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Jan 18, 2015

Insight – Indian spy’s role alleged in Sri Lankan president’s election defeat

COLOMBO/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Sri Lanka expelled the Colombo station chief of India’s spy agency in the run-up to this month’s presidential election, political and intelligence sources said, accusing him of helping the opposition oust President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

An Indian foreign ministry spokesman denied any expulsion and said that transfers were routine decisions. Rajapaksa, voted out of office in the Jan 8 election, told Reuters he did not know all the facts while the new government in Colombo has said it is aware of the reports but cannot confirm them.

Jan 9, 2015

Sri Lankan president concedes defeat after decade in power

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa conceded defeat to his opposition challenger on Friday after a presidential election, ending a decade of rule that critics say had become increasingly authoritarian and marred by nepotism and corruption.

“We don’t have any good news. It is all bad news,” said a senior government official and close ally of Rajapaksa as the results came in from Thursday’s election on this Indian Ocean island of 21 million people. “I think people need a change and this is democracy.”

Jan 7, 2015

Sri Lanka presidential election brings country to crossroads

COLOMBO, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan President Mahinda
Rajapaksa has urged voters to back “the devil they know,” and
hand him a third term when they go to the polls on Thursday,
rather than an “unknown angel” who promises to root out
corruption and political decay.

There have been no reliable opinion polls ahead of the vote,
but many believe opposition candidate Mithripala Sirisena will
quash Rajapaksa’s bid for re-election and change the country’s
direction.

Jan 7, 2015

Presidential election brings Sri Lanka to a crossroads

COLOMBO (Reuters) – President Mahinda Rajpaksa has urged Sri Lanka’s voters to back “the devil they know” and hand him a third term when they go to the polls on Thursday, rather than an “unknown angel” who promises to root out corruption and political decay.

There have been no reliable opinion polls ahead of the vote, but many believe opposition candidate Mithripala Sirisena will quash Rajapaksa’s bid for re-election and change the country’s course.

Jan 7, 2015

Sri Lanka’s political outlook shaky, whoever wins knife-edge election

COLOMBO (Reuters) – In a measure of how far Thursday’s presidential election in Sri Lanka has become a knife-edge contest, diplomats here have been checking the rules in case of a dead heat: according to a 1981 act, the rival candidates would draw lots to settle on a winner.

Until very recently, few would have predicted such uncertainty, not least President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who called the election two years early, confident that – despite his waning popularity – he could win an unprecedented third term.

Nov 24, 2014

India’s Jindal Steel shelves $10 bln project after coal setback

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s Jindal Steel and Power Ltd has shelved a $10 billion coal-to-diesel project, its chairman told Reuters, becoming the first big casualty of a court decision to scrap coalfields allocated to private firms since 1993.

Jindal Steel’s 1.5 billion ton coalfield in the eastern state of Odisha was among 214 canceled by the Supreme Court in September, when it ruled the practice of selective allocation was illegal and arbitrary. With nine coalfields taken back, the company has been worst hit by the tougher-than-expected verdict.

Nov 24, 2014

Jindal Steel shelves $10 bln project after coal setback

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Jindal Steel and Power Ltd(JNSP.NS: Quote, Profile, Research) has shelved a $10 billion coal-to-diesel project, its chairman told Reuters, becoming the first big casualty of a Supreme Court decision to scrap coalfields allocated to private firms since 1993.

Jindal Steel’s 1.5 billion tonne coalfield in Odisha was among 214 cancelled by the Supreme Court in September, when it ruled the practice of selective allocation was illegal and arbitrary. With nine coalfields taken back, the company has been worst hit by the tougher-than-expected verdict.

Sep 25, 2014

Interview – Pakistan plans to carve up ailing PIA, in talks with Gulf airlines

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Pakistan plans to split ailing national flag carrier PIA into two companies and sell control of the core business to a global airline over the next 18 months, but political opposition to the sell-off will be intense, the country’s privatisation czar said.

Financial advisers are now in talks with several airlines about taking over cash-strapped Pakistan International Airlines (PIAa.KA: Quote, Profile, Research), which has some 17,000 employees but just 36 aircraft – and 10 of them are grounded due to a lack of spare parts.

Sep 25, 2014

Pakistan plans to carve up ailing PIA, in talks with Gulf airlines

NEW DELHI, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Pakistan plans to split
ailing national flag carrier PIA into two companies and sell
control of the core business to a global airline over the next
18 months, but political opposition to the sell-off will be
intense, the country’s privatisation czar said.

Financial advisers are now in talks with several airlines
about taking over cash-strapped Pakistan International Airlines
, which has some 17,000 employees but just 36 aircraft
- and 10 of them are grounded due to a lack of spare parts.

Aug 15, 2014

Modi vows to fix government muddle

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi voiced dismay on Friday at the government in-fighting he found on assuming office in May and vowed to fire up the bureaucracy to deliver results in a country desperately in need of growth and development.

Delivering his first Independence Day speech, Modi emphasised the need for better governance but announced none of the sweeping market reforms that many who handed him India’s biggest election mandate in three decades have been awaiting.

    • About John

      "John Chalmers is the Reuters' Bureau Chief for South Asia. He was previously a correspondent in London, Paris, Hanoi, New Delhi and Brussels."
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