Home » International news brief: Sri Lanka begins process to elect new President; Singapore reports Omicron cases

International news brief: Sri Lanka begins process to elect new President; Singapore reports Omicron cases

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International

oi-Deepika S

| Published: Sunday, July 17, 2022, 10:30 [IST]

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Colombo, July 17: Sri Lanka's Parliament held a special session on Saturday to start the process of electing a new president on July 20 following the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, while two people with recent travel history to India have tested positive for Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 in Singapore.

International news brief: Sri Lanka begins process to elect new President; Singapore reports Omicron cases Representational Image

Wickremesinghe, Premadasa among 4 leaders in race for Prez's Post

The process of electing a new president in Sri Lanka to succeed Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who resigned after unprecedented protests against his government over the country's economic collapse, has started with four contenders in the race.

Sri Lanka's acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe, main Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa, Marxist JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake and Dullas Alahapperuma, a breakaway SLPP candidate, are the leaders who have so far announced their candidacy to contest the July 20 vote in Parliament. They will be contesting to succeed Rajapaksa for the rest of his term until November 2024.

Lanka's Galle Face protests a reminder of Tamils' Satyagraha at the same place decades ago

Colombo's Galle Face, the epicentre of protests in economic and political crisis hit Sri Lanka, was also the venue of the Satyagraha by the Tamil people over 60 years ago to seek equal importance, which resulted in them being violently attacked by elements toeing majoritarianism. The Tamils' protests, following the 'Sinhala Only Bill' by the Bandaranaike regime on June 5, 1956 saw participants at the Galle Face becoming target of violent attack by goons sympathetic to the then ruling establishment and those who subscribed to politics of hegemony and ethnicity.

Singapore reports two cases of Omicron BA.2.75 subvariant

Two people with recent travel history to India have tested positive for Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 in Singapore, according to media reports. The Ministry of Health (MOH) said both individuals had recently travelled to India and had immediately self-isolated after testing positive for COVID-19. They have since fully recovered, the ministry added. The BA.2.75 subvariant, which is nicknamed Centaurus, was first detected in India in early May, according to a media report here.

Biden's Mideast trip aimed at reassuring wary leaders

Before stepping foot in Saudi Arabia, US President Joe Biden knew there would be trouble. Biden was risking criticism by visiting a country he had vowed to make a "pariah" for human rights abuses, and there was no guarantee the visit would immediately yield higher oil production to offset rising gas prices. He decided to face the blowback anyway, hoping to use the visit to repair strained ties and make clear to wary Arab leaders that the US remains committed to their security and the region's stability. His visit to Saudi Arabia was occasionally uncomfortable but, in Biden's view, ultimately necessary. Although he's been focused on confronting Russia's invasion of Ukraine and limiting China's expanding influence in Asia, those goals become far more difficult without the partnerships that he was tending to here.

New COVID-19 Omicron sub-variant BA.2.75 detected in India monitored by WHONew COVID-19 Omicron sub-variant BA.2.75 detected in India monitored by WHO

Hungary: Protesters angered by Orban-backed tax reforms

At least 1,000 Hungarians took to the streets Saturday night to protest against a new law that raises taxes for scores of small firms.

The protest follows a series of smaller demonstrations that have taken place across Hungary, including in the capital city, Budapest, throughout the week.

Earlier this week, protesters blocked a bridge in Budapest as parliament discussed the tax reform bill.

The legislation, which was passed despite the protests, scales back a tax scheme for small businesses.
Japanese marathon runners to miss worlds due to COVID-19

Two Japanese marathon runners have tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the race at the world championships. World Athletics announced Saturday that two of the country's six athletes entered in the marathon tested positive along with the head coach and four members of the support staff. All will have to be isolated for five days, a period that will run through the men's race Sunday and the women's race Monday.

Philippines looking at procuring advanced light helicopters from India

The Philippines is looking at procuring a batch of advanced light helicopters from India to crank up its combat capability, months after sealing a USD 375-million deal to acquire three batteries of the BrahMos cruise missile. The Southeast Asian nation has been focusing on modernising its military in the face of myriad security challenges as well as decades-long territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.

Story first published: Sunday, July 17, 2022, 10:30 [IST]

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