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The UK listed the Tamil rebel group which fought for a separate territory from the Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka, as a terrorist outfit in early 2000.

Sri Lanka has commended the UK's move to maintain the proscription of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist organisation. In a statement on Thursday, the Foreign Ministry in Colombo said that that the government has been made aware that the UK Home Secretary has decided to maintain the proscription of the LTTE under the UK Terrorism Act No. 7 of 2000 following the judgement of the Proscribed Organizations Appeals Commission (POAC).

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Photo by Joel Heard on Unsplash

Over 18.4 million Afghans -- almost half the population -- are now in need of humanitarian support, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Almost half of Afghanistans population is in need of emergency relief assistance, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said. The last few days have seen deadly escalation in fighting in Helmand, Kandahar, Herat, Kunduz and Nimroz provinces, adding untold sufferings to the people in a country where over 5 million people have already been displaced internally, IOM said.

As the number of people displaced due to conflicts around the country increased to more than 359,000 newly displaced in 2021, IOM said it will continue to support the people of Afghanistan, providing emergency shelter, core relief items, emergency health services and protection assistance to the displaced persons.

Apart from the internal displacement dynamics, Afghanistan continues to see record numbers of undocumented returnees in 2021; over 680,000 Afghans returned in the first seven months of this year, according to the Border Monitoring Team of the Directorate of Refugees and Repatriation (DoRR).

"The country is also in the throes of a third wave of Covid-19 and a severe drought. These factors leave almost half of Afghanistan's population in need of emergency relief assistance, with the needs expected to continue to rise," IOM said.

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The slow and equally destructive death of democracy has arrived in Sri Lanka.

In stateless societies, the rule of law is usually suppressed. In such societies, people turn into unfree pawns as a result of worsening political conditions.

The arrival of anarchy to the island nation of Sri Lanka is due to a series of factors. It is mainly driven by the worsening domestic political environment, curtailment of democracy, weaponising and the exertion of undue influence on courts and Judiciary.

The recent political victimisation of neutral agencies is an attempt to rewrite rules by its politicians. Against this backdrop, the growing human rights conditions and arbitrary pardoning of criminals will weaken the rule of law. Such a dangerous tilt, away from democratic forms of governance will drag the nation towards an autocratic footing.

Democracies 'can be dissolved spectacularly like from a coup detat or a less dramatic but equally destructive manner', argues Steven Levitz and Daniel Ziblatt in their book 'How Democracies Die. The slow and equally destructive death of democracy has arrived in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Nearly 60 per cent of Sri Lankan exports benefit from preferential terms of trade from the EU's GSP+ and US GSP schemes. Photo by Unsplash

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Social Media celebrities. Pixabay

Celebrities have millions of followers on various social media platforms. In 2020, some of the stars managed to gain more traction than others owing to controversial statements they made as well as important announcements.

Here’s IANS list of the year’s biggest social media celebrities:

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