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The gift of acquiring a foreign language makes a positive contribution towards one’s nation



The gift of acquiring a foreign language makes a positive contribution towards one’s nation

As an event of “Korea Week”, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Kandy King Sejong Institute Center organized a Korean Speech Contest on a virtual platform in 2020.

Outstanding students of the Korean Speech Contest 2020 were recently awarded prizes by Santhush Woonjin JEONG, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea at an awards ceremony held online.

Around 70 participants submitted video entries of speeches on the themes of interesting experiences with the Korean language, culture or on a topic related to Korea (e.g. K-Pop, K-drama, food, travel, history, entertainment, etc). All participants displayed remarkable Korean linguistic skills and their fluent execution of the Korean language deeply impressed all the judges.


The following were adjudged best speakers at the Korean speech contest 2020.

First Place:

* Kulara Wichramarachchi

Second Place:

* Dhananjaya Jayasinghe

* Thanushi Rajapakse

Third Place:

* Aheesha Dilshani Jabir

* Gimhani Dikkumbura


The Ambassador conveyed his deep appreciation for all the participants and the organizers of the Korean Speech contest for their interest and commitment to further Korea- Sri Lanka ties amid the pandemic.

“I believe that although the epidemic has altered the way we meet and communicate, it will not change the enthusiasm of Sri Lankans to learn Korean. At this outset, I would like to give all the contestants a thumb up, and a special thanks to the teachers and judges who actively organized the competition during this special period. We appreciate your hard work and strenuous efforts in advocating the Korean language learning”, he noted.

The Ambassador further said that despite the differences of our two cultures we are united by the mutual respect and love shown to each others’ culture and language.

He said that “more Sri Lankan youth can become bridges and civilian diplomats of the Korea-Sri Lanka friendship. I hope that friends from all walks of life in Sri Lanka will continue to work together to take our bilateral relations to another level and create a brighter future for our two countries. It is our strong belief that the 2020 Korean Language Speech Contest will continue to make a greater contribution to strengthening the student exchanges of culture and thoughts and in promotion of the world peace and development”.

The participants also displayed an active interest in learning the Korean language which opened avenues through which they learned more about the time-honoured Korean culture, customs and the unique Korean society. They also shared their love for K-Pop, Korean food and culture through speeches submitted for the competition.

The Korean speech contest 2020 has successfully contributed to deepening the cultural ties between the two countries by providing recognition for the Sri Lankan youth who embark upon a new journey to broaden their future possibilities by learning Korean.

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Pakistan Navy ship arrives in Colombo



Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Taimur arrived, at the port of Colombo, on a formal visit, yesterday morning (12). The visiting ship was welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy, in compliance with naval traditions.The 134m-long ship is commanded by Captain M. Yasir Tahir and it is manned by 169 as the ship’s complement.

The Commanding Officer of PNS Taimur is scheduled to call on Commander Western Naval Area, at the Western Naval Command Headquarters, today. The ship is expected to remain in the island, until 15th August, and the crew of the ship will take part in several programmes, organized by the Sri Lanka Navy, to promote cooperation and goodwill between the two navies.

PNS Taimur is also expected to conduct a naval exercise with the Sri Lanka Navy in western seas on its departure on 15th August.

Meanwhile, PNS Tughril, an identical warship belonging to the Pakistan Navy, arrived in Sri Lanka on an official visit on 13th December 2021 and conducted a successful naval exercise with SLNS Sindurala off the western coast on 16th December. Naval exercises of this nature with regional navies will enable each partner to overcome common maritime challenges in the future, through enhanced cooperation.

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Stalin reads riot act to govt. over proposal to allow schoolchildren to work part time



By Rathindra Kuruwita

The Alliance of Trade Unions and Mass Organisations yesterday warned that the government’s decision to allow schoolchildren, between the ages of 16 and 20, to work part time, would have disastrous consequences.Addressing the media on 11 Aug., General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Union, Joseph Stalin, said that the government was planning to amend laws, allowing schoolchildren to work in the private sector for 20 hours a week.

“Now, this may look like a progressive idea. A lot of families are

struggling and if another family member can chip in, it would be a great help. I am sure a lot of children feel the same way. It is also true that there may be children who will find great jobs and horn their skills,” he said.However, these proposals have come at a time when education is in crisis and the schools are on the verge of collapse.

“During the last two and a half years, most children have learnt nothing. But children who go to elite schools are doing better. These schools have systems in place, but most others don’t. Children who do not go to tier one schools have suffered and most children who do not go to such elite schools will not find part time work that will prepare them for the jobs of the future,” he said. “It’s not easy to balance school work with vocation training, especially physically intensive work. Most people will drop out and social mobility will further stagnate. Fix the education system first and create a more level playing field,” Stalin said.

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Harsha: Will RW use Emergency to steamroller his economic reforms?



By Saman Indrajith

SJB MP Harsha de Silva yesterday asked President Ranil Wickremesinghe whether the latter was planning to use Emergency powers to suppress the people who might oppose his economic reform agenda.

“It is being asked why the government wants to continue the State of Emergency. The anti-government protesters have gone home. There is no unrest. There are those who say that the President wants to keep the Emergency laws to carry out economic reforms. Does that mean the President will use these laws to scare people into submission if they do not accept his economic reforms? I don’t think people can be intimidated. I want the President to answer this question,” he said.

MP de Silva said that the government did not have public support and that it was obvious that the spectre of the Rajapaksas was haunting the government.

“I agree that Wickremesinghe was appointed constitutionally. We have to work within the Constitution. However, the 134 votes he received on 20 July were not realistic. They have managed to manipulate the Constitution, but the government doesn’t have the support of the people. The problem is can the government win the support of the people,” he said.The SJB lawmaker added that Sri Lanka needed to restructure its debt. However, the country had not even started the process.

“One of the consultants we hired, Lazard, says that we have to start with China because it is new to debt restructuring. But we have not done so. Not only that, we have in fact started a diplomatic issue with China. What’s the front page news today? Can this government solve this sensitive international issue? Can it carry out the necessary economic reforms?” he asked.

MP de Silva said that the government had to work with the people and that it had to be honest with them. The government needed to present a common programme on which an all party government could be established.

“In 2020, we said that the government was on the wrong path and that we needed to seek IMF assistance. The government didn’t listen. We need an all-party programme to go before the IMF and get a decent deal. Today, I present to Parliament an economic recovery plan we have prepared. When we decided to throw our weight behind SLPP MP Dullas Alahapperuma, I was entrusted with the task of making an economic plan. We have run it through experts too. I ask the MPs to look at this and suggest improvements.”

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