Execution-style killings of police officers shock Sri Lanka

Two police officers were shot dead execution-style while manning a checkpoint in a former war zone in Sri Lanka, officials said Friday.
The victims had their hands tied behind their backs and were shot in the head, according to authorities, and their weapons had been taken.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the shooting shattered the relative calm in the region where fighting between troops and Tamil rebels ended over a decade ago.
Sri Lanka in turmoil amid ‘anti-…

Nine sentenced to death in Vietnam for dealing methamphetamine and heroin

Nine drug smugglers were sentenced to death in Vietnam on Friday for selling methamphetamine and heroin in a country with some of the toughest drug laws in the world. Heroin has long been the drug of choice among users in Vietnam, mostly older men, but synthetic drugs use is on the rise especially among a growing class of hard-partying youth. The sentences handed down on Friday were among the toughest in years and came after a long trial in northern Ha Nam province. The ring…

Thousands of farmers march through India’s capital demanding debt waivers and minimum prices for crops

Thousands of farmers protested in India’s capital demanding debt waivers and remunerative prices for crops, underscoring challenges Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces before national elections next year.
As many as 30,000 people representing about 200 farmer organisations reached the protest ground on Thursday more than 4 kilometres from India’s parliament in the heart of New Delhi.
They plan to march to parliament Friday. The farmers are demanding a special session of parliament to…

With Indonesia’s ‘heresy app’, religious harmony hasn’t a prayer

Rights groups have hit out at a new app from the Indonesian government that lets the public report suspected cases of religious heresy, arguing that it will aggravate persecution in a country already grappling with vigilante violence against minorities.
Users of the app can report groups practising unrecognised faiths or unorthodox interpretations of Indonesia’s six officially recognised religions, which include Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and Buddhism.
Launched last week by the Jakarta…

Kidnap fear in India as only transgender political candidate goes missing a week before elections

The only transgender candidate in state elections in southern India has gone missing, police said on Wednesday, with fears that she was kidnapped on her second day of campaigning.
Chandramukhi Muvvala disappeared minutes after she left her one-room home on Tuesday morning in an informal settlement in Hyderabad, capital of Telangana state, city police said.
“We have registered a complaint of missing person. We are trying to trace her,” said Kanneboina Uday, investigating officer in…