Connect with us

news

State Minister of Regional Cooperation tells regional colleagues the difficult situation Lanka is facing

Published

on

State Minister of Regional Cooperation, Tharaka Balasuriya recently told colleagues from China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan that the country faced a significant shortfall in resources in the wake of the second wave of the coronavirus.

Balasuriya also appreciated the support received from countries including China, which provided equipment and medical supplies, and urged regional countries to increase cooperation on a number of areas.

Among these are sharing of rapid testing equipment, ventilators and experiences in diagnostics, treatment and medicine; early access to a vaccine that is affordable to developing countries; closer cooperation and sharing of experiences on border control, cross border transmission, containment measures at points of entry and emergency response; assistance and sharing of experiences on economic recovery including debt relief and cooperation to ensure smooth functioning of industrial and supply chains.

The Chinese Embassy in Colombo said in a media statement that on November 10 2020, China, Sri Lanka together with Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan held a vice foreign ministerial-level video conference on COVID-19 response, chaired by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui. Regional Cooperation State Minister of Sri Lanka Tharaka Balasuriya, Foreign Secretary Of Bangladesh Masud Bin Momen, Foreign Secretary of Nepal Bharat Raj Paudyal, Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Sohail Mahmood joined the online discussion.”

“In the opening remarks, Vice Minister Luo Zhao said that the second wave of COVID-19 epidemic is hitting the world and the global economy is in a deep recession. As developing countries and friendly neighbours, the five countries face similar challenges in responding to the epidemic and restoring their economies. We should consolidate the consensus on fighting COVID-19, continue cooperation, and transmit the “positive energy” of regional countries facing challenges. The Chair of the conference gave an introduction on China’s latest achievements and experience in the fight against COVID-19, as well as China’s economic recovery and efforts to accelerate the establishment of a “dual circulation” development pattern in which domestic economic cycle plays a leading role while international economic cycle remains its extension and supplement.”

“State Minister Balasuriya briefed other four countries about Sri Lanka’s strategies and achievements in the fight against pandemic. Among the multiple measures taken to prevent the spread of Covid19 includes localized lockdowns, limiting inter-district travel, and discouraging movement of individuals. In addition, steps have also been taken to introduce the ‘work from home’ concept to schools, universities and also places of work to prevent social isolation. He also praised the very effective public health system throughout the country, as well as the effective contribution of the public by cooperating with the authorities and adhering to health guidelines.”

“Other parties appreciated China’s material assistance, experience sharing and commitment to make the COVID-19 vaccine an international public good. All five countries expressed their commitment to unite to fight against the epidemic, deepen cooperation in jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative, maintain the stability of industrial and supply chains, promote economic recovery and improve people’s livelihood, and jointly promote the building of a community of human health. They also agreed that the meeting was useful and constructive and looked forward to the next round for further discussion.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

news

Foreign force behind Easter Sunday attacks – Sirisena

Published

on

By Rathindra Kuruwita

A powerful foreign country or an agency was behind the Easter Sunday bombings and the National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) leader Zaharan Hashim, former President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday told the PCoI investigating the Easter Sunday attacks.

“I also do not believe that Zaharan was the leader of that organisation. Because a leader would never have initiated a suicide attack and died during the first wave,” Sirisena said.

The former President also said that Islamic extremism had spread rapidly in the country due to the support extremists received from Muslim politicians.

Sirisena also said that the military and intelligence officials had been demoralised by harassment they suffered during the yahaalanaya administration. This was the reason why local institutions failed to uncover NTJ’s plans. “But this incident is a conspiracy because it appeared that Zaharan was being manipulated by some foreign hand,” the former President said.

The President further said that during the previous administration, UNPers had headed the Ministry of Law and Order for several years that they had significantly weakened the intelligence services. Although he had taken the Ministry of law and Order in the last stages of the yahapalana government, he had not been able to undo the damage the UNP had done in four years, the witness said.

Commissioner: “Did you know that during your tenure as President, Muslim MPs and ministers were forcible acquiring land in Vanni and Batticaloa and they were constructing Muslim villages and mosques there?”

Sirisena: “Some ministers used their political power to clear forests and cultivate lands. Some ministers were angry with me when I tried to stop them. I tried hard to control those actions. But it was difficult for me to deal with that situation. Fundamentalism rose due to the protection given by Muslim political leaders. Certain political parties are based on religion, race and language. This is disastrous. I tried to stop these people but my decisions were not implemented.”

 

 

Continue Reading

news

Bathiudeen granted bail

Published

on

Former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen was released on bail by the Fort Magistrate’s Court yesterday. Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage released Bathiudeen on cash bail of Rs. 100,000 with two sureties of one million rupees each.

The Magistrate also imposed a travel ban on Bathiudeen and said that the guarantors should be his close relatives.

The Magistrate granted bail to the MP considering the risk of him contracting COVID-19 as two inmates in cells next to his had recently tested positive for coronavirus.

Bathiudeen was remanded in connection with alleged misappropriation of public funds during the last presidential election to transport voters.

The former minister has been accused of misusing 222 buses owned by the SLTB for transporting internally displaced persons from Puttalam to polling stations in Silavathurai, Mannar during the 2019 Presidential Election. Two others, Mohamed Yaseen Samsudeen and Alagarathnam Manoranjan face the same charges.

They have allegedly violated Article 82(1) of Presidential Elections Act, No. 15 of 1981 by misappropriating public funds amounting to Rs. 9.5 million.

Bathiudeen was arrested at an apartment complex at Ebenezer Place in Dehiwala in the early hours of October 19. He was then produced before the court and placed under remand custody. His bail application was also rejected by the magistrate’s court on several occasions

 

 

Continue Reading

news

Zahran supported Sirisena and SLMC at 2015 elections, Hizbullah tells PCoI

Published

on

By Rathindra Kuruwita

National Thawheed Jamaat (NTJ) and its leader Zahran Hashim supported Former President Maithripala Sirisena and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) at the 2015 elections, former Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M Hizbullah, on Tuesday night, told the PCoI probing the Easter Sunday attacks.

Hizbullah was giving evidence before the PCoI for the second day.

“Zahran supported the SLMC at the 2015 general election. After the UNP-led coalition won the election, NTJ members fought with our supporters. Several people were injured during the clash, including Zahran’s brother. SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem visited Zahran’s brother at the hospital.”

The witness also submitted a footage of a demonstration opposite NTJ Headquarters in Kattankudy. It contained a speech by Zahran, who expressed his dismay after Sirisena appointed Hizbullah as a national list MP.

“In this video, Zahran clearly says he supported Maithripala Sirisena at the 2015 presidential election. Zahran also says he sent a fax to the former President, urging him not to appoint me to Parliament.”

However, it was earlier revealed that in 2015, representatives of five recognised political parties, including the UPFA and the UNP, had signed agreements with Zahran in the run-up to the 2015 general election. Representatives of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC,) Democratic Party, UNP, UPFA and National Front for Good Governance (NFGG), too, had signed agreements with Zahran in exchange for NTJ support, the Commission was told.

Hizbullah, on Monday, admitted that his party had also signed an agreement with the NTJ.

“Zahran told social media that he would support any politician who agreed to his proposals. All the parties joined him. I also went along.”

Continue Reading

Trending