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February 2, 2021: Briefings from South Asia

1) Officials from Peace Affairs Office Targeted by Car Bombs in Kabul

· A car bomb detonated near the office of Saadat Mansoor Naderi, Afghanistan's Minister of State for Peace Affairs.

· The blast targeted an armored vehicle that belonged to Khushnood Nabizadeh, head of Naderi's office in Kabul.

· No casualties were reported, and no organization has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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2) Former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe Discusses Detail of Eastern Terminal Arrangement

· The previous government of Sri Lanka had talks with India and Japan concerning the development of a company to manage the Eastern Container Terminal (part of Colombo Port). PM Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that the Sri Lanka Ports Authority would own a 51 percent stake.

· According to PM Wickremesinghe, India wanted the Eastern Terminal of the Colombo Port; Sri Lanka rejected this but suggested setting up a company to administer the Eastern Port.

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3) Collaboration on Indo-Lanka Housing Projects

· A Project Steering Committee, chaired by India and Sri Lanka, plans to construct 2400 houses across 25 districts of Northern and Southern Provinces.

· Both Governments renewed the MOU for High Impact Community Development Projects for the period 2020 to 2025 in November 2020.

· India’s overall commitment to development assistance on the island nation stands at $3.5 billion. Out of this, close to $560 million is offered as grants in assistance projects covering education, research, vocational training, sports, and culture, etc.

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