Message to Sri Lankans living abroad from Dr. P Nandalal Weerasinghe, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka source:cbsl.gov.lk Currently Sri Lanka is facing social, economic and financial distress creating hardships to its people due to the long lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, global political imbalances and macroeconomic imbalances of the country. Although the authorities are taking measures to address the above situation of the country, including taking steps to actively manage its debt obligations, finding immediate financial assistance from other nations and progressing at the discussions with the International Monetary Fund for a comprehensive programme, the positive impacts of such measures will benefit the people only in the medium to long term. Therefore, urgent measures are needed to enhance the foreign reserve position of the country to meet its day-to-day essential imports including food, fuel and medicine.  In this background, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) ...

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Doctor, academic, activist, and now MP: Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah – By Khushaal Vyas The newly elected Member of Parliament with proud South Asian ancestry, talks politics, her vision for Higgins, and what this election means for multicultural Australia.     Source:indianlink.com.au As the dust settles from an extraordinary Federal election campaign, it has become clear that Australia has voted in a more diverse parliament than we have ever seen before in our history. Politics aside, this fact alone is something that we ought to celebrate and be immensely proud of. One of the most fascinating stories underpinning the changing face of Australia’s parliament at this election has been the impressive rise of the new member for Higgins, Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah of the Australian Labor Party. A seat that had been held by the Liberal Party since its creation in 1949, Ananda-Rajah’s success in Higgins was one of several history-making results that has ...

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‘We’re Canadians and we contribute to the building of this country’ — Reflections on 20 years of Asian Heritage Month – by Thomas Desormeaux This year’s theme is “Continuing a legacy of greatness.” Source:ottawacitizen.com May marks Asian Heritage Month, a celebration of the contributions of Canadians of Asian heritage throughout the country’s history as well as a time to recognize the challenges and barriers they’ve faced. This year’s theme — “Continuing a legacy of greatness” — focuses on reminding all Canadians of the need to unite and fight anti-Asian racism and discrimination in all its forms, which many say has become worse since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this spirit, this newspaper reached out to a few Ottawans of Asian heritage — or those with connections to the city — to find out what this month meant to them. Senator Vivienne Poy Vivienne Poy is a former Canadian ...

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       ABSC INC. LAUNCHES EKONOMOS, ISSUE 3, 2022 AT THE LANGHAM, SYDNEY Amidst the lush premises of one of Sydney’s five-star hotel chains, The Australian Business Summit Council Inc. hosted a Who’s Who of business leaders, diplomats and politicians at the 2022 ABSC Inc. Annual Gala Dinner on 5th May 2022 to formally launch the third issue of EKONOMOS, the annual business affairs magazine published by this leading management consulting forum. ABSC Inc. president for the fourth consecutive year, Dr. Frank Alafaci welcomed more than one hundred VIP guests and other persons to this signature event at The Langham, Sydney, including the Ambassador of Turkey, the High Commissioner of Pakistan, the High Commissioner of Bangladesh, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Ukraine, the Consuls General of Spain, Austria, Poland, India, Chile, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Turkey, the NSW Minister for Multiculturalism and Seniors, and the state Shadow Minister ...

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What’s happening in Sri Lanka? Country facing worst economic crisis and on the brink of bankruptcy – by Megan Baynes   Source:news.sky.com In a country where limes cost 240% more than they did last year, and with a looming economic and food crisis, protests continue to play out between those demanding the government resign and those in support of it. Sri Lanka is on the brink of bankruptcy and now facing its worst economic crisis since independence, with acute shortages of food, fuel and other essentials. Protests have been taking place on the island nation of 22 million people since the end of March between pro-government supporters and those calling for an immediate change in authority. The background Sri Lanka, which gained independence from the UK in 1948, emerged from a devastating civil war in 2009. In 2019, the country was rocked by Easter Sunday bombings – 250 people were killed ...

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Broke, downgraded and begging: Sri Lanka pays price for missteps – by MARWAAN MACAN-MARKAR South Asian nation’s economic crisis draws comparisons with Lebanon’s meltdown Source:asia.nikkei.com BANGKOK — Sri Lanka’s failure to settle interest payments on sovereign bonds and its subsequent ratings downgrade have drawn unflattering comparisons with the economic meltdown in Lebanon. The South Asian nation on April 18 failed to pay interest of $78.13 million on $1.25 billion of bonds. Standard & Poor’s followed up this week with a downgrade to a “selective default” rating — the latest knife in the back of the debt-ridden economy. Foreign investors who had bought the island’s international sovereign bonds (ISBs) were angry that they were misled by promises the debt would be paid. The principal cheerleader was Nivard Cabraal, the then central bank governor. Throughout he stood by views he had expressed to Nikkei in a February interview: “I am determined to ...

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Supporting Food Security in Sri Lanka Source:foreignminister.gov.au Australia will provide $2.5 million to boost food security in Sri Lanka through the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The COVID-19 pandemic has affected food security globally, impacting food supply chains and contributing to escalating food prices. This $2.5 million in targeted development assistance will support child nutrition, strengthen productivity for smallholder farmers and improve livelihoods in rural areas. The WFP and FAO will work to improve agricultural practices, strengthen market linkages and provide social protection to vulnerable communities, particularly households that are female-headed; with children under five; or that have pregnant or nursing mothers. WFP will also address the immediate nutritional needs of school going children though the provision of meals at school. FAO will support a school garden program. Australia will continue to work closely with regional partners to support health security and economic resilience ...

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Dimuth Karunaratne to play for Yorkshire-by Dhammika Ratnaweera Dimuth Karunaratne Source:Dailynews Yorkshire has signed up Sri Lanka Test skipper Dimuth Karunaratne for the forthcoming county cricket season. The 33-year-old left-hand opener Karunaratne is expected to play four matches before joining the Sri Lanka team in Bangladesh. This will be the Karunaratne’s debut county season. Last year in February 2021 Karunaratne got the opportunity to play for Nottinghamshire but the chance has been lost due to visa clearance issues and the health protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be his first county stint and Sri Lanka Cricket has given him the No Objection Certificate to travel to England, and he is expected to leave the country on April 10. ...

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Oberammergau Passion Play: A Unique 400-Year-Old Event-by Sue Reddell and Diana Laskaris Source:Dailynews The Passion Play has been performed in the small German village of Oberammergau since 1634. At the time, the Bubonic Plague ravaged Europe, including Bavaria in Germany. Seeing their families and friends dying from the disease, the remaining villagers gathered and made a vow to God. The townspeople promised that they would perform a Passion Play reenacting the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ every 10 years if God would make the Plague pass through the village without further devastation. The story goes that God responded to the villagers’ entreaty and the people of Oberammergau have been performing the Passion Play ever since. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, what once seemed like a charming tale of spiritual faith from another time, now feels like a flash of hopeful news. We would all like reassurance ...

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SL High Commission in Pretoria to Popularize Jackfruit Cultivation in South Africa Source:Dailymirror The High Commission of Sri Lanka in South Africa has submitted a concept paper to UNICEF and FAO in South Africa highlighting the benefits of growing jackfruit in southern African countries as a solution to hunger. A Professor of Sri Lankan origin who works in the WITS University in South Africa Chandima Gomes, who has a handful of experience in Sri Lanka and Malaysia in this regard, has mooted the idea of introducing jackfruit as a sustainable solution for hunger and malnutrition in some African countries. Having had several discussions with UNICEF, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to South Africa Sirisena Amarasekara convened a meeting with the Country Representatives of UNICEF & FAO in South Africa and the senior officials of the Department of Science & Innovation of South Africa. ...

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