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Sri Lankan president's bid to stay uncertain as election starts COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's bid for a third term hung in the balance as the country's election began on Thursday, with voters split between the "devil they know" and an upstart who has promised to root out corruption and political decay.Rajapaksa won around 58 percent of the vote in the last election, surfing a wave of popularity that sprang from the 2009 defeat of Tamil Tiger separatists who had waged a crippling war against the government for 26 years.Reminding voters of Rajapaksa's victory, state-controlled TV stations showed clips of Wednesday's attack in Paris by suspected Islamist militants at the offices of a satirical magazine and then switched to old footage of the Sri Lankan war."When we see these images we also remember the history of terrorism in Sri Lanka," the announcer said.Although his popularity has waned, Rajapaksa called the election two years early, confident that the perennially fractured ...

Sri Lanka votes in tightest election in decades COLOMBO: Sri Lanka went to the polls Thursday in its tightest election in decades, with its strongman president battling for survival after accusations of corruption and a failure to bring about national reconciliation.Mahinda Rajapakse appeared assured of victory when he called snap polls in November, seeking an unprecedented third term in office five years after crushing a violent separatist rebellion that had traumatised the country for decades.But his health minister's shock decision to defect from ...
North Korea military condemns 'hostile' US, South SEOUL: North Korea's top military body issued fresh warnings Thursday to the United States and South Korea over their "hostile" policies towards Pyongyang, as Seoul conducted a series of naval live-fire drills.The National Defence Commission (NDC) criticised US sanctions imposed after the North's alleged cyber attack on Sony Pictures and said Pyongyang would respond forcefully to continued provocation."The US ... has never experienced a hail of bullets and shells on its own territory," the commission ...
China to expand unemployment benefits to lure migrants to cities BEIJING: Chinese municipal governments must widen unemployment benefits to residents who are not registered locally, China said on Wednesday, as it dismantles hurdles to urbanisation efforts by easing conditions for migrant workers.China's reform-minded leaders have shown greater tolerance for slower economic growth, viewing healthy employment levels as a top policy priority and an important condition for social stability.Chinese leaders have pledged to loosen their grip on residence registration, known as hukou, to try to hasten ...
Indian govt assures state lenders of freedom from political interference NEW DELHI: India's finance ministry has written to public lenders and other financial institutions, assuring them of full freedom in matters related to commercial decisions, transfers and postings.The assurance follows a two-day brainstorming meeting last week in the western city of Pune where Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed ideas to improve the health of state lenders, who are facing mounting bad loans and corporate governance issues."The banks and financial institutions should take all commercial decisions ...
India coal workers go on strike over reforms MUMBAI: Millions of coal miners in India began a five-day strike Tuesday in protest at moves to open up the market to private companies, sparking fears of power cuts in the energy-hungry nation."I can say that a nationwide strike is on and this the biggest one since 1977," Gurudas Dasgupta, general secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), told AFP after last-ditch talks to avert the stoppage failed.Dasgupta was speaking on behalf of ...
India has no desire to cut stake in state banks at current valuations NEW DELHI: The Indian government has no desire to dilute its stake in state-run banks at current valuations, Junior Finance Minister Jayant Sinha said in a television interview on Monday.The government last month approved a plan to raise about 1.6 trillion rupees ($25.3 billion) by selling some of its stake in state-run banks by 2019.Bad loans at state-run banks are at "unacceptably high" levels, Sinha told the ET NOW television channel, echoing comments from Finance ...


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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 $15.944 bln