Connect with us

news

Austria adopts anti-terror package, ‘preventive detention’ on hold

Published

on

Following 2 Nov. attack:

In the wake of recent attack in Vienna that claimed the lives of four persons, Austria has adopted a security package to deal with terrorism. Austria made initial announcement a week after the Nov 2 attack blamed on a person described as an Islamist.

According to Austrian media, the government presented the package on Wednesday, Dec 16. In terms of the new package, the symbol law has been amended so that symbols of the right-wing extremist Identitarian Movement and those of some Islamist organizations could be banned; the media quoted Interior Minister Karl Nehammer as having said. The media also attributed stepped up electronic surveillance to Interior Minister Karl Nehammer and Justice Minister Alma Zadic.

However, the government refrained from adopting what it called preventive detention as part of overall security reforms for the time being.

The anti-terror package consists of following measures:

· Creation of a new criminal offense: The central component of the federal government’s new anti-terrorist package is the creation of a separate criminal offense to combat political Islam. The new paragraph 247b “Religiously motivated extremist association” in the Criminal Code is directed against organizations that fight the democratic constitutional order and want to replace it with a religiously based social and state order (such as the Sharia). According to the Criminal Code, anyone who establishes such an association, is a leader in such an association or otherwise participates in or supports it can now be punished.

Religiously motivated political extremism is becoming an aggravating factor under criminal law: A new aggravation factor for religiously motivated extremist motives is also being introduced. This should make it possible to take effective action against new forms of extremism.

· Radical mosques will be closed: Changes in the Islamic Law will create a new legal basis for closing radical mosques more quickly and easily. Specifically, in the future, the Office of Cultural Affairs should react much faster – and in particularly serious cases even without being asked to stop – and close mosques.

· Introduction of an imams’ directory: mosques and imams must be listed in a new directory. This directory will also include foreign imams and enables a transparent overview of which imam is preaching in which mosque, according to Integration Minister Susanne Raab (ÖVP). In this way, effective action can be taken against mosques that provide a platform for hate preachers from abroad. Sanctions are also planned for non-compliance.

· Stricter foreign financing ban: The foreign financing ban on mosques (Islam Law 2015) is now being tightened. In future, mosque institutions and the associations behind the mosques will be legally obliged to submit all financial documents. Here too, sanctions are planned for non-compliance.

· Improved data exchange: In addition, appropriate legal bases are created in order to improve the data and information exchange between the security authorities and the cultural office to implement these measures.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

news

GL sounds far-reaching educational reforms  

Published

on

Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday (21) acknowledged that for want of tangible measures on the part of successive governments, there was a critical mismatch between the education provided and the availability of job opportunities.

The academic, in quarantine as a result being identified as potential Covid-19 contact, emphasised the need for far reaching changes to address the issue as part of their efforts to restructure the entire system.

Prof. Peiris said so in his short remarks at an event to mark the 100th anniversary of the University of Colombo.

The one-time External Affairs Minister said: “It is a great pleasure for me to felicitate the University of Colombo, my alma mater on this happy occasion. It is a significant milestone because we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the faculty of arts, faculty of science and the library of the University of Colombo. As we look back on that span of a full century, the characteristics of the University which comes to mind is its resilience. During that period the University has had to face and indeed overcome many challenges. The society of our country has undergone a fundamental transformation during that period.

The University had the strength to cope with rapidly changing circumstances. I would identify that as a principal accomplishment of the University of Colombo.

The University proved its capacity for development, change and refinement and adaptation in order to keep pace with dramatically changing circumstances. The University proud as its history is I am sure will have an even more magnificent future. It has an important role to play in the far reaching changes we are contemplating in the educational system of our country. It is our intention in the course of this year 2021 to restructure the entire system in order to address the fundamental problem of a rather critical mismatch between the education we provide in our Universities and other educational institutions on the one hand and the availability of employment, livelihoods on the other. There is regrettably gap in this regard and it should be our collective endeavor to address this problem. We are also revisiting the curricular. The substance of our curricular  the methods of teaching in such a way  as to serve better the public in a  better way   In all these efforts I have no doubt the expertise of the University of Colombo by any standards  will be of enormous assistance to us in achieving goals we have set ourselves (SF)

Continue Reading

news

China slaps sanctions on 28 Trump administration officials, including Pompeo

Published

on

China has imposed sanctions on 28 former Trump administration officials, including outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, agency reports said yesterday.

In a statement released just minutes after President Biden took office, China’s foreign ministry said it had decided to sanction those “who have seriously violated China’s sovereignty and who have been mainly responsible for such U.S. moves on China-related issues.”

The list of names features former Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar; former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro; former national security adviser Robert O’Brien; Kelly Craft, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and Matthew Pottinger, who recently resigned as deputy national security adviser. Former national security adviser John Bolton and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon were also included.

The sanctions prohibit those individuals and their immediate family members from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao. They are also restricted from doing business with China, as are any companies or institutions associated with them.

“Over the past few years, some anti-China politicians in the United States, out of their selfish political interests and prejudice and hatred against China and showing no regard for the interests of the Chinese and American people, have planned, promoted and executed a series of crazy moves which have gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs, undermined China’s interests, offended the Chinese people, and seriously disrupted China-U.S. relations,” the ministry said.

The move comes just one day after Pompeo issued a forceful statement accusing China of committing genocide against Muslim Uighurs and other minority groups in its Xinjiang region, for which the U.S. sanctioned several Chinese officials in July. That was one of numerous instances of sanctions, visa bans and trade restrictions imposed on Chinese politicians and Communist Party officials in the Trump administration’s final year.

Relations between the U.S. and China deteriorated considerably under the previous administration, which took an unusually confrontational approach. Pompeo and other officials referred to China as constituting America’s greatest threat, as NPR’s John Ruwitch has reported.

In fact, Bolton appeared to celebrate the sanction against him, calling it “great news” in a tweet posted Wednesday afternoon.

“I accept this prestigious recognition of my unrelenting efforts to defend American freedom,” he wrote.

It is unclear what changes Biden plans, but Ruwitch noted, “Even if the Biden team moves swiftly to put the U.S.-China relationship back on a less antagonistic track, Beijing will be wary after the dramatic changes of the past four years.”

Continue Reading

news

Expert Committee appointed to report on gold, copper and iron ore deposits

Published

on

By Ifham Nizam

Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweeera yesterday appointed an expert committee to conduct a scientific study on the Seruwawila gold, copper and iron ore deposits.

With iron ore prices skyrocketing worldwide and both neighbouring giant India and China having huge demands, Sri Lanka was keen on tapping natural resources, an official said.  

The committee will be coordinated by an Additional Secretary to the Ministry and will be chaired by Prof. Athula Senaratne of the University of Peradeniya and its other members are H W. Navaratne, Dr. Stalin Fernando, Dr. Bernard Perera, Dr. C.H.K.R. Siriwardena and Dr. O.K. Dissanayake.

Amaraweera, addressing the media, at his Ministry yesterday said the mineral deposit had been explored in the 1970s with the help of technology available at that time, and it had been found that there was iron, copper as well as a certain amount of gold in the Seruwawila deposit.

As today’s excavation technology was very advanced, it was possible to dig up to 250-300 metres, the Minister said.

The Minister also said that all possible steps would be taken to increase the value of the mineral resources through value addition locally to ensure higher prices.

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending