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Geneva sessions: Terrorism can never be justified; nor can its perpetrators ever be equated with its victims – India

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Speaking at the high-level segment of the 46th session of Human Rights Council, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said terrorism was a crime against humanity and violated the most fundamental human right, namely the right to life.

Describing terrorism as one of the gravest threats to humankind, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday that the bodies dealing with human rights should realise that terrorism could never be justified nor its perpetrators ever equated with its victims. Speaking at the high-level segment of the 46th session of Human Rights Council, Jaishankar said terrorism is a crime against humanity and violates the most fundamental human right, namely the right to life.

“Terrorism continues to be one of the gravest threats to humankind, he said in a virtual address. “As a long-standing victim, India has been at forefront of global action against terrorism. It’s possible only when there’s a clear realisation, including in bodies dealing with human rights, that terrorism can never be justified nor its perpetrators ever equated with its victims,” he said.

He said India presented last month at the UN an eight-point action plan to deal with the scourge of terrorism. “We will continue to work together with members of the UNSC and other states to ensure implementation of our action plan, he added. He said that the human rights agenda continues to face severe challenges, most of all from terrorism. The perennial concerns remain equally strong, be it global inequities or armed conflicts, he said.

“The ongoing pandemic has complicated the situation in many geographies. There is a need for us to come together to overcome these challenges. At the same time, multilateral institutions and mechanisms need to be reformed to deal with these challenges effectively, he added. He said that the violation of and gaps in implementation of human rights should be addressed in a fair and just manner with objectivity, non-selectivity, transparency and with due respect to the principles of non-interference in internal affairs and national sovereignty.

Jaishankar said India’s approach to the UNHRC is guided by spirit of engagement, dialogue and consultation. “Equal emphasis should be placed on promotion and protection of human rights. They’re best pursued via dialogue, consultation and cooperation amongst states and technical assistance and capacity building,” the minister said. “Our Constitution has enshrined basic human rights as fundamental rights, guaranteeing civil and political rights, stipulating provisions for progressive realisation of economic, social and cultural rights, he added. He said India ensured that basic needs were very effectively addressed even during the COVID-19 lockdown.



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Embassy officer arrested at BIA remanded

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The Embassy official who was attached to the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oman who is accused of being involved in a human trafficking racket was arrested by officers of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and remanded till the 13th of December when he was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate

The official was arrested on his arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) this morning (29 November).

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Easter Sunday terror attack suspect hacked to death

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By Norman Palihawadane

A 38-year-old Easter Sunday terror attack suspect was hacked to death yesterday morning (28) in Mattakkuliya.

The victim, Mohamed Badurdeen Mohamed Harnas, was a resident of Safiya Avenue, Mattakkuliya, police said.

A suspect in the Easter Sunday terror attacks, he had been released on bail.

The suspect was rushed to the National Hospital, Colombo, after three individuals, who arrived in a car around 10. 00 am, attacked him.

Two persons attacked the man while the other was keeping the car engine running, according to eyewitnesses. The attackers thereafter fled in the same car.

Harnas was pronounced dead on admission to hospital.

Further investigations in this regard are currently underway.

The victims family members said that Harnas had been taken into custody, following the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks, but later released as there was no evidence of his involvement in terrorist activities.

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Rail service between Mahawa and Jaffna to be suspended for five months

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Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that the railway services between Mahawa and Jaffna will be suspended for a period of five months in 2023.

The Minister said that operations will be suspended from January 15, 2023.

The Minister said it was to repair work on the railway line.

He said so in response to a question raised by Vanni District MP Selvam Adaikalanathan.

“We are focusing our attention on the request made by you. We have to halt railway operations between Mahawa and Jaffna for five months from January 2023. Train services have been continuously operating to Jaffna, but now we have faced a situation as we have not been able to carry out any repair work thus far,” the Minister said.

Assuring that this issue can be rectified in five months, Minister Gunawardane said that, thereafter, a good railway service can be provided for this route.

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