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Modi attends Vesak Day celebrations

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, participated in the opening ceremony of the 14th International Vesak Day celebration in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Modi, who is the chief guest, arrived on Friday morning at the venue and was received by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe amid traditional fanfare.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena was also present.

The Vesak Day marks the birth, enlightenment and passing away of Lord Buddha.

The visit follows an invitation from Sirisena. It is Modi’s second trip to Sri Lanka as Prime Minister after March 2015.

This is the first time that Sri Lanka is hosting the International Vesak Day, recognised by the UN. The theme of the event is “Buddhist teachings for social justice and sustainable world peace”.

Later in the day, Modi will open an India-funded 150-bed multi-speciality hospital at Dickoya in the central hill district which is home to Tamil tea plantation workers of Indian origin.

Modi will also pray at the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic at Kandy. The golden-roofed Kandy temple houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic — a tooth of Lord Buddha.

In Pallekele, Modi will unveil a plaque commemorating the foundation laying of the Faculty of Kandyan Dance at the Sri Lankan International Buddhist Academy that will be constructed with India’s grant assistance.

Although no bilateral talks are scheduled, the visit is expected to give fresh boost to India-Sri Lanka ties.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe had visited India in April.

(IANS)

Health

Queen Elizabeth II tells UK ‘we will succeed’ in fight against COVID-19

The message was filmed by a single cameraman wearing protective equipment, with all the other technical staff in another room.

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Queen Elizabeth

London, April 6 : As the UK reels under the coronavirus scourge with the national toll nearing 5,000 and total cases almost at 50,000, Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday made a special address to the nation – the fifth of her nearly seven-decade-long reign — to rally the people.

The Queen said the UK “will succeed” in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, thanked people for following government rules to stay at home and praised those “coming together to help others”, the BBC reported.

She also thanked key workers, saying “every hour” of work “brings us closer to a return to more normal times”.

“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different,” the Queen said.

“This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us.

“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”

The Queen, 93, also said the “painful sense of separation from their loved ones” that social distancing was causing for people reminded her of the experience child evacuees had during the Second World War.

“Now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do,” she said.

The monarch said everyone who was following guidance to stay at home was “helping to protect the vulnerable and sparing many families the pain already felt by those who have lost loved ones”.

“Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it,” she added.

The message was filmed by a single cameraman wearing protective equipment, with all the other technical staff in another room.

While the Queen makes an annual address to the nation at Christmas, this is only the fifth time she will make a special address since the first just before the First Gulf War in 1991.

The other three have been following the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997, at the death of the Queen Mother in 2002, and the diamond jubilee of her accession to the throne in 2012.

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Disaster

COVID-19 cases in Turkey rise to 27,069

Turkey’s total number of recoveries from the coronavirus reached 1,042, while 1,381 patients are still in intensive care units.

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COVID-19 cases in Turkey

Ankara, April 6 : Turkey’s total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 climbed to 27,069, with 3,135 new patients reported in last 24 hours, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

The death toll from the novel coronavirus in Turkey reached 574 after 73 more lost their lives over the past 24 hours, Koca tweeted on Sunday, reported Xinhua news agency.

Turkey’s total number of recoveries from the coronavirus reached 1,042, while 1,381 patients are still in intensive care units.

On March 11, Turkey reported its first COVID-19 case.

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World

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Germany approach 90,000

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Berlin, April 5 More than 89,300 COVID-19 cases and at least 1,250 deaths have been registered as of Saturday afternoon across Germany, according to evaluations of a local media outlet which took into account the latest figures from all federal states.

The confirmed cases increased by 5,600 from the previous day, and the deaths by 147, Xinhua reported.

Helge Braun, head of the Federal Chancellery, told the Saturday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine that the peak of the COVID-19 crisis in Germany has not yet been reached, and “the time with the highest infection numbers is still ahead of us.”

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