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Visa issue : Measures against officials challenging cabinet decision

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The government has issued a statement following the recent chaos at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake and allegations over outsourcing the on arrival visa process.

In a statement, the Department of Government Information refutes claims stating that the on arrival visa process has been outsourced sans a cabinet decision. It notes that Cabinet approval was granted last September to a proposal tabled by Minister Tiran Alles.

As per the procurement process, it was outsourced to VFS Global, a company with over 3388 centres across 151 countries, it adds.

The statement also mentions that the government has decided to look into issues that had recently taken place due to the company’s visa issuing process.

It adds that reports claiming that the entire visa process has been outsourced to a foreign company, are also baseless, clarifying only the facilitation work for visa issuance has been assigned to this company.

The statement also notes that the government will take necessary action against officials who are challenging the aforementioned cabinet decision in action or by issuing statements.

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India in talks with Sri Lanka to acquire graphite mines

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India is in talks with Sri Lanka to acquire graphite mines in the island nation.

The demand for graphite is steadily increasing, as it is the most common material used for anodes in lithium-ion and other batteries.

The Indian government had discussions with the government of Sri Lanka on acquiring graphite mines there, sources said.

(PTI)

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Karapitiya Hospital to be a National Hospital

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The Cabinet has approved the proposal to develop the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital as a National Hospital.

Speaking at the weekly cabinet briefing that took place today (May 23), Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardane said that this will be the third National Hospital in addition to the two National Hospitals in Colombo and Kandy.

The relevant Cabinet paper had been presented by Health Minister Ramesh Pathirana.

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36,900 power breakdowns due to inclement weather

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The Ceylon Electricity Board has reported over 36,900 breakdowns resulting in power interruptions to more than 300,000 consumers in the last 3 days due to inclement weather, says Power and Energy Minister – Kanchana Wijesekera.

Taking to X, the minister notes that additional service staff has been assigned to attend the breakdowns and the CEB management & service staff are working 24 hours to restore power to the affected consumers.

If consumers are unable to repot power interruptions through the CEB hotline 1987, they can use the SMS option to 1987 with BD and the electricity consumer number to follow, use the CEB Care app or through http://cebcare.ceb.lk, he adds.

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