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India concerned over Chinese Vessel due in Sri Lanka!

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Indian media reported that another Chinese marine research vessel, Shi Yan 6, is expected to dock at Colombo and Hambantota Ports in late October 2023.

However, the vessel has not yet received the permission from Sri Lankan authorities.

India, which has expressed its concerns over the arrival of the vessel, has taken up the issue at the highest level.

Indian media reported that the issue of the vessel comes after Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe recently visited New Delhi and reportedly assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Colombo will take care of India’s security and strategic concerns.

In August last year, when the Chinese research vessel Yuan Wang 5 arrived at the Hambantota Port, India expressed serious concern.

Vessel was scheduled to arrive even before COVID pandemic?

However, according to Newsfirst, the Sri Lanka Navy has said that it was not made aware of the vessels’ visit to Sri Lankan shores.

Sri Lanka Navy said that if such a vessel is to reach Sri Lankan shores, it should be made aware via the Ministry of Defence.

Meanwhile, the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) has said the vessels’ arrival is part of an agreement reached with the Ruhuna University of Sri Lanka.

NARA officials said that it would link with the vessel in order to obtain water samples for its own research.

The NARA said the Shi Yan 6 was scheduled to dock in Sri Lankan ports before the COVID pandemic, and it was delayed multiple times.

NARA officials said that the Shi Yan 6 will engage in research operations only along the Southern Coast and they believe it would not be an issue for India.

Non-aligned policy; Equal opportunities for all countries

Commenting on the issue during the Cabinet news briefing held yesterday (15), Cabinet Spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardana said that he was not aware of any report of India expressing concern and that the government would pay attention to it.

“Under our non-aligned policy, countries are given equal opportunities without any favours,” he added.

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Presidential Poll can be held with Acting IGP – Fmr. Election Chief

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Former Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said there is no obstacle to holding the Presidential Election with an Acting Inspector General of Police.

He said he believes the current IGP can hold the position he held before until the court hearing concludes.

He said he believes a suitable person should be appointed as Acting IGP tomorrow, adding that there may be no IGP until the hearing concludes, but the election can be held under an Acting IGP.

He added that there is no issue because if the country is governed under an appointed President, it is not a big deal to conduct the election under an Acting IGP.

(News1st) 

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Japan officially notifies SL to resume disbursement to Yen loan projects

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Following the completion of the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Official Creditor Committee (OCC) and Sri Lanka on 23 July and the expression of the willingness by the Government of Sri Lanka to swiftly conclude a bilateral agreement on debt restructuring, the Government of Japan has officially decided to resume disbursement to Yen Loan Projects, which had been suspended since the default of Sri Lanka in 2022.

On 24 July, the Government of Sri Lanka, the Embassy of Japan and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sri Lanka Office held a joint press conference to inaugurate this milestone decision at Ministry of Finance.

While congratulating the completion of the MOU on debt restructuring between Sri Lanka and the OCC, Ambassador MIZUKOSHI Hideaki highlighted the unprecedented initiative and outstanding contribution by the Government of Japan, as a co-chair of the OCC, in leading and concluding the public debt restructuring.

Ambassador Mizukoshi also commended Sri Lankan authorities for their ongoing efforts in implementing the comprehensive economic and social reforms essential to guide the country back to a sustainable path. He stated that all the suspended yen loan projects are crucial infrastructures that promote Sri Lanka’s economic growth and further reaffirmed Japan’s continuous and unwavering commitment to supporting Sri Lanka.

On behalf of Mr. Yamada Tetsuya, Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka Office, Ms. Ide Yuri, Senior Representative, handed over the official letter on this decision to Mr. Mahinda Siriwardana, Secretary to the Treasury, which is addressed to President Wickremesinghe from Dr. Tanaka Akihiko, President of JICA.

Ms. Ide Yuri expressed her hope that the resumption of Yen loan projects will contribute to stabilizing the economy and society of Sri Lanka and help gain momentum toward long-term sustainable growth, thus paving the way for Sri Lanka to recover trust and confidence from the people and private businesses of both Sri Lanka and the world.

Secretary Siriwardana expressed his profound gratitude for this decision and sincere appreciation for Japan’s excellent initiative and long-term dedication in the debt restructuring.

It is hoped that the resumption of disbursement to Yen loan projects would further strengthen the bond between Japan and Sri Lanka, as well as help this island nation bring itself back on track for further economic development, serving as a hub in the Indian Ocean.

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Cabinet takes decision following SC order on IGP

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During a special Cabinet briefing today (July 24), it has been decided to announce its response to the decision of the Supreme Court regarding the Inspector General of Police (IGP) within the next two days after studying in depth the legal aspects of the matter.

The special cabinet meeting chaired by President Ranil Wickramasinghe was held this evening at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo.

The Cabinet of Ministers had been of the opinion that since the decision of the Supreme Court regarding the IGP was received only this afternoon, adequate time is needed to conduct an in-depth study of the related legal issues.

Accordingly, it was unanimously decided that it would be most suitable to announce the response of the Cabinet in the next two days.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued an interim order preventing Deshabandu Tennakoon from performing duties and functioning in the position of the IGP.

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