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Sabry affirms foreign research ships can use ports

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Sri Lanka’s foreign minister has confirmed with NHK that his country will no longer ban foreign research ships from its ports next year. Sri Lanka sits at a strategic point in the Indian Ocean.

The government banned foreign research ships from its ports for a year starting in January. This came after a port call by a Chinese surveillance ship in 2022 raised concerns with neighboring India.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said his government cannot have different rules for different countries and only block China. He added that his country will not take sides in a dispute between others.

Fears grew in India that the Chinese ship could monitor its ballistic missile and satellite launches. New Delhi raised those concerns with Sri Lanka.

Beijing has denied that the vessel had such capabilities. But Sri Lanka declared a yearlong moratorium on foreign research ships nonetheless.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Ali Sabry also expressed gratitude for Japan’s plan to provide a ship equipped with sonar.

He said this will give Sri Lanka an opportunity to do its own survey and collect its own data, and commercially exploit it by sharing it with the rest of the world.

Sabry emphasized that Sri Lanka has untapped maritime resources, and research is essential, but it has to be done in a transparent manner.

(NHK)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by NHK has not been edited by SLM staff)

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MP Ali Sabri Raheem released on bail (Update)

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Puttalam District MP Ali Sabry Raheem has been granted bail after being produced before the Puttalam Magistrate’s Court today (July 20).

The Puttalam Acting Magistrate has ordered the MP to be released on a surety bail of Rs. 200,000 and also to appear before court on 22 July.


(Previous News on 20th July, 2024 at 11:51am)

MP Ali Sabri arrested

Puttalam District MP Ali Sabri Raheem was arrested by Kalpitiya police earlier today (20). 

The parliamentarian, against whom a warrant had been issued recently, had appeared before the Kalpitiya Police this morning (20), after which he was arrested, police said.

Police said that he will be produced before the court today.

In March, the Puttalam District MP was suspended from Parliament for a period of one month, after a resolution proposing the suspension of Raheem from parliamentary proceedings was approved in the Parliament.

Raheem was embroiled in controversy last year after he was detained at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo along with a stock of undeclared gold and mobile phones.

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Teachers and principals to work to rule for two weeks starting Monday

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The Teacher-Principal Trade Union Alliance has announced that the work-to-rule campaign will begin for two weeks starting Monday, as previously decided.

The Alliance stated that this action is due to the failure of negotiations held yesterday (19), which included Education Minister Susil Premajayantha, Treasury officials, Public Service Commission officials, and others.

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105 killed in Bangladesh protests; nationwide curfew imposed

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At least 105 people have been killed in Bangladesh as police cracked down on unrelenting student-led protests against govt job quotas despite a ban on public gatherings.

The govt has decided to impose a nationwide curfew and deploy the army.

Earlier in the day, telecommunications were disrupted and television news channels went off the air.

Authorities had cut some mobile telephone services the previous day to try to quell the unrest. 

According to reports, police and security officials fired bullets and tear gas at protesters and banned all gatherings in the capital Dhaka. 

The protests, which began weeks ago but escalated sharply this week, represent the biggest challenge to PM Sheikh Hasina since she won a fourth consecutive term in office after the January polls.

The government has deployed police and paramilitary forces across the capital to lock down campuses and break up protests. 

On Wednesday, universities including the country’s largest suspended classes and closed dormitories, and on Friday police in Dhaka said they were banning all gatherings and demonstrations in the capital. 

According to foreign media, border guard officials fired at a crowd of more than 1,000 protesters who had gathered outside the head office of state-run Bangladesh Television, which was attacked on Thursday. 

The border guards shot at the crowd with rifles and sound grenades, while police officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets. Bullets littered the streets, which were also marked by smears of blood. 

Internet services and mobile data were widely disrupted on Thursday night and remained down on Friday in the capital, Dhaka. 

Social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp were also not loading. A statement from the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission said they were unable to ensure service after their data center was attacked by demonstrators, who set fire to equipment. 

Student protesters said they will extend their calls to impose a shutdown on Friday, and urged mosques to hold funeral prayers for those who have been killed.

Source: Times Of India

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