Asia Briefs: 108-carat gem not stolen but given to UK: India

108-carat gem not stolen but given to UK: India

NEW DELHI • A priceless diamond that is part of the Queen Mother's Crown was given to Britain and not stolen, India's government told the Supreme Court yesterday, which is hearing a suit seeking its return.

The 108-carat Koh-i-Noor (Mountain of Light) gem is the subject of a historic ownership disput. But India's Solicitor-General Ranjit Kumar said the 19th-century Sikh king Ranjit Singh had given the stone to the British.


Suu Kyi vows to push for more minority autonomy

YANGON • Ms Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday vowed to press for greater autonomy for Myanmar's ethnic minorities, in an early move to soothe the rebellions roiling the country.

Myanmar has been swept up in optimism for a more peaceful and prosperous future since her National League for Democracy (NLD) took power from the military on April 1.

The NLD government would seek "a real federal democratic union", she said in a televised address marking Myanmar's New Year.

"Peace and a federal democratic union are closely intertwined and that's why we need to change the Constitution. The most important thing is national reconciliation," Ms Suu Kyi added in her first major comments as State Counsellor - a role she took on following the handover from an army that dominated the country for 50 years.


Malaysia to deport fraud suspects to Taiwan

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia will deport to Taiwan the remaining 32 Taiwanese fraud suspects being held after completing the necessary procedures, Taiwanese envoy to Malaysia James Chang has been quoted as saying by Taiwan's Central News Agency.

Taipei has accused Beijing of "abducting" its people from Kenya after several dozen Taiwanese arrested in the Africa country for telecom fraud were forced at gunpoint to board an aircraft bound for China last week.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2016, with the headline 'AsiaBriefs'. Subscribe