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south and central asia

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sri lanka presidential election: rajapaksa claims victory as count continues | world news

Former defence minister is narrowly ahead of rival Sajith Premadasa with a voter turnout of 80% Sri Lanka’s former wartime defence minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa has declared himself the winner of a tightly fought presidential election, after early results indicated he was ahead.The election took place seven months after the deadly Easter Sunday attacks, which saw self-radicalised Islamist extremists bomb hotels and churches, killing over 250 people and throwing Sri Lanka into a state of emergency....

sri lanka presidential election: gunmen fire on buses carrying muslim voters | world news

Police say convoy of more than 100 vehicles attacked but there are no reports of casualtiesGunmen have fired on buses carrying minority Muslim voters in northwest Sri Lanka, police said, as an election official admitted failures to protect vulnerable communities ahead of presidential polls.There were no immediate reports of casualties from the attack on Saturday, but a police official said the attackers had burnt tyres on the road and set up makeshift roadblocks to ambush the convoy of more than...

'there will be no hope': muslims fear rajapaksa win in sri lanka election | world news

Since April’s bombings the community has suffered vilification, violence and destruction of homes and shops. Many think there may be worse to comeThe phone calls began to arrive two months ago from an unknown number. Hilmy Ahmed, vice-president of the Sri Lanka Muslim Council, did not recognise the voice but there was no mistaking the threats: throw your support behind Gotabaya Rajapaksa for president or we will set fire to your house, rape your wife and then kill your family.“This election camp...

australian and us professors still in taliban custody | world news

Militant group says prisoner exchange with Afghan government has not happened yetAn Australian and an American professor in Taliban custody who were supposed to be freed in a prisoner exchange this week are still yet to be released, according to a spokesman from the militant group.The Afghan government said earlier this week it would “conditionally release” three militants from the Taliban-linked Haqqani network as part of an apparent exchange for Timothy Weekes, 50, and Kevin King, 63, who were...

war crimes judges approve inquiry into violence against rohingya | world news

Myanmar is accused of widespread abuses against Muslim minority groupJudges at the international criminal court have approved a prosecution request to investigate crimes against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, the court has said in a statement.Myanmar has been accused of committing widespread abuses in a campaign against the Rohingya. It is not a member of the global court, but the ICC said it had jurisdiction over crimes partially committed in Bangladesh, a member state. Continue reading...

rushdie and atwood join calls to restore citizenship to critic of modi | books

More than 250 authors urge India’s prime minister to reinstate overseas citizenship of British journalist Aatish Taseer Salman Rushdie, Orhan Pamuk and Margaret Atwood are among more than 250 authors calling on India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his Indian citizenship, saying that the move “flies in the face of India’s traditions of free and open debate”.Taseer, who was born in the UK but grew up in India, is a novelist, ...

what happens to afghanistan’s left-behind women as the taliban rises? | global development

Separated from her family after an attempt to flee failed, Tahira is among a growing number of women left struggling and vulnerable in a country where lone mothers are harshly judgedOn a bitterly cold day, Tahira* sits in her rented room in Kabul. She has a husband and three young children, but the last time the family were all together was in 2018 – the day they tried to escape Afghanistan.Insecurity in their town in Maidan Wardak province led Tahira, 27, to try to flee to Turkey, via Iran, wit...

myanmar's aung san suu kyi faces first legal action over rohingya crisis | world news

Case launches in Argentina under ‘universal jurisdiction’ demanding justice over ‘existential threat’ to minorityAung San Suu Kyi is among several top Myanmar officials named in a case filed in Argentina for crimes against Rohingya Muslims, the first time the Nobel Laureate has been legally targeted over the crisis.Rohingya and Latin American human rights groups submitted the lawsuit in Argentina on Wednesday under the principle of “universal jurisdiction,” a legal concept enshrined in many coun...

india says it plans to use hydrogen-based fuel to tackle air crisis | world news

Judges criticise government with Delhi enveloped in ‘severe emergency’ levels of smogThe Indian government has said it intends to use hydrogen-based fuel technology to help combat pollution, as Delhi was once again enveloped in “severe emergency” levels of smog.Pollution levels in the capital peaked to dangerously high levels just over a week after the city endured its longest spell of hazardous air quality since public records began. Continue reading...

afghanistan paedophile ring may be responsible for abuse of over 500 boys | global development

Social workers claim teachers and local officials are implicated, and believe thousands more children may have been targetedA paedophile ring involved in the abuse of at least 546 boys from six schools has been discovered in Afghanistan’s Logar province.Some of the victims of the abuse have since been murdered according to the campaigners who first discovered videos of abuse posted to a Facebook page. Continue reading...

sri lanka's presidential election: what you need to know | world news

Voters still reeling from the devastating Easter Sunday attacks must choose between two powerful political familiesSri Lanka goes to the polls on Saturday for a presidential election that will be a decisive moment for its future. The country is still reeling from the Easter Sunday bombings of April 2019, in which more than 250 people died, as well as 18 months of political instability and infighting. Continue reading...

we can't allow myanmar’s slavery-tainted shrimp to land on our plates | global development

Europe is in talks with Myanmar to increase seafood imports. It cannot ignore the widespread slavery within the industry While forced labour and slavery in the fishing industry in Thailand and other parts of the world have been brought to light in recent years, the fishing industry in Myanmar has received less attention.This is because fish caught there is mostly sold to local markets, but this may be about to change. Myanmar’s seafood businesses are increasingly seeking export markets, includin...

taliban prisoners released in bid to free western kidnap victims | world news

Afghan president Ghani hopes move will help secure release of American and AustralianAfghanistan’s president says he has ordered the release of three Taliban fighters in an effort to persuade the insurgent group to free a kidnapped American and Australian professor.Timothy Weekes, an English teacher from Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, and Kevin King, from Pennsylvania, were abducted three years ago from outside American University of Afghanistan in Kabul by fighters in military uniform. Continu...

sri lankans sound alarm over facebook fake news ahead of election | world news

Facebook’s decision to allow politicians to promote content already rated false by factcheckers has been widely condemnedSri Lankan civil society groups are sounding alarms about Facebook’s policies in advance of the country’s 16 November presidential election, with warnings that the company’s controversial decision to allow politicians to advertise misinformation is “inappropriate and incendiary to boot”.Sanjana Hattotuwa, a senior researcher for the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), on 7 N...

gambia files rohingya genocide case against myanmar at un court | world news

Country demands punishment for culprits, compensation for victims and end to attacksMyanmar is to face accusations of genocide at the UN’s highest court over its treatment of Rohingya Muslims.A 46-page application has been submitted to the international court of justice by the west African state of the Gambia alleging that Myamar has carried out mass murder, rape and destruction of communities in Rakhine state. Continue reading...

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