The United Nations Security Council is to vote on a resolution regarding Syria on Saturday, with all eyes on Russia, Syria’s strongest ally on the council.
Russia initially rejected parts of the latest draft, but it remains unclear which way they will vote on Saturday, as hope remains that the resolution could still be passed.
Pakistan’s U.N. Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon told reporters that the council was “very close… two words away" from an accord.
Whilst the latest text does not explicitly mention sanctions, parts of the resolution are still opposed by Russia, including warnings of “further measures” and that the council “fully supports” the Arab League plan.
A Western official commented that if an agreement was to be reached at the UN,
"It would scare the Assad regime a lot more than a more robust text vetoed by Russians."
"It would mean the Russians are slowly accepting the idea that Assad will depart and would also send a powerful message to people around Assad that it might be time to leave the sinking ship."
The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, reportedly spoke on the phone with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, in an attempt to smooth over any opposition leading upto the vote.
Meanwhile, more than 200 people were reported to be killed in the city of Homs as President Assad’s troops shelled the city. The UN has ceased to estimate the number of deaths since the end of January, citing that it was now too difficult to confirm any casualties.
Sri Lanka's State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said the “President, Prime Minister and the Government will never allow anyone to influence national security or sovereignty of the country,
A fishing boat carrying refugees fleeing Sri Lanka has been found off the Cocos islands on Monday.
The boat, the first to enter Australian waters since last November, is believed to be carrying 12 people.
The presidential commission on missing persons has requested President Sirisena to extend its mandate in order to complete inquiries in the east, after it had finished its investigation in the North last week.
Sri Lanka’s parliament erupted into a brawl after Sri Lanka’s former army chief claimed that a previous bomb attack that had been blamed on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was actually staged-managed by Sri Lanka’s defence secretary at the time.
Soon after the attack,
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader, R Sampanthan, marked World Press Freedom Day on Tuesday, calling on the present Sri Lankan government to protect press freedom immediately and investigate the killing of murdered journalists.