Amnesty has done great good for illegals: Lankan envoy

Updated 19 June 2013
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Amnesty has done great good for illegals: Lankan envoy

The new Sri Lankan Ambassador Vadivel Krishnamoorthy, who presented his credentials in Jeddah on Saturday thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for the generous amnesty granted to the illegal expatriates either to rectify their status or go back to their homeland.
Krishnamoorthy presented his credentials to State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nizar Obeid Madani at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Jeddah on Saturday. 
“The amnesty has benefited all undocumented Sri Lankan expatriate workers stranded in the Kingdom. Many Sri Lankans have been able to legalize their status by changing employers and obtaining a new Iqama, or by obtaining temporary travel documents to return home,” the envoy noted. 
He added that the Sri Lankan missions in Riyadh and Jeddah have documented some 17,000 cases under the amnesty granted by the king. The scheme has facilitated for illegal workers either to go home or work here respectably, he noted. 
“Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia have maintained close bilateral ties for several decades and I hope that my tenure here as ambassador will see these historic ties further strengthened,” Kirshnamoorthy said. 
Sri Lanka set up its embassy in Jeddah in 1983 with Dickman De Alwis as its first charge d’ Affaires, subsequently in 1993, Saudi government reciprocated with a mission in Colombo with Abdullah Al-Zahrani as its charge d’ Affaires. Later, the Lankan embassy moved its location to the capital in 1985. 
The new envoy also thanked the Kingdom for the donations and investments bestowed upon the Sri Lanka people to help them build a prosperous society after the end of the civil war. 
“I am also happy to acknowledge the loan given to us by the Saudi Development Fund (SFD) to help us develop our infrastructure,” he noted, adding that the longest bridge in Kinniya was recently completed the with SFD funds.
Besides the construction of the bridge, the SFD has contributed a great deal to fund hospitals and road construction projects in the island. The Epilepsy Center and the Trauma Center at the Colombo National Hospital were built with the assistance of the SFD. 
Speaking about his country, the ambassador said that it has eradicated terrorism thereby ending the civil conflict, which had been plaguing the country for more than three decades.
“With the end of the 30-year conflict, Sri Lanka has successfully created a peaceful environment within the country during the past few years. Moreover, Sri Lanka has already managed to achieve tremendous development after the conflict. We also know that independence is an empty word without economic strength and social progress,” he stressed. 
“We in Sri Lanka, under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, are also engaged with the task of building for our people a new world of economic prosperity and social progress to build a prosperous nation,” he added. 
“Although we have a considerable amount of bilateral trade, there is still huge potential to enhance it further by diversifying the trade baskets,” he said.
“Extending our trade relationship into the areas of tourism, software development, health care, and agriculture will open vast opportunities to further consolidate our bilateral cooperation further,” he added. 
Prior to his posting here, Krishnamoorthy was attached to his External Affairs Ministry as its Director General for the South-East Asia and SAARC. 
His last overseas posting was as the Deputy High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Chennai, south India. 
Krishnamoorthy had earlier served as High Commissioner at Dhaka (Bangladesh) and has completed his three-year term before he was cross-posted for Chennai. 
Krishnamoorthy had earlier served in The Netherlands (2001-04) and China (1992-97). While serving as the Minister Counselor at the Embassy in The Netherlands, inter alia, he functioned as the Deputy Permanent Representative to the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). 
He had also worked as the Director/ East Asia desk, Deputy Chief of Protocol (1999-2001, Assistant director/ West desk (1992) and Director of the Sri Lankan Institute of International Relations (2004-06). 


Saudi efforts to ‘heal Afghan division’ win royal approval

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Jeddah on Tuesday. SPA
Updated 18 July 2018
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Saudi efforts to ‘heal Afghan division’ win royal approval

  • The forum urged all Afghan factions to halt the fighting and work toward “reconciliation between brothers
  • China’s Belt and Road initiative will link the interests of China and Arab countries

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has expressed his appreciation to scholars who took part in the International Ulema Conference on Peace and Security in Afghanistan in Makkah, saying the Kingdom was making efforts to “heal the divisions and differences among the Afghan people.”

Chairing the Cabinet session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday, the king said Saudi Arabia was working toward “unifying the ranks and words of Muslims worldwide.”
He briefed the Cabinet on the results of his recent talks with President Cyril Ramaphosa, of South Africa, on future cooperation between the two countries.
The Cabinet welcomed the final statement by the Makkah conference calling on states, organizations and Islamic elites to play positive roles in achieving security and peace in Afghanistan.
The forum urged all Afghan factions to halt the fighting and work toward “reconciliation between brothers, extinguishing the fire of sedition.”
Muslims worldwide should continue their “firm stand in front of the advocates of violence and extremism in defense of their religion and maintaining the unity of the Islamic world,” it said.
The Cabinet also reviewed a ministerial meeting of the Arab-Chinese Cooperation Forum in Beijing and welcomed a decision by Chinese leader President Xi Jinping to establish an Arab-Chinese strategic partnership.
China’s Belt and Road initiative will link the interests of China and Arab countries and “add to the prosperity and economic advancement of all,” it said.
The Cabinet denounced recent suicide attacks on two election gatherings in Pakistan and the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, and offered condolences to families of the victims.
In the local arena, the Cabinet extended its appreciation to the king, based on a report by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for pardoning all troops who have taken part in the Saudi Renewal of Hope operation in Yemen of their military and disciplinary penalties for their heroism and sacrifices.
The Cabinet approved a license for the Iraqi Commercial Bank to open a branch in Saudi Arabia and authorized the Minister of Finance to decide on any subsequent requests to open other branches.