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SLBFE gives update on Sri Lankan deliveryman shot in Kuwait over delayed order

The Sri Lankan national, who was shot in Kuwait while working as a delivery person, currently remains under the protection of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Jabriya, the Foreign Employment Bureau (SLBFE) says. The embassy has assured that all required facilities would be provided to Sagara Lakshman who sustained critical injuries after being shot by a customer over a delayed food order. Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment, Manusha Nanayakkara has instructed the SLBFE authorities to look into the matter and take necessary measures without delay. The 44-year-old, originally from Rajanganaya, faced the harrowing incident on January 11 in Al Jahra city where he was residing. According to his account of the event, the initial location details given by the customer were wrong, and as a result, he had to drive to a different location to complete the delivery. However, the customer in question, agitated by the delay, had opened fire when Thilakaratne arrived at his doorstep, leaving him with serious injuries to the abdomen. After being shot, Lakshman had reportedly driven his car back with blood gushing out from the wounds and contacted an Indian acquaintance who rushed him to the hospital. Lakshman, who is the father of two daughters aged 10 and 13, earlier urged respective authorities to help him seek justice and take necessary measures to repatriate him to Sri Lanka. The SLBFE said Lakshman was treated at a hospital in Jabriya where he underwent surgery to extract the bullets. The embassy officials including the Sri Lankan ambassador to Kuwait have visited Lakshman at the hospital to check in on his condition. As per reports, the Kuwaiti national who shot Lakshman is now under arrest on attempted murder charges. The SLBFE asserted that all necessary measures would be taken to repatriate Lakshman, based on the progress of the ongoing legal proceedings. His hospital expenses have been borne by the restaurant where he is employed, the Bureau said further.

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Gunshots fired at Hotel in Wellawatte, No injuries reported

Gunshots fired at Hotel in Wellawatte, No injuries reported A shooting incident occurred near a hotel along Marine Drive in Wellawatte, Colombo, Sri Lanka, this morning (February 27). According to Police, no injuries were reported in the incident. Investigations revealed that two persons are believed to have arrived on a motorcycle and fired shots towards the hotel using a T-56 firearm before fleeing. Police recovered at least nine empty shells at the scene and suspect that the shots fired may have been a warning. Wellawatte Police are conducting further investigations into the incident.

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Jacob Rothschild, Banking Scion Who Struck Out on His Own, Dies at 87

Jacob Rothschild, the British financier and philanthropist who built his own empire after walking away from his family’s, has died. He was 87. His death was confirmed on Monday by his family, who told the Associated Press in a statement that Rothschild, formally known as the fourth Baron Rothschild, had been “a towering presence in many people’s lives, a superbly accomplished financier, a champion of the arts and culture, a devoted public servant, a passionate supporter of charitable causes in Israel and Jewish culture, a keen environmentalist and much-loved friend, father and grandfather.” The family said he would be buried in accordance with Jewish custom in a small family ceremony, and that there would be a memorial held at a later date to celebrate his life. They did not immediately provide further details.

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Biden Says Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Deal is Just Days Away

Joe Biden told reporters Monday he expects Israel and Hamas to reach a deal this weekend for the release of the remaining Israeli hostages in the Gaza Strip—a deal he expects would pause hostilities as early as March 4. A deal is yet to be finalized, but Biden says the two sides are close to reaching an agreement that could go into effect early next week. “My national security adviser tells me that they’re close,” Biden said while stopping to get ice cream with late-night host Seth Myers ahead of an appearance on his show. “They’re close—they’re not done yet. My hope is by next Monday we’ll have a ceasefire.”

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TM Dilshan gains Australian citizenship

Former Sri Lankan cricketer Tillakaratne Dilshan has been granted Australian citizenship, as confirmed by Australian MP Jason Wood in a social media post. TM Dilshan, renowned for his explosive batting style, played a pivotal role in numerous victories for the Sri Lankan cricket team throughout his career. The 47-year-old’s acquisition of Australian citizenship marks a new chapter in his life post-retirement from professional cricket. “Today’s citizenship ceremony was made even more special with the attendance of Tillakaratne Dilshan, a former Sri Lankan cricketer and captain of the Sri Lanka national cricket team. “Dilshan is regarded as the best Sri Lankan player in run-chases in ODI history. He also holds the record for being the top run scorer in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup with 500 runs and scored a century against England in the semi-final. Additionally, he was part of the Sri Lankan team that won the 2014 ICC World Twenty20,” the MP posted on social media. MP Jason Wood, welcoming Dilshan as a new Australian citizen and local resident, expressed his hope that the veteran would consider joining a local team. “It was great to hear that his daughter Resandi is following in her father’s footsteps,” he added. Tillakaratne Dilshan amassed over 10,000 runs from 330 ODIs since his one-day international debut in 1999 against Zimbabwe. His Test career spanned 87 matches, during which he accumulated 5492 runs, including a high-score of 193. In 80 T20I matches, Dilshan made 1889 runs, which featured one century and 13 half-centuries. Renowned for his unorthodox style, including the innovative scoop shot, Dilshan proved to be an extremely effective and versatile batsman across formats throughout his career. Source: ABP News Bureau –Agencies

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Russian Embassy issues statement on controversial night event in Unawatuna

In response to recent controversy surrounding a planned night event in Unawatuna, the Russian Embassy in Colombo has issued a statement condemning all forms of racial discrimination and nationalism. It said the event in question had been organized with a “dress-code: white” theme by a group of entrepreneurs. According to unconfirmed data, however, the Embassy stated that the main promoter and the bar owners who had agreed to accommodate the party have been identified as Russian citizens. Amidst confusion and concerns regarding entry conditions, however, the organizers had later issued apologies and clarified that their intentions were not to cause harm, and subsequently called off the event. Issuing a statement, the Russian Embassy emphasized Russia’s firm stance against such injustices and expressed a commitment to combatting them. Additionally, the embassy urged all Russian citizens visiting or residing in Sri Lanka to strictly adhere to the country’s laws and respect local customs. Press-release of the Russian Embassy regarding the controversial night event in Unawatuna pic.twitter.com/Hx1BN5WpC8— Russian Embassy in Sri Lanka (@RusEmbSriLanka) February 25, 2024

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Showers expected in several provinces

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STF arrests Army Corporal over Mahabage shooting that killed “Ukkuwa”

STF arrests Army Corporal over Mahabage shooting that killed “Ukkuwa” The Police Special Task Force (STF) arrested a key suspect this morning (February 24), linked to the shooting incident at Mahabage. The suspect, identified as a Corporal in the Sri Lanka Army serving with the 4th Gemunu Hewa Battalion in Chenkaladi camp, attempted to flee when the STF moved to arrest him. Later, army intelligence officers detained the suspect in the Ampara area. Three unidentified assailants had opened fire using a revolver around 7:15 AM on February 21 near a meat shop in Elapitiwala Junction, Mahabage, leaving the shop owner dead. The victim succumbed to injuries while being rushed to the Colombo North Teaching Hospital in Ragama. The deceased was identified as Hettiarachchige Don Sujith alias “Ukkuwa,” the brother-in-law of the criminal gang leader “Welle Saranga,” and a resident of North Batagama in Ja-Ela.

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Senior US official discusses Sri Lanka’s IMF program in Colombo

Senior U.S. diplomat Richard Verma on Friday met Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Ali Sabry in Colombo, and discussed Sri Lanka’s economic recovery and progress on its IMF program, the U.S. State Department said. WHY IT IS IMPORTANT The South Asian island nation finalised a $2.9 billion bailout, from the International Monetary Fund in March 2023, which helped temper skyrocketing inflation, improved state revenue and boosted foreign exchange reserves. The country defaulted on its overseas debt in May 2022 after a severe shortage of foreign exchange reserves triggered the worst financial crisis since independence from Britain in 1948. Sri Lanka has since made progress on about $11 billion of bilateral debt restructuring and hopes to have agreements in place with all key creditors, including bondholders, by May at the latest, Sabry told Reuters earlier this month. KEY QUOTES The State Department official and the Sri Lankan leaders “discussed progress on Sri Lanka’s IMF program, including economic and governance reforms aimed at putting Sri Lanka on the path to sustainable economic growth,” the department said in a statement. BY THE NUMBERS Sri Lanka’s economy is estimated by the World Bank to have contracted by 3.8% last year but is expected to grow by 1.7% in 2024. Sri Lanka’s central bank has projected a more optimistic growth of 3% for this year. Source: Reuters -Agencies

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At least 8 injured after bus topples on Radella Shortcut Road

Eight people have been injured after a bus toppled on Radella Shortcut Road in Nanu Oya on Thursday night (Feb.22). As many as 35 passengers including the driver had been inside the vehicle at the time of the accident. The injured were rushed to the Nuwara-Eliya District General Hospital for treatment. According to the police, two of them have since been discharged while the remaining six are still under medical care. The bus was reportedly carrying a group of pilgrims from Akuressa, Galle and Weherahena areas. Nanu Oya Police is conducting further investigations into the incident. The accident happened a year after a fatal multiple-vehicle collision on the Radella Shortcut Road claimed the lives of seven people including 2 children and injured at least 53 others. The deadly accident was caused by the careless driving of a bus driver transporting a group of students returning from a school trip to Nuwara Eliya on January 20, 2023. The bus in question had fallen down a 100-foot precipice along the Radella Shortcut Road after colliding with a van and a three-wheeler. Just weeks after the fatal crash, in February 2023, another accident took place on Radella Shortcut Road, critically injuring three individuals.

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