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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2646

An unwise move

By S.H.Moulana

President Sirisena opened a 242-bed epilepsy hospital, which was fully funded by the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) in Colombo.

The $ 26.7 million 10 story hospital consists a surgical theater, an intensive care unit plus all the modern equipment a luxury hospital needs.

Sri Lanka’s ambassador in Saudi Arabia has told ‘Arab News,’ that SFD support helped to fulfill a long standing need of the country.

He also mentioned SFD has successfully completed many important projects in Sri Lanka including the Kinniya bridge, in its more than three decades assistance to Sri Lanka.

Having taken part in the opening of the hospital with the Saudi representatives who arrived for the occasion, our president has embarked on an extremely sensitive trip to Qatar soon after.

It is learnt that the president has left for Doha for a two day official visit accompanied by a twenty-member strong delegation.

The whole world knows the current relation between Riyadh and Doha and the president shouldn’t have undertaken this trip at least soon after opening the Saudi-funded hospital.

In my 42 years in Saudi Arabia, I am yet to see a Sri Lankan president in power visiting Saudi Arabia.

In the meantime there isn’t a single western leader who fails to visit Riyadh soon after he or she comes to power.
US president Donald Trump chose Saudi Arabia as his first country to visit after he became the president.

Obama has visited Saudi Arabia more than once and same with George Bush and that goes to Angela Merkel of Germany and the British prime minister May too.

Hardly a day passes without a president or a prime minister of a country arriving in the capital Riyadh.

I strongly believe that whoever advised the president to take up the trip to Doha soon after opening of the hospital is totally unaware of the issue between the two gulf countries.

Those in that advisory position should be better informed of the world affairs.

The highly intellectual American, Bo Bennet said “Diplomacy is more than saying or doing the right things at the right time, it is avoiding saying or doing the wrong things at any time.”

- Asian Tribune -

Saudi Arabia funded epilepsy hospital
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