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Sri Lanka ex-leader's brother 'led death squad': court

Colombo - Former Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapakse's brother Gotabhaya directed a top-secret death squad which targeted journalists and dissidents, a court was told Monday.

Maldives deny atoll sale to Saudis after protests

Colombo - The Maldives government on Wednesday denied it was selling a cluster of small islands to Saudi Arabia, following opposition protests against such a deal, but said it was seeking foreign investment to develop the area.

Sri Lanka rejects UN call for foreign judges in war probe

Colombo - Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has rejected a fresh appeal from the United Nations to allow international judges to investigate alleged war-era atrocities, vowing to not prosecute soldiers.

Sri Lanka prison bus shooting kills seven: police

Colombo - Attackers opened fire on a prison bus outside Colombo on Monday, killing five prisoners and two armed guards in the worst gang-related violence to hit Sri Lanka in decades.

Sri Lanka's record Christmas tree pruned due to work delays

Colombo - Sri Lanka surpassed the world record for the tallest artificial Christmas tree Saturday despite building delays forcing organisers to prune the structure by almost half, an official said.

Sri Lanka scraps tallest Christmas tree after church snub

Colombo - Sri Lankan cricket legend Arjuna Ranatunga Wednesday abandoned a bid to build a record-breaking 100-metre tall Christmas tree after the head of the Catholic church on the island called it a waste of money.

Sri Lanka police clash with protesters outside parliament

Colombo - Police fired teargas and water cannon to disperse thousands of opposition-backed protesters outside parliament Saturday as lawmakers debated the annual budget.

Sri Lanka's ex-leader to lead breakaway from coalition

Colombo - Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse is planning to break away from the ruling coalition, his brother announced Thursday, a move that could threaten constitutional reforms seen as crucial to postwar reconciliation.

Sri Lankan police stage snap evacuation as croc invades station

Colombo - A crocodile which broke into a Sri Lankan police station and stayed the night forced constables to abandon their posts until it was captured by wildlife authorities, officers said Tuesday.

Sri Lankan police exhume body of prominent slain editor

Colombo - Sri Lankan police on Tuesday exhumed the body of a prominent anti-establishment newspaper editor as part of an investigation into his murder, widely blamed on the regime of former strongman president Mahinda Rajapakse.

One dead after Sri Lanka temple elephants spark stampede

Colombo - Brawling elephants triggered a stampede at a temple in southern Sri Lanka which left one woman dead and a dozen wounded, police said Saturday.

Maldives' police raid media offices after graft claims

Colombo - Police in the Maldives raided the offices of a local media organisation just hours after a documentary aired accusing President Abdulla Yameen and his government of corruption, journalists said Thursday.

WHO declares Sri Lanka free of malaria

Colombo - The World Health Organization has certified Sri Lanka free of malaria, the second country in the region to earn the distinction after the Maldives, the health ministry said Tuesday.

Sri Lanka seeks more time for ethnic reconciliation

Colombo - President Maithripala Sirisena Sunday pleaded for more time to bring about reconciliation and ensure accountability seven years after Sri Lanka's ethnic war that claimed over 100,000 lives.

UN chief calls on Sri Lanka to loosen army's grip

Jaffna - UN chief Ban Ki-moon Friday toured Sri Lanka's former killing fields and met with war-battered minority Tamils after urging Colombo to reduce the army's presence to ease tensions following decades of ethnic bloodshed.

Maldives issues arrest warrant for ex-president Nasheed

Colombo - The Maldives said Wednesday an arrest warrant has been issued for ex-president Mohamed Nasheed for failing to return to the troubled archipelago to complete a jail sentence after receiving medical care in Britain.

Sri Lanka airline suspends drunk pilot in Frankfurt

Colombo - Sri Lanka's national carrier has suspended a captain who failed a breathalyser test just before he was due to fly 274 passengers and crew from Frankfurt to Colombo, the airline said Sunday.

Sri Lanka's latest status symbol, a baby elephant

Colombo - Expensive and high-maintenance, baby elephants have become the ultimate status symbol for Sri Lanka's wealthy elite -- a trend that has horrified conservationists and prompted a government crackdown.

Hundreds left homeless after Sri Lanka depot blast

Colombo - Hundreds of Sri Lankans have been left homeless after explosions at an ammunition depot on the edge of Colombo flattened houses and killed a soldier, an official said Tuesday.

Thousands flee Sri Lanka ammunition depot explosions

Colombo - A series of explosions rocked a military ammunition depot on the edge of Sri Lanka's capital into Monday, sparking huge fires and forcing thousands to flee as debris fell into populated neighbourhoods.
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