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Pakistani diplomats receive remains of deceased Sri Lankan manager

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The mortal remains of Priyantha Kumara, the Sri Lankan manager in Sialkot, arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport and were received by several Pakistani diplomats.

Pakistan’s Acting High Commissioner Mr Tanvir Ahmed Bhatti, Press Secretary Kalsoom Qaisar and others received the casket and conveyed the sympathies of the people & government of Pakistan to the relatives of the deceased present at the airport.

Representatives from all walks of life visited the Pakistan High Commission including members of the Sri Lankan Parliament, Coordinators for the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for all religions including Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism & Islam.

All of them expressed their satisfaction over the quick action of the Pakistan Government in apprehension of the perpetrators of the Sialkot tragedy. They also appreciated the fact that the Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan has personally headed the whole situation and taken personal interest in bringing the culprits to justice.

They shared the feelings of sorrow and grief for the family of the victims and thanked the Acting High Commissioner Mr Tanvir Ahmad for prompt response to all contacting the Pakistan High Commission for information or recording their sentiments.

Earlier, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Khan said that the perpetrators have no mercy from God and they will not be given any pardon by the law as well. Every Pakistani equally shares the grief of heirs of deceased. Every aspect of this tragic and reprehensible incident, that happened in Sialkot, is being investigated and a high-level inquiry is being conducted on the special instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The main culprits and the abettors have already been arrested. This abominable incident has brought shame on the whole country.

Therefore, the murderers will not be spared. The main objective of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiatives like establishment of Rehmatul-lil-aalemeen Authority is to spread the true spirit of Islam and its teachings in the society so that such anti-Islamic incidents could be avoided in future.

Kumara’s body was brought to Allama Iqbal International Airport in an ambulance where Punjab Minister for Minority Affairs Ejaz Alam Augustine received it and dispatched it through a Sri Lankan Airlines flight with state honours.

Officials present on the occasion included Adviser to the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony Tahir Ashrafi, Honorary Consul General of Sri Lanka Yasin Joya and representatives of the Punjab Home Department and Sri Lanka High Commission.

Lankan High Commission has also sought an investigation report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) concerning the incident.

Speaking to reporters at the airport, Ashrafi said the whole nation would have to unite to eradicate the menace of extremism the way it had eliminated terrorism from the country.

“Today is a day of grief but we promise that the killers of Priyantha Kumara will be brought to justice,” he said.

Meanwhile, a makeshift memorial was erected outside the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce to honour the slain man.

Umair Amin, a member of the body, said: “Sri Lanka is our friend and we share its pain in this sad incident.”

A candlelight vigil was also conducted near the unit where Kumara worked.

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Bitcoin rises 2.1% to reach $50,000

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Bitcoin rose on Sunday to reclaim levels above $50,000.

The world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency gained 2.11% to $50,445.34 at 1803 GMT on Sunday, adding $1,044.80 to its previous close.

Bitcoin is up 81.9% from the year’s low of $27,734 on Jan. 4

Ether , the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, rose 0.26% to $4,100 on Sunday, adding $10.78 to its previous close.

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Israeli PM Bennett on historic visit to UAE

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Israel’s Naftali Bennett arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday (Dec 12) for the first official visit by a prime minister of the Jewish state, after the countries established diplomatic ties last year.

The trip announced by Bennett’s office comes with Israel making a renewed diplomatic push against international talks which global powers resumed with its arch foe Iran over the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme.

Bennett on Monday meets Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan to discuss “deepening the ties between Israel and the UAE, especially economic and regional issues,” the prime minister’s office said.

There was no immediate comment from the UAE on the visit which Bennett called “historic”.

He was received in Abu Dhabi by UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and an honour guard, according to his office.

The prime minister said he appreciated the “very warm hospitality”.

“I’m very excited to be here … as the first official visit of an Israeli leader here. We are looking forward to strengthening the relationship.”

Bennett’s Abu Dhabi visit follows a trip to Washington by Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz, who has repeatedly stressed that military options must be ready if negotiations with Iran collapse.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was in London and Paris last month, where he called for tighter sanctions against Tehran.

Since the Abraham Accords were signed, Israel and the UAE have inked a series of deals on economic and trade cooperation.

Palestinians strongly condemned the Abraham Accords as they broke with decades of Arab League consensus against recognising Israel until it signs a peace establishing a Palestinian state with a capital in east Jerusalem.

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Narendra Modi’s twitter account briefly hacked

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal Twitter account has been “very briefly compromised,” the prime minister’s office has said.

A swiftly deleted tweet from his main @narendramodi handle declared India had adopted Bitcoin as legal tender and was distributing the cryptocurrency to citizens.

It said the Indian government had officially bought 500 Bitcoins and was “distributing them to all residents of the country”, along with a scam link.

The matter was escalated to Twitter and the prime minister’s personal Twitter handle was immediately secured, Modi’s office wrote in a tweet late on Saturday.

Any tweet shared during the brief period when the account was compromised must be ignored, it said.

It was not immediately known how long the personal Twitter handle of Modi, which has more than 73 million followers, was compromised.

Twitter users grabbed screenshots of the since-deleted tweet.

A Twitter spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Reuters news agency that the company took all necessary steps to secure the compromised account as soon as it became aware of the activity. An investigation revealed no signs of any other affected accounts, the spokesperson added.

Modi’s account was previously briefly compromised in September 2020, when hackers asked followers in a series of tweets to donate to India’s National Relief Fund through cryptocurrency.

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