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Former Thai embassy premises converted to multifunctional Siam Nivasa Cultural Centre

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Thai Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Poj Harnpol, with Mayor of Colombo, Rosy Senanayake, who graced the occasion

The building, which previously housed the Royal Thai Embassy, in Colombo, located in the vicinity of the Colombo Town Hall, has been transformed by the Royal Thai Embassy into a multifunctional cultural centre called Siam Nivasa.

Siam Nivasa – or, in Thai language ‘Siam Nivas’ – means the home of Thai people.

The Thai government purchased this building in the 1980s, and used it as the Embassy.

The Royal Thai Embassy is now located at Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, and the old building has now been revived and will function as a cultural centre and a venue for events and activities to promote and grow the historic, warm and friendly relations between Thailand and Sri Lanka.

On 26 September 2022, a special inauguration event was held to mark the opening of Siam Nivasa.

The event included a Hoon-Kra-Bork, or traditional Thai puppet show, and a Traditional Musical performance, followed by the workshop of the Thai Puppetry Art. In addition, the participants were given an opportunity to enjoy traditional Thai cuisines, and desserts, at the end of the workshop.

Commenting on the occasion, Poj Harnpol, the Thai Ambassador to Sri Lanka, said “Having enjoyed exceptionally warm diplomatic ties with Sri Lanka, since 1955, in addition to centuries of Buddhist ties, the Kingdom of Thailand is very proud to unveil the new Siam Nivasa Multifunctional Cultural Venue. It is time that we had a dedicated space to celebrate the cordial friendship between our two countries, while also providing a functional venue for various occasions that can be used by Sri Lankans and Thai nationals in Sri Lanka. We look forward to working together with Sri Lanka and our other diplomatic partners, as we continue to spread awareness about the Thai culture around the world.”

The inauguration event of the Royal Thai Embassy’s Siam Nivasa Multifunctional Cultural Venue was attended by a number of diplomats and dignitaries including High Commissioners and Ambassadors of foreign countries.



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Colombo Chief Magistrate orders CID to produce chief suspect in Omani human trafficking case

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By AJA Abeynayaka

Colombo Chief Magistrate Nandana Amarasinghe on Thursday further remanded, until 13 December, four persons involved in the Omani human trafficking case.Out of them, two were two associates of Mohommad Rishmi, the main suspect in the case and had operated foreign employment agencies. Amarasinghe also further remanded two others who had introduced women to these agencies.

The Chief Magistrate also cancelled the bail of Asha Dissanayaka, who was the translator attached to a foreign employment agency and remanded her till 13 December as well. She had been granted bail on 21 November.

Amarasinghe asked the CID and the Department of Prisons to present Mohommad Rishmi before his court. Rishmi is currently detained at the Negombo Prison and the case against him is being heard at the Negombo Magistrate’s Courts.

Lawyers appearing for the victims told the court that the wife of Balakrishnan, a foreign employment agency owner who is also the main associate of Rishmi, had taken passports from 16 women who returned from Oman and demanded Rs. 500,000 each for returning them.

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Paddy cultivation going at a pace 636,348 hectares out of 851,043 already sown

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By Ifham Nizam

The Department of Agrarian Services development yesterday said that 636,348 hectares of paddy fields have already been cultivated in the 25 districts by end of the November this year.Paddy and maize cultivations have been damaged in Anuradhapura district due to the lack of rain, and by the destructive Sena caterpillars that have returned.

The Ministry requests to follow the instructions given by the Department of Agriculture for Integrated Pest ManagementPaddy cultivation in the 2022/23 Maha season has already started. As indicated by the Ministry of Agriculture, the total amount of paddy fields expected to be cultivated this year is 851,043 hectares.

The Department of Agricultural Development says that the total amount of paddy land that has been sown or planted and only the basic land preparation for rice cultivation has been done as of yesterday i.e. 636,348 hectares.Paddy cultivation has started this year with the aim of cultivating 100 percent of the paddy fields cultivated with rain water, as well as from water obtained from the Mahaweli, major irrigation and minor irrigation systems.

Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera held a discussion with all the provincial agriculture secretaries and governors yesterday asking them to take the necessary steps to cultivate all the available paddy lands in the country.

During the discussion, it was emphasized that due to the lack of rain in the Anuradhapura district, maize cultivation has been damaged in many areas and the damage caused by the Sena caterpillar is again rising in the island.Also, the fuel required for rice cultivation is provided to the farmers without any shortage all over the island without any problem. Of the 10.06 million litres of fuel donated by the Chinese government to this country, 6.89 million litres are to be given to the farmers during the harvest. Minister instructed the officials to take steps to provide them free of charge.

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STF to be tasked with tackling growing drug and underworld menaces

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by PRIYAN DE SILVA

Secretary to the Ministry of Public Security S. Hettiarachchi told journalists that more personnel from the Special Task Force (STF) would be deployed to curb the drug menace and underworld activities.

Hettiarachchi said that the drug menace was escalating and more and more schoolchildren were falling prey to unscrupulous drug dealers. He called upon teachers to be more vigilant about the behaviour of their charges and parents too to pay greater attention to their children and those they associate with.

Hettiarachchi said that school authorities should engage the services of prefects, cadets and scouts or girl guides to be more vigilant about their school mates and added that if the need arose the STF would be deployed to conduct spot checks as well.

He said that it was intended to recruit 600 more personnel to the STF and also reduce STF presence at prisons in Colombo, Angunukolapelessa and Boossa as well as the Southern Expressway and instead to deploy them to eradicate the drug menace and the underworld.

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