South Asia

Refugee concern: A recent report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Pakistan government says that about 82 per cent of registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan have no intention to return to their homeland in the near future. Security threats in Afghanistan are a major reason for this. The conclusions of the May 2007 report contrasts with a 2005 survey where most people cited lack of shelter, land and livelihoods in their homeland as the primary impediments to their return. The report is the result of a 15-week registration effort to ascertain the population of Afghan refugees in Pakistan. It also shows that 74 per cent of the refugees are under the age of 28, which means they were born and raised in Pakistan since the influx of Afghan refugees first began in 1979.

no storage space: Sri Lanka's agricultural production and marketing authority says it has no storage space for the 25,000 tonnes of paddy that it purchased in the last week of April. The authority has already exceeded its target and is now worried over the storage of another 30,000 tonnes of paddy that will be procured in the coming weeks. The paddy stores are already brimming with stocks purchased during the previous season. The agriculture minister will now assess the paddy purchasing process and methods.

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