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Sri Lanka stresses importance of relations with Japan

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, on Thursday (16) met the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, the Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the UK and the Ambassadors/ Permanent Representatives of the United States, Canada, India and France, on the sidelines of the 50th session of the Human Rights Council.During the bilateral meeting with Miyake Shingo, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, the Foreign Minister referred to the longstanding and mutually supportive friendship between the two countries and observed that the relationship with Japan is vital for Sri Lanka.

He noted that, over the decades, Japan has been a close partner of Sri Lanka, and expressed appreciation for the assistance provided, particularly in the areas of skills development, computer technology, the construction of the Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital, assistance to the Rupavahini Corporation, the significant assistance provided recently for medical and pharmaceutical items, as well as Japan’s supportive stance on Sri Lanka. He also recalled the support extended by Sri Lanka to Japan at the San Francisco Conference at the conclusion of World War II.Sri Lanka wished to expand cooperation with Japan in the areas of digitalization, carbon credit, and ocean related activities including coast conservation, fisheries and global warming. Reference was also made to exploring cooperation in areas coming under the purview of the World Trade Organisation.

The Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan noted that Japan, too, wished to deepen and strengthen cooperation with Sri Lanka in international fora. He added that Sri Lanka and Japan were marking the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and expressed the hope that long before the 100 year celebration, the relations between the two countries would be elevated to an even higher level. He expressed interest in furthering cooperation with Sri Lanka in the areas mentioned. At the meeting with the Ambassador / Permanent Representative of the USA to the Human Rights Council, Michele Taylor, the Foreign Minister explained the issues faced by Sri Lanka, and the socio-economic situation in the country.

Meeting Lord Ahmed of Wimbledon, Minister for South Asia, North Africa, the United Nations and the Commonwealth at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the Foreign Minister discussed the upcoming Commonwealth Summit to be held in Kigali, Rwanda. The Foreign Minister observed that Sri Lanka considered the Commonwealth as an institution that can do much good in the present context. He also briefed Lord Ahmed on the situation in the country. The Foreign Minister also had bilateral meetings with Ambassador Indra Mani Pandey, Permanent Representative of India, Ambassador Jérôme Bonnafont, Permanent Representative of France and Ambassador Leslie E. Norton, Permanent Representative of Canada.



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Social relations and solidarity emerge as fundamental pillars essential for steering our nation forward along the path of progress and prosperity – President

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President Rani Wickremesinghe in his New Year Message stressed that social relations and solidarity emerge as fundamental pillars essential for steering our nation forward along the path of progress and prosperity

The full text of the President’s message follows:

“The progression of nations, countries and the global community is propelled by the perpetual cycle of renewal, where innovative ideas are nurtured and novel creations come to fruition.

Embracing renewal in accordance with the traditional New Year, the calendar year, or the changing seasons, individuals across the globe find themselves revitalized, endowed with fresh opportunities for growth and advancement. Beneath the surface of these myriad renewals lies a fundamental truth; the paramount importance of social relationships and collective unity.

During the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, we engage in a profound renewal of self, centering our focus on nurturing bonds and fostering a sense of gregariousness. This emphasis on interpersonal bonds is the cornerstone of traditional New Year rituals observed across diverse cultures worldwide.

It is important to emphasize the significance of this pivotal point, particularly during the New Year festivities, as it serves as a poignant reminder of the essence of human connection and communal solidarity.

In the dawn of the New Year, social relations and solidarity emerge as fundamental pillars essential for steering our nation forward along the path of progress and prosperity. With this understanding in mind, I extend my heartfelt wishes for a joyous and fulfilling Sinhala and Tamil New Year.”

 

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Sinhala and Tamil New Year auspicious times

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The Auspicious times for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year 2024 are as follows

13th April
02:41pm –  Punya Kalaya
09:05pm  – Dawn of the New Year
11:06pm –  Lighting of the Hearth

14th April 
00:06am – Starting work, Partaking of meals and transactions

15th April
10:17am – Anointing

17th April
06:52am – Leaving for work

18th April 
10:16am – Planting trees

 

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Heat Index at ‘Caution’ level in Northern and North-Western provinces and Anuradhapura district

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Heat Index advisory issued by the Natural Hazards Early Warning Centre At 4.00 p.m. 12 April 2024, valid for 13 April  2024

The Natural hazards Early Warning Centre says that the Heat Index, the temperature felt on the human body is expected to increase up to ‘Caution level’ at some places in Northern and North-Western provinces and Anuradhapura district.

The Heat Index Forecast is calculated by using relative humidity and maximum temperature and this is the condition that is felt on your body. This is not the forecast of maximum temperature. It is generated by the Department of Meteorology for the next day period and prepared by using global numerical weather prediction model data.

Effect of the heat index on human body is mentioned in the above table and it is prepared on the advice of the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medical Services.

ACTION REQUIRED

Job sites: Stay hydrated and takes breaks in the shade as often as possible.
Indoors: Check up on the elderly and the sick.
Vehicles: Never leave children unattended.
Outdoors: Limit strenuous outdoor activities, find shade and stay hydrated.
Dress: Wear lightweight and white or light-colored clothing.

Note:
In addition, please refer to advisories issued by the Disaster Preparedness & Response Division, Ministry of Health in this regard as well. For further clarifications please contact 011-7446491

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