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Sri Lanka finally admits 20,000 missing Tamils are dead

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The new Sri Lankan president has finally admitted the 20,000 missing Tamils who vanished during the nation’s civil war are dead. Gotabaya Rajapaksa – who was then defence secretary – led government troops to victory over Tamil soldiers, but his forces were accused of carrying out mass disappearances and executions.

It is the first time the government has admitted its complicity despite the conflict ending in 2009. The move crucially comes as he is about to introduce legislation granting immunity to those who carried out abuses, according to local media reports.

Rajapaksa made the announcement during a meeting with a United Nations envoy in Colombo, the country’s capital, and has said official death certificates will be issued. He said the admission would bring closure to families and he hoped Tamil politicians would not use it as an opportunity to cause unrest.

Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war began in 1983 and raged for 26 years, claiming an estimated 100,000 lives. It was fought along ethnic and religious lines and ended with victory for the Buddhist Sinhalese-majority government at the expense of the Hindu Tamil-minority which was fighting for independence.

While atrocities were committed on both sides the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has reported how government troops carried out unlawful killings, enforced disappearances and gender-based violence en masse against Tamils.

Atrocities carried out by government forces in the final year of the conflict are considered some of the worst human rights abuses in history. Mobile phone footage documented government soldiers systematically executing bound and blindfolded civilians. Heavy artillery was also repeatedly launched into a ‘no fire zone’ resulting in the deaths of up to 70,000 largely Tamil civilians, according to the UN.

Local media reported today that Mr Rajapaksa is also set to introduce new laws which will grant immunity to members of the government accused of human rights abuses during the war.

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International

Panjshir Captured, Taliban To Form New Govt Soon!

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Panjshir CapturedThe Taliban are going to form the next government in Afghanistan soon. The Taliban on Monday had won the battle for the Panjshir Valley and got total control over Afghanistan. Taliban came to power on August 15 in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops after 20 years of war.

According to the reports, the Taliban have invited Turkey, Pakistan, Russia, Qatar, China and Iran for the event. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a press conference in Kabul on Monday that, “War has ended and they hope to have a stable Afghanistan. Anyone who takes up arms, is the enemy of the people and the country.”

A Taliban leader said that, “People should know that the invaders will never reconstruct our country and it is the responsibility of our people to do it themselves.”

It is also said that some of the technical teams from Turkey, Qatar and a United Arab Emirates company are working to restart operations at the Kabul airport.

Afghanistan’s new leadership have promised to be more “inclusive” than during their first regime. They have also pledged for a government that represents Afghanistan’s complex ethnic makeup, however women are unlikely to be included at the top levels.

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Taliban Take Over Afghanistan: Burqa Prices Increase Ten Times

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The Taliban have seized power in Afghanistan after 20 years and President Ghani fled the country. In a Facebook post, Ghani said that he had left the country to avoid clashes with the Taliban and he reportedly fled from Kabul with four cars and a chopper full of money. Talibans have tortured a lot and gave haunting memories of their rule before they have been ousted by the US after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. During the Taliban’s rule way back in 1996, women need to wear a burqa that covered their entire body and face, and they were prohibited from attending school, working, or leaving the house without a male relative. After the Taliban captured Kabul in 1996, the the Sunni Islamist organization has kept stringent rules. The rules changed after September 11, 2001 but now with the return of the Taliban, the women in Afghanistan are going to face so many problems. The women shouldn’t step out without wearing burqas, now, the price of burqas has been increased to tenfold in Kabul.

According to a CNN Report, a woman in Kabul said that every household had just one to two burqas to share between her, her sister and their mother. She further added that, “If we don’t have a burqa, we have to get a bedsheet or something to make it a bigger scarf.” The Taliban leadership has said that women education is not banned in the country but some say that the rules with time.

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Ashraf Ghani Fled Afghanistan With Cars, Chopper Full Of Money

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Ashraf GhaniAfghanistan president Ashraf Ghani left capital Kabul on Sunday. He fled Afghanistan on Sunday as Taliban militants entered Kabul virtually unopposed. Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday and took the control over Afghanistan. According to the RIA news agency, Russia’s embassy in Kabul announced on Monday that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had escaped the country with four cars and a chopper full of cash, and left some money behind because it wouldn’t fit all in. As of now, there is no information on whereabouts of Ghani.

Nikita Ishchenko, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Kabul, was quoted as saying by RIA, “Four cars were full of money, they tried to stuff another part of the money into a helicopter, but not all of it fit. And some of the money was left lying on the tarmac.”

According to reports, Ashraf Ghani is in Oman after Tajikistan refused to let the plane carrying him to land. Ghani is also expected to travel to the United States.

Just before leaving Afghanistan, Ghani shared a post on Facebook and said that he is leaving the country so as to avoid bloodshed.

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