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Coimbatore LPG cylinder explosion suspect linked to Zahran Hashim

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The 25-year-old man who was killed in a car explosion in front of a temple in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu Sunday was questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2019 for his ties to a radical network related to Zahran Hashim, the mastermind of the Easter Sunday blasts in Sri Lanka.

The death of Jameesha Mubin caused by an LPG cylinder blast on board a car has now sparked an investigation into a possible terror plot angle. Tamil Nadu Director General of Police C. Sylendra Babu hasn’t ruled out a terror plot despite the fact that the police are keeping quiet because the evidence surrounding the blast is still hazy. According to Babu, they are looking into every possibility because the materials taken from his home “may have been meant for a future plan.”

Was the explosion an unsuccessful attack on the temple? “Except for the location where it occurred, before the temple, there is no proof to support this claim right now,” a police officer probing the case said.

When Mubin was driving his car on Sunday at around 4 am with the two LPG cylinders and other materials, including nails, it exploded. After the police traced more details about Mubin, it had raised suspicions because the explosion occurred near a temple. Later, authorities raided Mubin’s home and discovered explosive components like potassium nitrate, aluminium powder, sulphur, and charcoal.

Mubin was “examined” by NIA in 2019, according to a source. “He was one among the five people we had to examine in 2019 since he had been attending Bayan classes at a Coimbatore mosque of the Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath (TNTJ). These classes were closely related to Mohammed Azarudeen, who had direct contact with Zahran Hashim, the mastermind and the leader of the suicide bombers in Easter Sunday blasts in Sri Lanka,” the source said.

Azarudeen was arrested on multiple charges after the Sri Lankan’s serial blasts for his alleged role in recruiting many youth from Tamil Nadu and Kerala. He was reported to have played a significant role in the Islamic State group’s Tamil Nadu division.

A CCTV footage retrieved from a building near Mubin’s house, had visuals from Saturday night. The video shows four men, reportedly Mubin too among them, lugging a large object out of his Ukkadam house. It was captured on camera at 11.25 pm. While the police are now looking for the three other people seen in the footage, investigators assume that the bulky object carried by the four of them, wrapped in a white bag, was a gas cylinder that exploded. One of the two LPG cylinders in the car is thought to have caused the explosion on Sunday morning.

According to an investigator with the Tamil Nadu Police, Mubin has never had a case filed against him except for an NIA investigation into his involvement in TNTJ prayer meets. “After the explosion, we gathered CCTV footage to identify the car’s origin, which led to his home and the confiscation of things including black powder, potassium nitrate, and matchboxes. Although Mubin was married, he and his wife, deaf and dumb, lived apart. Seven people who had contact with Mubin in the recent days by phone and in person are being questioned now,” added the investigator.

The body of Mubin, which was collected from the scene, was unrecognisable, and the car still had one unexploded commercial cylinder weighing 35 kg.

While six teams are working to find additional information about Mubin, including people who met him at his home, locations he visited in the recent past, and his social media activities, the Tamil Nadu Police are being cautious when attributing a terror plot.

After BJP state President K Annamalai tweeted Sunday night that the Coimbatore cylinder blast is no longer a “cylinder blast,” the incident also takes on a political colour.

“It’s a clear cut terror act with ISIS links. Will Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu come out in the open and accept this? Tamil Nadu government is hiding the info for 12 hours now. Is this not a clear failure of the state intelligence machinery and DMK government?” Annamalai asked.

The Indian Express

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Ceylon tea exports offset $60M of Sri Lanka’s fuel debt to Iran

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The Sri Lanka Tea Board announced yesterday that exports of Ceylon Tea have successfully offset a substantial portion of the country’s fuel bill owed to Iran, amounting to US $ 60 million.

Since 2011, Sri Lanka has accumulated an arrears of US $ 251 million for fuel imports from Iran.

Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Niraj De Mel said that the settlement was achieved, as exports of tea to Iran tripled during this period.

Facing financial challenges exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and domestic economic downturn, Sri Lanka struggled to meet its financial obligations to Iran, due to the foreign exchange shortages.

To resolve this issue, an agreement was reached between the two nations, focusing on settling outstanding debts through tea exports.

De Mel reported that tea exports to Iran from January to May 2024 totalled 4.98 million kilogrammes, a significant increase compared to 1.85 million kilogrammes exported during the same period in 2023.

(dailymirror.lk)
(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by dailymirror.lk has not been edited by SLM staff) 

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Sri Lanka to Host ICC Annual General Meeting, July 19-22

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In a statement, SLC mentioned that the mega cricket conference will bring together over 220 delegates from 108 ICC member countries from across the world, covering regions such as Africa, the Americas, Asia, East Asia Pacific, and Europe.

The pinnacle gathering of cricket administrators and stakeholders from around the globe, the ICC Annual Conference provides the platform for discussions on the strategic direction of the sport, governance, and the development of cricket worldwide, it added.

This year’s conference, themed “Capitalizing on the Olympic Opportunity,’ will discuss topics such as ‘Diversity and Inclusion,’ ‘environmental sustainability and the sport,’ and ‘Cricket’s triumphant return at LA28.

“This is a significant occasion for Sri Lanka, and we wish to warmly welcome the delegates from around the world to our beautiful island. We intend to use this conference to contribute to the future of cricket and showcase the beauty and heritage of our country to the world,” said Mr. Shammi Silva, President, Sri Lanka Cricket.

The annual conference will consist of a series of key meetings, workshops, and networking sessions, and key decisions will be taken for the benefit of the future of the game.

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Mervin Backs Wijeyadasa for President

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Former Sri Lankan Minister Mervin Silva is backing Minister (Dr) Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and President’s Counsel Maithri Gunaratne, as potential candidates for President.

“This country needs a leader who can take it forward,” Silva asserted.

As election campaigns intensify, he highlighted the tendency of politicians to make extravagant promises. 

Drawing from his experience serving under Mahinda Rajapaksa, Silva recalled the distribution of various items, including material and undergarments, during campaigns. Despite these efforts, Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the election.

Similarly, Silva pointed out that Sajith Premadasa’s massive rallies at Galle Face Green did not secure victory. 

“We need a leader,” Silva emphasized, *”who can uphold law and order, enforce laws effectively, and collaborate with experts.”

In his opinion, Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe stands out as the best candidate for the presidency. Silva also mentioned ongoing discussions with President’s Counsel Maithri Gunaratne.

“Deceitful politicians,” Silva concluded, “must be held accountable and sent home.”

newsfirst.lk

(This story, originally published by newsfirst.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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