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Offshore Patrol Vessel P 627 calls at Port of Manila on way home

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The Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel P 627, which set sail for home from Seattle on Sept 3, called at the Port of Manila in the Philippines on Thursday. After having called at the Port Apra in Guam, U.S., P 627 commenced the remaining leg of the voyage from there on 05th October and arrived in the Philippines for replenishment and services, having covered a passage of about 1800 nautical miles (3333 km).When the ship arrived at the Port of Manila, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Republic of the Philippines, Shobini Gunasekera was also present to welcome the ship. She also exchanged a few ideas with the Commanding Officer of P 627, Captain Lanka Dissanayake.

During this long sea voyage, P 627 has thus far sailed about 7700 nautical miles (14260 km) in 41 days in the Pacific Ocean.Meanwhile, P 627 is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Colombo in the first week of November 2022, after one more port call at Changi in Singapore.The ex-United States Coast Guard Cutter, USCGC Douglas Munro gifted to Sri Lanka Navy began its journey home following the training of the Sri Lankan crew at the US Coast Guard Base, in Seattle, Washington.Sri Lanka Navy officially took delivery of the USCGC Douglas Munro on 26th October 2021.Subsequently, the cutter was designated with the Pennant Number P 627 in SLN Fleet and underwent certain modernization equipped to suit the operational needs of the Sri Lanka Navy.



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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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