Sri Lankan man charged with terror offences in Sydney

A Sri Lankan man employed by a Sydney university has been charged over a document that police allege contained plans for terrorism attacks.The 25-year-old was arrested by counter-terrorism officers at the University of NSW in Kensington on Thursday afternoon, police said, according to the Australian Associated Press. The man was charged with collecting or making a document which is connected with preparation for, the engagement of a person in, or assistance in a terrorist act.He was refused bail to appear at Waverley local court on Friday.“The charges laid against this person are serious and significant, and should not be underestimated,” said Australian Federal police Detective Superintendent Michael McTiernan. “We have psychologists and investigators looking at that document to try to interpret the intent and capability, but that is in essence the offence that is before the court.”A number of electronic items were also seized during a raid at a unit at Zetland early on Friday morning. The man, who is in Australia on a student visa that expires in September, has not been charged with being a member of a terrorist group. It followed a tip-off from a worker at the university, who police said found a notebook that allegedly contained the names of several locations and individuals as “potential targets”. “They are symbolic locations within Sydney,” acting Detective Superintendent Mick Sheehy said on Friday. He was employed as a contractor at the University of NSW and has allegedly travelled back to Sri Lanka and other areas.The man was not known to police and does not have any criminal history in Australia, police said.Authorities insist there was no concern for public safety. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Prospect of solution within reach Ban says as Greek Cypriot and Turkish

“The two leaders have reached a critical juncture in their talks. I encourage them to make the most of the moment and the momentum,” Mr. Ban told the press in Mont Pèlerin, where the negotiations are being held. “I call on all interested parties – especially the guarantor powers Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom – as well as the wider international community, to support the leaders in their efforts to finally overcome the division of their island,” he added. Hailing the significant progress made in the leader-led process over the past 18 months, Mr. Ban highlighted the hope expressed by the two leaders that this meeting will pave the way for the last phase of the talks in line with their shared commitment to do their utmost in order to reach a settlement within 2016. “At the same time, a number of sensitive and difficult issues still remain. I know the two leaders are here with a strong commitment and determination to work towards solving all these issues,” noted the Secretary-General.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expresses full support and commitment to Cyprus peace talks. Credit: UN News Centre Mr. Ban further said that Cyprus offered “tremendous” hope to people around the world that long-standing conflicts can be resolved peacefully through negotiations, and assured the two leaders – Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, and Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades – of UN’s commitment to assist them “in whatever way” to reach their shared goal, while respecting that the future of Cyprus will be determined by Cypriots, for all Cypriots. “I commend the leaders for their vision, courage and leadership for advancing their talks further than ever before. The prospect of a solution in Cyprus is within their reach,” said the UN chief, adding: “Expectations in both communities are high.” The talks, hosted by the Swiss Government, are being conducted under the auspices of the UN Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide. read more