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Pakistani PM Imran Khan to visit SL with top level delegation

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On the invitation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will undertake a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka from February 23. This will be his first visit to Sri Lanka after assuming office.

The Prime Minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including members of the Cabinet and senior officials, the Pakistani High Commission in Colombo said in a statement.

The Prime Minister’s program includes meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. The visiting Prime Minister will also lead the delegation-level talks, covering all areas of cooperation between the two countries including trade and investment, health and education, agriculture and science & technology, defence and security, and culture and tourism. Besides bilateral matters, views will be exchanged on key regional and international issues, it said.

During the visit, the reconstitution of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Association will be also announced to further promote parliamentary exchanges between the two countries, it noted.

The Prime Minister will also participate in a joint ‘Trade and Investment Conference’ aimed at promoting trade and investment between the two countries. A number of MoUs to enhance bilateral cooperation will be signed during the visit, the statement further said.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka have maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relations since 1948. The two countries share commonality of views on a wide range of international and regional issues. Both sides also work closely at the international and regional fora including the United Nations and SAARC.

The Prime Minister’s visit would help further strengthen the Pakistan-Sri Lanka relationship and enhance mutual cooperation in diverse fields, it added.



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Southern MP warns that Russian & Ukranian tourists working here are at risk

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“They may be knifed or their lives threatened”

ECONOMYNEXT – Tourists from Russia and Ukraine who are staying in houses in Sri Lanka for long periods are engaging in business activities and should be taxed to prevent them being knifed by competitors, SLPP MP Chandima Weerakkody told parliament on Friday.

“There are many tourists who are staying long term in houses,” he said. “Though they come here they cannot use their credit cards – especially Russian and Ukrainian tourists who cannot use their money through their cards. As a result they have been forced to work and earn something in Sri Lanka.”

He called on the government to have a system where they can use their money.

“In our areas many tourists are cutting hair, some are doing tinkering work, some are setting up pizza shops, some are selling cannabis – I think there is a new name now *for ganja),” Weerakkody said. “If we send the immigration behind the tourists who are coming, even those that are coming will not come.”

“No taxes are being charged from any of these tourists who are doing business. Our (local people’s) taxes are raised. I am asking at least to have a system for the government to collect some taxes

“I want to say in Parliament that in our areas, a knifing (pihi anumak), or some other threat to life (jeewitha tharjanayak) may happen if this situation continues.”

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Kidney sale racket unearthed in Colombo

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Five duped to sell their kidneys at Rs. 15 million each

By Norman Palihawadane

The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) has informed the Colombo Additional Magistrate Ranjindra Jayasuriya that an investigation has been launched to arrest the suspects involved in the organized racket of obtaining kidneys from poor people promising big money and selling them to local and foreign people.The CCD told the court on Thursday that four men and one woman have parted with their kidneys, and despite promising to pay Rs.15 million per kidney nothing was paid.

CCD reported to court that the victims were operated at a Hospital on Cotta Road in Borella and no money was paid. A mother who was nursing a one-and-a-half-year-old infant was among those cheated.

The police told court that a person from the Bloemendhal area had referred these people through another man and a woman. Required medical tests had been conducted at three private hospitals.

Evidence has been obtained that kidney surgeries had been performed at a private hospital in Borella and the CCD stated in court that this racket was organized targeting poor families in Colombo.

It informed court that they have already launched investigations and will arrest the suspects and produce them before court.After considering the relevant submissions, the Magistrate ordered the CCD to conduct investigations and arrest the suspects and present them to court.

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Record highest number of school students visit Parliament

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School children wave during their visit to Parliament on Thursday (1). Serjeant-at Arms Narendra Fernando said that the largest number of school students in the history of the Parliament visited the Parliament on Dec 1. Over 5,000 students from 32 schools from different provinces visited the Parliament on that day, he said. More than 25,000 students representing schools in different parts of the country had visited to observe the Parliamentary debates after the Public Gallery was reopened for school students from Sept 19.

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