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China vows friendship, cooperation with Sri Lanka, UAE, Algeria, Serbia

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BEIJING, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) —

China has vowed to strengthen cooperation and deepen traditional friendship with Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Algeria and Serbia, said a senior Chinese diplomat Monday.

Wrapping up his visits to the four countries, Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, told Chinese press that it is a journey of friendship, trust, synergy and cooperation.

Currently, with the profound changes of the world unseen in a century deepening and the COVID-19 pandemic still raging globally, the international situation is becoming more unstable and uncertain, Yang said.

It is a common and urgent need of the international community to join hands in fighting the pandemic, unite for recovery and strengthen global governance, he said.

During his visits, Yang said, in-depth exchanges have been made with the four countries on such major issues as implementing the important consensus reached between Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders of the four countries, consolidating their traditional friendship, deepening practical cooperation and addressing global challenges together, and they have reached many consensus.

This is a journey of consolidating friendship and deepening mutual trust, and also a journey of strengthening synergy and expanding practical cooperation, Yang said.

First, the visits have strengthened communication and consolidated political mutual trust, he said.

Yang stressed that China is ready to maintain close high-level exchanges with the four countries, strengthen practical cooperation, continue supporting each other on issues involving each other’s core interests and major concerns and safeguard the common interests of developing countries.

The four countries spoke highly of their relations with China, reaffirmed that they pursue positive policies towards China, understand and support China in safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and development interests, Yang noted.

Second, he said China and the four countries have tapped their potential for deepened mutually-beneficial cooperation.

China and Sri Lanka agree to, with high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road as a main focus, build two major cooperative engines for comprehensive development of Colombo Port City and Hambantota Port, make shipping logistics and industrial cooperation bigger and stronger, and enhance financial and trade cooperation, Yang said.

He said China and the UAE vowed to actively advance high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road, strengthen cooperation on the resumption of work and production, and firmly promote 5G cooperation.

China and Algeria agree to formulate a new five-year plan for comprehensive strategic cooperation through consultation, and comprehensively expand bilateral cooperation in the fields of digital economy, communications, transportation and agriculture, Yang said.

He said China and Serbia agree to synergize their development strategies, deepen cooperation in transportation infrastructure and energy, and speed up the construction of the Serbian section of Hungary-Serbia railway.

Serbia stressed that it will continue to provide an open, fair and just business environment for Chinese enterprises in 5G and other fields, Yang said.

All the countries agree to further deepen dialogue and cooperation in a wide range of fields such as science and technology, education, culture, sports, tourism, media and think tanks, he said.

Third, Yang noted, China and the four countries have worked together to fight the pandemic and strengthened public health cooperation.

He said China stressed that it will continue cooperation with the four countries in epidemic prevention and control as well as medical and health, share experiences and diagnosis and treatment methods in combatting the pandemic and provide support for and assistance to the four countries and other countries in need.

The four countries spoke highly of China’s achievement in fighting the pandemic and progress in resumption of work and production, saying that they stand ready to further strengthen cooperation with China in joint prevention and control of the disease and vaccine and drug research and development to best contain the epidemic and consolidate the hard-won achievements, Yang said.

He said China and the four countries agree that there it is imperative to strengthen international cooperation in fighting the pandemic as the coronavirus is raging around the globe.

Countries should strengthen solidarity and work together in times of difficulty, he said, give full play to the key leadership role of the World Health Organization, oppose politicizing and stigmatizing the pandemic, to resolutely win the global battle against the COVID-19 pandemic and promote the building of a community of common health for mankind.

Fourth, he noted, China and the four countries have upheld multilateralism and jointly safeguarded world peace and development. No country can stay immune from various traditional and non-traditional security issues and development challenges, as humanity faces a shared future.

The international community should firmly uphold multilateralism, engage in extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and work together to safeguard universal security, he said.

All parties should step up communication and coordination on major international issues, oppose Cold War mentality and ideological confrontation, safeguard international rule of law, and jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind, Yang said.



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Cardinal: Was there any link between passage of 20A and Easter Sunday probe outcome?

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… stands by his claim of foreign involvement

By Norman Palihawadana

Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday said that there could be a connection between the outcome of the probe into the Easter Sunday attacks and the enlisting of Muslim MPs’ support for the passage of the 20th Amendment.

The Cardinal said: “The leader of a Muslim political party voted against the 2Oth Amendment. But his MPs voted for it. The brother of Rishad Bathiudeen too was released around the same time. These are questionable developments. These events could be part of a deal.”

The Cardinal reiterated that international forces were behind the Easter Sunday attacks and that he did not believe that there had been any local political group directly involved in the Easter attacks.

Addressing the media yesterday, the Cardinal said that the remarks he made on Sunday had been misunderstood. He stood by his claim that international forces had been behind the attacks, he said.

“However, some people claim that I said a local political group was behind the attack. I have always maintained that there are international forces that use religious and ethnic extremists such as Wahabists to create conflicts. I was referring to such groups.”

The Cardinal added that only a small group of Muslims was involved in extremism.

The Archbishop also said that former President Maithripala Sirisena believed that taking action against extremists like NTJ leader Zahran Hashim would create unnecessary issues.

“Something along these lines is also in the PCoI on Easter Sunday attacks. The report also implies that the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was lenient in dealing with growing extremism in Sri Lanka.”

The Cardinal urged the government to protect the country and ensure that there would be no repeats of incidents like the Easter Sunday attacks.

The Archbishop of Colombo requested all religious leaders to work on rebuilding trust among all communities.

 

 

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AG appeals to Supreme Court against granting of bail to Ravi, others

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The Attorney General yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court against bail for former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and seven others indicted in the bond case by the Colombo Special High Court Trial-at-Bar.

The eight accused were arrested and remanded over the bond scams. Later, they were released on bail.

The court warned that if the accused attempted to exert influence on the witnesses, by any means, bail would be revoked and they would be placed on remand until the end of the trial.

 

 

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26 more coronavirus cases detected in Jaffna Tirunelveli market area

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Another 26 COVID-19 cases had been detected on Sunday, from the Tirunelveli Market in Jaffna, which was the epicentre of the recent outbreak in the town, Dr. A. Kethiswaran, Regional Director Health Services told the media yesterday.

The market and its surroundings had been reopened on April 11 following a 19-day lockdown. However, 378 PCR tests were conducted after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and 26 of them proved positive.

Dr. Kethiswaran warned last week that there might be a spike in COVID-19 cases in Jaffna after the New Year celebrations.

A large number of COVID-19 cases had been reported in Jaffna in the past few weeks. Thus, the people should adhere to health guidelines. If people did not follow the guidelines, there would be a spike in cases and then some places would have to be lockdown, he warned.

“It’s too early to say whether we have to close the area down. We are monitoring the situation,” DR. Kethiswaran said.

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