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India has to uphold cordial relations with Sri Lanka: Naidu

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NewsGram Staff Writer

Chennai: Reiterating the Narendra Modi government’s stand on relationship with neighboring countries, union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday that India has to maintain friendly relations with its neighbor.

Image courtesy DNA
Image courtesy DNA

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of loan distribution function under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana in Chennai, Naidu further said that Tamil Nadu has every right to pass a decree urging India to bring about a strong resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

However, Naidu mentioned that BJP, being a national party and leading the central government, will have to see the national and international ramifications of actions relating to Sri Lanka.

Speaking on the issue of credible enquiry on the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, Naidu said, Sri Lanka must ensure that the truth is unearthed and justice is delivered to the people.

An appropriate response would be given by the government at an appropriate time at the UNHRC, said Naidu.

Naidu said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken up the issue of Lankan Tamils with Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramesinghe during the latter’s recent visit to India.

The BJP leader said India is firm on it stand that there should be devolution of powers to all provinces in Sri Lanka.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Australian government to find humane solutions for refugees in Manus Island

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FILE - An undated image released Nov. 13, 2017, shows detainees staging a protest inside the compound at the Manus Island detention center in Papua New Guinea. (Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via Reuters)
FILE - An undated image released Nov. 13, 2017, shows detainees staging a protest inside the compound at the Manus Island detention center in Papua New Guinea. (Refugee Action Coalition/Handout via Reuters). VOA

The U.N. refugee agency is calling on the Australian government to find humane solutions for hundreds of refugees it has abandoned in a precarious situation on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

UNHCR accuses the Australian government of shirking its responsibilities to care for and protect some 800 refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island.

It says the situation has become more precarious for the refugees since the government closed its so-called offshore processing facility at the end of October. Over the past four weeks, it notes, refugees who were moved to three new accommodation sites have been attacked several times. The worst case involved three people armed with machetes and an axe.

UNHCR spokeswoman, Cecile Pouilly, says local hostility and resentment against the refugees is high and growing. She told VOA the Australian authorities must resolve this critical situation.

“We are talking here about people who have suffered extreme trauma and now are feeling so insecure in these places where they are staying. There are many victims of torture. People who have been deeply traumatized have been detained, having no idea what is going to happen next to them. I think this mental issue, this psychological issue is a major one,” Pouilly said.

A recent medical report commissioned by UNHCR finds the cumulative effect of uncertainty about their future is causing a deterioration in the mental and physical health of the refugees.

It warns cessation of services, substandard living and hygiene conditions and inadequate medical care are increasing violence and self-harm among the refugees. (VOA)

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