Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1000 GMT, May 24

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COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka has hired two international financial and legal advisors to help restructure the external debt of the Sri Lankan government, cabinet spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena told the media on Tuesday.

He said that the cabinet of ministers on Monday approved hiring an international financial advisory service provider and an international legal advisory service provider to restructure the external debt of the country. (Sri Lanka-Debt Restructuring-Firms)

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KABUL -- Casualties feared as blast heard in western Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday, eyewitnesses said.

The eyewitnesses who declined to be named said that the blast took place close to a student class in Dasht-e-Barchi area, a suburb of Police District 18 around noon. (Afghanistan-Blast)

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PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia's Ministry of Tourism on Tuesday issued a directive to ban selling and drinking all types of alcohol for two days -- a day before and on the commune election day.

The move is to help ensure that the commune election on June 5 is free and fair without violence, threat, intimidation and incidents, which could be compromised by alcohol consumption, Ministry of Tourism's permanent secretary of state Tith Chantha said in the directive. (Cambodia-Commune Election-Drinking Sale Ban)

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DHAKA -- Bangladesh's largest Padma bridge will open to traffic on June 25, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said Tuesday.

The minister made the announcement after meeting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on Tuesday. (Bangladesh-Padma Bridge-Opening) Enditem

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