03/21/2023, 09.03
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Hong Kong: Democratic leader Albert Ho arrested again

Today's headlines: Sri Lanka gets bailout from International Monetary Fund; Turkey blocks passage of sanctioned goods to Russia; Japanese PM visits Kiev: Indonesia passes controversial presidential decree; Russian Orthodox Church opens theological dialogue with China. Low turnout in Kazakhstan elections.


Police in the former British colony today arrested democratic leader Albert Ho. Free on bail for health reasons, he is on trial for subversion under the National Security Act imposed by Beijing. The charge for the new arrest is that he pressurised witnesses connected to his proceedings.


After lengthy negotiations Colombo obtained economic support of USD 3 billion from the International Monetary Fund. The country is grappling with its worst economic crisis since independence, overwhelmed by huge debts and with inflation at more than 50 per cent.


Ankara has blocked the transit to Russia of embargoed goods arriving in its territory from third countries. A decision taken more than a year after the US, EU and other Western states imposed economic and financial restrictions on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.


Fumio Kishida will visit Kiev today to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The Japanese premier is the only G7 leader who has not yet visited Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022.


Parliament in Jakarta today approved a controversial decree by President Joko Widodo on investment and labour. Environmental groups and trade unions criticised the measure, accusing it of being too pro-business, with fewer safeguards for workers and the environment.


The rector of the Orthodox University of St John the Theologian, Aleksandr Šipkov, stated that 'it has become indispensable to develop a theological dialogue with China'. He fears the contribution of Russian and Chinese intellectuals, in order to provide a solid foundation for all-round humanitarian cooperation between the two countries.


Parliamentary and local elections concluded. Pending the results, the percentage of voters has been announced. For the Chamber of Deputies, the turnout came to 54%. In Almaty, the city of last year's protests, 25.8% voted. The highest was in Kyzylord province with 66.4%. The majority would be firmly in the hands of the presidential Amanat party.

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