Government accuses Maldives over recent moves

Having endured similar challenges in its recent past, the new Sri Lankan Government is committed to the principles of democracy, good governance and the rule of law. Sri Lanka is also concerned by the impact of the State of Emergency on the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of the Maldives and urges the Government of the Maldives to uphold the commitments it has made – including as a member of the Commonwealth and signatory to the Commonwealth Charter – to the universal and Commonwealth values of democracy and the rule of law. The Government today accused the Maldives of using Sri Lanka to initiate questionable action against political and social media activists.The Foreign Ministry said that Sri Lanka is deeply concerned about recent developments in the Maldives and events that have impacted on Sri Lanka, including the recent arrest of two Sri Lankan nationals in the Maldives, the questionable removal of a Maldivian social media activist who was in possession of a valid Sri Lankan visa, the stabbing of a Maldivian national in Sri Lanka, as well as the state of emergency that has been declared in the Maldives and the impeachment of the Vice-President. “We also believe that the right to dissent is an integral part of a functioning democracy. Unlike the previous regime in Sri Lanka which silenced dissenting voices in the guise of fighting terrorism, the new administration is committed to the fundamentals of democracy,” the Foreign Ministry said.It is in this context that the Government finds it deeply disturbing that Sri Lanka, a country which has always maintained the closest friendly relations with the Maldives is being used to initiate questionable action against political and social media activists. Sri Lanka encourages the Government of the Maldives to ensure that recent developments are not allowed to escalate into a source of regional instability. Sri Lanka hopes that the Maldives will take steps to end the state of emergency, initiate measures to respect and protect freedom of expression and ensure that recent developments will not reverse Maldives’ hard-won democratic achievements. read more

Holidaymaker sues Thomas Cook after she was crushed by obese woman on

A holidaymaker plans to sue Thomas Cook after she was crushed by an obese woman on a hotel pool water slide.  Jemma Joslyn, 32, paid £2,700 for an all-inclusive two-week holiday at the five star Liberty Lykia in Turkey last September with her two children and two family friends. They had been at the venue for 14 hours when they decided to use the facility’s water park.”There was no staff to direct anyone on the slides but I’d told my two young children to wait 10 seconds between each other so they could get out of the way,” she said.”My daughter was supposed to follow me down afterwards but instead a overweight woman came down the slide just moments after me.”She said she had reached the bottom of the slide but could not move in time, resulting in her being “thrown backwards in the water, and my eyes were rolling back into my head”.”I was coming in and out of conscious as the pain was so severe,” she said.Ms Joslyn, a health care assistant from Seaford, East Sussex, required emergency surgery at  Esnaf Hospital in Fethiye, Turkey, to treat a split liver, internal bleeding and severe kidney damage. 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. She is now taking legal action against Thomas Cook after claiming that there were no safety precautions in place at the hotel to monitor who was coming down the slide and that her aftercare was “appalling”.”Thomas Cook weren’t helpful at all – they didn’t bother to find out where I was, where my kids were and I was left to sort out my own care,” she said.Jemma claims she was then told her insurance didn’t cover the hospital care as she had been taken to a private hospital, which her friend paid for.She added: “No extra support was offered and my mum, 59 had to plead with Thomas Cook to get both herself and my dad, 76, to Turkey.”A spokesman for Thomas Cook said: “Both our UK-based welfare team and our in-resort team have been in touch with Ms Joslyn on several occasions following this accident.”We also arranged for her parents to fly to Turkey to be with their daughter.Solicitor Magdalena Knez, from Slater and Gordon, who is representing Ms Joslyn’s legal case, said: “We are waiting on a further response and are hopeful we will have a successful outcome for Jemma who has been through a very traumatic experience.” read more