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Pakistan celebrates Independence Day in Colombo, attaches great importance to ties with Sri Lanka

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The High Commission of Pakistan and the Pakistani community in Sri Lanka celebrated Pakistan’s 74th Independence Day with traditional fervor and resolve to make Pakistan a strong, dynamic progressive tolerant and democratic Islamic welfare state, in Colombo, on Friday.

The Pakistani High Commission said : Acting High Commissioner of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Tanvir Ahmad hoisted the national flag of Pakistan in a vibrant and colourful ceremony. Asmma Kamal, Commercial Secretary, read out the message of the President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi and quoted, “Unlike the past, this Independence Day is being celebrated in extraordinarily difficult times as the entire world has been affected by Corona virus which had adverse impact on all sectors of life, i.e. including economy, health, and education. The pandemic has brought enormous challenges but we have seen that our resilient nation has overcome them with a brilliant strategy of smart lock down”.

The message of the Prime Minister of Pakistan was read out to the audience by Ayesha Abu Bakr Fahad, Second Secretary (Political). The message included: “While we celebrate this Independence Day, our hearts are profoundly grieved by the sufferings of our brethren in IIOJK who are facing military siege since past one year. We stand firmly behind our Kashmiri brethren in their struggle for their right to self-determination. We will continue to raise voice of the helpless Kashmiris at all available forums. We will continue to sensitize the international community of grave human rights violations in IIOJK and the threats to peace and security of the region”.

In his remarks, the Acting High Commissioner Tanvir Ahmad paid tribute to the forefathers of the nation who had faced insurmountable challenges and made unparalleled sacrifices for achieving the dream of Pakistan. He reiterated that it was now the responsibility of all Pakistanis to work towards realizing the dreams of its founders. To achieve this objective, he said, there should be good relations, harmony and brotherhood among all the strata of society.

On Sri Lanka-Pakistan relations, the Acting High Commissioner said that Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with Sri Lanka, which are based on mutual respect, understanding and close cooperation. He further said that Pakistan has always extended unconditional support to Sri Lanka at all fora and continues to do so, especially with regard to Sri Lanka’s national security and territorial integrity.

The event was well-attended by a large number of participants including members of the Pakistani community, officials and families of the High Commission, local dignitaries, journalists and friends of Pakistan.

 



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Embassy officer arrested at BIA remanded

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The Embassy official who was attached to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oman who is accused of being involved in a human trafficking racket was arrested by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and remanded till the 13th of December when he was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate

The official was arrested on his arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning (29 November).

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Easter Sunday terror attack suspect hacked to death

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By Norman Palihawadane

A 38-year-old Easter Sunday terror attack suspect was hacked to death yesterday morning (28) in Mattakkuliya.

The victim, Mohamed Badurdeen Mohamed Harnas, was a resident of Safiya Avenue, Mattakkuliya, police said.

A suspect in the Easter Sunday terror attacks, he had been released on bail.

The suspect was rushed to the National Hospital, Colombo, after three individuals, who arrived in a car around 10. 00 am, attacked him.

Two persons attacked the man while the other was keeping the car engine running, according to eyewitnesses. The attackers thereafter fled in the same car.

Harnas was pronounced dead on admission to hospital.

Further investigations in this regard are currently underway.

The victims family members said that Harnas had been taken into custody, following the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, but later released as there was no evidence of his involvement in terrorist activities.

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Rail service between Mahawa and Jaffna to be suspended for five months

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Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that the railway services between Mahawa and Jaffna will be suspended for a period of five months in 2023.

The Minister said that operations will be suspended from January 15, 2023.

The Minister said it was to repair work on the railway line.

He said so in response to a question raised by Vanni District MP Selvam Adaikalanathan.

“We are focusing our attention on the request made by you. We have to halt railway operations between Mahawa and Jaffna for five months from January 2023. Train services have been continuously operating to Jaffna, but now we have faced a situation as we have not been able to carry out any repair work thus far,” the Minister said.

Assuring that this issue can be rectified in five months, Minister Gunawardane said that, thereafter, a good railway service can be provided for this route.

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