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Sri Lanka arrests fugitive politician over Briton's killing

Sri Lankan investigators arrested a ruling party politician who failed to turn up to his trial for the Christmas Day killing of a British tourist two years ago, police said Wednesday. Sampath Vidanapathirana, a councillor in the southern region of Tangalle, was tracked down and arrested in the capital Colombo on Tuesday night after he failed to answer a court summons nearly two weeks ago. "He was arrested by the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) in a house at Kotte," police spokesman Ajith Rohana said, referring to a suburb in the capital.

Belgium trade delegation sees FTA with China crucial for Sri Lanka

Belgium trade delegation sees FTA with China crucial for Sri Lanka COLOMBO, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's impending Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China would be a "major step" for the island country's economy, a visiting Belgium trade delegation said here Monday. Sri Lanka and China have had several rounds of discussions on an FTA which is expected to be signed next year.

Sri Lanka allows mosque expansion despite Buddhist objections

By Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's government said on Tuesday it would give the go-ahead to plans to develop a mosque in central Colombo, despite objections from Buddhist hardliners who have targeted members of the minority Muslim community in a spate of recent attacks. Requests to expand the mosque had been repeatedly rejected, Muslim clerics said, because the building work would mean having to cut down parts of a large bo-tree, considered sacred by Buddhists.

Curfew in Colombo as tensions rise after mosque attack

Sri Lankan police clamped a fresh curfew on a Colombo neighbourhood Sunday, a day after a Buddhist-led mob vandalised a mosque in an incident that raised religious tensions and sparked US concern. Police announced that a 13-hour curfew would be reimposed, starting at 6:00 pm (12:30 GMT) across the residential and commercial areas of Grandpass district, which remained under tight security following Saturday's attack that left four people wounded.

Assault on mosque revives Sri Lanka religious tensions

Sri Lankan police deployed commandos and imposed a curfew on a Colombo neighbourhood Saturday after a Buddhist-led mob attacked a mosque, wounding four people and reviving simmering religious tensions, officials said.

Opposition seeks foreign probe into Sri Lanka protest deaths

Sri Lanka's opposition Tuesday demanded an international investigation into a deadly army crackdown on villagers who were demonstrating against contaminated water supplies. The United National Party (UNP) criticised the army's plans for an internal military probe into the death of three civilians and wounding of 50 others during a protest at Weliweriya village near Colombo last week. "We cannot accept the government getting one of its henchmen to probe the killings," UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake told reporters in Colombo. "Innocent civilians have been massacred."

Sri Lankan protestor shot dead at tainted water demo

Sri Lankan security forces shot dead one protester and wounded dozens more when they fired on villagers at a demonstration over contaminated drinking water, police and residents said Friday. Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the army had been called in on Thursday night to assist the police when a mob threw petrol bombs and tried to attack a police station near the capital Colombo.

Sri Lankan protestor shot dead at tainted water demo

Sri Lankan security forces shot dead one protestor and wounded dozens more when they fired on villagers at a demonstration over contaminated drinking water, police and residents said Friday. Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said the army had been called in on Thursday night to assist the police when a mob threw petrol bombs and tried to attack a police station near the capital Colombo.

Protests in Sri Lanka over French film festival

Hundreds of government supporters protested outside the French embassy in Colombo Wednesday over a film festival which included a local movie considered by Sri Lanka's military to be insulting. Demonstrators chanted anti-French slogans, denouncing the Sinhalese-language movie "Flying Fish" and the embassy for showing it at the French film festival organised to coincide with Bastille Day celebrations.

Mob attacks Sri Lanka Tamil party as tensions rise

Sri Lanka's main Tamil party Sunday accused a pro-government mob of attacking them in the island's north as racial tensions rose after Buddhist extremists smashed a Muslim-owned business. The opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said their meeting in the town of Kilinochchi on Saturday was disrupted by a stone-throwing mob which had also attacked their vehicles and damaged a building while police looked on.
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