Canadian PM to say 'sorry' to families of Kanishka victims
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will convey a heartfelt message on Wednesday to families of the victims of the Kanishka bombing on the 25th anniversary.
"Some wounds are too deep to be healed even by the remedy of time," Harper wrote in his speech which he prepared for the occasion. "We are sorry," Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) said quoting the Prime Minister.
"Harper will say the destruction of Air India Flight 182 'was, and remains, the single worst act of terrorism in Canadian history,'" the national broadcaster reported. "He will describe terrorism as 'an enemy with a thousand faces, and a hatred that festers in the darkest spots of the human mind,'" it added.
"This was evil, perpetrated by cowards. Despicable, senseless and vicious," Harper will say. The Canadian premier had promised to respond positively to the damning report into the 1985 Kanishka bombing, especially on the call for compensation, as the families torn apart by the tragedy said the word "closure" still haunts them.
The final report into the Air India tragedy that killed 329 people recommended ex-gratia payment to families of victims, mostly of Indian-origin, and blamed the Canadian government for its failure to prevent the country's worst terror attack.
Soon after the report's release, Harper met the families and termed the document a "damning indictment of many things that occurred before and after the tragedy". "Our government launched this inquiry to bring closure to those who still grieve and to ensure that measures are taken to prevent such a tragedy in the future," he had said.
Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only person ever convicted in the case, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2003. Suspected ringleader Talwinder Singh Parmar died in India in 1991, and the two main surviving suspects — Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri — were both acquitted in March 2005 after a 19-month trial. British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Ian Josephson had ruled that the Crown's case against the two was too weak for a conviction.
Embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had announced a state of emergency with effect from May 6 midnight, almost a month after imposing the first phase, on April 1. Citing an improvement in the law and order situation, the Presidential Secretariat announced emergency had been lifted with effect from Friday midnight, local media reported. Under the state of emergency, police and security forces had sweeping powers to arbitrarily arrest and detain people.
The Quad Leaders Summit in Tokyo next week will discuss challenges and opportunities across the Indo-Pacific and focus on ways to deliver on the vision of a free, open and inclusive region, foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra said on Saturday.
Australia's Labor Party is set to take power for the first time since 2013, as voters booted out Prime Minister Scott Morrison's conservative government in a shift likely to bring greater action on climate change, women's issues and anti-corruption efforts. The Australian Broadcasting Commission said Labor won at least 72 seats, compared with 52 for Morrison's Liberal-National Coalition, with independents and third parties taking the rest. It wasn't all good news for Labor.
According to a <strong>report</strong> in the former miShireen Mazari, Dawn, Pakistan's former minister of human rights in the Imran Khan government which was ousted last monthstody of the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE). “Male police officers have beaten and taken my mother away. All I have been told is that Anti Corruption Wing Lahore has taken her,” tweeted Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir, Mazari's daughter.
There was no uniform swing in early counting of votes in Australia's election on Saturday, indicating a close result in a tight race that will decide whether Prime Minister Scott Morrison's conservative government can defy odds and rule for a fourth three-year term. Opposition leader Anthony Albanese's center-left Labor Party ended the six-week campaign as a favorite to win its first election since 2007.