Consulate General’s Urgent Request!!!Establishment Of a Database Of Sri Lankans Living in Overseas

Dear Sri Lankans living on the West Coast States in USA

Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sri Lanka by its circular No 60 /2022 / file No FA/OSL/2/1 has instructed all missions abroad to help in establishing a database of Sri Lankans living in their assigned territories.

The government is of the opinion that having a centralized database will be of value in facilitating various official purposes such as providing emergency / consular assistance, policy formulation, promoting engagement of overseas Sri Lankans in economic / development activities, etc

Having experienced the difficulties of not having a properly updated Database in providing services to you all during the recent Pandemic,we are sure that you will agree with us how difficult it would be without a current database in an extremely unlikely event similar to having to evacuate Sri Lankans from Russia and Ukraine.

We at the Consulate General requested all Sri Lankan Associations and Temples in the areas coming under the purview of the Consulate General in Los Angeles to help us in revising the database of Sri Lankans living in California by email dated November 3rd, 2021. We can not say that we are happy with the response we had from these institutions.

We have also tried to gather information regarding the number of Sri Lankans living here from the census department to be advised that they don’t have a separate category as Sri Lankans apart from the main division Asians.

We will be thankful to you for providing your details using the link given below Please be good enough to pass on this link and motivate your colleagues and friends also to do the same and help us to serve you all better.

For more information contact:

213-387-0213 (Office )
213-823-4847 ( Mobile )

Sri Lankan to sue Australia police after ‘terror’ charge dropped

Mr. Moustafa Keir, the lawyer of a prominent Sri Lankan student who was accused of plotting to assassinate Australian politicians said he will sue police after prosecutors dropped terrorism charges on Friday.

Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen, 25, was arrested in August and accused of writing in a notebook plans to kill then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and then-Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Police also alleged the PhD student possessed plans to carry out a “lone wolf” attack on several public places, including the Sydney Opera House, and he appeared to have links to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

Nizamdeen, a respected business student at the University of New South Wales, spent four weeks in jail after being charged with making documents to facilitate terrorist acts.

He was kept in solitary confinement in a maximum-security prison along with convicted murderers. Prosecutors withdrew the charges in Sydney’s Central Local Court on Friday. He had been released on bail in September after police admitted an expert concluded it could not be proved the plot was in his handwriting.

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US top military officer lauds Sri Lanka’s reconciliation program

Commanding General of the US Army Pacific (USARPAC) General Robert B. Brown has commended the present Sri Lankan Government’s reconciliation program which aims to enhance the harmony among different communities.

General Robert B. Brown, who is leading a USARPAC delegation to Sri Lanka at the invitation of Sri Lanka Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, made this remark when he called on President Maithripala Sirisena this week at the President’s Office. The US Army’s largest Service Component command delegation is visiting Sri Lanka aiming to launch a new chapter of mutual friendship between the two countries and enhance military cooperation and the understanding in the South Asian region.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed at length on ways the US military could assist the Sri Lankan military in the regional disaster management process and how international training opportunities could be opened for Sri Lanka’s peacekeeping force.

The USARPAC Commanding General praising the Sri Lanka Army’s remarkable contribution to the de-mining process appreciated the professionalism expressed by the Army.

During the meeting, the two sides emphasized the significance of sharing the experience Sri Lanka gained from the 30-year long armed conflict with global partners to address such issues.

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Sri Lanka, India navies discuss maritime issues at 29th IMBL meeting in Northern seas

Sri Lanka and India have held the 29th International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting in the mid seas on Thursday (03) to discuss maritime issues common to both countries.

The 29th IMBL meeting between the navies of the two countries was held onboard Indian Naval Ship ‘Sumithra’ at the Indo-Sri Lanka Maritime Boundary Line off Kankasanthurai yesterday (03 May 2018).

During the meeting, matters related to maritime security in the region were discussed at length. Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Muditha Gamage headed the Sri Lankan delegation consisting of 11 officials from both Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Coast Guard.

The Indian delegation comprising 9 officials headed by Flag Officer Commanding Tamil Nadu Naval Area, Rear Admiral Alok Bhatnagar. Defense Attaché to the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka Captain Ashok Rao also attended this event.

The IMBL meeting, held biannually to strengthen relationship and operational readiness between the navies and Coast Guard personnel of two neighboring countries, comes amid accusations by Tamil Nadu fishermen of attacks against them by the Sri Lanka Navy.

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Sri Lanka Coast Guard lifeguards save over 1000 lives

Sri Lanka Coast Guard lifeguards reached another important milestone in their lifesaving activities passing the 1000 mark in rescued lives when lifesavers attached to the Hikkaduwa lifesaving station rescued three local youth from being swept away to sea.

The three youth, aged between 19 – 21 years are residents of the Gampaha District were saved by Coast Guard lifeguards on duty at the popular southern beach in Hikkaduwa last week (17th April). This is a significant achievement for the Coast Guard lifesaving activities which began in 2009 with a small lifesaving team deployed at the popular Mirissa beach in the Southern coast.

Since rescuing a Korean national in December 2009 at Mirissa, the SLCG lifeguards have been able to save more than one thousand lives including 405 foreign nationals from France, China, Australia, Thailand, Nepal, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Netherland, England, Russia and Germany, up to date, the Ministry of Defense said.

As an island nation, Sri Lanka is blessed with pristine seas and golden beaches that entice thousands of foreign tourists to visit the country daily. In addition the beaches are also patronized by a large number of locals especially during the holiday season.

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U.S. to Seek Social Media Details From All Visa Applicants

The State Department wants to require all U.S. visa applicants to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers, vastly expanding the Trump administration’s enhanced vetting of potential immigrants and visitors.

In documents to be published in Friday’s Federal Register, the department said it wants the public to comment on the proposed new requirements, which will affect nearly 15 million foreigners who apply for visas to enter the U.S. each year. Previously, social media, email and phone number histories were only sought from applicants identified for extra scrutiny, such as those who have traveled to areas controlled by terrorist organizations. An estimated 65,000 people per year are in that category.

The new rules would apply to virtually all applicants for immigrant and non-immigrant visas. The department estimates it would affect 710,000 immigrant visa applicants and 14 million non-immigrant visa applicants, including those who want to come to the U.S. for business or education, according to the documents.

The documents were posted on the Federal Register’s website on Thursday but the 60-day public comment period won’t begin until Friday’s edition is published.

If the requirements are approved by the Office of Management and Budget, applications for all visa types would list a number of social media platforms and require the applicant to provide any account names they may have had on them over the previous five years. It would also give the applicant the option to volunteer information about social media accounts on platforms not listed in the application.

In addition to their social media histories, visa applicants will be asked for five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, international travel and deportation status, as well as whether any family members have been involved in terrorist activities.

Only applicants for certain diplomatic and official visa types may be exempted from the requirements, the documents said.

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Major US network praises Sri Lanka on Facebook ban

“Sri Lanka does what the US can’t: Pull the plug on Facebook over hate speech, fake news.” A headline on CNBC, one of America’s premier news outlets as it reported on the steps taken by the Sri Lankan government in a bid to stem the flow of hate speech and fake news.

What does Facebook have to say about it and what will happen next?
The opening salvo of the CNBC article was that another country had joined the growing ranks of those saying Facebook’s content-filtering systems aren’t good enough. It went on to note that the ban in Sri Lanka came into effect after several years in which critics have said Facebook and the government were not doing enough to prevent the spread of harmful posts.

In an emailed statement to CNBC, Facebook has stated that they have clear rules against hate speech and incitement to violence and work hard to keep it off their platform. Further, it stated that they are responding to the situation in Sri Lanka and are in contact with the government and non-governmental organizations to support efforts to identify and remove such content.

Chief Information Security Engineer of SLCERT, Roshan Chandragupta stated that people should think about how they can minimize such issues.
“We need to think about the content that we share, we need to consider whether what we share is truthful or whether it is hurtful to someone. So we need to avoid such instances.” – Roshan Chandragupta

The ban on social media and messaging services has also had an adverse impact on tourism as well as Internet-based businesses. Chairman of the Federation of IT Industry in Sri Lanka, Dr Kithsiri Manchanayake stated that it is the government’s opinion that if they are to lift the ban, these social media sites must provide some sort of assurance to the government that they will take steps to prevent such things from occurring again.
Further, he stated that this is a great loss to the nation; there are tourists who come to the country as well as students from overseas. “I spoke with the Facebook Asia Pacific director of policy who is based in India. He expressed his support and said they would work on it. By the end March 12 they could announce the short term and long term plans that could be put in place for monitoring these feeds.” – Dr Kithsiri Manchanayake.

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Sri Lankan man ‘mutilated & scalped’ in Paris restaurant by assailants armed with machete and saber

A 35-year-old man of Sri Lankan origin has suffered horrific injuries to his head and arm after two assailants, armed with a machete and a saber, stormed an Indian restaurant in Paris’ 10th arrondissement, RT news reported.

The gruesome attack, from which both assailants managed to flee the scene, took place on Monday night in the area of the French capital which is home to a large South Asian community, according to local media reports.

Horrified witnesses described two hooded men, reportedly armed with a saber and a machete, storming the venue. They rushed towards one of the diners, a 35-year-old man from the Sri Lankan community who was having dinner with his wife.

The victim suffered severe cuts to his elbow, wrist and head in what amounted to a scalping, French media reported. He was rushed to hospital in critical condition and was still fighting for his life on Tuesday, according to AFP.

“He was scalped and had his arm and wrist severely cut,” a source close to the case said, according to Le Point. Authorities launched a manhunt for the suspects.

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Embassy of UAE issues travel advisory for Emiratis visiting Sri Lanka

The UAE is among the latest countries which have issued travel advisories on Sri Lanka, following the declaration of state of emergency in the Asian state.

The country’s embassy in Colombo tweeted on Thursday that Emirati nationals should take precautions and vigilance when travelling to Sri Lanka, in view of the current situation there. UAE citizens are also advised to avoid crowded places and contact the embassy in case of an emergency.

A top Sri Lankan official based in the UAE had earlier said that there’s no need to worry about the current security situation in the country.

According to Sulaiman J. Mohideen, the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UAE, the emergency declaration is just a “preventive step” taken by authorities to ward off the spread of violence. “It is a measure to prevent the violence from spreading to other parts of the country, which is otherwise limited to some villages in Kandy district,” Mohideen said.

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