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Japanese ambulances handed over to Moolai Cooperative Hospital

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Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka – Mr. Mizukoshi Hideaki today (10) attended the handover ceremony of the two second-hand ambulances to the Moolai Cooperative Hospital Society in Valikamam West DS division in Jaffna district, under the Japanese Government’s Grassroots Human Security Grant Aid with a view to improve the medical environment of the conflict affected area.

In this project, the Japanese government provided two second hand ambulances and a total of US$ 36,759 to import them.

Approximately 1,500 patients use the hospital services per week.

A media release by the embassy further states :

The project enables the hospital to provide timely health care, including mobile consultation services for those residing in remote areas, through better access to ambulances in a good condition. It also enables emergency care and emergency transportation of patients to neighboring hospitals in Jaffna.

Importantly, this improves the health of people in the Northern province by enabling access to the quality of critical health care services.  

Ambassador Mizukoshi expressed Japan’s commitment to supporting continuously for the conflict-affected area and stated, “An important objective of the Japanese Grant Assistance is to remedy damages caused by conflicts and bring about peace and stability. I do wish that this grant will contribute to improving the medical conditions of this region and filling the gap of standards of living in the North and South.

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Indian High Commissioner visits Northern Province (Pics)

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High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka – Mr. Santosh Jha undertook his first official visit to the Northern Province from Feb. 15-17, 2024. 

Diverse engagements during the visit attest to the deep-rooted nature of the bilateral partnership as also India’s firm commitment to deepening socio-economic and cultural ties with Northern Province, a media release by the Indian High Commission notes. With grant assistance of more than SLR 70 billion, Northern Province has been a region of focus in India’s multi-dimensional development cooperation partnership with Sri Lanka and the visit was an opportunity to reiterate India’s unwavering commitment to the people of the region, it adds.
The High Commissioner paid special emphasis to furthering connectivity initiatives, the central theme of the bilateral economic partnership vision document issued in July 2023. He visited Kankesanthurai (KKS) Port and the historic Talaimannar Pier and spoke of the need for expeditious resumption of ferry services between the two countries. He expressed confidence regarding earliest recommencement of Nagapattinam-KKS ferry in the coming weeks and informed his interlocutors of ongoing efforts for the resumption of ferry services between Talaimannar and Rameswaram. During his visit to Palaly Airport, he explored means to strengthen air connectivity through infrastructure development at the airport.

Underscoring the rich and shared cultural heritage between India and Sri Lanka, the High Commissioner offered prayers at the historic Ram Sethu (Adam’s Bridge). He also visited the ancient Thiruketheeswaram temple, which was renovated with grant assistance from the Government of India. He prayed for well-being and prosperity of the people of India and Sri Lanka as he paid respects at the Nagapooshani Amman Temple and Nagavihara in Nainativu island; revered Madhu Church in Mannar; and Nallur Kandaswamy temple. Further, he attended Thyagaraja Aradhana at the iconic Jaffna Cultural Centre, a gift from the people of India. 

Reaffirming India’s commitment to diverse sections of the society, the High Commissioner distributed deep freezers to fishermen communities in Mannar towards enhancing their livelihood opportunities. He also distributed dry rations to hundreds of needy families in Jaffna and Kilinochchi, with special focus on those headed by women. 

In India’s endeavour to contribute towards addressing energy needs of islands off Jaffna, he assessed the readiness for early roll out of the Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems Project in Nainativu Island. It may be recalled that this project is being implemented in Delft, Nainativu and Analaitivu Islands through grant assistance from India. 

The High Commissioner paid homage at the Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF) Memorial. 

The High Commissioner had engaging discussions with a wide cross section of stakeholders in the region including elected representatives, academics, and businessmen, among several others on avenues for further collaboration and development. 

(Pics : Indian High Commission in Colombo)

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Mace handed over to new Serjeant-at-Arms (Pics)

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Outgoing Serjeant-at-Arms of Parliament Mr. Narendra Fernando traditionally handed over the Mace and the Sword of the Serjeant-at-Arms to his successor Mr. Kushan Sampath Jayaratne this morning (Jan. 30) near the Chamber Door of the Parliament.

As the Serjeant-at-Arms of the Parliament Mr. Narendra Fernando is going to retire today (30) after serving in the Parliament for over 42 years, the Mace and his Sword were traditionally handed over to the successive Serjeant-at-Arms. 

Mr. Narendra Fernando, the 6th Serjeant-at-Arms of the Parliament, took over the duties of the Serjeant-at-Arms from the year 2018.

Accordingly, Mr. Kushan Sampath Jayaratne is scheduled to take over duties as the 7th Serjeant-at-Arms of the Parliament tomorrow (Jan. 31).


(Pics : Department of Communication, Parliament)

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75th Indian Republic Day celebrated in Colombo (Pics)

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The Indian High Commission of Sri Lanka celebrated the 75th Republic Day at the India House today (Jan. 26), with members of Indian diaspora in Sri Lanka.

The Indian High Commissioner – Mr. Santosh Jha unfurled the Indian flag to mark the event.

Patriotic tunes were performed by the Sri Lanka Navy band, followed by the students of Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, who staged vibrant folk dances, including Garba, Kummi, Bhangra and Southali.

Earlier in the day, the High Commissioner had paid his tribute at the IPKF memorial.

Photos of this event are shown below.

Meanwhile, India ushered in its 75th Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi today with French President Emmanuel Macron gracing the occasion as the chief guest.

The theme of this year’s Republic Day is ‘Viksit Bharat’ and ‘Bharat: Loktantra ki Matruka’, symbolizing India’s aspirations and its role as a nurturer of democracy.

Despite gaining Independence in 1947, India celebrates Republic Day on Jan. 26, marking the adoption of the constitution on this day in 1950.

(Pics : X feed of Indian HC in Colombo)

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