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.
Marking International Women's Day, Global Tamil Forum (GTF) called for an international inquiry, to provide justice and accountability for Tamil women for the widespread sexual violence faced during and after the final stages of the armed conflict,
The Sri Lankan British Union is holding a protest on Saturday condemning Britain's 'policy of assuring rights to terrorists' through its support for a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council on accountability for mass atrocities in Sri Lanka,
Expressing disappointment over the current text of the draft UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka, the TNA Spokesperson Suresh Premachandran said it did 'nothing constructive towards addressing the genuine grievances towards the Tamils affected by war'.
Addressing the UN Human Rights Council today, Indian NGO Pasumai Thaayagam called upon the Council to establish an international Commission of Inquiry that will investigate the crime of genocide.
The body of an elderly woman was found on Wednesday in the Velanai part of Jaffna, reported the Uthayan.
The body was found with wounds suggestive of an attack, and has been identified as that of a 70 year old woman called Arulappu Alvinamma.