-day visit to Indonesia, tweeted: “President and Elon discussed Sri Lanka’s recovery, economic potential, and new opportunities for investment. Great to have two visionary leaders come together for Sri Lanka.”

Elon Musk arrived in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali on Sunday to launch Starlink satellite internet service in the world’s largest archipelago nation.

The billionaire head of Tesla and SpaceX, and owner of social platform X, arrived by private jet on the idyllic “island of the gods,” renowned for its tropical beaches, terraced rice paddies, mystical temples, and colorful spiritual offerings.

Musk is slated to launch the service alongside Indonesian President Joko Widodo in a ceremony later Sunday at a public health clinic in Denpasar, the provincial capital of Bali. 

Musk will also sign an agreement to enhance connectivity in the country’s health and education sectors.

During his first in-person visit to Bali, Musk is also scheduled to participate in the 10th World Water Forum, which seeks to address global water and sanitation challenges.

–With agencies inputs

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Senior diplomat to oversee Sri Lankan embassy in Russia

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It is reported that the government has planned to send a senior officer of the foreign service to the Sri Lankan embassy in Russia until a new ambassador is appointed due to the lack of an ambassador.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Taraka Balasuriya has told the media that the absence of an ambassador is just a gap in the work procedure, and based on the current situation in Russia, a senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be directed to supervise its affairs.

He emphasized that a retired foreign service senior is being sent and the lack of an ambassador is not a major problem.

The Minister further stated that there is already a senior Foreign Service officer there, and given the urgent need, a very senior Foreign Service officer is being sent not because the officer currently in Russia is inadequate.

Mr. Balasuriya has stressed that this is being done to strengthen the operation and that the work will be done according to the normal protocol.

However, even though an ambassador has been appointed to Russia, Mr. Balasuriya has made arrangements not to reveal who it is to the media.

The former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation, Prof. Janitha A. Liyanage, was given three extensions, and she ended her service at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Moscow on April 29.

At present, Counsellor Ruvini K. Munidasa serves as the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy.

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