Gunaratnam Blacklisted in Sri Lanka

The Sydney Police have already launched an investigation into the passport issue of Gunaratnam who was deported to Australia from Colombo recently after being allegedly abducted.Gunaratnam and FSP member Dimuthu Attygalle were abducted on the 6th of April. Police said that Gunaratnam, who is an Australian national, had walked into the police anti-crime unit at Dematagoda on the 10th of April and was later deported to Australia. The Department of Immigration and Emigration has said that Gunarathnam will not be permitted to re-enter Sri Lanka even as a Sri Lankan citizen. Gunaratnam said that he was tortured by his captors immediately after he was kidnapped but later changed their tactics. The orders to blacklist Gunarathnam had been received from the Defence Ministry, sources at the Department of Immigration and Emigration told The Sunday Leader. Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) leader Premakumar Gunarathnam alias Kumar Mahathya has been blacklisted by the Sri Lankan government, reports said on Sunday.According to the Department of Immigration and Emigration, Gunarathnam is being blacklisted from entering the country on the basis that he came to Sri Lanka recently using an Australian  passport with a different name. read more

On UN visit basketball star Pau Gasol urges help for children affected

“I’m in Chad to remind people that one million children are at risk in the Sahel because of the nutritional crisis and that it is possible to end malnutrition,” said Mr. Gasol, a Silver Medalist at the 2012 Olympics, a two-time NBA champion and a UNICEF Spain Ambassador since 2003.He said that thanks to everyone’s help many lives are being saved. At the same time, there are still hundreds of thousands of children who need treatment for malnutrition. “We have to keep the work and momentum going,” he stated. In Chad, more than 127,000 children are at serious risk of severe malnutrition. They fight to survive in the midst of a crisis caused by prolonged drought and rising food prices. UNICEF has reached more than 335,000 children with nutritional treatment in the Sahel region so far this year, the agency stated in a news release. The goal is to reach 700,000 in the coming months to address the consequences of the crisis, which affects 18 million people in nine countries across the Sahel. During his visit, Mr. Gasol spent three days in the capital, N’Djamena, and three days in Kanem, where he saw UNICEF projects in Mao and Miouh, the latter a small village where a feeding centre has been opened, a water well has been installed, schools are being supported by training teachers and supplies are being distributed. In addition, hygiene habits are being promoted while supplies and practical information to prevent diseases such as cholera are being provided. “It is very important to reach places like Miouh, where families have problems that could not be addressed without the support of organizations like UNICEF,” said Mr. Gasol. In Mao, he visited a UNICEF programme aimed at promoting hygiene habits among children. He refereed a football game and made sure that the children washed their hands after finishing, since this practice prevents deadly diseases. In N’Djamena, the Goodwill Ambassador met with Chadian ministers to share the idea that sport is “an exceptional tool for the promotion of values, for the development of children and to contribute to the development of their countries.” Chad is the fourth country – after South Africa, Angola and Ethiopia – Mr. Gasol has visited in his role as a UNICEF Ambassador. read more