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Pope Francis: Only truth can heal Sri Lanka

Credit: PA wire

Pope Francis has said Sri Lanka cannot heal fully from twenty-five years of ethnic civil war without pursuing truth for the injustices committed.

Francis, speaking in Colombo at the start of a week-long Asian tour, did not refer specifically to Sri Lanka's refusal to co-operate with a United Nations investigation into alleged war crimes committed in the final months of the war.

A 2011 UN report said as many as 40,000 Tamil civilians may have been killed and that both sides committed serious human rights violations.

At least nine dead in Sri Lanka mudslides

At least nine people have been killed and 10 others are missing in mudslides triggered by heavy rains today in the central hills of Sri Lanka.

More than 60,000 people have been evacuated and 3,000 homes destroyed as floods and mudslides covered many parts of the Indian Ocean island in the last four days, disaster officials said.

Nine people were killed and two injured in mudslides today in the tea-growing Badulla district when their houses were buried in landslides, Udaya Kumara, an official at the state disaster management centre, said.

Ten others were missing and rescue operations were temporarily halted due to risk of further landslides, Mr Kumara said.

The inclement weather has so far affected more than 500,000 people across the country.

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England start well after rain delay in Sri Lanka

Heavy downpours in Hambantota caused a long delay. Credit: Reuters

Heavy rain in Sri Lanka delayed the the third one-day international in Hambantota.

The game was reduced to 35 overs per side after more than three hours off the pitch.

Spectators had some fun in the conditions. Credit: Reuters

When play did resume at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium. Hambantota, England looked impressive, having lost the opening two matches of the series.

The home team were reduced to 60-3 after 12.2 overs thanks to the bowling of openers of Steven Finn and Chris Woakes, with the latter taking two wickets.

Steven Finn dismissed Dilshan. Credit: Reuters

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England struggling to contain Sri Lanka

Cook and England put Sri Lanka in to bat first. Credit: PA

England struggled to contain Sri Lanka openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kusal Perera at the start of their first one-day international at the Premadasa Stadium.

In the absence of frontline seamers Stuart Broad and James Anderson - missing this tour with knee injuries - and Steven Finn, who is recovering here from a groin 'niggle', England conceded 101 for none in the first 19 overs.

New-ball pair Chris Woakes and Harry Gurney quickly discovered the narrow margins against Dilshan (32no) and Perera (46no), and the introduction of Ben Stokes and James Tredwell made little immediate difference.

Rain delays England international against Sri Lanka

The start of England's first one-day international against Sri Lanka was delayed because of more rain in Colombo.

The Premadasa Stadium was under full covers 15 minutes before the scheduled start of this opening match of England's World Cup winter.

Morning rain was not heavy, compared with the bad weather the tourists have encountered here in the past week.

But after a lull, it returned an hour before this day-night fixture was due to get under way.

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