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Last updated: 11 January, 2012 - Published 15:34 GMT
 
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UK and Russia 'commend' investigations
 
Murdered ICRC worker Kuram Shaikh
Murdered ICRC worker Kuram Shaikh
Britain and Russia have commended the government for its investigations into the brutal attack on British tourist and Russian national at Tangalle, says the Sri Lanka government.

British tourist Kuram Shaikh was killed in an attack on Christmas eve and his companion Russian national Victoria Alexandrovna was also badly injured and there are allegations that she was sexually abused.

Impartiality

Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs, Lakshman Yapa Abeywadena told journalists in Colombo on Wednesday that investigations are being done impartially and there is no political interference.

Referring to a comment made by the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, Mr.Abeywardena said that opposition leader has no authority to say that Russian national Victoria Alexandrovna was raped.

"It could be judged only by a judicial medical officer", he said.

Five men suspected of murdering the British tourist have been remanded in custody until 20 January.

The chairman of the local council in Tangalle, Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidanapathirana is among them.

The media conference was held to brief on the progress of the ministry's tourism drive during the current year.

Tourism targets

Deputy Minister Abeywardena said that the government is confident of achieving 950,000 tourist arrivals this year and that Sri Lanka is capable of providing facilities to them.

He said that the government has approved 92 out of 210 new tourism development projects.

Over 2000 million have been invested in 106 new projects, he added.

LTTE threat

Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Sandesaya pointed out that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had warned of an emerging threat of LTTE once again, Mr.Abeywardena said that there is nothing to fear as country's intelligence net work and security forces are on full alert.

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa delivering a public lecture recently at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on Future Challnges of National Security in Sri Lanka said that there is a possibility of re-emergence of LTTE in Sri Lanka.

"LTTE sympathizers abroad are still struggling to achieve the LTTE's separatist ideology in the country" he said.

 
 
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