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Raigam Tele’es celebrates 20 years: Honoring excellence in Lankan TV industry

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Snr. DGM – Marketing and Customer Care, Sampath Bank (Third from left) joining with Raigam Group of Companies Chairman Dr. Ravi Liyanage (second from left) for the sponsoring of Raigam Tele’es 2023. Chairman, Panel of Judges Buddhadasa Galappatti and Senior Director, Raigam Group of Companies Ganaka Amarasinghe are also in the picture

Recognizing and appreciating excellence in the realm of television and cinema, various festivals, both domestic and international, serve as platforms to commend outstanding work by artists, producers, and institutions. In Sri Lanka, such recognition commenced with the inaugural Sarasaviya Cinema Award Ceremony on May 9, 1964, paving the way for several subsequent award ceremonies organized by governmental and non-governmental bodies, contributing to the industry’s growth.

In 2005, the Raigam Group of Companies introduced the Raigam Tele’es to bridge the gap created by the country’s unstable situation, establishing a regular award ceremony for the television industry. Over the past nineteen years, Raigam Tele’es has evolved into Sri Lanka’s most prestigious television festival, maintaining high-quality standards in judging, presentation, and extensive coverage across television channels and social media.

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Raigam Tele’es, a celebration of its enduring legacy and influence in the television industry. The festival’s sustainability is bolstered by a robust partnership with Sampath Bank, a key pillar supporting its continued success.

The festival’s selection process begins with public applications and invitations extended to television channels to submit their prospective entries. Entries, certified by respective Channel Heads for airing during the relevant period, undergo thorough scrutiny. Notably, repeat telecasts and programs aired on paid channels are ineligible for awards. The deadline for Raigam Tele’es 2023 entries is January 15, 2024, with a competent and independent panel of judges meticulously evaluating all submissions.

The credibility of any award ceremony lies in the integrity of its selection process. The Raigam Tele’es Secretariat has appointed a panel comprising distinguished academics, artists, and critics in the field, chaired by Buddadasa Galappatty, ensuring an esteemed and impartial judging process.

The festival extended its commitment beyond an annual award ceremony through its Corporate Social Responsibility program, ‘Raigam-Sampath Yuthukama.’ Aimed at assisting physically impaired artists, the initiative provided financial benefits to veteran artists Jakson Anthoney and teledrama director Nalan Mendis. Additionally, all nominees received medical and life insurance coverage for a year, demonstrating the festival’s broader commitment to artist welfare.



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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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