Connect with us

World

Sri Lanka president agrees to remove brother as PM: Lawmaker

Sri Lanka’s president has agreed to replace his older brother as prime minister in a proposed interim government to solve a political impasse caused by the country’s worst economic crisis in decades, a prominent lawmaker said Friday.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa agreed that a national council will be appointed to name a new prime minister and Cabinet comprised of all parties in Parliament, lawmaker Maithripala Sirisena said after meeting with the president.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Sirisena, who was president before Rajapaksa, was a governing party lawmaker before defecting earlier this month along with nearly 40 other legislators.

However, Rohan Weliwita, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, said the president has not communicated any intent to remove the prime minister and a decision will be announced if such a step is taken.

Sri Lanka is near bankruptcy and has announced it is suspending payments on its foreign loans until it negotiates a rescue plan with International Monetary Fund. It has to repay $7 billion in foreign debt this year, and $25 billion by 2026. Its foreign reserves stand at less than $1 billion.

The foreign exchange shortage has severely limited imports, forcing people to wait in long lines to buy essentials such as food, fuel, cooking gas and medicine.

President Rajapaksa and his family have dominated nearly every aspect of life in Sri Lanka for most of the last 20 years. Protesters who have crowded the streets since March hold them responsible for the crisis and are demanding that they quit politics.

On Thursday, businesses were closed, teachers absent and public transportation interrupted as Sri Lankans joined a general strike to pressure the president to step down.

Rajapaksa earlier reshuffled his Cabinet and offered a unity government in an attempt to quell the protests, but opposition parties refused to join a government headed by the Rajapaksa brothers.

Both the president and prime minister have held on to their positions, while three other Rajapaksa family members resigned from the Cabinet earlier in April in what appeared an attempt to pacify angry protesters.

The weak, divided opposition has been unable to form a majority and take control of Parliament on its own.

Read more:

Countrywide strike cripples crisis-hit Sri Lanka

Senior police officer arrested over Sri Lanka protest death

Sri Lankan veterans protest against president Gotabaya who led them during war

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

World

Dr. Mona Khashwani becomes UAE’s first Emirati physician to perform robotic surgery

Dr. Mona Abdulaziz Khashwani from Sharjah’s Al Qassimi Women and Children’s Hospital in the United Arab Emirates has become the country’s first Emirati physician to perform robotic surgery.

Khashwani, a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology, performed the robotic surgery using the advanced Da Vinci system, Emirates Health Services said in a statement on Wednesday.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“I sincerely thank the wise leadership, who gave me the opportunity to be one of the few citizens who carry out this type of high-precision operations for patients using a robot,” she said.

Khashwani is one of the UAE’s most experienced doctors in the robotic surgery field. She graduated from London’s Queen Mary University in 2005 and was then nominated by the hospital’s Director of Laparoscopic Operations and Robotic Surgery Program, Dr. Zaki al-Mazki al-Shamsi, to join the women robotics surgeons’ program.

The Emirati doctor performs total hysterectomy, supra-cervical hysterectomy and the operations to remove of fibroid tumors, ovarian cysts, and adhesions, among others.

“I have spent countless hours after my shift using the surgical simulator for training and studying how the robotic system operates,” she said.

“This qualified me to receive a license to perform gynaecologic robotic surgery using the advanced Da Vinci surgical robot from the IRCAD Training Center in Strasbourg, France,” Khashwani added.

Launched in 1999, Da Vinci is an automated surgical system that performs minimally invasive procedures and is considered to be one of the most accurate systems of its kind in the world. It is the first FDA recognized safe and effective surgical tool that performs complex surgeries, often involving small incisions, which shortens patients’ hospital stays, ensures faster recovery, and reduces the need for pain killers after operation.

Read more:

UK hospital uses holographic patients, XR to train future doctors in world’s first

Four in five mental health sufferers in Saudi Arabia don’t seek help: Report

UAE expat overcomes fear of needles to donate 20 times

Continue Reading

World

Taiwan rejects Philippines complaint about South China Sea live fire drills

Taiwan on Wednesday rebuffed a complaint from the Philippines about live fire drills around a Taiwan-controlled island deep in the South China Sea, saying it had the right to do so and always gives issues a warning of its exercises.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, in a message on Twitter late on Tuesday, lodged a “strong objection over the unlawful live fire drills” to be carried out by Taiwan this week around the island, known internationally as Itu Aba.
Taiwan calls the island Taiping, and the Philippines calls it Ligaw Island.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
The department said the island belonged to the Philippines.
“This illegal activity raises tensions and complicates the situation in the South China Sea,” it said.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry said in a statement the island was part of the territory of the Republic of China – Taiwan’s formal name – and that it enjoyed all relevant rights accorded by international law.
“Our country has the right to conduct routine exercises on Taiping Island and related maritime areas. In order to ensure the safety of maritime traffic and fishing boats operating in adjacent maritime areas, we notify the relevant regional countries in advance before each live-fire drill,” it said.
Itu Aba is the biggest feature in the Spratly Islands, a grouping of islets and other features also claimed, entirely or in part, by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.
The Philippines normally complains most vociferously about China’s activities in the South China Sea, including what Manila says is illegal fishing.
The Philippines, like most countries, has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan but there are close cultural and economic links and Taiwan is home to about 160,000 Filipinos, most of them migrant workers.
The maps China bases its South China Sea claims on date to when Chiang Kai-shek’s Republic of China government ruled China before it fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war to Mao Zedong’s Communists.
Taiwan also controls the Pratas Islands at the very northern end of the South China Sea.
Read more:

Taiwan jets scramble to warn away Chinese aircraft in its air defense zone

‘Deepest shipwreck’: US WWII navy destroyer found off Philippines

Philippines terminates China talks on oil and gas development in disputed sea

Continue Reading

World

Turkey to seek extradition of ‘terror’ suspects from Finland, Sweden

Turkey said Wednesday it would seek the extradition of 33 “terror” suspects from Sweden and Finland under a deal that paved the way for Ankara to back the Nordic countries’ NATO membership bids.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lifted his opposition to Sweden and Finland joining NATO after crunch talks ahead of Wednesday’s NATO summit, in return for written security guarantees.
Ankara immediately put the new agreement to the test, with the justice minister announcing that Turkey would seek the extradition of alleged Kurdish militants and members of a group that Erdogan blames for a failed 2016 coup attempt.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
“We will seek the extradition of terrorists from the relevant countries within the framework of the new agreement,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag was quoted as saying by NTV television.
Bozdag said Ankara would now ask for the extradition of 12 suspects from Finland and 21 from Sweden who were either members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or alleged members of a group led by the US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen.
The PKK, which has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984, is blacklisted by Turkey, the EU and the United States.
Gulen, a former ally of Erdogan, denies charges of plotting the 2016 coup attempt.
The three-way memorandum signed on Tuesday says that Finland and Sweden pledge to “address Turkey’s pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly.”
The two countries also agreed to lift their embargoes on weapons deliveries to Turkey, which were imposed in response to Ankara’s 2019 military incursion into Syria.
Erdogan’s office hailed the agreement, saying Ankara had “got what it wanted.”
Read more:

Russia poses a ‘direct threat’ to NATO security: Stoltenberg

Biden announces US reinforcements of NATO forces in Europe

Israel lowers Turkey travel warning after attacks by Iran ‘thwarted’

Continue Reading

Trending