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September 6, 2016    Reading Time: 2 minutes

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Democratic groups secure seats in Legislative Council of Hong Kong. Image credit - efired / depositphotos

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World Bank expands support for economic development

The World Bank has provided USD 187 million in loans to Sri Lanka, for three key economic development projects. A major component of the loans is a credit line worth USD 100 million from the International Development Association, to support Sri Lanka’s economic reforms.

Of the remaining funds, USD 45 million has been allocated to an environment and resource conservation project, and USD 42 million has been allocated to a for disaster recovery efforts, which focuses on protecting people and infrastructure from climate change.

President commended by World Health Organisation

President Sirisena has received the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2016 Award for Excellence in Public Health, in recognition of individual achievements and leadership.

The WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, stated that President Sirisena was granted the award for his contributions to drug and tobacco regulation, migrant health, and the treatment and prevention of kidney disease. The WHO also released a separate statement certifying Sri Lanka a malaria-free nation, which it called a ‘truly remarkable achievement’.

Prime Minister proposes common health programme

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has proposed a common health programme to be implemented in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regions, to address common diseases.

The common health programme calls for coordination and cooperation to ensure the provision of better health programmes. The Prime Minister made this proposal at the 69th session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee of South East Asia, held on 5- 9 September in Colombo.


China calls for deeper political trust with UK

The President of China, Xi Jinping, has called for deeper ‘political mutual trust’ with the UK, amid tensions regarding China’s involvement in the UK’s nuclear power plant projects . The Chinese President expressed these sentiments at a bilateral meeting with the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, on 5 September in Hangzhou, China.

Prime Minister May stated that the ‘Golden Era’ of UK-China relations still existed, andreassured President Xi that a decision will be made this month on the nuclear power plant projects.

Pro-democratic groups secure veto power in Hong Kong

Pro-democratic groups have secured 30 of the 70 seats in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, giving the groups veto power. The election, which was marked by a record voter turnout, also saw candidates promoting independence from China.

China’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office has stated that it is ‘resolutely opposed’ to Hong Kong’s independence from China, as it would violate China’s Constitution.

Russian President speaks on China’s maritime disputes

The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has stated that Russia supports China’s refusal to recognise the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling on the South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines.

President Putin stated that the intervention of non-regional powers would inhibit any solution to the dispute, and mentioned that Russia’s support for China’s stance was legally driven, and not politically motivated.

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