New mass grave found in Sri Lanka
December 23, 2013 - 9:59:52 am
COLOMBO: An unmarked mass grave has been found in Sri Lanka’s former war zone, the first discovery of an unmarked gravesite since troops defeated Tamil rebels more than four years ago, police said yesterday. Construction workers in the coastal district of Mannar stumbled on at least 10 skeletal remains buried at a location where they were laying a new water pipe, said police spokesman Ajith Rohana. “A judicial medical officer has gone to the site. Further forensic examinations are underway to determine the age of the mass grave,” Rohana said. “Additional staff are being inducted for the investigation.” There was no immediate indication who the victims were or how and when they had died. However, it is the first time that evidence of a mass grave has emerged in the former war zone since troops declared victory over separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas in May 2009. Both government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels have been accused of killing civilians during the 37-year separatist war. Earlier this year construction workers stumbled on another mass grave in central Sri Lanka, hundreds of kilometres away from the conflict zone.
Over 20 hurt in car bomb in Thai south
BANGKOK: More than twenty people were wounded — four seriously — when a car bomb went off near a hotel in the far south of Thailand, a local governor said. The blast occurred in front of a hotel in the Sadao district of Songkhla province, an area rarely targeted by insurgents fighting for a level of autonomy for Thailand’s southernmost provinces which have a Malay Muslim majority. Television footage showed a smoke-choked road and charred cars outside the hotel. Two other bombs attached to parked motorcycles struck a police checkpoint and a police station elsewhere in the province without causing injury.
Bird flu areas sealed off in north China
SHIJIAZHUANG: Areas within 3km of a farm in north China’s Hebei Province, the site of an H5N2 bird flu outbreak in poultry, were confirmed to have been sealed off, according to local government. The disease killed 4,000 chickens raised at the farm in Baoding City after they showed symptoms of suspected avian flu on December 17, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. The National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory on Saturday confirmed the epidemic was caused by the H5N2 avian influenza virus after testing samples collected at the farm. Local authorities have sealed off and sterilised the infected area, where a total of 125,700 chickens have been culled and safely disposed of to prevent the disease from spreading. Earlier this week, four new human cases of H7N9 bird flu were confirmed in south China’s Guangdong Province.
Nepal’s Maoist party not to join govt
Kathmandu: Nepal’s third largest party, the (UCPN-Maoist), said that it will not join the coalition government but will join the constituent assembly for the sake of the constitution drafting process. The party had threatened to stay out of the constitution drafting process immediately after the country’s election on November 19, if the government fails to form an independent probe panel on “vote-rigging”, Xinhua reported. Agencies