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KOICA ICT Laboratory for students from vulnerable community in Matara Technical College area

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(L0R) Ruwanmalee Jayaweera, Shenaal Chandiram, Kim Minseong, Kim Myungjin, S.J Basnayake, M.R.B Gamage, H.G Chandimali, Kang Jung Hoon

The Republic of Korea through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), has initiated a small scale project to establish an ICT Laboratory at Matara for students in the vulnerable community of that area, to ensure affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education along with increasing the number of youth who have necessary ICT skills for employment and entrepreneurship, KOICA said in a media release.

It said: The ceremony was held with the participation of Country Director of the KOICA Sri Lanka office Mrs. KIM MYUNGJIN, Principal of the Matara Technical College S.J. Basnayake, KOICA Volunteer for Korean Language Kang Jung Hoon, Co-worker for KOICA Volunteer Program at Technical College Matara Ruwanmalee Jayaweera, along with beneficiaries, instructors and academic staff on 10th November 2023 at Matara.

The targeted beneficiaries of this project were students within the ICT stream at the Technical College and prospective students unable to participate in education due to a lack of educational equipment. In addition to this, the project is conducting special courses to enhance the digital literacy for people with disabilities and the elderly in Matara. In consideration of the common mandates on and interests in the Sustainable Development, Goal No. 4. Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for both quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities.

The Principal of the Matara Technical College stated that “KOICA Sri Lanka and Technical College Matara have a fruitful relationship and projects of this scope are necessary for the upliftment of quality education and development. There are many students who do not have access to ICT equipment and KOICA’s assistance towards access to quality education is invaluable and greatly appreciated”. Korea’s various development assistance programs helped in many ways to develop the living condition of the citizens of Matara area and expressed his gratitude to KOICA and the people of the Republic of Korea.”

The Country Director of KOICA Sri Lanka office KIM MYUNGJIN expressed her best wishes to the beneficiary citizens of the Matara Technical College area and stated that Korea will continue its ODA programs towards Sri Lanka; which will further strengthen the relationship between the two countries.”

The KOICA, the grant aid division of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea is the Korean government agency for grant aids under the mission of “mutual development cooperation leaving no one behind.”

KOICA Sri Lanka Office has been implementing a variety of development projects and fellowship programmes since 1991 and currently supporting various grant projects including COVID-19 response projects to fight against COVID-19 in Sri Lanka in conjunction with the Sri Lankan Government, Korean NGOs, and International Organisations.



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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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