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Sri Lanka urges UN to delay war crimes probe WASHINGTON: Sri Lanka Wednesday urged the UN to delay a report into alleged war crimes during the island's civil war to allow the new government to complete its own probe.Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera made the appeal in Washington on the eve of talks with top US diplomat John Kerry at the State Department.It is his first visit to the United States since the surprise victory in January's presidential election of Maithripala Sirisena, whose new government has been welcomed as the possible start of a new era for the Indian Ocean island.Sirisena defeated long-time strongman Mahinda Rajapakse, who fell out with the West over allegations of wartime rights abuses by the military, but had enjoyed huge support among majority Sinhalese voters after overseeing the end of a separatist war by ethnic Tamil rebels in 2009.But critics said he failed to bring about reconciliation in the years that followed his ...

No end to Bangladesh crisis without polls DHAKA: Opposition leader Khaleda Zia insisted Wednesday that there could be no resolution of Bangladesh's growing political crisis unless Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina agreed to stand down and allow new elections."Every conscious and conscientious person in Bangladesh knows that the only way to resolve the current political crisis is to hold an inclusive, competitive and meaningful election," Zia said by phone in an exclusive interview with AFP."The more quickly it can be arranged, the better ...
Sri Lanka backtracks on Chinese port after opposition protest COLOMBO: Sri Lanka reversed approval for a controversial $1.4 billion Chinese port-related project after the main Marxist party raised objections Friday, a day after giving it the all clear.Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government would thoroughly review the project involving the reclamation of 233 hectares (583 acres) of land next to a Chinese-owned mega port in Colombo.He told parliament Friday that two committees of experts would carry out a probe. The project had been ...
Indian govt mulls scrapping dividend tax: Bloomberg NEW DELHI: The Indian government is considering scrapping a dividend distribution tax in its annual budget this month, as part of efforts to boost investor sentiment, Bloomberg Television reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources.A senior finance ministry official described the news report as "speculative", declining further comment.Indian companies are liable for an additional tax on any amount distributed or paid out to shareholders. Before the introduction of the tax, shareholders were liable for taxes on ...
New Sri Lanka president to visit India: Modi NEW DELHI: Sri Lanka's new President Maithripala Sirisena is to visit New Delhi later this month on what is expected to be his first foreign trip since winning power, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Wednesday."I look forward to welcoming President Sirisena later this month," Modi said on his Twitter account in a goodwill message to Sri Lanka as the former British colony celebrated Independence Day."The bonds of history, culture & shared values that we ...
Iran launches first satellite since 2012 TEHRAN: Iran launched an observation satellite Monday -- its first since 2012 -- with President Hassan Rouhani declaring it safely entered orbit and that he had personally ordered the mission.The Fajr (Dawn) satellite was successfully placed 450 kilometres (280 miles) above Earth, said Al-Alam television, an Arabic-language station owned by the Islamic republic.It is the fourth such satellite launch by Iran, after three others between 2009 and 2012.The satellite was locally made, said the official ...
Indian prisoners escape by scaling walls with bedsheets NEW DELHI: Scores of inmates staged a mass breakout from an Indian young offenders detention centre Monday by tying bedsheets together and then scaling down the walls of the three-storey building, police said.A total of 91 out of 135 inmates, including several convicted murderers, managed to flee the facility in Meerut overnight, although 45 have since been recaptured, the city's superintendent of police Om Prakash said. "They removed an iron grill from a window at ...


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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 $-1.703 bln
Exports $2.156 bln
Imports $3.859 bln
WeeklyFebruary 26, 2015
Reserves $16.137 bln