Sri Lanka Parliament suspended ahead of polls
COLOMBO • Sri Lanka's new President yesterday suspended Parliament for a month ahead of snap elections he wants to call in March to consolidate his sweeping victory.
Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, 70, issued a proclamation overnight proroguing the legislature and said a new session will begin from Jan 3. The new President, who has already ordered major tax cuts, is hoping to ride a wave of popularity by calling an election six months before the current Parliament's five-year term expires.
Pensioner held over 24,000 complaint calls
TOKYO • A Japanese pensioner has been arrested after ringing a phone company 24,000 times to complain that it had violated his contract.
Tokyo police said they took 71-year-old Akitoshi Okamoto into custody last week after he made hundreds of toll-free calls over eight days to the customer service section of major telephone operator KDDI.
Media outlets reported that he made thousands more calls from public pay phones to voice his displeasure with the company and insult customer service staff.
Floods in Terengganu, Kelantan displace 16,000
KUALA LUMPUR • Over 16,000 people have been displaced by flooding in Malaysia's eastern states of Terengganu and Kelantan, the Malaysian Department of Social Welfare said yesterday.
The two states have seen torrential rain since the start of the monsoon season at the end of October, with Kelantan being the worst hit so far. Over 13,000 people from 4,814 families have been forced to be evacuated to 63 flood relief centres.
At least two fatalities have been reported so far, both of whom were found drowned in flooded paddy fields.