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South Korea set to hold ASEAN maritime drills

A two-part maritime exercise by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partnering countries is slated to start in South Korea's port city of Busan.

The exercise aims to counter maritime crime, including illicit transactions of weapons and other banned items.

The drills are scheduled to take place from 29 April to 2 May in South Korea, following which they will be held in Singapore from May 9 to May 13.

The maritime exercise involves 18 countries of the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting plus six other countries are slated to send military personnel.

Naval forces from India, Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and the United States are scheduled to practice rescuing ships hijacked by armed groups, amongst other maritime security operations.

Sri Lankan President bans all types of face coverings

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has issued an order for a ban on burqa, veil or covering of the face in a manner which prevents anyone from being identified.

Any garment or item which obstructs the identification of a persons face would be barred.

It follows 21 April 2019, Easter attacks in which more than 250 people were killed.

Some Muslim organisations had also come forward and suggested a ban on burqa to help stabilize the security situation

Capital: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte

Currency: Sri Lankan rupee

Prime minister: Ranil Wickremesinghe

President: Maithripala Sirisena

BCCI recommends four cricketers for Arjuna award

The BCCI recommended cricketers Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Poonam Yadav for the Arjuna award.

The decision was taken during a meeting of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators in New Delhi.

25-year-old Bumrah is currently playing in the IPL for Mumbai Indians.

Pacer Shami has been a crucial cog in the Indian bowling set up.

All-rounder Jadeja has also made a comeback in the limited overs team and has been named in the 15-member squad for the World Cup.

The 27-year-old leg-spinner, Poonam, is the fourth name to be nominated for the coveted award.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to attend SCO Defence Ministers' meet in Bishkek

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers' meeting in the Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek.

Mrs Sitharaman will also hold bilateral meetings with her counterparts from some SCO member countries on the sidelines of the conclave.

The SCO Defence Ministers will explore ways to further boost defence and security cooperation among the member countries.

The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. 

India and Pakistan became its full members in 2017. 

Kyrgyzstan is the Chair of the SCO at present.