Sunday, February 5, 2023

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SL President attracts the attention of world leaders on food security

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has been able to attract the attention of the countries world wide when he urged the Secretary-General of the UN and Egypt, as the head of the COP27, to summon a meeting of all Ministers of Agriculture of all the countries to assess the food requirements of 2023 and 2024 and submit a report on the food situation.

The President also emphasized the need on working closely with the multilaterals, sources of funding and the need to formulate a sustainable debt relief plan immediately to ensure the global food security.

Sri Lankan President also met British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, a short while ago, on the sidelines of COP27 in Egypt and exchanged views on bilateral relations of both countries and he has also held discussions with Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and Environment, Head of the delegation from the Republic of Korea, Na Kyung-Won at COP27 the President’s Media Division reported

The President left the island for Egypt on Monday (06) to attend the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) being held in Sharm el-Sheikh.

However in an unexpected development, Maldives Parliament speaker Mohamed Nasheed has come under fire for representing Sri Lanka at COP27, the UN’s climate change summit which kicked off Sunday in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm El Sheikh.

Nasheed left the Maldives on Friday morning for the COP27 summit. Regarding his visit, the parliament issued a statement the same day stating that he will attend COP27 as a representative of the Sri Lankan national delegation.

He came under severe critisim of Maldives parliamentarians and interested parties in that country. However his participation at the summit as member of Sri Lankan delegation came as surprise for Sri Lankans.

One of the first to criticise Nasheed was former Attorney General Dr Mohamed Munawwar. He questioned Nasheed’s representation of another country while being paid by the people of Maldives as speaker.“Where’s the country? What about being loyal to the state?,” Munawwar said in a tweet.

Munawwar’s comments were echoed by former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on Twitter. Former Attorney General Diyana Saeed also defended the tweet and said Munawwar’s remarks were not personal.

“It’s a matter with legal burden, it’s actually a legit issue,” said Diyana, the first attorney general of Nasheed’s government. As justification, she cited Articles 73 and 75 of the Constitution.

“In view of what these two articles say, the question is whether this is permissible (the Speaker of the parliament representing another country),” Diyana said in a statement.

Addu Maradhoo MP Mohamed Shareef also said that the constitution states that citizens of another country cannot be a member of the Maldives’ parliament for certain reasons.

One of the reasons, he said, was to reduce the space for the interests of another country to take precedence over the interests of Maldives. Shareef believes that Nasheed’s conduct is against the spirit of the constitution.

Some also questioned whether the state had spent any money on Nasheed’s visit. Those who expressed their views said it needed to be cleared, and that they did not approve of any budgetary expenditure on Nasheed’s visit to represent another country.

Parliament’s Communications Director Hassan Ziyau said that all expenses of Nasheed’s trip are taken care of by the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), a group of countries most affected by climate change.

Responding to the criticism, Nasheed’s supporters said that environmental issues are related to humanity as a whole and it is not a problem for Nasheed to represent and advocate for another country in such a humanitarian matter. Those who expressed such views said the Maldives and Sri Lanka share the same policy on climate issues.

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