India set to become water scarce by 2025: report

Sri Lanka plans new statute to redress Tamils’ grievances

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5.Sri Lanka plans new statute to redress Tamils’ grievances

It would take into account the right of victims to “a fair remedy” and address the problem of impunity for human rights violations suffered by all communities.

An Office for Reparations would be created for implementing the recommendations to be made by the proposed Truth Commission, the Office of the Missing Persons, the LLRC (Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission) and any other entity.

Mr. Samaraweera outlined other measures such as strengthening the National Human Rights Commission in line with the Paris Principles and signing and ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances. The government would also issue instructions to all branches of the security establishment that torture, sexual violence and other human rights violations were prohibited and those responsible would be punished.

The Prevention of Terrorism Act would be replaced with one on anti-terrorism in tune with “contemporary international best practices.” The moratorium on death penalty would be maintained with a view to abolishing it ultimately, he said.

The government would also release reports of two Presidential Commissions by the end of this month, besides issuing certificates of absence to families of the missing as a temporary measure of relief; disengaging the military from commercial activities; and undertaking security-sector reforms.

6.U.N. adopts text-based negotiations on council reforms

The U.N. General Assembly on Monday adopted a negotiating text by consensus for the long- pending Security Council reforms, setting the stage for talks on the issue at its 70th session beginning on Tuesday, boosting India’s bid for a permanent seat in the revamped world body.

India termed as “historic” and “path-breaking” the adoption of the document, saying the decision puts the Inter- Governmental Process formally on an “irreversible text-based negotiations path” and changes the “dynamics” of the negotiations on achieving UNSC reforms.

U.N. General Assembly President Sam Kutesa convened a plenary meeting here to take action on the draft decision on the “Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters”.

During the meeting, he also circulated letters containing the positions of key countries, including Russia, the U.S. and China which refused to contribute to the negotiating text. There was no voting on the decision to continue text- based UNSC reforms in the 70th session of the General Assembly and it was adopted by consensus.

The draft decision contains a negotiating text which has positions of U.N. member states on Security Council reforms and how the powerful 15-nation body should be expanded in its permanent and non-permanent categories.

India’s Ambassador to the U.N. Asoke Mukerji said the “most important aspect” of Monday’s decision is the text circulated by Mr. Kutesa in July which “we have agreed, will be the guiding basis for our deliberations in the 70th General Assembly session”.

7.Plan to declare Nepal a Hindu state rejected

A proposal to declare Nepal a Hindu state was on Monday overwhelmingly rejected by the Constituent Assembly which reaffirmed that the Hindu-majority nation will remain secular.

The proposal made by pro-Hindu National Democratic Party Nepal to amend the Constitution was rejected by more than two-thirds of lawmakers.

An erstwhile Hindu state, Nepal was declared secular in 2007 after the success of the “people’s movement” of 2006.

During a public opinion collection held in July, majority of the people preferred the word ‘Hindu’ or ‘religious freedom’ instead of using the term ‘secularism’.

Protesting the rejection of the proposal, a group of Hindu activists carrying yellow and saffron flags clashed with security personnel at New Baneshwar area in the capital.

Clashes erupted after police used force to disperse the agitating activists who tried to enter a prohibitory area near the Constituent Assembly building.

The protesters attacked passing vehicles, including one of the United Nations.

8.EU struggles to hammer out deal on refugee quotas

EU Ministers are set to reach broad agreement on Monday on relocating 1,60,000 asylum seekers, but are unlikely to seal a crucial deal on binding quotas for how they should be shared out, officials said.

Interior Ministers were holding emergency talks in Brussels to discuss plans unveiled last week by European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to redistribute refugees from overstretched Greece, Italy and Hungary.

“We have political agreement on the relocation of the 1,60,000 but we haven’t reached agreement on the quotas yet,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters during a break in talks.

“We will probably decide that at the next council [EU summit] meeting in October,” he added. However, the Ministers formally agreed Monday to launch the plan for the 40,000, and make up the remaining pledges by the end of the year. EU sources have said they hope to start relocating the first 20,000 from Wednesday. — Reuters


1.UAE deports 4 from Kerala for ‘IS links’

A Hindu is among the four youths deported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on suspicion of being sympathisers of the Islamic State (IS), a senior government official has said.

So far, their direct link to the militant group has not been established. Investigators said their role was limited to sending and receiving “radical content on Facebook.” The messages were intercepted by the UAE authorities.

A senior official said the Hindu boy was a core member of the online group. He was one of the recipients of the messages being circulated on social networking platforms and he too had, on occasions, forwarded the “radical content” to others.

The deportees were part of an online circle of 10 friends who had links with a 20-year-old Keralite, who is believed to have joined the ranks of the Islamist group in Syria. Investigators said this youth, a college dropout, “disappeared” in April from Ras al-Khaima. His father, a white-collar worker, was employed in the Emirates for years. The youth had done his schooling there and his visits, if any, to Kerala were few and far between.

While the four youths were deported on Tuesday, three others had come back from the UAE of their own volition last week. Three more were deported in the first week of September.

“All these men are in the 19-24 age-group and are second generation Keralites living in the UAE. They were engaged in small jobs like repairing mobile phones and selling SIM cards,” said a senior Home Ministry official.

Two of the four youths disembarked at Karipur and the other two in Thiruvananthapuram. They are under detention, the Kerala police said.

The UAE had deported at least eight Keralites on suspicion of being IS sympathisers since May.

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