Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, March 19

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COLOMBO — Sri Lankan central bank governor Nandalal Weerasinghe told media on Sunday that the country’s “dollar crisis” is over, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is set to approve a 2.9 billion U.S. dollar bailout package for the country on Monday.

He said Sri Lanka will hence has adequate foreign reserves for imports for essential sectors, adding that the IMF package will boost investor sentiment and enhance the country’s access to more foreign funds and investments. (Sri Lanka-IMF-Bailout)

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YANGON — Myanmar’s government has designated a new protected public forest area in western region Sagaing’s Katha district.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation last week designated the area of more than 550 hectares as “Gahe-2” protected public forest, in Katha’s Indaw Township. (Myanmar-Biodiversity)

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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — The Afghan police have arrested four people for drug trafficking in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province, the Bakhtar news agency reported on Sunday.

The alleged smugglers were attempting to transport illicit drugs including heroin and the substance used in manufacturing heroin out of the provincial capital the Kandahar city on Saturday, when police during a routine check of vehicles discovered the contraband and arrested four suspects on charge of drug trafficking, the state-run media outlet said. (Afghanistan-Drug Traffickers)

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KABUL — The police in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul have most recently arrested three persons on the charge of involvement in criminal activities including robbery, mobile snatching and drug trafficking, a police official said Sunday.

Chief of Kabul’s Police District 5 Qayumullah Badri told reporters that the arrests were made on Saturday. In the operations, police also seized arms and ammunition from the possession of the arrested men. (Afghanistan-Crime)

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