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BRI a functional machinery in global economic recovery: Sri Lankan expert

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The continuation of protectionism by America, the largest economy body in the world, will only result in further contraction of the world economy and aggravation of unemployment, poverty and deprivation, said Luxman Siriwardena, president of the Sri Lanka-based Pathfinder Foundation told People’s Daily Online during a recent meeting.

Siriwardena added that the unilateralism and protectionism currently being championed by the American administration goes against the values the West has promoted since the end of World War II.

“When I was undertaking graduate studies at an American university in the 1980s, it would have been totally unacceptable for any of the economic professors to believe that the protectionism in trade and investment would enhance the welfare of the international community,” he said, sharing that since the establishment of formal China-Sri Lankan diplomatic relations, China has been a reliable, all-weather friend of Sri Lanka.

In recent years, Sri Lanka has taken an active role in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which, he stressed, is the most logical development strategy for Sri Lanka.

The successful completion of the three major development projects in Sri Lanka under the BRI, namely Colombo Port City Project, Hambantota International Port and proposed Hambantota Industrial Zone, will have a transformative impact on the Sri Lankan economy.

In the post-pandemic era, the BRI is “a functional machinery which can substantially contribute to the recovery of the global economy,” he noted, voicing hope that the initiative will have more inclusive and comprehensive programs encompassing a larger amount of countries.

While this is a decisive year for China to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and to end extreme poverty, according to Siriwardena, China’s development has been “unprecedented” in the history of the entire world.

“The process has been inclusive in the sense that China has uplifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty while achieving advancement in science, technology and culture,” he said, adding that China has addressed the social, economic and environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the recent past, citing the pollution management in the city of Beijing as an example.

Looking ahead, Siriwardena said the two countries will enhance their cooperation in various fields, such as COVID-19 pandemic control and prevention, investment in manufacturing, logistics and services, infrastructure as well as economic digitalization, and people-to-people exchanges.

Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, Siriwardena pointed out that both China and Sri Lanka have managed to control the virus with relatively minimal loss of life, and praised China’s commitment to distribute the vaccine to the rest of the world, which will contribute to the vision of building a community of health for all in the near future.

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COPE meets online for first time in its history

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by Saman Indrajith

The Parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) created a history by meeting online for the first time ever on Thursday.

The COPE had Secretaries of three Ministries joining in with its committee meeting through online (ZOOM) becoming the second parliamentary committee holding an online meeting in the country.

Thursday evening’s COPE meeting chaired by its chairman Prof. Charitha Herath connected online with Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Dr) H. S. Munasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Industries W. A. Chulananda Perera and, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government J. J. Ratnasiri via zoom technology.

The Environmental Audit Report on water pollution of the Kelani River was brought before the committee and the meeting held between the Chairman Prof. Herath, Ministers and Members of Parliament and secretaries and other officials continued without any technical hitches.

Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said that facilities have been provided to hold meetings and discussions using online technology in two committee rooms in Parliament.

He said that Parliamentary officials had been working relentlessly for months to install the requisite technological tools and that the efforts have borne fruit and future Parliamentary meetings could be held online as a result.

The Committee on High Posts under the chairmanship of Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena also held a discussion with the new Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Kenya, who was living in Kampala, using online technology recently.

 

 

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Legatum Prosperity Index highlights SL’s development of education and healthcare sectors

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During the past decade

One of the key highlights of this year’s Legatum Prosperity Index was the improvement in Sri Lanka’s education and healthcare sectors over the past decade. These improvements were key to increase in prosperity within Sri Lanka, it was noted.

The London-based think-tank Legatum Institute launched the 14th Legatum Prosperity Index on November 17 2020.

The event commenced with the welcome address by the Chair of the Legatum Institute, Alan McCormick. 

Addressing the audience, the Chief Executive Officer of the Legatum Institute, The Baroness Stroud said that according to the Legatum Index, the global prosperity was at its highest level ever with 147 countries seeing their prosperity rise over the last decade.

Speaking at the launch, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK, Saroja Sirisena said that the end of the terrorist conflict in 2009 and the ensuing peace dividend, led Sri Lanka to achieve steady progress within the last decade.

She highlighted that the universal free education and healthcare policies of the country over seven decades are the pillars on which prosperity is built.

Director of Policy of the Legatum Institute, Dr. Stephen Brien explained to the audience as to how the Legatum Index is used to measure prosperity across the world.

The event was also addressed by the Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in Africa, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Biologist and Writer, Matt Ridley and Ambassador of Georgia in the UK Sophie Katsarava.

Legatum Prosperity Index is a global index that analyses the performance of 167 nations across 65 policy-focused elements, measured by almost 300 country level indicators and it is the only global index that measures national prosperity based on institutional, economic and social wellbeing.

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Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India with Sapna Mehra

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The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), High Commission of India, Colombo, will be holding an online cookery demonstration on ‘Snack Time: Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India’ on December 5 at 11.00 am on its FACEBOOK page https://www.facebook.com/ICCRSriLanka.

This festival season, the Cultural Centre will present a virtual cookery demonstration by Sapna Mehra. Cooking has been a passionate hobby of Sapna since her childhood days. Growing up in a large family of 17 members, she was very keen on bringing variety to the dining table, and that’s when her cooking journey began, preparing simple wraps, and snacks.

She now specializes in cooking dishes from a variety of cuisines. Originally from Bangalore, she has lived in many cities across India and Sri Lanka, and at present resides in Delhi.

She has a Postgraduate degree in Marketing and has over 12 years work experience in the professional field.

All are cordially invited to attend. For more details, contact the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre on telephone No: 2684698 or Email: iccrcolombo2@gmail.com

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