Sri Lanka to dig up suspected Muslim mass grave

Updated 24 June 2014
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Sri Lanka to dig up suspected Muslim mass grave

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan authorities are to dig up the site of a suspected mass grave next week after claims it contains the bodies of scores of Muslims killed by Tamil rebels 24 years ago, police said.
The move comes amid criticism that Sri Lankan authorities have been turning a blind eye to recent attacks against Muslims carried out by Buddhist militants. At least four Muslims were killed and hundreds of homes destroyed in rioting last week at two southern resort towns.
"The site will be exhumed on July 1," a police statement said adding that security has been tightened in the area ahead of the exhumation.
"According to the complainant, the bodies of nearly 100 Muslims killed by the Tigers are buried there."
The announcement came the day after a judge ordered the dig to be carried out following a complaint from a local resident that nearly 100 people were killed by militants in the east coast town of Kalavanchikudy in 1990 before then being buried on the beach.
Sri Lanka's 37-year civil war, which ended in 2009, mainly pitted the majority ethnic Sinhalese, who are Buddhists, against the minority Tamils, who are mainly Hindus and live in the north.
The Muslim community, which accounts for around 10 percent of the island's population and is concentrated in the east, largely avoided being caught up in the fighting.
But there have been allegations that the Tigers carried out several massacres of Muslims in the east as part of their push to create a separate Tamil homeland.
Several mass graves have been found in Sri Lanka since the end of the conflict, mainly inside the former war zone but also in areas which were largely unaffected by the conflict which claimed around 100,000 lives.
Sri Lanka's government, whose troops are accused of the mass killing of civilians in the latter stages of the war, has been heavily criticised for failing to prevent last week's riots.


North Korea urges Trump to be ‘bold’ on denuclearization

Updated 38 min 39 sec ago
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North Korea urges Trump to be ‘bold’ on denuclearization

  • Trump and the North’s leader Kim Jong Un held a groundbreaking summit in Singapore in June
  • North Korea has demanded that America agree to declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War

SEOUL: North Korean state media blamed Donald Trump’s political opponents for the “deadlock” over denuclearization on Saturday, urging the US President to act boldly to make progress on the thorny issue.
Trump and the North’s leader Kim Jong Un held a groundbreaking summit in Singapore in June, which the US leader touted as a historic breakthrough.
At the meeting the pair struck a vague agreement to denuclearise the Korean peninsula, but there has been little movement since.
Meanwhile the North has criticized Washington for its “gangster-like” and “unilateral” demands for the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of Pyongyang’s atomic arsenal.
On Saturday Rodong Sinmun, the North’s most prominent daily, praised Trump for seeking to improve US-North Korea ties and achieve world peace, which it said would be the “feat of the century.”
“However, he faces too many opponents,” it said in a signed commentary.
The newspaper said Democrats and even some Republicans are hampering Trump’s efforts for their own partisan interests while media hostile to Trump are undermining his policies.
It accused bureaucrats and Trump’s aides of “speaking and moving in contradiction to the president’s will” and “distorting facts and covering up his eyes and ears in order to mislead him to a wrong decision.”
North Korea has demanded that America agree to declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War, accusing the US of failing to reciprocate a series of its “goodwill measures.”
These include ending its nuclear and missile testing, the destruction of a nuclear testing site and handing over the remains of US troops killed in the Korean War.
When Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April for their first summit, they agreed to push for a declaration of an end to the Korean War this year.
But US officials insist denuclearization of the North should be realized before such an event takes place.
Trump’s political opponents are “raising their voice, dismissing the Singapore joint statement and boycotting a declaration of an end to the war,” Rodong Sinmun said.
“The current deadlock in the DPRK-US relations requires President Trump’s bold decision,” it added.
It also urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to brush aside speculation from opponents over the North’s intentions.
Pompeo, who is preparing for his fourth visit to the North, said Thursday his team was “continuing to make progress” with the North, expressing hope that “we can make a big step here before too long.”