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Special commemorative stamp, coin issued for 75th Independence Day

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The commemorative stamp issued by the Philatelic Bureau and the special commemorative coin issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on the occasion of the 75th National Independence Day, was presented to President Ranil Wickremesinghe this morning (02) at the Presidential Palace in Kandy.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe received the commemorative stamp from the Minister of Mass Media, Transport and Highways, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, and the commemorative coin was presented to the President by Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Governor of the Central Bank.

The Philatelic Bureau issued the Rs. 50 stamp and first day cover in keeping with the practices followed over the years on such significant events. The new stamp could be purchased from all post offices and sub-post offices in the island from today.

Additionally, the Sri Lanka Philatelic Bureau has created special stamp windows at Kandy, Trincomalee, Kurunegala, Galle, and Negombo where customers can purchase this commemorative stamp with the first-day cover.

In conjunction with the 75th Anniversary of Independence, the Sri Lanka Postal Department has organized the Independence Stamp Exhibition and Museum Exhibition from the 6th to the 12th of February from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm at the Postal Headquarters premises located at D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha, Colombo 10.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) issued an uncirculated commemorative coin in the denomination of Rs. 1000 to mark the 75 th Anniversary of Independence.

The national flag of Sri Lanka is embossed on the middle of the coin, and the number “75” is displayed there in bold numerals. The words “Independence Commemoration” are printed in English, Tamil, and Sinhala along the top edge of the coin. Around the lower edge of the coin’s periphery is the year “1948 – 2023.” In big numerals, the face value “1000” is displayed on the centre of the coin. The national emblem of Sri Lanka appears above the face value. The year “2023” is at the bottom edge of the coin. Words “Sri Lanka” in English, Sinhala, and Tamil appears along the periphery on the upper edge of the coin.

Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, State Minister of Media Shantha Bandara, President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and President’s Chief of Staff Mr. Sagala Ratnayake, Secretary to the President Mr. Saman Ekanayake, Secretary to the Ministry of Media Mr. Anusha Palpita, Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe, Acting Postmaster General Mr. S. R. W.M. R. P. Sathkumara, Deputy Postmaster General (Operations) Mr. Rajitha K. Ranasinghe, Deputy Postmaster General (Central Provinces) Mr. Chamisha de Silva, Director of the Philatelic Bureau Mr. Lanka de Silva, Senior Publicity Officer Mr. Channa Munasinghe and several other officials were present on the occasion.

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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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