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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Supreme Court restores parliament in boost to ousted PM

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Tuesday overruled President Maithripala Sirisena's dissolution of parliament in a major boost to sacked prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's fight to reclaim the post from an arch-rival. The heavily guarded court also halted preparations for a snap election in the latest twist in a power struggle that began when Sirisena dismissed Wickremesinghe on October 26 and replaced him with former strongman president Mahinda Rajapakse. The 225-member parliament could meet as early as Wednesday…

Sri Lanka parties challenge President in court

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's main parties on Monday challenged the president's sacking of parliament in the highest court, a move which has escalated a political crisis. President Maithripala Sirisena late Friday called snap elections for January 5 and dismissed parliament, two weeks after sacking the prime minister and installing Mahinda Rajapakse in his place. Three parties, which together enjoy an absolute majority in the assembly, on Monday asked the Supreme Court to declare the president's actions as illegal. Sacked…

Arjuna Ranatunga arrested over fatal shooting in Sri Lanka crisis

COLOMBO: Police arrested Sri Lanka's petroleum minister Arjuna Ranatunga Monday, a day after a man was killed when bodyguards opened fire to rescue him from a group loyal to the country's president, officials said. Arjuna Ranatunga, captain of Sri Lanka's 1996 cricket World Cup winning side and an ally of ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, was taken in after trade unions accused him of ordering the shooting. Sunday's shooting was the first since President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe, plunging…

Sri Lanka crisis worsens as ex-minister Arjuna Ranatunga’s guard opens fire, wounding three

COLOMBO: The security guard of a minister in the sacked Sri Lankan government opened fire at an office on Sunday wounding three people, worsening a constitutional crisis in the island nation days after the president ousted the prime minister and appointed a new one. Police said the guard began shooting as Arjuna Ranatunga, petroleum minister in the cabinet of former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, tried to enter his office at the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corp. Wickremesinghe maintains he is still prime minister.…

Sri Lanka president suspends parliament after sacking PM as political rift deepens

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday suspended parliament till Nov. 16, a day after removing Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and replacing him with former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa in a surprise move that signals escalating political tensions in the South Asian nation. “The president has prorogued the parliament,” cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters. Minutes earlier Wickremesinghe, who says he remains prime minister, urged the speaker to convene parliament to prove he…

Pakistani woman caught at Sri Lankan airport hiding ‘heroin capsules’ in stomach

COLOMBO: A couple from Pakistan was arrested at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Sri Lanka after the law enforcers caught them smuggling 'heroin capsules' hiding in their stomach. The Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) of the country detected the smuggling attempt during the security screening at the airport. According to ColomboPage, the 67-year-old woman and 44-year-old man reportedly flown from Lahore to Dubai and then came to Colombo in an attempt to avoid the heavy security checks at the Colombo airport on…

Pakistan offers Sri Lanka support in technical education

COLOMBO: Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Dr. Shahid Ahmad Hashmat called on Sri lankan Minister for Science and Technology Dr. Sarath Amunugama in Colombo and discussed with him matters of mutual cooperation in diverse fields. During the meeting, the matters of mutual cooperation in varying levels and bilateral relations between the two countries were also discussed. The envoy apprised the minister about the forthcoming visit of Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South…

‘Even a dog wouldn’t eat it’: Sri Lankan president scolds airline for serving poor-quality nuts

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Airline stated that it has stopped serving cashew nuts on its flight after the country’s president expressed his dissatisfaction with their quality. President Maithripala Sirisena complained that during his recent trip with the airlines, the cashews he consumed were not fit for human consumption, as per a BBC report. “Returning from Kathmandu, I was served some cashews on board a SriLankan flight, but it was so bad even a dog wouldn’t eat it,” Sirisena told the news agency. He further stated during…

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. The cabinet approved a proposal put forward by the Hindu Religious Affairs minister to outlaw the ancient practice that is still observed at several temples across the country. "The legal draughtsman was asked to prepare a bill to ban animal and bird sacrifices at Hindu temples," the government said in a…

PMSS Kashmir embarks on goodwill visit to Sri Lanka

KARACHI: Pakistan Maritime Security Ship “Kashmir” is scheduled to arrive at Colombo Port on a four-day goodwill visit from August 13 to 16, 2018. Pakistan naval ships frequently pay port calls to Sri Lanka as both countries enjoy warm diplomatic and strong military ties. Such interactions also demonstrate both navies’ resolve to contribute towards achieving a more secure and conducive maritime environment which is essential for the regional peace, prosperity and harmony. The PMSS Kashmir, a 94-meter MPV, displaces…