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Aluthpola fundraiser for animal welfare on Dec. 3

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Justice for Animals pop-up fundraiser, the Aluth Pola Christmas Market will take place on Sunday December 3 from 10:00am–6:00pm at Body Bar, 3 Jawatte Avenue, Colombo 05, the organizers said in a news release.

The Aluth Pola is organized by Justice for Animals, a registered non-profit animal welfare organization whose core program is population control and rabies eradication via the only humane method of spay-neuter, to reduce starving, injured, sick homeless cats and dogs and prevent future suffering, it said.

Justice for Animals has, since 2020, spay-neutered over 11,000 and vaccinated 13,000 cats and dogs providing one of the largest spay-neuter-vaccinate-treat programs by a Sri Lankan animal welfare group.

“Our fundraiser Christmas Market features more than 30 small businesses, many of which practice sustainability, local manufacturing, and sourcing.

Vendors will be selling many unique and exciting products: jewellery, plants, food, baked goods, artisanal bread, handloom clothing, soaps, upcycled clothing, pre-loved books, and much, much more,” the release said.

“In addition, our market provides a free platform for other charities to fundraise. This December, our Charity Participant, the RCCI (Rehabilitation Centre for the Communication Impaired) will be raising funds for their school. What better place to find a gift that keeps on giving than our Christmas market?

“Please do drop by the Aluth Pola Christmas Market and support this fundraising initiative for the voiceless, homeless dogs and cats of Sri Lanka.”



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President orders probe into notification issued by Department of Immigration and Emigration

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It has been reported that President Wickremesinghe ordered an investigation into the notification issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration requesting all  Russian and Ukrainian tourists to leave the country within 14 days.

According to the President’s Media Division (PMD), the relevant notification was issued without prior approval from the Cabinet of Ministers.

The decision had reportedly been taken as certain foreign tourists are running illegal businesses in the country.

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Contentious Chinese research vessel docks in Maldives

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Xiang Yang Hong 03 has previously visited Indian Ocean on several other occasions

A contentious Chinese research ship reached the Maldives on Thursday in the latest sign of the archipelago’s diplomatic reorientation towards Beijing and away from its traditional benefactor India.

Local residents said they had spotted China’s Xiang Yang Hong 3 at the Thilafushi industrial port near the capital Male.The 100-metre-long (328-foot) vessel was at an anchorage near Male on Thursday evening, according to the website Marinetraffic.

The Maldives’ pro-Beijing government said earlier the vessel was docking for a port call to rotate crew and take on supplies, on the condition that it would not conduct “research” while in its territorial waters.

Media reports in India had suggested that the vessel was conducting surveillance for Beijing.

India is suspicious of China’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean and its influence in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, which are strategically placed halfway along key east-west international shipping routes.Relations between Male and New Delhi have chilled since pro-China President Mohamed Muizzu won elections last year.

Muizzu has asked India to withdraw 89 security personnel based in the Maldives to operate reconnaissance aircraft by March 15.But the president has also insisted he does not want to upend ties with New Delhi by replacing Indian troops with Chinese forces.

Sri Lanka refused entry to Xiang Yang Hong 3 after two other port calls from Chinese vessels since 2022 raised objections from India.That included the ship Yuan Wang 5, which specializes in spacecraft tracking and which New Delhi described as a spy ship. (AFP)

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MP Harsha in Australia as “Special visitor”

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Harsha de Silva

Opposition MP and Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance (COPF) Harsha de Silva is currently in Australia as a special visitor.

Taking to ‘X’, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP said he had embarked on a nine-day visit on an invitation extended by the Government of Australia.

“My engagements with policymakers, academics, scientists and investment managers began in Melbourne and will continue in Adelaide and then public officials and politicians in Canberra,” he added.

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