Prime Minister insists no islandwide lockdown

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa says the Government has decided not to pursue an islandwide lockdown despite the increase in COVID-19 cases in Sri Lanka in recent weeks.

He says the Government has decided not to pursue an islandwide lockdown due to the impact such lockdowns have on the economy and society.

The Prime Minister gave the assurance at bilateral discussion with Chinese Defence Minister, General Wei Fenghe.

“I’m sure you’ll agree that there is still a lot that needs to be done for post-pandemic economic recovery. One of our main priorities in this effort is to attract investments from around the world. I look forward your support in rebuilding investor confidence in Sri Lanka,” the Prime Minister said at the discussion.

He also appreciated the visit by the top Chinese official despite the pandemic situation.

“We have had a number of high-level visits from China since the outbreak of the pandemic. I look forward to our discussion today and the opportunity, through this visit, to further strengthen our already strong and friendly bilateral relations,” he said.

Rajapaksa also congratulated China’s achievements in poverty alleviation saying China has uplifted nearly 100 million rural residents out of absolute poverty.

“And you have accomplished this 10 year in advance of the completion of the UN Sustainable Development Goal in poverty alleviation. This is an impressive achievement,” Rajapaksa said.

He also said that it has now become very clear to the entire world that vaccines will be the only way to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

On that front, on behalf of all Sri Lankans, the Prime Minister extended his sincere appreciation for the generous donation of 600,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines and Personal Protective Equipment since the outbreak of the pandemic.

“We look forward to China’s continued support in dealing with this crisis,” he said.

The Prime Minister said he looks forward to working closely with the Chinese official and the Chinese Government to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic and further enhance cooperation between both countries. (Colombo Gazette)

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