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Tuesday
August 2020
12:11 AM IST
News Headlines
NIA arrests six more people and conducts searches at 6 places in Kerala gold smuggling case        Union Minister observes fast as BJP seeks to step up pressure on Ker govt in gold smuggling case        Kerala crosses 25,000 COVID-19 cases as 1,169 test positive        Heavy rains forecast in Kerala this week; Low pressure likely in Bay of Bengal        Shah tests +ve for COVID-19, admitted to Medanta hospital in Gurugram        International passengers with negative COVID-19 test report can skip institutional quarantine: Govt        High time Mehbooba Mufti is released, says Rahul Gandhi        Death toll in Punjab spurious liquor tragedy rises to 104        Trump Says Federal Government Should Seek Death Penalty For Boston Bomber        Khamenei''s top aide praises Turkey''s Hagia Sophia move        IPL GC Meet: Final on Nov 10, Chinese sponsors intact, COVID replacements allowed        2nd ODI: Bairstow, Rashid shine in England''s 4-wicket win over Ireland        Kerala''s COVID-19 tally inching towards 25,000 mark, 1129 ccases, death toll climbs to 82        Kerala police SI dies of COVID-19; first from the force to succumb to the virus        If high command forgives rebels, I will welcome them back: Gehlot        Former SP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh dies at 64        Wild fire: 200 homes evacuated in Southern California        Emirati nuclear plant successfully starts up first reactor        Ready to push for continued advancement of China-Nepal ties: Xi        Some 17,000 people hit streets of Berlin to protest COVID-19 measures        
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International News
Sri Lanka won't do anything that will harm India's interests: Prez Rajapaksa
 
Colombo, Nov 25 (PTI) Sri Lanka will work with India and it won't do anything that will harm its interests, newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said ahead of his visit to New Delhi later this week.

Rajapaksa, who is considered pro-China, said he wanted Sri Lanka to be a "neutral country" and work with all the countries.

"We will work with India as a friendly country and won't do anything that will harm India's interests," said Rajapaksa, who will travel to New Delhi on November 29 on his first official trip abroad as Sri Lankan President.

"We want to be a neutral country," Rajapaksa, who was sworn in as Sri Lanka's president last week, told Nitin Gokhale of BharatShakti.in and Strategic News International in an interview.

"We don't want to get in between the power struggles of superpowers... We are so small and we can't survive to get into this balancing acts," he said.

Rajapaksa said he wanted to work very closely with both India and China.

"We want to work with all the countries and we don't want to do anything which will harm any other country for that matter, we understand the importance of Indian concerns, so we cant engage in any activity which will threaten the security of India," he added.

Noting that the Indian Ocean is an important place and plays an important role in the present day geopolitics, he said Sri Lankan was placed in a very strategic location and all the sea lane are passing close to the country from east to west.

"So, these lanes should be free and no country should control these sea lanes," he said.

Asserting that Sri Lanka's involvement with China during the presidency of his elder brother Mahinda (from 2005-2015) was "purely commercial", he said, "I invite India, Singapore, Japan and Australia to come and invest here. Don't allow only China to invest."

He vowed to create an investment friendly environment in Sri Lanka.

Rajapaksa also said that giving away the Hambantota port to China on a 99-year lease was a mistake by the previous government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena.

"The deal has to be renegotiated," he said. "Giving a small loan for investment is a different thing but giving a strategic important economic harbour is not acceptable. That we should have controlled."

China, which acquired Sri Lanka's Hambantota port in 2017 as a debt swap, has been ramping up its ties with the island nation and expanded its naval presence in the Indian Ocean with an established logistics base in Djibouti.

"We want investments to help us but we will not do anything to get involved in military and geo-political rivalry," Rajapaksa said.

On allegations of him being "authoritarian" and "racist", the president said, "It's a wrong perception created during the civil war with the LTTE."

"I am a disciplined person but that doesn't mean I am racist," he added.

The two brothers -- Mahinda and Gotabhaya -- led a decisive campaign that helped end the island nation's three decade-long civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

However, the brother-duo were accused of condoning sexual violence and extrajudicial killings allegedly by Lankan security forces during the civil war, which ended in May 2009 with the death of LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran.


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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
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KERALA NEWS
Kerala crosses 25,000 COVID-19 cases as 1,169 test positive
 Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala on Sunday crossed the 25,000 mark in COVID-19 cases as 1,169 more people
Heavy rains forecast in Kerala this week; Low pressure likely in Bay of Bengal
Kerala police SI dies of COVID-19; first from the force to succumb to the virus
Kerala reports 1,310 COVID-19 cases; 3 deaths takes toll to 73
NATIONAL NEWS
Union Minister observes fast as BJP seeks to step up pressure on Ker govt in gold smuggling case
 New Delhi: Union Minister V Muraleedharan on Sunday observed a day-long fast at his residence here d
Shah tests +ve for COVID-19, admitted to Medanta hospital in Gurugram
International passengers with negative COVID-19 test report can skip institutional quarantine: Govt
High time Mehbooba Mufti is released, says Rahul Gandhi
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