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BEIJING: China extended its congratulations to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez yesterday over his re-election victory and vowed to bring relations between the close economic partners to a “new high”.
“President Chavez was re-elected and China congratulates (him) on that, and wishes Venezuela new achievements in the development of the country under the leadership of President Chavez,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular press briefing in Beijing.
“In recent years China and Venezuela have maintained good bilateral relations. We are ready to continue to work with the Venezuelan side to elevate bilateral relations to a new high.”
Chavez hailed his “perfect” victory in the presidential election Sunday, and vowed to be a better president after defeating opposition rival Henrique Capriles.
Trade relations between the two countries have exploded in recent years, fuelled in part by energy-hungry China’s growing interest in the South American country’s sizeable oil reserves.
Sri Lankan judges on strike over stabbing
COLOMBO: Sri Lankan judges went on a strike yesterday in a protest over the stabbing of a senior colleague that has heightened tensions between the government and the judiciary.
The Judges Association said all courts were closed one day after four armed men assaulted Manjula Tilakaratne, a High Court judge and head of the independent Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
“We refrained from work as part of our protest against the attack,” Pradeep Jayatillake, secretary of Judges Association, said.
Tilakaratne was recovering in hospital after being stabbed at least three times in a suburb.
The attack came as the government was locked in a “cold war” with judges over an announcement that it was being subjected to “threats and intimidation”.