TNA calls on Government to accept recommendations

In a statement today, the TNA said that it welcomed the recommendations included in the report and appealed to the government and all other parties to accept the report. “As an expression of this change, the government of Sri Lanka must now be willing to have the courage to accept this report and work with the world community,” the statement said. “To this end, we ask the member states of the Human Rights Council to adopt all the recommendations in the OISL report in the resolution to be presented later at this session.”The TNA also called on the government to fully cooperate with the international community and their party, in dealing with the past in a manner that will assuage the feelings of the victims of all communities, and to move forward to establish a brighter future for all the Sri Lankan citizens. (Colombo Gazette) The report said that war crimes and crimes against humanity were most likely committed by both sides to the conflict and added that the Sri Lankan justice system was not yet ready to conduct a domestic investigation. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today called on the government to accept a report released by the UN which calls on Sri Lanka to establish a special court to probe war abuses.The report which was released at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, called on the Sri Lankan government to establish a hybrid court which included international judges and lawyers to try all those involved in war crimes during the island nation’s civil conflict between government troops and the LTTE. read more

Trump lashes out on Twitter ahead of social media summit

WASHINGTON — President Trump is on a Twitter tirade ahead of his White House “Social Media Summit” gathering of mostly conservative groups.Trump is tweeting against social media companies, the press and his Democratic rivals, while calling himself “so great looking and smart, a true Stable Genius!”Trump says a “big subject’ of Thursday’s summit “will be the tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain” companies.Google, Facebook and Twitter weren’t invited to the event, their representatives have confirmed.Trump also lashed out at the press, asserting that, “Fake News is not as important, or as powerful, as Social Media” and predicting outlets “will quickly go out of business” when he leaves office. He asserted that “even Social Media would be driven out of business” if he loses in 2020.The Associated Press read more

Alexander Perepilichnyy MI5 and MI6 files to stay secret coroner rules

I am myself aware of no additional lines of inquiry that could usefully be pursuedcoroner Nicholas Hilliard QC Documents from MI5 and MI6 relating to a Russian businessman will not be made public at his inquest after a coroner ruled they would not help him to determine how the millionaire died.The sensitive “material”, which could reveal if Alexander Perepilichnyy was working with British spies before he died in mysterious circumstances, will remain secret.The 44 year-old collapsed and died while jogging near his mansion in Weybridge, Surrey, in November 2012.A Surrey Police investigation later found he died of natural causes. Critics have called for a full public inquiry to establish if he was poisoned.Lawyers acting for life insurers Legal and General told the Old Bailey that the businessman could have been “rubbed out” if he was working for British spies and that evidence of any links to UK intelligence services could show he was in “special danger”. Mr Hilliard has been examining whether or not the wealthy businessman was murdered with poison or died of natural causes.The coroner said he had considered if the material contained anything “which was not otherwise publicly available” and had “significant bearing on or connection with” the issues he has to decide on.”I am satisfied here that the answer to both questions is No,” he said.Mr Hilliard said that he had subjected Mr Javid’s application to “rigorous scrutiny” and considered the public interest in openly answering the question of whether Mr Perepilichnyy was “an agent for, or had any contact with, British intelligence agencies prior to his death”.The coroner said: “Having conducted a balancing exercise, and having considered the reasons advanced in open and closed hearings by the Home Secretary as to the risk to national security and therefore to the public interest in non-disclosure, I am satisfied that the balance comes down in favour of non-disclosure and in upholding the PII certificate. The inquest had also heard how Buzzfeed had reported that “high grade” US intelligence indicated that it was likely  Mr Perepilichnyy was assassinated on direct orders of Vladimir Putin or those close to him.No application was made for US intelligence to be withheld, after the Americans dismissed the claims.The inquest is due to continue on Friday, when closing submissions are due to take place. “In addition, I am myself aware of no additional lines of inquiry that could usefully be pursued.” The whistleblower’s home in Weybridge, SurreyCredit:Vagner Vidal/INS Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Alexander Perepilichnyy Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, lodged a secrecy application at the inquest, citing national security concerns.As part of the inquest MI5 and MI6 have been asked if they have any information relating to threats to Mr Perepilichnyy in the year before he died or any “third party involvement” in his death.Andrew O’Connor QC, for the Government, said the disclosure of any sensitive material raised a “real risk of serious harm to one or more public interests”. Before his death, Mr Perepilichnyy had been helping UK-based campaigner Bill Browder’s Hermitage Capital Investment to expose a $230 million (£142 million in November 2012) money-laundering operation.Bob Moxon Browne QC, for Legal and General, told the court his concern about Mr Javid’s application was “whether or not British police or the Government have evidence that Mr Perepilichnyy was prior to his death working for or in contact with British intelligence”.He argued there should be an exception to the rule of neither confirming nor denying contact with security services in Mr Perepilichnyy’s case.Mr Moxon Browne cited the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury in March as demonstration of “the lengths to which the Russian state are prepared to go to make an example or punish people perceived as enemies, traitors or turncoats”. The whistleblower's home The Coach House in the millionaires' luxury private estate, St George's Hill in Weybridge, Surrey. Meanwhile, he argued that the public was told of Alexander Litvinenko’s role with British intelligence after he too was fatally poisoned.If it also was true in the case of Mr Perepilichnyy, it would be “very powerful evidence indeed that he might have been in special danger from those who wish him ill because of the perception he was a traitor or a turncoat or enemy of Russia,” Mr Moxon Browne said. Coroner Nicholas Hilliard QC heard details of Mr Javid’s public interest immunity (PII) application in private in June.In a written ruling, the coroner said the documents in question are not required for the inquest.”(The PII material’s relevance) is so marginal and/or minimal as to mean that it will afford me no assistance in resolving the central question in this inquest as to how Mr Perepilichnyy died,” he said. Alexander Perepilichnyy died while jogging near his mansion  read more