Colombo cracks down on protesters

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Updated 14 November 2013
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Colombo cracks down on protesters

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s military stopped scores of ethnic Tamil protesters from entering the capital on Wednesday before a Commonwealth summit as a British TV crew also faced problems traveling around the island.
Roman Catholic priest Emmanuel Sebamali, who organized the visit by minority Tamils to the capital, said their buses were stopped initially by police and later by troops who forced them to return.
“We have been forced to turn back,” the priest told AFP by telephone. “They’ve refused to give us a reason. They just won’t allow us to travel to Colombo.”
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), set to begin on Friday, was hit by a new pullout Tuesday as the prime minister of Mauritius joined those of India and Canada in boycotting the event.
Sri Lanka had hoped the three-day summit would showcase its post-war revival but it is turning into a PR disaster as some of the 53 Commonwealth members and rights groups focus attention on the island’s human rights record.
Sebamali said that about 200 Tamils were en route to a meeting to draw attention to the plight of thousands who lost loved ones in a decades-long separatist war which ended in 2009. The final government offensive has been dogged by war crimes allegations, with Sri Lankan troops accused of murdering surrendering rebels and shelling hospitals. Colombo denies any wrong doing.
There was no comment from police or the military on the Tamil protest, but Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the authorities prevented them from traveling to Colombo fearing a “breach of the peace.”
“There were intelligence reports that this is a politically motivated protest and these (Tamil) people came to Colombo during the summit, it would have led to a breach of the peace,” Rambukwella told reporters.


Kanye West meets Uganda’s president, gifts pair of sneakers

Updated 15 October 2018
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Kanye West meets Uganda’s president, gifts pair of sneakers

  • Museveni said he and the American rapper held “fruitful discussions”
  • Uganda’s presidency released photos of a hoodie-wearing West meeting Museveni at the State House and exchanging gifts

KAMPALA, Uganda: Kanye West has met with Uganda’s president during a visit to the East African nation and given the 74-year-old leader a pair of white sneakers.
President Yoweri Museveni said he and the American rapper held “fruitful discussions” on Monday about promoting tourism and arts.
West and his wife, reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, have been vacationing in a national park in Uganda. He is said to be recording music in a tent.
Uganda’s presidency released photos of a hoodie-wearing West meeting Museveni at the State House and exchanging gifts.
While excited tourism officials see the visit as an endorsement of the country’s tourism potential, some Ugandans wryly pointed out that Museveni cracked down on hoodies earlier this year when he announced that motorcycle riders could no longer wear them in a bid to fight rising crime.
The president, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, has been at the center of unrest in recent weeks as Uganda’s large youth population increasingly expresses frustration over unemployment and accuses Museveni of being out of touch.
Uganda’s government has been criticized over its treatment of a local pop star-turned-opposition lawmaker, Bobi Wine, who alleges torture by security forces. The government denies it.