Author: Saalim al-Dajani

In the whirlwind of Sri Lankan politics, last week’s visit by Anura Kumara Dissanayake (AKD) to India carved a narrative that has both intrigued and polarised the political arena. This spectacle showcased the delicate art of political communication, underscoring the critical importance of reputation management and the nuanced dance of damage control in the face of adversity. For years, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), questioning authority and challenging the status quo, found itself in an unfamiliar position – defending rather than accusing. The controversial trip to India marked a turning point. Critics pounced, dissecting every word, every move, with relentless…

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Infighting over the succession and growing frustration in the regions could shatter the stability that the Tajik president has been building for so many years. Next year will mark thirty years of Emomali Rahmon’s presidency in Tajikistan, now the only country in Central Asia that has not seen a change of leadership since the early 1990s. Unsurprisingly, there have been rumors of an imminent transition of power for a decade. The name of the successor is no secret: it’s Rahmon’s son, thirty-six-year-old Rustam Emomali. But there is no consensus within the president’s large family over the succession. Some of the…

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PA President’s son Tareq Abbas also holds positions in other ventures incorporated by offshore company. Leaked documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca reveal Tareq Abbas, son of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, holds shares worth nearly $1 million in an offshore company with ties to the Palestinian Authority. The documents, leaked as part of the massive ‘Panama Papers’ scandal, show that a company called the Arab Palestinian Investment Company (APIC) was registered in September 1994 in the British Virgin Islands. Since then, the company’s economic portfolio has grown substantially, and is active in virtually every Palestinian economic sphere, including…

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President Kassym-Joomart Tokayev approved the new government of Kazakhstan under the leadership of Olzhas Bektenov. The names of the ministers were published on primeminister.kz. Most of the ministers remained from the old government. Four ministers were replaced: Nurlan Baibazarov was appointed Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of National Economy instead of Alibek Kuantyrov, Madi Takiyev became Minister of Finance instead of Erulan Zhamaubaev, Akmaral Alnazarova was appointed Minister of Healthcare instead of Azhar Giniyat, and Chingis Arinov became the new Minister for Emergency Situations instead of Syrym Shariphanov. Members of the government who remained in their positions included First Deputy…

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France has called for an “immediate and durable truce” in the Israel-Hamas war, saying that it is deeply concerned about the situation in Gaza. Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna added that too many civilians were being killed. Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said a ceasefire would be an error, describing it as a gift to Hamas. The UK and Germany earlier called for a “sustainable ceasefire”, but stopped short of saying it should be immediate. Ms Colonna arrived in Tel Aviv on Sunday for a meeting with her Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen. A statement released by the French Foreign Ministry before…

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Brussel, Frankfurt (16/11 – 23) A levying of embargoes and export bans, the imposition of sanctions, erection of fearsome “license” (= restriction) protocol: there’s nothing new about this back-and-forth in world trade, in the eternal jousting for advantage among markets and nations. The clever Chinese imagined they had the world tea market all locked up until an earnest Scottish botanist carrying the telling name of “Robert Fortune” snuck into the Middle Kingdom to observe their agriculture, steal tea plants, and pick up tricks of tea processing. The Chinese global tea monopoly was busted wide open. The fortunate Mr. Fortune was…

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London (07/11 – 70) President Ranil Wickremesinghe, at the helm of the United National Party (UNP), has orchestrated a remarkable turnaround for Sri Lanka’s tumultuous economy, tackling persistent challenges with a steadfast determination that has garnered widespread support across the national and international communities. Upon assuming office, Wickremesinghe confronted an array of pressing issues, including severe electricity shortage resulting in daily power cuts, soaring inflation, an all time low foreign reserve value and scarcities in essential commodities such as fuel and milk powder. Swift and strategic actions within his first six months in power yielded tangible results, with the electricity…

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Toronto, Frankfurt (2/11 – 42) World media are jumping all over the conflagration in Gaza following the 7 October attack, killing 1400 Israelis and kidnapping several hundred others – followed by an all-too-predictable retaliatory response from Israel, with indiscriminate bombardment and gunfire into Gaza. The number dead and injured in the Palestinian zone will likely never be known but it is currently estimated at over 5,000 – many of whom are women and children caught in the crossfire. Is Hamas sorry about those who voted for them and support their cause being machine-gunned or trapped by crumbling concrete in a…

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London (05/11 – 44.44) Benjamin Wey, a Chinese-American financier, founder of Fintech Holdings and a history of legal trouble, is suing Sri Lanka for $250 million. Wey claims that he was assured by Sri Lanka’s central bank governor that the country would repay a $250 million bond. However, Sri Lanka defaulted on the bond in April 2022. Wey is seeking to collect the full amount of the bond, plus interest. He has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit is a major setback for Sri Lanka, which is already facing a severe…

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London (07/11 – 71) For ten years now, the authorities of Tajikistan have been engaged in forced assimilation of the ethnic Pamiri people, giving away the heartlands to China for debts,” Orzu M. shared with RFI – Radio France Internationale is a French news and current affairs public radio station that broadcasts worldwide. RFI met with Orzu in Paris, sharing the fact that more and more Pamiris are leaving their native homes in Gorno-Badakhshan Mountainous Autonomous (GBAO) Region of Tajikistan; they are driven into exile by the persecution of the authorities, who are displacing indigenous peoples. RFI: How did it…

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