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.
The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) spokesperson, in an interview with Ceylon Today, said that the organisation had always stood for a political settlement for the Tamil national question and stressed that self-determination is a fundamental right for all communities.
Calling on Tamils to vote for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the upcoming parliamentary elections,
The General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara, said the new party launched by the Buddhist group would contest the general election with the main objective of representing the Sinhala community.
The United National Party (UNP) reiterated that it would not allow an international war crimes inquiry to investigate former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and former army chief Sarath Fonseka.
The Sri Lankan minister for resettlement, D. M. Swaminathan, has been criticised for failing to meet directly with displaced residents of Valikamam North, during a visit to the High Security Zone on Monday.