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IANS

Indian side is "keen to upgrade the bilateral engagement".

In line with the priority placed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on ties with Sri Lanka in line with the Neighborhood First policy, an intercity train service, using recently given Full AC Diesel Multiple Units (AC DMUs) under Indian loan facility, was launched from Colombo on Sunday.

The train is to run from Colombo (Mount Lavinia) to Kankesanthurai, on the the tip of the Northern Peninsula, where a majority of the Tamil community lives. Participating at the event in Colombo, in the presence of the island nation's Transport Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Indian Deputy High Commissioner, Vinod K. Jacob, recalled the recent statement of Indian External Affairs Minister, Dr. S Jaishankar that "India would support Sri Lanka in difficult times" is an affirmation of the Neighborhood First policy in the current context.

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SRT Sports rubbished the claims and confirmed that the legend is not taking part in the league.

Sachin Tendulkar's management firm -- SRT Sports Management Private Limited -- on Saturday confirmed that the legendary cricketer is not part of the upcoming Legends League Cricket (LLC), starting January 20. The Legends Cricket League will feature retired players. It recently announced its Indian squad for the tournament which will be played in Muscat, Oman. Former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri is the Commissioner of LLC.

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SL sees tourism boom

Despite the island nation's borders being closed for many months due to the health crisis, 194,495 visitors arrived, with almost a quarter of them coming from India, according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA).

India led the list with 56,268 visitors, followed by Russia (16,268) and the United Kingdom (16,646), Germany (12,442), Ukraine (7,037), France (6,549), the United States (6,124), Kazakhstan (5,754), Canada (5,079), and China (5,079), according to the SLTDA (2,417).

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Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama virtually addressed a two-day major event held in Colombo

Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama virtually addressed a two-day major event held in Colombo during which he spoke to around 600 monks from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand.

The event as part of the Maha Satipatthana Sutta celebrations for the Theravada Sangha members from the above mentioned countries.

The Dalai Lama spoke on the first day of the event on December 17, which was followed by a question and answer session the next day.

He addressed the event from his residence in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh.

The organiser, Sri Lankan Tibetan Buddhist Brotherhood Society aims to raise understanding and awareness of the common Buddhist heritage of the Sri Lankan and Tibetan peoples.

(IANS/JB)

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