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Qatar launches Sinhala and Tamil radio channels from Doha

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Two radio channels namely, QFM 95.3 Sithula and QFM Tamil, were recently launched in Doha. Ratnasingam Kohularangan, charge d’affaires at Sri Lankan Embassy in Doha, was the chief guest at the event.

Also present on the occasion were QFM’s Vice Chairman K.C. Abdul Latheef and Chief Executive Officer Anvar Hussain; second secretary, Sri Lankan Embassy Sumudu Wilpatha, Consular Employment and Welfare Rasika Jayasinghe as well as Sri Lankan business and community leaders.

Both the radios function under Qatar’s Ministry of Culture & Sports, using Qatar Media Corporation’s transmission facilities. QFM Sithula and QFM Tamil are broadcast in Sinhala and Tamil languages respectively. Both stations target the Sri Lankan expatriate community in Qatar. Speaking on the occasion, Ratnasingam Kohularangan said: “It’s like a dream come true. We had been waiting for our own language FM for long. In addition to providing education and entertainment to the community members, it will also be helpful in connecting and keeping them abreast of the latest local news.”

KC Abdul Latheef, in his address, thanked the guests for their presence and expressed his gratitude to the Sri Lankan Embassy and the Ministry of Culture and Sports for their support and cooperation. He said that QFM serves as an effective communication platform for Qatar’s ministries and authorities, as well as the Sri Lankan Embassy. Both infotainment radios, he noted, feature an array of interesting and useful programmes presented by reputed Doha-based RJs, both on-air and online.

Meanwhile, the Station Jingle, Websites, Marketing Video and Social Media pages were launched by Sumuda Wilpatha. The speakers also included Pantalion Perera, chairman, Sri Lankan Coordination Committee Qatar, Hazim Hamza, Sanjeevan Vimalraj, Tenison de Silva and Rajeev Fernando. The event was conducted by RJs Akalanka, Samadhi, Sandy and Ashik.

 



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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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