In a more optimistic era, the overthrow by Sri Lankans of a feckless government they blamed for their country’s economic collapse might have been called a Velvet Revolution. It began last Saturday when tens of thousands descended on the largest city Colombo and poured into public buildings, including President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official residence, amid chants of “Gota, go home”.
The president had fled for his safety, but in scenes reminiscent of many 20th-century regime collapses, the crowds hunkered down in the palace, sitting behind the president’s desk, bathing in his pool, and showering in his bathrooms.
By week’s end Rajapaksa was indeed gone — first on a military jet to the Maldives, then to Singapore, from where he finally tendered his resignation via email.… Seguir leyendo »
When the last Russian troops in Bucha found themselves cornered by advancing Ukrainian forces in late March, they began shooting civilians, says Serhiy Konovalov.
“My brother was killed right here on these steps”, says the 46-year-old. “He was going to the basement in the evening and stopped to light a cigarette when one soldier just shot him for the sake of it”. He believes his brother Dima’s corpse deterred Russian soldiers from entering the basement and prevented the killing of three people sheltering underground without heat and electricity for a month.
Konovalov, who witnessed his brother’s shooting from the ground floor of the house, points to graves around his neighbourhood marked with makeshift wooden crosses.… Seguir leyendo »
At an aid distribution centre in Ukraine’s embattled capital Kyiv this week, people were collecting and dispatching donations of emergency food, medicines, clothes and children’s toys for cities under attack by Russian troops, missiles and bombs.
While about half the donations came from abroad, where Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion has created a groundswell of global support for President Volodymyr Zelensky and his people, the rest came from quieter parts of Ukraine.
“Look at these boxes”, says Oleksandr Horbach, an activist, pointing to food packages from Bibrka in western Ukraine. A box of baked goods was intended for the eastern city of Kharkiv, which has withstood some of Russia’s heaviest bombardment in three weeks of war.… Seguir leyendo »
In a predawn operation on August 13, Thai police seized 1,000kg of crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as “ice”, alongside a highway in Hat Yai province in the south of the country. The seizure — with a street value of 300m Thai baht ($9m) — was one of several in recent weeks in Thailand and across south-east Asia that officials and analysts who track drug trafficking and addiction in the region are watching with growing alarm.
They say the narcotics originate from neighbouring Myanmar, which has spun into political chaos and civil conflict since February’s military coup toppled Aung San Suu Kyi.… Seguir leyendo »