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Sri Lanka's new president gets down to mending ties COLOMBO: New Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena began assembling a cabinet Saturday on his first day in office as he looks to deliver on pledges to improve the war-torn nation's diplomatic standing and implement democratic reforms.Sirisena, who was sworn in Friday evening after a shock election victory over veteran strongman Mahinda Rajapakse, was trying to form a "national unity" cabinet that would include members from a cross section of political parties in parliament, an aide said."The main task is to choose a cabinet and the work is already underway," Nishantha Warnasinghe told AFP.Sirisena had offered a 100-day programme to carry out urgent political and economic reforms, including moves to cut back on the powers of the president which Rajapakse had handed to himself during a decade in office.Shortly after being sworn in, Sirisena appointed as new prime minister the parliamentary opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is expected to wield considerable ...

Sri Lanka's strongman president voted out after decade in power COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa lost his bid for a third term on Friday, ending a decade of rule that critics say had become increasingly authoritarian and marred by nepotism and corruption.Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, a one-time ally of Rajapaksa who defected in November and derailed what the president thought would be an easy win, took 51.3 percent of the votes polled in Thursday's election.Rajapaksa got 47.6 percent, according to the Election Department.Celebratory firecrackers ...
Sri Lanka's Rajapakse concedes election defeat COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's Mahinda Rajapakse has conceded defeat in presidential elections, officials said Friday, after a bitter campaign that saw Asia's longest-serving leader brought down by allegations of corruption and a failure to bring about post-war reconciliation.After the island's tightest presidential vote in decades, a top aide to Rajapakse said the one-time strongman accepted the decision of voters who turned out in force on Thursday."The president concedes defeat and will ensure a smooth transition of ...
Sri Lanka edgy as voting ends in tight presidential election COLOMBO: A night of suspense lay ahead for Sri Lanka as voting ended in a closely fought presidential election that could hand Mahinda Rajapaksa an unprecedented third term or bring to power a rival who has vowed to root out corruption and political decay. Supporters of Mithripala Sirisena, a former government minister who deserted the president and crossed sides to become the opposition's candidate in November, said figures showing a high voter turnout suggested a ...
Indian official sacked for pulling 24-year sickie NEW DELHI: An Indian public official has been sacked for taking leave 24 years ago and never returning to his desk in the country's notoriously work-shy bureaucracy, the urban development ministry said Thursday.Assistant executive engineer A.K Verma went on leave in 1990 after joining India's central public works department (CPWD) a decade earlier.Verma defied bosses' orders to return to work after his requests for additional leave were denied, but it took until 2007 for formal ...
Rajapakse: Sri Lanka's strongman battling for survival COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse appeared unstoppable after overseeing a crushing defeat of Tamil guerrillas, but charges of corruption, nepotism and war crimes have dogged his second term in office.Rajapakse, who is seeking an unprecedented third term at the helm, ruthlessly pursued the Tamil Tigers after taking power in 2005, earning a reputation as a strongman leader.Since the end of a decades-long civil war in 2009 he has overseen a period of growing prosperity ...
Sri Lanka presidential challenger says victory in sight POLONNARUWA: The main challenger for the Sri Lankan presidency said victory was in sight and promised a new political culture as he cast his vote on Thursday.Maithripala Sirisena is seeking to oust the island's strongman President Mahinda Rajapakse, who won huge popular acclaim for ending a long separatist insurgency but whose popularity has waned in recent years."My victory is in sight. There is support for us everywhere," Sirisena told reporters in the eastern town of ...


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 25, 2015
Reserves $15.019 bln