Sri Lanka Loan Repay | Biden Visit to Ukraine | Japan-China Ties | International Mother Language Day | Prince Harry Security – World News This Week
Check out the Top 5 Prime World News of this Week in the NF World Latest News Section below. In this section, you can read the weekly summary of interesting and important World News around the globe.
Sri Lanka Approves $2.6 Billion Loan Repayments in 2023 Amid Financial Crisis
Sri Lanka’s cabinet has given approval for loan repayments of $2.6bn in the first half of 2023, in accordance with its debt suspension plans.
The island nation, with a population of 22 million, is experiencing its worst financial crisis in over 70 years, caused by a severe shortage of foreign exchange that compelled the country to announce a suspension of foreign debt repayments in April 2022.
However, Sri Lanka will continue to repay multilateral loans from organizations such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
The repayments will include $2bn in foreign loan repayments, $540m in interest payments, $709m in dollar-denominated Sri Lanka Development Bonds, and $46m in interest payments.
Sri Lanka signed a preliminary agreement for a $2.9bn bailout with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in September 2022.
However, before disbursements can begin, the country must put its debt on a sustainable path.
Talks with the IMF are in their final stages, according to cabinet spokesperson and Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardana, but have not yet concluded. Therefore, it is crucial that public finances are managed with caution.
India and Paris Club members have pledged support to assist with Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring, but the island nation is still negotiating financing assurances with China, its largest bilateral lender, Gunawardana added.
Read Also | Sri Lanka Economic Crisis: All you need to know
US President Joe Biden Visits Ukraine to Reaffirm Support Ahead of Russian Invasion Anniversary
US President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on Monday, ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of the country on February 24 last year.
Biden visited Kyiv to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky and reaffirm his support for Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. Zelensky welcomed Biden’s visit, describing it as an essential sign of support for Ukrainians.
Biden promised increased arms deliveries for Ukraine and pledged Washington’s unwavering commitment to defending its territorial integrity.
The US President also announced $500 million in aid to Ukraine, which will consist of javelins, howitzers, and artillery ammunition, and further sanctions against companies attempting to back Russia.
Biden used the opportunity to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin, stating that when Putin launched his invasion nearly one year ago, he thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided, but he was wrong.
The United States has built a coalition of nations to help defend Ukraine with unprecedented military, economic, and humanitarian support over the past year, and that support will continue, Biden added.
Biden laid a wreath at the Wall of Remembrance for the fallen heroes of the Russian-Ukrainian war with Ukrainian military officers in attendance.
Japan and China to launch direct communication line for security
Japan and China are set to establish a direct communication line for security starting this spring, according to Japan’s defence ministry following a meeting between senior defence officials of both countries.
During the meeting, Japan also conveyed its message to China that unmanned surveillance balloons entering Japanese airspace were unacceptable, and urged Beijing to investigate and take preventive measures.
Japan’s Defense Ministry had earlier expressed strong suspicions that Chinese surveillance balloons had violated Japanese airspace at least three times since 2019. The two nations will hold security talks on Wednesday with senior officials in attendance.
According to a statement by Japan’s Defense Ministry on February 14, there is a strong suspicion that Chinese surveillance balloons have entered Japanese territory on at least three occasions since 2019.
The ministry disclosed that the balloons were detected in 2019, 2020, and 2021 and that Japan has called on the Chinese government to investigate the matter and ensure it does not happen again.
International Mother Language Day 2023: Significance and History of this special day
Every year on February 21, International Mother Language Day is celebrated around the world to promote cultural and linguistic diversity and multilingualism.
The aim of this day, according to the United Nations, is to highlight the importance of languages and multilingualism in promoting inclusion and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
This year’s theme is “Multilingual education – a necessity to transform education,” which aims to draw attention to the fact that around 40% of the global population lacks access to education in a language they understand.
The UN has reported that approximately 43% of the world’s 6,000 languages are at risk of extinction, with only a few hundred being used in education and public domains, and less than a hundred being used in the digital world.
The idea of observing International Mother Language Day was proposed by Bangladesh and was first announced by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1999.
In 2002, the United Nations General Assembly recognized this day through a resolution, and in 2008, it declared it the International Year of Languages, with UNESCO as the lead agency.
Prince Harry’s legal battle with UK Home Office over security costs
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made headlines in January 2020 when they announced their decision to step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family and relocate to the United States.
As a result, they were no longer entitled to public funding for their royal duties and were stripped of their right to a royal police escort by the UK Home Office.
Prince Harry then filed a judicial review against the UK government, making him the first member of the royal family to take legal action against the government.
According to UK media reports, the legal battle has cost taxpayers £296,882 ($357,000), which was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
In 2021, a representative for Prince Harry clarified that his legal challenge was aimed at ensuring the safety of himself and his family while in the UK, particularly so that his children could know their home country.
The first hearing for the case took place in February 2022, where Prince Harry’s lawyer argued that the prince was unable to bring his son Archie and daughter Lilibet on a visit from the US due to safety concerns.
The lawyer also emphasized that Prince Harry had inherited a security risk and was still sixth in line to the throne, and had served in two tours of combat duty in Afghanistan. The legal battle is set to continue in April of this year.