China slams US ‘meddling in Sri Lanka internal affairs’

Updated 12 February 2014
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China slams US ‘meddling in Sri Lanka internal affairs’

BEIJING: China’s Foreign Minister on Tuesday offered support for Sri Lanka after the United States said it would table a UN resolution against Colombo over its human rights record.
“China opposes some countries’ interference in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka under the pretext of human rights issues,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Sri Lankan counterpart G. L. Peiris in Beijing.
China backs the Sri Lankan government in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, Wang said, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.
“We believe in the Sri Lankan people’s wisdom and capacity to handle their own affairs,” Wang added.
Sri Lanka this month rejected US criticism of its human rights record as “grossly disproportionate,” after a senior US official said Washington would table a UN resolution against the country.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, which finally crushed a 26-year rebellion by ethnic minority Tamil separatists in 2009, has rejected calls for an international inquiry into atrocities during the civil war.
China has increasingly tight ties with Sri Lanka, funding airports, roads, railways and ports, which has unsettled India, traditionally Sri Lanka’s closest economic partner.
The island of 21 million people just off India’s southern tip has become a front in the competition between the Asian giants China and India.


Deadly incidents leave nine civilians, many policemen dead in Somalia

Security forces stand near the wreckage of an official vehicle that was destroyed in a bomb attack in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, on Saturday. (AP)
Updated 4 sec ago
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Deadly incidents leave nine civilians, many policemen dead in Somalia

  • Local officials have in the past fingered the Rahanweyn clan for fomenting instability in the region and supplying militants to Al-Shabab

MOGADISHU/NAIROBI: Nine civilians were executed by a local militia in war-torn Somalia after the killing of a policeman by the militant group Al-Shabab, police said on Saturday.
Separately, a roadside bomb hit a police vehicle patrolling near Kenya’s border with Somalia, killing several of the 11 officers inside, a police spokesman said.
Exact casualty figures from Saturday’s patrol attack were still unclear, police spokesman Charles Owino told Reuters. Both attacks were claimed by Somali insurgents who also kidnapped three Kenyan police reservists on Friday from the same area in Wajir district in northeast Kenya.
The revenge attack on Friday just outside Galkayo — one of the most developed cities in the center of the country — targeted the Rahanweyn clan, several of whose members are suspected of being Al-Shabab militants.
“This was a horrible incident, a gruesome killing against nine unarmed innocent civilians in southern Galkayo. All of the civilians belong to one clan and the gunmen shot them dead in one location a few minutes after suspected Al-Shabab gunmen killed” a policeman, Mohamed Abdirahman, a local police official said.
“This is an unacceptable act and we will bring those perpetrators to justice,” said Hussein Dini, a traditional elder.
“Their killing cannot be justified. It seems that the merciless gunmen were retaliating for the security official who they believe was killed by Al-Shabab gunmen belonging to the clan of the victims.”

Fomenting instability
Witnesses told local media that the victims were rounded up from the streets or their homes and then shot dead on the outskirts of Galkayo. Local officials have in the past fingered the Rahanweyn clan for fomenting instability in the region and supplying militants to Al-Shabab.

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The local militia which staged the revenge attack are from the Saad Habargidir, a sub-clan of the Hawiye group which is dominant in the southern part of the city.

The local militia which staged the revenge attack are from the Saad Habargidir, a sub-clan of the Hawiye group which is dominant in the southern part of the city.
Galkayo, situated about 600 km north of the capital Mogadishu, straddles the frontier with the self-proclaimed autonomous regions of Puntland and Galmudug.
The city has been the scene of violent clashes between forces of the two regions in recent years and also witnessed violence between the two rival clans occupying its northern and southern districts.