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President Gotabhaya swears in his brother Mahinda as PM

Colombo: Sri Lanka’s powerful and controversial Rajapaksa clan on Thursday tightened its grip on political power with President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa administering oath to his elder sibling Mahinda as the new Prime Minister, amidst apprehensions among the minority Tamils and Muslims in the island nation. Mahinda assumed duties in his new capacity on Thursday itself. The 74-year-old leader will function as …

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Greta Thunberg awarded international children’s peace prize

The Hague: Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg was awarded an international children’s peace prize on Wednesday, for her work in the struggle against climate change which has resonated with schoolchildren across the world. Cameroonian peace activist Divina Maloum, aged 15, also received the International Children’s Peace Prize, awarded by the Dutch KidsRight organisation, which has been handing out the prize …

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‘Will work with India for peace and prosperity, new PM

Colombo: Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajpaksa on Thursday said that he would work with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for peace and prosperity for both the countries and the region.  Thanking Prime Minister Modi for his congratulatory message, Rajpaksa, who was sworn in on Thursday as Sri Lankan premier by his younger brother and President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, said …

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Pope meets Thai Buddhist patriarch

Bangkok: Pope Francis met with Thailand’s supreme Buddhist patriarch on Thursday in a gilded Bangkok temple on the first full day of his Asia tour aimed at promoting religious harmony. This is the pontiff’s first visit to Buddhist-majority Thailand — where just over 0.5 per cent of the population are Catholics — before he jets off to Japan on Saturday. …

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Boy, 12, youngest to be convicted in Hong Kong protests

Beijing: A 12-year-old boy became the youngest protester to be convicted in the six-month-long pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong as a court in the former British colony reserved orders to place him under counselling and supervision for up to three years.  The probation order, if clamped, would also leave the minor with a criminal record, Hong Kong-based South China Morning …

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Pakistan rejects Indian tourism plans in Siachen

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said the Siachen area, the world’s highest battlefield, was a disputed territory and could not be opened for tourism by India. Responding to media reports that India was starting tourism in the Siachen area, Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Muhammad Faisal said, “India forcibly occupied Siachen Glacier and it is a disputed area. How can India open …

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India, Singapore agree to hold trilateral maritime exercise

Singapore: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held wide-ranging talks with his Singapore counterpart Ng Eng Hen here on Wednesday during which the two sides agreed to conduct the trilateral maritime exercise involving Singapore, India and Thailand annually from next year. The first Singapore-India-Thailand maritime exercise (SITMEX) was held in the Andaman Sea in September as part of the security and safety …

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1.9 million Assam residents may soon be deemed stateless

Washington: Expressing concern over the NRC exercise in Assam, an independent, bipartisan US government entity has said that close to two million long-time residents of the Indian state may soon be deemed stateless and alleged that they are being stripped of their citizenship “without a fair, transparent, and well-regulated” process. In a report on the religious freedom implications of the …

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Abe becomes Japan’s longest-serving premier

Tokyo: Shinzo Abe entered the history books as Japan’s longest-serving premier on Wednesday, but many of his ambitious goals, including a constitutional revision to strengthen the military, appear far from reach. Wednesday marks Abe’s 2,887th day in office, topping the record previously set by Taro Katsura, a revered politician who served three times between 1901 and 1913. The 65-year-old is …

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Migrants found alive in refrigerated truck on Dutch-UK ferry

The Hague: A ferry crew found 25 migrants in a refrigerated container on a boat sailing from the Netherlands to Britain on Tuesday, emergency services said. The cargo vessel bound for Felixstowe returned to the Dutch port of Vlaardingen, near Rotterdam, as soon as the stowaways were found, they said. The people found in the container received medical attention at …

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