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Ambassador Malraj de Silva presents credentials to UAE

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Ambassador Malraj de Silva presented Letters of Credence to Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the Qasr Al Watan Presidential Palace, Sri Lankan Embassy in Abu Dhabi said.

The presentation of credentials was followed by a courtesy call on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum during which the Ambassador conveyed greetings from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and the People of Sri Lanka to President of UAE Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, all the other rulers and the People of the United Arab Emirates.

During the courtesy call the Ambassador mentioned that Sri Lanka – United Arab Emirates friendly relations have grown exponentially covering a multitude of areas with mutual benefits and he also stated that Sri Lanka hopes to further uplift the existing bilateral relations to the best friend status. Speaker of Federal National Council Saqr Ghobash, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan also attended the Credential ceremony

Following the credential ceremony a reception was held at the “Sri Lanka House” the Official Residence of the Ambassador for business leaders, bankers, entrepreneurs, Sri Lankan Community and Embassy and Consulate staff.

Ambassador, Malraj De Silva is a career administrator in various capacities. His primary and secondary education was completed at Ananda College, Colombo, graduated as a Civil Engineer, completed Electrical Engineering from Council of Engineering Institutions (England) and Building Official from International Conference of Building Officials (USA). He was directly enlisted to Sri Lanka Army Engineering Corps, Area Quantity Surveyor in charge of all construction activities in Northern Palace in Sultanate of Oman and became the Supervising Manager for the Construction Inspection Department of Construction Management Unit of Los Angeles County Development Authority prior to becoming the Ambassador. He was appointed as the Consul General of Los Angeles and Eight Western States of the United States of America. He is married to Ranjanie De Silva, having three children and four grandchildren.

 

 



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President Ranil Wickremasinghe calls upon chief prelates of Asgiriya and Malwatta chapters

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(pic courtsey Divaina)

President Ranil Wickremasinghe called upon the chief prelates of the Asgiriya and Malwatta chapters on Thursday (02) morning to seek their blessings ahead of the 75th Independence day celebrations.

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US secures deal on bases to complete arc around China

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US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (R) was in the Philippines to finalise the deal (picture BBC)

BBC reported that the United States has secured access to four additional military bases in the Philippines – a key bit of real estate which would offer a front seat to monitor the Chinese in the South China Sea and around Taiwan.

With this deal, Washington has stitched the gap in the arc of US alliances stretching from South Korea and Japan in the north to Australia in the south.

The missing link had been the Philippines, which borders two of the biggest potential flashpoints, Taiwan and the South China Sea, or the West Philippine Sea as Manila insists on calling it.

The US already had limited access to five sites under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) – the new additions and expanded access, according to a statement from Washington, will “allow more rapid support for humanitarian and climate-related disasters in the Philippines, and respond to other shared challenges”, likely a veiled reference to countering China in the region.

The statement came after Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin met Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr in Manila on Thursday.

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Nuland accuses China of failing to help SL with ‘credible and specific assurances’ acceptable to IMF

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Nuland addressing the media in Colombo (pic by Thushara Atapattu)

US hopes LG polls will be held in March

By Saman Indrajith

US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, yesterday said China had not provided credible and specific assurances to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Sri Lanka to overcome the current economic crisis.

Addressing the media in Colombo, Nuland said: “What China has offered so far is not enough. We need to see credible and specific assurances that they will meet the IMF standard of debt relief. We, the United States, are prepared to do our part. Our Paris Club partners are prepared to do their part. India has made strong commitments that it will provide the credible assurances the IMF is looking for.”

Nuland said that India and the Paris Club had given strong assurances to the IMF to help Sri Lanka to obtain a $2.9 billion bailout.

“We want to see an IMF program as quickly as possible. That is what Sri Lanka deserves; that is what Sri Lanka needs,” Nuland said.

Nuland said the US would give Sri Lanka an additional USD 30 million to provide 96,000 schoolchildren with food.

She said Sri Lankans had taken to the streets, last year, demanding cleaner, accountable and inclusive governance, with transparency, and the government was expected to hold the elections to enable people to enjoy their democratic rights.

Nuland said that the US was glad to see that consultation between the government and other parties towards reconciliation had commenced. She said that she had met with members of the Tamil political parties, earlier yesterday. “We hope that the dialogue will continue to achieve real results such as return of the lands to their rightful owners.”

Nuland said that the US hoped that local elections would be held in March, the dialogue commenced for reconciliation would continue, and the Prevention of Terrorism Act would be reformed to meet international standards.

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