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World Hindi Day celebrations held in Colombo

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Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), the cultural arm of the High Commission of India in Colombo, is organising the World Hindi Day in Colombo from 10-11 January 2024. 

The two-day event is being held at Sri Lanka Foundation and SVCC in collaboration with University of Kelaniya, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Rajarata University, Visual and Performing Arts University of Sri Lanka and Karma Devi Memorial P G College of India.

High Commissioner Shri Santosh Jha inaugurated the event today with Dr. Susil Premajayantha, Hon’ble Minister of Education who was the Chief Guest for the World Hindi Day. The State Minister of Education A. Aravind Kumar attended as the Guest of Honour.

During the inaugural speech, the High Commissioner highlighted the growing importance of Hindi as an international language. Today, it is the third most widely spoken language in the world with about 600 million speakers globally. He also recalled SVCC’s activities for the promotion of the language over last year, including scholarships to Hindi students for study in India, assistance in Hindi language capacity building of professors and school teachers, etc.  Appreciating the institutions and scholars of Hindi in Sri Lanka, he commended the attendees for embracing the language and thanked them for collaborating in the event.

The first day saw paper presentations in three plenary sessions by 25 Hindi scholars. Topics ranged from the impact of Buddhism in Hindi literature to the popularity of Hindi in Sri Lanka. More than 200 scholars and students participated on day one. Day two of the conference will have Deputy High Commissioner Dr. Satyanjal Pandey as the Chief Guest with nearly 20 research presentations by students of Hindi. Qualifying certificates of Hindi examinations organised by the Central Institute of Hindi, Govt. of India will also be distributed to the Sri Lankan students.

World Hindi Day is celebrated on January 10 every year to commemorate the day when Hindi was first spoken in the United Nations General Assembly in 1949. It was on this day in 1975 that the first ‘World Hindi Conference’ was organised. Hindi is taught as a foreign language in 88 schools and 7 public universities of Sri Lanka.

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President participates in deposition of sacred relics at historical Dighavapi Chaitya

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe participated in a significant cultural and religious ceremony yesterday (14) at the historic Deegawapiya Stupa located at the Deegawapiya Raja Maha Vihara. 

The ceremony marked the deposition of relics and treasures, an important event in the ongoing restoration of the ancient stupa.

The renovation project, which began in 2020, has been supported by the Ministry of Defence. 

The event saw the attendance of senior government officials, politicians, and religious leaders, emphasizing the national importance of the restoration work.

Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, General (Retd.) Kamal Gunarathne, addressed the gathering, outlining the ministry’s efforts since 2020. 

He highlighted the contributions of the armed forces in providing labor and the role of public and well-wisher donations in funding the project. 

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President inaugurates 2nd phase of Kompannavidiya flyover (Pics)

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe today (July 11) inaugurated the second phase of the flyover project connecting Kompannavidiya and Justice Akbar Mawatha.

This phase, constructed by the Ministry of Transport and Highways at a cost of LKR 5,278 million, spans between Kompannavidiya and  Justice Akbar Mawatha over the railway line.

The Road Development Authority, in collaboration with Maga Engineering, undertook this project to alleviate the delays and traffic congestion caused by the frequent closing of railway gates for 109 daily train journeys.

In the bustling commercial area of Kompannavidiya, which hosts various institutions including government offices, hospitals, religious places, restaurants and cinema halls, it has been observed that nearly three hours of the day is wasted due to the closing of railway gates.

With the completion of the flyover, travel from Kompannavidiya towards Galle Face and the Presidential Secretariat will be smooth and free of traffic jams, thereby contributing significantly to the national economy by reducing the time people spend on the road.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Senior Advisor to the President on National security and Presidential Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, and Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Highways Ranjith Rubasinghe.

(Excerpts : President’s Media Division)

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Sampanthan championed rights of all Sri Lankans – President (Pics)

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The funeral ceremony of late parliamentarian R. Sampanthan was held in Trincomalee yesterday (July 07).

The funeral ceremony, honouring the former Leader of the Opposition and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), as well as the late Trincomalee District Member of Parliament, was attended by numerous political leaders, both from the Government and the opposition.

Paying tribute to the late MP and senior politician, President Ranil Wickremesinghe acknowledged Mr. Sampanthan as a leader who championed the rights not only of the Tamil people but also of all Sri Lankans.

He emphasized that both Mr. Sampanthan and himself were committed to the cause of an undivided Sri Lanka. The President also urged everyone to unite in successfully concluding the discussions initiated with the late Mr. Sampanthan.

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