India working with Sri Lanka to repatriate thousands of Tamils

Updated 10 March 2015
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India working with Sri Lanka to repatriate thousands of Tamils

NEW DELHI: India said Monday it was working with Sri Lanka’s new government to repatriate thousands of ethnic minority Tamils who fled the island during nearly four decades of separatist war.
Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said discussions were ongoing for the return of 100,000 refugees from the southern state of Tamil Nadu, which is separated from Sri Lanka by a narrow stretch of sea.
“We had agreed when Sri Lanka’s foreign minister was here (India) in January to find ways by which these refugees could go back with honor, dignity (and) safety,” Jaishankar told reporters.
“We’ve already had one meeting on the bilateral side on January 30 to discuss the issue.”
The comments come as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to visit Sri Lanka this week to strengthen ties with its new President Maithripala Sirisena.
Modi is expected to visit Sri Lanka’s former war zone and Tamil heartland of Jaffna during the three-day visit, starting on Friday.
Sri Lanka’s Tamils share close cultural ties with those in India’s Tamil Nadu state.
Some 65,000 refugees are living in 109 government-run camps in the state and another 37,000 are residing elsewhere in the state, Jaishankar said.ref
Sri Lanka’s new government has said it will focus on reconciliation after the decades-long war, which claimed an estimated 100,000 lives and exposed deep ethnic divisions.
Tamil Tiger rebels fought for outright independence for their minority community in Sri Lanka until they were crushed by the army in May 2009.
“We are discussing a lot of issues with Sri Lanka and the issue of reconciliation features significantly,” said Jaishankar.
“We want to encourage that process.”
Modi’s visit comes a month after Sri Lanka’s Sirisena traveled to New Delhi to rebuild ties hit by tensions over growing Chinese influence on the strategically located island.


Trump claims ex-lawyer’s phone-taping is ‘perhaps illegal’

Updated 6 min 16 sec ago
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Trump claims ex-lawyer’s phone-taping is ‘perhaps illegal’

  • Attorney Michael Cohen made a secret recording about a potential payment for former Playboy model
  • "Your favorite President did nothing wrong!” Trump tweeted

BRIDGEWATER/ NEW JERSEY: President Donald Trump is asserting that his former personal lawyer’s taping of their private phone conversations is “totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.”
Trump is responding to the revelation that attorney Michael Cohen made a secret recording of their discussion about a potential payment for a former Playboy model’s account of having an affair with Trump. That conversation took place weeks before Trump’s November 2016 election.
Trump tweets: “The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!” His lawyer has said the payment was never made.
The recording was part of the documents and electronic records seized by authorities from the longtime Trump fixer earlier this year.
Since then, Cohen has publicly distanced himself from the president and remains under investigation by the government.