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By Nasriya Naffin

Sajith Premadasa being the opposition leader of the country at present, is the only son of Sri Lanka’s former President Ranasinghe Premadasa. Born in 1968, Sajith studied at St.Thomas’ Preparatory School and Royal College in Colombo and Mill Hill school in London. He obtained his bachelor's degree from the London school of economics and political science in the UK and Master's degree in Public Management at the University of Maryland in the USA.  

He came into politics in the year 2000 as a candidate of the United National Party (UNP) contesting from the district of Hambanthota. Sajith has served as Deputy Minister of Health, Minister of Housing and Construction and Minister of Cultural affairs. He became the Deputy Leader of the UNP in the year 2014. He is the current Leader of the Opposition of Sri Lanka and Leader of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya. 

A good leader possesses patriotic qualities and prioritizes his country. He is one among the very few politicians in the country with no allegations of corruption, malpractices and free of court cases, Premadasa has all the vital prerequisites for the country’s leadership. 

Sri Lanka with a great cultural heritage that runs back to 2500 years has recognized that the country has lacked honest leaders with a sharp vision over decades. As a result, the country has been borrowing dollars from all over the globe dragging the nation to the worst financial crisis ever. Whoever takes the leadership of this country in future should be capable of saving the country’s economy before it totally collapses and it is not going to be an easy task.  

Sajith Premadasa, who lost to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the previous presidential election, was always passionate to address issues of the poor. He has carried out many successful housing projects for the poor. He has a vision of eliminating poverty from the country and to make a stable income that distributes equally among everyone. Like father like son Sajith always wanted structural changes in the country’s economy to drag the country out of this vicious cycle of poverty. He is well experienced in local politics and well aware of the mechanisms that have disrupted the proper policy formulation and its implementation.

Does he have the willpower to change the system and bring everything back on track?  

A successful leader should have the capacity to grasp the core of an issue in no time. While Sajith was pursuing his higher studies abroad he had the opportunity to learn under professors who were the best in the world in the areas of economics and politics which helped him to develop the ability to nail the issues instantly.

Sajith Premadasa has apprenticed under US Senator Larry Pressler of South Dakota for almost two years giving him an opportunity to experience the policy formulation process in the US. 

On the other hand, sincerity and seriousness are two of the most important traits great leader will have. Premadasa has refused the offer of super luxury vehicles at the expense of taxpayer's money throughout his parliamentary career. He also refused to receive the COVID vaccination until the last person in Sri Lanka was vaccinated during the pandemic.  

The spirit of a country is created by its leaders. A true leader should be non-biased in any situation. Especially when ruling a country like Sri Lanka where many ethnicities live. During the COVID-19 pandemic Sajith warned the parliament about the readiness of the government far before the country was hit hard by the pandemic.  

Leaders of the new era should be well aware of modern technology and communication where the general public is updated with new information at all times. The new leaders should be equally fast in responding to people's ever demanding challenges with optimism and ingenuity. A modern leader of the 21st century can never resemble those who were in the past. At present the country is struggling with acute shortages of essentials. Seeking help from not only its neighboring countries but from all over the world.

However, Sajith rejected the recent offer by the President to be the Prime Minister of the interim government. He requested the resignation of the former Prime Minister and the transfer of some of the presidential powers of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to the parliament in order to take up the position.

Later, Ranil Wickramasinghe was appointed as the new Prime Minister and Sajith's political party agreed to give support to the newly formed interim government.

Whoever comes into power next will be able to overcome the present situation of the country and to convert the country's fragile profile into a country that has sustainable economic growth. Our long-term growth will totally depend on the ability of the country’s leaders successfully balancing between world’s major powers. He or she should know the art of integrating Sri Lanka to the world.

By Usman Khan

Sensing short of skilled teachers and with schools set to open next month in Myanmar, the military regime announced to finish the strike and issued arrest warrants for striking teachers. As the Myanmar regime has been desperately wooing coax demonstrators to return to work. The regime struggles to open schools and has used the harsh words against the UN criticism.

According to the Education Ministry of the civilian National Unity Government (NUG), nearly 80 percent of Myanmar’s 400,000 teachers joined the Civil Disobedience Movement in opposition to the military coup last year.

Last year, the army chief reopened schools after more than a year of closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak, his regime trained new recruits to fill the vacancies left by striking teachers.

The junta chief now inviting striking teachers to come back, it is obvious that his replacement scheme has failed. When classes reopened last year, the majority of parents refused to send their children to school, in a show of opposition to the military regime.

At the same time, the NUG is providing teacher training skilled by striking professors and teachers. The NUG has opened schools in some places under its mechanism and is offering online classes in others. In response to the junta’s invitation, striking education staff have called for a constant boycott of education under military rule Junta chief’s adviser slams UN

According to the junta education adviser which says, that there are many ongoing human rights violations and dictatorships in various countries and the UN is only putting Myanmar under the spotlight the. She accused that the UN has failed to learn the lessons from the history that prohibitions can only diminish the Myanmar people and will not help to bring down the military government.

She goes on to argue that there will be more losses than gains for the UN if it does not recognize the current military government. She warned that Foreign and local staff of UN agencies in Myanmar will suffer if the agreements between the UN and Myanmar expire and the current government does not want to extend them. As the “UN assistance is not inimitable.

The 70-year-old junta education adviser which is the daughter-in-law of late military dictator U Ne Win and was an education adviser to the former President. She was trained as a geologist and formerly worked with UNICEF from 1991 to 2011. In August 2012 she was appointed a member of a Commission of Inquiry investigating communal violence in Rakhine State that year. As an adviser to the military regime, she has regularly written pro-junta articles in regime newspapers.

Lately, the regime has experienced a number of international setbacks including decisions by both Britain and Australia to down their diplomatic affairs with Naypyitaw. The meetings held between civilian National Unity Government Foreign Minister and US officials amid last week’s US-ASEAN Special Summit in Washington to which junta chief was not invited.

Against this backdrop, the pro-military circles argue that there would be no disputes between the nations of the world if other countries followed the good neighborly relations that Myanmar and China enjoy.

As they described that the two countries have always enjoyed an easy relationship because China has always been such a good neighbor to Myanmar, and has always wanted to see positive changes in Myanmar’s politics.

With the exception of China and Russia, the international community has condemned and largely shunned the regime for its violence against the Myanmar people. The reasons are obvious because the Russia engages with the regime because the Myanmar military is a major buyer of its weapons, while China has extensive economic interests inside Myanmar.

The regime spokesperson even said that not to blame Myanmar’s military if conflicts arise in Rakhine State because of the armed group’s recent activities. He warned that the Myanmar military is exercising restriction in order to evade any damage coming to the Rakhine people, and for the sake of peace.

The regime spokesperson issued a warning to the commander of the Myanmar military’s western command, which oversees operations in Rakhine State, in response to the regime’s stiff security checks and arrest of alleged Arakan Army (AA) affiliates.

The Arakan Army (AA) chief said he would crush the command if it keeps on doing things that harm the Rakhine people. All this is evident of fact that civilian casualties may go higher due to the rough approach of Myanmar regime.

 

By Usman Khan

Sensing short of skilled teachers and with schools set to open next month in Myanmar, the military regime announced to finish the strike and issued arrest warrants for striking teachers. As the Myanmar regime has been desperately wooing coax demonstrators to return to work. The regime struggles to open schools and has used the harsh words against the UN criticism.

According to the Education Ministry of the civilian National Unity Government (NUG), nearly 80 percent of Myanmar’s 400,000 teachers joined the Civil Disobedience Movement in opposition to the military coup last year.

Last year, the army chief reopened schools after more than a year of closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak, his regime trained new recruits to fill the vacancies left by striking teachers.

The junta chief now inviting striking teachers to come back, it is obvious that his replacement scheme has failed. When classes reopened last year, the majority of parents refused to send their children to school, in a show of opposition to the military regime.

At the same time, the NUG is providing teacher training skilled by striking professors and teachers. The NUG has opened schools in some places under its mechanism and is offering online classes in others. In response to the junta’s invitation, striking education staff have called for a constant boycott of education under military rule Junta chief’s adviser slams UN

According to the junta education adviser which says, that there are many ongoing human rights violations and dictatorships in various countries and the UN is only putting Myanmar under the spotlight the. She accused that the UN has failed to learn the lessons from the history that prohibitions can only diminish the Myanmar people and will not help to bring down the military government.

She goes on to argue that there will be more losses than gains for the UN if it does not recognize the current military government. She warned that Foreign and local staff of UN agencies in Myanmar will suffer if the agreements between the UN and Myanmar expire and the current government does not want to extend them. As the “UN assistance is not inimitable.

The 70-year-old junta education adviser which is the daughter-in-law of late military dictator U Ne Win and was an education adviser to the former President. She was trained as a geologist and formerly worked with UNICEF from 1991 to 2011. In August 2012 she was appointed a member of a Commission of Inquiry investigating communal violence in Rakhine State that year. As an adviser to the military regime, she has regularly written pro-junta articles in regime newspapers.

Lately, the regime has experienced a number of international setbacks including decisions by both Britain and Australia to down their diplomatic affairs with Naypyitaw. The meetings held between civilian National Unity Government Foreign Minister and US officials amid last week’s US-ASEAN Special Summit in Washington to which junta chief was not invited.

Against this backdrop, the pro-military circles argue that there would be no disputes between the nations of the world if other countries followed the good neighborly relations that Myanmar and China enjoy.

As they described that the two countries have always enjoyed an easy relationship because China has always been such a good neighbor to Myanmar, and has always wanted to see positive changes in Myanmar’s politics.

With the exception of China and Russia, the international community has condemned and largely shunned the regime for its violence against the Myanmar people. The reasons are obvious because the Russia engages with the regime because the Myanmar military is a major buyer of its weapons, while China has extensive economic interests inside Myanmar.

The regime spokesperson even said that not to blame Myanmar’s military if conflicts arise in Rakhine State because of the armed group’s recent activities. He warned that the Myanmar military is exercising restriction in order to evade any damage coming to the Rakhine people, and for the sake of peace.

The regime spokesperson issued a warning to the commander of the Myanmar military’s western command, which oversees operations in Rakhine State, in response to the regime’s stiff security checks and arrest of alleged Arakan Army (AA) affiliates.

The Arakan Army (AA) chief said he would crush the command if it keeps on doing things that harm the Rakhine people. All this is evident of fact that civilian casualties may go higher due to the rough approach of Myanmar regime.

 

WASHINGTON, 24 May 2022, (TON): US President Joe Biden said “he would be willing to use force to defend Taiwan, rallying support on his first trip to Asia since taking office for US opposition to China’s growing assertiveness across the region.”

Biden’s comments appeared to be a departure from existing US policy of so-called strategic ambiguity on its position on the self-governed island that China considers its territory and says is the most sensitive and important issue in its ties with the United States.

When asked by a reporter in Tokyo if the United States would defend Taiwan if it were attacked by China, the president answered, “yes.”

“That’s the commitment we made, we agree with a one-China policy.”

We’ve signed on to it and all the intended agreements made from there. But the idea that, that it can be taken by force, just taken by force, is just not, is just not appropriate.

He added “it was his expectation that such an event would not happen or be attempted.”

KYIV, 24 May 2022, (TON): A Ukrainian court sentenced a 21-year-old Russian soldier to life in prison for killing a Ukrainian civilian, in the first war crimes trial since Russia’s invasion.

Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin was accused of shooting a Ukrainian civilian in the head in a village in the northeastern Sumy region in the early days of the war.

He pleaded guilty and testified that he shot the man after being ordered to do so. He told the court that an officer insisted that the Ukrainian man, who was speaking on his cellphone, could pinpoint their location to the Ukrainian forces.

During the trial, Shishimarin asked the widow of the victim to forgive him.

RIYADH, 24 May 2022, (TON): Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh received in Riyadh Ambassador Ulrika Sandberg, special envoy of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Organization of the Islamic Conference for interreligious and intercultural dialogue.

The meeting was attended by the counter-terrorism coordinator at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Erika Ferrer, the Swedish Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Niclas Trouvé and an accompanying delegation.

Al-Asheikh said “the Kingdom endeavors to spread the principles of moderation, rejecting extremism and respect for all human beings, as stipulated in the Holy Quran and the way of the Prophet.”

CAIRO, 24 May 2022, (TON): Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly discussed with Osmar Chohfi, president of the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, and its Secretary-General Tamer Mansour, economic ties between the two countries.

Nader Saad, spokesman for Egypt’s Cabinet, said “the meeting also reviewed growing ties between Brazil and Arab countries.”

Madbouly stressed Cairo’s support for all efforts to bolster economic ties, including proposals related to investment cooperation and the establishment of a Brazilian industrial zone in Egypt.

Egypt is Brazil’s top trade partner among Arab countries, with a trade volume of nearly $2.6 billion.

DUBAI, 24 May 2022, (TON): One third of the world’s food supply is wasted every year, which is why the world food crisis was one of the pressing topics discussed on the first day of panel discussions at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland.

Panelist David Beasley, the executive director of the UN World Food Programme, said “the world is facing the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.”

Beasley said “because of this crisis, we are taking food from the hungry to give to the starving.”

He explained that if the port of Odessa in Ukraine doesn’t open, it will add to the complexity of the global problem.

“We’ve got to get those fields back operational, we’ve got to get those silos full again.”

The WFP executive director said “failure to open the ports is a declaration of war on global food security.”

BANGKOK, 24 May 2022, (TON): Tourism officials said “Thailand is hoping to welcome 100,000 annual Saudi visitors by 2023, as the country prepares to attract families, medical tourists and millennials from the Kingdom.”

Thai tourism officials last week held the “Amazing Thailand Roadshow to Saudi Arabia,” marking the Southeast Asian nation’s first tourism promotion campaign since the two kingdoms restored diplomatic ties in late January.

Bilateral relations, which had stalled in the 1980s, were renewed following Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s visit to Riyadh, which was the first senior leadership meeting between the two countries in over three decades.

The two governments have since signed cooperation agreements to promote trade, investment and labor recruitment, with officials now set to enhance cooperation in the tourism industry.

LONDON, 24 May 2022, (TON): The Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia this morning to congratulate him on his election win at the weekend.

The Prime Minister told the new Australian leader that he wanted to congratulate him fulsomely on the big moment and said he looked forward to strengthening the UK – Australia relationship even further.

Prime Minister Albanese thanked the Prime Minister and noted that the UK and Australia had a strong and historic friendship, stemming from their close Commonwealth ties.

The pair agreed that there was more that could be done together.

Both leaders agreed that there was strong alignment between their Governments’ joint agendas, spanning across global security, climate change and trade.

Discussing AUKUS, the leaders strongly agreed on its vital importance and the exciting opportunities it provided. The Prime Minister said he thought the trilateral grouping could go further together in other domains, where both countries could collaborate for the global good.

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