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Srilanka News

Sri Lanka president tells diplomats: pick up phone or pack up

Colombo - Sri Lanka's president on Monday justified his decision to sack six diplomats -- including an ambassador -- for not answering his phone calls, saying more would follow if the foreign service did not shape up.

Maldives denying access to foreign media: opposition

Colombo - The Maldives opposition has accused President Abdulla Yameen of covering up his attempt to "steal" this month's elections by denying access to foreign media.

Sri Lanka to ban animal sacrifices at Hindu temples

Colombo - Animal sacrifices at Hindu temples could be banned in Sri Lanka under new plans announced Wednesday, after growing protests over the rituals from the country's Buddhist majority as well as moderate Hindus.

Sri Lanka watchdog seeks tough action over war missing

Colombo - Sri Lanka's president should suspend military and police officers implicated in the disappearance of thousands of civilians during the island's decades-long civil war, a state watchdog said Thursday.

Indonesians flee to higher ground in regional tsunami drill

Meulaboh - Indonesian high school students fled to higher ground as tsunami warning sirens blared Wednesday, launching an evacuation exercise across a region devastated by a 2004 disaster which killed over 200,000 people.The drill simulated a magnitude 9.

Over 1,200 people killed in South Asia monsoon

New Delhi - More than 1,200 people have been killed across South Asia in monsoon storms so far this year, according to figures collected by AFP as India counts the rising toll from floods that have devastated southern Kerala state.

Sri Lanka court begins probing Rajapakse-era graft

Colombo - Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse's chief of staff was indicted Friday for embezzling millions of dollars from a state insurance firm.

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.

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.

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.

Rise of violent Buddhist rhetoric in Asia defies stereotypes

Fpo - Buddhism may be touted in the West as an inherently peaceful philosophy, but a surge in violent rhetoric from small but increasingly influential groups of hardline monks in parts of Asia is upending the religion's tolerant image.

UN condemns anti-Muslim attacks in Sri Lanka

New York - The UN's political chief on Sunday condemned anti-Muslim violence that has targeted mosques and businesses in Sri Lanka as he wrapped up a three-day visit to the Indian Ocean island-nation.

Riots a heavy blow to tourism, economy: Sri Lanka PM

Colombo - Sri Lanka's prime minister said Thursday that a spate of anti-Muslim riots had damaged the island's reputation as a tourism hotspot as it prepares to host an international cricket tournament.

Mosque, shops attacked in anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka

Colombo - Sri Lankan police said petrol bombs were hurled at a mosque on Thursday as hundreds of troops patrolled a troubled central district where anti-Muslim violence has left three people dead.

Fresh arson attacks in Sri Lanka despite emergency laws

Colombo - Mobs torched Muslim-owned businesses in a central Sri Lanka district on Wednesday as hundreds of police and troops struggled to restore order after days of rioting.

Mobs clash with police after Sri Lanka emergency

Colombo - Police fired teargas to disperse rioters in curfew-bound central Sri Lanka hours after a state of emergency was imposed in a bid to quell anti-Muslim violence, an official said Wednesday.
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