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Sri Lankans urged to search for President's missing macaws

Four macaws belonging to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse have escaped his tightly-guarded official residence in Colombo, his office said Wednesday as it appealed for help to trace the colourful long-tailed birds. "The president is very fond of these birds," an official in his office told AFP, adding that he also cared for other species at the colonial-era President's House in the capital Colombo.

Sri Lanka accuses Canada of using Commonwealth funding for political purposes

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka accused Canada on Tuesday of using its funding of the Commonwealth as a political tool. The accusation comes after Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Canada would suspend $20 million in funding to the Commonwealth while the chair of the secretariat is occupied by Sri Lanka for two years. Canada, a leading funder of the 53-member Commonwealth, would normally contribute $10 million per year to the secretariat over the next two years, but Baird said that money will be directed elsewhere.

Sri Lanka accuses Canada of using Commonwealth funding for political purposes

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka accused Canada on Tuesday of using its funding of the Commonwealth as a political tool. The accusation comes after Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Canada would suspend $20 million in funding to the Commonwealth while the chair of the secretariat is occupied by Sri Lanka for two years. Canada, a leading funder of the 53-member Commonwealth, would normally contribute $10 million per year to the secretariat over the next two years, but Baird said that money will be directed elsewhere.

Sri Lanka accuses Canada of 'manipulating' Commonwealth

Sri Lanka on Tuesday accused Canada of undermining the Commonwealth to score political points after it announced a suspension of funding while the island nation chairs the group. Sri Lanka's foreign ministry said the halting of Canada's $US9 million annual contribution to the Commonwealth Secretariat was an attempt at political "manipulation" at the expense of the 53-member bloc.

Canada to suspend $20 million in Commonwealth funds while Sri Lanka holds chair

OTTAWA - Canada is suspending $20 million in funding to the Commonwealth while the chair of the secretariat is occupied by Sri Lanka because of human rights concerns. Prime Minister Stephen Harper boycotted the Commonwealth summit last year in Colombo, Sri Lanka, because of concerns about the government's human rights record. Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth of former colonies.

Canada suspends Commonwealth funding

Canada's government announced Monday the suspension of funding to the Commonwealth over rotating chair Sri Lanka's alleged rights abuses. While Sri Lanka remains chair of the 53-member bloc, Canada's Can$10 million (US$9 million) annual contribution to the Commonwealth Secretariat will instead go for two years toward combatting the practice of child, early and forced marriage.

Sri Lanka military says it killed Tamil separatists, first clash since 2009

By Shihar Aneez COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's military said on Friday it had killed three ethnic Tamil separatist militants, the first combat since government troops crushed the rebels in a 2009 offensive. The government, heavily criticized by Western governments and the United Nations for alleged rights abuses in 2009, said the clash showed Tamil rebels were re-emerging in Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil dominated north.

Sri Lanka troops kill emerging Tiger leaders

Sri Lanka's military on Friday shot dead three men they believed were trying to revive the separatist Tamil Tiger movement five years after its defeat, a spokesman said. Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said troops killed the three, including a man they identified as a local leader of the Tigers, as they tried to escape a military cordon in a jungle area of the former war zone to the south of Jaffna. "They tried to break the cordon and we opened fire and killed three people," Wanigasooriya said. He did not say if there were any troop casualties.

Sri Lanka troops kill three men in search for Tigers

Sri Lanka's military on Friday shot dead three men during an operation against suspected Tamil separatist rebels, in the first major confrontation since the end of the island's war nearly five years ago, a spokesman said. Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said troops were carrying out a cordon and search operation in a jungle area of the former war zone when three men armed with grenades and guns tried to escape. "They tried to break the cordon and we opened fire and killed three people," Wanigasooriya told AFP.

Sri Lanka police arrest 60 on fears of renewed conflict

Sri Lankan police have arrested 60 people accused of trying to revive a separatist group behind a civil war that left tens of thousands dead, a spokesman said on Thursday. The suspects, including 10 women, were detained in a crackdown over the past month and were being questioned about attempts to reorganise the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), police spokesman Ajith Rohana said. "We are questioning them with a view to ensure that there is no resumption of war in this country and to prevent communal violence breaking out," Rohana told reporters in Colombo.
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