New Zealand mayor on deadly mosque attacks: ‘This hatred was not born here’

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the mosque attack was designed to divide and sow hatred. (AN photo by Jasmine Ng)
Updated 17 March 2019
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New Zealand mayor on deadly mosque attacks: ‘This hatred was not born here’

  • ‘It was imported and designed to inflict damage on a safe city and a safe country’
  • ‘Nobody should feel fear in their place of worship’

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand: Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has spoken out on the mosque attacks.
With the death toll rising to 50, Dalziel said March 15 would be forever remembered as a day of incredibly tragic loss.
She said the intent of the attack was to target a city and country that was well known for its safety.
“This hatred was not born here,” Dalziel said.


“It was imported and designed to inflict damage on a safe city and a safe country. We must use this as an opportunity to reject racism, to reject the singling out of people for their religious beliefs or their cultural practices. Nobody should feel fear in their place of worship.”
A copy of the shooter’s 16,000-word manifesto was sent to New Zealand’s Prime Minister 10 minutes before the attack and has widely circulated throughout the public.

“The attack was designed ... to divide. Hatred always is. I’m not going to give airtime to the motives disposed by this cowardly person who has attacked a vulnerable community in their time of worship,” Dalziel said.
She called for city leaders to make the point that diversity united our cities.
“Leaders need to reassure their communities that they are one community, and we respect the right to worship, to practice our cultural beliefs, to bring our languages and all of our traditions to whatever country one settles in.”
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has promised changes to gun laws in New Zealand in the wake of the attack.
The mosque shooter had held a gun license since 2017 and used two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns, and a lever-action firearm in the attack.

 

More on the New Zealand attack:

Christchurch massacre proves terror has no color, faith or gender

Kuwaiti victim of New Zealand mosque shootings was ‘very brave’: friend

The day peaceful, welcoming New Zealand lost its soul

When gunman Brenton Tarrant attacked New Zealand mosque Abdul Aziz ran at him

Saudi man killed in New Zealand mosque attack

World reacts to New Zealand terrorist attacks on mosque

New Zealand mosque shooter a white nationalist seeking revenge


Sri Lanka’s president orders execution of 4 drug convicts

Updated 26 June 2019
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Sri Lanka’s president orders execution of 4 drug convicts

  • The executions if carried out will end a 43-year moratorium on capital punishment
  • President Maithripala Sirisena says narcotic drugs have become a serious menace across the country with 300,000 addicts

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s president said on Wednesday that he has ordered the executions of four drug offenders who will be hanged in prison soon, amid alarm over drug-related crimes in this Indian Ocean island nation.
The executions if carried out will end a 43-year moratorium on capital punishment.
President Maithripala Sirisena told a media discussion on Wednesday that he has signed the death warrants including the days of the executions and sent them to prison authorities.
He said narcotic drugs have become a serious menace across the country with 300,000 addicts. According to Sirisena, 60 percent of 24,000 inmates have been jailed for drug-related offenses. Sri Lanka prisons are built to accommodate 11,000 people.
Sri Lanka last executed a prisoner in 1976. Currently, 1,299 prisoners are on death row, including 48 convicted of drug offenses.
Prison authorities are now in the process of recruiting two hangmen after two others quit without executing anyone.
At present, 26 people have been shortlisted for a two-day training, said Bandula Jayasinghe, an official at the Justice and Prison Reforms Ministry.
Drug trafficking is a capital offense in Sri Lanka, which authorities believe is used by peddlers as a transit hub.
Rights groups and foreign governments including the EU have previously criticized Sirisena’s suggestions to revive the death penalty, saying there is no perfect criminal justice system and the risk of executing an innocent person can never be eliminated.
Sirisena, who visited the Philippines in January, praised President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on illegal drugs as “an example to the world.” Thousands of suspects, mostly urban poor, have been slain since Duterte took office in 2016. Rights groups have denounced what they say are extrajudicial killings. Police say most of the suspects were killed in encounters with officers.
Sri Lanka is predominantly Buddhist, a religion that advocates non-violence. Sirisena has previously said the country has had positive influences from all religions but tough law enforcement is necessary to curb crime and maintain order.
In April, police publicly destroyed 770 kilograms (1,695 pounds) of drugs seized in 2016 and 2017. Police have seized 731 kilograms (1,608 pounds) of heroin, 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of cocaine and 1,607 kilograms (3,535 pounds) of marijuana so far this year.
Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in Sri Lanka, followed by heroin and cocaine. Drug-related arrests rose 2 percent in 2017 from the previous year to 81,156.