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US envoy in Sri Lanka as pressure builds over war crimes

A top US envoy on Friday pushed for reconciliation in Sri Lanka which is under intense international pressure to probe rights abuses during the final stages of the island's decades-long separatist war. Nisha Biswal, the assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, held talks with Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris over a range of issues including allegations that government troops killed thousands of Tamil civilians during the final months of the war in 2009, official sources told AFP.

Sri Lanka to sack officer over 'false' GDP data row

Sri Lanka's main statistics office Wednesday said a senior official who denounced alleged government pressure to inflate economic growth data would be sacked after he was found guilty of leaking confidential information. Accounts Director H.S. Wanasinghe faced two separate disciplinary hearings after he complained to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and an opposition lawmaker that the government was manipulating data.

Sri Lanka president starts visit to Kenya

Sri Lanka president starts visit to Kenya COLOMBO, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has arrived in Kenya to begin a four-day state visit, the President's Office said here on Thursday. Rajapaksa was received by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and welcomed with a Guard of Honor. President Rajapaksa will attend Kenya's Independence Day festivities that will take place at the Moi International Sports Complex (MISC) in Kasarani on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Sri Lanka president leaves South Africa for Kenya to boost ties

Sri Lanka president leaves South Africa for Kenya to boost ties COLOMBO, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's president will leave for Kenya on Wednesday for a four-day official visit after attending the memorial services for the late South African President Nelson Mandela, the President's Office said. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who participated in the State Memorial Service for Mandela that took place at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg Tuesday, will go to Pretoria on Wednesday to pay homage to Mandela's remains that are lying in state at the Union Buildings.

Sri Lanka president due in Kenya to boost bilateral ties

Sri Lanka president due in Kenya to boost bilateral ties NAIROBI, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is due in Kenya on Wednesday for a three-day state visit to boost bilateral ties and celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of independence. Kenya's Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued in Nairobi that President Rajapaksa will also grace a business forum which brings together captains of industry from both countries in Nairobi.

Japan's special envoy in Sri Lanka on evaluation visit

Japan's special envoy in Sri Lanka on evaluation visit COLOMBO, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government's Special Peace Envoy to Sri Lanka Yasushi Akashi met with the External Affairs Minister here on Monday as part of an evaluation visit.

Sri Lanka declares mourning period ahead of president attending Mandela's funeral

Sri Lanka declares mourning period ahead of president attending Mandela's funeral COLOMBO, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan government on Monday declared a two-day mourning period in respect of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, ahead of Sri Lanka president attending the funeral as the Commonwealth Chair. The Government Information Department under the Media Ministry announced that Tuesday and Wednesday would be days of national mourning during which the national flag will be flown at half-mast.

Sri Lanka's lucrative casino investments postponed

Sri Lanka's lucrative casino investments postponed COLOMBO, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan government's plan to open up casinos will be pushed into next year as key tax concessions are yet to be finalized, said a top official here on Thursday. At the center of the issue is massive tax concessions proposed for a 350 million U.S. dollar casino backed by Australian gaming mogul James Packer.

Sri Lanka counts war dead after pressure from abroad

By Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka began counting the dead from its 26-year civil war on Thursday, less than two weeks after the island nation came under intense international pressure to investigate allegations of war crimes during the climax of the conflict. Some 16,000 officials will spread out across the country in a major operation that the government said would take six months to complete.

(Sports) Sri Lanka to stage Formula One race

(Sports) Sri Lanka to stage Formula One race COLOMBO, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka will for the first time in its sporting history, stage a road race featuring Formula One cars, officials said on Thursday. World renowned Formula One racing driver Daniel Ricciardo will be in action together with his Red Bull Formula One (F1) racing car at the Colombo Night Race next month. Ricciardo's F1 car will be accompanied by another Red Bull F1 racing car, President of the Carlton Motor Sports Club Dinesh Jayawardana said.
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