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Kofi Annan, Former UN Chief Dies, World Mourns

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Kofi Annan, For UN Chief Dies, World Mourns

Former UN Secretary General and one of the most celebrated world top diplomat Kofi Annan has died in Swiss city of Bern after a short illness on Saturday. He was the first black person to head UN who became charismatic symbol of the world body during his two stints.

The Ghanian career diplomat, born in 1938, served as the chief of the world organization between 1997 and 2006, having been elected for the two times. Annan joined the UN in 1962 after studying management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and travelled to the top of the world body’s hierarchy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while expressing his feelings said, “We express our profound sorrow at the passing away of Nobel Laureate and former UNSG Mr Kofi Annan. The world has lost not only a great African diplomat and humanitarian but also a conscience keeper of international peace and security.”

Ghanian President Nana Akufo-Addo said, “The Government and people of Ghana, First Lady Rebecca and I are deeply saddened by the news of the death, in Berne, Switzerland, of one of our greatest compatriots, Mr Kofi Annan.” He added that flags at the country’s government offices and diplomatic missions would fly at half-staff for a week.

Kofi Annan, For UN Chief Dies, World Mourns

Antonio Guterres, the president UN Secretary General has expressed his sorrow saying, “Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good. I join the world in mourning his loss. In these turbulent and trying times, his legacy as a global champion for peace will remain a true inspiration for us all.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “I sincerely admired his wisdom and courage, his ability to make informed decisions even in the most complex, critical situations. His memory will live forever in the hearts of Russians.”

Foremr US President Barack Obama said, “Kofi Annan was a diplomat and humanitarian who embodied the mission of the United Nations like few others. His integrity, persistence, optimism, and sense of our common humanity always informed his outreach to the community of nations.”

European Commission Chief Jean-Claude Juncker said, “Today, the world mourns a great leader and humanitarian but celebrates a life full of courage, empathy and remarkable public service. He devoted his life to making the world a more peaceful and united place.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May said, “Sad to hear of the death of Kofi Annan. A great leader and reformer of the UN, he made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into. My thoughts and condolences are with his family.”

German Chancellor Angela Markel said, “Kofi Annan never gave up working for the good in the world. [He] knew how to get people engaged, and became a role model, especially for young people all over the world.”

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said, “Annan’s humility, nobility and love for humanity set him apart for global greatness, achieving recognition and commendation for the reform of the United Nations’ bureaucracy and multiple interventions to bring peace to the world.”

French President Emmanuel Macron said, “We will never forget his calm and resolute approach to matters, nor the strength of his commitments. He fought to end suffering and injustices across the world and helped to rebuild bridges where they had been destroyed.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “The UN and the world have lost one of their giants.”

Swidish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said, “Tragic to learn about Kofi Annan’s death. He personified what is best about the UN, and also had to deal with some of it’s hardest challenges. A great listener, and someone who made everyone want to listen.”

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Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda says statements on reclaiming Katchatheevu island from Sri Lanka have no ground

Devananda told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about Katchatheevu as elections are taking place in India.

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Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda has said the statements from some political leaders in India on reclaiming Katchatheevu from the island nation have no ground. He told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about the strategic island as elections are taking place in India.

The Sri Lankan Minister said he thought India is acting on its interests to secure this place to ensure Sri Lankan fishermen would not have any access to that area and that Sri Lanka should not claim any rights in that resourceful area. According to the 1974 agreement, Devananda said Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen can go fishing in the territorial waters of both countries until the pact was reviewed and amended in 1976.

The amended agreement resulted in fishermen from both countries being barred from fishing in neighboring waters. India’s ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday steered clear of the row surrounding Katchatheevu island. To a volley of questions on the Katchatheevu issue, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal reffered to External affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s recent comments on the matter.

He said he would like to talk about the issue that has been raised. He added the External Affairs minister has spoken to the press here in Delhi and also in Gujarat and has clarified all the issues. He said everyone should look into the press engagements and they would find the answers to their questions there.

The remarks from Devananda, a Sri Lankan Tamil, came days after the Narendra Modi government accused the Congress and its ally DMK in Tamil Nadu of overlooking national interests by handing over Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka in 1974. The BJP has also been slamming the 2 parties for not ensuring the rights of the fishermen wanting to fish in waters around the island.

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US reiterates its call for fair, transparent, legal process for Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, speaks on Congress frozen accounts

The US spokesperson said that they are also aware of the Congress party’s allegations that tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the upcoming elections.

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A day after India summoned an US diplomat over their remarks on the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy case, the US reiterated its call for fair, transparent, timely legal processes on Wednesday.

Responding to questions on India summoning Gloria Berbena, the US Acting Deputy Chief of Mission in New Delhi, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that they will continue to follow these actions closely, including the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Notably, the meeting at the foreign ministry’s South Block office lasted nearly 40 minutes yesterday with India objecting strongly to the US remarks on the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal.

Matthew Miller also responded to a question on the Congress party’s frozen bank accounts. The US spokesperson said that they are also aware of the Congress party’s allegations that tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the upcoming elections. He added that the US encourages fair, transparent and timely legal processes for each of the issues.

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested last week by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection to the Delhi liquor policy scam. Earlier, AAP leaders Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain and Sanjay Singh were arrested in the same case.

The External Affairs Ministry had earlier stated that states are expected to be respectful of the sovereignty and internal affairs of others, and this responsibility is even more so in case of fellow democracies, adding that it could otherwise end up setting unhealthy precedents.

The Ministry further emphasized that India’s legal processes are based on an independent judiciary which is committed to objective and timely outcomes. It mentioned that casting aspersions on India’s legal procedure is unwarranted.

The United State’s remarks followed days after Germany’s Foreign Office stressed that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is entitled to a fair and impartial trial. The Indian government labelled their remark as blatant interference in internal matters.

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5 Chinese nationals killed in suicide bomb attack in Pakistan

This is the third major attack on Chinese interests in Pakistan within a week.

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Nearly five Chinese nationals were killed in an explosion during an attack on their convoy by a suicide bomber in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday. Reportedly, the suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a convoy of Chinese engineers travelling from Islamabad to their camp in Dasu, situated in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Regional police chief Mohammad Ali Gandapur said that five Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver were killed in the attack. As yet, none has claimed responsibility for the attack. Bisham Station House Officer (SHO) Bakht Zahir asserted that the incident was a suicide blast and the authorities concerned were collecting the evidence.

The Station House Officer further added that security arrangements were tightened at the spot and the bodies were being shifted to a hospital. He added that they will investigate from where and how the vehicle of a suicide bomber came and how it happened. Notably, this is the third major attack on Chinese interests in Pakistan within a week.

Previously, two attacks hit an airbase and a strategic port in the southwest province of Balochistan where China is investing billions in infrastructure projects. Several Chinese engineers and Pakistani construction workers have for multiple years been working on hydroelectric projects as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative in the western province of Khyber-Paktunkhwa.

Notably, Dasu is home to a significant dam project, has been a target of previous attacks. Earlier in 2021, the attack in Dasu resulted in the deaths of nine Chinese nationals, along with two Pakistani children. The incident occured when a bus carrying Chinese engineers and workers to the Dasu Hydropower Project site was targeted.

There was confusion surrounding the nature of the attack initially, with some reports suggesting it was a bus accident. Nonetheless, subsequent investigations revealed that it was indeed a terrorist attack. The bus was hit by a blast, leading it to plunge into a ravine.

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