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Japan confers prestigious decoration on Janak Jeevantha Bandaranayake

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The Government of Japan announced the conferment of “The Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Rays” on Janak Jeevantha Bandaranayake on November 3, 2020 for his contributions towards promoting cultural exchange between Japan and Sri Lanka.

Bandaranayake worked at the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka for more than three decades and contributed towards elevating the cultural ties between the two countries.

He was also instrumental in inaugurating Sri Lanka’s national television network, Rupavahini through a Japanese grant aid in the early 1980s, which telecast a globally-renowned Japanese TV drama ‘Oshin’ in 1998.

 Many of Bandaranayake’s fruits of labour culminated in the successful celebrations of the 40th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of Japan-Sri Lanka Diplomatic Relations, where he  dedicated wholeheartedly to mark the milestones with various cultural events.

 His efforts to strengthen and further cement Japan-Sri Lanka relations began prior to his appointment at the Embassy where he served as a chief interpreter for the Sri Lanka Pavilion at the Tsukuba Expo held in Japan in 1985 and as a main organizer of cultural events for youth from various countries arriving in Sri Lanka aboard ‘Nippon Maru’ as part of the ‘Ship for World Youth’ organized by the Government of Japan.

 The Government of Japan sincerely appreciates Banadaranayake’s longstanding contribution towards uplifting the time-honoured friendship and cultural exchange between Japan and Sri Lanka.



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Economic crisis: 100,000 families already starving

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Govt. to provide monthly assistance package – official

By Ifham Nizam 

Plans are underway to assist an average needy family of  four with a monthly package of Rs. 15,000, a senior adviser to President Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday, adding that the move was expected to help ameliorate the plight of nearly 65,000 families.

Food Security Committee Chairman Dr. Suren Batagoda told The Island yesterday that at present some 100,000 families across the country were starving.

He said financial assistance would be provided to those families for three months. Within three months, the government would design a package in the form of food stamps, etc.

Dr. Batagoda said the World Food Programme, UNICEF, the World Bank, and state agencies would also team up to strengthen food security, focusing especially on needy pregnant mothers and pre-school children.

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GR govt. ignored Chinese lenders’ request for debt restructuring

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Gotabaya Rajapaksa government had ignored suggestions by Chinese lending institutions that Sri Lanka to restructure the debt in 2021, Prof. Samitha Hettige said yesterday.

“The Rajapaksa government started talking of debt restructuring earlier this year. The Opposition had been asking for this before,” he said.  By 2021, before the Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration decided on debt restructuring, the Chinese institutions that had given Sri Lanka loans suggested that a restructuring process should start since Sri Lanka would have trouble repaying the loans, the Strategic Studies scholar said.

However, the request had gone unheeded, and if the government had started discussions then, Sri Lanka would not have been in crisis, Prof. Hettige said.

The Sri Lankan foreign policy, in the last few years, had also been misguided, Prof. Hettige said. A number of Indian and Chinese companies faced unnecessary issues by the behaviour of the government, he said.

Prof. Hettige said that the government must focus on establishing free trade ports and reducing negative lists for investments.

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SJB dissociates itself from SF’s call for protest

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By Chaminda Silva

MP Sarath Fonseka’s call for people to join anti-government protests was not a decision taken by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), party MP J.C Alawathuwala said.

The SJB believed that they had to help President Ranil Wickremesinghe stabilise the country, economically and politically, he said.

MP Alawathuwala said the President must be given some time to solve the problems faced by the people and that the SJB was holding discussions with the government to guide it on a people-friendly path.

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