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Sri Lankan expatriates seek US support

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The ongoing dialogue by Nevada Sri Lankan expatriates with U.S. lawmakers: The officials of the Sri Lanka-America Association in the State of Nevada met with U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (centre) for a dialogue on Sri Lankan issues and to strengthen the bonds between the two nations. To her right is President of the Association Rakhitha Perera

Sri Lankan expatriates – most of whom are professionals in the fields of investment, technology, global entertainment, gaming industry, public diplomacy and foreign affairs – in the State of Nevada, in the US continued their discourses with U.S. Senator Catherine Cotez Masto to facilitate Sri Lanka to move out of the current economic crisis.

Masto is one of the Washington lawmakers who is on pivotal Financial and Banking Committees which are entrusted with international trade, finance and economic policies, US-based sources said.

A two-hour dialogue, on October 8, between the officials of the State of Nevada-based Sri Lanka-America Association and Senator Cotez-Masto covered the areas of foreign affairs between the two nations, trade and economic issues among many other topics that concerned the Senator’s portfolio of economic policies.

Less than one year old, the Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce, a nationally-focused organization, founded by the Sri Lankan expatriates, in the State of Nevada, to promote trade, commerce and investment between the two nations, attended the discourse with its Executive President Sanje Sedera.

Both the Association and the Chamber are constantly in contact with lawmakers and policymakers in Washington to bring a closer understanding between the two nations, to identify issues related to trade and investment.

The meeting that took place last week, with the U.S. Senator Cotez-Masto, was one such discourse.

The officials of the Association and the Chamber brought to the attention of Sri Lanka’s economic and humanitarian calamity focusing on better trade, commerce and investments between the two countries. The Senator explained the portfolio she has at two committees in the Senate. The Sri Lankan expatriates were aware of the Senator’s role in the two Banking and Financial Committees that could bring some opening for enhanced trade, commerce and investments in both nations.

The Chamber officials, a couple of months ago, met with two senior U.S. Treasury Department officials to discuss possible American investments in the newly emerging Colombo Port City-Economic Zone, and the discussion turned toward streamlining certain Sri Lankan Government regulations to remove some impediments the American investors face in their trade and investment attempts.

The officials of the Sri Lanka-America Association, in the State of Nevada, and the Sri Lanka-America Chamber of Commerce, had been discussing these issues with Washington lawmakers and policymakers one of whom was Senator Catherine Cotez-Masto, that the Sri Lankan expatriates met last week.



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Embassy officer arrested at BIA remanded

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The Embassy official who was attached to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oman who is accused of being involved in a human trafficking racket was arrested by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and remanded till the 13th of December when he was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate

The official was arrested on his arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning (29 November).

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Easter Sunday terror attack suspect hacked to death

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By Norman Palihawadane

A 38-year-old Easter Sunday terror attack suspect was hacked to death yesterday morning (28) in Mattakkuliya.

The victim, Mohamed Badurdeen Mohamed Harnas, was a resident of Safiya Avenue, Mattakkuliya, police said.

A suspect in the Easter Sunday terror attacks, he had been released on bail.

The suspect was rushed to the National Hospital, Colombo, after three individuals, who arrived in a car around 10. 00 am, attacked him.

Two persons attacked the man while the other was keeping the car engine running, according to eyewitnesses. The attackers thereafter fled in the same car.

Harnas was pronounced dead on admission to hospital.

Further investigations in this regard are currently underway.

The victims family members said that Harnas had been taken into custody, following the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, but later released as there was no evidence of his involvement in terrorist activities.

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Rail service between Mahawa and Jaffna to be suspended for five months

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Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that the railway services between Mahawa and Jaffna will be suspended for a period of five months in 2023.

The Minister said that operations will be suspended from January 15, 2023.

The Minister said it was to repair work on the railway line.

He said so in response to a question raised by Vanni District MP Selvam Adaikalanathan.

“We are focusing our attention on the request made by you. We have to halt railway operations between Mahawa and Jaffna for five months from January 2023. Train services have been continuously operating to Jaffna, but now we have faced a situation as we have not been able to carry out any repair work thus far,” the Minister said.

Assuring that this issue can be rectified in five months, Minister Gunawardane said that, thereafter, a good railway service can be provided for this route.

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