Highlights from South Asia News: March 17, 2013

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Offers Tax-Free Zone at New Airport
Sri Lanka’s new $209M airport will be a tax-free zone in an attempt to increase inflow of tourists and aviation based industries, according to airport officials 

From The Economic Times http://bit.ly/YHbo2E

Myanmar
Media in Myanmar Worry That Freedom is Already Slipping Away
By Mark Magnier (@markmagnier)
The new draft law bears a resemblance to the repressive 1962 repressive media law in Myanmar.
LA Times http://lat.ms/YitQiV

Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s Karzai Agrees to New Deadline for Prison Handover
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has agreed to US Defense Secretary’s request for a one week deadline for handing over control of US run detention center.
CNN http://bit.ly/XiUoNI

Bangladesh
Minority Groups Blame Politicians For Attacks 

By Shahidul Islam 
Minority group leaders in Bangladesh looked for answers from local politicians on the recent violence against Hindus and Hindu shrines, blaming them for the lack of security for minorities.
From bdnews http://bit.ly/103yn9t

Maldives
India Hands Over Advance Passenger Information System To The Maldives
In a big step towards improving immigration facilities for tourists – who bring in most of the country’s income – The Maldives will use India’s passenger information system to simplify travel to the country.

From Business Standard http://bit.ly/XSq00q

Pakistan
Pakistan Leader’s Legacy: The Art of Political Survival 

By Alex RodriguezAsif 
Ali Zaradari’s five year term as President are coming to an end, and even as his ratings are low he continues to hold on to power.
From The LA Times http://lat.ms/103E1bJ 

India
Five Arrested in Gang Rape of Swiss Tourist in Central India
By Hari Kumar and Heather Timmons (@HariNYT and @HeathaT)
Five men between the age 19 to 25 have been arrested in relation to the gang rape of a 39-year-old Swiss tourist in Madhya Pradesh.
New York Times http://nyti.ms/YivHUQ

Nepal 

Nepal to Host Multinational Exercise for Peace
The exercise aimed at promoting regional peace and security will be held in Nepal. Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka are among the many countries that will participate.
Republica http://bit.ly/XSWoA8 

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