Government and diaspora hold talks in UK

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said the Government also welcomes some of the meaningful and constructive comments in favour of reconciliation that have been made in recent times by some of the diaspora members and groups. The Government was to have talks with the Tamil Diaspora in London over the weekend in an attempt to take the post war reconciliation process forward.Sources said that a Government Minister, who was visiting London, was to meet leading Diaspora groups while a Parliamentarian from the Tamil National Alliance was also to attend. Meanwhile, in response to a question posed by The Sunday Leader via email on Thursday, the Foreign Ministry said the Government welcomes the meaningful participation of all diaspora groups and persons of Sri Lankan origin of all communities who live overseas to contribute to the reconciliation process as well as other processes that are underway in Sri Lanka. The Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a leading Tamil Diaspora group based in UK, had recently told The Sunday Leader it was willing to talk with anyone to address issues faced by the Tamils.“There are many Sri Lankans who live overseas from different communities who are extremely talented and skilled. People in Sri Lanka can most certainly benefit from their expertise and their knowledge in diverse fields – arts & culture, business, investment, education, science, research, sports, etc.  Their participation would enrich the lives of people in Sri Lanka. Their ideas are valued and welcome,” Colonne told The Sunday Leader. She also said that Sri Lanka appreciates all efforts taken by the international community, not only South Africa, but all other countries and parties, in discussing issues with the diaspora.South Africa had recently met the Global Tamil Forum for talks in London on the Sri Lankan issue as part of the role it plays in Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process.“There is no official mediation role that has been accorded to the Government of South Africa. As you are aware, the President of South Africa appointed the Deputy President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa as his Special Envoy for Sri Lanka. This was at the request of the former President of Sri Lanka. Therefore, Mr Ramaphosa continues this task and we appreciate his efforts aimed at harnessing the tremendous capacity and goodwill that exists among the diaspora communities of Sri Lankan origin in the world, in contributing meaningfully and constructively to their country of origin, Sri Lanka, in a unitary framework, safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country,” the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said. read more

Perry Sullivan lead UAB to 7257 win over North Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Jalen Perry scored 17 points, Lewis Sullivan had a double-double and UAB held off North Alabama 73-67 on Tuesday night.Sullivan had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Tyree Scott-Grayson had 13 and Will Butler a career-high 11 for the Blazers (6-2).UAB overcame an early nine-point deficit and led 35-31 at halftime. The Blazers pushed the lead to 11 early in the second half after Perry hit a 3-pointer and a shot from the lane. Each time North Alabama got close — twice the deficit was three — UAB responded with short runs to keep its lead.Kendarius Smith led the Lions (2-7) with 19 points, Kendall Stafford had 18 and Jamari Blackmon 17.Sullivan helped UAB to a 39-28 advantage on the boards for a 22-7 margin on second-chance points, and Scott-Grayson and Butler helped the reserves post a 24-4 scoring advantage. UAB, which had nine turnovers, turned 14 North Alabama turnovers into 18 points.It was the first meeting between the schools.The Associated Press read more

Zombie actress sues over scars for life after freak accident at Halloween

“However, on the date of the accident, the metal grenade was thrown by an actor, but hit the claimant in the face, knocking her to the ground, and causing her to hit her head and injure her back.”In court documents filed at Central London County Court, the Alan Goldsmith Organisation has denied negligence. Its lawyers insist it had nothing to do with managing the spectacle at the Norman-style fortress, which was restored by Alan Goldsmith in the 1980s. The defence statement also states that Miss Westerman, of Hammersmith, west London, sent text messages after the incident describing it as an “accident” and “just an incredibly unlucky event”.”Following this incident, not even Miss Westerman considered the event to be anything other than a mistake by the other actor involved, despite the assertions now made,” the company added.A trial will take place at Central London County Court on a date yet to be set.  A “zombie” actress who says her face was scarred for life in a freak accident during a Hallowe’en show is suing the company that runs the castle where it was staged for £100,000.Helena Westerman, 24, claims she was left with five fractured teeth and permanent facial scarring after she was hit by a deactivated grenade at Mountfitchet Castle in Stansted, Essex.She said the prop, thrown by another actor, struck her in the mouth while she was portraying a “mad scientist and zombie” character in an interactive show in October 2015.Miss Westerman was shuffling out of the shadows in full costume and makeup to terrify a fee-paying audience in the moments before the accident, court documents say.The writer and theatre producer claims she had to undergo six months of intensive dental treatment and suffered depression, anxiety and an “adjustment disorder” due to the incident. She has now sued the Alan Goldsmith Organisation Ltd – the firm that runs the castle – accusing it of failing to provide a safe system of work.Her solicitor, Nicola Hall, said: “On previous nights, she pretended to fall to the ground, giving the impression that the explosion had killed the zombies, and she would then get up shortly after. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more