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China urges peaceful development of seas, says conflict leads to ‘disaster’ SHANGHAI: China, involved in a growing dispute with its neighbours over the energy-rich South China Sea, wants to promote peaceful development of the oceans, Premier Li Keqiang said, warning conflicts in the past had only brought "disaster for humanity".China claims almost the entire ocean, rejecting rival claims to parts of it from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei in one of Asia's most intractable disputes and a possible flashpoint. It also has a long-running dispute with Japan in the East China Sea."China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development and firmly oppose any act of hegemony in maritime affairs," Li said at a maritime summit in Greece on Friday in comments carried by China's Foreign Ministry website on Saturday."Developing the oceans through cooperation has helped many nations flourish, while resorting to conflict to fight over the sea has only brought disaster for humanity."Concern over China's motives has risen ...

Suicide bomber targets Afghan peace council advisor KABUL: A suicide bomber in western Kabul targeted top High Peace Council advisor Mohammad Massom Stanikzai on Saturday, police said, killing one civilian and injuring several others.Stanikzai escaped unharmed, but a black armored car was damaged in the bombing, according to a Reuters witness. The incident was under investigation according to police.Severals protests in Kabul are planned to take place later on Saturday in support of presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah's decision to drop out of ...
Sri Lanka police probe fire at Muslim-owned store COLOMBO: Sri Lankan police were investigating a fire which Saturday destroyed a Muslim-owned clothing store in a district where religious tensions were heightened after anti-Muslim riots killed four people and wounded 80.The authorities had not ruled out arson at the upmarket No-Limit store in Panadura, 25 kilometres (16 miles) south of Colombo, police spokesman Ajith Rohana said."We are looking at the possibility of arson as well as an accidental fire," Rohana told AFP. "The fire ...
India's water reservoirs at 24pc capacity in past week NEW DELHI: Water levels in India's main reservoirs were at 24 percent of their total storage capacity in the week ended June 19, at the same level as last year, government data showed on Friday. The latest levels are higher than a 10-year average of 17 percent for the week, as the South Asian nation received good pre-monsoon showers despite a late onset of the four-month long monsoon season.Water levels at reservoirs are important for ...
Afghanistan's population hits 28.1mn ISLAMABAD: The Central Statistic Organization of Afghanistan has put the country's population at 28.1 million."The Central Statistic Organization (CSO) on Monday put Afghanistan's population at 28.1 million," the English Daily Outlook reported in its Wednesday edition.Based on the report, the paper added that Afghanistan's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was registered at 6.4 percent and inflation rate at 5.6 percent in the year 2013."The population census has not taken place in Afghanistan since 1979, but ...
Karzai says Afghanistan will not be a repeat of Iraq KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has dismissed suggestions that his country could descend into the same chaos as Iraq when US-led troops pull out and leave the national police and army to impose security.Both countries have been at the centre of US wars, and are plagued by insurgencies fighting against local security forces trained by the American military.The seizure of several major cities by rebels has taken the Iraqi government by surprise and alarmed the ...
Sri Lanka keeps rates on hold, credit growth seen picking up COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's central bank kept policy rates steady at multi-year lows on Wednesday for a fifth straight month as it expects lending to pick up in the second half of the year. The central bank also said it expects to achieve its target economic growth rate of 7.8 percent this year even amid sluggish imports and a contraction in private sector loans. The repurchase rate and reverse repurchase rate were left at 6.50 percent ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
Trade Balance $-1.558 bln
Exports $2.117 bln
Imports $3.675 bln
WeeklyJuly 10, 2014
Reserves $14.638 bln