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Sri Lanka’s president says “99%” of the remaining suspects in the Easter attacks on churches and hotels have been arrested and their explosive materials seized, and it is safe for tourists to return to the Indian Ocean island nation.
“The country is in a safe position right now for tourists,” President Maithripala Sirisena said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday. “Our intelligence divisions have identified how many terrorists are there and 99% of them have been arrested. One or two may have been left and they too will be arrested,” he said.
Sirisena spoke hours after an interim report was submitted by a committee his office formed to examine why Sri Lankan security forces did not heed Indian intelligence information ahead of the attacks that killed more than 250 people.
Sirisena declined to discuss the report but said that “heads of security divisions have failed to take appropriate measures and failed to inform me, too.” The president also said “all” of the suspects’ explosives, weapons, safe houses and training centers had been found in the 16 days since the blasts rocked the island off India’s southern tip.
Acting police chief C.D. Wickramaratne said in a statement Monday that authorities had also seized improvised explosive devices and hundreds of swords, $140,000 in cash in bank accounts and $40 million in assets including land, houses, vehicles and jewelry connected to the suspects.
Those things weren’t discovered earlier because of “weaknesses” in Sri Lanka’s intelligence divisions, Sirisena said. Officials say the coordinated suicide bombings on Easter morning were carried out by Sri Lankan militants targeting churches full of people and luxury hotels in the capital, Colombo.
Since Sri Lanka’s civil war ended a decade ago, the country has built a vast tourism sector that draws tourists to its beaches, wildlife and ancient temples. The dead included dozens of foreigners. Sirisena was out of the country on a private trip to Singapore on the day of the attacks. Upon his return, he demanded the resignation of his defense secretary and chief of police.
Sirisena said Tuesday that the violence wasn’t a problem specific to Sri Lanka, instead ascribing it to “global terrorism.” He said countries fighting international terrorism had voluntarily sent intelligence experts to the island who are collaborating with local intelligence units. Police say two previously little-known radical Islamist groups — National Towheed Jamaat and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim — conspired in the attacks.
Officials say Zahran Hashim, a vitriolic preacher from the country’s east, may have led the attackers and was one of the nine suicide bombers to die. Two days after the bombings, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility and later released a video of Hashim and other men pledging their loyalty to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Later, al-Baghdad praised the attackers in a video that was his first public appearance in nearly five years.
Sirisena’s enmity with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his Cabinet and a lack of communication between the two leaders is also considered a key factor in the breakdown of intelligence sharing ahead of the attacks.
Sirisena “is a big failure, but others also should have made up for it. The others have also looked at their interest above the country,” said Chandra Jayaratna, a social activist and the former head of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Sirisena, who was health minister under former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa, quit that government and teamed up with Wickremesinghe to defeat Rajapaksa in the 2015 presidential election.
However, the two leaders fell out and their rivalry became public last October when Sirisena suddenly sacked Wickremesinghe and appointed Rajapaksa as prime minister. The crisis brought the country to a standstill for seven weeks and was only resolved after a court ordered Sirisena to reinstate Wickremesinghe. A presidential election is due by the end of the year and both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe are widely expected to run.
Sirisena has previously said the intelligence services were weakened by Wickremesinghe and his ministers who insisted that intelligence and security personnel accused of human rights violations during the civil war be investigated in line with a pledge to the United Nations’ human rights council.
During and immediately after the 26-year conflict between rebels from the ethnic minority Tamil community and the Sinhalese-majority government, intelligence officials were accused of involvement in the abduction, assault and disappearance of critics, journalists and other civilians. Rajapaksa was the country’s leader at the time. (VOA)
Sports betting has been around for centuries for the audience to not only watch the sport but to get more deeply involved in the match. It is a fun and often profitable activity for the viewer to win some extra fortune or simply get some extra sweat while watching the game. At first glance, sports betting may look like it's pure luck, but when you indulge deeper into the activity you realize it is more of a calculative and research activity than just pure luck. We must note that yes, luck does play a certain role to some extend but a win is not completely dependent on luck, if you're putting your bets on a certain team you have to make sure to do some research about the players on the team, history of wins and losses of the team and compare the probability of winning and then place bets.
Even though sports betting has existed since the ancient era, it was not until recently that it became increasingly popular among the youth. This happened due to the legalization of the activity and the rise of online sports betting. The technological revolution has expanded the sports betting industry, offering the bettors new markets and ways to bet. The only major difference between online bookmarkers and traditional brick-and-mortar venues of sports betting is that now you can place bets online from your mobile devices, laptops, computers etc.
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Online sports betting allows the sports enthusiastic bettors to place their sports bet online from wherever they are on real-life happening sports events. For instance, if there is a match between Chelsea F.C. and Machester United in the English Premier League, you can place wagers on either of the team to win from your comfort space, on your device and if you correctly predict the outcome, you'll win money.
How to Bet on Sports?
Sport betting gives more thrill and involvement in the sport to the bettor.Istockphoto
Now that you understand the basic mechanism of sports betting, how and where should you place your bets? For new bettors, sports betting can be a little intimidating because you're putting real money as stakes and no one wants to lose it. Here are the steps to place your sports bets online:
Choose a betting site: The first step to placing your sports bets is to find a reliable sports betting site. BetRivers sportsbook is one of the most popular sports betting sites in the US which also has a mobile app. It has a solid design with intuitive navigation, user friendly and polished layout.
Sign up: After choosing the website, you must sign up and provide simple details like your name, email address, age etc. to verify your proof of identity and if you're legally allowed to start betting in the state or not.
Deposit money in your online sportsbook: Once you've registered an account, you can immediately deposit some money and place your bets on the sport of your choice. Most online sports betting platforms accept numerous deposit methods. BetRivers accepts various methods like online banking, Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, pay+, etc; and withdrawing money is as simple as depositing the amount.
ALSO READ: The Growth of The Sports Betting Market
Locate the market: Before placing your first bet, pinpoint the sports you want to place bets on, then select specific competitions or leagues that interests you the most. Then you need to find a team you want to bet on. Do some research on the odds and market. Once you've made up your mind you can bet your money on your prediction.
Place your first bet: Once you're certain about your bet, you're required to enter the amount you want to bet. Most sites give you a preview of how much a bettor stands to win in the bet slip. If you're satisfied with the odds, you can happily hit the button to confirm your bet and wait for the results.
Enjoy the game: The bet has been placed, the game has started, now all you need to do is sit back, relax and watch the game and let your bet come in.
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It is indeed good news that the book showcasing the wisdom of India in the eyes of Western intellectuals is getting due recognition and appreciation from other states and abroad. After Karnataka and Punjab, the Government of Assam has recently consented to translate the research-based book by Shillong-based author - Shri Salil Gewali titled "Great Minds on India". The Chief Minister of Assam - Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma was amazed to know that so many top western scientists and philosophers have drawn a considerable amount of inspiration from ancient scriptures of India, particularly in the studies of modern physics, linguistic and astronomy. In the recent meeting with the author, the Chief Minister had highly appreciated Gewali's book and promised to read it thoroughly. Gewali's book was also approved for translation in the year 2020 by the former Chief Minister – Shri Sarbananda Sonowal but due to COVID-19, the translation work was delayed.
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Furthermore, the two scholars from Canada --- Dr Hema Murty -- Air Space Engineer at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Harsh H Thakkar of Sheridan College of Brampton, Ontario have sought permission from Mr. Gewali for the translation of 'Great Minds on India' into the Sanskrit language. After the translation, the Sanskrit edition will be published and circulated and utilized by Samskrita Bharati of Canada, besides its other branches in India, USA and UK. Gewali says that the book that has been praised by countless scholars and publication by the Government of Karnataka and Punjab has so far been translated into thirteen languages, including German.
'Great Minds of India' by Salil Gewali is an impressive compact book discussing the power that Indian ancient wisdomFile
A university scholar from Winchester, United Kingdom - Ms. Janet Murphy remarks:
" 'Great Minds of India' by Salil Gewali is an impressive compact book discussing the power that Indian ancient wisdom, thought and way of life had an impact on western minds, especially those who are of great historical significance, such as Voltaire, Albert Einstein, Ralph Emerson, Julius Robert Oppenheimer, Mark Twain, HG Wells et al. It is hoped all right-thinking scholars will find Gewali's work extremely applaudable."
BEIJING — Chinese organizers have confirmed participants in next year's Winter Olympics will be strictly isolated from the general population and could face expulsion for violating COVID-19 restrictions.
Vice mayor and Beijing 2022 organizing committee official Zhang Jiandong told reporters Wednesday that those taking part in the games beginning Feb. 4 must remain in a "closed loop" for training, competing, transport, dining and accommodation.
A strict Olympic bubble has long been on the books, but Beijing has now made it official in keeping with its zero-tolerance approach to the pandemic. Athletes and other participants will also be tested regularly for the coronavirus before and during the Games. Family, spectators and sponsors from outside the country will not be allowed to attend.
"All participants of the Games and our Chinese staff and volunteers will implement the same policy," Zhang said. "They will be strictly separated from the external society.
"Those who do not comply with the epidemic prevention regulations may face severe consequences such as warning, temporary or permanent cancellation of registration, temporary or permanent disqualification or expulsion from the competition, and other punishment."
All participants must have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to their departure for China.
China has enforced strict rules on mask wearing, quarantines and contact tracing that have largely succeeded in eliminating the local transmission of COVID-19, but imported cases and domestic infections continue to appear in daily reports.
"Indeed, epidemic prevention and control is the biggest challenge for us to host the Winter Olympic Games," Zhang told a news conference.
Wednesday marked 100 days until the Beijing Games. Organizers have held test events featuring international athletes at Olympic venues under strict conditions.
Japan imposed restrictive rules and an Olympic bubble during the July 23-Aug. 8 Summer Games in Tokyo, which had been postponed by 12 months because of the pandemic. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: China, Winter Olympics, Closed Loop, Epidemic Prevention