Colombo, Aug. 23, 2019 Sri Lanka on Friday withdrew an emergency law imposed after Easter Sunday attacks, a military spokesman said, signifying the return of calm to the island nation, which is set to vote in a new head of state later this year.
President Maithripala Sirisena imposed emergency law in April after more than 250 people were killed and 500 wounded in militant bombings across churches and luxury hotels on Easter day.
“The army will continue to assist police for internal security,’’ Military Spokesman, Sumith Atapattu, told Reuters.
The emergency gave police and military extensive powers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders.
Almost all militants, suspected to have links with the attackers, have either been arrested or killed, Sirisena previously said.
Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde https://nnn.ng/sri-lanka-withdraws-emergency-law-imposed-after-easter-attacks/
AfDB joins Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network
African Development Bank (AfDB), has been included in the issuer of social bonds, the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network (NSBN).
The AfDB’s Communications and External Relations Department made this known in a statement on Wednesday.
The NSBN is one of the world’s largest issuers of social bonds and it is global and publicly available platform designed to improve transparency in the market for green, social and sustainability bonds.
The AfDB explained that the 10 Bank bonds were added to the platform, including its landmark three billion dollars Fight COVID-19 Social Bond unveiled in March 2020.
The Fight COVID-19 bond is the largest Social Bond ever inaugurated at the time in international capital markets.
It said Fight COVID-19 remained the largest dollar-denominated Social Bond and was aimed to help alleviate the economic and social impact of the pandemic on livelihoods and Africa’s economies.
The bank stated that by joining the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network, socially responsible issuers were provided a unique opportunity to bring attention to their concrete actions in terms of financing climate change and green growth.
The statement quoted Hassatou Diop N’Sele, Treasurer of the AfDB, as saying “the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond platform allows us to showcase our work in combating poverty and in helping move the African continent forward.
“Our Fight COVID-19 social bond is about saving lives and livelihoods.”
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that AfDB established its Social Bond framework in 2017 and had raised the equivalent of 5.5 billion dollars through five transactions supporting 89 eligible social projects in 28 African countries as of Dec. 31, 2019.
In 2018, the Bank was designated Second most impressive social or sustainability bond issuer at the Global Capital SRI Awards.
ALSO, the Bank’s NOK one billion 3-year Social Bond issued in 2019 was awarded “Social Bond of the Year” by Environmental Finance.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)https://nnn.ng/afdb-joins-nasdaq-sustainable-bond-network/
Iconic Lotus Tower project should be open to more foreign investors: Sri Lankan president
Sri Lanka’s iconic Lotus Tower project located in capital Colombo will be declared open as a more productive investment of higher quality for foreign investors, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was quoted by local media reports as saying here Tuesday.
In a meeting held with officials of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) and the Lotus Tower project, Rajapaksa said both local and foreign investors should be made aware of the investment opportunities available at the Lotus Tower project such as investments in restaurants, retail shops, leisure activities and other areas.
Rajapaksa also said opportunities should be made available to invest in traditional crafts at the premises.
“The common public of the country should be given the opportunity to visit the tower and enjoy it just as foreign tourists,” the president said.
The tower, whose construction began in 2012, stands 356 meters tall and is expected to bring great benefits to Sri Lanka’s telecommunication and broadcasting industry.
The Tower, inaugurated in September last year, also includes a revolving restaurant, an observation deck with a view of Colombo city, a shopping complex, among others.
It is set to open to the public by next year.
Sri Lanka set to open airports before August
The Sri Lankan government is aiming to open its international airports before August 1 as no community transmission of the COVID-19 has been reported since late April, Tourism and Aviation Minister Prasanna Ranatunga was quoted by local media as saying on Monday.
“We will be ready to receive all international tourists into the country after the repatriation of all Sri Lankan citizens stranded overseas is concluded,” the minister said, adding that the repatriation procedure is set to end before August.
Sri Lanka had initially set to open its international airports for foreign tourists on August 1 after their closure in March amid the spread of COVID-19 virus but discussions are now underway to open up by next month.
Ranatunga said that an estimated 20,000 nationals are awaiting to be repatriated from overseas and to date around 10,000 nationals had been brought back.
Once this is done, Sri Lanka will look to open up for foreign tourists immediately.
Ranatunga further said that tourists arriving in Sri Lanka, after its airports open, will be subject to PCR tests upon their arrival and they could enter the country after results are received within 24 hours.
“All tourists arriving in the country will be subjected to PCR tests and attention has been paid to bring tourists in small groups after the airport is reopened,” the Minister said.
Sri Lanka has to date detected 1,895 cases of COVID-19 patients out of which 1,342 have been treated and discharged from hospitals.
A total of 11 deaths have been reported from the virus.
Sri Lanka’s recovery rate from COVID-19 surpasses 68 percent
Sri Lanka has reached a COVID-19 patient recovery rate of over 68 percent, passing the global average recovery rate of 51.4 percent, the country’s Health Promotion Bureau, quoted in local media reports said here Monday.
Till Monday afternoon, the total recovered patients in Sri Lanka had risen to 1,342 out of the total 1,895 patients detected to date. A majority of those recovered were navy officers who were infected with the virus, the government information department said.
Eleven deaths from the virus have been reported in the country.
Sri Lanka resumed economic activities late last month after being shut for nearly two months after the first local COVID-19 patient was detected in March.
Authorities however continue to impose a nationwide curfew from 12 midnight to 4 am daily to prevent the unnecessary gathering of people at nights.
Last week, a senior medical official from the Health Ministry told local media that Sri Lanka was not expected to witness a second wave of the COVID-19 as the virus was well contained within quarantine centers only. No public transmission of the virus had been reported since April 30.
A majority of the patients detected in recent weeks were local nationals who were repatriated from overseas, health ministry statistics showed.