News Highlights From South Asia: July 22, 2013


Persuade Disgruntled Parties By Mid-August, Election Committee Tells Government

The Election Commission (EC) has warned that it will not be possible to accomodate the disgruntled political parties in the Constituent Assembly (CA) polls scheduled for November 19 if they do not arrive at a consensus by mid-August. 
From Republica
Sri Lanka
‘Wary’ Sri Lanka Refuses To Give Power To Provincial Chiefs
Despite India stridently insisting that Sri Lanka has to fully devolve powers to provincial leaders following upcoming polls in the post-war Tamil north, Colombo is refusing to budge – with Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa asserting that crucial portions of the India-installed 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution will have to be “sacrificed”. 
By Rohan Venkataramakrishnan
From The Daily Mail

22 July 1960: Sri Lanka Elects World’s First Woman Prime Minister

From The Guardian
Saline Creeping Into Croplands

As fresh water flow has tapered off on the upper stream of rivers over the last four decades, due to human intervention mainly in neighbouring India, salinity has intruded into 100 rivers and affected 15 percent of the country’s total cropland in the south-western coastal districts.

By Pinaki Roy
From The Daily Star

Pakistan Sends Envoy to Afghanistan, Pledging a Push for Regional Peace
Facing growing hostility in Kabul, the new government of Pakistan sent its top diplomat to Afghanistan on Sunday, and the envoy pledged that his country would do its best to help open peace talks with the Taliban.
By Matthew Rosenberg and Jawad Sukanyar

From The New York Times

Maldives Bar Association Calls For Suspension of Supreme Court Justice Pending Sex Video Scandal

The Maldives Bar Association (MBA) has called for the suspension of Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed pending an investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct.
By Neil Merrett

From Minivan News

Radical Myanmar Buddhist Monk Unhurt In Bomb Blast
A bomb exploded meters away from a radical Buddhist monk as he delivered a mass sermon in Myanmar, police said on Monday, the latest flare-up in tensions pitting Buddhists against minority Muslims.

US Vice President Joe Biden Will Focus On Trade, Security In India Trip

US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in India on Monday on a trip that will focus on boosting trade and regional security ties and strengthening a strategic partnership that has languished in recent years.

From The Indian Express/AP
Ambitious National Energy Policy Formulated

The much-awaited National Energy Policy 2013-18 has been formulated by the government and would be presented in the Council of Common Interest (CCI) on Tuesday for final approval.
By Sohail Bhatti


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