29 Reports

UNP wants to continue geopolitical occupation of Champoor

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 31 March 2015, 23:46 GMT]
Colombo's Governor to the Eastern Province, Austin Fernando, who was the SL Defence Secretary under the UNP government during the Norwegian mediated peace process, is now defending Colombo's occupation of the so-called ‘Economic’ zone in Champoor as demarcated by the Rajapaksa regime, informed Tamil National Alliance (TNA) circles in the East told TamilNet on Tuesday. Talks between the TNA and the SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe on resettling civilians in Champoor failed to produce any positive outcome. In the meantime, Mr Fernando is opposed to release the lands from the occupied ‘economic’ zone. The uprooted Tamils are being told to expect alternative lands from the SL military occupied zone, civil sources in Trincomalee said. In the meantime, a geo-political deal is being worked out involving a foreign power, informed sources told TamilNet.
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Priests blame SL military for desecration of Catholic ashram in Vasaavi'laan

[TamilNet, Monday, 30 March 2015, 23:35 GMT]
Catholic priests who inspected the 90 acres of released lands in Vasaavi'laan East (GS Division of J/244) in Valikaamam North, Jaffna, say that proper resettlement is not feasible without getting the remaining residential and agricultural lands released. The access road, cut off by the SL military should be restored, they said. The Roman Catholic school and the main church of the village are still occupied by the SL military. The first indigenous contemplative congregation (Ashram) of the Catholic Church in Asia, has been released. But, it is fully ruined. The entire building has been robbed of everything, except the walls, Catholics priests in Jaffna said. TamilNet publishes a short video of the first visit by a section of Catholic priests to the convent of the Rosarian Sisters (nuns) in Vasaavi'laan East.
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SL military harassment continues to target ex-LTTE members in Vanni

[TamilNet, Sunday, 29 March 2015, 23:11 GMT]
Former LTTE members who met the touring Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe at Ki'linochchi on Sunday told the SL premier that the occupying Sinhala military was harassing them even after the so-called regime change in Colombo. SL military intelligence operatives continue to interrogate them, they complained adding that the SL soldiers were threatening the families by frequent inspections. The wives of former LTTE members were being harassed after their husbands leave for work, Mr Wickramasinghe was told. However, the SL Prime Minister was using his trip to encourage the occupying SL military to continue the genocidal occupation of the Tamil homeland, informed sources in Jaffna and Vanni told TamilNet.
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Colombo continues to block uprooted Tamils from resettling in Poththuvil, Ampaa'rai

[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 March 2015, 23:49 GMT]
The occupying Sinhala military and Sinhala officials belonging to SL Forest Department and SL Archaeology department continue to block hundreds of uprooted Tamil families from resettling in their own villages situated along the border of Poththuvil Divisional Secretariat in Ampaa'rai district. Mr T. Kaliaiyarasan, a councillor of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) told TamilNet on Saturday that 485 families have been blocked from resettling in their residential and agricultural lands. The new regime in Colombo is also blocking the people from accessing these lands, he said.
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Growing nexus between India’s corporates and diplomatic minds

[TamilNet, Friday, 27 March 2015, 20:13 GMT]
Ms. Nirupama Menon Rao, a former foreign secretary of the New Delhi Establishment, has been appointed on Thursday as an independent director of the board of an Ambani-led media company that owns CNN-IBN and CNBC in India, according to an Associated Press report on Friday. Mr Mukesh Ambani the second richest Indian, heads the petrochemicals to telecoms corporate, Reliance Industries Ltd. Sponsored by this Ambani conglomerate, The Observer Research Foundation (ORF) was vocal in supporting Rajapaksa as well as the Colombo-centric State in the island. Ms Nirupama Menon Rao served as New Delhi’s High Commissioner in Colombo (2004 - 2006) and later became Foreign Secretary (August 2009 to July 2011), before going as New Delhi’s ambassador to Washington – all during the NSA tenure of MK Narayanan and Shiv Shankar Menon.
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New regime should demonstrate attitudinal change, says Bishop of Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Thursday, 26 March 2015, 23:16 GMT]
Whatever the step the new president of Sri Lanka is taking, seems to be too slow and is beyond the expectations of the affected people in the North and East, the Bishop of Batticaloa Rev. Dr. Joseph Ponniah told TamilNet in an interview this week. The new government should demonstrate that it possesses the ability to take bold steps such as the appointment of non-military governors. What is mostly needed now is an attitudinal change on the part of the Colombo government. Even today, whenever someone raises the issues of the affected people in the North and East, the government leaders in Colombo seem to brush off the critiques as coming from ethno-nationalists. This attitude is one of the main problems, the Bishop of Batticaloa said.
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Report unearths more facts on UK’s role in Sri Lanka’s counter-insurgency

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 March 2015, 23:50 GMT]
Facts are evidence used to build a truth, which is a very fluid thing. The truth Phil Miller has set out to prove is that “the British State colluded with the Sri Lankan State in its counter-insurgency operations against Tamils since the 1980's,” says Dr N. Malathy, a key member of NESoHR and the author of ‘A Fleeting Moment in My Country’. Phil's latest report, “Exporting Police Death Squads” identifies a person, the late Jack Morton, his career path, and his report, “Morten report”, which was produced for Sri Lanka’s counter-insurgency operations against Tamils. The so-called Morton report is still kept secret by the British State, Phil Miller's research has revealed.
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Wigneswaran urges SL State to respect international principle on resettlement

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 March 2015, 12:04 GMT]
“Unless Grama Sevaka Divisions 244 and 252 are released in full as promised earlier, what has been gingerly granted today would hardly be of any use to the few families now selected to enter their erstwhile denied lands,” Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran said in his address at Vazhalaay during the visit by SL President, Prime Minister and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. “It may not be out of place for me to mention here of the land grabs taking place in the Vanni not only by the military but also by certain Politicians who wielded power earlier and who continue to wield power now, may be more so. They still influence in selecting inappropriate beneficiaries for the Indian Housing Schemes,” the CM said, urging the SL State to adhere to the UN Principles for Housing and Property Restitution for Refugees and IDPs, which is known as the Pinheiro Principles.
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SL Military motives questioned while Colombo trio visits Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 22 March 2015, 23:19 GMT]
The SL military has suddenly fenced off a crucial link road in the area supposed to be handed over back to the people of Vasaavi'laan East, just one day ahead of the much-orchestrated visit to the area by the Sri Lankan President Maithiripala Sirisena together with SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe and former SL President Chandrika Kumaratunga. On Sunday, Northern Provincial Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran visited the area and was shocked to see the link road been fenced off by the SL military. The Chief Minister said the lands have not been released as promised by the Colombo government. Only a small area has been released, he said questioning whether there was a conflict between the Colombo government and its military or whether there was anything else. The people are disappointed to see that the lands have not been handed over as promised by the government.
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Karuna assaults landowner in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 March 2015, 23:52 GMT]
An armed squad led by paramilitary operative and former SL deputy minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan (Karuna) on Saturday assaulted a Tamil farmer, R. Vanaraja, while he was engaged at cultivation in his own agricultural land at Noo'ru-eakkar in Kiraan, Batticaloa. Mr Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan was claiming ownership to the land. The land was earlier under the control of the Tigers after Vanaraja family had displaced from his village. Later, Muralitharan, who defected from the LTTE had seized the land for commercial purposes, news sources in Batticaloa said.
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Colombo stages eyewash resettlement amidst military cantonment in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Friday, 20 March 2015, 23:11 GMT]
211 families, who registered on Friday to resettle in Vasaavi'laan East in Valikaamam North and were allowed to visit and see their villages, have complained that the Colombo regime was still upholding the militarisation of their villages in the former ‘High Security Zone’. The SL military is still occupying their residential areas. Even the few houses situated in the area being released to the people have been totally demolished while the houses within the areas fenced off for continued military use are intact. In addition, most of the lands being released are either agricultural lands or quarry lands unfit for resettlement or agriculture, they complained. The SL military is still occupying the fertile agricultural lands, which have been converted into farms run by the military.
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Ex-LTTE woman returned from France escapes assassination attempt in Vanni

[TamilNet, Thursday, 19 March 2015, 08:03 GMT]
A group of assailants believed to belong to a surveillance squad of the Sri Lankan military attempted on Wednesday night to assassinate 41-year-old Baheerathy Murukesu, who was arrested earlier this month at Colombo airport and later released on bail with a restriction to leave the island. The two-member squad, which was waiting outside her house at Ka'ndaava'lai in Mullaiththeevu, followed Ms Baheerathy and hit her with their motorbike. Baheerathy was thrown away, but survived the attempt on her life. She was arrested by the Sri Lankan ‘Terrorist Investigation Department’ earlier this month when she was visiting her family on vacation from France. Baheerathy headed a naval wing of the LTTE's Sea Tigers between 1997 and 2000 and had left the island in 2005, the SL police has stated earlier.
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TNA, TNPF politicians address press conference in Geneva

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 March 2015, 22:02 GMT]
Northern provincial councillors Ananthy Sasitharan, M.K. Shivajilingam and TNPF Leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam addressed the press at the Geneva Press Club on Tuesday, briefing the audience on the various aspects of the structural genocide targeting the Eezham Tamil nation, which continued unabated despite the internationally orchestrated ‘regime change’ hatching Maithriplala Sirisena as the SL president. The Tamil politicians from the homeland also said that the procrastination in delivering justice to Tamils on the part of the international community in the deferral of the OISL report only emboldened the Sri Lankan State in its crimes against Tamils. Human rights activist and one of the judges in the People’s Tribunal on Sri Lanka, Maung Zarini also addressed the audience together with Tamil diaspora activists Sivakami Rajamanoharan from the UK and R Sri Ranjan from Canada.
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New regime silently steps up military land grab in North

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 March 2015, 09:01 GMT]
The occupying Sri Lankan military has again started to seize private lands outside the so-called High Security Zone (HSZ) in the North. While releasing some of the lands in the HSZ back to people in the North, the SL military is silently seizing lands outside the HSZ to maintain and expand its cantonments in the country of Eezham Tamils. Informed sources from the district secretariats of Ki'linochchi and Mullaiththeevu told TamilNet Wednesday that the military seizure of lands has been stepped up during the past 3 weeks at more than 20 localities in Vanni. Under the Rajapaksa regime, the SL officials were open about the military seizure of lands. But, now the process is almost invisible. Surveying officers are also brought from Colombo and legal notices are not issued in order to avoid public protests.
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Premachandran challenges Colombo on ‘Gota’ detention camp in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 March 2015, 08:42 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran on Monday said he was in possession of evidences to prove that there existed a notorious detention camp at the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) base in Trincomalee with more than 700 Tamil detainees and 35 families. “We can provide such evidences only if the witnesses could be protected,” Mr Premachandran said. After the TNA MP had raised the issue in the Sri Lankan Parliament in February, the new regime in Colombo promised to come up with answers. Now, the SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe (UNP) has responded citing the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy as saying that there was no such detention camp. The Sri Lankan Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe (UNP) has also gone on record denying the accusation of the so-called Gotabhaya camp.
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Tamil protest at Geneva demands UN investigations on Tamil genocide

[TamilNet, Monday, 16 March 2015, 22:17 GMT]
More than 4,000 Diaspora Tamils across Europe gathered at Palais des Nations, in front of the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday demanding international investigations on Tamil genocide and UN monitored plebiscite on Tamil Eelam. Activists from different solidarity groups participated in the protest, which received attention from various media organisations. The protest also witnessed active participation of Eezham Tamils recently exiled from their homeland and a new group of second generation activists from Switzerland.
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NESoHR vice chairman pays homage to Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer

[TamilNet, Sunday, 15 March 2015, 23:03 GMT]
Former Supreme Court Judge Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer who reformed the Indian criminal justice system and championed the cause of the suppressed including the Eezham Tamils, is remembered by exiled Eezham Tamil rights activist Attorney K. Sivapalan, who is also the vice chairman of the North Eastern Secretariat of Human Rights (NESoHR). Krishna Iyer had passed away 100 days ago on December 4, 2014 at the age of 100. “Even in his ripe old age he made a plea on behalf of Murugan, Shanthan and Perarivalan to commute their death sentence to Life imprisonment. He was a great supporter of Eelam Tamils in their struggle for their rights,” Mr Sivapalan writes.
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Wigneswaran seeks extra-constitutional approach to resolve Tamil national question

[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 March 2015, 16:03 GMT]
NPC Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran on Saturday urged the visiting Indian PM to support a negotiation process without succumbing to the constraints of the Sri Lankan Constitution and the associated protocols. Such a negotiation process should involve the Indian Government, Sri Lankan Government and the Provincial Councils of North and East in the island to resolve the national question. The current 13th Amendment Framework and the existing Sri Lankan constitutional architecture had evolved since the first Republican Constitution of 1972 without the consent and participation of Tamils of North and East of our Country, he said adding that both of them pose formidable challenges and hindrances in realizing the quantum of devolution required to fulfill the needs and aspirations of the Tamil Speaking People of North and East of Sri Lanka.
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Indian consulate attempts to prevent civil mobilisation during Modi visit

[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 March 2015, 23:32 GMT]
The officials at the office of the Consulate General of India (CGI) in Jaffna have been urging the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians, provincial councillors and civic members not to promote any peaceful rally during the visit by the Indian Prime Minister to North. The CGI officials in collaboration with a section of Sri Lankan officials have also instructed the government officials to suppress public mobilisation. A representative of War-affected people's group, Mr V. Sahathevan, who is waging a three-day fasting in front of the Public Library of Jaffna was insulted on Thursday as the Municipal Council officers removed his banner and his temporary hut. However, a section of the public organisations in Jaffna have announced a peaceful rally on Saturday with 10 demands addressed to the visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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SL military operatives threaten distributors of Tamil weekly

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 11 March 2015, 23:14 GMT]
While the Sri Lankan State is waging a propaganda that it has allowed free media operations in the island, the SL military intelligence of Maithiripala Sirisena's regime has silently stepped up monitoring and harassment on the Tamil weekly, Ithu Nam Theasam, a pro TNPF paper which has gained popularity among the serious Tamil readers in the recent times, especially after the regime change. Three operatives, who came in two motorbikes were following the distributor of Ithu Nam Theasam at Sivanakar in Ki'linochchi on Tuesday. The squad stopped the distributor at a place where there was no civilian witnesses and seized the papers from him issuing a threat on his life, the distributor told media.
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Ki Pi Aravinthan's 2008 interview to TamilNet serialized

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 March 2015, 09:06 GMT]
TamilNet serializes this week a 2008 interview with veteran former Tamil militant, poet and writer Ki Pi Aravinthan (Christopher Francis alias Sunthar), who passed away on Sunday in Paris at the age of 62. Mr Aravinthan narrates the background of early Tamil militancy, the political events in the island and the prevailing outside trends of the late 1960s that contributed to the culmination of the armed struggle of the later decades. From his perspective as a teenage student, as an associate militant of Sivakumaran in 1974 and later as an EROS member till 1988, he explains the nation-formation of the Eezham Tamils and the evolvement of Tamil militancy which culminated into a mass movement from the active participation from all the echelons of the Tamil society.
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Tamils demonstrate against Sirisena's UK visit

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 March 2015, 07:07 GMT]
Around 1,000 Tamils from across the UK gathered in London to demonstrate against the visit of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday. The protest, which was held outside Westminster Abbey and the Commonwealth Head Office at Marlborough House, took place as Sirisena joined the British Queen and others at the Annual Commonwealth Day evening reception. The demonstration saw a large participation of youth activists who rejected the LLRC and demanded an independent international investigation into the genocide of Eezham Tamils.
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Tamil women, youth activists in North resolve to step up protests to next phase

[TamilNet, Monday, 09 March 2015, 09:59 GMT]
Concluding a three-day fasting campaign and a four-day walk of Tamil youth activists from Mu'l'livaaykkaal in Vanni to Nalloor, where the fasting campaign by the women activists of the missing persons relatives led by NPC Councillor Ananthy Sasitharan, the women activists on International Women Day said they were preparing for the next step in intensifying their protest demanding international investigations without internal manipulations by Colombo if the new regime in Colombo failed to issue the details on the whereabouts of their kith and kin subjected to enforced disappearance by the occupying Sri Lankan military. The SL military has been harassing the activists who were walking from Mu'l'livaaykkaal to Nalloor at various places in Vanni.
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Ki Pi Aravinthan passes away in Paris

[TamilNet, Sunday, 08 March 2015, 09:07 GMT]
Mr Ki Pi Aravinthan, a veteran former Tamil militant of the 1970's, a poet and a well-known Tamil writer has passed away at the age of 62 at a hospital in Paris on Sunday morning. Born as Christopher Francis, he was also known by the name Sunthar. He was an associate of Urumpiraay Sivakumaran in early 1970s and was the only surviving member of Sivakumar's movement. He was arrested after Sivakumaran's demise in 1974 and was imprisoned by Colombo for some years. Later, he was a senior member of the EROS.
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Norwegian Ambassador questions NPC CM on Genocide Resolution

[TamilNet, Friday, 06 March 2015, 23:56 GMT]
The Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Ms Grete Løchen visited Jaffna on Friday and met Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister Justice C.V. Wigneswaran. Ms Løchen was echoing the UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs as well as a US diplomat Jeffrey Feltman, who visited Jaffna earlier this week to convey the message that the deferral of OISL findings was a ‘one-time only’ postponement. Like Mr Feltman, Ms Løchen was also questioning Mr Wigneswaran on whether the NPC resolution on genocide was appropriate at this juncture of cooperation coming from the Colombo regime, news sources in Jaffna said. The CM responded by explaining that the truth of the past was essential for real reconciliation between Tamils and the Sinhalese in the future. If anyone wanted to question the resolution, they should first read it and respond to the established facts in the document, he said.
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ICP asks UN to confirm receiving NPC Genocide Resolution

[TamilNet, Thursday, 05 March 2015, 08:57 GMT]
The Inner City Press on Tuesday questioned the UN Spokesperson in New York whether the UN would confirm receiving the Genocide Resolution passed by the Northern Provincial Council given to the UN Under-Secretary General Jeffrey Feltman who visited Jaffna on Monday. The spokesperson said: “I will”. On Wednesday, the ICP asked again that what would Mr Feltman do with the genocide resolution and the question went unanswered, according to ICP on Thursday. In ‘seeking truth’, when the Colombo government came out with the LLRC report that paves way for a structural genocide of Eezham Tamils, the report was ‘accepted’ by the UN as model for its Geneva deliberations. But, when the NPC came out with the resolution on investigating protracted genocide, the visiting UN official questioned the NPC Chief Minister, why this resolution now.
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Families of missing persons under Kumaratunga regime revive protest in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 March 2015, 23:45 GMT]
Around 800 Tamil youth were forcefully disappeared in Jaffna peninsula by the occupying Sri Lankan military under Chandrika Kumaratunga's rule between 1996 and 1998 when Tamils returned to Jaffna peninsula, which was seized by the SL military in 1995 through Operation Riviressa. The family members, who have been struggling to know the whereabouts of their kith and kin for years and were looking for answers through international investigations, have revived their protest in front of Jaffna District Secretariat on Wednesday after learning that the United Nations, under the influence of Washington and New Delhi, is now trying to promote domestic investigation mechanism of Colombo by diluting the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) process from evolving into international investigations.
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Domestic investigations, even with external supervision, will not work: NESoHR

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 03 March 2015, 23:18 GMT]
Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s statement on Monday to the High Level Segment of the 28th UN Human Rights Council Session at Geneva, where he stated that “the content of the Report of OHCHR Investigation too can be taken into account by domestic investigative and judicial mechanisms,” is a point of contention said North East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESoHR) in a statement issued on Tuesday. None of the recommendations of the internal Commissions of Inquiry held in Sri Lanka has been implemented, the NESoHR said adding that even the international monitors, as in the case of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP), had to withdraw from the proceedings in the past. Mr Samaraweera was touching upon absurdity when he claimed that the civil war in the island had to be brought to an end to restore human rights, the statement further said.
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Visiting UN official in Jaffna ‘questions’ Genocide Resolution

[TamilNet, Monday, 02 March 2015, 19:09 GMT]
The UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, a US diplomat, who was on a visit to Jaffna on Monday met NPC Chief Minister Justice C.V. Wigneswaran and questioned the Chief Minister on the reason for the NPC Resolution on Tamil genocide at this juncture. The resolution was not against peaceful co-existence with Sinhalese. In fact, it is essential that the Sinhalese understand how the Tamils perceive the collective nature of all crimes committed against them both in the past and at the present, Mr Wigneswaran told the UN official. When Mr Wigneswaran questioned Mr Feltman on the possible danger of OISL findings getting watered down at the end of the deferral period, the UN diplomat assured that the findings would be published without any change, Mr Wigneswaran told reporters.
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