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Srilanka News

Emergency flights for tens of thousands stranded by virus in S.Asia

Kathmandu - Foreign governments on Friday stepped up operations to evacuate tens of thousands of tourists stranded by the coronavirus pandemic in remote locations across South Asia, from Everest base camp to beach hotels in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka seizes record drugs haul at sea

Colombo - Two foreign trawlers packed with over $33 million worth of heroin and crystal methamphetamine were seized in Sri Lanka's biggest-ever drugs bust at sea, a navy spokesman said Thursday.

Sri Lanka calls on US to reconsider barring army chief

Colombo - Sri Lanka on Sunday said the US should reconsider its decision to refuse entry to the island's army chief over his alleged war crimes and warned that relations were being "unnecessarily complicated".

Sri Lanka arrests ex-envoy to Russia over MiG deal

Colombo - Sri Lanka arrested a former ambassador to Russia after he was extradited from Dubai Friday to face money laundering charges over a controversial MiG aircraft purchase, police said.

Tamil-language anthem dropped from Sri Lanka independence party

Colombo - A Tamil-language version of Sri Lanka's national anthem was dropped from independence day celebrations Tuesday, with critics saying the move was a setback to reconciliation after years of ethnic civil war.

Sri Lanka new govt to investigate war missing

Colombo - Sri Lanka's presidency said Friday that death certificates for thousands of people missing presumed dead from the country's civil war will only be given out after proper investigations.

Double trouble: Too many show for Sri Lanka twins record bid

Colombo - A Sri Lankan attempt to set a world record for the largest gathering of twins may have failed Monday after an unexpectedly large turnout overwhelmed organisers who vowed to try again.

Sri Lanka president acknowledges thousands of war missing are dead

Colombo - Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has acknowledged for the first time that more than 23,500 people missing for a decade since the end of the country's protracted Tamil war are dead.

Sri Lanka orders bus operators to turn down the music

Colombo - Sri Lanka's government on Thursday gave bus operators two weeks to turn down the notoriously loud music in their vehicles following complaints from passengers.

Sri Lanka president says he is 'victim' of Swiss kidnap claim

Colombo - Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said Thursday the alleged kidnapping of a Swiss embassy staffer which triggered a diplomatic spat between Colombo and Bern had been concocted to discredit his election victory.

India offers funds to Sri Lanka in bid to outdo China

New Delhi - India, anxious to counter China's influence in the region, on Friday offered hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Sri Lanka as the island's new president made his maiden overseas trip in New Delhi.

Rajapaksa brothers cement power in Sri Lanka

Colombo - Newly elected Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday named his brother Mahinda as Prime Minister, cementing the grip on power of a clan credited with brutally crushing the Tamil Tigers a decade ago.

Sri Lankan government to dissolve after vote debacle

Colombo - Sri Lanka's prime minister will announce his resignation to the nation later Wednesday, bringing his government to an end following his party's presidential election debacle, officials told AFP.

Symbolic swearing-in for Sri Lanka's new president

Anuradhapura - Sri Lanka's new president and scourge of the Tamil Tigers Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday urged minorities unnerved by his election victory to work with him, as he was sworn in at a ceremony steeped in symbolism for his core supporters.

Symbolic swearing-in for Sri Lanka's new strongman

Anuradhapura - Sri Lanka's new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa was sworn in Monday at a Buddhist temple revered by his core Sinhalese nationalist supporters, following an election victory that triggered fear and concern among the island's Tamil and Muslim minority commu...

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka's new 'Terminator' president

Colombo - Gotabaya Rajapaksa, 70, set to be Sri Lanka's new president, was the de facto military chief who crushed Tamil guerrillas a decade ago, making him a revered figure among the Sinhalese majority and the powerful Buddhist clergy.

'Terminator' Rajapaksa storms to victory in Sri Lanka

Colombo - Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who spearheaded the brutal crushing of Tamil Tigers a decade ago, stormed to power Sunday but promised to be a president for all Sri Lanka's races and religions after a divisive election.

Rajapaksa takes early lead in Sri Lanka election

Colombo - Sri Lanka's former wartime defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa took an early lead Sunday in a fiercely fought presidential election conducted under high security seven months after deadly Islamist attacks.

Gunmen fire on buses carrying Muslim Sri Lankan voters

Colombo - Gunmen fired at buses carrying minority Muslim voters on Saturday as Sri Lankans elected a new president, with the powerful Rajapaksa clan eyeing a comeback seven months after Islamist extremists staged deadly bombings.

'Pad Man' faces 'Terminator' in Sri Lanka vote fight

Colombo - Sri Lanka's presidential election is a showdown between a man offering free sanitary pads and a former soldier dubbed the "Terminator" by his own family.

Rajapaksas eye comeback in Sri Lanka presidential election

Colombo - Sri Lankans choose a new president on Saturday in what could mark a comeback for the Rajapaksa clan, lauded by supporters for crushing the Tamil Tigers but condemned by critics for war crimes, corruption and cosying up to China.

Sri Lankan presidential hopeful sparks bad memories for journalists

Colombo - No memorial marks where Sri Lankan newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was murdered in 2009, one of dozens of victims of "death squads" allegedly linked to a frontrunner in Saturday's presidential election.

After Swede killer's pardon, Sri Lanka frees 267 more prisoners

Colombo - More than 250 Sri Lankan convicts aged over 65 have been given amnesty just days after the president sparked outrage by pardoning the well-connected killer of a Swedish teen, officials said Thursday.

Sri Lanka author attacked ahead of key polls

Colombo - Armed men stabbed and injured a writer in Sri Lanka on Thursday, a week after he published a book criticising the main opposition candidate at Saturday's presidential polls, police said.

Sri Lanka weighs return to murky past in presidential poll

Colombo - Sri Lanka holds presidential elections on Saturday with a possible comeback by the powerful Rajapaksa clan sparking fears of a return to murky disappearances, murders and Chinese submarines docking in Colombo.

'Pad Man' faces 'Terminator' in Sri Lanka vote fight

Colombo - Sri Lanka's presidential election on Saturday is turning out to be a showdown between a man offering free sanitary pads and a former soldier dubbed the "Terminator" by his own family.

Sri Lanka steps up security for final vote rallies

Colombo - Police stepped up security across Sri Lanka on Wednesday over fears of violence on the final day of campaigning for the fiercely contested presidential election, officials said.

Sri Lanka prisoners demand freedom after Swede's killer pardoned

Colombo - Hundreds of inmates at Sri Lanka's biggest high-security prison staged a second day of protests Tuesday, demanding their freedom after the president pardoned a well-connected man convicted of brutally murdering a Swedish teenager.

Sri Lanka minister slams Facebook over 'censorship'

Colombo - A senior Sri Lankan minister accused social media giant Facebook on Monday of censoring comments he made questioning the citizenship of presidential election frontrunner Gotabhaya Rajapakse.

Outrage as Sri Lanka president pardons killer of Swedish teen

Colombo - Sri Lanka's president has pardoned a death-row prisoner who murdered a Swedish teenager just a week before he leaves office, officials said Sunday, in a move that sparked national outrage.
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