Gotabaya Rajapaksa applies for Green Card to settle in US: Report

Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the country last month amidst massive anti-government protests calling for his resignation, is awaiting to obtain a US Green Card to return to America and settle there with his wife and son, a media report said on Thursday. In 2019, Rajapaksa renounced his US citizenship to contest …

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa to return to Sri Lanka on August 24, says his cousin

Gotabaya Rajapaksa will return to Sri Lanka on August 24, his cousin Udayanga Weeratunga said on Wednesday, over a month after the former president fled the country amid mass anti-government protests over an unprecedented economic crisis. Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is grappling with its worst economic turmoil in seven decades, leaving …

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Afghanistan marks one year since Taliban seizure as woes mount

Bearded Taliban fighters, some hoisting rifles or the white banners of their movement, staged victory parades on foot, bicycles and motorcycles in the streets of Kabul. Schoolyards stood empty Monday as the Taliban announced a public holiday to mark the day, which they refer to as “The Proud Day of August 15” and the “First …

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Huge explosion hits Kabul mosque, many casualties feared

Police said there were multiple casualties but did not say how many. One Taliban intelligence official told Reuters that as many as 35 people may have been wounded or killed, and the toll could rise further. Witnesses told Reuters the powerful explosion was heard in a northern Kabul neighbourhood, shattering windows in nearby buildings. Ambulances …

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Chinese spy ship’s docking in Sri Lankan port spells long-term concerns for India

China, which already has the world’s largest Navy with 355 warships and submarines, has been actively hunting for logistical bases in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) after establishing its first overseas base at Djibouti on the Horn of Africa in August 2017. China, of course, also has readily-available access to Karachi and Gwadar ports in …

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‘Day of conquest’ as Taliban mark turbulent first year in power

Taliban fighters chanted victory slogans next to the US embassy in Kabul Monday as they marked the first anniversary of their return to power in Afghanistan following a turbulent year that saw women’s rights crushed and a humanitarian crisis worsen. The fighters expressed happiness that their movement was now in power – even as aid …

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Taliban violently disperse rare women’s protest in Kabul

Taliban fighters fired into the air Saturday to disperse a rare women’s protest in the Afghan capital, days ahead of the first anniversary of the hardline Islamists’ return to power. About 40 women- chanting “Bread, work and freedom”- marched in front of the education ministry building in Kabul, before the fighters dispersed them by firing …

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Sri Lanka allows entry for controversial Chinese ship

Sri Lanka granted port access Saturday for a controversial Chinese research vessel despite neighbouring India’s concerns that it could spy on New Delhi’s military installations, officials said. The Yuan Wang 5 is described as a research and survey vessel by international shipping and analytics sites, but it is said to be a dual-use spy ship.

Afghan rights leader Sima Samar heartbroken after year of Taliban rule

A year after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, prominent Afghan rights activist Sima Samar is still heartbroken over what happened to her country. “I think it’s a sad anniversary for the majority of people of my country,” Samar said, particularly for the women “who don’t have enough food, who do not know what is the …

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Timeline of events in Afghanistan since Taliban takeover

After the world cut off funding, Afghanistan’s already ramshackle economy collapsed almost overnight, sending nearly the entire population into poverty and leaving millions unable to feed themselves. No country has yet recognized Taliban rule. After initially signaling they would be more moderate than in their previous time in power, the Taliban turned to a hard …

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