US media claims AlQaeda operating in Lanka

In 2006 it was reported that the police arrested five Maldivian nationals in Colombo sparking unconfirmed rumours that the suspects were linked to Al-Qaeda.The Sri Lankan government has however insisted that there are no Al-Qaeda cells operating or training in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile the Telegraph reported that a recipe for how to make pressure cooker bombs, which investigators say were used in the Boston Marathon attack, was most notoriously published in the Al-Qaeda magazine Inspire. The Times of India, in 2001, highlighted an alleged nexus between Al-Qaeda and the LTTE, and claimed that “Qaeda links with the LTTE is the first instance of an Islamist group collaborating with an essentially secular outfit”.The US-based research organisation “Maritime Intelligence Group” had also said the Indonesian group Jemaah Islamiya, which has known links to al-Qaeda, had been trained in sea-borne guerrilla tactics by LTTE Sea Tiger veterans.Wikipedia had reported that the “Norwegians Against Terrorism” led by Falk Rune Rovik, described how some groups in Norway, at the behest of the LTTE, sold fake and stolen Norwegian passports to al-Qaeda members. A US media report has claimed that Al-Qaeda factions are operating in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and these groups then enter the U.S. for terrorist activities.WND.com, an independent news network operating in Washington also reported, quoting sources as saying that Iran was behind the Boston bombings and pointed to the collaboration of the regime’s Quds Forces with Hezbollah and elements of Al-Qaeda with links to individuals in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. He said that under Quds Force guidance, Hezbollah recruited Sunni terrorists allied with Al-Qaeda factions in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, who then entered the U.S. for terrorist activities. The LTTE itself acquired a fake passport for Ramzi Yousef, convicted mastermind of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center in New York. He further alleged that funds from Government of Norway had been inadvertently diverted to the LTTE. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Security Council calls on Haiti to complete elections without further delay

In a statement to the press, the Council noted the 5 February political accord, which provided a Haitian-led and owned road map for the swift conclusion of the current electoral cycle and strongly urged all relevant actors to adhere to the accord and implement its provisions within the agreed timeline, and underscored the importance of formally reinstituting the Provisional Electoral Council in this regard. On 14 February, the Haitian National Assembly elected Jocelerme Privert as the island nation’s interim President, one week after former President Michel Martelly departed without a successor.Mr. Privert will serve as interim President for 120 days, with an election scheduled for 24 April, following an agreement – known as the 5 February Agreement – between Haitian stakeholders to preserve institutional continuity and further the electoral process. Council members further noted in today’s statement the increasing number of challenges Haiti faces which can only be effectively resolved through close coordination between a democratically-elected government and Haiti’s international partners.Reiterating their strong condemnation of any attempt to destabilize the electoral process, in particular through violence, the Council urged all candidates, their supporters, political parties and other political actors to “remain calm, refrain from violence or any action that can further disrupt the […] process and political stability.”Stakeholders were also urged to resolve any electoral disputes through constructive engagement and the appropriate legal mechanisms. The Haitian Government was urged to hold those responsible for any violence accountable.The members of the Council commended the Haitian National Police, with support from the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), for their efforts to maintain peace and protect the civilian population. They also welcomed the continued efforts of the United Nations, other multilateral agencies, regional organizations and UN Member States in supporting Haiti’s critical needs.Briefing the Council yesterday on the situation in the country, Sandra Honoré, Special Representative and Head of MINUSTAH warned that a protracted political crisis in Haiti may hamper the stabilization gains achieved in recent year and further decline the island nation’s economic growth.Stressing that the next few weeks would be decisive for the short and mid-term prospects for Haiti’s democratic consolidation, she said: “There is therefore no alternative to the return, as soon as possible, to the path of institutional and political stability, through the completion of the pending elections.” read more