Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa suspends parliament for a month ahead of snap polls Dec 04, 2019 0 173 12345 AFPColomboSri Lanka’s new president suspended parliament for a month from Tuesday ahead of snap elections he wants to call in March to consolidate his sweeping victory.Gotabaya Rajapaksa, elected president last month in a landslide, issued a proclamation overnight proroguing the legislature and said a new session will begin from January 3.Rajapaksa, 70, is hoping to ride a wave of popularity by calling an election six months before the current parliament’s five-year term expires in August. He has already ordered major tax cuts in a bid to boost an economy still struggling after deadly Easter Sunday suicide bombings that crippled the country’s booming tourism sector.A 15-percent value-added tax was cut to eight percent, while another two-percent goods and services tax was abolished from this month.The construction industry -- which has slumped hard this year -- also saw its corporate tax burden cut from 28 to 14 percent.The official announcement of calling a fresh session of the legislature will give the minority government of Rajapaksa more control over parliamentary oversight committees.Rajapaksa is the younger brother of Mahinda Rajapaksa, president from 2005-15 when Gotabaya effectively ran the security forces.Together, the brothers spearheaded the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war with Tamil separatists in 2009 when an estimated 40,000 Tamil civilians were allegedly killed by the military. RELATED ARTICLES Hindus begin mass animal sacrifice in Nepal despite protest Dec 04, 2019 0 206 Trump pledges to ‘stay out’ of Britain’s election campaign Dec 04, 2019 0 640 Trump, Macron and Erdogan clash outshines NATO summit Dec 04, 2019 0 467 German defence minister says include Afghans in peace talks Kabul: During her visit to Afghanistan, Germany’s Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called for the inclusion of Afghan politicians in peace talks with the militant Islamist Taliban, at a press conference .. Japan’s Abe offers to meet S Korea’s Moon after months of tension Tokyo: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday he would be willing to meet face-to-face with South Korean President Moon Jae-in during his visit to China for a trilateral summit in late December. The two .. Spain’s lawmakers sworn in with far-right Vox as third-largest party AFP Madrid Spain’s new parliament met for its opening session on Tuesday, with the far-right Vox as the third-largest party following a divisive election that failed to resolve years of political deadlock. Just over .. NASA finds Indian Moon lander with help of amateur space enthusiast Washington: India’s Vikram lunar lander, which crashed on its final approach to the Moon’s surface in September, has been found thanks in part to the sleuthing efforts of an amateur space enthusiast. NASA made the .. US court rules Deutsche Bank hand over Trump records DPA Washington A US court ruled on Tuesday that Deutsche Bank must hand over financial documents pertaining to President Donald Trump to Congressional committees, though the decision will likely be appealed to the .. Pakistan ex-president Zardari files bail plea on medical grounds ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari – who is currently under treatment at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) hospital in Islamabad – on Tuesday filed a bail petition on medical grounds. The .. NATO recognises China ‘challenges’ for first time London: NATO is to formally recognise the “challenges” posed by China for the first time, but the alliance chief insisted on Tuesday he did not want to make an adversary of Beijing. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said ..