Sri Lanka

USA's Pompeo brings anti-China roadshow to Indian Ocean islands

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday brought the Trump administration’s anti-China campaign to two Indian Ocean island nations considered particularly at risk for what American officials allege is Chinese exploitation.

Pompeo is visiting Sri Lanka and the Maldives to press the two countries to be on guard against potential predatory lending and investment by China.

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank Approves COVID-19 Relief Loans Worth 966 Million USD

COLOMBO, Oct 18 (NNN-SLNEWS) – The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), approved 966 million U.S. dollar-loans, under a relief programme for COVID-19-affected businesses, local media reported, today.

A total of 61,907 applications for loans, under the Saubagya COVID-19 Renaissance facility, have been approved, according to an official statement issued by the CBSL’s Regional Development Department.

Out of 966 million U.S. dollars, approved by the CBSL, a total of 723 million U.S. dollars have been disbursed through licensed banks to 45,581 businesses across the country.

Sri Lanka closes key state offices as virus outbreak surges

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Authorities in Sri Lanka closed key government offices and further expanded a curfew Thursday to contain a surging coronavirus outbreak.

The foreign ministry closed the consular affairs office for the week and suspended all services to prevent the public from congregating. The ministry said it would only accept queries and documentation assistance related to deaths of Sri Lankans overseas, strictly by appointment.

Sri Lanka imposes indefinite curfew in 2 towns after detection of new COVID-19 case

Colombo, Oct 4 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Sunday imposed an indefinite curfew on two western provincial towns to contain the spread of the coronavirus following the detection of a community case after a gap of nearly six months, officials said.

The island nation has so far recorded 3,395 coronavirus cases and 13 fatalities due to the disease.

Sri Lanka says 3-member team boards distressed oil tanker to probe fire

COLOMBO, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lanka Navy said on Friday that a three-member team had boarded the MT New Diamond oil tanker which caught fire in Sri Lanka's eastern waters last Thursday to carry out an investigation after the fire had been completely doused.

The three-member team was from the salvor and they boarded the oil tanker after a six-member team from overseas also got aboard for inspection.

The navy said preliminary investigations into the distressed ship had already been completed.

Experts join efforts to salvage burning tanker off Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — A team of experts is joining efforts to salvage a large oil tanker that has been burning for the fourth day Sunday off Sri Lanka, the country’s navy said.

Four tug boats, three Sri Lankan navy ships and six Indian ships have been battling the fire on the MT New Diamond since Thursday. An additional five Sri Lankan coast guard ships and gun boats are supplying the others vessels.

Navy spokesman Indika de Silva said the fire on the ship has been brought under control but is still not extinguished. There was no leak.

India: Oil tanker on fire off Sri Lanka coast towed to safety

Chennai, Sep 5 (PTI) An India bound vessel from Kuwait with a crude shipment that caught fire off the Sri Lankan coast has been towed to safe waters while fire fighting continues and there has been no oil slick, defence authorities said here on Saturday.

The blaze in the oil tanker, which also bore the brunt of two explosions and a two metre crack, has now subsided, they said.

Sri Lanka navy says no real risk of spill on stricken supertanker

COLOMBO (Reuters) - There is no real risk of a spill from a fully loaded supertanker that caught fire off the east coast of Sri Lanka, a senior official in the Indian Ocean nation’s navy said on Friday.

The fire that broke out in the engine room of the New Diamond on Thursday morning had spread to the bridge of the ship, carrying about 2 million barrels of oil, though it has not reached the cargo area, the Sri Lankan navy said.

Sri Lanka: Mahinda Rajapaksa takes oath as new Prime Minister

Colombo, Aug 9 (PTI) Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in on Sunday as the country's new prime minister at a historic Buddhist temple, days after his party won a landslide victory in the General Election.

The 74-year-old Sri Lanka People's Party (SLPP) leader was administered the oath of office for the ninth Parliament by his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the sacred Rajamaha Viharaya in Kelaniya, a north Colombo suburb.

Rajapaksa sworn in as PM in Sri Lanka, cementing family rule

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as the prime minister for the fourth time Sunday after his party secured a landslide victory in parliamentary elections that cemented his family’s hold on power.

Rajapaksa took oath before his younger brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, at a prominent Buddhist temple on the outskirts of the capital Colombo.

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