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Drug prices revised due to rupee depreciation (Mon, 27 May 2019)
Drug prices revised due to rupee depreciation The prices of 64 drugs had been revised due to the appreciation of the value of the dollar (depreciation of the rupee), Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne had stated. Minister Senaratne had stated that the prices of drugs were reduced by 200 to 800 percent in the years 2016 and 2018. When the value of the dollar went up, the prices of drugs increased only by five percent in last year (2018). The prices of 64 drugs increased by 14 percent this year due to the value of a dollar increasing up to Rs. 183.
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RENEWED FORTITUDE TO FIGHT TERRORISM – PM (Mon, 27 May 2019)
RENEWED FORTITUDE TO FIGHT TERRORISM – PM Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has vowed to take stringent security measures to prevent Islamic State (IS) terrorism from raising its head again adding that the Security Forces and Police have apprehended those involved in the Easter Sunday attacks that killed 258 people. The Prime Minister addressing a group of representatives of civil societies and trade union collective at Temple Trees appealed to the people not to support extremism or religious fanaticism.
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President asked to seek SC opinion on holding PC polls (Mon, 27 May 2019)
President asked to seek SC opinion on holding PC polls The Elections Commission asked President Maithripala Sirisena to seek Supreme Court’s opinion with regard the holding of the Provincial Council Election, Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday. The Chairman said, “All three members of the Elections Commission who met with President Maithripala Sirisena recently asked to seek the Supreme Court’s opinion with regard to holding of the Provincial Council Election and he informed the Commission that he wants to seek the Attorney General’s opinion prior to that.”
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Navy nabs 41 illegal immigrants (Mon, 27 May 2019)
Navy nabs 41 illegal immigrants Forty-one Sri Lankans arrested in the deep seas off the Southern Coast while illegally migrating to Australia were handed over to the Galle Port Police by the Sri Lanka Navy on Saturday (25). Having spotted a suspicious trawler movement about 715 Nautical Miles off the Dondra Lighthouse, the Navy had launched a special operation to inspect the boat and made the arrest in the wee hours of Thursday (23), Navy sources said.
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Thai buddhist delegation including Maha Nayaka Theros meets President (Mon, 27 May 2019)
Thai buddhist delegation including Maha Nayaka Theros meets President The Buddhist representatives including the Maha Nayaka Theros of Thailand met with President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s Official Residence, Saturday (25). The representatives expressed their happiness over regaining Sri Lanka after facing the Easter Sunday terror attack and further said that as a Buddhist country Thailand always stand with Sri Lanka.
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Trump dismisses North Korean tests of 'some small weapons' (Sun, 26 May 2019)
Trump dismisses North Korean tests of 'some small weapons' Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe played a round of golf with US President Donald Trump US President Donald Trump has dismissed concerns about recent North Korean missile tests, appearing to contradict his own national security adviser.In a tweet issued shortly after his arrival in Japan on Sunday, Mr Trump called the missiles "small weapons".US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Saturday that the tests violated UN resolutions on North Korea. President Trump began a state visit to Japan on Sunday by teeing off a round of golf with Prime Minister Shinzo AbeThe two leaders ate breakfast together on Sunday, before heading out to play 16 holes of golf in Chiba, outside the capital Tokyo. Mr Trump has said he wants to strike a deal with Japan to address what he has called a trade imbalance between the two countries. Mr Trump wrote: "North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me." He added: "I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me."Not for the first time, his tweet appeared to put him at odds with Mr Bolton, and also with his host nation. Mr Abe last week called the North Korean tests "extremely regrettable"Mr Bolton and Mr Abe both accused North Korea of violating UN resolutions. The contrast between the president and his national security adviser followed other recent divergences on foreign policy, including how to approach the crisis in Venezuela and US relations with Iran. What weapons has North Korea recently tested?A rapprochement between North Korea and the US appeared to be in the offing last year after Mr Trump and Mr Kim met in Singapore.But relations have soured in recent months after a second summit between the leaders in Vietnam ended without agreement.Amid the rising tensions, North Korea has carried out several weapons tests.  The second summit between President Trump and Mr Kim ended without agreement Earlier this month, the regime tested several short-range missiles, launching them from the Hodo peninsula in the east of the country. North Korean state media said Mr Kim personally oversaw a "strike drill" testing various missile components.That test came after Pyongyang said it had tested what it described as a new "tactical guided weapon" in April.Neither violate North Korea's promise not to test long range or nuclear missiles. Yet, they are likely to cause unease in Japan.Speaking in Tokyo last week, Mr Abe mirrored Mr Bolton's comments, calling North Korea's recent missile launches "a breach of UN Security Council resolutions and extremely regrettable". "While cooperating closely with the US and other related countries, we are planning to tackle this appropriately by strengthening enforcement of related UN Security Council resolutions," he said.North Korea fired a number of missiles over Japan in 2017, leading Mr Trump to tell Mr Abe his country could intercept missiles "if necessary". The US president is there to discuss trade and security issues. North Korea's missile tests and nuclear programme are expected to be at the top of the agenda.Japan is considered to be one of America's most important allies, for security and economic reasons, and Mr Trump has sought to strengthen the relationship, making regular diplomatic trips to meet Mr Abe. Their shared love of golf is one way they have bonded. They teed off on Sunday for a round at the Mobara course in Chiba.Aside from golf, Mr Trump will attend the final day of the sumo "basho" or tournament and meet Japan's new emperor, Naruhito.He will be the first foreign leader to meet the new emperor, who ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne at the beginning of the month. Meanwhile, trade talks involving Trump's top trade representative Robert Lighthizer and his Japanese counterpart, Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, are taking place.They are aiming to make progress on negotiating a trade deal between the two countries. Mr Trump believes their trading relationship is unfair. He told business leaders in Tokyo on Saturday that "Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years".The trade situation will become "a little bit more fair", Mr Trump said, without elaborating
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Beijing : World's largest aviation market (Sun, 26 May 2019)
Beijing : World's largest aviation market (CNN) — When China's air industry hits the news, stories are typically centered on passengers going rogue, punching each other, trying to wrestle open emergency doors mid-takeoff or dangerously tossing coins into airplane engines for luck. While alarming and fascinating in equal measure, these headlines conceal another tale -- one of a country undergoing a breakneck expansion into the world of flying as its people take to the sky in rapidly increasing numbers. In the space of barely more than a decade, China has transformed from a nation where few had ever experienced air travel to one where millions of its citizens are flying not only across their own vast territory, but to destinations around the world. Such is the pace of China's ascension to the jet age that stories of wayward passengers are perhaps inevitable -- even if they obscure the fact that many air journeys in China are incident free. But there's more to come. Much, much more.Beijing's new Daxing International Airport conducted its first flight tests with passenger aircraft on May 13. Even as China is on course to overtake the United States as the world's biggest air travel market within the next three years, the country's hunger for aviation seems set to continue growing exponentially. To sate that hunger, the government has embarked on an airport building program on a scale rarely witnessed before anywhere. Billions upon billions of dollars are being poured into runways and terminals that will plug the entire country directly into the global transport network. China currently has around 235 airports, but with many lacking the capacity to sustain the coming increase in passenger numbers and flights, government officials estimate around 450 airports will be needed across the country by 2035. That's the same year aviation analysts predict China will be handling a quarter of all the world's air passengers. Related content Inside India's aviation revolution and what it means for travelers Cheung Kwok Law, director of policy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Aviation Policy and Research Centre, tells CNN Travel Beijing's super-heated expansion into aviation is aimed at future-proofing against demand but also to generate economic growth. "The government is really looking ahead," he says, "not only to meet the current demand but to stimulate future demand for air transportation." While much of this expansion is taking place in cities and districts that many people outside of China or Asia may never have heard of, it's also highly visible in Beijing, where construction on the multibillion-dollar Daxing International Airport has just entered its final phase, with the first round of flight tests taking place on May 14. The new Beijing Daxing International Airport is said to have the world's largest single terminal and is designed to handle more than 100 million passengers annually. The new Beijing Daxing International Airport is said to have the world's largest single terminal and is designed to handle more than 100 million passengers annually. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images As we move towards the third decade of the 21st century, airport superhubs are nothing new. But Beijing's sprawling creation -- designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid and her Chinese partners -- is almost breathtaking in its ambition. Due to open in September of 2019, it will feature four runways and a terminal the size of 97 soccer pitches. Related content The most exciting new airports opening in 2019 China's capital has long been in need of a second global gateway. Handling more than 100 million passengers in 2018, Beijing's existing Capital International Airport is now the second busiest airport in the world after Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and is hitting full capacity. When the new Daxing Airport opens, Beijing Capital will not close. Instead it will continue to handle airlines like Air China and Hainan Airlines, giving the city an extra boost of capacity as the number of air travelers shows no sign of abating. Where are the airports needed most? While China's plan to build more than 200 airport facilities may seem extraordinary, it is the speed rather than the scale of this ambition that is remarkable. It still pales beside the 5,000 public airports serving US towns, cities and communities. "I don't think the expansion of airports is excessive at all," says Law. "There are three international airports in New York and five in London; Beijing will open its second airport this year. Shanghai, with over 20 million people, will construct its third airport and Guangzhou, with 17 million people, will construct its second airport." According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), in 2018, Chinese airports handled 1.264 billion passengers, up 10.2% over 2017, with 37 of the country's airports handling over 10 million passengers in a year. Beijing Daxing Airport Beijing Daxing International Airport, seen here in a rendering, will open in September, 2019. Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects At present an average of eight new airports are opening in the country every year, while some facilities are being expanded and upgraded -- but there are concerns within China that those already open are failing to meet modern expectations. Related content These are the world's best airports for 2019 "Service has improved substantially, but existing airports are far from adequate and are unevenly distributed throughout the country," Dong Faxin, director of CAAC's development and planning department, said in a report issued late last year outlining China's airport construction ambitions. A large chunk of the upcoming facilities will be located in the Yangtze River Delta region, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, as well as the Chongqing and Chengdu city clusters. These are the areas with the highest populations but rely on a few hub airports to handle all passenger traffic. In the coming years, they will each have new world-class airports for their individual centers of population. Shanghai Pudong International Airport is China's second busiest airport after Beijing Capitol. Shanghai Pudong International Airport is China's second busiest airport after Beijing Capitol. JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images Chengdu Tianfu International Airport, for example, will open in 2020. It'll be Chengdu's second aviation hub, easing the pressure on busy Shuangliu International Airport. New airports will also be built in China's west, where there are currently fewer facilities. This will aid the development of this region both for business and tourism but also further Beijing's push to exert its influence over far-flung regions. "The mainland government has a very clear development strategy to promote the economic development in the less developed areas and locations like the western and northeastern parts of China," says Law. "Providing air traffic support will be vital to the development of these areas and to achieve a more balanced economic development between the coastal region and more remote areas." Chengdu's new Tianfu International Airport, due to open in 2020, was designed by a consortium made up of the China Southwest Architectural Design and Research Institute, China Airport Construction Group Corporation and French architectural firm ADP Ingenierie. Chengdu's new Tianfu International Airport, due to open in 2020, was designed by a consortium made up of the China Southwest Architectural Design and Research Institute, China Airport Construction Group Corporation and French architectural firm ADP Ingenierie. ADP Ingénierie Airports for the future The upside to building new airports from scratch is that each facility can be developed to meet today's high-tech demands while also keeping growth and wider transport infrastructure in mind. Airports today are not standalone facilities and the most efficient seamlessly link with other modes of transport such as major road arteries and the country's high-speed rail network, which the Chinese government has been promoting heavily. The flagship new Daxing airport is seen as a blueprint, albeit on a much bigger scale, for others, incorporating a 350-kilometer per hour rail link to the city. It will initially accommodate 72 million passengers and two million tons of cargo annually, rising to at least 100 million passengers and four million tons of cargo a year when fully opened. Daxing's creators are also redesigning the way passengers use airports by combining one of the world's largest terminal buildings with short walking distances, allowing travelers to easily reach their gates through a unique layout and design. Economic setbacks loom In many respects it seems China is unstoppable in its growth. Building hundreds of new airports is merely one step for a country reinventing itself on the way to becoming the next major superpower. However, there are doubts the country's economy will hold up long enough, or attain the expected levels of growth, to see all these planned airports become a reality. The recent economic slowdown is the worst some analysts have seen, exacerbated by a trade war with the United States and slumping sales in some key areas. Related content The most exciting new airports opening in 2019 If a slump in tourism coincides with this dip, it could leave many of the planned airports on the drawing board -- especially those built as a response to growing inbound tourism. Any hit to the economy would also reduce the amount of outbound travel undertaken by Chinese citizens. But Law is optimistic about the situation. "By 2035, it's expected global passenger travel will increase by 3.5% annually," he says. "If you look at China, growth could be between 5-6% on average, much higher than the global average. In one estimation, China is expected to have a middle class population of more than 500 million in the next 10 years. "So the economy may be slowing down moderately but the rising of the middle class will provide support to the aviation development in China -- both in terms of passenger demand as well as the demand for cargo transportation." Hainan Airlines Experts worry that if the economy slows down, many of these future airports will barely have any flights. Matt Falcus Possible road blocks: Staff shortages, airspace imbalances However, Law does acknowledge there will be challenges -- including a potential staff shortage. "Globally, the current generation of aviation professionals will be retiring at a faster pace in the next five to 10 years," he says. "While China plans to expand rapidly in the next decades, they will be facing an acute shortage in manpower and so far, I do not see the government paying sufficient attention on this subject." The environmental impact of air traffic increases is also a concern. Earlier this year, the UN launched its Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), aimed at addressing increases in total CO2 emissions from international civil aviation. Under the scheme, airlines in countries that have voluntarily opted to participate will be required to buy carbon offsets to compensate for their growth in CO2 emissions, and would begin tracking these emissions from January 1, 2019. Related content Inside Changi Airport Singapore's new 'Jewel,' home to world's tallest indoor waterfall As of May​ 6, 80 states, representing 76.63​% of international aviation activity, stated their intention to voluntarily participate in CORSIA. Unlike the US, China is not among them, though participation is mandatory as of 2027. According to data compiled by Australia's Griffith University's Institute for Tourism, in 2018 the US emitted 22.7% of all passenger Co2 emissions, followed by China at 10.4%. Another problem is China's notorious airspace management, which is largely to blame for consistent flight delays. Civil aviation only accounts for 20% of all traffic while the military controls 80%. In the US, the situation is reversed. "In this respect, the rapid expansion of the civil aviation activities and the congestion of the airspace management will become more serious," says Law. "In the country's 13th five-year plan, there are a couple of statements indicating the government will work on the liberalization and the restructuring of its airspace management -- but without further information [on how or when it will do this]." For passengers, the improvements can't come soon enough. Any increase in efficiency and choice combined with delay reductions can only be of benefit in a country with a seemingly insatiable demand for air travel -- and should result in fewer rogue passengers hitting the headlines   -
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Fifty-one hospitalized in wasp attack at school (Sun, 26 May 2019)
Fifty-one hospitalized in wasp attack at school Fifty one persons have been hospitalized following a wasp attack at a school in the Minuwangoda area, stated the Police. Reportedly, a wasp nest had been disturbed during a clean-up program at a school, which had led to the wasps attacking the bystanders.
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Showers occur at several places (Sun, 26 May 2019)
Showers occur at several places Showers or thundershowers will occur at several places in Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Central and North-western provinces. Showers or thundershowers will occur at several places in Uva and North central provinces and in Batticaloa Ampara and Vavuniya districts, particularly after 2.00 p.m. Fairly heavy falls above 50 mm can be expected at some places in Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa Central and Uva provinces. There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers. General public is kindly requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by lightning activity.
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Insurance cover for tourists up to Rs. 100 million (Sun, 26 May 2019)
Insurance cover for tourists up to Rs. 100 million The Personal Accident (PA) cover of the Strike, Riot, Civil Commotion and Terrorism Fund (SRCC & T Fund) will be extended to riot and terrorism risks for inbound tourists, National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) Board Chairman Manjula de Silva said. He said the move is in response to requests from the travel and insurance industries. The SRCC and terrorism cover will be available up to Rs. 100 million per person under currently applicable premium rates. It will provide cover in the event of death or total permanent disability as a consequence of a riot or terrorism act during their stay in Sri Lanka. “This cover can be obtained from any licensed general insurance company as an extension to any other travel, medical or PA policy that is purchased from the said insurance company,” de Silva said. SRCC and T Fund is managed by the state-owned National Insurance Trust Fund (NITF) in collaboration with the insurance industry. The premium will depend on the insured value and the period of stay subject to a minimum premium of Rs. 1,500. The demand for SRCC & T insurance in the country surged suddenly after the April 21 bombings that snuffed out over 250 lives. Insurance sector representatives said there has been a rapid increase in requests for ‘add-ons’ for this cover especially from the corporate sector. Companies want to add the terrorism cover to their existing insurance covers. Sri Lanka Insurance setting a new standard for the travel insurance market re-launched the ‘Travel Protect’ insurance policy to enable travellers to obtain travel insurance without a medical certificate up to 80 years of age.
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Selena Gomez announces her marriage with Bill Murray (Fri, 24 May 2019)
(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Like the other shining stars, the sensational and talented Selena Gomez was also present at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival. Interestingly, it was her debut at the fest and the lady feels extremely honored. The actress and singer was at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival to promote her movie ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ with Bill Murray. While her red carpet appearance attracted many, a few interesting gestures by the actress caught major eye…
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Japan foreign minister asks foreign media to switch order of Japanese names (Fri, 24 May 2019)
(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Japan Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Tuesday he plans to ask overseas media outlets to write Japanese names with the family name first, as is customary in the Japanese language. As an example, Kono said that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s name should be written as “Abe Shinzo,” in line with other Asian leaders such as Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae In. Japanese names are usually written with…
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THAJUDEEN’S MURDER: FORMER DIG INDICTED FOR SUPPRESSING INFORMATION (Fri, 24 May 2019)
(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – The Attorney General has filed indictments against former Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Anura Senanayake for allegedly covering up evidence in connection with the death of former Havelocks SC captain Wasim Thajudeen. Former rugby player Thajudeen was killed, apparently, in a road accident in Colombo in May 2012. The indictments have been filed under Section 198 of the Penal Code for causing disappearance of evidence or giving false information. During the…
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President congratulates Indian PM Modi on his electoral victory (Fri, 24 May 2019)
(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – President Maithripala Sirisena extended his warm congratulation to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his victory in the recently concluded General Elections. Issuing a congratulatory message President Sirisena stated that ‘The decision of the people of India to entrust your Party and its alliance partners the responsibility of guiding India’s destiny for a further term with this renewed mandate is a clear endorsement of the policies adopted under your stewardship’. The…
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India election 2019: Narendra Modi thanks voters for ‘historic mandate’ (Fri, 24 May 2019)
(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thanked the people of India for giving him a “historic mandate” of five more years in office, after a landslide victory in the general election. “We all want a new India. I want to bow down my head and say thank you,” he said in a victory address to supporters of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP is projected to get about 300 of the 543…
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Showers expected in several areas today (Fri, 24 May 2019)
(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Showers or thundershowers will occur at times in Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, and Southern Provinces on Friday (24), the Department of Meteorology stated. Showers or thundershowers will occur at several places elsewhere particularly in after 2.00 PM, the Met. Department stressed, adding that fairly heavy falls about 100 millimetres can be expected at some places in Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Southern, and Uva Provinces.
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Sangakkara optimistic SL will stage England series despite attacks (Fri, 24 May 2019)
(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Kumar Sangakkara believes Sri Lanka will stage England’s scheduled tour of the island next year despite safety concerns caused by the Easter Sunday terror attacks. More than 250 people were killed and nearly 500 wounded in a series of attacks claimed by Islamic State on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on April 21. England are due to play Tests in Colombo and Galle next March but the attacks have led to fears…
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Ration and other allowances paid to Tri-Services increased (Fri, 24 May 2019)
(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The ration and other allowances paid to all Officers and other ranks in the Tri-Services will be increased from 01 July, the Ministry of Finance stated on Thursday (23). The Commando Allowance, Uniform Allowance, Rent Allowance, Good Conduct Allowance of the Armed Forces, where some have not been increased for over 20-years, will be increased from 01 July. The allowances had been increased as per a budgetary proposal made by Finance Minister Mangala…
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Sri Lankan linked to Easter Sunday bombings arrested in Myanmar (Fri, 24 May 2019)
(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –A Sri Lankan man, believed to have connections with those involved in the Easter Sunday bombings that killed at least 250 people, was arrested in Myanmar on Thursday afternoon, irrawaddy.com reported. Abdul Salam Irshad Mohmood, 39, was detained by police when he appeared at an immigration office in downtown Yangon to renew his visa. The arrest came after Myanmar Tourist Police’s request on Wednesday to the country’s Hotel and Tourism Department to report…
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No agreement to set up a US base in Sri Lanka – envoy (Fri, 24 May 2019)
(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The United States has not reached any agreement to establish a permanent US military base in Sri Lanka, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Alaina B. Teplitz said. Ambassador Teplitz made this remark speaking to the media after calling on the Chief Prelates of Malwatta and Asgiriya in Kandy yesterday (23). The US ambassador visited the Asgiri Maha Viharaya and called on the CHIEF PRELATE Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Maha Nayaka Thera. Subsequently,…
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