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Riaz Ismail Scholarship Fund felicitates its newest batch of scholarship recipients

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The Riaz Ismail Scholarship Fund (RISF) held its annual scholarship awarding ceremony at the Mandarina Colombo recently, awarding 27 deserving recipients with financial aid scholarships to enable them to continue their education. The event was held on the 80th birth anniversary of the late Riaz Ismail in whose tribute RISF was founded. RISF aims to continue his long-standing legacy of social work.

The event, which also celebrated the life and legacy of Riaz Ismail, was graced by His Holiness Syed Mohamed Aslam Jiffry Ibnu Syed Abdur Rahman Jiffry Mowlana and Former Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Cooperatives Dr. R.M.K. Ratnayake, as Chief Guest and Guest of Honor, respectively. The keynote address was delivered by Former DGM of the Bank of Ceylon M.S.M. Liyawdeen while Chief Priest of the Galle Fort Sri Sudharmalaya Temple Ven. Hemaloka Thero also addressed the gathering. GMCA Patron Hanif Yusoof, Former Minister A.H.M. Fowzie, Former Minister Karunasena Kodituwakku and Chairman of the Board of Quazis M.Y.M. Faiz also attended. The event was organized with the assistance of the many friends and family of Ismail, who were also in attendance.

Twenty-seven students were awarded two-year financial aid scholarships. These included 10 girls as well as 15 boys from Mahinda College, the alma mater of Riaz Ismail. RISF has been awarding scholarships to deserving students since 2018. Applications for the next batch of awards can be found at http://www.riazismailsf.org/apply/.



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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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