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Sri Lanka gets US military funding as China vies for influence

Colombo - The United States announced Monday it would grant Sri Lanka $39 million to boost maritime security as China develops its strategic hold on the Indian Ocean island.

Heroin killed British rugby players in Sri Lanka: court

Colombo - Two English amateur rugby players had taken heroin just before their deaths while in Sri Lanka, a court was told Friday as it ordered the arrest of those responsible for selling the narcotics.

EU warns Sri Lanka over death penalty

Colombo - EU ambassadors warned Sri Lanka on Monday against ending its 42-year moratorium on capital punishment and said the island risked losing trade concessions if it went ahead.

Sri Lanka seeks hangman after death penalty revived

Colombo - Sri Lanka is looking for an executioner to fill the vacant position of state hangman, prison officials said Friday, after President Maithripala Sirisena ended the island's moratorium on capital punishment.

Exiled ex-leader pulls out of Maldives election

Colombo - The exiled former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, withdrew on Friday his candidacy for September's contentious elections against incumbent Abdulla Yameen who has jailed all his main rivals.

Sri Lanka police seek villagers who beat leopard to death

Colombo - Sri Lankan authorities were seeking Friday nearly a dozen men who beat a leopard to death after it strayed into a village and attacked people, a minister said.

Firebrand Sri Lanka monk jailed for intimidation

Colombo - A firebrand Buddhist monk was sentenced to six months in jail by a Sri Lankan court Thursday for intimidating a woman whose cartoonist husband has been missing since his abduction by the military.

No more flights from Sri Lanka's second airport

Colombo - Sri Lanka's jinxed second international airport was left without a single scheduled flight from Friday after the only airline using the remote facility scrapped its daily service.

Maldives sets presidential vote with opposition in jail or exile

Colombo - The Maldives has set the date for its next presidential election with incumbent Abdulla Yameen in a commanding position -- and his two main rivals either in jail or exiled abroad.

Facebook staff to learn Sinhala insults after Sri Lanka riots

Colombo - Three months after Sri Lanka was rocked by deadly anti-Muslim riots fuelled by online vitriol, Facebook is training its staff to identify inflammatory content in the country's local languages.

Controversial Sri Lanka monk found guilty of intimidation

Colombo - A Sri Lanka court on Thursday found a radical Buddhist monk guilty of criminal intimidation, the first time the notorious extremist has faced the prospect of jail.

Sri Lanka warns of Tamil separatist resurgence

Colombo - Sri Lanka's president Saturday warned that Tamil extremists were regrouping abroad to revive their demand to divide the island nation nine years after the end of its decades-long ethnic war.

Sri Lanka elephants face plastic danger foraging dumps for food

Colombo - At a garbage dump in central Sri Lanka a herd of wild elephants forage among a mountain of rubbish, swallowing dangerous scraps of plastic mixed with rotting food in what experts warn is an increasing problem for the revered animals.

Sri Lanka president to seek fresh term without 'murderers'

Colombo - Sri Lanka's president announced Monday he will not retire at the end of his term despite a previous pledge, and said he will seek to form a new government excluding politicians who have committed murder.

Sri Lanka reinstates sacked minister amid govt tensions

Colombo - Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday reinstated his justice minister, who was sacked nine months ago for publicly criticising a billion-dollar deal to lease a loss-making harbour to China.

Sri Lanka beefs up tourist hotspot security after violence

Colombo - Sri Lanka announced Friday it would establish new police posts and step up patrols at popular resorts after a spate of sexual attacks and violence targeting foreign tourists.

Sri Lanka president suspends parliament

Colombo - Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday suspended parliament until next month in a shock move amid a deepening power struggle between him and his unity government's prime minister.

Sri Lanka's PM faces no-confidence motion amid power struggle

Colombo - Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe faced a no-confidence motion on Wednesday that has widened a rift in the ruling coalition and worsened political turmoil in the island nation.

Sri Lanka prison chief arrested over 2012 massacre

Colombo - Sri Lankan police Thursday arrested a top prison official over a massacre of 27 inmates that became an icon of grave rights abuses under former president Mahinda Rajapakse.

Mass arrests in Maldives as activists defy emergency

Colombo - Maldivian authorities arrested more than 140 activists who defied a ban on rallies and demonstrated against a state of emergency imposed by President Abdulla Yameen, the opposition said Saturday.
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