Sri Lanka vows large protests against any UN call for independent probe

The Sri Lankan government vowed to conduct large scale rallies against the "Western forces" that are calling for an independent probe into the allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The government's spokesperson, Susil Premajayantha, told reporters, " We will organise demonstrations to show that the people of this country are with the government. They are against the Western forces ." "We have lobbied member countries and the feedback that we have is very positive," "We will be able to block any resolution against us."

Conservative MP calls for UK boycott of a Sri Lankan Commonwealth summit

The Conservative MP for Harlow, Robert Halfon, writing on the ConservativeHome website, endorsed the Canadian pledge to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in 2013, if held in Sri Lanka, and urged the UK government to considering doing the same. Drawing attention to the " reports of violent suppression of Tamil dissidents, disappearing civilians, and secret executions ", Halfon said that Sri Lanka was " without doubt a hideous regime ". Outlining basic steps that must be met by the Sri Lankan government, such as, demilitarising the North-East, allowing the International...

US want ‘concrete steps’ by Sri Lanka

The United States have reiterated their demand for Sri Lanka to take ‘concrete steps’ on reconciliation. State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said Sri Lanka had not attempted to implement any of the LLRC report’s recommendations. "To date, frankly, we've not seen a detailed action plan from the government of Sri Lanka on how it's going to implement these recommendations," Toner told reporters. "We still encourage the government of Sri Lanka to move forward, to take concrete steps on this implementation plan," "At the same time, we're working with our partners in Geneva on a resolution...

Sri Lanka capable of dealing with domestic issues – Russian ambassador

The Russian Ambassador to Sri Lanka dismissed calls for an international inquiry into allegations of war crimes. Vladimir Mikhaylov was speaking at a conference marking 55 years of diplomatic relations between Russia and Sri Lanka, where he expressed Russia’s view that larger, more powerful nations cannot dictate to smaller countries how to govern or what type of leader should be in power. He argued that the legitimately elected governments should be allowed to solve internal matters themselves. "We always advocate that democratically elected government of Sri Lanka has a right to lead the...

UNP deputy leader and dissidents to form new organisation

The UNP's deputy leader, Sajith Premadasa, is reported to be working with UNP dissidents towards forming a new organisation, with the group's first meeting held in Kandy Upcountry Union recently. The rumours come amidst reports that the US Assistant Secretary of State, Robert Blake, felt it unnecessary to meet with the UNP's current leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, during his recent visit to Sri Lanka.

Unreasonable to expect action on LLRC recommendations - Peiris

Ahead of the UNHRC March session, starting next week, Sri Lanka's minister of foreign affairs suggested it was unreasonable to expect implementation of the LLRC recommendations already. Peiris said, “The report was presented in Parliament on December 17, 2011. Then, we had the festive period. I was notified on January 25, 2012 that there would be a resolution against us. Is it reasonable for anyone to expect us to implement these recommendations within a span of four weeks? In comparable situations in other countries, it has sometimes taken ten years,” “A great deal of work has already been...

Womens groups in Mannar protest against militarisation

Civil society groups, formed by resettled Tamil women in Mannar, protested against the construction of a Sri Lankan military cantonment, reported Tamilnet, Sunday. The militarisation has increasingly encroached on residential areas, including access paths to basic needs such as water. See here for full report on Tamilnet.

Sri Lanka asks Goldman Sachs for new loan

Sri Lanka is seeking to borrow US$ 1 billion from global investment bank Goldman Sachs to meet soaring fuel costs and fund the poorly performing and publicly owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, The Island newspaper reported Monday. Colombo faces significantly higher fuel costs for two reasons. Firstly, the majority of its oil supply comes from Iran, soon to be subject to a US and EU punitive sanctions regime over Tehran's nuclear weapons program. Secondly, Sri Lanka was also recently forced by the IMF to allow its currency to depreciate, leading to an immediate rise in fuel prices. See our...

SL rejects international intervention

The official news portal of the Sri Lankan Government quoted Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the Unit, Dr Palitha Kohona, as saying the government will not favour any external intervention in, what it says are, ‘domestic issues’. According to Dr Kohona, domestic processes must be ‘exhausted’, before resorting to externalisation. Dr Kohona outlined the key features and recommendations of the controversial LLRC report, a week ahead of the start of the 19th UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva. He claimed Sri Lanka would take legal action if human rights abuses are proven to have...

Pressure piles on Ban over Silva appointment

The decision to appoint Major General Shavendra Silva of the Sri Lankan Army to the UN Special Advisory Group on Peace Keeping Operations has come under fire, as pressure increases on the UN to review the appointment. The US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice was earlier quoted as saying , "It's very concerning that someone with his background would be selected to serve on this advisory group. We have conveyed this to member states, as well as to the Secretariat. There are a lot of efforts underway to address [this], probably best not to be discussed publicly." UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon...

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