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Financials and energy sectors boost TSX Wall St down on rate hike

Toronto’s main stock index continued to push higher Thursday as Wall Street veered lower on heightened interest rate expectations from the U.S. Federal Reserve.The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 65.32 points to 15,454.92, with rising energy and financials shares among the key gainers.Following Wednesday’s announcement that the Fed remains on course to raise rates one more time this year and three times in 2018, interest-sensitive names on the TSX have benefited, said portfolio manager Kash Pashootan.“Banks stocks are having a good couple of days here given that higher interest rates help their net interest margins,” said Pashootan, who works at First Avenue Advisory, a Raymond James company.“So although the announcement came from the U.S. it had a spillover effect in Canada.”South of the border, banks and industrials were among the few bright spots on U.S. stock indexes as modest gains from a day earlier were wiped out.The Dow Jones industrial average was down 53.36 points to 22,359.23. The S&P 500 index lost 7.64 points to 2,500.60 and the Nasdaq composite index gave back 33.35 points to 6,422.69.“You’re seeing a hangover effect from yesterday’s Federal Reserve meeting and comments,” said Pashootan. “Really, the take away of course is that if there were any doubts that rates were going to continue to rise, that’s been removed off the table.”As a result, he said, that’s having a bullish effect on the U.S. dollar and putting downward pressure on the loonie.The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 81.04 cents US, down 0.44 of a cent.Pashootan said the fact that the market has been fairly boring and inactive in the United States “is a good thing because it’s taking the time needed to digest the news.”“If you think about monetary policy in Canada compared to the U.S., it’s been quite different in the sense that the U.S. has done a better job at speaking ahead and preparing the markets for higher rates,” he said.“The Bank of Canada didn’t prepare the markets as well in advance and you’ve seen the result of that in the Canadian dollar being up double digits in the last six months.”In commodities news, the November crude contract shed 14 cents to US$50.55 per barrel and the October natural gas contract was down 15 cents to US$2.95 per mmBTU.The December gold contract dropped $21.60 to US$1,294.80 an ounce and the December copper contract declined three cents to US$2.93 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter read more

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Bodies of Lion Air victims to be exhumed

The Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) is investigating the incident.The passenger plane went missing soon after takeoff from Jaffna on 29 September 1998 and was not found since. The plane was carrying 48 passengers and 7 crew members. The wreckage of the plane was found in the sea off Iranamadu this month after an LTTE cadre in police custody had revealed the location from where the plane was shot down. The bodies of the victims of the Lion Air passenger plane believed to have been shot down by the LTTE in 1998, are to be exhumed for investigations, the police said.According to the police, a group of fishermen are believed to have recovered the bodies and buried them nearby following the incident. With the discovery of the wreckage further investigations had revealed the location where the bodies of some passengers of the flight had been buried. read more

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Another Canadian MP raises concerns on Lanka

“The Prime Minister and I take every opportunity to raise Canada’s concerns with respect to the need for progress on reconciliation, accountability and respect for human rights in Sri Lanka”, Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird said last month. “Canada calls on the Sri Lankan government to finally put the people of that country first”.MP Seeback extended his thoughts and prayers towards all those that have been affected by the latest events in Sri Lanka and encourage the international community to call on the Sri Lankan government to implement measures to ensure the protection of human rights, statement from the MP’s office said. Another Canadian MP has raised concerns over the situation in Sri Lanka, particularly in Jaffna.Kyle Seeback, Member of Parliament for Brampton West, expresses serious concern over the continued detention of the Jaffna University students in Sri Lanka. “Continuing arrest, harassment and intimidation of university students is unjustifiable. I urge the Sri Lankan authorities to exercise restraint, respect peaceful demonstrations and release the students from Jaffna University”. “Freedom of speech, association, and independent judiciary are pillars of any democracy. The recent threat to these pillars of democracy in Sri Lanka is a serious concern to me and my constituents from Sri Lanka,” said MP Seeback. Recently Patrick Brown, the Member of Parliament for Barrie in Canada, had expresses serious concerns over the recent threats to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly in Sri Lanka.“On November 28, the beating of a reporter in Jaffna, harassment by Government of Sri Lanka officials towards independent media outlets and searches of journalists without warrants all serve to stifle the freedom of the media,” he said in a statement. read more

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Pillay condemns Rizanas execution

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today condemned the execution of Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia.Rizana Nafeek, who arrived in Saudi Arabia from Sri Lanka to work as a housemaid in 2005, was charged with the murder of her employers’ baby a week after her arrival. Despite a birth certificate that allegedly showed she was a minor at the time of the baby’s death and repeated expressions of concern from the international community, she was convicted of murder, sentenced to death and beheaded. “We are deeply troubled by reports of irregularities in her detention and trial, including that no lawyer was present to assist her in key stages of her interrogation and trial, that language interpretation was poor, and Ms Nafeek’s contention that she was physically assaulted and forced to sign a confession under duress,” Rupert Colville, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said. On 1 November 2010, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, sent an urgent appeal in connection with Ms. Nafeek’s case. In June 2007, his predecessor Philip Alston had already raised concerns about the imposition of the death penalty for an alleged crime committed when Ms Nafeek was still below eighteen years of age.*“We note with great concern the sharp increase in the use of capital punishment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since 2011. The High Commissioner strongly supports the global movement away from the death penalty. She was pleased that a clear majority of Member States (111) recently voted for General Assembly resolution 67/176, which calls for a moratorium on the death penalty. We call on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to join the growing world’s movement away from the death penalty,” Colville said. read more

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Demo in Mullaitivu against land grab

According to Tamil media reports from the area, the demonstrators also voiced opposition to alleged attempts to change the demographics of the area.Civil society groups and war affected families also took part in the demonstration, reports said. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran, who was among those attending the demonstration, addressed the crowd. A demonstration was held in Mullaitivu today against the alleged land grab by the government in the north.The demonstrators, backed by members of the Tamil National Alliance, later handed over a petition to the government agent in the area.

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UC chairman fears for his life

He says that following the failed attempt to abduct him as well last year a similar attempt may be made again. (Colombo Gazette)Report by Indika Sri Aravinda His brother had been abducted last February and has not been heard of since while there was also an attempt to abduct him last year. Udaya Shantha says he fears his brother may have been killed after being abducted last year. The Chairman of the Kolonnawa Urban Council Raveendra Udaya Shantha says his life is under threat and he hopes to reveal more information regarding the threats.Udaya Shantha says on several occasions he had requested for security from the government but had been provided security only for his house and office and not when he moves around.

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Over 1600 refugees returned

Officials in the UN refugee agency said that many factors including medical and education facilities were found to be reasons behind the declining number of Sri Lankan nationals return to their native country. “Some of them postpone their applications saying that they don’t want to discontinue medical treatments and education here. But so far nobody had complained to us about ‘safety’ as reason for not returning to their country,” an official said. With monetary aid from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 1,600 Sri Lankan Tamils living in Tamil Nadu as refugees have returned to their country so far since January 2012.According to the New Indian Express, officials of the UNHCR, who have their field office in the city, said that about 1,264 Sri Lankan Tamils, who were living in special camps across the State, had returned through voluntary repatriation to their country between January and December 2012. This year, about 350 refugees have returned so far. In Chennai there are two open refugees’ camps – in Gummidipoondi and Puzhal. About 1,670 refugees returned to their country in 2011 which was comparatively lesser than 2,040 persons in 2010 after the end of war in 2009. The UNHCR also conducts checks for the safety of the refugee back in his country. “Once a person expresses his willingness to return and applies to us, we check if the place they want to settle is safe. We also do random monitoring of these people after they return. But if they face any trouble upon their return, they get back to us,” an official explained.There are over 60,000 refugees from the island nation living in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu which constitutes about 36 per cent of total number of refugees in the country. read more

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Sri Lanka to sign maritime deal

India has also been concerned over Chinese presence at the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka.Hambantota, a town on the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka, is being turned into a major port and Colombo had an agreement with Beijing for Chinese companies’ involvement in developing facilities at the port. The port, like Gwadar in Pakistan and Sittwe in Myanmar, is perceived to be part of the “string of pearls,” the strategic assets China has been developing in the Indian Ocean region, purportedly to encircle India.Rajapaksa’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing in the last week of May saw the two countries upgrading the bilateral ties to a “strategic cooperation partnership.” Sources told Deccan Herald that the agreement, to be signed during the NSA’s visit to Sri Lanka, will seek to set up a mechanism for trilateral cooperation in maritime security, information sharing, cooperation on search and rescue in the Indian Ocean region, surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zones, collective response to marine oil pollution and capacity building through training and exercises. New Delhi’s move to sign a trilateral maritime cooperation agreement with Colombo and Male comes in the backdrop of China’s growing influence over Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Negotiation for the MoU started in 2011, but gained momentum only towards the end of 2012 and early this year.China set up its embassy in Maldives in 2011 and has since been lobbying hard to get involved in the development of infrastructure in some of the strategically located islands of the archipelagic nation. New Delhi has of late been finding it a bit difficult to maintain its traditional influence on political and economic affairs of Maldives. New Delhi has been repeatedly asking the Sri Lankan government to ensure equal political, social and economic rights for the Tamils of the island nation. Ever since the Sri Lankan Army defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam guerrillas in 2009, New Delhi has been prodding Colombo to move towards a national reconciliation and prove alleged human rights violation by its soldiers during the crackdown on rebels.China’s $ 1.05 billion aid commitment to Sri Lanka was the largest in 2012, while India ranked second with $ 700 million. A release by the Sri Lankan government quoted Xi telling Rajapaksa that China was “strongly opposed to foreign countries interfering in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs.” India will sign a trilateral maritime cooperation agreement with Sri Lanka and the Maldives, in a move to counter China’s bid to spread its strategic footprint in the Indian Ocean region, the Deccan Herald reported.National Security Advisor (NSA) Shiv Shankar Menon will visit Colombo this week to hold talks with his Sri Lankan and Maldivian counterparts for finalising a framework agreement for maritime cooperation among the three nations. Menon will also call President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa during his visit to Colombo. read more

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No army interference in polls Audio

Deshapriya said that based on the current conditions in the north he is confident the election for the Northern Prince will be free and fair. (Colombo Gazette)Audio Playerhttp://colombogazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Mahinda-Desapriya-in-Vavuniya-voice-clip.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. “In general by saying the army is intimidating voters in a particular area cannot be taken as a complaint. There needs to be a specific incident reported. But we have not got specific or detailed complaints,” he said. He also said that the army can get involved in election related work to assist the police only if he makes a formal request to the police chief. But so far he has not made such a request. Deshapriya also noted that illegal posters and cut-outs were not seen widely in the north as compared to the other two provinces.He also said that transport and special election centres will be setup for displaced voters on election day. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya says there have not been any complaints of the army interfering in election work ahead of the provincial council elections in the north.Deshapriya, who was on a visit to the north, said that even voters have not made any specific compliant of army harassment or threats. read more

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Soldier killed in explosion

A soldier was killed and another sustained injuries following an explosion at a military training camp in Mullaitivu.The army said that the explosion took place when the soldier was demonstrating how to handle an explosive device last evening. The soldier sustained serious injuries in the accidental explosion while another soldier was also injured.Both soldiers were admitted to hospital but one of them succumbed to his injuries in hospital this morning. (Colombo Gazette)

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Lanka rejects impunity charge

He said it is important to have an objective approach and extend equal treatment to all countries when fulfilling the assigned mandate. With regard to High Commissioner Pillay’s reference to the last days of the armed conflict, Prof. Peiris stated that the Sri Lanka military was involved in the largest hostage rescue operation in contemporary history.  It is factually known that the LTTE ruthlessly annihilated people trying to escape from their clutches.  While noting that Ms. Pillay too had called on Sri Lanka to end military operations, the Minister stated that if Sri Lanka had acceded to that call the present ground realities would have been different as a responsible government steps had to be undertaken to safeguard the Sri Lankan people not heeding to calls of some external elements.The Minister also referred to the High Commissioner’s concern over the inclusion of the police under the newly created Ministry of Law and Order, instead of the Ministry of Justice.  He indicated that her stated position is fundamentally unacceptable and does not move in accordance with the established procedures of Sri Lanka.  The Minister pointed out that the Police Department has consistently been under the Ministry of Defence and only briefly, 2002-2004, under an Interior Ministry.  It has to be noted that most countries too have Police under Ministries other than Justice, and   further, he indicated that the creation of the new Ministry of Law and Order under which the Police Department is now placed is in line with a LLRC recommendation. (Colombo Gazette) On the aspect of accountability, the Minister highlighted the action taken by the law enforcement authorities and cited the instances of some members of the Special Task Force having been indicted in relation to the killing of five students in Trincomalee and status of  investigations with regard to  the Muttur incident involving the ACF workers.  He further explained the difficulties encountered in identifying the perpetrators due to the conditions prevailing at the time of incidence, with regard to the ACF case. The Minister informed however that mobile phone evidence is being pursued in this regard, and therefore the case remains open. He drew a parallel with the case of the assassination of the former Foreign Minister late Lakshman Kadirgamar, where conviction has not been possible due to the lack of evidence.Addressing allegations of disappearances, Prof Peiris explained that the Ministry of Justice has formulated a draft amendment to the Penal Code to criminalize enforced disappearances, also formulated amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code and the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Act in order to give effect to recommendations in the National Human Rights Action Plan.  He outlined the difficulties in identifying the missing due to instances involving persons having migrated to other countries holding multiple identities, and those host governments not divulging their details.  This fact aggravates the difficulty in compiling correct statistics. It was indicated that the repeated use of baseless and arbitrary figures in respect of disappearances, eventually acquire authenticity in the face of the massive propaganda that is being carried out against the Government of Sri Lanka. The government says there is no culture of impunity in the country and in instances where evidence is available action to conduct legal proceedings have been instituted  irrespective of the status of those accused, which include politicians, public officials and officers of the law enforcement agencies.External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris said this when he met visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay at the Ministry of External Affairs today. Minister Peiris reiterated to High Commissioner Pillay Sri Lanka’s firm resolve to work with the United Nations system. However he said that there is a perception in the country about the lack of objectivity and fairness in the treatment meted out to Sri Lanka. The Minister added that Sri Lanka accepts constructive and justified criticism but resents vicious and baseless positions which are incessantly repeated. read more

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Colombo High Court rejects bail for Sicille Kotelawala

Sri Lankan authorities had in 2009 sought Interpol assistance to arrest Sicille Kotelawala, one of the main suspects in the Rs 26 billion Golden Key credit card fraud. She was arrested on February 4 after returning to the country at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). The Mt Lavinia Magistrate had issued a warrant for her arrest. (Colombo Gazette) The Colombo Colombo High Court today rejected bail for Sicille Kotelawala and further remanded her till April 27.Sicille Kotelawala, wife of businessman Lalith Kotelawala, was remanded till today and when she was presented in court earlier this month and her bail application was taken up for hearing today.

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Lightning kills four elephants including two calves

“Villagers from neighboring areas alerted the authorities and we carried out autopsies,” wildlife veterinary surgeon Chandana Jayasinghe said. “The deaths were caused by lightning.” Local villagers in Mahavilachchiya, 250 kilometers (156 miles) north of Colombo, had reported heavy rains accompanied by thunder and lightning in the shrub jungle area on Friday when the elephants were thought to have been struck. Four elephants, including two calves, were killed by lightning in the northe in one of the worst wildlife tragedies to hit the country in years, the AFP news agency quoted officials as saying.A female elephant, aged about 25 years, and two of her calves, aged 10 months and two years, and an 8-year-old female were found dead today just outside the Wilpattu wildlife sanctuary, an official said. It was the worst natural disaster involving elephants since February 2011 when four baby elephants drowned in a major flood in the north-east of the country.Elephants are venerated in the mainly Buddhist country and they are a highly protected species. Elephant deaths must be investigated and death certificates issued before disposing of the carcasses. Despite tough conservation laws and the elephant’s association with Buddhism, nearly 200 jumbos are killed each year by villagers after accidentally straying onto farmland, while the animals themselves kill about 50 people each year.Sri Lanka’s elephant population has reduced to just over 7,000, according to a census five years ago, down from a population of over 12,000 at the start of the 20th century. read more

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US says no change to visa policy for Sri Lankans

Some social media websites published stories stating that President Donald Trump had signed an executive order to allow all Sri Lanka nationals travel to the United States without visas. The United States says there is no change to the visa policy for Sri Lankans.The US Embassy in Colombo said that rumors of a change in policy with regards to visitors from Sri Lanka are not true. The fake news stories stated that the new order, serving as a change in visa policy for Sri Lankans traveling to the United States, would permit them stay in the U.S for a maximum period of 180 days for Tourism or Business purposes only. (Colombo Gazette)

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Indian PM says Lanka has benefitted from work of Tamils

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressed the Indian-origin Tamil community at Norwood Grounds in Dickoya and assured them that India will support their endeavours towards peace and prosperity, the Indian Express reported.“The Government and people of India are with you in your journey towards peace and greater prosperity,” he said. Earlier in the day, he inaugurated a Rs 150 crore super-speciality hospital in Dickoya town that was built with Indian assistance. Dickoya is a subdistrict of Dimbula, one of the six primarily tea-growing regions in Sri Lanka. Calling for celebrations over the diversity between Sinhalese-speaking population and Tamil-speaking people, Modi said, “Diversity calls for celebration and not confrontation. Sinhala and Tamil people and languages existed harmoniously.” He also said that Sinhalese language should be a matter of “pride” for the people. “You speak one of the oldest-surviving classical languages in the world. It is a matter of pride that many of you also speak Sinhala,” Modi said. Talking about the bilateral deals between the two nations, Modi said, “We have decided to extend 1990 Emergency Ambulance Service, currently operating in Western & Southern Provinces, to all other Provinces.”“Under Indian housing project in Sri Lanka, 4000 houses being constructed in up country areas, happy to announce an additional 10,000 houses,” he added. (Colombo Gazette) Stressing the need for strengthening “threads of unity and harmony” between Indian and the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, the prime minister said, “We remember your forefathers. Men and women of strong will and courage who undertook the journey of their life from India to then Ceylon.” He also praised some of the original inhabitants of the community. “A great icon of India, MGR was born in this soil establishing a lifelong connection. You produced one of the finest spinners in the world, Muttiah Muralitharan.”The Prime Minister also said that he is aware of the steps taken by Sri Lankan government for the development of the community. “Sri Lankan Government is taking active steps to improve your life which includes a Five-year Action plan. India will fully support their effort in this direction,” he said. “We will continue to work tirelessly for your socio-economic development in all possible ways.” Modi congratulated the Tamil community for their hard work and said that Sri Lanka has benefitted from it.” If Sri Lanka today is third largest exporter of tea, it’s because of your hard work,” Modi said. “People all over the world are familiar with famous Ceylon Tea that originates in this fertile land,” he further added. read more

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US to expand navytonavy relationship with Sri Lanka

She reaffirmed the long-standing facet of U.S. foreign policy: that the United States is – and will continue to be – an Indo-Pacific power. “We are also expanding our navy-to-navy relationship with Sri Lanka, with our first-ever naval exercise set for October,” she said. “Already, American companies operate across the region, supplying everything from bottled drinks to airplane parts.  In India alone, over 600 American companies have contributed to a 500 percent increase in FDI over the past two years.  We are partnering with South Asian countries to develop legal and regulatory regimes that encourage transparent FDI, build resilient energy infrastructure, and connect budding entrepreneurs with the resources they need to develop their ideas.  As President Trump and Prime Minister Modi underscored during their June summit, both India and the United States are committed to bolstering regional economic connectivity through transparent infrastructure development and responsible debt financing practices,” she added.She also commended the progress in BIMSTEC and hopes agreements on electricity grid connectivity and transport can be finalized before the next BIMSTEC Summit.“While the region offers unprecedented opportunity, it is also confronting a myriad of security challenges, including terrorism, transnational crime, trafficking-in-persons, and illicit drugs,” she added. “For more than seven decades, we have embraced the responsibilities this distinction requires across this vast expanse, from the shores of East Africa to the western coast of the Americas.  This will not change in the decades to come,” she added.Wells said if South and Southeast Asia reduced non-tariff barriers by 50 percent – an ambitious but attainable goal – increased intra-region trade would net $568 billion in increased GDP by 2030. The United States says it hopes to expand the navy-to-navy relationship with Sri Lanka.US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice G. Wells told delegates at the Indo-Pacific Regional Architecture Indian Ocean Conference 2017 in Colombo today that Sri Lanka and the US will hold the first-ever naval exercise in October. Wells noted that to combat these challenges, the United States has sought to improve intelligence-sharing among regional partners and improve capacity-building in areas like community policing, counter-narcotics, aviation security, and forensics analysis. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Abolishing executive Presidency political solution focus of new PM

The Prime Minister said that his party is to form a broad alliance to protect democracy and it is only through a democratic environment in which the voice of the people is considered and the rights of the people are protected. “And also, we will have discussions with the Tamil National Alliance and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna to bring about a political solution in which all citizens can live in harmony in a unitary state,” he said. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says abolishing the executive Presidency and bringing about a political solution will be part of the main issues the new Government will focus on.In a special statement after being appointed as Prime Minister, Wickremesinghe said that discussions are ongoing with a number of political parties in respect to abolishing the executive Presidency. He also urged all sides to forget all differences and join hands with him in the broad alliance, for the sake of the motherland, democracy, rights of the people and to bring about a free country for the unborn generation. (Colombo Gazette)Click here for full statement read more

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OHCHR officials discuss Sri Lankas progress on commitments

The OHCHR delegation which attended the meeting included Georgette Gagnon, Director of Field Operations and Technical Cooperation for the UN Human Rights Office, and Mona Rishmawi, Chief of the Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch at the UN Human Rights Office. Officials from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) had talks with the Prime Minister’s office on the progress made by Sri Lanka in meeting its commitments made in the UN Human Rights Council resolution.The meeting was held with Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka in his capacity as the Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Government information department said. The OHCHR delegation is also expected to meet several senior members of the Government and seek their views on Sri Lanka’s current position with regards to the UNHRC resolution on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette) At the meeting, the two parties focused on UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s report on Sri Lanka which will be presented to the March session of the UN Human Rights Council, where Sri Lanka’s progress on the UNHRC resolutions would be discussed by its member-nations. read more

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AIADMK election manifesto includes pushing for justice in Sri Lanka

Reiterating the party’s stand, Panneerselvam said AIADMK would press for the release of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and strive for the scrapping of the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test for medical admissions.“AIADMK will urge the Government of India and the president to give due direction to the Governor of Tamil Nadu for release of seven Tamil convicts as ordered by the Supreme Court and approved by the cabinet of Tamil Nadu government,” he said. India’s AIADMK election manifesto has included ensuring justice for the Tamils in Sri Lanka.On the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, AIADMK said it would press the Centre to take up the issue of “massacre” of civilian Tamils in the island republic during the peak of hostilities, with the International Criminal Court at the Hague, the Press Trust of India reported. The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu Tuesday promised a slew of measures in its election manifesto, including a national poverty eradication initiative that will be named after the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Releasing the manifesto for the general election at a press conference, AIADMK coordinator and Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said the party would “vigorously pursue” the Amma National Poverty Eradication Initiative (ANPEI). In September 2018, the cabinet had recommended to Governor Banwarilal Purohit the release of Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas and Nalini, all serving life in prison for their involvement in the killing of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally here in 1991 by an LTTE suicide bomber. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Saks Lord Taylor hit with massive data breach

<> on July 29, 2013 in San Francisco, California. VIDEO: Hackers stole information for more than five million credit and debit cards used at retail chains Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th and Lord & Taylor stores. The Hudson’s Bay Company, which owns the retail outlets, would not comment on which exact stores were affected by a data breach. According to The Canadian Press, cybersecurity firm Gemini Advisory LLC has identified three Canadian stores where customer credit card date may have been stolen as the Saks outlets at Sherway Gardens in Toronto, Bramalea Town Centre in Brampton and the Pickering Town Centre.