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Sri Lankan president sends resignation letter after fleeing to Singapore

Sri Lankan president sends resignation letter after fleeing to Singapore

UDITHA JAYASINGHE, ALASDAIR PAL and CHEN LIN SRI Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa has submitted a letter of resignation, two government sources said, after he fled to Singapore following mass protests over his country's economic meltdown. Rajapaksa emailed a letter of resignation to the speaker of the country's parliament late on Thursday, two sources said. It was not immediately clear if the letter, sent shortly after Rajapaksa arrived in Singapore, would be accepted in email form, the sources added. In commercial capital Colombo, troops patrolled the streets to enforce a curfew. Rajapaksa, who fled to the Maldives on Wednesday to escape…
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Seething Sri Lanka stops president’s brother flying out of the country

Seething Sri Lanka stops president’s brother flying out of the country

UDITHA JAYASINGHE and DEVJYOT GHOSHAL SRI Lankan immigration officials stopped the president's brother and former finance minister Basil Rajapaksa from flying out of the country on Tuesday, as anger mounted over the island's worst economic crisis in decades. It was not clear where Rajapaksa, who also holds U.S. citizenship, was trying to go. He resigned as finance minister in early April as street protests surged against shortages of fuel, food and other necessities, and quit his seat in parliament in June. His elder brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, will resign as president on Wednesday to make way for a unity government, after…
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More countries hike climate pledges, piling pressure on major emitters

More countries hike climate pledges, piling pressure on major emitters

KATE ABNETT A group of mostly smaller countries submitted new, more ambitious climate pledges to the United Nations this week, raising pressure on big emitters including China to do the same ahead of a major U.N. climate summit in November. U.N. climate chief Patricia Espinosa said that as of Saturday the United Nations had received new pledges from 110 countries, out of the nearly 200 that signed the 2015 Paris climate accord. "It is still far from satisfactory since only a little over half the parties (58%) have met the cut-off deadline," Espinosa said in a statement, urging laggards to…
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EXCLUSIVE: India open to additional $2 bln aid for Sri Lanka with eye on China

EXCLUSIVE: India open to additional $2 bln aid for Sri Lanka with eye on China

SWATI BHAT and AFTAB AHMED INDIA is willing to commit up to another $2 billion in financial assistance to Sri Lanka while also supporting the island nation with food and fuel, five sources told Reuters, as New Delhi tries to regain ground lost to China in recent years. Sri Lanka, hit by its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948 and on the brink of its first debt default, has been asking friendly nations including India and China for credit lines, food and energy. The Asian giants have already committed billions of dollars in financial support. "We are definitely looking…
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Six sentenced to death for lynching Sri Lankan factory manager in Pakistan

Six sentenced to death for lynching Sri Lankan factory manager in Pakistan

MUBASHER BUKHARI A court sentenced six men to death in a mass trial for the mob lynching of a clothes factory's Sri Lankan manager in eastern Pakistan last year, the case's public prosecutor said. Scores of enraged workers in the city of Sialkot tortured and burned the man in December over accusations of blasphemy which a police official at the time linked to the removal of a poster with Islamic holy verses. Mobile phone footage shows him being chased onto a roof then beaten with sticks, dragged onto the streets, stripped and set alight. One man who seeks to help…
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Price of marriage pushes land out of reach in Sri Lanka

Price of marriage pushes land out of reach in Sri Lanka

SHIHAR ANEEZ IT was another day of agony for Rizeena, as she waited with her family at their home in eastern Sri Lanka to meet yet another potential husband for her sister - the 46th time they have tried to find someone to marry her in the past decade. Most of these meetings last only a few minutes before Rizeena's parents have to explain that they cannot afford to give her 35-year-old sister Fathima a house in their hometown of Sainthamaruthu, 350km (217 miles) from the capital Colombo. "The first question bridegrooms' families ask is if (she) will be given…
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