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Chinese and Lankan FMs meet on sidelines of UNGA session

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NEW YORK, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) —Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met here with Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Ali Sabry on Friday on the sidelines of the ongoing 77th session of the UN General Assembly.As strategic cooperative partners, Wang said, China and Sri Lanka have always shared wealth and woe and sincerely helped each other.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Sri Lanka and the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact, which is an opportunity to build on their past achievements and take them forward, Wang said.China stands ready to work with Sri Lanka to strengthen their traditional friendship, consolidate strategic mutual trust, and deepen and expand practical cooperation, he added.

Wang congratulated Sri Lanka on its progress in stabilizing the situation and alleviating the difficulties in the country. China has provided medicine, rice, fuel and other emergency humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka and will continue to help the country overcome its temporary difficulties within its capacity, he said.

For his part, Sabry highlighted the solid foundation of the friendship between Sri Lanka and China.Sri Lanka will never forget China’s strong support over the years to its economic and social development, especially when the South Asian country encountered difficulties, he noted.China is an important development partner of Sri Lanka, and Chinese enterprises have made contributions to Sri Lanka’s growth, he said, underlining that the so-called “Chinese debt trap” is an utterly groundless rumor.

Sri Lanka welcomes investments from all countries including China, and will ensure the security and reasonable returns of the investments, Sabry noted. He also thanked China for helping Sri Lankan students resume study in China.China-Sri Lanka cooperation is South-South cooperation based on equality and mutual benefit, Wang said. The narrative of “debt trap” created and spread by certain countries is essentially a trap of underdevelopment for developing countries, he added.

China and Sri Lanka will continue to render mutual understanding and support, and will stand firmly together on issues of sovereignty, independence and national dignity, Wang said.Both sides agreed to jointly promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and help boost Sri Lanka’s economic recovery by leveraging the Hambantota Port, Colombo Port City and other flagship projects.The two sides will speed up the negotiation process and strive for an early conclusion of a free trade agreement, thereby boosting the confidence in and stabilizing the expectations for their economic and trade cooperation.



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Coordinated assistance program supported by multilateral financial institutions is required for Sri Lanka’s recovery – WB, ADB, IMF, AIIB

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World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) representatives decided that a coordinated assistance program supported by the multilateral financial institutions is required for Sri Lanka to recover from the economic crisis the country is currently facing.

They reached the agreement following a lengthy round table discussion held today (06) with President Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo where the latter presented Sri Lanka’s development program associated with the economic recovery and growth along with the vision for long term development. The President presented the program at the round table discussion in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies

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Implementation of the National Environmental Action Plan for the period of 2022 – 2030

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Approval was granted at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers held on 20.06.2022 for the National Environmental Policy. Accordingly, the Ministry of Environment has prepared the National Environmental Action Plan for the period of 2022 – 2030 with the contribution of all relevant parties by paying attention on the environmental challenges in the twenty first century as well as considering the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations in order to implement the National Environmental Policy. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the resolution furnished by the Minister of Environment to implement the said action plan, to take policy decisions at national level in that connection and to establish the consolidated environment and development policy committee with the chairing of the Secretary to the President for monitoring the same.

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Cabinet reshuffle, appointment of more ministers on the cards

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President Wickremesinghe

By Shamindra Ferdinando

President Ranil Wickremesinghe will appoint 12 new Cabinet ministers soon after the final vote on his maiden budget, according to sources.

The vote is scheduled to be held on 08 Dec.

Sources say that the SLPP has recommended ministerial portfolios for 10 of its members whereas UNP National List MP Wajira Abeywardena and SLFP’s Duminda Dissanayake, too, are expected to receive Cabinet positions. Abeywardena is the only UNPer in the current Parliament.

In terms of the Constitution, the Cabinet of Ministers has been restricted to 30 and State Ministers/Deputy Ministers to 40. However, the possibility of the government seeking to make the remaining appointments on a staggered basis and a Cabinet reshuffle, too, couldn’t be ruled out, sources said.

The SLPP would vote for the final vote on the basis of an agreement with the President regarding Cabinet appointments, sources said. The debate on the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill commenced on Nov 15.

Having comfortably defeated Dullas Alahapperuma at the presidential contest on July 20, President Wickremesinghe appointed an 18-member Cabinet on July 22. The group included new Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. They were sworn in on July 22 in their old portfolios with the only change being the exit for Foreign Minister G.L. Pieris who seconded Dallas Alahapperuma for President in Parliament.

The group consisted of Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena – Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils, and Local Government; Douglas Devananda – Fisheries, Susil Premajayantha – Education, Bandula Gunawardena – Transport, Highways, and Media, Keheliya Rambukwella – Health and Water

Supply, Mahinda Amaraweera – Agriculture, Wildlife, and Forest Conservations, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe – Justice, Prisons, and Constitutional Reforms, Harin Fernando – Tourism and Lands, Ramesh Pathirana – Plantations and Industries, Prasanna Ranatunga – Urban Development and Housing, Ali Sabry – External Affairs, Vidura Wickramanayake – Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs, Kanchana Wijesekera – Power and Energy, Nazeer Ahamed – Environment, Roshan Ranasinghe – Sports, Youth Affairs, and Irrigation, Manusha Nanayakkara – Labour and Foreign Employment, Tiran Alles – Public Security, and Nalin Fernando – Trade, Commerce and Food Security.

Except for Douglas Devananda (EPDP), Mahinda Amaraweera (SLFP), Harin Fernando (SJB), Nazeer Ahamed (SLMC) and Manusha Nanayakkara (SJB), all others are SLPP members.

Sources said that the finalization of cabinet appointments couldn’t be further delayed. Sources acknowledged that the SLPP was determined to finalize the process against the backdrop of the main Opposition SJB declining to join the government. President Wickremesinghe, in addition to holding defence and finance portfolios, serves as minister of Investment Promotion, Technology and Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment.

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