Sri Lanka pledges cooperation in implementing Saudi Vision 2030

Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majid meets with Sri Lankan Consul General Faizer Mackeen in Jeddah.
Updated 13 January 2017

Sri Lanka pledges cooperation in implementing Saudi Vision 2030

RIYADH: Sri Lanka pledged its cooperation for the successful implementation of Saudi Vision 2030 during a meeting between Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishal bin Majid and the island’s Consul General in Jeddah Faizer Mackeen recently.
Commending on the progressive measures spelled out in Vision 2030 during his meeting with the prince, the diplomat said that his country would lend full cooperation to Saudi Arabia, which hosts millions of expatriates.
He said Vision 2030 is a comprehensive program that aims to turn the Kingdom into a knowledge-based country, which would eventually diversify its economic programs without solely depending on oil.
Following the end of the ethnic problems on the island, the envoy said a large number of tourists from Saudi Arabia have been traveling to Sri Lanka as tourists.
He added that Saudi families who had visited Sri Lanka had always opted to repeat the visit because of the island’s scenic beauty and the hospitality of its people. “Muslim visitors will feel at home in the city of Colombo since they could see mosques in the vicinity of every shopping center,” he said. In fact, he said, women in hijab are a common sight in the city. “A good number of Saudis current visiting Sri Lanka for leisure and honeymoon.”
The island has more than 18,000 quality rooms and it is studded with quality hotels such as Shangrila, Movenpick, Cinnamon Grand, Cinnamon Lake, Taj Exotica, Light House, and Heritance Hotels, Kingsbury and Galadari for the comfort of luxury tourists.
Sri Lanka is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, several Buddhist and Hindu temples, and other ancient monuments that serve as attractions for travelers. Adam’s Peak, a mountain in the Central Province with the shape of a footprint on its peak, is considered sacred to a number of religions. The eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka include the central highlands area comprising Hortons Plains National Park and Knuckles Conservation Forest, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, the Dutch Fort in Galle, the Golden Temple of Dambulla, the Temple of Tooth in Kandy and the ancient cities of Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, and Sigiriya.
“Ever since we established diplomatic relations with the Kingdom in July 1974, the two countries have been maintaining excellent relations in social, cultural, political and economic fields,” Mackeen said. He added that the relationship with Saudi Arabia is significant not only because it is home to nearly 250,000 Sri Lankans but also is holy land for Muslims who form 7 percent of the country’s 24 million population. A large number of Sri Lankan Muslims regularly come for the annual Haj, and Umrah throughout the year.
“We are thankful to the leadership of King Salman for the special care given to the Muslims from all parts of the world including Sri Lanka.”

Sandstorms cause major health problems, expert warns

A choking cloud of sand covers the Saudi capital. (AP)
Updated 23 May 2018

Sandstorms cause major health problems, expert warns

  • People should take adequate precautions during sandstorms in Saudi Arabia, says scientist
  • Dr. Sultan Ayoub Meo: The diseases of the respiratory system induced by air pollutants are influenced by the type of dust and duration of exposure to the particles

JEDDAH: An eminent scientist has advised people to take adequate precautions during sandstorms in Saudi Arabia, which can cause a number of health problems, including respiratory complications.

Dr. Sultan Ayoub Meo, professor at the College of Medicine at King Saud University, Riyadh, said that sandstorms are the main cause of bacterial and viral infections, especially among elderly people.

Meo, referring to a series of sandstorms that hit various regions of the Kingdom in the past six weeks, said that “a large number of people, exposed to sandstorms, have complaints of allergic rhinitis, runny nose, wheeze, cough, chest tightness, acute asthmatic attack, eye irritation, redness of the eyes, headache, sleep disturbance and psychological disturbances.”

These are in addition to the respiratory symptoms more common in children and elderly people, he said.

“The most vulnerable part of the body to sandstorms is the respiratory system,” Meo said. “People who are exposed to them are more vulnerable to the air pollutants, as the dust particles enter the respiratory system and cause various health problems.” 

The diseases of the respiratory system induced by air pollutants are influenced by the type of dust and duration of exposure to the particles, he said.

He pointed out that the environmental protection agencies must make use of the print and electronic media to provide information about the exact date and time of sandstorms to minimize unnecessary exposure.

 He advised people to wear masks, which are designed to filter out small particulates, and also airtight goggles to protect the eyes. 

He also suggested that in the desert areas, people might “cultivate the land and adopt a fallow system” as the cultivation and fallow system minimizes the frequency of sandstorms. 

Meo said that the choking dust in sandstorms contains “a large number of bacteria, fungi and viruses.”