Saudi Fund for Development, Sri Lanka sign 2 loan agreements

Saudi Fund For Development (SFD) Adviser Abdullah Al-Shedokhi, left, and R.H.S Samaratunga, secretary to the treasury in Sri Lanka, right, sign the agreements in the presence of Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim, standing second right. (AN photo)
Updated 07 April 2017
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Saudi Fund for Development, Sri Lanka sign 2 loan agreements

RIYADH: The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) signed two loan agreements with Sri Lanka to assist the island nation in two projects.
SFD Adviser Abdullah Al-Shedokhi and R.H.S Samaratunga, secretary to the treasury of Sri Lanka, signed the SR263 million agreement for the Mahaweli Left Bank Basin Development and the Wayamba University/Township Development Project.
Mahaweli Left Bank Lower Basin Development Project is a proposal made by Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa, minister of irrigation and water resources management, at an estimated cost of $430 million, with the objective of providing irrigated water during two seasons for 4,000 acres of land to include Kinniya and Kantale Trincomalee and the Polonnaruwa districts.
Wayamba University of Sri Lanka (WUSL), which is located at Kuliyapitya and Makandura with easy access from Colombo, Kurunegala, and Kandy, is a modern learning and research institution in Sri Lanka.
According to Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim, the SFD has been instrumental in financing several projects in the island. The construction of a bridge, which links the Eastern town of Trincomalee with Kinniya, a Muslim village, is beneficial to some 100,000 people living in Kinniya. The residents were using ferry as their mode of transport to come to Trincomalee, the northeastern capital of the island. The Trincomalee-Batticaloa highway was also widened with the same funds allocated under the agreement.
Earlier, Sri Lanka government signed two loan agreements with SFD to obtain partial financing for the $140 million rehabilitation of the A5 Road corridor from Badulla to Chenkaladi.
The A5 corridor is one of the major highways linking parts of the Central Province to Eastern Province geopolitical zones of the country, which carries the bulk of the traffic between Batticaloa and Peradeniya via Badulla.
Improvements to A5 road corridor from Badulla to Chenkaladi would enhance access to markets and social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals and integrate isolated segments of the rural population into the overall economy, the Finance Ministry said in a short statement on Friday.


FII delegates pay tribute to Khashoggi, say ‘terrible act not part of our DNA’

Updated 23 October 2018
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FII delegates pay tribute to Khashoggi, say ‘terrible act not part of our DNA’

RIYADH: Speakers at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh did not shy away from addressing what could otherwise have been the elephant in the room: The death of Jamal Khashoggi.
Numerous speakers had pulled out of the event over the death of the Saudi journalist in the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Khashoggi’s death was the result of a “rogue operation” by people acting beyond the scope of Saudi authorities, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Sunday.
Many speakers due to attend the FII — mostly those from Western organizations — had pulled out due to allegations the Saudi government was complicit in Khashoggi’s death.
But speakers at the FII on Tuesday tackled the issue head-on, calling the death “abhorrent” and promising justice. 
“These are difficult days for us in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We are going through a crisis, of sorts, resulting from the very regrettable and abhorrent incident that took place in Turkey,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told the audience.
“Nobody in the Kingdom can justify it or explain it. From the leadership on down, we are very upset about what has happened,” he added. 
“The king has made it clear that there will be an investigation, justice and retribution to those responsible.”
The prominent Saudi business executive Lubna Olayan also remarked on the case, saying that the “terrible acts reported in recent weeks are alien to our culture and DNA.” 
Al-Falih said that, despite the ongoing “crisis” due to the case, the ambitious reforms that Saudi Arabia is undertaking would continue. 
“The Kingdom is in the midst of a historic transformation of unprecedented proportions, and the train has moved, and it has moved deliberately toward a transformation journey that will not be stopped,” he said. 
“Those partners who are here with us today, to continue their journey with us are certainly going to look back and find out how the lessons have been learned from the incident, but at the same time how committed the Kingdom is to its partners who stay the course.”