Thursday, April 25, 2024

World Watch


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Sri Lanka’s former health minister arrested
Colombo, Feb 2: Sri Lanka’s former health minister Keheliya Rambukwella was on Friday arrested over the controversial human immunoglobulin procurement scandal. Rambukwella, now the Environment Minister, was arrested after over 10 hours of questioning by the police’s crime investigation department. Immunoglobulins (Ig) or antibodies are glycoproteins produced by plasma cells. A large number of complaints had been received from hospitals since mid-last year on patient reactions to the drug, imported under the Indian credit line to help Sri Lanka tide over the forex and the economic crisis. In December 2023, at least six high-ranking health officials were arrested in the same case. It was alleged that orders had been placed for 22,500 vials of human immunoglobulin IV 5g under forged documentation under the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA). Before that, in October, an Indian firm based in Gujarat denied claims from Sri Lankan health authorities that it had supplied a stock of immunoglobulin. Out of the full order, over 3,000 vials had been supplied and the health authorities had distributed them to hospitals between July and September last year. Rambukwella, as the then health minister, had made complaints with the police’s crime investigation department saying the drug had been cleared from customs based on a forged waiver of registration from the NMRA. (PTI)

London judge acquits Greta Thunberg
London, Feb 2: A judge on Friday acquitted climate activist Greta Thunberg of a charge that she had refused to leave a protest that blocked the entrance to a major oil and gas industry conference in London last year. Thunberg was acquitted along with four other defendants. Judge John Law said there were “significant deficiencies in the evidence” presented against Thunberg and the others to back charges that they had breached the Public Order Act during the October 17 incident. Law said the police could have taken less restrictive measures, didn’t properly define where protesters should move and the order to disperse that was given was “so unclear that it was unlawful” that those who didn’t comply committed no offense. Greta Thunberg, the environmentalist had faced a fine of up to 2,500 pounds (USD 3,190) if she had been convicted. (AP)

Indo-Nepal power trade deal under judicial lens
Kathmandu, Feb 2: Nepal’s Supreme Court has issued a show-cause notice to the government about the recently signed long-term power deal with India, questioning whether the agreement requires endorsement by a majority of parliament members. Nepal signed the Power Trade Agreement (PTA) to facilitate the export of 10,000 MW of electricity to India in the next ten years. The deal was signed during External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s visit to the Himalayan country in January. A single bench of Supreme Court Justice Nahakul Subedi on Tuesday issued a notice to the government in response to a writ petition filed by former Secretary of the Government of Nepal, Surya Nath Upadhyay, according to the spokesperson at the Supreme Court. (PTI)




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