04292016Fri
Last update: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 06pm

South Asia

World - South Asia

Sri Lanka deploys troops after worst blackout in 20 years COLOMBO: Sri Lanka deployed troops on Monday to guard electrical installations as authorities investigated whether sabotage was behind the island's worst blackout in 20 years.President Maithripala Sirisena ordered stepped-up security a day after outages plunged the entire country into darkness for at least seven hours."The president has instructed that security forces be deployed to guard electricity installations," power and energy ministry spokesman Pathum Pasqual told AFP."In the meantime, we are restoring supplies after yesterday's breakdown."Authorities are probing the cause of an explosion and fire at a main distribution centre outside the capital Colombo that caused the entire electricity grid to switch off automatically on Sunday afternoon. Power and Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said they had not ruled out sabotage."We were investigating technical reasons for the previous breakdown, but now we have another blackout," the minister told reporters."This means we have to look at other possibilities too."The state-run Ceylon Electricity Board ...

World - South Asia

Sri Lanka suffers worst blackout in 20 years COLOMBO: Sri Lanka suffered its worst nationwide power cut in 20 years Sunday causing water shortages and transport and trade disruptions across the country, officials said.The national grid switched off early afternoon and attempts to reconnect failed as the system was unable to cope with night time demand, a spokesman for the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) utility said.However, after about seven hours several areas of the capital received electricity while the authorities announced a ...

World - South Asia

Trafficked Nepali, Bangladeshi women trapped in Syria MURALI BHANJYANG: Nepali villager Sunita Magar thought she was heading to a safe factory job in Kuwait, but only when she landed in Damascus did she realise "something had gone very wrong".Frequently beaten with a baton and given only one meal a day, Magar says she spent 13 months working as a maid for a Syrian household and pleading to be allowed to go home. "I was just in shock, I couldn't stop crying," the ...

World - South Asia

India nuclear reactor shut down after water leak AHMEDABAD: A reactor at a nuclear plant in western India was shut down Friday after a water leak was discovered, officials said, stressing that workers had not been exposed to radiation.No radioactive material had leaked from the Kakrapar Atomic Power Station in the coastal state of Gujarat, the director of the site said."Consequent to a small leak in the primary heat transport system, the reactor was shut down as intended as per design provisions," L. ...

World - South Asia

Beijing defends itself on rights 'with Chinese characteristics' BEIJING: Beijing defended itself Friday against criticism at the United Nations of its human rights record, saying it was pursuing "a path with Chinese characteristics" on the issue.The United States and 11 other countries took China to task at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, demanding it immediately release all detained activists and lawyers."We are concerned about China's deteriorating human rights record, notably the arrests and ongoing detention of rights activists, civil society leaders ...

World - South Asia

Iran MP sued over 'no donkeys, no women in parliament' rant TEHRAN: Iranian women deputies are suing a conservative male colleague, Nader Ghazipour, after he declared in a video that parliament was no place for "donkeys and women".Ghazipour's comments during an election campaign meeting last month have gone viral on social media."Parliament is not a place for foxes, donkeys and women," he proclaims before a cheering crowd in the video ahead of the February 26 polls.If you elect women, "they (men colleagues) might do things to ...

World - South Asia

India passes bill to regulate real estate sector NEW DELHI: India's upper house of parliament passed a bill on Thursday to regulate the real estate sector, protect home buyers and ensure the timely execution of projects with an aim to boost investor confidence and stamp out illegal practices.The new rules, applicable to residential and commercial developments, will make it mandatory for all projects and brokers to be registered with the real estate regulator who will oversee transactions and settle disputes.The bill will apply ...