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Sri Lanka bans remembrance of Tamil Tigers

Sri Lanka's military Monday announced a ban on commemorations of the island's defeated Tamil Tiger rebels following reports that sections of the ethnic Tamil minority were planning to hold events. The military said any event was banned because the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was still a proscribed organisation, four years after the army defeated the group to end a decades-long separatist war.

British TV crew blocked from reaching Sri Lanka's former war zone

By Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal COLOMBO (Reuters) - Pro-government protesters blocked a train carrying a British TV crew and the Sri Lankan army stopped activists trying to attend a human rights conference on Wednesday, in an apparent clampdown on free movement ahead of a Commonwealth summit.

India, US trying to hamper Pakistan quake relief: top militant

The founder of a militant Islamist group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks Monday accused the US and India of trying to hamper efforts to help victims of Pakistan's earthquake. Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who has a $10 million US government bounty on his head, said joint US-Indian efforts to block funds for his Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) organisation were aimed at stopping its relief work in Baluchistan, hit by a powerful quake last month.

Canadian faces maximum 15-year sentence in the U.S. for terrorism support

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Prosecutors in the U.S. are asking for a Canadian man to serve the maximum sentence of 15 years after he admitted to helping a terrorist group in Sri Lanka. Suresh Sriskandarajah, who earned university degrees in Waterloo, Ont., pleaded guilty in July in Brooklyn, N.Y., to conspiring to provide material support to the Tamil Tigers. The 32-year-old is due to be sentenced on Oct. 28 and written sentencing arguments filed before the hearing show that prosecutors want him to serve the maximum. Sriskandarajah is arguing for time served.

UN rights chief gives Sri Lanka March ultimatum

United Nations rights chief Navi Pillay on Wednesday warned Sri Lanka to show clear progress towards reining in rights abuses and investigating suspected war crimes by next March, or face an international probe. Pillay called on Colombo to use the time left before she delivers a widely-anticipated report on the country to the UN Human Rights Council next March "to engage in a credible national process with tangible results, including the successful prosecution of individual perpetrators."

Indian terror suspect escapes

An Indian terror suspect accused of involvement in deadly bomb attacks five years ago escaped from a court in Mumbai on Friday, sparking a massive manhunt, police said. Afzal Usmani, allegedly a member of a home-grown Islamist group known as the Indian Mujahideen, was appearing in court to hear prosecution charges against him, according to local media reports. "He has escaped. The police, everybody is looking for him," Mumbai's anti-terror squad chief Rakesh Maria told AFP.

Court sends India's most-wanted militant to police custody

One of India's most-wanted men, alleged militant Yasin Bhatkal, appeared in a New Delhi court on Friday, following his arrest over a string of attacks that have killed hundreds. Bhatkal, one of the alleged co-founders of militant group the Indian Mujahideen, was remanded in police custody for 12 days, allowing investigators time to question him over a series of bomb blasts in recent years.

India arrests top terror mastermind and Indian mujahideen founder

Indian intelligence and security officials have arrested Yasin Bhatkal, one of the country's most wanted terrorists and co-founder of the Indian mujahideen, at the India-Nepal border, officials said Thursday. "Yasin has been arrested and is under the custody of the Bihar (state) police who are interrogating him. He was arrested with the help of our intelligence agencies," India's Minister of Home Affairs Sushilkumar Shinde said.

India arrests suspected top militant Yasin Bhatkal

Indian police have arrested the alleged co-founder of top home-grown militant group the Indian Mujahideen, blamed for a string of attacks in recent years in Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad, reports said Thursday. Yasin Bhatkal was arrested on the India-Nepal border near the town of Gorakhpur in northern Uttar Pradesh state, Indian television channels NDTV and CNN-IBN reported, citing unnamed sources.

US urges probe into Sri Lanka protest deaths

The United States on Friday urged Sri Lanka to investigate a deadly army crackdown on a village environmental protest and to prosecute those responsible. The military on August 1 opened fire on thousands of unarmed villagers at Weliweriya near Colombo as they protested contamination of their ground water, allegedly due to chemical waste from a rubber glove factory. US officials "urge all sides to exercise restraint and urge the authorities to respect the right of peaceful protest," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
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